Title:
Lining of lining plates
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention relates to a covering for floors, walls, ceilings and similar subsurfaces, consisting of supporting and adjusting elements (1) fastened to or placed on the subsurface and of tiles (2), which consist if appropriate of a support plate (7) and a decorative plate (8), adjacent tiles (2) forming joints (5) between them.

The invention is characterized in that a reservoir for the joint filler is provided in the region of the joint (5), the volume of which reservoir is reduced when the tiles are laid.

In a first variant, the reservoir is at least one depression (4) in the supporting and adjusting elements (1), and the tiles (2) have at least one projection (9) projecting into the depression. In a second variant, the reservoir is a deformable pocket provided on the tile, which is squeezed together when the tile is laid.




Inventors:
Lenhard-backhaus, Hugo (Wien, AT)
Hrovath, Joseph (Riegersdorf, AT)
Application Number:
10/941291
Publication Date:
07/07/2005
Filing Date:
09/14/2004
Assignee:
LENHARD-BACKHAUS HUGO
HROVATH JOSEPH
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B1/684; E04F13/08; E04F15/02; (IPC1-7): E04B2/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
CAJILIG, CHRISTINE T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KOLISCH HARTWELL, P.C. (PORTLAND, OR, US)
Claims:
1. A covering for floors, walls, ceilings and similar subsurfaces, consisting of supporting and adjusting elements (1) fastened to or placed on the subsurface and of tiles (2) applied thereto, which consist if appropriate of a support plate (7) and a decorative plate (8), adjacent tiles (2) forming joints (5) between them, wherein parts of the covering have in the region of the joint (5) a reservoir for the joint filler, the volume of which reservoir is reduced when the tiles are applied.

2. The covering as claimed in claim 1, wherein the reservoir is at least one depression (4) in the supporting and adjusting elements (1), and wherein the tiles (2) have at least one projection (9) projecting into the depression.

3. The covering as claimed in claim 2, wherein the depression (4) is groove-shaped and formed by two strip-shaped raised portions (3) extending in the longitudinal direction of the joint (5).

4. The covering as claimed in claim 3, wherein a central raised portion (6) extending in the longitudinal direction of the joint (5) is arranged in the groove-shaped depression (4).

5. The covering as claimed in claim 4, wherein the central raised portion (6) is lower than the raised portions (3).

6. The covering as claimed in one of claims 1 to 5, wherein the supporting and adjusting elements (1) are designed in one piece as a lattice network.

7. The covering as claimed in claim 2, wherein the projection (9) is designed in one piece with the support plate (7).

8. The covering as claimed in claim 2, wherein the projection (9) is beveled toward the joint (5).

9. The covering as claimed in claim 3, wherein the projection (9) of the tile (2) has the same height as the raised portion (3) or is slightly lower.

10. The covering as claimed in claim 1, wherein the reservoir is a deformable pocket (11) provided on the tile (2′).

11. The covering as claimed in claim 10, wherein the pocket (11) is open toward the joint (5).

12. The covering as claimed in claim 10 or 11, wherein the pocket (11) is formed by a deformable tongue (10) running around on the underside of the tile (2′).

13. The covering as claimed in claim 12, wherein a lip (12) delimiting the opening of the pocket (11) is designed along the edge of the tongue (10).

14. The covering as claimed in claim 12, wherein the lips (12) of adjacent tiles (2′) are in contact with one another in the laid state.

15. The covering as claimed in claim 3, wherein the raised portions (3) and/or those regions of the tile (2) opposite these raised portions (3) have grooves (15) which extend at least essentially at right angles to the joint (5).

16. The covering as claimed in claim 3, wherein the end sides of the tiles (2) which face the joint (5) have grooves (16) which extend preferably at right angles to the plane of the tiles (2).

17. A tile for constructing a covering as claimed in one of claims 10 or 11, wherein the pocket (11) is filled with jointing material and closed with a covering band.

Description:

The invention relates to a covering which consists of tiles which are, if appropriate, positioned on positioning elements which are arranged on the floor, the wall and the ceiling.

