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The penny floor; oooooh, I want one!

A room floored with pennies. Never heard of such a thing until yesterday, but now I want one.

There are various ways to do a penny floor. They all seem to produce gorgeous results and, if you discount the DIY labor of installation, are fairly cheap as floorings go (about $2.88 per square foot in pennies plus some adhesives and coatings).

Most of the objections raised here are easily answered. Except the one about … oops, metal being conductive. So, you science-minded types: would a penny floor, well covered with an epoxy coating, threaten life & limb? The phrase “to die for” leaves me a little uneasy in this particular case.


  1. Jim B.
    Jim B. September 22, 2013 11:57 am

    Hoped they used the brighter (and cheaper) zinc pennies. I think copper is too valuable for this duty.

  2. Matt, another
    Matt, another September 22, 2013 12:46 pm

    A penny floor might be illegal if it is considerer defacing money. Another good reason for one. Mi would prefer the classic look of the old style pennies.

  3. naturegirl
    naturegirl September 22, 2013 1:16 pm

    I have no idea how dangerous it would be. But I have to wonder how long it takes and who the heck has that kind of extra time, LOL. Not to mention the tediousness of it. It does look cool though.

  4. water lily
    water lily September 22, 2013 1:23 pm

    Very cool!

  5. Bear
    Bear September 22, 2013 1:28 pm

    My objection penny floors (yeah, I’ve seen ’em before) is the waste of metal. Even the zinckies; they’re a handy source of low metal point material for small parts casting. And it seems like a heckuvalot of work for a cutesie look. (For a real test of that, suggest that Joel tile his cabin floor this way. It should be safe enough over the phone. Probably should do it in person.)

    As for electrocution… Nope. Not unless your home already has some pretty serious electrical faults. And you laid the floor wrong.

    Firstly, you shouldn’t have major currents drifting through your house and pipes. Call an electrician if you do (and you’d have noticed it before laying a penny floor… if you survived).

    Secondly, the penny are coated in clearcoat, insulation.

    How often have you been electrocuted while climbing a metal staircase, or walking across a metal catwalk? Or bathing in an enameled metal tub? Heck, if the pennies are in good physical contact, you could argue that the floor provide a nice ground plane (not one that I’d count on, but… hey.)

  6. Keith
    Keith September 22, 2013 2:00 pm

    I use a scanned $100,000,000,000 note as “wallpaper” on my computer, does that count?

    I should add that it’s a Zimbabwe one, the united state one hasn’t got bad enough that I can get my hands on $100G of them in one note – yet.

    Zinc pennies? wow.

    British ones are copper washed mild steel.

  7. Claire
    Claire September 22, 2013 4:19 pm

    naturegirl — I hear it takes a loooooooong time to install a penny floor. One website mentioned 100 hours; another said something around 150 — and that was for not-huge rooms. Ouch, eh.

    Bear — We may agree to disagree on the worth of a having a penny floor, but thanks for the info re the conductivity. I consider that to be encouragement …

  8. Claire
    Claire September 22, 2013 4:22 pm

    Keith — LOL! I have some of those Zimbabwe $100 trillion notes. Never thought of using them for wallpaper (either the computer kind of the glued-to-the-wall kind). But I did give them as Christmas presents one year to a few people I thought deserved a lot of money. 🙂

    I sent one to Dave Duffy, which eventually ended up in an article illustration.

  9. Betsey
    Betsey September 22, 2013 5:27 pm

    I wanted one too until I read the comments. LOL

  10. s
    s September 23, 2013 8:52 am

    Neither a metal floor nor a floor composed of thousands of metal disks poses any threat to life or health. Nor does a metal car, a metal airplane (once you’ve survived the gamut and are safely seated inside), a metal staircase, a metal roof, or a metal travel trailer.

    Metal will interact with EM radiation, and might impede wifi signals that tried to go from say, the basement router to the kitchen laptop. But I can think of no reason why a metal floor or penny floor would pose any kind of threat to health and safety.

    Post pictures if you do it!

  11. Scott
    Scott September 23, 2013 9:13 am

    A penny floor presents absolutely no hazard-other than it may be slick. Assuming all the pennies were in good electrical contact with each other, you had a huge fluctuating magnetic field, and you touched something grounded-well, you might get shocked. Buff’em up shiny, clearcoat’em, and you’re fine.

  12. naturegirl
    naturegirl September 23, 2013 11:47 am

    100-150 hours isn’t bad. I’ve known some people who took years to finish one project home improvements *ahem myself*. As long as someone has the tenacity to keep after placing all those neatly in a row, heh. I do like the overall warm color of it, makes the whole room kinda glow.

    I wonder if it ends up as heavy as some of the jars of pennies I’ve had to lug around, LOL. Would suck if the whole floor collapsed after it was finished.

  13. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty September 23, 2013 12:06 pm

    Some enterprising soul might just take a really good PICTURE pennies (or quarters or dollar bills) like this and use it to make vinal floor tiles. Might actually cost more to install, but would be a lot more convenient and easier to clean. Unless the “clear coat” was very thick, dirt and yuk would eventually get inbetween the pennies and be nasty… And I’d be concerned with the weight of it as well.

    I got rid of ceramic tile flooring once because it was impossible to really clean without getting down on hands and knees with a toothbrush and cleanser, especially as the grout deteriorated.

  14. Pat
    Pat September 23, 2013 1:08 pm

    It might not be too heavy – the pennies are spread out and there’s a lot of grout in there, in fact the pennies don’t even seem to be touching. A good foundation flooring (plywood) might be enough.

    It is beautiful, though. I agree that penny-looking vinyl floor tiles would be perfect.

  15. naturegirl
    naturegirl September 23, 2013 2:29 pm

    I have a bench that is actually half a tree and it’s thickly (almost 3 inches) clear coated. Lemme just say that scratches no matter how careful one is. On a floor -it’ll be worse than my bench is. And once it’s scratched it will look awful. Then there will be a buffing eventually, probably multiple times. At least if the clear coat goes orange-yellow-ish then it wouldn’t matter with pennies under it. So, if anyone tries this be sure to search for industrial strength clear coating.

  16. Kristophr
    Kristophr September 24, 2013 9:30 pm

    Matt, another:

    Defacing coins is not considered defacing federal reserve notes. You can legally make jewelry or crafts out of coins.

    The second you do anything permanent to alter them, they are no longer legal tender.

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