Title:
Modular stone surfacing system of block-cut seamless pieces
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A modular surfacing system provides solid seamless natural stone modular pieces cut from the same stone block for matching coloration and pattern. The pieces are cut into any desired sizes with wide edging of any desirable thickness and solid piece corners as well as mating modular surface tiles and mating modular backsplash tiles. Since all pieces are cut from a thick block of stone, such as marble or granite, horizontal, vertical, and depth cuts may be made of any desired length and shape to create truly matching modular pieces of any desired dimensions.



Inventors:
Shaw, Steve (Irvine, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/056993
Publication Date:
08/17/2006
Filing Date:
02/11/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/596
International Classes:
E04C2/04; E04D15/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
EPPES, BRYAN L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Donald W. Meeker (Newport Beach, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A modular surfacing system comprising: a series of natural stone modular surfacing pieces all cut from the same natural stone block, the modular pieces securable to an external surface in a surface covering array to form a modular surfacing system, each of the modular surfacing pieces cut into any desired vertical dimensions, any desired horizontal dimensions, any desired depth dimensions, and any desired shapes with adjacent modular pieces bearing matching natural patterns and colorations of the natural stone block from which all of the modular pieces were cut, each of the pieces comprising a solid seamless modular piece cut to mate with the other modular pieces to fit within the surface covering array including solid seamless modular surface tile pieces, solid seamless modular edge rail pieces each having a surface covering portion to mate with the modular surface tile pieces and an edge overhang portion of any desired dimension and shape, and solid seamless rail corner pieces, each having a surface covering portion to mate with the modular surface tile pieces and two orthogonal edge overhang portions of any desired dimension and shape to mate with the modular edge rail pieces.

2. The system of claim 1 further comprising solid seamless modular backsplash pieces comprising vertical pieces matching the tile pieces, the surface tile pieces each have at least one side equal in length to a length of a backsplash piece.

3. The system of claim 1 wherein the surface covering portion of each of the edge rail pieces comprises a horizontal surface matching the surface tile pieces in thickness and length and the edge overhang portion is configured in a decorative shape, the surface tile pieces each have at least one side equal in length to a length of an edge rail piece.

4. The system of claim 4 wherein the rail corner pieces each comprise a horizontal surface matching the surface tile pieces in thickness and length and each of the two edge overhang surfaces is configured in a decorative shape to mate with an adjacent edge rail piece.

5. The system of claim 1 wherein the edge rail pieces and the corner pieces each having mating edge overhang portions in an ogee configuration.

6. The system of claim 1 wherein the edge rail pieces and the corner pieces each have mating edge overhang portions in a bull nose configuration.

7. The system of claim 1 wherein the edge rail pieces and the corner pieces each have mating edge overhang portions in a square corner configuration.

8. The system of claim 1 further comprising solid seamless stone skirt pieces of any desired height between the edge overhang portions and an external vertical surface, each of the stone skirt pieces adhered to a back surface of an edge overhang portion.

9. The system of claim 1 further comprising a pair of matching orthogonal stone skirt pieces of any of a variety of matching heights between the edge overhang portions of a corner piece and an orthogonal intersection of two external vertical surfaces, the stone skirt pieces adhered to a back portion of each of the edge overhang surfaces.

10. The system of claim 1 wherein each of the pieces is pre-sealed with a water based sealer which penetrates into pores of the treated stone surface to form a barrier that is resistant to moisture and stains while allowing complete vapor transmission.

11. The system of claim 1 wherein the series of natural stone modular surfacing pieces are all cut from the same natural stone block larger in each dimension than a corresponding dimension of the modular piece so that the modular pieces may be of any desired dimension and shape.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to countertops of the type commonly used as kitchen, bathroom or office work surfaces, desk tops and furniture tops, and particularly to a modular granite or other natural stone surfacing system of solid seamless pieces cut from a single block, including edge rail pieces, corner pieces, tile pieces and backsplash pieces for countertops and other locations for an attractive moderately price durable finish that may be assembled with ease by a do-it-yourself consumer.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Countertops made of natural stone have become quite popular in kitchens, bathrooms, and offices. The growing popularity of stone countertops is due to the material having high durability, ease of cleaning and sterilization, and natural beauty. The high cost of granite slab installation, downtime for slab fabrication and limited availability of quality fabricators deters most homeowners from installing a granite countertop.