As coverings, in particular floor coverings consisting of individual tiles which may in turn be of composite design, are very popular, it is desirable for it to be possible to lay such floor coverings as rapidly and cost-effectively as possible but at the same time in a mechanically stable and visually satisfactory way. This applies to a similar extent for wall decorations, tiled stoves and the like as well.

In order to achieve these aims, it is known to use strip-shaped, star-shaped or point-shaped adjusting elements which are bonded, welded, tacked, otherwise fastened to or simply placed on the floor, the wall or the ceiling and which have positioning and supporting elements onto which the individual tiles are then pushed or placed; the mechanical connection can take place in very different ways, from elastic snapping-on, through the use of magnets to permanent bonding. The advantage of these mounting systems is that, in particular in the case of adjusting elements arranged in a lattice shape, only the lattice has to be suitably laid out and, if appropriate, attached, and then the actual operation to mount the tiles can be performed by semiskilled assistants. After the individual tiles have been laid, the joints are in most cases filled with permanently elastic material, for example silicone, and the covering is finished and loadable. Further prior art is known from the following publications:

    • DE 101 58 215 A1 proposes a cross-sectionally mushroom-shaped rubber seal, which can be inserted into corresponding grooves of a support frame for the tiles, as a seal in the region of joints between two tiles. Otherwise, this publication discloses the fitting together of individual elements of a supporting frame by means of tongue and groove and especially a tongue and groove construction which snaps in by temporary elastic deformation.
    • DE 44 03 383 A discloses an arrangement for delimiting floor or wall surfaces, which corresponds essentially to a solid embodiment of what is known as a Schlüter rail. In this connection, adjacent rail portions are inserted in one another in the manner of a tongue and groove connection, and the admittedly very narrow joint region which is then brought about between the two upper portions of the adjacent rails is, as stated in column 2, lines 40 to 50, not to be sealed with sealing compound, in order to allow horizontal mobility between adjacent tiles.
    • DE 100 62 812 A proposes, for more rapid and reliable arrangement of an elastic seal at the joint between tiles, providing each of the tiles with a profile along its edge, without indicating how the narrow gap between the frame and the tile is to be closed, sealed or made tight, and pressing an elastomeric seal, the profile of which corresponds to a special edge profile of the frame, into the joint then formed by the frame.
    • WO 2002/031290 A rather deals with the arrangement of joint seals encyclopedically and states on page 12 in the last complete paragraph that this seal could be produced by final introduction of silicone rubber (corresponding to the customary silicone beads as have been used routinely by fitters, joiners etc. for many years) or using a separate band as a seal, which is correspondingly compressed when the tiles are laid in order to perform its sealing function. It is also stated that it is possible to connect such a sealing band firmly to a decorative strip, which is used with the floor described in this publication and is arranged between the tiles, in order thus to produce sealing and decorative strip in one operation. Reference is finally also made to the fact that all other measures known from the field of sealing for floors and wall coverings could also be used.
    • WO 2003/040491 A, claiming the priority of DE 101 58 215 A referred to above, also proposes in developments of the floor coverings disclosed therein seals made of rubber-like material with different cross sections from in the DE-A disclosure.

For the sake of simplicity, the description of the invention concentrates below on floors without in this way limiting the possible applications of the coverings consisting of tiles to floors alone. On the contrary, the construction, form and developments of the coverings would indicate their use on walls, ceilings, tiled stoves, projections, inclined surfaces and the like as well.

The covering constructions explained above have by and large proved themselves, but it has emerged that proper introduction of the permanently elastic jointing material constitutes a certain weak point, as foreign bodies and impurities occasionally find their way into the joint in the time between the laying of the first tile and the last tile and grouting does not take place until after this, as grouting itself requires skill and ability, and as the risk exists, even with grouting which has a perfect visual appearance, that the impermeability of the joint will no longer be guaranteed after only a short time in the event of too little jointing material being applied.

