Title:
Transitional flooring trowel and method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A transitional flooring trowel (1) for creating transitional flooring ramps wherein a transitional flooring trowel (1) has a body (20), which is preferably rectangular having a bottom side (3), a top side (2), a front end (4), a rear end (5) and two sides (6), and an extension (19) thinner than the body which extends from a top side (2) of the body (20), which in turn creates a predeterminedly sized cut-out section (7) beneath the extension (19) having a predetermined height (21). The height (21) of the cut-out section (7) is preferably ⅜″ from the bottom side (3), which corresponds to the most popular transitional height required from pre-existing flooring material (9) to tile, although different cut-out sections (7) may be used to create different heights (21). An optional adjustment screw (13) may extend through the extension (19) so as to raise and lower a slidable section (12) of the trowel (1) a predetermined height (21) to adjust the height (21) of the transition between new (8) and pre-existing flooring material (9). Another adjustment devices is an optional sleeve (17) that slides over the extension (19) so as to increase the height (21) between the extension (19) and the new flooring material (8).



Inventors:
Knapp, Kevin K. (Fort Myers, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/593303
Publication Date:
06/05/2008
Filing Date:
11/06/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04C3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SCHILLER, ALINA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LIVINGSTON LOEFFLER, P.A. (NAPLES, FL, US)
Claims:
Having thus described my invention, I claim:

1. A transitional flooring trowel comprising: a body having a top side, a bottom side, a front end, a back end and two sides of a predetermined thickness; and an extension of a predetermined length extending from at least one end of said body sharing a same surface as the top side and having only a partial thickness of the two sides, wherein said extension creates a cut-out section of a predetermined height that varies with a desired transition between flooring.

2. The transitional flooring trowel of claim 1 wherein: said predetermined height is ⅜″.

3. The transitional flooring trowel of claim 1 wherein: said body and said extension are aluminum.

4. The transitional flooring trowel of claim 2 wherein: said body and said extension are aluminum.

5. The transitional flooring trowel of claim 1 wherein: said body and said extension are plastic.

6. The transitional flooring trowel of claim 2 wherein: said body and said extension are plastic.

7. The transitional flooring trowel of claim 1 further comprising: a handle attached to said body.

8. The transitional flooring trowel of claim 2 further comprising: a handle attached to said body.

9. The transitional flooring trowel of claim 1 further comprising: a removable sleeve that is placed on said extension.

10. The transitional flooring trowel of claim 2 further comprising: a removable sleeve that is placed on said extension.

11. The transitional flooring trowel of claim 1 further comprising: an adjustment screw extending through said extension; and a slidable section connected to said adjustment screw in order that a transitional height between flooring can be adjusted as desired.

12. The transitional flooring trowel of claim 11 further comprising: a track located within said body; an arm extending from said slidable section into said track.

13. The transitional flooring trowel of claim 11 further comprising: an adjustment knob located on said adjustment screw; and a channel located within said extension that permits said adjustment screw to extend therethrough.

14. A transitional flooring trowel comprising: a body having a top side, a bottom side, a front end, a back end and two sides of a predetermined thickness; and an extension of a predetermined length extending from at least one end of said body sharing a same surface as the top side and having only a partial thickness of the two sides, wherein said extension creates a cut-out section of ⅜ that is a desired transition between flooring.

15. A method for using a transitional flooring trowel for creating transitional flooring ramps comprising a body having a top side, a bottom side, a front end, a back end and two sides of a predetermined thickness; and an extension of a predetermined length extending from at least one end of said body sharing a same surface as the top side and having only a partial thickness of the two sides, wherein said extension creates a cut-out section of a predetermined height that varies with a desired transition between flooring, said method comprising steps of: a. installing a new flooring material; b. pouring a ramp mixture onto a pre-existing flooring material located adjacent to said new flooring material; c. allowing said ramp mixture to dry for a predetermined amount of time; d. placing said bottom edge onto said pre-existing flooring material; e. placing said extension over said new flooring material so the cut-out section is against the new flooring material; and f. moving said trowel along said ramp mixture so as to remove a predetermined amount of said ramp mixture.

16. The method of claim 15 wherein: said cut-out section is ⅜″.

17. The method of claim 15 further comprising a step after step d of: moving said trowel along said ramp mixture so as to remove a predetermined amount of said ramp mixture.

18. The method of claim 15 wherein said transitional flooring trowel further comprises: a removable sleeve that is placed on said extension.

19. The method of claim 15 wherein said transitional flooring trowel further comprises: an adjustment screw extending through said extension; and a slidable section connected to said adjustment screw in order that a transitional height between flooring can be adjusted as desired.

20. The method of claim 19 and further comprising a step prior to step d of: adjusting said slidable section to a predetermined height.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to trowels, more particularly, a trowel that permits a person to quickly and easily create a ramp to transition a first flooring material to a second flooring material.

