We all have floors in our houses some with marbles and some with wooden flooring. But have you ever imagined your floor made up of coins? Wow! A penny floor. Well, Tanya Tooners was the person who built up her own penny floor and here is the description of her work that she showed through her images. She said “ It took me longer than it should have haha. I took a lot of days off on this project. Very tedious. I think it took about 2 months for this penny floor.”
The finished product first.The Shiny! penny floor. About $130 in pennies, 10 bottles of Elmer’s glue, some grout I found in my basement and some damn expensive epoxy (~$150), a tub of wood filler because plywood is holy and pennies are small, and a few pieces of wood. Also, one of my dogs kept making its way across any barricade I constructed and pooping on the pennies.
Had to pry up those areas every time because even if I when I could clean it up properly, like a stiff turd that didn’t seep into the cracks between pennies, it would tarnish the dark pennies and lighten the tarnished pennies overnight. The dog’s name is Trouble so that one might be on us.
Got 3 $50 bags of pennies from the bank and some Elmers. I started by measuring the area and finding the centre. Drew an axis to follow along. I started by glueing one diamond shape in the centre. I let it dry so I could push the next pennies against the centre without the whole thing sliding. Didn’t really have a design in mind. Just started with the diamonds, liked how it looked and kept going.
Hammer is there for emotional support and for tapping down any nail heads poking out. Made any loose pennies bounce too so that was nice for finding uncooperative pennies that needed to be re-glued. I continued the pattern until I was nearing the wall. Got my little sittin’ stool.
Once I reached an edge I decided a border would be a good idea. Got a pillow for kneelin’. I used that metal ruler for popping out any misplaced pennies that had dried in. Here you can see there is a seam between the plywood boards. I later had to pull a wide strip of pennies up along it and fill it in with wood filler to make it more gradual. Moral: just do it right from the beginning.
Found a pattern I liked along the edge and then started working towards a corner. Luckily, there was a gap between the moulding and floor so I could run the pennies under the moulding to complete the edges. This was stupid hard though because the gap was only about 1/2″. Had to use my trusty ruler to poke the pennies around under the gap.
Here you can see the wood filler has come into play. Almost to the first corner.
Trying corners out. Didn’t like this one.
Settled on this. From here it was just a matter of copying the pattern to the ends.
Working toward the 2nd corner. You can see my bowls of sorted pennies. The big silver bowl in the back are the ones that were in the grey area between shiny and dark. I later used those too.
Here’s where I started realising that I there were not going to be enough dark pennies. Bought some liver of sulphur to turn them a blue-purple-black colour. Since there was suddenly a new shade I had to go back through the pennies I had already laid and pry up some of the naturally tarnished ones and replace them.
The second corner finished. You can really see the artificially tarnished ones in this picture. They are the matte blue-black coloured ones. The matte went away when they got wet, which happened during the grouting phase later on, which I’m happy about.
Working up to the 3rd corner of penny floor
Last corner! Here I have our super cushy standing desk mat for a layin.
Finally done with the penny glueing!
Didn’t take any picture of the actual grouting process. But this is what it looked like after. I just followed the instructions on the grout box. You have to make sure it gets pressed in the little gaps. I used unsanded grout because the gaps were tiny, I didn’t want to rub off the tarnish on the darker pennies, and it was already in my basement. The colour was called charcoal. I rubbed some more grout off with scrap cloth and cheesecloth before epoxying.
Picture after epoxying. In an attempt to keep the epoxy contained, since it is self-leveling, and to tidy up the edges and hide the gap between the moulding and the floor I installed a little 1/2″ moulding strip along the bottom edge. To cover up the unfinished edge between the penny floor and the existing wood floor I installed a room divider strip thingy (I forgot what it’s called).