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DIY Penny Project Ideas to Make Your Home Shine

DIY Penny Project Ideas to Make Your Home Shine

Pennies are a fun and unique way to shine up your home, without breaking the bank. Back in 2013, I created my own penny floor as a foyer and I’ve been collecting all kinds of penny projects from my readers ever since. Here are some of my favorite DIY penny project ideas submitted by creative home owners like you.

Penny Backsplash

Patti's penny backsplash commemorates her mom
Patti’s penny backsplash commemorates her mom.

I love that this penny backsplash is unique AND has a personal touch. Patti sent in the sweetest note with her penny project submission. She said that her mom left them with thousand of pennies, so she decided to do the backsplash of their tiny “park model” in Phoenix, AZ. She further explains,

“As a tribute to her I spelled MOM above the new stove.”


I really love the idea of a penny backsplash, especially if you’re considering a penny floor but the thought of walking all over the pennies every day makes you nervous. A backsplash will definitely hold up a lot longer because it’s not going to have as much wear and tear as a floor would.

Another example is Carolyn’s creative penny backsplash. She trolled the web for penny floor and backsplash designs for several years before finally getting started.

While she originally thought she would used dark aged pennies for the bulk of her project and bright shiny pennies for the design / contrast, she was caught off-guard when her husband came home from the bank with her first $25 box.  They were all brand new uncirculated shiny coppery pennies!!

To her surprise, she fell in love with the new pennies… even though they turned her years of planning the perfect design completely upside down. She ended up with a totally organic design instead.  It reminds me of henna designs; fun and balanced side to side with a few twists.

Carolyn’s penny floor has coins from her family birthdate years and quite a few Indian head, Canadian, wheat, and even a 1943 zinc penny. After much research, she used a product called Musselbound Adhesive Tile Mat, grouted over this, and sealed with 3 coats of poly. The final touch was installing the glass range hood. Looking at Carolyn’s backsplash always makes me smile.

Penny Counter Top

penny countertops
Heather’s southwestern penny countertops in her school bus home!

How about pennies as a unique kitchen countertop project idea? Have a look at Heather’s southwestern penny countertop in her school bus home.

Yes, you heard me right… Heather lives in a school bus.

She sent me some photos when writing to me to say thanks for the downloadable penny template and tutorial.

Have a look at Heather’s video slideshow to see more photos of the process.

Penny Kitchen Island

Pennies are also a great conversation starter for a kitchen island or bar top.

Sherry's Kitchen Island
Sherry’s kitchen island made from pennies with an “F” monogram.

Sherry used pennies to top her kitchen island and made a pattern with new and old pennies to display an “F” monogram, using super glue to attach each one individually.

Want to make your own penny floor? Read my step-by-step guide to making a floor out of REAL pennies.

Penny Table

closeup of the diamond pattern in Christina's penny table
Christina’s penny table pattern.
Christina's penny table finished
Very shiny glass epoxy finish

Christina’s patterned table is quite a unique penny project idea! It features a beautiful diamond shape pattern through the center. The pennies outside of the diamond shape are just free-handed.

She glued down the pennies with E-6000 (just a drop each), letting the glue dry well. After that, she cleaned the entire table with alcohol and sealed it with Rust-Oleum Parks Super Glaze (Purchase on Amazon).

I’ve never use this particular product, but I think it looks great on Christina’s table.

Penny Feature Wall

Lisa's super sleek penny bar

Lisa’s super sleek penny bar features an entire feature wall of pennies with lit glass shelving to add surprisingly modern touch. What a great twist on the traditional penny floor or kitchen backsplash. It really adds a shiny statement to the bar area.

Penny Fireplace Surround

Cody's Penny Fireplace Surround
Cody’s penny fireplace surround

I really try not to play favorites, but Cody’s fireplace surround really is one of my favorite penny project ideas.

Cody has a lovely house in southern Georgia with 4 original coal fireplaces. Unfortunately, the tile on the dining room fireplace was old and badly damaged so after some Google inspiration and pricing new tiles, he went with pennies!! Check out their penny fireplace surround. Did you notice the custom “R” monogram on the floor?

Cody told me that every other penny is flipped head to bottom with some treasure hunts along the way. The fireplace surround contains about 5,400 pennies, reused base molding, Bondera used for the penny adhesive, brown grout and 2 coats of polyurethane.

Head over to Hometalk to get all the details about his project.

Penny Abe Lincoln Portrait

Maury created a penny project kit so you can create an 18×24″ portrait of Abe Lincoln out of your own pennies.  It’s the perfect accessory to any penny floor or other penny project from this page. 

You purchase the kit on Amazon, too!

Penny Flooring

I installed my own penny foyer back in 2013 and I still get lots of compliments on it… so I’d definitely still recommend penny flooring as a unique and creative way to shine up your home. Lots of my readers have designed their own penny flooring in their foyers, kitchens, bathrooms and even more.

Head over to this post to see lots of inspirational penny flooring projects.

Wrapping Up

I hope you’ve gotten lots of inspiration from these penny home decor projects. Here are a few other penny projects on HomeTalk that I’d love to try, too:

These 4 Home Owners Tiled Their Bathroom Floors With Pennies

These 4 Home Owners Tiled Their Bathroom Floors With Pennies

I created a penny floor in my foyer back in 2013 and one of the most frequently asked questions about this project is, “Can I install a penny floor in the bathroom?”

Yes, you actually can install pennies as flooring in your bathroom. In this post you’ll find several examples of home owners who have installed penny tiled bathroom and shower floors.

However… there is a big “BUT” that comes with this post. I cannot vouch for how well these penny bathroom floor projects have held up. If I’m being honest, I would not recommend installing pennies in the bathroom, especially if you are new to DIYing and don’t have much tiling experience. If you are putting pennies in an area that’s going to get wet all the time, it can be a big risk. The pennies can also get a little slippery when they’re wet.

Let’s take a look at some of the bathroom penny floor projects submitted by my readers.

Brandon’s Penny Bathroom Floor

Brandon's penny bathroom floor
Brandon’s penny bathroom floor

This is Brandon’s penny bathroom floor! Many of you ask if it’s possible to do a penny floor in your bathroom where there’s a lot of moisture. Well, Brandon is your guy to ask since he’s done it.