Prior art systems have not adequately solved the problem of providing a wide variety of sizes of modular solid stone pieces of surfacing components with truly mating coloration and patterns.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,258,190, issued Jul. 10, 2001 and U.S. Pat. No. 6,413,337, issued Jul. 2, 2002 both to Sciarrino, claim a natural stone edging tile having a top portion and a generally perpendicular facing portion can be mounted on the forward edge of a countertop substrate and has a portion extending rearward of the forward edge that is approximately half as thick as the forward edge and the same thickness as conventional stone tiles that can be mounted rearward of the edging tile. The conventional tiles have a thickness that is approximately half as thick as a typical stone slab countertop, but to a person viewing the countertop, the entire appears to have the substantial thickness of a typical slab countertop because the forward edge of the edging tile has such a thickness. These pieces are cut from stone slabs and are therefore limited in size of components, such as edging, and also less likely to form mating pieces because of cutting from a thin slab-rather than cutting from a large block enabling both vertical and horizontal cuts of any desired dimensions. The present invention does not require a skirt piece adhered to the edge and corner pieces since the actual edge overhang of the edge pieces and corner pieces of the present invention can be cut to any desired dimension to cover what a skirt normally covers, although a skirt may be used with the present invention if desired. The Sciarrino patents show corner pieces which are adhered together from two separate pieces thereby having a seam between the pieces. In the present invention the corner pieces as well as the edge pieces and all the others are each solid seamless pieces cut from solid stone.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,253,932, issued Oct. 19, 1993 to Nesovic, provides a modular countertop structure. It is supported by an underlying base and has a flat unedged surface-providing sheet supported by the base and having an edge including a peripheral recess, a preformed elongated edge facing with a rearward extending tongue which fits into the recess, and adhesive for directly bonding the sheet to the edge facing through their adjacent surfaces in the recess. The countertop sheet and the edge facing are made of materials which are impervious to moisture penetration, impact and scratching, including natural stone, synthetic stone-like material, ceramic, concrete, glass-like sheets, agglomerated stone, cement materials, metal or terrazzo. They may be made of the same or contrasting materials, so that the edge facing and the countertop present appearances which are the same or consistent with each other. In some embodiments, an underlying substrate will also be used to support the countertop sheets. The modular countertop structure or system of this invention has numerous advantages over the prior systems, such as ceramic tile systems. Components of the system can be pre-fabricated by mass production methods for delivery and simple assembly at the job site and can be manufactured using automated procedures and specialized machinery, thus eliminating the need for the current hand grinding and shaping used to finish such materials, thus reducing the costs of manufacture and installation and insuring uniform fit and finish of the countertops. The Nesovic patent is for slab installments rather than a tile and edging system. Nesovic has a single slab with an indented edge to which a flat (not overhanging) indented edge piece is interlocked to simulate a flat slab with no overhang. Nesovic intentionally provides a variety of different colors or patterns of slab and edging. The present invention claims a tiling type of modular surfacing system including edge pieces that overhang the side to any desired dimension and modular edge, corner, and tile (with optional backsplash) pieces all cut from the same block and all matching in coloration and pattern as well as size of adjacent pieces.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,378,257, issued Apr. 30, 2002 to Guerri, indicates a cladding component made of natural or synthetic stone for protruding parts in the building field, for example the front part of the steps of a staircase. The cladding component comprises a tile which has, at its front edge, a first strip and a second strip which are respectively arranged at right angles and parallel to the tile, are mutually rigidly coupled and form a sort of a reversed L-shaped profiled element, the exposed surface of the profiled element being faced and fixing materials being interposed in the interspace between the strips and the front edge portion of the tile. The Guerri patent has a one-piece top surface and a two-piece edge, one perpendicular down from the top and the other perpendicular from the first edge piece back under the top surface, such as for covering a stair edge. The present invention is a modular surfacing system comprising tile pieces and edge pieces and corner pieces which only overhang the edge, each of the pieces comprising solid seamless pieces all cut from the same stone block.

