Title:
JOINT STRIP AND TERRAZZO SURFACE USING AN IMPROVED JOINT STRIP
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An improved joint and method for constructing a terrazzo surface are provided, including use of a joint strip, comprising opposing strip portions having upper wall surfaces that are joined by a solid upper joint strip channel wall.



Inventors:
Austin, Barry (Trinity, NC, US)
Application Number:
14/492492
Publication Date:
03/26/2015
Filing Date:
09/22/2014
Assignee:
MANHATTAN AMERICAN TERRAZZO STRIP COMPANY INC.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/716.1, 52/741.1, 52/742.1
International Classes:
E04F15/14; E04F15/12
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HERRING, BRENT W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CANTOR COLBURN LLP (20 Church Street 22nd Floor, Hartford, CT, 06103, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An improved joint strip for constructing a terrazzo surface, the improved joint strip comprising: opposing strip portions having opposing walls with upper wall surfaces that are joined by a solid upper joint strip channel wall, the opposing walls and the upper joint strip channel wall defining a pre-made joint strip channel, said opposing strip portions including base portions configured to secure said improved joint strip to a terrazzo surface.

2. An improved joint strip in accordance with claim 1, wherein said pre-made joint strip channel includes a filler.

3. An improved joint strip in accordance with claim 2, wherein said filler comprises a “backer rod” filler, a plastic rod filler, a wood filler, or a neoprene, rubber or elastomer filler.

4. An improved joint strip in accordance with claim 1, wherein said joint strip material comprises a zinc, aluminum, brass or stainless steel.

5. An improved joint strip in accordance with claim 1, wherein said joint strip has a thicknesses between about 0.001 and 0.5 inches, a depth between about 0.1 and 3 inches and pre-made joint strip channel having an interior width of between ⅛ and 3 inches.

6. A method for constructing a terrazzo surface, comprising: providing an improved joint strip, the joint strip comprising: opposing strip portions having opposing walls with upper wall surfaces that are joined by a solid upper joint strip channel wall, the opposing walls and the upper joint strip channel wall defining a pre-made joint strip channel, said opposing strip portions including base portions configured to secure said improved joint strip to a terrazzo surface; during installation of a terrazzo surface, installing said improved joint strip in predetermined channel locations; and grinding said upper joint strip channel wall away during grinding of the terrazzo surface to reveal a joint channel.

7. A method in accordance with claim 6, comprising filling the joint channel with a joint material.

8. A method in accordance with claim 7, wherein said material is an elastomeric material.

9. A method in accordance with claim 6, wherein said joint channel spans ¼ inch.

10. A method in accordance with claim 6, wherein said joint strip channel includes one or more of a “backer rod” filler, a plastic rod filler, a wood filler, and a neoprene/rubber filler that is pre-installed in the joint strip channel and is removed after the grinding process.

11. A method in accordance with claim 10, further comprising filling the joint channel with a filler.

12. A method in accordance with claim 11, wherein said filler is an elastomer.

13. A method in accordance with claim 6, wherein said strip channel is pre-filled with a filler, and wherein said filler remains in said joint channel after grinding off of said upper joint strip channel wall.

14. A method in accordance with claim 13, wherein said filler is an elastomeric filler.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 61/880,558 filed Sep. 20, 2013, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND

The present disclosure relates to an improved joint strip and a method of making a terrazzo surface using the improved joint strip.

Referring to PRIOR ART FIG. 1, terrazzo surfaces, e.g. floors, use a poured or precast composite material that is formed in a desired pattern and with desired additional materials, e.g., decorative stones, marble, glass, etc., in a binder. Terrazzo is cured, ground and polished to a smooth surface.

A terrazzo floor usually begins with a base, or foundation that is three to four inches deep, created using forms. Above that might be an inch partially wet sandy concrete, in which metal divider strips are placed to form joints in the terrazzo. The divider strips may be placed and shaped as desired for the structure pattern (e.g., providing a curved joint and/or defining divides between different terrazzo regions). The divider strips themselves can be bent/shaped on-site to define the surface pattern, or they may be pre-shaped.

