Title:
Flooring element
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention relates to a flooring element having improved sound properties. According to the present invention, the flooring element consists of several layers, comprising a core layer and a wear layer which is disposed above the core layer, wherein the core layer comprises a pressure-resistant wood material and the wear layer comprises a polymer film. According to the present invention at least one cork layer which is connected with the core layer is present. According to the present invention, there is further provided a flooring element having several layers, comprising a core layer and a wear layer which is disposed above the core layer, wherein the core layer contains a pressure-resistant wood material and the wear layer contains foamed polyvinyl chloride having heterogeneous structure (cushion vinyl).



Inventors:
Mohr, Wolfgang (Michelstadt, DE)
Rosenberger, Johann (Oberleichtersbach, DE)
Application Number:
11/222048
Publication Date:
06/22/2006
Filing Date:
09/09/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04F15/22; B32B9/04; B32B21/08; E04F15/10
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Primary Examiner:
CHANG, VICTOR S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MILLEN, WHITE, ZELANO & BRANIGAN, P.C. (ARLINGTON, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letter Patent of the United States is:

1. A flooring element having several layers, comprising a core layer and a wear layer which is disposed above the core layer, said core layer comprising a pressure-resistant wood material and said wear layer comprising a polymer film, said flooring element further comprising at least one cork layer which is connected with the core layer.

2. The flooring element of claim 1, wherein the cork layer is disposed below the core layer.

3. The flooring element of claim 1, wherein the cork layer is disposed between the core layer and the wear layer.

4. The flooring element of claim 2, wherein the cork layer is disposed between the core layer and the wear layer.

5. The flooring element of claim 1, wherein the cork layer is a cork granulate layer each.

6. The flooring element of claim 5, wherein the cork layer has a layer thickness of between 1.0 and 3.0 mm each.

7. The flooring element of claim 1, wherein the polymer film of the wear layer contains a polymer which is selected from the group consisting of polyvinyl chlorides, polyesters, polyethylenes, polyurethanes and polyolefines.

8. The flooring element of claim 7, wherein the polymer film is a PVC film.

9. The flooring element of claim 1, wherein the polymer film is a printed or transparent polymer film.

10. The flooring element of claim 9, wherein the transparent polymer film is printed on the back side.

11. The flooring element of claim 1, wherein the wear layer is a sandwich of a printed polymer film and a transparent polymer film.

12. The flooring element of claim 1, wherein the polymer film has a layer thickness of between 0.15 and 0.70 mm.

13. The flooring element of claim 1, wherein the pressure-resistant wood material is a medium density fibre board (MDF) or a high density fibre board (HDF).

14. The flooring element of claim 13, wherein the core layer has a layer thickness of between 5.0 and 8.0 mm.

15. The flooring element of claim 1, wherein the wear layer contains a decorative layer.

16. A flooring element having several layers, comprising a core layer and a wear layer which is disposed above the core layer, said core layer containing a pressure-resistant wood material and said wear layer containing foamed polyvinyl chloride having heterogeneous structure (cushion vinyl).

17. The flooring element of claim 16, wherein the foamed polyvinyl chloride has a layer thickness of between 2.0 and 3.5 mm.

18. The flooring element of claim 16, wherein a cork layer is disposed below the core layer.

19. The flooring element of claim 18, wherein the cork layer is a cork granulate layer.

20. The flooring element of claim 19, wherein the cork layer has a layer thickness of between 1.0 and 3.0 mm.

21. The flooring element of claim 16, wherein the pressure-resistant wood material is a medium density fibre board (MDF) or a high density fibre board (HDF).

22. The flooring element of claim 21, wherein the core layer has a layer thickness of between 5.0 and 8.0 mm.

23. The flooring element of claim 16, wherein the wear layer contains a decorative layer.

Description:

FIELD OF INVENTION

The present invention relates to a flooring having several layers, comprising a core layer (carrier plate) and a wear layer which is disposed above the core layer.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Hard floorings can be strongly bound to the ground by adhesive bonding or otherwise fixing or they can be laid in a floating manner. Hard floorings which were laid in a floating manner, such as laminate floors, have the disadvantage that at walking on or loading they give way and set the surrounding air audibly vibrating. The sound noise which is generated with that is on the one hand the so-called subsonic sound which at walking on a flooring reaches the rooms below it and on the other hand the so-called walking sound, namely the resonance which is emitted upwards into the room.

Laminate floorings are known from the state of the art. In principle, a laminate is a plate or sheet which consists of a core layer or carrier plate, an antiabrasion layer (protective layer), a stabilizing layer counter draw layer and a decorative layer which is often printed with decorative wood patterns. The stabilizing layer prevents a deformation of the sheet, the antiabrasion layer—also referred to as overlay—, often a melamine resin surface, prevents a damage of the decorative layer. However, colloquially by laminate is meant a flooring which is often used as a replacement for costly parquet. Laminate floors are featured by high stressability which is classified into different classes of stress. Today, almost only laminate floors are produced which can be laid without any glue, most often in the form of click laminate with which one panel clicks into place or engages with the other.

