Introduction: Resin Penny Floor Project!

Picture of Resin Penny Floor Project!

You've probably seen the viral video's that did the rounds recently - featuring floors, bars and tabletops made from pennies.

One of the most popular videos was made by one of our customers who created his own penny floor using one of our products. You can see his handiwork at DIY Penny Floor - as you can see it looks amazing and it's no wonder everyone wants their own Floor of Pennies!

Our technical team receive several calls a day asking how it's done so we thought we'd share a tutorial with you on how to do penny flooring!

Step 1: Preparation & Materials

Picture of Preparation & Materials

What you'll need:

Clear Epoxy Resin - the product featured is GlassCast®

Adhesive

Black Grout (we used Ready Mixed)

Squeegee

2 Buckets

Mixer

Spreader

Protective Gloves / Goggles / Clothing

Spirit Level

Pennies - work out how many you need and decide if you want dirty / shiny or a mixture

For this tutorial we used a mock up area of floor - so make sure that your floor is completely level and clean and you can start!

Step 2: Pennies, Pennies and More Pennies

Picture of Pennies, Pennies and More Pennies
  • First run a bead of adhesive in a line and start laying pennies side by side
  • Make yourself comfortable you could be here for some time!
  • Continue laying pennies until the entire area is covered and allow to dry properly (ideally over night)

No More Nails

Step 3: Grouting

Picture of Grouting
  • Now using a black grout and a squeegee cover the pennies all over
  • Push the grout into the gaps between the coins and into the spaces around the edge (next to the skirting board)
  • Allow it to begin setting
  • Clean off the excess grout with a cloth and polish as much or as little as you want - the grout will act as a polish to some degree so if you want the pennies to have a dirty effect don't rub them too much
  • Then leave to fully dry and vacuum the surface

Black Wall Tile Grout

Squeegee

Step 4: Resin Measuring & Mixing

Picture of Resin Measuring & Mixing

Accurate measuring of the floor space is essential to work out the correct quantity of resin required. Our website has a useful table to work out the quantity of resin required Penny Floor Epoxy Calculator and you will also find a video tutorial here.

  • For a penny floor the recommended depth of resin is a minimum of 2mm
  • Make sure you have 2 mixing buckets and make sure your wear protective clothing, gloves and goggles
  • Measure out the Clear Epoxy Surface Resin
  • Measure out the Epoxy Hardener
  • Mix thoroughly in bucket 1
  • Transfer into bucket 2 and mix again

It is advisable to mix up to (but not more than) 5kg of Resin in one batch and repeat the process if more is required - this enables you to accurately measure and thoroughly mix and pour within the pot life of the resin.

Penny Floor Epoxy (on Easy Composites)

Step 5: Resin Pouring and Spreading

Picture of Resin Pouring and Spreading

Now you can pour the resin, starting at the furthest part, using a spreader to distribute evenly.

GlassCast® is a self leveling resin and is highly self degassing which means that bubbles shouldn't be a problem, but you can use a heat gun or hairdryer if you have any persistent bubbles..

If the area you are covering requires more resin, repeat the process and pour up to the previous section and when finished leave to cure (as per the manufacturers instructions).

Step 6: WOW!

Picture of WOW!

When the floor is cured you will see the beautiful glass like quality, which is smooth to the touch!

The timescale is dependent on the size of the floor or work area, plus the additional drying / curing time between processes.

Epoxy Penny Floor Resin (on Easy Composites)

No More Nails Adhesive (on Screwfix)

Black Wall Tile Grout (on B&Q)

Squeegee (on B&Q)

You can find all the other supplies in most good DIY shops.

Step 7: Ideas ...

Picture of Ideas ...

You could use this product and process to coat:

Tabletops / Bartops / Furniture / Coasters / Placemats You could also embed objects like bottle tops, crushed glass, pebbles, wood ... and many more things. You can also clean up small scratches quite easily using abrasive paper and polishing compound - although direct heat and heavy traffic should be avoided.

Comments

sgbotsford (author)2017-12-07

Casting resin is not very hard. Even the resins used with fiberglass aren't very hard, they often have silicon powder added to reduce abrasion. This can work as a panel that you don't walk on. Could work on a coffee table. Not suitable for a kitchen counter.

Minor scratches can be buffed out. Read up on renewing acrylic shower doors -- and note that acrylic is harder than casting resin.

