DIY: How to Make A Tile Penny Floor

This DIY tile penny floor project is brought to us from reddit user toooners, who did an excellent job of documenting their DIY process for our benifit!

Things you’ll need for for your DIY penny floor project:

Pennies$2.50 per sqft
Elmer’s Glue$20
Tile Grout$12
Floor Epoxy$180
Wood Filler$12
Penny Floor Template (Optional)$45
Penny Polish$10
Liver of Sulfur$10
diy penny floor

Finished product first. Shiny! 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 holey 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 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.

diy penny floor

Got 3 $50 bags of pennies from the bank and some Elmer’s glue. I started by measuring the area and finding the center. Drew an axis to follow along. I started by gluing one diamond shape in the center. I let it dry so I could push the next pennies against the center 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.

diy penny floor

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.

diy penny floor

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.

diy penny floor

Found a pattern I liked along the edge and then started working towards a corner. Luckily, there was a gap between the molding and floor so I could run the pennies under the molding 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.

diy penny floor

Here you can see the wood filler has come into play. Almost to the first corner.

diy penny floor

Trying corners out. Didn’t like this one.

diy penny floor

Almost there.

diy penny floor

Settled on this. From here it was just a matter of copying the corner tile penny floor pattern to the other ends.

diy penny floor

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.

diy penny floor

Here’s where I started realizing that I there were not going to be enough dark pennies. Bought some liver of sulfur to turn them a blue-purple-black color. 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.

diy penny floor

Second corner finished. You can really see the artificially tarnished ones in this picture. They are the matte blue black colored ones. The matte went away when they got wet, which happened during the grouting phase later on, which I’m happy about.

diy penny floor

Working up to the 3rd corner.

diy penny floor

Last corner! Here I have our super cushy standing desk mat for layin’.

diy penny floor

Finally done with the tile penny floor gluing!

diy penny floor

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 color was called charcoal. I rubbed some more grout off with scrap cloth and cheesecloth before epoxying.

diy penny floor

Picture after epoxying the tile penny floor. 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 molding and the floor I installed a little 1/2″ molding strip along the bottom edge. To cover up the unfinished edge between the tile penny floor and the existing wood floor I installed a room divider strip thingy (I forgot what it’s called).

diy penny floor

Close up. You can see the pennies alternate heads/tails and all face the same direction because I’m crazy and I hate myself.

Thanks for reading! If you liked this DIY tile penny floor project check out our other DIY projects!

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