When asked about the process of creating a penny floor, Brandon says,

“It can be done. If you’re here researching whether you should do it or not, you can and should!”


Johanna’s Bathroom Project

Johanna's penny bathroom project
Johanna’s penny bathroom floor

Johanna just finished her bathroom project. She’s getting ready to seal it and has decided to use polyurethane.  She thanked me for the blog and said she spent “countless hours reading about your efforts…” — how sweet! Thank you Johanna. Your floor is incredible!

Want to make your own penny floor? Read my step-by-step guide to making a floor out of REAL pennies.

Carl’s Penny Bathroom with Nickel Foyer

Carl's penny bathroom with nickel border
Carl's penny bathroom with nickel border

Take a look at Carl’s super high-gloss epoxied penny bathroom floor with a double-border of nickels.

Carl used a high-gloss epoxy finish. He didn’t leave much detail with his photos and unfortunately I don’t know the sealer he used. If I were to try a penny floor in my bathroom, epoxy would likely be the option I’d go with to seal the floor.

I am LOVING the nickel border. The silver lining around the copper looks so great. Nice job, Carl.

Linda’s Dressed Up Penny Bathroom

Linda's penny floor bathroom - prep

Linda’s penny floor project came from converting their basement into a studio and house concert space. She needed to dress up the bathroom… and what better way than with a shiny copper penny floor? Her project began with a concrete floor, and she glued down each penny, followed by black epoxy grout and then three coats of water-based floor poly to preserve it.

Linda's penny floor bathroom - final
Linda’s penny bathroom floor

Wrapping Up

As you can see, it’s definitely possible to install pennies as a flooring option in your bathroom or any other room of your house. However, I’d recommend doing a lot of research and making sure that you’re comfortable with tiling and maintaining a moisture barrier before you tackle this penny project.

If you have a penny floor in your bathroom and can give me any insight as to how it’s held up over the years, I’d love to hear from you! Contact Amy here.

Get Inspired: 9 Penny Floors DIYed by Home Owners

Get Inspired: 9 Penny Floors DIYed by Home Owners

If you’re thinking about making your own penny floor, here are some projects by home owners just like you who have created beautiful works of art with penny flooring.

Rick’s Penny Floor Map

Rick's Penny Floor Map
Rick’s penny floor map

Rick’s penny floor is the most intricate penny floor design I have ever seen! Rick’s project took him nearly 4 years and consists of pennies, nickels and other coins from around the world. He created a large map of the eastern hemisphere on the floor of his man cave. The outlines of the land are outlined using a black spray paint and the compass is pennies that have been painted red!

Rick estimates that the map contains about 70,000 pennies and 8,000 nickels. In each country he features at least one coin from that area within the design. He got most of these foreign coins off eBay.

To highlight the western hemisphere, he created a bar that features coins from EVERY state as well as the surrounding islands of North and South America. 

Kelly’s Freehanded Penny Foyer

Kelly's freehanded penny foyer

Kelly’s foyer was freehanded — how incredible to do this by eye!

Kelly separated dark from newer pennies and began a mosaic pattern. This project took her about three weeks 3 weeks from start to finish. She says that gluing the pennies and keeping straight lines was the hardest part. Kelly grouted the pennies, sealed with several polyurethane coats to protect the finish, and viola! It’s gorgeous, durable!

Kelly says, “I would recommend removing any floor underneath and installing basic subfloor panels to glue the pennies on.” She also suggests scratching the subfloor surface so the glue and grout will stick, and either a poly coat or an epoxy coat to seal it in well.” She also emphasized the need to allow enough drying time between coats and phases.

This photo is after one coat of poly and grout. I must say I’m jealous of this one!

Check out her step by step ideabook on Houzz.com

Want to make your own penny floor? Read my step-by-step guide to making a floor out of REAL pennies.

The Lincoln Room Penny Floor

The Lincoln Room Penny Floor
The Lincoln Room Penny Floor

This home owner wanted to create a special floor for her favorite room; her 6×9′ pantry. After seeing a penny bartop at a local bar and her love to collect all things copper, a penny floor seemed a natural choice!

PrettyPurpleDoor.com was one of the first sites she found to get some information on the process. As you can see in one photo, using the penny template helped her to create the medallion “L” for the room’s center. The “L” represents her last name and also that she calls her pantry “The Lincoln Room”.

To finish the floor of her Lincoln Room, this homeowner used polyurethane. While she liked the glass-look of the epoxy resins, the process of pouring epoxy is a bit intimidating with great potential for mistakes. The polyurethane was a good alternative solution! She added,

“The extra effort you put forth to document your efforts and knowledge, (from experience), and share it with strangers like me, is incredible and very much appreciated. Thank you very much!”

Michelle’s Sunburst Penny Floor

Michelle's penny floor with sunburst pattern

Michelle decided to make her 4 x 4 foot foyer floor into a penny floor.  She has a lot of “suns” in her house so she thought making a sun would tie everything together. Michelle used newer, shiny pennies, all heads up for the sun. Michelle made the sun design on a board and when she was happy with it, she put a piece of clear contact paper over the design so she could transfer it to the floor.

Michelle ran into a few problems during the installation. At first, she just put down the pennies in no particular order wanting it to look more organic. That didn’t seem to work for her as there were too many big gaps between the pennies. So after she glued down about 1/4 of the background, she pulled them all up (except for the sun) and decided to lay them closer together so the pennies interlocked with each other.*

When Michelle got to the sun, she found that the gaps were also too big between the sunrays. So she ended pulling up each penny one at a time and adjusting it so it would line up with the others. After she was finished she used tin snips to cut pennies to fill in around the perimeter.

Next, Michelle used a dental pick and picked out the excess adhesive from between the crevices. She used green grout instead of the usual black or brown because she likes the look of copper with verdigris when the copper begins to patina. *Just a note: using my penny floor template would eliminate this problem from happening to you!

The scariest part for Michelle was putting the epoxy down to seal the floor. She had to make a dam so it wouldn’t flow onto the hardwood floor on two sides of her penny floor. She also had to figure out how to make the area at least 75 degrees (Fahrenheit) for 72 hours in order for the epoxy to cure. She decided the best way to do this was to hang a drop-cloth from floor to ceiling using tension rods to keep it nice and tight. Then, she left a space heater inside this area for 3 days so that it would get to the right temperature.