MattS429 (author)sgbotsford2017-12-14

'Casting resin' is a general term. Casting resins could be polyester, epoxy, polyurethane or something else. This is an 'epoxy' resin and is very tough, remember factory floors are very often coated in epoxy resin! GlassCast is considerably harder than the acrylic gelcoats used on composite sanitarywear (shower trays, baths etc.) and holds up to wear-and-tear considerably better.

JW35 (author)2017-12-09

The first time I saw this technique was a coffee shop that use coffee beans in it's counter top. Thanks for showing me how.

Wally-TonyaC (author)2017-12-07

Sure, it looks great once completed. But I've seen too many restaurant table tops with a similar coat, with horrible wear on them. And those are table tops, not floors. After the wear sets in, the look would drive me crazy. Can you imagine what pets would do to a floor like this?!?!

Most of the times when ppl did this prior to the 90's, they used no-mix polyurethane (like Verathane brand). Two part epoxy is much, much more durable. I'm sure it'd get some wera and tear on a floor, but its fine for seats and table/countertops.

VancoD (author)Wally-TonyaC2017-12-07

Yeah - these looks cool as projects, but if it's in a room that sees anything other than feet in socks I can't imagine it staying nice for long, or at least becoming something of a maintenance sink-hole.....

byeproducts (author)2017-12-08

i hope you realise that this is actually illegal and it would be classified as defacing the crown

Frosterz22. (author)byeproducts2017-12-08

it's not recirculating the currency, and i don't understand what you mean by crown

mcgary911 made it! (author)2017-12-08

Well, something close to it. I did the top of the bar I built in my mancave. It turned out great, but to ensure a great outcome, there's a lot more involved.

Some things that are mega important are prep, proper mixing and proper temperature for a proper curing.

If these aren't just right, you can end up with soft\sticky spots and you pretty much only get 1 shot @ this. If my bartop went sideways, I could pry it off and start over. That's tougher to do with a floor.

Mixing. Follow your manufacture's ration to a T. Use a graduated mixing bucket to get it perfect. Pour the epoxy first as it's a lot thicker than the hardener. My mix was 50/50 so that made it much easier for me.

Mix it thoroughly. Hand mixing may not do. I used a paint mixer (little red turbo looking silicone thing) that I attached to my cordless drill. I mixed for 5 minutes, pausing in the middle to scrape the sides of the bucket.

When pouring, you'll have some residual resin on the sides and bottom of the bucket. You'll be tempted to scrape out every last drop. Don't. It's likely not mixed as well as it needs to be and could cause sticky spots.

Order enough resin, too much is a ton better than too little. After you pour, you only have maybe 1/2 an hour to continue with the next batch. The sooner the better. My resin started curing after 10 minutes. I had a buddy mixing batch #2 so I could pour uninterrupted.

You CAN create a dam. I used some 1x2 pine ferring strips. Make sure you pick straight ones. I wrapped them in some 4mm painters poly so the resin woudln't stick. It worked great. For a round cutout like my beer tap, I used 3" aluminum tape.

Temperature is vital for a proper cure. My resin called for at least 85 degrees F. I used a space heater up there to maintain that temp for 3 days. Keep in mind doing a floor will be trickier, especially on a slab as it'll have a LOT more thermal mass. You'll have to start heating it up way in advance to get it warm enough. I'd use one of those cheap infrared temp gauges to ensure it's not too cold before the pour.

Get a heat gun to ensure you don't have bubbles. It may not look it, but when you hit it with the heat gun (quick pass is all it takes), you'll be surprised how much clearer it gets when those bubbles you didn't see vanish. Keep an eye for other bubbles forming (bigger ones). Once you start curing, you can't hit the bubbles any more. Again that was 10 minuets for me. Some prefer a propane torch. I tried both and went with the heat gun. With the torch i was afraid I'd melt the poly on my dams.

Clean up any mess that got on your floor or walls with some acetone. Once it's cured, it's scrape city, so make sure you get it all the easy way. I got almost all of it.

While mine was touchable after 12 hours and usable (mostly cured) after 3 days, I gave it longer. The maker said it won't be fully cured for a month. Coasters until then.

