Title:
Nail-Free Decking System
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A decking system that consists of a clip that complements a slot in deck planks to securely fasten the deck planks to a substrate such as deck or floor joists, masonry, concrete, wood or any other substrate. Generally, the clips fit into slots cut or formed into the side deck surface boards or alternatively into a keyhole on the bottom of the plank. In one of the preferred embodiments a series of clips are fastened to the substrate with a fastener such as a screw. The clips mechanically grip the plank to secure the plank to the deck joists. Ridges and/or nubs on the clips reduce the occurrence of rot or discoloration of the planks.



Inventors:
Zanelli, Marcello (Miami, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/779682
Publication Date:
01/22/2009
Filing Date:
07/18/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B5/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
QUAST, ELIZABETH A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CHRISTOPHER J. VANDAM, P.A. (MIAMI, FL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A decking system comprising: a) a plurality of adjoining planks, each having a first side and an opposing second side, a top surface and a bottom surface, at least one of said opposing sides of each deck member having a slot therein; b) a plurality of clips each having a trunk and a head sized and configured so that said trunk is disposed between adjoining planks and said head is disposed into said slot in the side of said planks; c) a substrate onto which said clips are affixed.

2. A decking system such as in claim 1 where said clips have one or more parallel bores that terminate on the upper end off center on the upper side of said head and on the lower end in the center of the bottom side of said trunk.

3. A decking system such as in claim 1 where the edges of the head of said clips have tabs and the slot in said planks have a complimentary profile to receive said tabs.

4. A decking system such as in claim 1 where said slot on said plank has intermittent cutouts on the bottom side of said slot dimensioned to fit over the head of said clips.

5. A decking system such as in claim 1 where said clips have ridges and/or nubs on said trunk and/or the underside of said head.

6. A decking system such as in claim 1 where the head of said clip is made of metal and the trunk of said clip is made of plastic.

7. A decking system comprising: a) a plurality of adjoining planks, each having a first side and an opposing second side, a top surface and a bottom surface, said bottom surface of each deck member having a keyhole slot therein; b) a plurality of clips each having a trunk and a head sized and configured so that said head is disposed into said keyhole slot; c) a substrate onto which said clips are affixed.

8. A decking system comprising: a) a plurality of adjoining planks, each having a first side and an opposing second side, a top surface and a bottom surface, said bottom surface of each deck member having a slot therein; b) a plurality of clips each having a trunk and a head sized and configured so that said head is disposed into said slot; c) a substrate onto which said clips are affixed.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to construction, and more particularly, to a decking assembly and a method to construct a deck.

2. Description of the Related Art

Several designs for decking systems have been designed in the past. None of them, however, include clips with tabs that frictionally fit into corresponding slots on the edge of planks or in keyholes on the underside of planks.

No other decking system designed in the past is as well suited for installations where the area adjacent to the footprint of the deck is limited. The present invention provides a cutout feature on the edge of the plank to facilitate the clip engaging into the plank.

None of the existing decking systems have ridges and nubs on clips to more securely hold planks to deck frame assembly. Said ridges also provide a gap between the clip and plank that reduces the risk of rot or discoloration of the plank.

Applicant believes that the closest reference corresponds to U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2006/0283122 by Roy Burgess, Et. Al. However, it differs from the present invention because the Burgess application does not provide a clip with multiple fasteners, does not provide a clip with ribs or nubs and does not provide periodic cutouts or keyholes in the plank to facilitate engagement of the clip to the plank.

Another reference teaching a decking technology is found in U.S. Pat. No. 6,651,398 issued to Karl Gregory. However, it differs from the present invention because the Gregory patent does not provide a clip with multiple fasteners, does not provide a clip with ribs or nubs and does not provide periodic cutouts or keyholes in the plank to facilitate engagement of the clip to the plank.