Michelle says that if she were to do this again, she would seal the floor first before putting the epoxy down because the grout was actually much brighter before she sealed it.

Products used on Michelle’s Sunburst Penny Floor

  • Gorilla Glue Construction Adhesive (she said that the clear gorilla glue worked on her sample boards, but they only have small bottles)
  • Grout360 for the green grout
  • BestBarTop Epoxy

Patricia’s elegant penny kitchen floor

Patricia's kitchen has an elegant penny floor

I must say, this is one of the most elegant penny project’s I’ve seen so far. Patricia’s penny floor is not quite done yet, but isn’t it so beautiful and classy? I love the tone of the copper pennies mixed with the reds on her wall.

It adds such a high-end touch. Upon completion, Patricia plans to grout the pennies and finish off with an epoxy.

Nick’s Penny Closet Floor

Penny Floor Walk in Closet

Have a look at Nick’s dreamy penny floor walk-in closet. Nick wanted to surprise his fiancé with her dream penny floor walk in closet. This master closet masterpiece used to be a second floor restroom. The closet floor has wheat and even 27 Canadian penny’s also 🙂.

Next Nick is working on the game room and plans on using pennies again! This time he want to plan a design into it.  After the game room Nick will be finishing the new second floor master bath and it will have a 6×8 walk in shower with a penny floor.

Thanks for sharing this dream closet with us Nick! We can’t wait to see your game room and master bath shower floor! That’s one lucky fiancé you have!

Kayla’s Shiny Penny Foyer

Kayla's Penny Foyer
Kayla's Penny Foyer with cat

Here are some photos of Kayla’s amazing shiny penny foyer — bonus photo of her adorable cat.

She sent these photos over, saying:

“I followed your post for the penny floor and I just have to thank you because your 1 article was more help than the other thousand articles I read before I started it. I still have to poly it but the tedious part is done! Again, thanks!”


Cheryl’s Penny Floor

Cheryl's penny floor

Cheryl was the very FIRST submission to the penny floor gallery. Here are some photos of her penny floor. It wasn’t quite finished when she took the photos… this was while she was still cleaning grout from the floor. After cleaning she sealed the floor with polyurethane.

Amy’s Penny Foyer

copper penny floor
Here’s the copper penny floor after it’s been sealed and the moldings installed and the hardwood refinished.

When I first moved into my house, I found pennies everywhere! Seriously, in every little nook and cranny of my house there was a penny wedged. I found them in the cracks of the sidewalk, along ledges, in floor and sink drains… They’d even hit me in the head when I slammed a closet door.

I did some research to find out what this could possibly mean. Why are there pennies all over the house?

Some people say that finding coins or feathers in repetitive numbers is a message from the angels. Others say it’s to keep negative spirits away.

I saved the pennies as I’ve found them, always thinking I’d find a way to do something creative with them.

penny floor in a kitchen with island

Then, one day I stumbled upon this photo. And that’s where my penny foyer idea was born.

Danielle’s Penny Floor

Danielle's Penny Floor

Danielle’s penny floor contains 23,715 pennies and one dime (lol). There is one zinc penny that looks silver and a Bahama commonwealth penny. There are wheat pennies hidden within new pennies throughout, and one entire square foot of all heads up one row of heads up and one row of tails up.

Danielle wrote me saying that this penny project was very interesting, but more time consuming than she anticipated. What she thought would take a weekend took over a month. It turns out, Danielle did not use the penny floor template, and placed every penny one-by-one. Obviously this is something you can do, too… but just know that it will take a lot longer than you plan!

Danielle started out using Elmer’s glue for adhesive then halfway through she used polyurethane (that was for the finish) as the adhesive.  She said that this went A LOT faster.  I have never tried this personally.

She said she put 3 coats of amber colored semigloss polyurethane at the beginning of the project and it came out glossy and was very happy with it! After she finished laying the last penny, she did a coat of poly over the rest of the floor.  The next morning it looked dry and dull.

I talked to Danielle about her problem. She wrote me back saying that it turned out she did not mix the polyurethane enough and it ended up getting very cloudy. She said,

“What I have learned is you have to stir your poly FREQUENTLY!! It has some chemical that keeps the sheen that may settle if you don’t stir it.”


Her floor ended up very shiny once she discovered the problem 🙂

Wrapping Up

As you can see, creating a floor out of REAL pennies is doable by the average home owner. No matter how simple or complex you make it, this is a project that will be the centerpiece of your home for years to come. Before you get started, read my complete guide to creating your own penny floor. Don’t forget to check out my penny floor FAQ post as well to get some of the most common questions answered.

While this post is only about penny floor projects, there are many, many different uses for pennies in your home. I’ve seen a full kitchen floor created with just pennies. There’s even a bar in NYC that has a penny floor! How about using the pennies as a backsplash, or table or a bar top? Or on a vanity or a tub surround? The possibilities are endless!

Make a Penny Floor Out of Real Pennies
Don’t Forget to Pin This Post For Later!

Penny Floor FAQ – Your Penny Floor Questions Answered

Penny Floor FAQ – Your Penny Floor Questions Answered

I installed my penny foyer back in 2013, which means that I had to learn how to create a penny floor without an awesome blog post to follow. I know… feel bad for me :).

Since I had to learn so much I my own, I wanted to give you answers to the questions I know you have been mulling over in your head. This Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page has answers to all of the burning penny floor questions you probably have.

I hope this will give you the confidence you need to get started on the right foot.

Laying your penny floor

Getting ready to start your penny project? I know you’ve got questions and I’ve got the answers for you!

I spent hours in front of the computer creating the penny template to make the process easier for myself and I’m so glad to be able to share it with you. Since 2013, I’ve had a lot time to reflect on the choices I made. I’ve also gotten a TON of questions from others who have tried their hand at this project.

So, take a look at these frequently asked questions about installing a penny floor before you get started!

Do I NEED the penny floor template to complete this project?

