Title:
Method for manufacturing and installing a prefabricated hardwood floor
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Described is a prefabricated hardwood floor apparatus that is installed with substantially more ease and efficiency than conventional hardwood floors. The floor apparatus includes a rigid board to which planks of hardwood are secured in an aesthetic manner. A non-slip pad is also secured to the rigid board, but at the face opposite that of the hardwood planks. The non-slip pad includes a frictional characteristic that prevents the floor apparatus from sliding on a surface, such as a sub-flooring, in response to force components parallel to the sub-flooring. The floor apparatus is installed by simply placing the floor apparatus on a sub-flooring such that the non-slip pad mechanically engages the sub-flooring.



Inventors:
Maelzer, Erich (Knoxville, TN, US)
Mize, Aaron (Knoxville, TN, US)
Application Number:
10/648713
Publication Date:
03/17/2005
Filing Date:
08/26/2003
Assignee:
M & M Flooring (Knoxville, TN, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G27/04; E04F15/022; (IPC1-7): E04C3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHAPMAN, JEANETTE E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PITTS & LAKE P C (KNOXVILLE, TN, US)
Claims:
1. A floor apparatus for providing an existing structure with a prefabricated hardwood floor, said floor apparatus comprising: a rigid board; a hardwood layer secured to a first side of said rigid board; and a non-slip pad secured to a second side of said rigid board, whereby the second side of said rigid board is geometrically opposing the first side of said rigid board, said non-slip pad compositionally characterized by a substantially high coefficient of friction.

2. The floor apparatus of claim 1 wherein said rigid board is a fibrous board.

3. The floor apparatus of claim 2 wherein said rigid board is a cut of hardboard.

4. The floor apparatus of claim 1 wherein said hardwood layer includes a plurality of hardwood planks.

5. The floor apparatus of claim 1 wherein said hardwood layer is secured to said rigid board by way of a wood glue.

6. The floor apparatus of claim 1 wherein said non-slip pad is a laminate pad.

7. The floor apparatus of claim 1 wherein said non-slip pad is secured to said rigid board by way of an adhesive.

8. A floor apparatus for providing an existing structure with a prefabricated hardwood floor, said floor apparatus comprising: a cut of hardboard; a plurality of hardwood planks secured to the top face of said cut of hardboard by way of a wood glue; and a laminate pad secured to the bottom face of said cut of hardboard, said laminate pad including the compositional characteristic of a substantially high frictional coefficient.

9. A method for constructing the floor apparatus, said method comprising the steps of: securing at least one plank of hardwood to a first side of a rigid board; and securing a non-slip pad to a second side of the rigid board, whereby the second side of the rigid board is geometrically opposite of the first side of the rigid board.

10. The method of claim 9 further comprising the step of cutting the rigid board to a tailored shape and/or size prior to said step of securing at least one plank of hardwood and prior to said step of securing a non-slip pad.

11. The method of claim 10 further comprising the step of cutting the non-slip pad to substantially the same size and shape as the rigid board.

12. A method for constructing the floor apparatus, said method comprising the steps of: applying a wood glue to a first side of a rigid board; disposing at least one piece of hardwood on the first side of the rigid board such that the hardwood is secured to the rigid board by way of the wood glue; mounting a non-slip pad to a second side of the rigid board by way of an adhesive, the second side of the rigid board being opposite the first side of the rigid board; and restraining the non-slip pad, the rigid board, and the hardwood to their designed positions until the adhesive and the wood glue dry, such that the non-slip pad and the hardwood are positionally secured to the rigid board by the adhesive and the wood glue respectively.

13. The method of claim 12 further comprising the step of cutting the floor apparatus to a tailored shape and/or size.

14. The method of claim 12 wherein said step of disposing at least one piece of hardwood onto the first side of the rigid board includes substantially covering the first side of the rigid board with the hardwood.

15. The method of claim 12 wherein said step of restraining the non-slip pad, the rigid board, and the hardwood to their designed positions includes clamping the non-slip pad, the rigid board, and the hardwood into their designed positions.