This is disadvantageous in particular as far as the installation of such floors, walls and ceilings in wet rooms is concerned as these untight joints allow moisture to penetrate into the region between the tiles and the actual floor, wall or ceiling, which has very disadvantageous effects in terms of both the intactness of the fabric and hygiene. There is therefore an urgent need for safe, simple and cost-effective sealing of the joints of said coverings.

According to the invention, these aims are achieved by virtue of the fact that recesses, pockets, depressions or the like (a reservoir) are provided in the joint region of the floor covering, which are filled with preferably permanently elastic sealing material in the region of the joint concerned preferably immediately before the laying of the tiles, and that, when the tiles are mounted, the sealing material is pressed into the joint, where it sets, by deformation of the recesses, depressions, pockets or the like or by penetration of projections into these regions (reduction in size of the reservoir).

In this way, it is possible, when laying each individual tile or a small number of tiles, to check the quantity of filling material applied in a simple way and, by virtue of the displacement of the jointing compound which necessarily occurs during laying, to introduce the compound uniformly into the joint. As, in particular when use is made of strip-shaped or lattice-shaped positioning and supporting elements, the jointing material can be introduced into channel-like depressions of these supporting elements, it rises upward into the joints from below when the tiles are applied and in this way prevents the formation of bubbles or cavities. Furthermore, the jointing material is in this case located not only in the joint region itself but also around the lower edge of the tile, by virtue of which a particularly reliable and durable seal is achieved.

When use is made of cross-shaped or point-shaped adjusting elements, the jointing material can be introduced into pockets which are formed by elastically deformable tongues attached to the individual tiles, these tongues being designed in such a way that they are pressed together when the tile is laid and in this way press the jointing material into the region of the joint.

The invention is explained in greater detail below with reference to the drawing, in which

FIG. 1 shows a floor covering, consisting of supporting and adjusting elements and tiles, in a section at right angles to the joint;

FIG. 2 shows a tile with a tongue in a section at right angles to the joint;

FIG. 3 shows a laid tile with a tongue in a section at right angles to the joint, and

FIG. 4 shows a variant.

FIG. 1 shows a floor covering with tiles 2, which are laid in strip-shaped or lattice-shaped supporting and adjusting elements 1. The description “strip-shaped or lattice-shaped” refers to the plan view of the supporting elements 1, which are preferably made of plastic. In the joint region, the supporting elements 1 have at least two strip-shaped raised portions 3 extending in the longitudinal direction of the joint 5 of the floor covering, which delimit between them a groove-shaped depression 4. Arranged in the center of this groove, therefore directly in the region of the joint 5, is a further, central, strip-shaped raised portion 6, which may also, in contrast to the illustration in FIG. 1, be the same height as or, with suitable design of the lower edge of the tile, higher than the raised portions 3. This central raised portion 6 divides the groove 4 into two regions in its bottom region. The central raised portion 6 serves to create two separate regions for the jointing compound and to restrict the flow of the jointing compound in the direction of an adjacent tile when the tile 2 is pressed on.

If the edge of the tile forms the termination of a wall, the supporting and adjusting element 1 is separated along the center of the central raised portion 6, so that the remaining half of the central raised portion 6 is available for the abovementioned purpose at the wall termination.

The tiles 2 consist, as known per se, of support plates 7 and decorative plates 8. The support plate 7 does not have to be designed flat as a true plate but can also be in the form of a lattice or net, the description support plate being used for all these elements. The decorative plates 8 can likewise be constructed from individual parts, in pieces therefore, but this does not contribute to the invention and is not explained in greater detail here. The tiles can of course also be designed in one piece.

In the illustrative embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the support plates 7 are completely discontinuous in the region in which they interact sealingly with the raised portions 3. The material of the support plates forms elongate projections 9 in the edge region of the tile, which have a spacing from the support plate 7. It is of course possible for the support plates 7 to be of thicker design, so that the projections 9 are joined together in one piece with the actual support plates 7. This depends on the use concerned, the desired thickness of the support plates 7 and the manufacturing process selected.

As illustrated in FIG. 1, the projections 9 are beveled toward the joint 5, that is their thickness decreases toward the joint. This design supports the displacement toward the joint 5 of the jointing material introduced into the groove 4 before the tile is laid.

