We've done a small project to show how covering a floor, wall, etc. with pennies looks like and the beauty and uniqueness real penny tile can bring to your kitchen, bathroom or other rooms in your home.
This sample penny tile installation begins with a piece of plywood about 2 by 3 feet and our interlocking sheets of pennies.
The penny tiles can be installed on concrete floors and other surfaces too, but for the purpose of this article it's much easier for us to use this plywood.
Next is what we call a dry fit - carefully taking the penny sheets and laying them on a flat hard floor, table, etc. (in this case the plywood) and begin to interlock them to get a feel of how this works so it'll be easier later on when the adhesive will be used for the actual installation.
Here are the first 2 sheets coming together...
Four sheets of pennies interlocked with eachother.
And here are 6 of them with the last one about to fit in.
Careful preparation and planning are extremely important before spreading any glue on the floor/wall. A job done right will be seamless.
Smaller areas are easier to handle but bigger areas may pose a challenge.
In general, any sheets of penny round tile (ceramic, etc) are much harder to keep aligned when installing compared to the average square tile (say 12x12 ceramic).
A very experienced licensed professional is probably the best choice for installation.
Premixed adhesive is spread now.
The adhesive must be set thin enough so it won't come up between and above the pennies once the sheets are placed down. A professional should know which kind/size of trowel to use to spread the adhesive.
To be on the safe side, and as a general idea, the adhesive layer should be about as thick as a penny itself but the installer decides what's best based on doing and seeing.
No adhesive should come up between the pennies as it will interfere with the grout later on.
The sheets of pennies are now placed on the adhesive one by one making sure they are interlocked and the pennies 'flow' from one sheet to another without being able to tell where one sheet ends and another begins.
Also, the pennies should be gently pressed in place enough that the adhesive will touch them, while at the same time no adhesive should rise up between and above the surface of the pennies.
A wooden rolling pin (kitchen tool) is helpful here to make sure all pennies make contact with the glue and form an even surface.
Different views of the same 6 sheets of pennies glued to plywood.
Notice how no adhesive comes up between and above the pennies. This provides assurance that no adhesive will be visible through the grout later on.
Now we step back for a while and enjoy the view. A big helper comes along to take over the project and it does... dries it for free. It's called time.
Let time work on it (24 hours or as directed by installer) and it will dry the adhesive and strengthen the pennies in place.
So much about covering a floor/wall/etc. with pennies as tile.
Let's look next at grouting the pennies (part 2).