Other patents describing the closest subject matter provide for a number of more or less complicated features that fail to solve the problem in an efficient and economical way. None of these patents suggest the novel features of the present invention.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is one of the main objects of this invention to provide a decking system comprising a plurality of adjoining planks, each having a first side and an opposing second side, a top surface and a bottom surface, at least one of said opposing sides of each deck member having a slot therein, a plurality of clips each having a trunk and a head sized and configured so that said trunk is disposed between adjoining planks and said head is disposed into said slot in side of said planks and a substrate onto which said clips are affixed. In an alternate embodiment said clips have one or more parallel bores that terminate on the upper end off center on the upper side of said head and on the lower end in the center of the bottom side of said trunk. In another alternate embodiment the edges of the head of said clips have tabs and the slot in said planks have a complimentary profile to receive said tabs. In yet another embodiment the slot on said plank has intermittent cutouts on the bottom side of said slot dimensioned to fit over the head of said clips. In another embodiment said clips have ridges and/or nubs on said trunk and/or the underside of said head. In another embodiment the head of said clip is made of metal and the trunk of said clip is made of plastic.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a decking system comprising a plurality of adjoining planks, each having a first side and an opposing second side, a top surface and a bottom surface, said bottom surface of each deck member having a keyhole slot therein, a plurality of clips each having a trunk and a head sized and configured so that said head is disposed into said keyhole slot and a substrate onto which said clips are affixed.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a decking system comprising a plurality of adjoining planks, each having a first side and an opposing second side, a top surface and a bottom surface, said bottom surface of each deck member having a slot therein, a plurality of clips each having a trunk and a head sized and configured so that said head is disposed into said slot and a substrate onto which said clips are affixed.

It is one of the objects of the present invention to provide a decking assembly and method of installing said decking assembly.

It is another object of this invention to provide a decking assembly that securely holds plank to the deck substrate.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide a decking assembly that reduces the visibility of decking hardware on the finished deck.

It is another object of this invention to provide a decking system that permits the easy replacement of individual planks.

It is an object of this invention to provide a decking system with a clip that reduces the occurrence of rot and discoloration of the plank.

It is an object of this invention to provide a decking system that can be installed in a confined area.

It is another object of this invention to provide a decking system that reduces the possibility of fasteners backing-out and thereby reduces a hazard to a user.

It is yet another object of this invention to provide such an assembly that is inexpensive to manufacture and maintain while retaining its effectiveness.

Further objects of the invention will be brought out in the following part of the specification, wherein detailed description is for the purpose of fully disclosing the invention without placing limitations thereon.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

With the above and other related objects in view, the invention consists in the details of construction and combination of parts as will be more fully understood from the following description, when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 shows an exploded perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an elevation view of a series of clips and planks.

FIG. 3 is a cross section of a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of a deck clip.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a deck clip attached to a substrate.

FIG. 5 represents a perspective view of an alternate embodiment a clip.

FIG. 6 shows a perspective view of the bottom side of the clip shown in FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 illustrates a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of a clip.

FIG. 8 shows a perspective view of the bottom side of the deck clip shown in FIG. 7.

FIG. 9A is a perspective view of the bottom side of an alternate embodiment of a clip.

FIG. 9B is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of a clip.

FIG. 10A is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of a clip.

FIG. 10B is a perspective view of plank used with the clip shown in FIG. 10A.

FIG. 10C is a perspective view of an embodiment of a clip used with the plank shown in FIG. 10B.

FIG. 11A is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of a clip.

FIG. 11B is a perspective view of plank used with the clip shown in FIG. 11A.

FIG. 11C is a perspective view of an embodiment of a clip used with the plank shown in FIG. 11B.

FIG. 12A is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of a clip.

FIG. 12B is a perspective view of plank used with the clip shown in FIG. 12A.

FIG. 12C is a perspective view of an embodiment of a clip used with the plank shown in FIG. 12B.

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of the bottom side of an alternate embodiment of a plank.

FIG. 14 is a perspective view of the bottom side of an alternate embodiment of a plank.

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of a clip.

FIG. 15A is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of plank used with the clip shown in FIG. 15.

