Bathroom / Floors

Copper pennies: Walking on Lincoln

“Cu” has always been one of my favorite elements, so it’s no wonder I decided to tile my beat up bathroom floor with pennies. The process was tedious, but doable. The key is not to rush it and not to cut corners at all. (Plan on about 250 pennies per square foot.)

I removed the baseboard molding, the toilet, and anything else on the floor. I then spray painted my floor glossy black. This was a terrible idea, since spray paint absolutely should not be used indoors. But, the black floor is what you want. In the future I will paint it on with brush, but live and learn. Now that that was done . . .

I made up a slurry of simple Elmer’s glue and water and paint it on the floor in small sections with a foam brush. I made the glue very thin, and then set the pennies down into the glue. This will held them in place without squooshing up between them. I wanted them stuck enough that they didn’t easily move, yet not-stuck enough that if I needed to move them I could get a fingernail under them and pop them free (hence nothing like superglue).

After I put down quite a few pennies one-by-one by hand, I decided to use clear adhesive shelving paper and a picture frame to make myself “tiles” of pennies. To do this, I just put down a picture frame (about 10″ square or so) and then put the pennies into it snug. Then I put the adhesive side of the contact paper down. I ended up with sheets of tiled pennies. This didn’t actually make it easier to put down large amounts of pennies at once, since the pennies didn’t release from the contact paper well and I ended up dealing with them all individually anyway.

Once the floor was covered in pennies, I poured about 1/4″ of epoxy on the floor. That amount accounted for the depth of the pennies and any unevenness in the floor. I used Bio-Clear 810 Epoxy, which worked beautifully. I started in the far corner and poured which resulted in a self-leveling surface. Then I hit the epoxy with a blow-torch to get rid of the bubbled in it. Once all of the bubbles were gone, I let it alone to cure.

As a side note, if you decide to try this, don’t be the idiot I was and try to do the epoxy without gloves on. You can see in the photos that I did this without gloves, and you can also see that I ended up in the emergency room of the hospital with epoxy coating my hands. The only way to get epoxy off your hands is with copious amounts of rubbing alcohol, but you don’t need to know that if you wear gloves! Do it! Gloves = smart.

 

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