16. A method for installing the floor apparatus, said method comprising the steps of: exposing the sub-flooring at the desired location of the floor apparatus; ridding the exposed sub-flooring of debris; leveling the exposed sub-flooring substantially, said leveling the exposed sub-flooring including hammering down protruding nails, screws, and high spots; and placing the floor apparatus at the exposed sub-flooring such that the non-slip pad mechanically engages the exposed sub-flooring;

17. The method of claim 16 wherein said step of exposing the sub-flooring includes cutting and removing a section of existing carpet at the desired location of the floor apparatus.

18. The method of claim 17 further comprising the step of securing a tack strip to the sub-flooring proximate to the floor apparatus at edges of the floor apparatus bordered by the existing carpet.

19. The method of claim 18 further comprising the step of securing the remaining portions of the existing carpet that border the floor apparatus to the tack strip.

20. The method of claim 19 further comprising the step of trimming the existing carpet that boarders the floor apparatus such that a substantially small portion of carpet extents past the tack strip in the direction of the floor apparatus.

21. The method of claim 20 further comprising the step of tucking the portion of carpet extending past the tack strip between the tack strip and the floor apparatus to the extent that a fluid transition exists between the existing carpet and the floor apparatus.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of Invention

This invention pertains to a floor and a method for manufacturing and installing the floor. More particularly, this invention pertains to the fabrication of a hardwood floor manufactured at a remote location and the integration of the hardwood floor into an existing structure.

2. Description of the Related Art

Hardwood flooring is a desired amenity for many homes and offices, not only for its aesthetic value, but also for its durability and maintenance characteristics. Hardwood floors are typically installed one plank at a time by nailing, stapling, or gluing each plank to a sub-flooring. The chore of securing each plank to the sub-floor with nails, staples, or glue makes the installation of hardwood floors very tedious and time consuming. Additionally, installing a hardwood floor as described results in a substantially permanent installment. Consequently, if a reason to remove the floor arises, the task would be difficult if not impossible.

A conventional solution to providing a non-permanent hardwood floor is to install a floating floor. A floating floor is not nailed, stapled, glued, or secured to the sub-flooring in any manner. Therefore, in order to stabilize the planks of a floating floor and to maintain the expected solidity of a floor, the planks of a floating floor are typically glued to one another, and the floating floor simply rests on top of the sub-flooring. This solution is limited in that each hardwood plank must be individually installed and secured to adjacent planks. Additionally, when a force that includes a component that is parallel to the surface of the sub-flooring is imposed on the floating floor, such as the force imposed by an individual walking on the floor, the entire floor slips on the sub-flooring and moves from its designed position.

An attempt to provide an easy-to-install hardwood floor that is not a permanent installment and is not subject to slipping on sub-flooring under typical forces is given in U.S. Pat. No. 5,941,047 issued to Johansson. The Johansson patent teaches a floor that utilizes two friction layers. A first friction layer is disposed at the sub-flooring at the desired location of the hardwood floor. A second friction layer is disposed on the bottom of each plank of the hardwood floor. A film is provided to conceal the first friction layer from the second friction layer such that each plank is able to be maneuvered into its desired position. Once the planks are in their desired positions, the film is removed from the first friction layer and the second friction layer such that the first friction layer and the second friction layer are mechanically engaged to the extent that the floating floor does not slip on the sub-flooring. Although this type of conventional floor does not slip on the sub-flooring, it is limited in that it requires the installation of a friction layer at the sub-flooring and that each plank must be installed individually.