FIG. 16 is a perspective view of the bottom side of an alternate embodiment of a plank.

FIG. 16A is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of a clip.

FIG. 17 is a perspective view of the bottom side of an alternate embodiment of a plank.

FIG. 18 is a plan view of the bottom side of the plank shown in FIG. 17.

FIG. 19 is a perspective view of the bottom side of an alternate embodiment of a clip.

FIG. 20 is a cross-section of a perspective view of the clip shown in FIG. 19.

FIG. 21 shows a perspective view of the preferred embodiment of a clip.

FIG. 22 shows a cross sectional perspective view of the deck clip shown in FIG. 21.

FIG. 23 shows a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of a deck clip.

FIG. 24 is an elevation view of a series of clips and planks.

FIG. 25 shows a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of a clip.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring now to the drawings, where the present invention, a decking system, as shown in FIG. 1 is generally referred to with numeral 10, it can be observed that it basically includes a plurality of clips 204 that attach planks 206 to a plurality of joists 202 which act as a substrate.

In a typical installation a deck frame assembly 200 is constructed to support planks 206. The deck frame assembly 200 is comprised of, inter alia, a plurality of joists 202 that are attached at each end to a girder 210 by a fastener 208 to form a unitary frame. Said fastener 208 may be a nail, screw, bolt, hanger or other fastener or adhesive. A plurality of clips 204 are attached to the top side of said joists 202. In the embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 1 said plank 206 slides onto the clips 204 to hold the plank 206 securely to the joists 202. Clips 204 on a joist 202 are typically spaced apart a distance complimentary to the width of the planks 206.

Said plank 206, in this embodiment or any of the following embodiments, is typically is made of natural wood and also could be made of any of a wide variety of natural woods, engineered wood products, composite boards, synthetic boards, polymer boards, metal, stone, masonry, glass or any other suitable solid material.

FIG. 2 illustrates an embodiment of the present invention where end-clips 222 and clips 226 interface with planks 220. The shape of the edge of the plank 220 is formed to complement the shape of the head of the end-clips 222 and clips 226 and firmly hold the plank to the deck frame assembly 200 as shown in FIG. 1. In one possible configuration of the invention the end-clip 222 secures the plank 220 on the edge of the frame assembly 200 and the clips 226 are utilized between planks 220. Both the end-clips 222 and the clips 226 are secured to a joist by a fastener 224 such as a screw, nail, bolt, adhesive or other fastener.

FIG. 3 shows a fastener 246, in this example a screw, penetrating a clip through a bore 248 that passes through the head 240 and trunk 244 of the clip. Optionally, the top side of the bore 248 is countersunk to permit the head of the fastener 246 to be flush with the top surface of the head 240.

Now referring to FIG. 4 where a clip 264 is shown attached to a joist 260 with a fastener 262. Said clip 264 is oriented on said joist 260 to permit the longer dimension of a plank 206 (shown in FIG. 1) to be oriented perpendicular to the longer dimension of the joist 260. Said fastener 262 may be a screw, nail, bolt, adhesive or other fastener.

Referring to FIG. 5 where an embodiment of a clip is shown that comprises, inter alia, a trunk 100 and a head 102. Extending through the height of the trunk 100 and head 102 is a bore 104. The bore 104 is dimensioned to receive a fastener, such as a screw, nail, bolt or other fastener. Optionally, there are ridges 106 formed integrally with the vertical surface on the side of the trunk 100. Said ridges 106 act to maintain an airspace between the trunk 100 and a plank (not shown in FIG. 5). Said ridges 106 may also improve the frictional grip the trunk 100 has with plank (not shown in FIG. 5).

The clip shown in FIG. 5, or any of the variations and embodiments of the clip, may be made out of a wide variety of rigid or semi-rigid materials. A preferred material for many applications is a single piece of synthetic polymer or metal. For some applications it may be preferable to fabricate the clip shown in FIG. 5 from multiple materials such as, for example, a synthetic trunk 100 and a metallic head 102.

