4.30.2012

Have you considered copper penny tiles for your next project?


The fate of the American One Cent piece is yet to be determined.  Will we follow Canada's lead, discontinuing the faithful penny?  Well, keep saving your pennies, we have a great solution for all your spare change! 

When Design/Builder Rick Chafey of Red Rock Contractors recently contacted us to install copper pennies on the powder room floor in his clients' ultra-cool man-cave, we were very excited - we'd done some experimenting with penny installation, and were excited to put our findings into practice.

While no one can argue the thrifty material cost for a penny floor, this is actually quite a tricky installation requiring specific substrate preparation, specialized setting materials and tile preparation before installation.

 

We began the project by sourcing trays to sheet the pennies, thus expediting installation time and producing an evenly spaced grout joint. 



Each sheet covers just over one square foot.  For this installation we randomly placed our pennies 'heads or tails'.  
 
 






A specially formulated water soluble adhesive and craft paper are used to to mount the sheets. And here's a face-mounted sheet ready to go.

Because the pennies are thin, for a professional result the substrate needs to be perfectly flat, as any variation in the floor will show through in the surface reflection of the tile.  

Also, to eliminate transitional floor height variation at the thresholds, our float bed needs to come to within 1/8" of the existing floor height in 2 adjacent rooms.

This process requires proper tools, experience, and time - one day of preparation before we can start installing our pennies.

 



Specialized setting materials are required to adhere to the copper and stand up to wear and tear of foot traffic.  

We selected a product from Custom Building Products called CEG lite - a 2 part epoxy thinset/grout.  This product is relatively expensive with tight working time.

The sheets are lofted to ensure good layout before mixing the two-part epoxy setting materials. Once layout was confirmed, we mixed out materials and I'll be honest here - there are no photos because we had to work FAST!
Our installation received a final coat of grout after curing for several days, and the resulting installation is below:


With quite a bit of preparation, and some mad tile skills, 
here's the resulting beauty -

We love this vintage toilet - a handpainted antique 
imported from France for this project.  




Looking for Copper Penny Trays?  We finally have them in!  contact sales@alpentile.com

Design:  Rick Chafey Red Rock Contractors
Fabrication of Penny Sheets; Luke Denny, Alpentile
Installation: Luke and Amy Denny, Alpentile



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