Applying pennies to a floor creates an interesting theme in a room. You can choose bright, shiny, new copper pennies, pennies with an aged patina or a combination depending on your tastes. Another choice is heads up, tails up or a random pattern of both. A penny floor design is wholly dependent on personal choice. Installing a penny floor is highly labour intensive.
Remove all door and base mouldings from the room.
Repair any imperfections on the subflooring. Sand down high spots with medium-grit sandpaper. Use a power drill with a wire-brush bit on masonry surfaces. Fill in holes and depressions on the subfloor. Use joint compound on wood substrates and hydraulic cement on concrete.
Clean the floor with a mild degreasing detergent to remove dirt and oils. Rinse the floor thoroughly and allow it to dry fully.
Cut squares of self-sticking fibreglass mesh into a uniform size. Cut squares with shears or a utility knife. Sizes range from 6 by 6 inch to 12 by 12 inch, depending on your choice. Use a metal straight edge as a guide to ensure straight lines on the squares. Measure the room to determine the square footage and create enough squares to cover the subflooring.
Pace the fibreglass mesh squares with the adhesive side up. Apply the pennies to the squares, row by row. Line the pennies up to the straight line on the edge of the square. Place each penny so it touches the next one. Continue to apply pennies until pennies cover all of your squares.
Measure the wall along the length on both sides of the room. Mark the floor at each end. Extend the chalk line between both points and snap the chalk line. Move toward the centre of the room the distance that equals the size of the mesh square, measure both ends and snap the chalk line. Repeat until chalk lines cover the floor at intervals equal to the size of your squares.
Measure the width of the room at both sides, mark the floor, extend a chalk line and snap. Move the distance equal to the mesh squares, mark the floor and snap the chalk line. Continue to measure, mark and snap the chalk line until a grid pattern covers the entire floor.
Apply a thin layer of an epoxy-based clear adhesive to the inside of a square with a paintbrush. Begin in the centre of the room. Set the penny tile in place and press it down with your hand to ensure good adhesion. Move to the left or right, apply adhesive to the floor, set the tile and press in place. Continue until penny tiles cover the subfloor. Make cuts to the tiles with a utility knife or shears as necessary around the pennies. Do not cut the pennies. Hide the gaps with base moulding.
Allow the adhesive to dry for four to six hours.
Mix grout with water in a large bucket or trough. Apply the grout to the penny tiles with a rubber grout float. Wipe excess grout off the penny surfaces with a damp sponge.
Allow the grout to set for 48 to 72 hours.
Mix a clear two-part epoxy sealer according the manufacturer's directions. Choose an epoxy sealer that is UV blocking to avoid yellowing. Pour the sealer onto the floor creating a 1-inch coating. Spread the sealer evenly with a long-handled rubber squeegee. Allow the epoxy sealer to set for 48 to 72 hours before use.
Work in a well-ventilated room. Wear safety glasses and gloves when penny tiling a floor.
Tips and warnings
- Work in a well-ventilated room.
- Wear safety glasses and gloves when penny tiling a floor.
Things you need
- Claw hammer
- Medium-grit sandpaper
- Power drill
- Wire-brush bit
- Joint compound
- Hydraulic cement
- Putty knife
- Degreasing detergent
- Self-sticking fibreglass mesh
- Shears or utility knife
- Metal straight edge
- Tape measure
- Chalk line
- Epoxy-based clear adhesive
- Bucket or trough
- Grout float
- Clear epoxy-based sealer
- Long handle rubber squeegee