Colored or varied materials may be used on an upper surface in the binder for decoration. A weighted roller is then used over the surface to level materials. Other binders may also be used, e.g., polymer-based binders including polyester and vinyl ester resins or epoxy resins. When the terrazzo is dried/cured, it is ground with a heavy grinder before polishing and sealing.

PRIOR ART FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary terrazzo floor, shown generally at 10. Three distinct terrazzo patterns are shown at 12, 14 and 16, with the patterns separated by joints 17. It can be seen that terrazzo patterns 12 use a smaller stone pattern, terrazzo pattern 14 uses a tiled pattern, and terrazzo pattern 16 uses a larger smoothed stone pattern. Joint strips (18 in PRIOR ART FIGS. 5-7) may be formed on site using opposing strip pieces that are arranged in a desired pattern, as described above, or may be pre-formed according to the desired pattern.

Referring now to PRIOR ART FIGS. 2-4, each side of a joint strip (20, 28), which is used to define the joint 17, is typically formed from a piece of divider strip 20 having a bottom portion 22 and a wall portion 24. The bottom portion includes a plurality of apertures 26, which may be used to secure the joint strip in place.

Referring now to PRIOR ART FIGS. 5-6, opposing strip pieces 20 and 28 define the joint channel 30 of a joint strip 18. These joint strips 18 may be formed by separately laying down opposing strips 20, 28 (“raw strips”) with the calculated spacing and desired geometry on-site during formation of the surface.

Alternatively, joint strips 18 may be pre-assembled with a predetermined spacing and geometry (shape, length, etc.) prior to installation. The pre-made strips/joints 18 may be pre-assembled using a rubber or elastomeric filler to adhere the opposing strips 20, 28 together. PRIOR ART FIG. 7 illustrates use of such filler 32 within channel 30 for a pre-assembled joint strip 18.

Either solution, described above, provides consistent problems in the field, such as failure to perform and excessive labor to place and fill gaps between the strips. Further, pre-assembled joints suffer from expansion problems during manufacture of the surface, where components tend to pull away during manufacture and cure. Indeed, strips pre-made with a rubber filler have not been recommended by the NTMA (National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association) for those reasons.

What is needed in the art are improved joint and terrazzo manufacturing procedure that avoids the expense and failure problems prevalent in the field.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The above discussed and other drawbacks and deficiencies are overcome or alleviated by the present improved joint strip and method for constructing a terrazzo surface, including use of a joint strip, comprising opposing strip portions having upper wall surfaces that are joined by a solid upper joint strip channel wall. In exemplary embodiments, such improved joint strip may be installed during a terrazzo surface manufacturing procedure, with the solid upper joint strip channel wall protecting the integrity of the channel geometry and shielding the channel from debris during manufacture. During the grinding procedure, the solid upper joint strip channel wall may be ground away to reveal a joint channel having optimal geometry. In exemplary embodiments, the resulting exposed joint channel (or “gap”) spans ¼ inch (which is recommended by the NTMA and epoxy manufacturers).

In other exemplary embodiments, the joint channel may then be filled with an elastomeric material or other material, as determined by the flooring contractor. Various other exemplary embodiments are also contemplated herein, e.g., a “backer rod” filler, a plastic rod filler, a wood filler, a neoprene/rubber filler, or the like (any removable filler), that is removed after the grinding process (including grinding off of the upper joint strip channel wall), with the joint channel being filled with required filler material thereafter. In other exemplary embodiments, the joint strip channel under the upper joint strip channel wall is filled with an elastomeric filler, with the joint being considered finished after grinding off of the upper joint strip channel wall and sealing of the surface.

