Penny floor

Q: What kind of polyurethane would you recommend for covering a floor made from pennies? 10’x12′ Room. Also grouted with non-sanded grout. We would like a hard, clear, thick surface. 

Penny Floor

A: A floor made from pennies? Now that is unique. I hope this doesn’t represent your life savings. It would be difficult to take with you!

I don’t think a urethane coating is what you should be looking at, either water borne or solvent type. Aside from likely not getting a bond, these coatings are best not applied thick. Generally they have a spread rate of 500 sq. feet per gallon which provides a very thin film on a wood floor. I would suggest you explore epoxy coatings.

Follow-up Q: Thanks so much for your quick response. Not quite my life savings, but about $350 or 35,000 pennies none the less.

My initial research when I started this penny floor project was to go with the self-levelling epoxy, but after talking with a few people I was concerned with putting heavy furniture on top of it (I use this room as a home office and it has desks, file cabinets, etc.). Some said it might be too soft and put indents into the epoxy. Plus, the stuff is rather expensive (I’m guessing about $800 for my 10×12 room!) and it has a very short pot life. You have to pour quick and and I’m concerned with doing a good job by myself. I don’t want to mess this up since I’ve put a lot of time into it.

So, a few other people recommended polyurethane. But after reading your email, I’m having second thoughts about that too. I would like a thick layer (the epoxy goes on 1/8″ and you can pour more than one coat). If you can think of any other solution or offer any more advice, I’m all ears.

Attached some pictures for you.

A: I’ve got to say that floor is stunning! You must possess unbridled tenacity and patience. I’m curious as to what type of adhesive you used to secure them. Whatever approach you take, you definitely won’t want to muck this up. Even if polyurethane would stick, it would take I don’t know how many dozens of coats to get it that thick. 2 options I can think of at the moment: contact someone who works with these types of coatings (epoxy). I wouldn’t have thought of it as being a soft adhesive, but I can certainly appreciate it may really require a professional to work with. Or, perhaps you can get some sheets of clear plexi-glass to sit on the floor. As they get beaten up they can be removed and replaced.

I’ve also forwarded your email to my contact at Poloplaz. They have chemists on site. I want to see if they have any suggestions. Personally, I like my idea of rigid sheet of plexi-glass. You’d have to come up with some type of clip that isn’t intrusive but can link each sheet together.

Follow-up: I don’t know about tenacity and patience, but I do have a bad case of insomnia. Always looking for things to do when I’m up at 2:00 in the morning and gluing pennies to a floor seemed like as much fun as anything. Used Loctite by the way, just spread out a thin layer over a couple square feet and slipped the pennies in place. Only took a couple months.

I have talked to every contractor, floor, tile, paint, etc. people I can find locally to see if anyone has ever done this and got zilch, nada back. I found one friend of a friend who poured a small bar top, but that was it. I think I’ll just have to grow a pair and dive in.

Here’s the place I was planning to order from unless you think you might have a better source: http://www.bestbartopepoxy.com.

Thanks again for your response Craig!

Penny floor DIY project pins:
How to Make a Penny Floor/Renovate a Bathroom for Under $400
How To Make Copper Penny Flooring In 9 Easy Steps

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