What is needed is a modular surfacing system of solid natural stone modular pieces cut from the same stone block for matching coloration and pattern and cut into any desired sizes with wide edging of any desirable thickness and solid piece corners as well as mating modular surface tiles and mating modular backsplash tiles.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide an attractive and cost effective modular surfacing system of solid seamless natural stone modular pieces cut from the same stone block for matching coloration and pattern and cut into any desired sizes with wide edging of any desirable thickness and solid piece corners as well as mating modular surface tiles and mating modular backsplash pieces which may be installed with minimal tile setting skills to produce an attractive all matching and lasting surface.

Another object of the present invention is to provide solid modular matching skirt pieces of any desired height between the overhangs and the vertical surfaces for the edge rail pieces and the corner pieces.

In brief, a modular surfacing system provides solid seamless natural stone modular pieces cut from the same stone block for matching coloration and pattern and cut into any desired sizes with wide edging of any desirable thickness and solid piece corners as well as mating modular surface tiles and mating modular backsplash tiles. Since all pieces are cut from a thick block of stone, such as marble, both horizontal and vertical cuts may be made of any desired length to create truly matching modular pieces of any desired dimensions.

An advantage of the present invention is that it provides an attractive and cost effective solid modular tile pieces.

Another advantage of the present invention is that the solid stone modular pieces are matched as closely as possible in coloration and style because they are all cut from the same block of stone, with only natural variations in the stone itself.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other details of my invention will be described in connection with the accompanying drawings, which are furnished only by way of illustration and not in limitation of the invention, and in which drawings:

FIG. 1A is a perspective view of a solid stone edge rail piece having a bull nose overhang and an optional mating solid stone skirt;

FIG. 1B is a perspective view of a solid stone edge rail piece having an ogee overhang and an optional mating solid stone skirt;

FIG. 1C is a perspective view of a solid stone edge rail piece having a square edge overhang and an optional mating solid stone skirt;

FIG. 2A is a perspective view of a solid stone corner piece having orthogonal mating bull nose overhangs and optional mating solid stone skirts;

FIG. 2B is a perspective view of a solid stone corner piece having orthogonal mating ogee overhangs and optional mating solid stone skirts;

FIG. 2C is a perspective view of a solid stone corner piece having orthogonal mating square edge overhangs and optional mating solid stone skirts;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a solid stone tile piece;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a solid stone backsplash piece;

FIG. 5 is an exploded perspective view of the modular surfacing pieces of the invention aligned for mounting on a cabinet:

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the modular surfacing pieces of the invention mounted on a cabinet to form a stone surface thereon;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a block of natural stone showing how the modular surfacing pieces of the invention are cut from the block.

BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

In FIGS. 1-4, a modular surfacing system comprises a series of solid seamless natural stone modular surfacing pieces all cut from the same stone block and cut into any desired mating vertical, horizontal, and depth dimensions with wide edging rail pieces 20A of any desirable thickness, mating solid rail corner pieces 20B, mating modular surface tile pieces 20C and mating modular backsplash pieces 20D, the modular pieces all matching in coloration and pattern.

In FIGS. 1A, 1B, and 1C, the seamless solid edging rail pieces 20A each comprise a horizontal surface 22 matching the surface tile pieces 20C in thickness “b” and an overhanging edge surface 21 A, 21 B, and 21 C of any desired vertical and horizontal dimension and any desired shape structured in a solid piece of stone with no seams.

In FIGS. 2A, 2B, and 2C, the seamless solid rail corner pieces 20B each comprise a horizontal surface 22 matching the surface tile pieces 20C in thickness “b” and two overhanging edge surfaces 21 A, 21 B, and 21 C each of any desired vertical and horizontal dimension and shape structured in a solid piece of stone with no seams.