In the course of laying, the supporting element 1 is laid, and if appropriate fastened, for example by bonding, suitably on the subsurface. The supporting elements 1 can be manufactured, transported and laid on the floor either in pieces, preferably in the form of strips, or in one piece, with crisscross supporting elements, in the form of a lattice structure. The strips laid at regular spacings or the lattice structure laid out or rolled out on the floor provide(s) a dimensionally accurate supporting and adjusting means. The individual tiles 2 only have to be inserted, and if appropriate fixed, into this supporting framework. Fixing is carried out by means of positive snap elements, which are known in the prior art and are therefore not explained or illustrated in greater detail in the present illustrative embodiment, or connection can also take place by bonding, by magnetic forces or simply by inserting the tiles into the supporting framework, the weight of the tiles 2 also bringing about their fixing.

In order then to achieve tight joints 5, a joint filler, for example a permanently elastic material such as silicone or the like, is according to the invention introduced into the groove 4 between the raised portions 3 after laying of the individual supporting elements 1 or the lattice-shaped supporting framework, to be precise in the region in which one or more tiles 2 are laid in direct succession. When the tiles 2 are pressed in, their projections 9 press the as yet unset jointing material out of the groove 4; in a first step, when the first tile is introduced, the material accumulates in the region of the still empty joint half and, when the opposite tile is pressed in, it rises into the joint 5 from below and consequently fills the latter without bubbles.

Owing to the relatively high viscosity of normal joint fillers, there is no risk of these spreading and running along the groove 4, so that it is not necessary to fill the entire premounted lattice structure, whether it consists of individual strips or a one-piece lattice, with joint filler. In order to make working easier, “bulkheads” can be provided transversely to the joint 5 at regular spacings, which are either broken off in the course of tiling or are incorporated.

FIGS. 2 and 3 show variants of a tile 2′, which are suitable especially for use on walls, but also with separate supporting elements, as are known from the prior art. In this connection, small-surface supporting elements, which have adjusting elements (in most cases four in the case of rectangular tiles 2′), usually projections, for tiles which meet in each case at a corner, are fastened to the subsurface. These adjusting elements interact with suitable counter-elements on the tile 2′ and in this way allow rapid, accurate mounting. The tiles 2′ can of course also be laid directly on the floor, without in this connection being dependent on supporting elements.

Irrespective of these fastening elements, each tile 2′ now has, as can be seen from FIG. 2, an elastically deformable tongue 10, arranged on and running around the edge, with a lip 12, which forms a pocket 11 open toward the joint 5 with the underside of the tile 2′ in the illustrative embodiment shown. The illustration shows the tile with an empty pocket 11 and without any contact in the bottom region. Immediately before the tile 2′ is laid, the pocket 11 is filled with jointing material and is then laid on the supporting elements. When the pocket 11 is being filled, the lip 12 can belly outward slightly, but this deformation is only small and does not hinder the laying of a tile next to a tile which has already been laid. During laying, when, in the illustrative embodiment shown, the support plate retains a distance from the subsurface at least in the edge region, the tongue 10 is pressed against the tile 2′ in particular with its thickened portion 13, and the jointing material is pressed out of the pocket 11, which becomes smaller, into the joint 5.

The tongue 10 can have a simple profile and be mounted on the underside of the tile 2′. It is of course possible for the support plate 7 to be of thinner design in this region than in the remaining region and in this way for the tile 2′ to be placed flat onto the subsurface, as is illustrated in FIG. 3. It is of course possible to use other profiles for the tongue 10, and it is lastly also possible to factory-fill jointing material into the pocket 11 and to protect it from becoming hard by means of a covering band. The tongue 10 can be attached to the tile 2′ by being stuck on, by an adhesive band, by being formed in one piece and the like.