No! Absolutely not. If you want to freehand your project you can easily follow along without using the template. But, the template does have many benefits and was the key to my own success in finishing this project! Here are some of the benefits:

  • Use your floors while setting your pennies onto mosaic sheets.
  • Avoid the back-breaking work of being hunched over pushing pennies into the floor.
  • Work at your own pace building easy to manage 1x1ft mesh sheets of penny tile. Work on nights or weekends if you want.
  • Transfer the template right onto your work surface to assure your rows of pennies will be straight
  • 5 page instruction guide included.
  • 3 different template options included for different sizing and spacing

How has your floor held up over the years?

“I am curious though, it looks like your last entry and picture of the floor was from a couple years back. Now that it’s been a few years how is it holding up? I’m sure there is your typical everyday wearing down of it but do you think it was worth it that way? Would you do it again?”


Hey Chris. The poly has held up really well. I have not refinished it although refinishing would be easy (just sand and re-apply). There are areas of wear but it works for me. None of the pennies have been damaged. I hope that helps… poly is the safest way to do it and the easiest to reapply/refinish down the road. I would certainly do it again.

PS: scroll down and you will see a gallery of my penny floor over the years. I also added a video created in January 2018 showing the details of my floor, so check that out too.

Will the template work for US pennies and UK pennies?

The penny floor template was designed for United States pennies.

The US Penny is .75in (19.05mm) and the UK Penny is .799in (20.3 mm).

Those of you using UK pennies SHOULD be able to use the penny floor template included in your purchase entitled “circlegrid-morespacing.pdf” (I would love some feedback on how this works out).

But again, the template is designed for use with the USA 1 CENT PENNY

How long should I wait before we begin to walk on the floor?

I’m just going to begin my penny floor for my bathroom, How long should I wait before we begin to walk on the floor. Thanx.


Hi Lisa, You’ll have to check the instructions on the materials you use (mortar, grout, poly, etc). They are all different. Follow the instructions provided on each item.

I don’t want to take a chance using epoxy and messing it up… should I?

I can’t speak for everyone, but I would not use the epoxy… for the exact same reason. I was afraid to mess it up. So, I used Minwax Polyurethane for Floors and it turned out fabulous. If you don’t want to use epoxy… don’t. I am not sure who is forcing epoxy on you??? I didn’t use it and you don’t have to either (unless you want to)!

I coated my floor with epoxy and now it looks like crap. What do I do?

I have made my toilet floor with European 2cents (same color and size of American pennies). Glued and with a top of epoxy. First there was a weird reaction at the opening of the door (epoxy became blurry). Than, I put a uv top coat. But this was mat (dull). Now, the penny are almost not visible. I’m really disappointed. Before the top coat, it was shiny and really beautiful. Can I polish it? And what do you think about a shiny floor? My friend said that it is really nice at the beginning but becomes fast ugly (where we walk…).”


I’m sorry I can’t help with the epoxy. However, I’ve had the floor installed and sealed with polyurethane and walk on it every day. Even my 100lb dog trampled it, and now my 40lb dog. It gets a lot of use and I’ve never had an issue with the floor “wearing” where we walk.

I was thinking of using [insert random sealer name here]. Will this work?

I love you all to death but I have absolutely no idea if some random polyurethane, sealer or epoxy that you’ve researched will work. I’m just a home owner like you and I’ve shared my penny floor project on a website. I only know that Minwax Polyurethane for Floors will work, because that’s what I’ve used.

If you take a look at the comments section of the penny floor post, many have commented on other types of polyurethane or other products they have successfully used. However, I haven’t used them and I don’t give you advice about ANYTHING that I haven’t personally tried myself.

Do I need to use grout?

I definitely would recommend grouting the penny floor if you plan to use a polyurethane sealer. Polyurethane is meant to be applied in very thin even coats. Therefore, trying to fill the holes between the pennies with polyurethane is not a great solution. The poly may not dry between the pennies and that wouldn’t be a good thing.

If you seal your penny floor with epoxy, the epoxy will harden between the pennies in the same way a grout would. In this case it’s probably not necessary to grout. But, grouting is also an option if you like the look of it — the grout should not affect the epoxy.

In my opinion, grout is pretty and makes your penny floor look finished. Pick a nice color like a charcoal or a reddish brown. There’s a lot more grout information in the penny floor post – click here to read through all of it!

Should I use sanded or non-sanded grout?

“I see a lot of talk about no sand grout but my tile guy says sand grout is what should be used?”


Michael, I would recommend unsanded grout as it will be less likely to scratch the pennies. In addition, unsanded grout works better in joints that are less than 1/8″ wide so you won’t have any issues if the spacing of your pennies are close together.

Are the gaps wide enough to actually hold the floor in place with grout?

I’m not started yet but concerned that there will not be enough grout to hold the pennies or to keep the grout stable. Even tiny standard tiles have a continuous gap so the entire tile can be surrounded by grout. Your thoughts?”


The penny floor template that you can download has the spacing set to the same exact spacing that I’ve used. There are a few things that come into play with holding the pennies down.

  1. the Weldbond glue that adheres the pennies to the mesh.
  2. the thinset mortar the holds the pennies and the mesh to your cement board
  3. the grout between the pennies

The combination of all three will give you enough adhesion that your pennies will not “pop off.” Mine has been walked on since 2013 and I’ve NEVER had a penny come loose. I hope this helps!

Can I put a penny floor in my bathroom or shower?

I really would not recommend putting pennies in an area that’s going to get soaked all the time, like outdoors or in a bathroom or wet room… they’re not really a flooring material. Pennies can also get a little slippery when wet.

However, the answer is yes — you technically can. There are several home owners who have sent me photos of their penny bathroom floor projects.

Linda's penny floor bathroom - final
Linda’s Penny Bathroom floor

Can I do this outside, like on my back porch?

Can you do this on an outside sidewalk in Pennsylvania? Being the temperatures vary. Has anyone done this and is it slippy?”


Hi Colleen! I’m from PA too! I think outside would be a challenge. I have seen penny gazing balls for the garden that turn green and weathered with the rain, snow etc., so my guess is that it would get that look to it. I also think pennies may get quite slippery outside.

Perhaps try a small area or the penny gazing ball and see what you think?

