Decorating your home with unique items creates interest in the room and home. Using pennies to tile a floor in a bathroom, basement or foyer can quickly become a focal point in your home. After all, how many times do you see a floor that is made of pennies.

You have several choices available in terms of layout, you can choose only aged pennies that have a dull copper finish with some green patina for more of an antique look. You can also choose to install shiny, new pennies with a brightly gleaming copper surface. You may decide to combine the two and make a design with the different shades of copper. You can outline the edges of the room with dull copper and fill in the middle with bright copper. A series of concentric circles may be appealing or a series of stripes with alternating dark and light pennies.

Another choice you have available is will you lay the pennies with their heads up or are you a fan of tails. Just like a coin toss – it’s your call.

Preparing the Floor to Tile with Pennies

Take all of the furniture out of the room. Pull the base moldings and door moldings off carefully with a flat pry bar or the claw end of a hammer. Set the moldings aside if you are planning on reinstalling them later.

If you have carpeting in the room, pull up the carpet and carpet padding and remove the tackless installation strips. If you have linoleum, pull it up. If you have ceramic or stone tile, remove the tile or if it is a solid base you can leave it and apply a self leveling agent to create a flat, even base for the penny tiling.

If you have to remove the existing floor covering:

Examine the subfloor for high spots, low spots, holes or cracking. If the subfloor has a large area of damage, especially water damage, find the source of the water leak, repair it  and replace the section of plywood or cement board. Use 100-grit sandpaper installed on a belt sander or orbital palm sander to smooth out high spots. If you have a concrete subfloor, use a wire brush or angle grinder to level the high spots.

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Fill in low spots and holes on a wood subfloor or cement board subfloor with an epoxy based repair putty. If you are filling in low spots on a concrete floor use hydraulic cement.

Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of a greasing fighting dish washing detergent to a bucket of water and scrub the floor to remove dirt, grease and oil. Let the floor dry completely.

Making the Penny Floor Tile

Measure the room size to determine the size of the tiles and how many you will need. Divide the length and width by the size of the tiles to get an evenly divisible number which will represent the number of self sticking fiberglass mesh squares you will need.

Cut sections of self sticking fiberglass mesh to 6 , 8 or 12 inch squares with a utility knife or sharp shears. Choose whatever will be easiest for you to work with. Make straight lines with a metal rule or straightedge and use a permanent marker to draw the straight lines on the fiberglass mesh backing.

Lay the squares of fiberglass mesh with the sticky adhesive side facing up. One by one set the pennies on top of the adhesive and press each one into place. Make sure each edge of the penny touches the adjacent penny, keep the lines of pennies straight. Keep setting pennies on the adhesive until the entire square is covered with pennies. Set the penny tile aside and start on the next one.

Continue setting pennies on the adhesive side of the fiberglass mesh until all of the mesh squares are covered with pennies.

Prepare to Set the Penny Tiles

Extend a tape measure along the wall and mark the floor with chalk every 6, 8, 12 inches, the marks on the floor will equal the size of your tiles.

Move the tape measure to the opposite wall and mark the floor on the other side of the room.

Stretch a chalk line from the mark on one side of the room to the mark directly across the room and snap the chalk line. Snap the chalk line for each mark, you will have a series of straight lines running across the room.

Move to the end of the room and repeat the process so you will have lines across the floor that intersects with the chalk lines you just made. After you are finished snapping lines, you will have a series of squares on the floor that represent where each square of penny tile will lay.

Setting the Penny Tiles

Dip a paintbrush into clear epoxy adhesive and paint a coat onto the back of the fiberglass mesh that holds the pennies on the opposite side. Put a penny tile into one of the chalk boxes, starting in the middle of the room. Rub your hand over the pennies and press the tile in place to adhere it tightly to the subfloor. Apply epoxy adhesive to the back of the next penny tile and set it in a box that abuts the first tile, rub your hand over the tile and press it down to the floor. Continue applying adhesive and setting penny tiles until the entire floor has a penny tile covering.

If you have to make cuts, use shears to trim the tile between pennies. Don’t cut the pennies.

Let the epoxy dry for six to eight hours.

Grouting Penny Tiles

Add dry grout mix to a bucket and pour in water, according to the grout manufacturer’s directions.

Equip a power drill with a paddle mixer bit and blend the grout and water.

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Scoop the grout out of the bucket with a rubber grout float and spread the grout over the face of the tiles, pressing it into the void spaces between tiles.

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Dip a large natural sea sponge into plain water and squeeze out the excess. Wipe the pennies to remove excess grout.

Let the grout set and dry for three to four days.

Sealing Penny Tiles

Mix clear two part, UV blocking epoxy sealer in a large bucket or trough.

Pour the epoxy sealer on the floor to create about a 1 inch thick covering.

Use a rubber squeegee on a long handle to spread the sealer from wall to wall evenly, keeping the layer about 1 inch thick.

Let the epoxy sealer set and dry for two to three days before walking on the floor.

Consider using a colored grout to create a contrast with the pennies. If you are using shiny, bright pennies, using a black or other dark colored grout really shows off the penny floor.

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