The laminate fibre boards are formed out of wood fibres or other lignocellulose materials which are achieved by mechanically grinding of the raw materials. The process is conducted at a high temperature in a vapour environment under pressure.

Especially with the above described laminate floor, the walking noise which occurs in the form of subsonic sound and walking sound is found a nuisance (drum effect). Because of this reason, the different bed plates/webs are used for reducing this sound. In detail, these are for example wood fibre insulation layers, rubber mats, rubber cork granulate plates, foamed polyethylene webs, polyurethane webs, etc. All these bed plates/webs reduce the subsonic sound, i.e. those sound which reaches at walking through the ceiling the rooms below it, but they reduce the walking sound which is emitted from the flooring back into the room only in a very small amount and the walking noise will there be found a nuisance.

Partially the laminate floors are also adhesively laminated on the back side with insulation sheets/webs. But this also does not result in a significant reduction of sound in the room. In addition the disposal of such composite elements creates enormous problems. As another method, very often an adhesive bonding of the laminate floor on the ground is conducted which however may lead to problems for various different reasons. With this manner of sound protection, for example imperfections during the laying can only be corrected with great difficulties or even not at all, without completely removing the covering of the room. However here, the walking sound is hardly reduced.

German utility model DE 7236239 U discloses a decorative plate of a foamed plastic layer and an outer layer forming the exposed area which may also consist of cork.

DE 43 32 845 A1 discloses a sound-absorbing ceiling element with a punched metal sheet having a sound-absorbing coating which may consist of a foamed plastic film.

DE 198 51 656 A1 discloses a floor board with which the subsonic sound should be absorbed. At the underside of the flooring, there is arranged a sound-absorbing panel for room respectively subsonic sound insulation. The sound-absorbing panel may be a composite material of polyurethane bonded rubber granulates or cork and rubber granulates. This document does not disclose a flooring element with a wear layer which is disposed on a core layer and comprises a polymer film.

German utility model DE 203 11 569 U1 discloses a floor laminate having a core layer with a wear layer which is disposed above it, wherein between the core layer and the wear layer a decorative layer is arranged. Here the core layer may be a HDF board. The use of a MDF board is not disclosed. The wear layer may consist of radiation cured polyester.

German utility model DE 86 18 554 U1 discloses a flooring element which comprises a wooden core layer with a plastic film which is disposed above it which may for example consist of polyethylene. Here the film may be transparent. However with this construction, there cannot be achieved sufficient sound properties.

EP 1 262 607 A1 discloses a floor sheet with a core layer of wood material, such as for example MDF or HDF, a decorative layer disposed thereon and a wear layer. Here the wear layer may be a polyester film and may be transparent, so that the decorative layer can still be seen.

In the sense of this application, in this document no difference is made between subsonic sound and walking sound. The subsonic sound insulation is effected by a polyurethane coating which is applied on the back side of the decorative layer, for example by coating or as a film by adhesive bonding. This construction is relatively labour-intensive and costly. Nevertheless, only insufficient sound properties can be achieved with it.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention was to provide a flooring having improved sound properties which can be laid in an easy way.

According to the present invention, the object is solved by a flooring element having several layers, comprising a core layer or carrier plate and a wear layer which is disposed above the core layer, wherein the core layer comprises a pressure-resistant wood material and the wear layer comprises a polymer film.

According to a further aspect of the present invention, the object is solved by a flooring element having several layers, comprising a core layer or carrier plate and a wear layer which is disposed above the core layer, wherein the core layer contains or includes a pressure-resistant wood material and the wear layer contains or includes foamed polyvinyl chloride (cushion vinyl) having heterogeneous structure.

According to a further preferred embodiment, in such a flooring element between the core layer and the wear layer a cork layer may be present. Here, in addition at the underside of the core layer an additional cork layer may be present. Such a cork layer is preferably formed out of a pressed or bonded cork granulate layer.

Surprisingly it was found that with the subject matter of the present invention a significant reduction of subsonic sound, ambience sound, structure-borne sound and in particular walking sound together with a pleasant hearing sensation can be achieved. At the same time, the energy impacts which are caused by steps are absorbed and so the walking convenience increases noticeably.

In addition, all flooring elements according to the present invention may have lightfast surfaces. So, a fading of the decorative patterns is prevented and a repositioning of carpets is always allowed. In addition, a high impact resistance and high abrasion values can be achieved. Especially both alternative wear layers of the flooring element according to the present invention have a significant influence on the quality of the flooring. Shape stability, insensitivity to pressure and impacts as well as easy care are the results.

According to the present invention, as a pressure-resistant wood material for the core layer a fibre board having medium density (known on this field as MDF or medium density fibre board) or a fibre board having high density (known on this field as HDF or highly compressed fibre board) are used. MDF and HDF boards are featured by low production costs and at the same time high loadability and very good processability. MDF or HDF fibre boards are formed for example under dry conditions, wherein the fibres are dried prior the formation of the so-called mattress which is subsequently pressed and treated with heat curing resins without water and reduced pressure. Due to their consistence, connection elements, such as for example tongue-groove-connections, can be formed front-side and/or alongside in an easy and durable manner.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the following, the invention is described in an exemplary way and with reference to the accompanying drawings by which further features, advantages and objects to be solved will become obvious and wherein:

FIG. 1a shows in a cross-sectional view a flooring element according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 1b shows in a cross-sectional view a flooring element according to a further embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 shows in a cross-sectional view a flooring element according to a further embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3a shows in a cross-sectional view a flooring element according to a further embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 3b shows in a cross-sectional view a flooring element according to a further embodiment of the present invention.