Is a penny floor slippery?

I love this idea and feel very confident in all aspects of carrying out the project for my kitchen floor, I do however have concerns. Once the floor is coated is it slippy?


Yes penny floors ARE slippery… in the same way that hardwood floors are slippery. It will really be as slippery as the sealer that you use.

The sealer I used was a polyurethane for hardwood flooring. It makes it as slippery like a hardwood floor — no more, no less. 

Please note that I can only vouch for using Minwax Polyurethane for Floors. I really don’t know how slippery epoxy or any other sealer would be to walk on.

Will the penny floor scratch easily?

I understand from your threads it’s hard wearing to everyday ‘traffic’, but I’m dubious that if ever my appliances need to be dragged out for any reason that they’ll leave scratches, particularly washing machines as they’re very heavy?”


I don’t really know how to answer this question. If you drag something along the floor, like a large stove, yes, you’ll probably damage the surface of the floor… meaning the polyurethane (the sealant over the floor surface). You would probably then have to sand the floor and reseal it.

If you are this concerned about durability and it’s common for you to drag large appliances around your kitchen, then I wouldn’t really recommend installing a penny floor. It’s more of a conversation starter or accent flooring. Pennies obviously aren’t “made” to be flooring. Maybe you could do a penny backsplash instead?

How do you clean a penny floor?

I wondered please, the best cleaning products? Also, what’s the best cleaning product in general? For once the varnish has been set?”


“So how do you clean a penny floor?”


You grout the pennies just like you would any tile floor then coat it with polyurethane. So you can clean it just like you would any other tile…

Mr. Clean, mop and glow, swiffer, steam mop etc! 

Honestly I don’t really worry about what product I use when because it’s held up over so many years. But, if you are worried about damaging the pennies like Catherine and Ann, I would use whatever you clean your hardwoods with since the polyurethane is for hardwood flooring — maybe try a steam mop and then wipe it dry afterwards.

Is it legal to make a floor or other project from pennies?

It’s absolutely legal to use pennies as a building material, or indeed for any other purpose for which you could lawfully use a plain disc of copper-clad zinc (other than to melt them down to recover the metal therein).

It is immaterial whether the usage damages the pennies; it is perfectly legal to damage coins. 

What is not legal is to damage a coin and then attempt to use the damaged coin to commit a fraud. Tiling a floor with pennies is not inherently a fraudulent activity. Read the federal regulations here.

What does a Penny Floor look like after 6 years of wear and tear?

Here’s a video I made of my floor in January 2018 — nearly 6 years after its been installed.

Amy’s Penny Floor Gallery

Here’s some photos of my penny floor foyer so you can get a good idea of what it looks like.

Penny Project Submissions

Check out the following penny project ideas:

Make your own penny floor

If you are ready to get started, jump over to the Ultimate Guide for Creating a Penny floor for step by step instructions.

Make a floor out of REAL pennies (step by step)

Make a floor out of REAL pennies (step by step)

Hello my friend! If you’re looking for the ultimate guide to installation of a penny floor, you’ve come to the right place.

I installed a penny floor foyer in my home in 2012-2013 and since then, hundreds of others have read this blog and created their own penny projects (masterpieces) using these instructions.

This post will give you all of the information that you need to get this done right without having to scour the internet for additional information. The methods explained in this post are tried and true — completed by myself and many, many others with success.

So, if this is a project that you’re really interested in tackling, welcome to the club. I’m sure you will find solace in knowing that you are not alone. And that you are not the first crazy person to attempt this… nor will you be the last!

For your convenience I’ve included a table of contents that you can use to reference this page. Don’t forget to bookmark the page too, so you can come back to it as you work on your penny floor or other penny project!

Table of Contents

Make a Penny Floor Out of Real Pennies - The Ultimate Guide to Installing a Penny Floor!
Don’t forget to pin this post for reference later!

Why Install a Penny Floor?

When I first moved into my house, I found pennies everywhere! Seriously, in every little nook and cranny of my house there was a penny wedged. I found them in the cracks of the sidewalk, along ledges, in floor and sink drains… They’d even hit me in the head when I slammed a closet door.

I did some research to find out what this could possibly mean. Why are there pennies all over the house?

Some people say that finding coins or feathers in repetitive numbers is a message from the angels. Others say it’s to keep negative spirits away.

penny floor inspiration

I saved the pennies as I’ve found them, always thinking I’d find a way to do something creative with them. Then, one day I stumbled upon this photo. And that’s where my penny foyer idea was born.

Why Use a Penny Floor Template?

I liked Amanda’s method, although I didn’t want to rip up my floor for weeks or even months as I installed the pennies. I needed another solution… a template of sorts.

A template and a system would allow me to create individual square foot “sheets” of pennies. And, once I completed 16 sheets of pennies I could THEN rip out the floor and install the floor.

This is where my penny floor template will help you with this project. You can make the “sheets” whenever you have free time (while watching tv) and you don’t have to live in a torn up mess of a house while you’re hunched over on your hands and knees gluing each individual penny to the floor.

“It can be done. If you’re here researching whether you should do it or not, you can and should!” – Brandon

see Brandon’s penny bathroom floor

Penny floor… or another penny project?

While I created a penny foyer out of this project, there are many, many different things you can create. I’ve seen a full kitchen floor created with just pennies. There’s even a bar in NYC that has a penny floor!  How about using the pennies as a backsplash, or table or a bar top? Or on a vanity or a tub surround? The possibilities are endless!

Ready to get started and be the “latest nutcase” who decides to install a penny floor? This is how you do it.

Materials to Install a Penny Floor

First things first, there are 304 pennies in one square foot. If you plant to make a 4’x4′ foyer like mine, you’ll need 16 square feet of pennies; or 4,864 pennies; or $48.64 in pennies.