The above-discussed and other features and advantages of the present invention will be appreciated and understood by those skilled in the art from the following detailed description and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Referring to the figures wherein like elements are numbered alike in the several figures:

PRIOR ART FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary terrazzo floor;

PRIOR ART FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of a joint strip portion used in the conventional manufacture of a joint for a terrazzo floor;

PRIOR ART FIG. 3 illustrates a top elevation view of the joint strip portion of PRIOR ART FIG. 2;

PRIOR ART FIG. 4 illustrates a side elevation view of the joint strip portion of PRIOR ART FIG. 2;

PRIOR ART FIG. 5 illustrates a perspective view of an on-site assembled joint strip comprising separate opposing strips;

PRIOR ART FIG. 6 illustrates a top elevation view of the on-site assembled joint strip of PRIOR ART FIG. 5;

PRIOR ART FIG. 7 illustrates a side elevation view of a pre-assembled joint strip, using a filler for adhesion of opposing strips;

FIG. 8 illustrates a perspective view of an exemplary joint strip of the present invention including an upper joint channel wall;

FIG. 9 illustrates a top elevation view of the exemplary joint strip of FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 illustrates a side elevation view of the exemplary joint strip of FIG. 8; and

FIG. 11 illustrates a side elevation view of the exemplary joint strip of FIG. 10 with additional filler provided in the joint channel before installation.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

As was noted above, the present disclosure relates to an improved joint strip and method for constructing a terrazzo surface using such improved joint strip for an expansion or control joint, the improved joint strip comprising opposing strip portions having upper wall surfaces that are joined by a solid upper joint strip channel wall.

In exemplary embodiments, such improved joint strip may be installed during a terrazzo surface manufacturing procedure, with the solid upper joint strip channel wall protecting the integrity of the channel geometry and shielding the channel from debris during manufacture. During the grinding procedure, the solid upper joint strip channel wall may be ground away to reveal a joint channel having optimal geometry. In exemplary embodiments, the resulting exposed joint channel (or “gap”) spans ¼ inch (which is recommended by the NTMA and epoxy manufacturers).

Referring now to FIG. 8, an exemplary pre-formed joint strip is illustrated generally at 40. The joint 40 includes opposing side wall portions 42, 44 joined to opposing base portions 46, 48. A pre-formed joint strip channel 50 is defined by opposing side wall portions 42, 44 and an upper joint strip channel wall 52. During a terrazzo surface (floor or other surface) manufacture, the upper joint strip channel wall 52 is configured to be ground away during the grinding of the surface (which is a typical pre-finishing procedure for terrazzo surfaces).

In other exemplary embodiments, after grinding away of the upper joint strip channel wall 52, the joint channel may then be filled with an elastomeric material or other material, as determined by the flooring contractor. Various other exemplary embodiments are also contemplated herein, e.g., a “backer rod” filler, a plastic rod filler, a wood filler, a neoprene/rubber filler, or the like (any removable filler), may be pre-installed in the joint strip channel 50 and removed after the grinding process (including grinding off of the upper joint channel wall), with the joint channel 50 being filled with required filler material thereafter. In other exemplary embodiments, the joint strip channel 50 under the upper joint strip channel wall is pre-filled with an elastomeric filler (see FIG. 11, which shows a pre-filled joint strip channel), with the joint being considered finished after grinding off of the upper joint strip channel wall and sealing of the surface.

Exemplary joint strip materials include zinc, aluminum, brass and stainless steel, among others.

Also, while any geometry, thicknesses, depths or gaps are contemplated, an exemplary embodiment contemplates thicknesses between about 0.001 and 0.5 inches, depths between about 0.1 and 3 inches and gaps between ⅛ and 3 inches. Varying depths may account for terrazzo surface depths to allow for proper clearance of the upper joint strip channel wall for grinding during processing of the surface. Exemplary available depths may include standard depths, e.g., ⅜ inch, ½ inch, etc., or they may be made to order. Also, the widths may vary, though an exemplary embodiment contemplates 1.2 inches to accommodate for gap an exemplary ¼ inch gap width and for opposing bases that allow for ¼ inch apertures to secure the joint strip in place.

While the invention has been described with reference to a preferred embodiment, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof without departing from the scope of the invention. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings of the invention without departing from the essential scope thereof. Therefore, it is intended that the invention not be limited to the particular embodiment disclosed as the best mode contemplated for carrying out this invention, but that the invention will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the appended claims.