Now referring to FIG. 6 where the bottom side of the clip in FIG. 5 is shown. In this view said ridges 106 are shown in more detail. On the bottom side of said head 102 are optional nubs 108. The nubs 108 promote airflow and grip between anything coming into contact with the head 102. The interior of the trunk 100 may optionally have a cavity 112 to lighten the clip and reduce the material necessary to construct the clip. A rib 110 may span the width of the trunk 100 to add strength and rigidity to the clip. The rib 110 may also be traversed by a bore 104 dimensioned to accept a fastener as pass through the clip from the top to the bottom and into a substrate. Any of the various embodiments of the clips as shown in the following figures may optionally also include a cavity and rib similar to the cavity 112 and rib 110 as shown in FIG. 6.

FIGS. 7 and 8 show an alternate embodiment of a clip that is comprised of, inter alia, a trunk 118, a head 116, tabs 114, bores 120, nubs 124 and ridges 122. Said bores 120 pass through the head 116 and through the bottom surface 126 of the trunk 118. Optionally, the upper end of the bore 120 me be counter sunk to permit a fastener to be flush to the surface of the head 116. Each of the outer edges of the head 116 has a tab 114 to enhance the engagement of the tab 114 with a plank. The bottom surface of the head has raised nubs 124 and the side walls of the trunk has ridges 122 that, inter alia, hold a plank apart from the clip to provide drainage, airflow and an improved frictional grip.

FIG. 9A shows the bottom side of an embodiment of a clip comprising, inter alia, a trunk 164, a head 166 and bores 162. The trunk 164 has a bottom surface 160 where said bores 162 terminate. Said bores 162 are dimensioned to accept a fastener such as a screw, bolt, nail, adhesive or other fastener. For some decks it may be preferable for the clip to have a single bore instead of the two bores 162 shown in FIG. 9A. Any of the clips described above or below may have one or two bores dimensioned to accept a fastener.

Now referring to FIG. 9B where an alternate embodiment of a clip is shown comprising, inter alia, of a trunk 182, a head 180 and a bore 184. The bore 184 passes through the trunk 182 and head 180. Said bore 184 is dimensioned to accept a fastener such as a screw, bolt, nail, adhesive or other fastener.

FIG. 10A shows an embodiment of a clip 300 comprised of, inter alia, a head 302, a trunk 308 and a bore 304. FIG. 10B shows a portion of a plank 310 with a slot 312. The clip 300 in FIG. 10A is typically used in conjunction with the plank 310 with slot 312 shown in FIG. 10B. In typical use a fastener is placed through the bore 304 on the clip 300 to secure the clip 300 to a substrate such as the joist 260 in FIG. 4. The edge of the head 302 engages into the slot 312 to hold the plank 310 to a joist. The height of the trunk 308 is dimensioned to position the head 302 at the same height as the slot 312. FIG. 10C shows an embodiment of an end-clip comprising a trunk 400, head 408 and bore 406. The end clip shown in FIG. 10C can be used where a plank such as the example in FIG. 10B is only placed on one side of the end-clip and the head 408 engages slot 312.

FIG. 11A shows an embodiment of a clip 330 comprised of, inter alia, a head 332, a trunk 342, a tab 334, a tab 340 and bores 338. FIG. 11B shows a portion of a plank 346 with a slot 348. The clip 330 in FIG. 11A is typically used in conjunction with a plank 346 with a slot 348 shown in FIG. 11B. In typical use fasteners are placed through the bores 338 on the clip 330 to secure the clip 330 to a joist such as the joist 260 in FIG. 4. The edge of the head 332 and the tab 340 engage into the slot 348 to hold the plank 346 to the joist. Tab 334 engages into another section of plank 346. The height of the trunk 342 is dimensioned to position the head 332, tab 334 and tab 340 at the same height as the slot 348. FIG. 11C shows an embodiment of an end-clip comprising a trunk 434, head 420, tab 428 and bores 432. The end-clip shown in FIG. 11C can be used where a plank such as the example in FIG. 11B is only placed on one side of the end-clip and the head 420 and tab 428 engage slot 348.