  • Pennies (304/sq ft): You can collect these, ask your friends or grab rolls at the bank. I made a Facebook event and invited all my friends… I had the pennies in no time.
  • Weldbond Glue: I went through about 6 bottles to do 16 sq. ft. I’d recommend Weldbond but the type of glue is up to you.
  • A penny floor template: Optional but your back will thank me. If you go the template-route, you’ll also need:
    • Mosaic Tile Mesh: This is the mesh backing that 1′ squares of mosaics come on when you buy them at the store.
    • Scrap Cardboard: I used multiple pieces that were a little larger than 1×1′ square.
    • Clear Packing Tape: So you don’t accidentally glue your mesh to your cardboard backing.
  • Latex/Rubber Gloves: If you touch the pennies, the oil from your skin may discolor them.
  • Cement board: This will create a level, sturdy surface to lay your tiles on. You’ll also need:
  • Thin-Set Mortar: This will install the pennies onto your floor.
  • Unsanded Grout: This will fill in the spaces between your pennies. I used charcoal- chocolate would also be a great option. I do not consider the grout to be an “optional” step unless you plan to use epoxy to seal your floor.
  • Metal Paint Scraper: Recommended if you are using the penny floor template.
  • Penny Floor Sealant / Clear Coat: There are many options for sealers; mostly epoxy and polyurethane. I used Minwax Polyurethane for Floors. I don’t have any experience with using the epoxy although several readers have used it successfully.
  • Patience ?

Here are the steps to create your floor. If you aren’t using the penny floor template, skip to Step 3.

Step 1: Create your Penny Floor Template

Download the exact penny floor template from my project (printable PDF download)

  1. Print a few copies of the penny floor template.
  2. Carefully cut along the purple line on each piece of paper.
  3. Overlap the pieces so they line up and seam them together. You can then cut out an exact 12×12″ square.
  4. Lay your template paper onto a piece of scrap cardboard.
  5. Use the packing tape to cover all of the cardboard and the template. Basically, you’re “laminating” the front side of the cardboard so that nothing sticks to it.
  6. Cut your mosaic tile mesh into 1 foot squares.
creating the penny floor template

Here’s a photo of my template. You can see in the middle of the picture where I pieced two 8.5×11″ printouts together. Then, I used packing tape over the whole entire piece of cardboard to keep the glue from sticking.

Quick Tip: I made two cardboard penny floor templates for myself so that I could work on more than one square foot at a time. It allowed one square of pennies to dry without me getting impatient and wanting to start a new square. Highly recommend!

Step 2: Install the Pennies onto Mesh

pennies installed onto mesh backing

Hooray! Time to install these bad boys. If you are using the penny floor template, you’ll install the pennies onto the mesh backing. If you’re installing them onto the floor or another surface, you’ll be gluing them directly to it. This photo is my first batch of pennies on the mesh! So exciting!!

If you aren’t using the penny floor template, skip to Step 3.

Install pennies onto the mesh backing

  • Put on your rubber gloves. You cannot handle the pennies directly from this point forward. The oil in your skin will tarnish the center of the penny where you push it down into the glue. The worst part is you won’t immediately notice the huge black dot that will appear in the middle of your penny… it will happen overnight.
  • Line up the mesh on top of your new template.
  • Use a dot of glue to adhere each penny to the tile one at a time. You can also pre-glue a small section to make it easier.
  • Push your penny down into the glue on top of the mesh backing. Use the penny template underneath the mesh to guide you.
  • After you’ve finished a full square, let it dry overnight.
  • When dry, use a metal paint scraper to carefully separate the mesh from the cardboard template.
  • It’s inevitable that some of the pennies will come loose. Just save them, and when you are installing the floor you can use a dab of glue or mortar to put them back in place (wear your gloves).

Now, you don’t want the glue to stick to the cardboard template when you are gluing your pennies, so I found the best way to prevent this is by covering the ENTIRE piece of cardboard with packing tape. Just tape the sh!t out of it. That way, when your glue is dry you can use a putty knife or a butter knife to carefully peel away the mesh from the penny floor template without very much effort at all.

“You are an inspiration for our own floor design and a wealth of information! Thank you for your brilliance and pathfinding ways to this design idea. Otherwise we’d still be trying to figure out how to start.” –Jay

Step 3: Preparing Your Floor (or Other Surface)

So, they say that 90% of the work is in the prep. This theme continues even after you’ve spent countless hours gluing your pennies to the mesh. The key to getting the floor to hold up over time, is the prep work.

Remove carpet, hardwood or other flooring materials

I didn’t previously have a “foyer” before beginning this project. All I had was a living room space that was carpeted with hardwood flooring underneath. Because I had to “create” a foyer, there were several steps involved before I could actually install the penny floor; removing the carpet and removing the flooring.

Because I was laying my floor in an area where there’s carpet, I had to measure out the space then cut and remove the carpet.

cut the carpet to prep your space for your new flooring.

After measuring out my foyer space, we used a line of painters tape and a really sharp razor blade to cut out the carpet.

removing carpet to reveal hardwood flooring.

Next, we had to remove the hardwood flooring. We used a reciprocating saw and chiseled away at the edges. Then, we used a crowbar to peel away at the edges. Once the boards were removed, we had to pull up ALL of the nails that were left behind.

The reason we removed the hardwood is because hardwood expands and contracts. While we probably could have laid the pennies directly onto it, the shifting of the wood would probably cause the pennies to pop and buckle under pressure.

Once everything is removed, sweep and vacuum the floor completely to remove any debris.

cement board (backer board)

The final step to prepare you flooring for the pennies is to install a cement backer board.

Now that the floor was gone, we needed to build it back up again using cement backer board. I know, it seems really counter-intuitive, right? Well, backer board is pretty easy to work with.

We mixed the mortar (for reference we used TotalFlex Universal Tile Mortar, Step 2), applied it with a trowel, and stuck the backer board into it. We then screwed all of the boards down using 8 x 1-1/4-Inch Cement Board Screws.

The next step is to use Cement Board Seam Tape to go over all of the places where the pieces of cement board meet. Use the mortar and a Spackle knife (or the flat part of the trowel) to stick the tape onto the cement board.

So, now that the surface is properly prepped, we are ready to install the penny tile sheets!

Step 4: Lay the Penny Tile

Install penny sheets onto the floor (mesh backing)

My dad and I went back and forth between using thinset mortar vs. a tile adhesive. Our biggest issue was getting the penny mesh to adhere to the floor below since most of the Weldbond glue created a seal near the bottom of the mesh that the mortar or adhesive would not be able to penetrate. It’s really just the nature of the “beast” and I would still recommend using the Weldbond if someone asked me today.

