February 18, 2017

our floor

Have you ever noticed our beautiful copper-color floor at Little Shop?

Penny Floor 1

How the floor has different patterns?

Penny Floor 5

Have you ever looked really, really close?

Penny Floor 3

If you have, you’ve noticed that the floor is covered in pennies.

Hundreds of pennies.

Thousands of pennies.

Tens of thousands of pennies.

Hundreds of thousands of pennies.

Covering our floor in pennies is a process.

We committed to doing this in 2013 as a job that was anticipated to take a full year. The idea was to stick pennies on an adhesive mesh backing that was cut into twelve inch squares. These tiles would then be glued to the floor. Unfortunately the pennies refused to hold to the mesh more than 90% of the time and it was difficult to find a glue that would successfully adhere the tiles to our concrete floor. After many, many failed attempts we found that the best solution was to use a product called Liquid Nails. A thin coat is applied to the concrete in small areas and then pennies are laid on top of it.

One by one .

And so it began in March 2014.

Penny Floor 4

To make it a little more interesting we began installing patterns. In the above photo the diamond effect is created by using shiny new Shield pennies (minted since 2010) surrounded by older Lincoln Memorial pennies (minted from 1959 to 2008). The border by the bookcases uses Shield pennies that aren’t as shiny. Different parts of the shop will have different patterns. The design was dictated in large part by the percentage of Shield pennies available as compared to Memorial pennies.

Where do all these pennies come from?

Penny Floor 11

Many are donated by our customers. Not only do people give us pennies, but also nickels, dimes, quarters, dollar bills, and even foreign coins (which will eventually be used in another pattern). We also buy pennies at the bank. They come in boxes of 50 rolls and cost $25 each. We have bought a lot of boxes of pennies.

Penny Floor 12

Wherever they come from, the pennies get sorted.

Penny Floor 9

Then they are put in boxes and shelved in a closet.

Penny Floor 8

Later, as required by the design, the boxes are brought out of storage and the pennies are glued to the floor.

One by one.

It’s a process.