Title:
Floor guard for cook line
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method for replacing a tile floor with a non-porous sheet comprises removing a plurality of tiles to expose a sub-floor in a replacement area, defining a pour volume above the sub floor in the replacement area, filling the pour volume with a settable material, and securing a non-porous sheet upon the settable material.



Inventors:
Hutto Jr., Joe (Pell City, AL, US)
Application Number:
11/079160
Publication Date:
09/14/2006
Filing Date:
03/14/2005
Assignee:
Durable Surfaces, LLC (Franklin, TN, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/747.11
International Classes:
E04G21/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CAJILIG, CHRISTINE T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PITTS & LAKE P C (KNOXVILLE, TN, US)
Claims:
Having thus described the aforementioned invention, we claim:

1. A method for replacing a tile floor with a non-porous sheet, said method comprising: removing a plurality of tiles to expose a sub-floor in a replacement area; defining a pour volume above said sub floor in said replacement area; filling said pour volume with a settable material; and securing a non-porous sheet upon said settable material.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein said pour volume is defined at least partially by a wall.

3. The method of claim 1 wherein said pour volume is defined at least partially by a flange secured to said sub-floor.

4. The method of claim 3 wherein said sheet includes a flange wall encapsulating said flange.

5. The method of claim 1 wherein said non-porous sheet comprises stainless steel.

6. The method of claim 1 wherein said sheet is secured to said sub-floor with fasteners.

7. The method of claim 1 and further comprising the step of installing a sloped surface for installing tiles to extend between pre-existing tiles and said non-porous sheet.

8. A floor guard installed in accordance with the method of claim 1.

9. A floor guard installed in accordance with the method of claim 2.

10. A floor guard installed in accordance with the method of claim 3.

11. A floor guard installed in accordance with the method of claim 4.

12. A floor guard installed in accordance with the method of claim 5.

13. A floor guard installed in accordance with the method of claim 6.

14. A floor guard installed in accordance with the method of claim 7.

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 replacing floor surfaces in commercial kitchens.

More particularly, this invention pertains to the removal of ceramic tile flooring under cooking equipment and replacement with a smooth, impervious and easily cleaned surface.

2. Description of the Related Art

In most commercial kitchens, such as in fast food establishments, for example, the floor surface usually comprises ceramic tile set in grout or mortar. This type of surface lends itself to frequent washing with water based cleaning solutions. However, when fryers are located in the commercial kitchen, hot grease is frequently spilled or spattered from the fryers onto the floor. Over extended periods of time, the grease penetrates the mortar. Eventually the ceramic tile floor begins to buckle, which in turn allows additional penetration by the grease and cleaning solutions. This creates an unclean and unhealthy environment in which microorganisms can grow in the kitchen environment.

One solution to the problem of buckling tile is to remove the tile and replace it with new tile and grout. However, this is a time consuming process which requires shutting down the kitchen equipment for several days. Also, it is only a temporary solution because the hot grease will eventually work its way back into the new grout and cause the floor to buckle again.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to one embodiment of the present invention, a method is provided for replacing a defined area of ceramic tile floor with a smooth, non-porous surface that is stable to support fryers and easily cleaned. In accordance with the method, the pre-existing ceramic tile and grout are removed to expose the sub-floor, which usually comprises a concrete pad. A pour volume is defined using the sub-floor, walls and/or flanges secured to the sub-floor. The pour volume is then filled with settable material, such as quick-setting concrete. A pre-formed sheet of a non-porous material, such as stainless steel, for example, is secured to the settable material, covering the pour volume and providing a smooth, non-porous surface for supporting kitchen equipment.

Another embodiment provides a sloped tile surface from the remaining tile floor to the edge of the pre-formed sheet.

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 elevation view of a floor guard constructed in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an elevation view of a portion of the floor guard depicted in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a plan view of a floor guard constructed in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to the drawings, in which like numbered items refer to like items, a method for replacing an area of ceramic tile floor with one or more sheets of smooth non-porous material is disclosed.

Referring to FIG. 3, a replacement area 8 of ceramic tile floor is defined by a rear wall 10, a left side wall 12 and a right side wall 14. The ceramic tile within the replacement area 8 is removed, as with scrapers, for example, to expose the sub-floor 20. Preferably, the tiles in rows 16 and 18, adjacent to the replacement area, are also removed. Thereafter, the concrete sub-floor 20 is thoroughly cleaned and degreased using cleansers and de-greasing agents well known in the art.