Another attempt to provide an easy-to-install hardwood floor that is not subject to slipping on sub-flooring under typical forces is given in U.S. Pat. No. 1,626,117 issued to T. B. Munroe. The Munroe patent teaches a hardwood floor whereby complete hardwood floors, or sections thereof, are manufactured by securing hardwood planks to a fibrous board. The hardwood floors are manufactured at a remote factory and are transported to the desired location of the hardwood floor. The hardwood floors are installed by dropping the fibrous board carrying the hardwood planks onto the desired location of sub-flooring and securing the fibrous board to the sub-flooring using nails, screws, or glue. This type of hardwood floor is limited in that it must be secured to the sub-flooring by way of nails, staples, or glue. This makes the hardwood floor substantially permanent and complicates the installation process.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with various features of the present invention there is provided a floor apparatus for providing a hardwood floor that is prefabricated at a remote location and installed with substantially more ease and efficiency than conventional hardwood floors. The floor apparatus includes a rigid board to which planks of hardwood are secured in an aesthetic manner. A non-slip pad is also secured to the rigid board, but at the face opposite that of the hardwood planks. The non-slip pad includes a frictional characteristic that prevents the floor apparatus from sliding on a surface, such as a sub-flooring, in response to force components parallel to the sub-flooring. The floor apparatus is installed by simply placing the floor apparatus on a sub-flooring such that the non-slip pad mechanically engages the sub-flooring. Additional post installation steps are typically taken to promote an aesthetic integration of the floor apparatus with the existing floor, such as trimming and tucking surrounding carpet to provide a fluid transition from the floor apparatus to the surrounding carpet. The fluid transition also eliminates jagged flooring that potentially causes individuals to trip.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

The above-mentioned features of the invention will become more clearly understood from the following detailed description of the invention read together with the drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is an illustration of a floor apparatus in accordance with various features of the present invention.

FIG. 2 illustrates preparational steps for the installation of the floor apparatus of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an illustration of the floor apparatus of FIG. 1 subsequent to installation.

FIG. 4 is an illustration of the floor apparatus of FIG. 1 depicting a cosmetically pleasing integration of the floor apparatus with the surrounding flooring.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

One embodiment of a floor apparatus for providing a hardwood floor that is prefabricated at a remote location and installed with substantially more ease and efficiency than conventional hardwood floors and constructed in accordance with the various features of the present invention is illustrated generally at 10 in FIG. 1. The floor apparatus 10 includes a rigid board to which planks of hardwood are secured in an aesthetic manner. A non-slip pad is also secured to the hardboard, but at the face opposite that of the hardwood planks. The non-slip pad includes a frictional characteristic that prevents the floor apparatus 10 from sliding on a surface, such as a sub-flooring, in response to force components parallel to the sub-flooring. The floor apparatus 10 is installed by simply placing the floor apparatus 10 on a sub-flooring such that the non-slip pad mechanically engages the sub-flooring. Additional post installation steps are typically taken to promote an aesthetic integration of the floor apparatus 10 with the existing floor, such as trimming and tucking surrounding carpet to provide a fluid transition from the floor apparatus 10 to the surrounding carpet. The fluid transition also eliminates jagged flooring that potentially causes individuals to trip.

FIG. 1 illustrates a floor apparatus 10 in accordance with various features of the present invention. The floor apparatus 10 includes a rigid board 12, which, in the illustrated embodiment, is a cut of hardboard. Those skilled in the art will recognize that other materials may be used for the rigid board 12 without departing from the scope or spirit of the present invention. The rigid board 12 provides structural foundation for the floor apparatus 10, permitting the floor apparatus 10 to be prefabricated at a remote location and transported to the desired location of the floor for installation.

A layer of hardwood 14 is disposed on the top side of the rigid board 12 in an aesthetic manner. In the illustrated embodiment, the hardwood 14 is a engineered plank hardwood, and each plank of the hardwood is secured to the rigid board 12 by way of a wood glue. Those skilled in the art will recognize that other ways of securing the hardwood 14 to the rigid board 12 may be used without departing from the scope or spirit of the present invention and that different types of hardwood may be used without departing from the scope or spirit of the present invention.

A non-slip pad 16 is secured to the bottom side of the rigid board 12 by way of an adhesive, the bottom side of the rigid board 12 being opposite the top side of the rigid board 12. The non-slip pad 16 of the illustrated embodiment is a laminate pad, however, those skilled in the art will recognize that other materials may be used for the non-slip pad 16 without departing from the scope or spirit of the present invention. Those skilled in the art will also recognize that the non-slip pad 16 may be secured to the rigid board 12 by a way other than adhesive without departing from the scope or spirit of the present invention. The non-slip pad 16 includes a compositional characteristic that promotes a high frictional force between the non-slip pad 16 and any surface it engages. Consequently, when the non-slip pad 16 of the floor apparatus 10 is placed in mechanical contact with a surface such as a sub-flooring, the floor apparatus 10 remains stationary even under the influence of force components with directions parallel to the surface on which the floor apparatus 10 is disposed.