In the figures, identical numerals refer to identical or equivalent elements or groups of elements.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1a shows a particular embodiment of the flooring according to the present invention, wherein on the surface of the core layer 2 a wear layer 1 with polymer film is applied. At the underside of the core layer 2, a cork layer 3 is disposed.

FIG. 1b shows a further embodiment of the flooring according to the present invention, wherein on the surface of the core layer 2 a wear layer 1 of foamed polyvinyl chloride having heterogeneous structure (cushion vinyl) is applied. At the underside of the core layer 2, a cork layer 3 is disposed.

FIG. 2 shows a further embodiment of the flooring according to the present invention, wherein on the surface of the core layer 2 a cork layer 3′ is applied. On the surface of the cork layer 3′ a wear layer with polymer film having heterogeneous structure is applied. At the underside of the core layer 2, a cork layer 3 is disposed.

FIG. 3a shows a further embodiment of the flooring according to the present invention, wherein on the surface of the core layer 2 a wear layer 1 of foamed polyvinyl chloride having heterogeneous structure (cushion vinyl) is applied.

FIG. 3b shows a further embodiment of the flooring according to the present invention, wherein on the surface of the core layer 2 a wear layer 1 of polymer film is applied.

Thus, the flooring according to the present invention comprises several layers. Here one layer is a carrier layer (core layer). This core layer may consist of pressure-resistant wood material, for example it may be formed as a medium density (MDF) or high density or highly compressed (HDF) fibre board. The layer thickness of the core layer ranges preferably from 5.0 to 8.0 mm. For the precisely tailored connection of the floorings, the core layer may in addition have a profile, for example projected edges or edges for a tongue-groove-connection. This facilitates an easy laying and a stable connection. These profiles may be disposed front-side and/or alongside.

Above the core layer a wear layer is provided. Here, the wear layer may contain a decorative layer. In one embodiment the wear layer comprises a polymer film, for example of polyvinyl chloride, polyester, polyethylene, polyurethane or polyolefin or a mixture of these polymers.

In another embodiment, the flooring according to the present invention comprises a wear layer which contains foamed polyvinyl chloride having heterogeneous structure (cushion vinyl). Foamed polyvinyl chloride, also referred to as cushion vinyl, comprises a foamed core which is arranged between two or more vinyl plies. By the foamed core, further sound absorption can be achieved. The foamed polyvinyl chloride may be suitably coloured or printed.

The polymer film may be a printed or transparent polymer film. In a particular embodiment of the flooring according to the present invention, the transparent polymer film may be printed at the back side. The wear layer which contains a polymer film has preferably a layer thickness of between 0.15 and 0.70 mm. The wear layer which contains a foamed polyvinyl chloride has preferably a layer thickness of between 2.0 and 3.5 mm.

According to a further embodiment, the wear layer is a sandwich of a printed polymer film and a transparent polymer film. Such a composite may be suitably prefabricated in an easy way, for example in correspondence with the individual demands on the flooring element, and can then be connected with the core layer in a suitable manner.

One embodiment of the flooring according to the present invention has an additional cork layer below the core layer. In addition, in a further embodiment of the flooring according to the present invention, between the core layer and the wear layer a further cork layer may be present. Here, the cork layers may consist of a bonded or pressed cork granulate layer.

The cork layers have preferably a layer thickness of between 1.0 and 3.0 mm each.

As will be obvious for a person skilled in the art without further ado, the flooring elements which are shown in the figures can be fit together to floorings in a suitable manner known from the state of the art. Due to the low production costs, flooring elements with a MDF core layer may preferably be used for private use, whereas flooring elements with the HDF core layers which are stronger and have a high loadability may preferably be used for example in the business field.

Without further elaboration, it is believed that one skilled in the art can, using the preceding description, utilize the present invention to its fullest extent. The following preferred specific embodiments are, therefore, to be construed as merely illustrative, and not limitative of the remainder of the disclosure in any way whatsoever.

In the foregoing and in the following examples, all temperatures are set forth uncorrected in degrees Celsius and, all parts and percentages are by weight, unless otherwise indicated.

The entire disclosure of all applications, patents and publications, cited herein and of corresponding German application No. 20 2004 014 160.4, filed Sep. 9, 2004, is incorporated by reference herein.

The preceding examples can be repeated with similar success by substituting the generically or specifically described reactants and/or operating conditions of this invention for those used in the preceding examples.

From the foregoing description, one skilled in the art can easily ascertain the essential characteristics of this invention and, without departing from the spirit and scope thereof, can make various changes and modifications of the invention to adapt it to various usages and conditions.