In order to prevent the jointing material flowing out of the pocket 11 before the tile 2′ is laid, the tongues 10 are preferably provided with the thin lip 12, which, as illustrated in FIG. 2, can preferably point in the direction of the tile 2′. Owing to its elasticity, the lip 12 bends outward during laying as a result of the weight of the tile or the application pressure, in the direction of the joint 5 and of the adjacent tile, by virtue of which the jointing material can come out of the pocket 11. As a result of the subsequent laying of the adjacent tile, the lips 12 of the two adjacent tiles come into contact and are pressed against one another. The lips pressed against one another prevent or reduce the penetration of the jointing material or the adhesive into the free space below the joint 5 between the tiles 2 and in this way guarantee that the jointing material is pressed mainly into the joint 5 and fills the latter uniformly.

A protuberance or thickened portion 13, which is the first part to come into contact with the supporting and adjusting elements 1 during laying and presses the tongue 10 in the direction of the tile 2′, is preferably provided on the underside of the tongue 10. This embodiment is advantageous in particular when the support plate 7 is of thinner design or does not extend as far as the edge in the region of the tongue 10 and the tongue 10 is introduced into the border formed in this connection. A tile 2′ of such design in the laid state is illustrated in FIG. 3. Here, the deformation of the lip 12 is deliberately exaggerated in order to make clear its functioning, the interaction with the lip of the adjacent tile, with which it has to come into contact of course. For the sake of greater clarity, the jointing compound has not been illustrated.

FIG. 4 shows a variant, in which, outside the raised portions 3 which form the groove 4, a further groove 14 is in each case provided in the supporting element 1, but there is no central raised portion (reference number 6 in FIG. 1). The raised portions 3 and/or those regions of the tile 2 opposite these have transverse grooves 15 which extend at least essentially at right angles to the joint 5. The end sides of the tiles 2 which face the joint 5 have longitudinal grooves 16. These longitudinal grooves extend preferably at right angles to the plane of the tiles 2 and, with the transverse grooves, serve for uniform and rising distribution of the sealing compound (not illustrated), which is originally introduced into the grooves 4, 14 of the supporting element 1 and fills the joint 5 when the tile 2 is applied. In this connection, the design of the height, length and width ratios of the raised portions or grooves can differ from those in the purely diagrammatic FIG. 4.

The invention is not limited to the illustrative embodiments shown and described but can be modified in various ways. The design of the tongue 10 can differ from that illustrated, and the strip 1 does not have to have the profile shown but can have other proportions or additional elements. The tongue 10 or its thickened portion 13 can come into contact either directly with the subsurface or with a correspondingly designed region of an element 1, and the thickened portion 13 can be of strip-shaped design or of point-shaped design at regular spacings, and so forth.

It is essential that the joint filler is, in the region of the joint being produced, either on the tile or on an adjusting element assigned to it, applied in or on a reservoir and is pressed out of the reservoir into the joint in the course of mounting of the tiles. Whether in this connection the components involved are rigid and interact in the manner of a piston/cylinder unit or the walls of the reservoir are at least partly flexible and the joint filler is pressed out of the reservoir by suitable deformation thereof is not of importance for achieving the aim of the invention.

Briefly, a first variant of the invention provides a covering for floors, walls, ceilings and similar subsurfaces, consisting of supporting and adjusting elements 1 fastened to or placed on the subsurface and of tiles 2 applied thereto, which consist if appropriate of a support plate 7 and a decorative plate 8, adjacent tiles 2 forming joints 5 between them, wherein parts of the covering have in the region of the joint 5 a reservoir for the joint filler, the volume of which reservoir is reduced when the tiles are applied, wherein the reservoir is at least one depression 4 in the supporting and adjusting elements 1, and wherein the tiles 2 have at least one projection 9 projecting into the depression.

A second variant of the invention provides a covering for floors, walls, ceilings and similar subsurfaces, consisting of supporting and adjusting elements 1 fastened to or placed on the subsurface and of tiles 2 applied thereto, which consist if appropriate of a support plate 7 and a decorative plate 8, adjacent tiles 2 forming joints 5 between them, wherein parts of the covering have in the region of the joint 5 a reservoir for the joint filler, the volume of which reservoir is reduced when the tiles are applied, and wherein the reservoir is a deformable pocket 11 provided on the tile 2′.





 
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