The floor apparatus 10 is typically prefabricated in that it is manufactured prior to installation at a remote location with respect to the desired location of the hardwood floor. At the time of fabrication, or anytime prior to the installation of the floor apparatus 10, the floor apparatus 10 is cut to a tailored shape and size such that the floor apparatus 10 cooperates with the corresponding desired location for the floor apparatus 10. Those skilled in the art will recognize that the floor apparatus 10 may be tailor cut prior to the fabrication of the floor apparatus 10 by cutting each individual component of the floor apparatus 10 prior to combining the components.

Because the floor apparatus 10 is prefabricated, installation of the floor apparatus 10 is minimal. FIG. 2 illustrates the preliminary step of exposing the sub-flooring at the desired location of the floor apparatus 10. In the illustrated embodiment, the existing floor in which the floor apparatus 10 is integrated includes a carpet 18. A portion of the carpet 18 is cut and removed from a sub-flooring 20 at the desired location of the floor apparatus 10. Those skilled in the art will recognize that exposing the sub-flooring is not limited to cutting and removing carpet. It is understood that the step of exposing the sub-flooring varies in method depending on the condition of the existing floor at the desired location of the floor apparatus 10. After the sub-flooring 20 at the desired location of the floor apparatus 10 is exposed, it is rid of any debris such as dirt, dust, trash, loose screws, or loose nails. The sub-flooring 20 is then substantially leveled by nailing down any “high spots” or protruding elements such as nails or screws.

FIG. 3 illustrates an installed floor apparatus 10 in accordance with various features of the present invention. The installation of the floor apparatus 10 simply includes placing the floor apparatus 10 at the desired location such that the non-slip pad 16 mechanically engages the sub-flooring 20. As previously discussed, the floor apparatus 10 does not require nails, screws, glue, or any other securing mechanism to prevent the floor apparatus 10 from becoming displaced from its designed position. The non-slip pad 16 promotes a frictional bond between the floor apparatus 10 and the sub-flooring 20 such that the floor apparatus 10 remains in its designed position regardless forces exerted on the floor apparatus 10.

In the illustrated embodiment, the floor apparatus 10 is abutted to the corner of a room such that the carpet 18 borders two edges of the floor apparatus 10. Because of this, tack strips 22 are disposed at the sub-flooring 20 such that they are geometrically parallel to the edges of the floor apparatus 10 that are bordered by the carpet 18. The tack strips 22 are positioned a substantially small distance from the floor apparatus 10, about 0.25 inches. The carpet 18 is secured to the tack strips 22 in a conventional manner and then trimmed such that a substantially small portion of the carpet 18 extends past the track strips 22 in the direction of the floor apparatus 10. The extending carpet is tucked between the tack strip 22 and the floor apparatus 10 such that there is a fluid transition from the carpet 18 to the floor apparatus 10, as illustrated in FIG. 4.

Those skilled in the art will recognize that some locations in which the floor apparatus 10 is installed do not include carpet. Further, those skilled in the art will recognize that there are many floor types in which the floor apparatus 10 is integrated. In view of this, those skilled in the art will recognize that the previously discussed steps involving the alteration of the existing carpet 18 are not applicable in all embodiments of the present invention.

From the foregoing description, those skilled in the art will recognize that an apparatus for providing a hardwood floor to an existing structure offering advantages over the prior art has been provided. The apparatus provides a prefabricated hardwood floor that is manufactured at a remote location and transported to the desired location of the floor for installation. Further, the apparatus provides a minimal installation process that does not require the use of nails, screws, glue, or other securing mechanisms.

While the present invention has been illustrated by description of several embodiments and while the illustrative embodiments have been described in considerable detail, it is not the intention of the applicant to restrict or in any way limit the scope of the appended claims to such detail. Additional advantages and modifications will readily appear to those skilled in the art. The invention in its broader aspects is therefore not limited to the specific details, representative apparatus and methods, and illustrative examples shown and described. Accordingly, departures may be made from such details without departing from the spirit or scope of applicant's general inventive concept.