Ultimately, we decided to go with the thinset. It’s self-leveling, and it will also form a waterproof layer underneath in case water ever seeps in there somehow.

I did install 1 square section using the tile adhesive and that also worked just fine. So I think either option would work. After the product decision is made, the process is quite simple:

  1. lay the thinset and use a 1/4″ trowel to create ridges (just as you would lay any tile).
  2. Then, set the penny mesh-side down into the ridges.
  3. Work slowly, and try to align each piece to interlock with one another. Trim the mesh when necessary to create the best interlock you can.
  4. If any pennies have fallen out of your mesh, now is the time to pop those back in!
  5. Let dry overnight.
laying the penny floor

Piece-by-piece, the penny floor began to take shape. We worked slowly and carefully, trimming the mesh when necessary to create the best interlock we could. Obviously, it wont be perfect, so don’t beat yourself up about it.

Install pennies directly onto the floor (no mesh backing)

Laying your pennies directly onto a surface, like the floor

Before you start to install the pennies, check out the section on “preparing your floor.”

Once your surface is prepped, use the glue of your choice to secure each penny to the floor. You may need to create some guide lines to help you so you don’t make a wonky, crooked floor. It’s not too late to grab my penny floor template!

Step 5: Grout the Pennies

After the thinset sufficiently dried, I started the grouting process. I used an unsanded grout in dark grey/charcoal color. I really like the contrast that the dark grout gives to the pennies.

However, if you want a more cohesive/seamless look, they do make a reddish brown grout color that would be pretty close to the copper color of the pennies. The grout color is entirely up to you.

Do you need to grout a penny floor?

This question comes up a lot. While the grout does not really do anything to hold the pennies in place, I definitely would recommend grouting the penny floor. This is especially true if you plant to seal the floor using polyurethane. Polyurethane is meant to be applied in very thin even coats. Therefore, trying to fill the holes between the pennies with polyurethane is not a great solution. The poly may not dry between the pennies and that wouldn’t be a good thing.

If you seal your penny floor with epoxy, the epoxy will harden between the pennies in the same way a grout would. In this case it’s not necessary to grout. But, grouting is also an option if you like the look of it — the grout will not affect the epoxy.

How to grout your penny floor

Unsanded Grout

Grout the pennies just as you would any other tile. Mix the unsanded powder grout with water according to the package instructions, and then apply into the seams using a grout float.

Take your time as you grout the floor. Go slowly and make sure you go at a 45-degree angle so you don’t pull the grout out from between the pennies.

Once you have enough grout into the spaces between the pennies, you’ll let it set for a few minutes (follow the instructions on your grout package). Use a sponge with very little water on it and slowly swipe the grout away. It will take several passes before it’s completely clean and you’ll be on your hands and knees rubbing it off for most of that time.

It’s not fun, but it’s very worthwhile to see the beautiful end-result… right? Make sure you completely dry the floor when you are finished grouting. Don’t let ANY water rest on the penny floor for an extended period of time. It can oxidize the pennies and cause discoloration. In other words, your beautiful pennies will turn black or look really, really yucky.

If you’re new to grouting, here’s a good video on the basics of grouting. It should really help you with the penny floor installation:

I won’t lie to you… grouting the pennies is easy, but it’s very time consuming and labor-intensive. Especially when it comes time to remove the grout.  If it’s too much for you to do all at once, just mix a little bit of grout at a time, do a small section, then clean it off. Take this step in-stride!

Step 6: To Clean or Not to Clean the Pennies

Just a tip from experience, don’t try to clean your pennies after you’ve glued them. I read all these techniques for cleaning/shining up a penny and thought it would be a great way to get a consistent look.

But, the problem with shining the pennies is that the pennies are all from different years, therefore contain different amounts of copper and other metals. Because they aren’t consistent in what they are made of, they all react to the cleaning methods differently. My best advice is to be picky about which pennies you use from the start, and once they are on the mesh LEAVE THEM BE!

“The extra effort you put forth to document your efforts and knowledge, (from experience), and share it with strangers like me, is incredible and very much appreciated. Thank you very much!”–L.

see the beautiful “Lincoln Room” penny floor created by L.

Don’t use these methods for cleaning

  • Ketchup. I’ve always heard that ketchup works wonders to shine up a penny. Unfortunately, this didn’t work for me. It barely took the tarnish off, and made the cracks in between all red and gloppy and gross.
  • Baking soda + water. Again, I tried this to get the tarnish off some of the pennies using a paste that I rubbed on using a toothbrush. It ended up scratching a lot of the pennies, and took the orangy shine off of them. Now they are more of a pinkish/dull color… so I ended up not using that batch.
  • Vinegar. This didn’t work for me either. Maybe try soaking them beforehand to see if you like the effect?

If you insist on cleaning the pennies, try these instead

If you are stubborn and don’t want to listen to me, at least give these a try when attempting to clean your pennies.

Wright’s Copper Cream is the best solution I’ve found to cleaning the pennies… if you must. It will gently clean and remove tarnish without scratching the pennies.

  • Wright’s Copper Cream: Although I like the idea of having old and new mixed together, if you want a super even look, or just need to clean some of the really dirty pennies, try Wright’s Copper Cream. It’s amazing!!!
  • Bar Keepers Friend: From time to time, readers will send in suggestions when they find a successful cleaning agent. The one that several have recommended is Bar Keepers Friend so you may want to give that a try as well.

Protect your floor until you seal it

After cleaning the pennies up and letting it sufficiently dry, I threw a carpet over top until I figured out how to seal it. Although you can walk on it now, I’d recommend waiting until you’ve sealed it so you don’t ruin it! Happy Installing!

Quincy and Roxy can’t wait for you to see the finished floor… but it’s not ready yet!!

Step 7: Seal the Pennies

Use polyurethane or epoxy to seal penny floor

Polyurethane or Epoxy? The Saga Continues….

Sealing the floor is DEFINITELY the area where I get the absolute MOST questions. What type of sealer did you use? Why didn’t you use X? Can I seal it with Y? Lots and lots of questions.