When installing a new flooring material within a home or business, a difference in height occurs between the pre-existing flooring material and the new flooring material. For instance, oftentimes when a person installs carpet in one room but keeps tile in an adjacent room, a great height differential between the new carpet and the old tile occurs. Usually the pre-existing and new flooring come together within a doorway; however, they may also meet together along an imaginary line that defines one room from another. In order to reduce the number of accidents and increase the aesthetic appeal of the pre-existing to new flooring match up, various devices and methods are used so as to smoothly transition the floor of lesser height to the floor of greater height.

For instance, rubber ramps are commonly used to increase the height of an existing floor so as to smoothly transition the floor height of a pre-existing flooring to a newly installed flooring, such as tile, marble, carpet, etc. However, the costs associated with using rubber ramps can be high.

An alternative method commonly used in the industry is to smoothly transition the height of the pre-existing floor to the height of a new floor by utilizing floor patch or cement to increase the height of the old floor. Although the use of floor patch or cement is less expensive than nibber ramps, more time is required to properly create the ramp as it must be level and comply with predetermined building codes for ramp slopes. Thus, although the cost of supplies to create a ramp by utilizing floor patch or cement is less than that of rubber ramps, a greater amount of money is spent on labor to create the ramp. In addition, if the transitional ramp is constructed without using a pre-sized rubber ramp, oftentimes there is lack of uniformity between transitional ramps within a home or building due to human error.

Thus, a need exists for a transitional flooring trowel that permits a person to quickly and easily create transitional flooring ramps that are level, correspond to applicable building codes and are uniform.

The relevant prior art includes the following references:

Patent No.
(U.S. unless stated otherwise)InventorIssue/Publication Date
4,702,641Naser et al.Oct. 27, 1987
6,779,945Saffo, Sr.Aug. 24, 2004
2002/0129452Pelosi, Jr.Sep. 19, 2002
6,763,637Pelosi, Jr.Jul. 20, 2004
6,141,931SimmonsNov. 07, 2000
5,581,967GlatzDec. 10, 1996
2006/0034663Lampley et al.Feb. 16, 2006
6,732,441Charay et al.May 11, 2004
4,371,287JohanssonFeb. 01, 1983

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The primary object of the present invention is to provide a transitional flooring trowel for creating transitional flooring ramps that is easy to use.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a transitional flooring trowel that quickly creates transitional flooring ramps.

An even further object of the present invention is to provide a transitional flooring trowel for creating level transitional flooring ramps.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a transitional flooring trowel for creating transitional flooring ramps having predetermined slopes.

An even further object of the present invention is to provide a transitional flooring trowel for creating transitional flooring ramps having uniform slopes.

The present invention fulfills the above and other objects by providing a transitional flooring trowel for creating transitional flooring ramps wherein a transitional flooring trowel has a body, which is preferably rectangular having a bottom side, a top side, a front end, a rear end and two sides, and an extension thinner than the body which extends from a top side of the body, which in turn creates a predeterminedly sized cut-out section beneath the extension having a predetermined height. The height of the cut-out section is preferably ⅜ from the bottom side, which corresponds to the most popular transitional height required from pre-existing flooring material to tile, although different cut-out sections may be used to create different heights. An optional adjustment screw may extend through the extension so as to raise and lower a slidable section of the trowel a predetermined height to adjust the height of the transition between new and pre-existing flooring material. Another adjustment devices is an optional sleeve that slides over the extension so as to increase the height between the extension and the new flooring material.

To use the present invention, a person first pours floor patch or concrete onto an existing floor. Then, the extension of the trowel is placed over the new flooring adjacent to the existing flooring such that the bottom edge of the trowel is located on the floor patch or cement and the cut-out section is against the new flooring material. Finally, the user slides the trowel across the floor patch or cement so as to create a level ramp.

The above and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention should become even more readily apparent to those skilled in the art upon a reading of the following detailed description in conjunction with the drawings wherein there is shown and described illustrative embodiments of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the following detailed description, reference will be made to the attached drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a side view of a first embodiment of the present invention in use;

FIG. 2 is a front view of the embodiment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view along line 3-3 of the embodiment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a plan view of a second embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a side view of a third embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 6 is a front view of a sleeve used in conjunction with a third embodiment of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

For purposes of describing the preferred embodiment, the terminology used in reference to the numbered components in the drawings is as follows:

1.transitional flooring trowel,
generally
2.top side
3.bottom side
4.face side
5.rear side
6.sides
7.cut-out section
8.new flooring material
9.pre-existing flooring
material
10.ramp material
11.adjustment knob
12.slidable section
13.adjustment screw
14.adjustment screw channel
15.track
16.arm
17.sleeve
18.handle
19.extension
20.body
21.height
22.bottom edge

With reference to FIG. 1, a side view of a first embodiment of the present invention in use is shown. The transitional flooring trowel 1 of the present invention has a body 20, which is preferably rectangular in shape having a top side 2, a bottom side 3, a front end 4, a rear section 5 and two sides 6 and an extension 19 of a predetermined length which extends form a top side 2 away from the body 20. The transitional flooring trowel 1 includes a bottom edge 22 opposite from the front end 4. Because the extension 19 extends away from the top side 2 of the body 20 of the transitional flooring trowel 1, a cut-out section 7 is created. The height 21 of the cut-out section 7, is predetermined, but is preferably ⅜, the distance which corresponds to the most popular transitional height required from pre-existing flooring 9 to tile. However, differing heights 21 may also be used.

