Title:
Composite decking board fastening system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A fastening system is provided for securing decking boards to underlying joists for decking applications. In certain example embodiments, substantially U-shaped mounts are provided over the top of respective joists of a deck, and at least double-sided tape is used to adhere overlying composite decking boards to the U-shaped mounts and thus on the joists.



Inventors:
Crostic, William H. (Simpsonville, SC, US)
Application Number:
11/455219
Publication Date:
12/20/2007
Filing Date:
06/19/2006
Assignee:
Guardian Building Products, Inc. (Greer, NC, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04C1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WENDELL, MARK R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DORITY & MANNING, P.A. (GREENVILLE, SC, US)
Claims:
1. A deck comprising: a plurality of substantially parallel joists; at least some of the joists including polymer-based substantially U-shaped mounts attached to top end portions thereof; a plurality of composite decking boards arranged crossing over the joists; and wherein double-sided tape is provided between bottom surfaces of the composite decking boards and the polymer-based substantially U-shaped mounts so as to adhere the decking boards to the joists.

2. The deck of claim 1, wherein on each joist at least one of the substantially U-shaped mounts is located between and contacting: (a) a bottom side of the double-sided tape, and (b) a top end of the joist.

3. The deck of claim 2, wherein the top end of each joist fits into a channel defined between substantially parallel sidewalls of a corresponding substantially U-shaped mount(s) on said joist.

4. The deck of claim 1, wherein the composite decking boards are foamed.

5. The deck of claim 1, wherein the composite decking boards comprise from about 35-75% polymer-based material and from about 25-60% fiber.

6. The deck of claim 5, wherein the polymer-based material includes one or more of polyethylene, polyvinyl-chloride, and polypropylene, and wherein the fiber includes wood fiber and/or glass fiber.

7. The deck of claim 5, wherein the substantially U-shaped mounts comprise polyethylene.

8. A deck comprising: a plurality of substantially parallel joists; at least some of the joists including substantially U-shaped mounts attached to top end portions thereof; a plurality of decking boards arranged crossing over the joists; and wherein double-sided tape is provided between bottom surfaces of the decking boards and the substantially U-shaped mounts so as to adhere the decking boards to the joists.

9. A joist for use in making a deck, the joist comprising: a wood member adapted to be used as a joist in a deck, a substantially U-shaped mount provided over a top end of the wood member; and double-sided tape adhered to a surface of the substantially U-shaped mount facing away from the wood member.

10. The joist of claim 9, wherein the substantially U-shaped mount is polymer-based.

11. The joist of claim 9, wherein the substantially U-shaped mount is nailed and/or screwed to the wood member, and comprises polyethylene.

12. A method of making a deck, the method comprising: providing a plurality of substantially parallel joists; and using double-sided tape to attached overlying decking boards to the joists.

13. The method of claim 12, further comprising: providing polymer-based substantially U-shaped mounts on top ends of at least some of the joists, so that the tape is located between the substantially U-shaped mounts and bottom sides of the decking boards.

14. The method of claim 13, wherein the top end of each joist fits into a channel defined between substantially parallel sidewalls of a corresponding substantially U-shaped mount(s) on the joist.

15. The method of claim 12, wherein the decking boards are composite and foamed.

16. The method of claim 12, wherein the decking boards are composite and comprise from about 35-75% polymer-based material and from about 25-60% fiber.

17. The method of claim 16, wherein the polymer-based material includes one or more of polyethylene, polyvinyl-chloride, and polypropylene, and wherein the fiber includes wood fiber and/or glass fiber.

Description:
This invention relates to a fastening system for securing decking boards to underlying joists for decking applications. In certain example embodiments, substantially U-shaped mounts are provided over the top of respective joists of a deck, and at least double-sided tape is used to adhere overlying composite decking boards to the U-shaped mounts and thus on the joists.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Decks for people to walk or relax on are known in the art, and are most often provided on the rear or side portions of residential homes. However, decks are also provided for apartments, restaurants, and so forth.

Typically, a deck includes a plurality of substantially parallel decking boards fastened to and overlying a plurality of substantially parallel joists. In certain instances, the joists are aligned in a direction perpendicular to the alignment direction of the decking boards. Typically, the joists are made of wood and the decking boards are made of either pure wood or wood-plastic composite.

The decking boards are typically attached to the underlying joists via nails or screws which extend through the decking boards from the tops thereof and into the joists. However, the presence and viewing of thousands of screws or nails across the entirety of one's deck is not particularly aesthetically pleasing. In other words, many home or business owners do not desire to see the tops of thousands of screws and/or nails across the entirety of their deck(s).