Finally, DO A TEST POUR! I did a test pour on a 1x1 piece of plywood prepped exactly like my bartop. I learned a LOT by doing that. Account for the test pour when you order your resin. I was scared as hell when I poured, but a lot less so due to my experience with the test piece.

As for durability? It's gonna scratch. A floor, moreso. All it takes is some dirt or sand on someone's feet, dog claws, etc and it'll leave marks. It's possible to polish, but if not done properly the buffer can scorch the resin, so be careful (did you throw away your test piece?) or hire someone experienced.

As for pennies, my 11 by about just under 3' bar used about 9000 of them. What a PAIN that was to glue down 1 @ a time. It doesn't make sense for a floor, but for my bartop I added some easter eggs; a wheat penny or 2 (US), some foreign coins and even an old vintage token from a times square peep show. I wanted some pennies a little crusty, so I soaked them in some muriatic acid for a day. It gave them a very nice patina. Just ensure you neutralize them with a lot of clean water and some vinegar before you glue them down.

I used 3 gallons of resin to cover the area with 1/8" of resin. I had just enough. Whew.

I'll try to answer any other questions. I'm very happy with the results. So much so, when I redo the vanity in the mancave's bathroom I'm thinking of doing a penny top counter.

Ghostrider513 (author)2017-12-07

Instead of casting resin, use acrylic for hardwood floors. Much harder and handles high traffic easily. Cheaper too.

dbusuioc1 (author)Ghostrider5132017-12-08

G/H - any brand recommendation? What would you use? Thanks.

dbusuioc1 (author)dbusuioc12017-12-08

G/R not G/H... no coffee yet.

LesleyK11 (author)2017-12-08

wow thats amazing

NickD155 (author)2017-12-05

Do you have an estimate of the price per sqm?

rjowen (author)NickD1552017-12-07

It takes ~275 US pennies to cover 1 sq ft which is ~ 2955 pennies/sqm.

US pennies being minted today weigh 3.11 grams which is ~9.2 kg/sqm

depends on what coins you use ;-)

NickD155 (author)NickD1552017-12-05

Ah from the website it looks like it was £928 for a 10 sqm floor, so just under £93 per sqm.

Easy Composites (author)NickD1552017-12-06

You found the info, thanks for looking.

chefspenser (author)2017-12-07

I've been wanting to do a kitchen backsplash....I just have to build the frames and method of hanging. Good job-thanks!

Plywood with copper U or H channel framework pre attached to the wall prior to installing the backsplash. Better than construction glue.

MikeI32 (author)2017-12-07

There's a picture of a level, but no text describing "how level" or what to do if you don't happen to have a perfectly level floor...

Ghostrider513 (author)MikeI322017-12-07

Now that IS a relevant topic that requires further discussion. An unlevel floor will puddle and not cover properly. The floor has to be leveled prior to doing this project. Look up How to float a floor on YouTube. There are several self-leveling materials that a person can use to level a floor. It's not difficult but it can be a lot of work. Hope this helps. The leveling applies to every tabletop or bar top surface too.

OneBirdieMa (author)2017-12-07

Thank you! I have a small cement bench outside my front door which is in need of repainting -- and I've been eyeing it for a while, ever since I first saw info about surfacing with coins. My only real question is how to manage it without having a stand-up edge -- is there something that could be used as a sort of frame that could be removed after the resin was dry? Or perhaps an answer would be to keep the coins a certain distance from the edge and have the resin slope to the edge? Suggestions, ideas welcome!

BOBCAPATAZ (author)2017-12-07

As 'Nice and Polite' as possible: The result is Beautiful. But 1: Pennies and nickels cost MORE to mint than their face value. and 2: illegal to do this.

According to Title 18, Chapter 17 of the U.S. Code, which sets out crimes related to coins and currency, anyone who “alters, defaces, mutilates, impairs, diminishes, falsifies, scales, or lightens” coins can face fines or prison time.

Use subway tokens.

davef108 (author)BOBCAPATAZ2017-12-07

Actually, that U.S. Code does not apply to this, as a) none of those pennies shown are US coins, and b) this process does not actually perform any of those acts. Coins are not "altered, defaced, mutilated, impaired, diminished, falsified, scaled or lightened." to the spirit of the Code. So,, go for it and don't worry about any silly ideas you'll be prosecuted.

Ghostrider513 (author)davef1082017-12-07

Ecactly.