A flange 22, for example a 90° angle iron, is secured to the sub-floor 20 with a plurality of mechanical fasteners 24, for example ¼ inch drive pins. The flange in the depicted embodiment extends from the left side wall 12 to the right side wall 14. The height of the flange 22 above the sub-floor usually ranges from ½ inch to 1 inch, depending upon the thickness of the ceramic tile that was removed.

Cooperatively, the sub-floor 20, the rear wall 10, left side wall. 12, right side wall 14 and the flange 22 define a pour volume 24, which is then filled with a settable material 28 to provide a level surface that is flush with the top edge 26 of the flange 22 and extends to the rear wall 10, left side wall 12 and right side wall 14. The settable material 28 may comprise a high early strength concrete, a sand-cement dry bed grout or a self leveling fast-set floor repair compound and filler material. The selection of settable material 28 depends upon the thickness of the pour volume as well as the time constraints for completion of the installation, as will be recognized by those skilled in the art.

After the settable material has cured to a hardened state, which may require 2-3 hours, a smooth, non-porous sheet 30 is laid over the flange 22 and the cured settable material 28. Preferably, the sheet 30 comprises stainless steel, from 14 gauge to 20 gauge, and is pre-formed to define a flange wall 32 that is approximately perpendicular to the top surface 34 of the sheet 30. The flange wall 32 extends downwardly from the top surface 34 of the sheet 30. In position upon the settable material, the flange wall 32 encapsulates the flange 22 along with the settable material.

The dimensions of the sheet 30 are dependent upon the dimensions of the replacement area 8. The width of the sheet 30 generally ranges between 36 inches and 54 inches, however, 47 inches is the most common width to provide space for the kitchen equipment without extending too far into the kitchen workspace. The length of the sheet 30 generally ranges between 4 feet and 30 feet, depending upon the size and number of pieces of kitchen equipment that are installed.

The sheet 30 is preferably pre-drilled with 5/16 inch holes for attaching the sheet to the sub-floor with ¼ inch drive pin fasteners. A row of holes is spaced from the rear edge 36 by 3 inches and another row of holes from the front edge 38 by 3 inches. A third row of holes is located approximately midway between the front edge 38 and the rear edge 36. Each row of holes is set on 16 inch centers.

Commercially available stainless steel sheets generally have a maximum length of 10 feet. Accordingly, when the length of the replacement area exceeds 10 feet, at least two sheets 30 and 30a are used. Sheet 30 overlaps sheet 30a by about 6 inches adjacent to the right edge 40. As shown in FIG. 3, holes are drilled through both sheet 30 and sheet 30a in the overlapped area.

With the sheet 30 in position upon the settable material and the flange 22, holes are drilled through the pre-drilled holes in the sheet 30 and into the settable material 28 and the sub-floor 20 at the location of each of the holes drilled in the sheet 30. The sheet 30 is then anchored to the sub-floor 20 with ¼ inch drive pin fasteners 33. Thereafter, a bead of sealant 42, such as a two-part epoxy caulk, for example, is applied at the junction of the sheet 30 with the rear wall 10, left side wall 12 and right side wall 14.

In the area defined by the removed tile rows 16 and 18a sloped bed of fast-curing floor repair compound 46 extends from the proexisting row 44 of ceramic tiles to the flange wall 32 at a height whereby the top rear edge of the tile 48 is flush with the top surface 34 and the top front edge of the tile 50 is flush with the preexisting row of tiles 44. After the compound 46 has cured, rows of tiles 48 and 50 are adhesively applied to the cured compound 46 and grouted.

It will be recognized by those skilled in the art that one or more of the rear wall 10, left side wall 12 and/or right side wall 14 may be replaced with another flange similar to the flange 22 to define the pour volume 24. Also, the edges adjacent to side walls 12 and 14 and/or the rear wall 10 may include an upwardly extending flange for securing the sheet to the wall.

Those skilled in the art will recognize that various curable materials, fasteners and sheet material may be used without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

From the foregoing description, it will be recognized by those skilled in the art that an improved method for replacing a tile floor with a non-porous sheet has been provided. It is also a method that can be completed in a single night, so that the kitchen equipment is not out of commission for any appreciable period of time.

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.