whats the best floor cover?

I use shavings.

I also believe there is no place for hay in chicken-keeping. It is too warm, they eat it, it can go mouldy very quickly and it's expensive

Apart from that, not much wrong with it.

Straw works well and can be very cheap.
I think it's a personal choice. Our coop is elevated and the floor is made of wood and covered w/ laminate/vinyl flooring. I love it b/c it protects the wood and makes it easy to clean. I put pine wood shavings on top of that.
Hope this helps!
We're putting vinyl flooring in our new breeders coop. I have scraps under the brooders, and you just pick it up and the poopies fall off!!!
The glossy type is the best - if it has too many nooks and crannies you won't be able to keep it clean. In the winter, just put pine shavings on top of it.
I have a plywood floor covered in vinyl, then pine shavings. I do a deep litter method and just turn it over until ready to be completely mucked out. I don't like straw as well becuse it doesn't stay smelling as nice but many people use it. Also, straw is hollow and can harbour bacteria inside of it. I also use shavings in the run and add to it every once in a while. When I throw the scratch out they dig around and keep the run turned over for me. My coop and run don't stink at all. I like to use Timothy hay in the nest boxes because it packs into a nice bowl shape for them and smells like fresh cut grass. Every morning a scoop out the big droppings and put them in a covered bucket to go into my composter or friends that want compost/fertilizer for their gardens. The chicken manure must be aged for a while to take the "heat" (ammonia) out of it before it can be used for gardening. This sounds like a lot of trouble but I can feed, water and tidy up in less than ten minutes in the morning. Good luck with your plans.
I like the vinyl flooring idea. I have laminate left over from making countertops and was wondering if that would work also?? I don't see why not. I also was wondering if putting paper product from a shredder down with the shavings would hurt the chickens if they eat it? The shavings are really small, not like the shredders that puts it in lines put like pellet size.

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