Exactly - auto spell sucks

theguido (author)BOBCAPATAZ2017-12-07

That is not how the law is applied. The alter/defacement penalty is when you try to deform enough money as to swing the value. You can't go out and grind up 80 tons of quarters or bleach a few million in paper money (not that any normal person would do something like that). You can still use the little coin masher machines at parks and make rings from coins and in no way violate this rule.

Ghostrider513 (author)theguido2017-12-07

Agreed.

Ghostrider513 (author)BOBCAPATAZ2017-12-07

Sorry but that's incorrect. In this instance, the coins are not being multilated and that is what the law you are quoting is directed at.. Imagine all the casinos that would be shut down because of their displays.

technifish (author)BOBCAPATAZ2017-12-07

You might want to google 'Hobo Nickles', if you want to see what you can do to US currency. with apparently little come back.

In the UK you can do most things to coins as long as you don't forge them

MikeI32 (author)BOBCAPATAZ2017-12-07

This isn't any different than saving the coins in a piggy bank - they can be recovered at a future date if you just break the container.

elvisisdead (author)BOBCAPATAZ2017-12-07

By definition, using a coin as anything other than currency in its whole state does none of these things. The coin is not altered. The coin is not defaced. It's not mutilated. Possibly impaired, but that's debatable. Not falsified. Not scaled. Not lightened. Plus, as the pictures show, those are Pence, and are not subject to any part of the U.S.C.

You'd pay significantly more in subway tokens, as nobody actually uses them any more. Ballpark a buck a piece. You could have titanium slugs cut for that price.

ScottMR (author)BOBCAPATAZ2017-12-07

It seems to me that one would not be performing any of the actions in quotes. One would be "encapsulating and protecting" the coins.

Swhabby (author)2017-12-07

to the Legality issue... buy Canadian post 1997 pennies. They have next to no copper value and they are out of circulation(no longer recognized as currency). I believe the same goes for the British Penny which is why they are used here.

GregÓ35 (author)2017-12-07

This doesn't seem to be altering, defacing, mutilating, impairing, diminishing, falsifying, scaling or lightening the coins.

But hey, don't let that stop you acting like a self-important head-janitor.

Swansong (author)2017-12-05

That looks beautiful! I love all the variations in color and design :)

Easy Composites (author)Swansong2017-12-06

Thanks, you can make patterns with the coins too.

technifish made it! (author)Easy Composites2017-12-07

An example of a coin picture I produced a few years ago for an exhibition. I didn't resin it as I had to return the coins to the bank after the show.... :(

ronjohnstone (author)2017-12-07

When fully cured, a coating of clear, liquid non-slip floor wax will greatly help to preserve the surface and should be periodically renewed.

frarugi87 (author)2017-12-07

How does the resin "blend" with other resin? I mean, if I apply another batch of resin, will I see the seam? Both when curing (i.e. in a few minutes/hours from first application of resin) or after some time (e.g. one year after, to cure scratches for instance)

Catfishy (author)frarugi872017-12-07

Good morning Frarugi87.
Resins work on a chemical reaction. In my honest opinion, I do not think it would be wise to mix resin from different manufactures. Resins become warm and undergo a thermionic reaction. IF the chemicals are not balanced you could risk, in a worst-case scenario, a chemical fire. Chemical Fires are one of the hardest types of fire to control.
I hope this was helpful.

steveastrouk (author)2017-12-07

Nice 'Ible guys.

Steve from Ravenfield

Jobar007 (author)2017-12-06

That floor looks like an ice rink if it got wet. Any way to have the above result without creating a slipping hazard?

Easy Composites (author)Jobar0072017-12-07

A floor made with GlassCast will potentially be slippery when wet, but no more so than any other typical polished floor surface such as polished concrete or polished tiles. In all cases we recommend taking care on the wet floor to avoid any accidents.

MillennialDIYer (author)2017-12-06

How does this withstand foot traffic, specially regarding scratches and scuffs?

It is not really suitable for high traffic areas but much more suitable for use in a domestic environment where the traffic flow and wear is likely to be at a much lower level. Small scratches can be polished out and if deeper marks it can be sanded and then polished.

gm280 (author)2017-12-05

Very nice. I bet that cost a pretty penny.

Okay, I had to... :-)

Easy Composites (author)gm2802017-12-06

Haha - Thanks!

Worth every penny...

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