In FIG. 3, the surface tile pieces 20C each have at least one side equal in length “a” to a length “a” of an edge rail piece 20A, in FIGS. 1A, 1B, and 1C.

In FIG. 3, the surface tile pieces 20C each have at least one side equal in length “a” to a length “a” of a backsplash piece 20D, in FIG. 4. The backsplash piece may be cut to any desired height, such as the height of the dashed line or the full height of the backsplash piece shown.

In FIGS. 1A and 2A, the edge rail pieces 20A and the corner pieces 20B each having mating overhangs 21A in an ogee configuration.

In FIGS. 1B and 2B, the edge rail pieces 20A and the corner pieces 20B each have mating overhangs 21B in a bull nose configuration.

In FIGS. 1C and 2C, the edge rail pieces 20A and the corner pieces 20B each have mating overhangs 21C in a square corner configuration.

In FIGS. 1A, 1B, and 1C, optional matching stone skirt piece 24 (shown dashed) of any desired height may be positioned between the overhang 21A, 21B, and 21C of an edge rail piece 20A and an external vertical surface, the stone skirt piece adhered to a back portion of the overhang.

In FIGS. 2A, 2B, and 2C, an optional pair of matching orthogonal stone skirt pieces 24 (shown dashed) of any of a variety of matching heights may be positioned between the overhangs 21A, 21B, and 21C of a corner piece and an orthogonal intersection of two external vertical surfaces, the stone skirt pieces adhered to a back portion of each of the overhangs 21A, 21B, and 21C.

In FIG. 7, a solid block 50 of solid natural stone, such as marble or granite, is cut along the straight lines to form the modular pieces 20A, 20B, 20C, and 20D of the modular surfacing system of the present invention. Some of the pieces, such as the edge rail pieces 20A and the rail corner pieces 20B require further shaping to create the edge overhang portion 21A, 21B, and 21C. and the surface contact space 23 (as seen in FIGS. 1A, 1B, 1C, 2A, 2B, and 2C) underneath the piece for receiving the edge of the exterior surface and for adhering to the exterior surface. All of the pieces are polished on the exposed surfaces and preferably pre-sealed.

The modular pieces 20A, 20B, 20C, and 20D are all cut from the same natural stone block 50 larger in each dimension than a corresponding dimension of the modular piece so that the modular pieces may be cut into any desired vertical dimensions, any desired horizontal dimensions, any desired depth dimensions, and any desired shapes. The modular pieces 20A, 20B, 20C, and 20D are preferably cut side by side from the stone block 50 in the same configuration that they will be arrayed to form a surfacing system covering an external surface, such the top 34 with the standard built-up siding and layers 31, 32, and 33 of a cabinet 30 to form a natural stone countertop, as shown with the modular surfacing pieces 20A, 20B, 20C, an 20D aligned for covering in FIG. 5 and in place forming the covering surface in FIG. 6.

In FIGS. 5 and 6, the modular pieces 20A, 20B, 20C, and 20D are secured to an external surface in a surface covering array to form a modular surfacing system. Adjacent modular pieces bear matching natural colorations and patterns 51 (in FIG. 6) of the natural stone block 50 from which all of the modular pieces were cut (as seen in FIG. 7), each of the pieces comprising a solid seamless modular piece cut to mate with the other modular pieces to fit within the surface covering array.

Each of the pieces is preferably pre-sealed with a water based sealer which penetrates into pores of the treated stone surface to form a barrier that is resistant to moisture and stains while allowing complete vapor transmission.

All of the modular surfacing pieces in each system are cut from the same block of solid stone, such as granite or marble or other finishing type of stone. The modular surfacing pieces may be applied to countertops, fire places, stairs, rails, or any other desired places where an attractive durable natural surface finish is desired. Since all pieces of the system are cut from a thick block of stone both horizontal and vertical cuts may be made of any desired length to create truly matching modular pieces of any desired dimensions.

It is understood that the preceding description is given merely by way of illustration and not in limitation of the invention and that various modifications may be made thereto without departing from the spirit of the invention as claimed.