To use the first embodiment of the transitional flooring trowel 1 of the present invention, a person first places a new flooring material 8 on top of a pre-existing flooring material 9. Then, where the materials 8 and 9 meet, a predetermined amount of ramp material 10, which may be floor patch, concrete or any other material that may be shaped as desired and then harden, is poured onto the pre-existing flooring material 9 and allowed to dry for a predetermined amount of time, that is until the ramp mixture 10 is of a thickened consistency so as to be moldable. Up until this point, this is a conventional method in which to create transitional flooring ramps.

A user then holds the transitional flooring trowel 1 of the present invention, preferably along the body 20 so as to have a good grip, positions the bottom edge 22 of the transitional flooring trowel 1 on the pre-existing flooring material 9 with the extension 19 located over the new flooring material 8 with the cut-out section 7 against the new flooring material 8 and gently moves the transitional flooring trowel 1 across the ramp material 10 so as to scrape off the excess ramp material 10. The user continues back and forth movement of the transitional flooring trowel 1 over the ramp material 10 until the cut-out section 7 of the transitional flooring trowel 1 rests against the new flooring material 1. In order to determine that the newly created ramp is level, the user slides the transitional flooring trowel 1 along the entire edge of the new flooring material 8. After the ramp material 10 is dry, a transitional flooring ramp is created that is level.

With respect to FIG. 2, a front view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 is shown. The extension 19 of the transitional flooring trowel 1 extends a predetermined distance away from the body 20 of the transitional flooring trowel 1. The cut-out section 7 of the transitional flooring trowel 1 permits a user to easily rest the transitional flooring trowel 1 on an edge of a new flooring material 8, thereby allowing the user to quickly and easily create transitional flooring ramps that are uniform and level.

In FIG. 3, a cross-sectional view along line 3-3 of the embodiment of FIG. 1 is shown. The transitional flooring trowel 1 is preferably hollow so as to reduce the weight of the trowel 1; however, the transitional flooring trowel 1 may be solid as well. In addition, although the transitional flooring trowel 1 is preferably made of aluminum or plastic for increased durability, the transitional flooring trowel 1 may be constructed of any other material.

FIG. 4 shows a plan view of a second embodiment of the present invention. The second embodiment of the transitional flooring trowel 1 of the present invention is similar to the first embodiment in that it also has a body 20, a bottom edge 22, and an extension 19 which creates a cut-out section 7, the second embodiment of the present invention includes a slidable section 12 which permits adjustment of the height 21 of the slidable section 12. The slidable section 12 is planar, preferably parallel to the extension 19 and secured to an adjustment screw 13. An adjustment knob 11 is attached to the adjustment screw 13 opposite of the slidable section 12 and extends through an adjustment screw channel 14 within the extension 19. A track 15 is located within the body 20 and an arm 16 operably connects the slidable section 12 to the track 15i To use the second embodiment of the present invention, a user first adjusts the slidable section 12 via the adjustment knob 11 so as to create the desired height 21 of the slidable section 12. When the adjustment knob 11 is turned, the adjustment screw 14, which is connected to the slidable section 12, moves the slidable section 12 in a downward or upward manner, depending on whether the adjustment knob 11 is turned clockwise or counter-clockwise. Because the slidable section 12 moves along a track 15 located within the body 20, the slidable section 12 remains parallel to the extension 19. When the slidable section 12 is in the desired position, the user then utilizes the transitional flooring trowel 1 in the manner described above.

In FIG. 5, a side view of a third embodiment of the present invention is shown. Similar to the first and second embodiments, the third embodiment includes a body 20, a bottom edge 22, and an extension 19 which creates a cut-out section 7. However, the third embodiment may also include a handle 18 secured to the top side 2 of the transitional flooring trowel 1 so as to permit easier gripping and holding of the transitional flooring trowel 1. In addition, a sleeve 17 may be used in conjunction with the transitional flooring trowel 1 so as to increase the distance between the extension 19 and the new flooring material 8. The sleeve 19 is placed onto the extension 19 prior to use to permit a transitional flooring ramp with a greater slope to be created.

Finally, FIG. 6 is a front view of a sleeve used in conjunction with a third embodiment of the present invention. The sleeve 17 is hollow so as to slide over the extension 19 of the transitional flooring trowel 1.

The use of the present invention will allow a person to quickly and easily create level transitional flooring ramps of a predetermined slope.

It is to be understood that while a preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated, it is not to be limited to the specific form or arrangement of parts herein described and shown. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes may be made without departing from the scope of the invention and the invention is not be considered limited to what is shown and described in the specification and drawings.