Thus, it will be appreciated that there exists a need in the art for a decking system which can fasten/attach the decking boards to the underlying joists in a more aesthetically pleasing manner. For example, there exists a need in the art for a decking system that can fasten/attach the decking boards to the underlying joists with a reduced or minimal number of nail/screw heads showing on the walking surface of the deck.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF EXAMPLE EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

Certain example embodiments of this invention relate to a fastening system for securing decking boards to underlying joists for decking applications. In certain example embodiments, substantially U-shaped (when viewed cross-sectionally) mounts are provided over the top of respective joists of a deck, and at least double-sided tape is used to adhere overlying composite decking boards to the U-shaped mounts and thus attach the decking boards to the joists. In certain example instances, screws or nails may be used to supplement the double-sided tape attachment system (e.g., at or around the periphery of the deck, or possibly at some locations in non-periphery areas).

In certain example embodiments of this invention, there is provided a deck comprising: a plurality of substantially parallel joists; at least some of the joists including polymer-based substantially U-shaped mounts attached to top end portions thereof; a plurality of composite decking boards arranged crossing over the joists; and wherein double-sided tape is provided between bottom surfaces of the composite decking boards and the polymer-based substantially U-shaped mounts so as to adhere the decking boards to the joists.

In certain other example embodiments of this invention, there is provided a method of making a deck, the method comprising: providing a plurality of substantially parallel joists; and using double-sided tape to attached overlying decking boards to the joists.

In still further example embodiments of this invention, there is provided a joist for use in making a deck, the joist comprising: a wood member adapted to be used as a joist in a deck, a substantially U-shaped mount provided over a top end of the wood member; and double-sided tape adhered to a surface of the substantially U-shaped mount facing away from the wood member.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of part of a decking system according to an example embodiment of this invention.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged perspective view of the decking system of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a joist with a U-shaped mount and double-sided tape provided thereon, that may be used in the decking system of FIGS. 1-2.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of a U-shaped mount with double-sided tape thereon according to an example embodiment of this invention; which mount may be used in the decking system of FIGS. 1-3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring now more particularly to the accompanying drawings in which like reference numerals indicate like parts throughout the several views.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a decking system according to an example embodiment of this invention, and FIG. 2 is an enlarged perspective view of the decking system of FIG. 1. Meanwhile, FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a joist (having a mount and tape thereon) that is used in the FIG. 1-2 decking system, and FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of a U-shaped mount (having tape thereon) that is used in the FIG. 1-2 decking system.

Referring to FIGS. 1-4, certain example embodiments of this invention relate to a fastening system for securing composite decking boards 1 to underlying joists 3 for decking applications. In certain example embodiments, substantially U-shaped mounts 5 are provided over a substantial portion of the top end surface of respective joists 3 of a deck. At least double-sided tape 7 is used to adhere overlying composite decking boards 1 to the U-shaped mounts 5 and thus attach the decking boards 1 to the joists 3. In certain example instances, screws or nails (not shown) may be used to supplement the double-sided tape attachment system (e.g., at or around the periphery of the deck, or possibly at some locations in non-periphery areas).

In order to support the decking boards 1, the joists 3 are typically made of wood or the like and are arranged so that their respective major surfaces 3a, 3b are approximately parallel to each other and are perpendicular to the ground. Thus, the bottom end 3c of each joist 3 is the part of the joist which is closest to the ground whereas the top end 3d of each joist 3 is the portion of the joist which is furthest from the ground. The plurality of joists 3 are substantially parallel (e.g., parallel plus/minus about 10% or 15%) to each other as shown in FIGS. 1-2, in certain example embodiments of this invention. As will be appreciated by those of skill in the art, joists 3 are typically connected to other framing and/or support(s) (which may or may not be part of the house or building to which the deck may be attached), not shown, in certain example embodiments of this invention.

Substantially U-shaped mounts 5 are substantially U-shaped in cross section (e.g., see FIG. 4). Mounts 5 each include a pair of substantially parallel sidewalls 5a which are connected by top wall 5b. In certain example embodiments of this invention, the top wall 5b is substantially perpendicular to the sidewalls 5a (e.g., see FIG. 4). A channel 6 is defined between the sidewalls 5a into which the top end of a joist 3 fits. Moreover, double-sided tape 7 (e.g., foam tape or any other suitable type of double-sided tape) is provided on the exterior major surface of top wall 5b of each mount 5. As will be appreciated, the tape 7 is for adhering the decking boards 1 to the mount 5 and joists 3. In certain example embodiments of this invention, substantially U-shaped mounts 5 are made of a plastic (e.g., of or including polyethylene). While polymer-based mounts 5 are preferably made of a plastic such as polyethylene (PE) in certain example embodiments of this invention so as to achieve good adherence to the double-sided tape (the tape will not adhere to metal nearly as well as to plastic), it is possible that other materials may instead be used.