To boil this down, I chose to use polyurethane to seal my penny floor. Others have followed my tutorial up until this point, then went with epoxy. Both are viable options. But, the process for applying each sealer is completely different.

I only have experience with polyurethane. If you have questions about epoxy I’m afraid I can’t help you. However, there is a lot of great information in the comments section of this post and you may be able to get some help there.

When sealing the floor the process will vary depending on whether you are using epoxy or polyurethane. The process will also be different if you use oil-based vs. water-based polyurethane (I used water-based). Thoroughly read the instructions for the product you choose and ask any questions you may have to the product manufacturer.

If you’re using polyurethane, the application should not differ much from how you would apply it to wood flooring. But, again, read the instructions and check with the manufacturer if you are unsure.

  1. Read the instructions thoroughly and follow them exactly as explained.
  2. Ensure that you have adequate ventilation.
  3. Properly mix the polyurethane before using.
  4. Apply the polyurethane in thin, even coats.
  5. Wait for each coat to dry before applying the next coat.
  6. Lightly sand in-between coats (when dry).
  7. Give the floor the proper amount of time to dry before walking on it.

Pros and Cons of Epoxy for Penny Floors

Before I get into the process, I have a little more research to share with you about epoxies and other items you may decide to seal your floor with. I found a very old forum post (from 2009) from a tile contractor asking how to seal a bathroom penny floor for a client. You can read the forum thread here, but I’ll also go over some of the conversation because I’m fearful the thread will get deleted someday. The contractor actually purchased several of the materials referenced in the post, and from his results made an educated decision on what to use.

A few of the suggestions given to the contractor were:

The contractor actually ended up using Bio-Clear 810 epoxy, which is very clear, very hard when cured and very expensive. He also top-coated with UV Plus, a 2 part coating that prevents the epoxy from yellowing in sunlight.

Because of this and his extensive research, I actually bought Bio-Clear 810. The website epoxyproducts.com, although very old and ugly, has a lot of information and explanations on how to use the epoxy. The item shipped quickly and came with printed out instructions for use as well. I do think this, or even another epoxy listed above, or another epoxy on the Epoxy Products website would be good options if this is the look you are going for. Do your research, and make the decision that works best for your needs.

Pros of Epoxy: Durable, Shiny (looks like glass) – could also be a con?

Cons of Epoxy: expensive, stinky, hard to work with, no margin for error

epoxy sealed penny floor

This is a photo from the contractor who sealed pennies in a bathroom with the BioClear 810 epoxy. It looks like GLASS. This will give you a good idea of what it will look like if you decide to use an epoxy.

Pros and Cons of Polyurethane for Penny Floors

After researching and weighing the pros and cons, I decided to use a polyurethane sealant and return the Bio-Clear 810.

Why? To be completely honest, the Bio-Clear scared the CRAP out of me. I’ve spent so much time, and have so much invested, I couldn’t stomach the idea that if I just screwed one simple thing up (like mixing not long enough, too much, too fast, too slow, etc.) it could ruin the whole thing.

Since the floor is holding up FANTASTIC without any sealant other than the grout, I think the justifying the price of this expensive epoxy just didn’t appeal to me (you’re looking at $200+ for a small foyer area using epoxy, while a full gallon of this poly will be less than $50 and you’ll never use the whole thing).

I stand by this choice 100%. But it’s definitely a personal decision which sealant you use. There’s no “right” or “wrong” answer no matter what the internet trolls may tell you. Do what’s best for you and what will give you the look that YOU want.

Pros of Polyurethane: Easy to apply, not permanent, cost effective, water-based doesn’t stink as much and dries very quickly.

Cons of Polyurethane: Not as durable as epoxy, need to maintain, no “glass-like” look – could also be a pro, less messy, oil-based is stinky and takes longer to dry.

Sealing a Penny Floor with Polyurethane

Polyurethane is used to seal hardwood flooring, so why wouldn’t it work in this application? The answer is, it will work, and it looks great.

I used Minwax 13025 VOC Fast Drying Polyurethane For Floor in a clear semi-gloss finish. I like the idea that I can do multiple layers to add strength and durability to it. Just follow the instructions on the back of the can.

I used a foam brush to apply the poly, and ran a box fan afterwards to help dry it more quickly. After letting it dry for 8+ hours, I sanded very lightly with a 220 grit sandpaper. I dipped a sponge in some Mineral Spirits to wipe away any of the sanding residue.

After that was dry, I’d apply another coat. I applied 5 coats in total.

At the time the photos were taken for this post I had applied 3 thin coats of the poly. I plan to do at least 5 total, but the process for adding additional coats is very easy so I may even do more than that.

How Does a Penny Floor Hold Up Over Time?

“I am curious though, it looks like your last entry and picture of the floor was from a couple years back. Now that it’s been a few years how is it holding up? I’m sure there is your typical everyday wearing down of it but do you think it was worth it that way? Would you do it again?” – Chris

Hey Chris. The poly has held up really well. I have not refinished it although refinishing would be easy (just sand and re-apply). There are areas of wear but it works for me. None of the pennies have been damaged. I hope that helps… poly is the safest way to do it and the easiest to reapply/refinish down the road. I would certainly do it again.

PS: scroll down and you will see a gallery of my penny floor over the years. I also added a video created in January 2018 showing the details of my floor, so check that out too.

penny floor with 3 coats of polyurethane

Here is a photo of the penny floor after 3 coats of polyurethane. I still had some finishing/trim work to do.

Penny Floor – 2 Years Later

copper penny floor at 2 years and 3 months

This photo was taken on August 21, 2015 — approximately 2 years and 3 months after the original installation date of May 1, 2013.

I have never resealed the floor and my dog and I walk over it every day. Sure, it shows some signs of wear and dirt and is not perfect, but it certainly has held up.

Penny Floor 6 Years Later

Wrapping Up

Good luck, my friend. I hope this post and my penny floor template helps to make this process much easier for you.

Penny Floor FAQ Featured Image

Check out the following posts to see some unique Penny Projects created by readers of this blog. Seriously, definitely check these out because a lot of their completed projects are way cooler and better than my original floor 🙂

Penny Floor FAQ

Also be sure to take a look at the Penny Floor Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page where a lot of the most common penny floor questions are answered!