In making a deck according to an example embodiment of this invention, the joists 3 are delivered to the work site. The joists may be delivered to the work site with the mounts 5 and tape 7 already thereon. In such instances, the double-sided tape 7 is already adhered to the top wall 5b of each mount 5 via the tape's adhesive on its bottom side (e.g., see FIG. 3). However, at this point, a protective peel-off film (not shown) may be provided on the top side of the tape 7 to protect its exterior adhesive surface so that unwanted items (e.g., dirt, boards, etc.) do not adhere thereto prematurely. Alternatively, the joists 3 may be delivered to the worksite without the mounts 5 and tape 7 thereon. In such situations, the substantially U-shaped mounts 5 may be attached to the top ends 3d of the joists 5 at the work site by fitting the mounts 5 over the top ends 3d of the joists so that the top ends 3d of the joists fit into the channels 6 of the mounts 5, and then using a nail gun or the like to nail the mounts 5 to the joists 3 using attachment holes 11 or the like. In other words, nails, screws or the like may be inserted into holes 11 (or alternatively through solid portions of the mount) in order to securely fasten the substantially U-shaped mounts 5 to the joists 3.

The plurality of joists 3 are secured in a manner substantially parallel to themselves as shown in FIGS. 1-2. In the case where the mounts 5 and/or tape 7 have not been previously attached to the top ends 3d of the joists, they may be so attached at this point in the deck making process after the joists are secured in position as shown in FIGS. 1-2. As discussed herein, tape 7 is of the double-sided type so that it has adhesive on both major surfaces/sides thereof.

Accordingly, one now has a deck part-way completed including the joists 3 (having mounts 5 and tape 7 thereon), but no decking boards 1 attached thereto. When the deck maker(s) is ready to attach the decking boards 1 to the joists 3, the protective film (not shown) on the outer side of the tape 7 may be peeled off (either entirely or part-way only to the extent of the width of several decking boards). Then, the decking boards 1 are laid down across several joists 3 as shown in FIGS. 1-2, so that the bottom surface of each decking board 1 comes into contact with the outer adhesive side of double-sided tape 7 on at least two joists 3. Thus, the double-sided tape 7 adheres the decking boards 1 to the substantially U-shaped mounts 5 and thus also to the top of the joists 3. One can now walk or stand on the deck, on top of the decking boards 1. Advantageously, at this point, no aesthetically displeasing screws or nails are easily viewed on the top or walking surface of the deck (i.e., decking boards 1 need not have any screws or nails provided through the top surfaces thereof in certain example instances, thereby making the deck more aesthetically pleasing to view).

After the decking boards 1 have been attached to the joists using the double-sided tape system including tape 7 and mounts 5, optionally screws and/or nails may be used to further attach (supplement) the boards 1 to the joists 3 in a conventional manner at several locations. However, not as many nails/screws need to be used as would be required without the double-sided tape attachment system, so that the deck is more aesthetically pleasing to view than if many more screws/nails were used as in a conventional deck.

While the decking boards 1 of this invention may be of any suitable material, composite decking boards are desired in most instances. This is because double-sided tape 7 does not adhere particularly well to pure wood or metal. Thus, in certain preferred example embodiments of this invention, both the substantially U-shaped mounts 5 and the decking boards 1 are polymer-based. In certain example embodiment of this invention, the decking boards 1 are composite decking boards meaning that the boards include a mixture of different materials. Example composite materials which may be used for decking boards 1 in certain example embodiments of this invention are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,847,016, U.S. Pat. No. 6,344,268, U.S. Pat. No. 5,851,469, U.S. Pat. No. 5,850,720, U.S. Pat. No. 5,082,605, U.S. Pat. No. 5,088,910, U.S. Pat. No. 5,406,768, the disclosures of which are all hereby incorporated herein by reference. In certain example embodiments of this invention, the decking boards 1 may contain from about 35-75% polymer-based material(s) (including but not limited to one or more of polyethylene, polyvinyl-chloride, polypropylene, nylon, polyester(s), polysulfone(s), epoxies, and/or the like) and from about 25-60% fiber. The fiber portion of the composite may be made up of one or more of wood fiber, glass fiber, cotton fiber, carbon fiber, graphite fiber, and/or the like. Additionally, it is possible for the boards 1 to further include filler material such as carbonate, talc, silica, and/or the like. Moreover, the decking boards 1 may be foamed in certain example embodiments of this invention. While the decking boards 1 are composite in certain preferred example embodiments of this invention, the joists 3 are of wood or metal in certain preferred example embodiments of this invention for added strength purposes.

Advantageously, the double-sided tape attachment system also provides a buffer for thermal expansion which the decking boards are typically subjected to. In particular, the double-sided tape 7 may permit more thermal expansion/contraction of the boards 1 during hot and cold spells than if only screws or nails were used to adhere the boards 1 to the joists 3. Thus, there is also a structural advantage associated with using the fastening system according to certain example embodiments of this invention.

Yet another advantage associated with certain example embodiments of this invention is that the substantially U-shaped mounts 5 substantially seal the top ends 3d of the joists 3. In other words, the mounts 5 cover substantial portions of the top ends 3d of the joists 3 thereby reducing the amount of moisture which can enter the joists at the top ends thereof. This can extend the effective lifetime of the joists 3, and can also provide for a decking having less expansion/contraction through the seasons because less moisture gets into the joists. Less warping of the joists 3 may also result from this advantage.

While the invention has been described in connection with what is presently considered to be the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is to be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the disclosed embodiment, but on the contrary, is intended to cover various modifications and equivalent arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.