FIG. 12A shows an embodiment of a clip 360 comprised of a head 364, a trunk 372, a tab 362, a tab 370 and a bore 366. FIG. 12B shows a portion of a plank 382 with a slot 380. The clip 360 in FIG. 12A is typically used in conjunction with the plank 382 with slot 380 shown in FIG. 12B. In typical use a fastener is placed through the bore 366 on the clip 360 to secure the clip 360 to a joist such as the joist 260 in FIG. 4. The edge of the head 364 and the tab 370 engage into the slot 380 to hold the plank 382 to the joist. Tab 362 engages into another piece of plank 346. The height of the trunk 372 is dimensioned to position the head 364, tab 362 and tab 370 at the same height as the slot 380. FIG. 12C shows an embodiment of an end-clip comprising a trunk 450, head 448, tab 442 and bores 452. The end clip shown in FIG. 12C can be used where a plank such as the example in FIG. 12B is only placed on one side of the end-clip and the head 448 and tab 442 engage slot 380.

Referring to FIG. 13, a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of a plank 474 is shown. On the bottom edge 470 is a keyhole 476 that is comprised of an edge 468, an edge 464, an edge 482, an edge 477, a tab 460 and a tab 462. Said edges 468, 464, 482, 477 have a height less than that of edge 478 of the plank 474 so that the depth of the keyhole 476 does not extend entirely through the plank 474 and the upper surface 472 remains intact. This embodiment can be best used with a clip such as the clips as shown in any one of FIG. 9B, 10A, 16A, 19, 21, 23 or 25 but other clip shapes may also work well in particular decking applications. In a typical installation of this embodiment of the plank 474, clips such as the clip shown in FIG. 23 are fastened to joists similar to the configuration in FIG. 1 of joists 202, clips 204 and girders 210. Keyholes 476 are spaced periodically on the bottom edge 470 of the plank 474 at the same distance apart as the joists 202 are spaced apart. The clips 204 are fastened to the joists 202 along the top of the joists 202. The clips 204 are spaced apart on a joist 202 sufficiently to permit a series planks 474 to be laid side by side in contact with the joists 202. To secure a plank 474 to the joists 202 the wider part of the keyhole 476 is fit over the head 786 of the clip shown in FIG. 23. The plank is then slid so that said tab 460 and tab 462 fit under the head 786 of the clip thereby preventing the plank 474 from lifting away from the joists 202. To remove or replace any of the planks 474 the individual plank 474 can simply be slid to permit the clip to be removed from the keyhole 476 without the necessity of removing adjacent planks 474.

Referring to FIG. 14, a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of a plank 500 is shown. On the bottom edge 514 is a keyhole 506 that is comprised of an edge 508, a tab 510 and a tab 512. Said edge 508 has a height less than that of edge 502 so that the keyhole 506 does not extend entirely through the plank 500 and the upper surface 504 remains intact. This embodiment can be best used with a clip such as the rounded head clips as shown in any one of FIG. 9B, 16A, 23 or 25 but other clip shapes may also work well in particular decking applications. In a typical installation of this embodiment of the plank 500, clips such as the clip shown in FIG. 9B are fastened to joists similar to the configuration in FIG. 1 of joists 202, clips 204 and girders 210. Keyholes 506 are spaced periodically on the bottom edge 514 of the plank 500 at the same distance apart as the joists 202 are spaced apart. The clips 204 are fastened to the joist 202 along the top of the joist 202. The clips 204 are spaced apart on a joist 202 sufficiently to permit a series of planks 500 to be laid side by side in contact with the joists 202. To secure a plank 500 to the joists 202 the wider part of the keyhole 506 is fit over the head 180 of the clip shown in FIG. 9B. The plank is then slid so that said tab 510 and tab 512 fit under the head 180 of the clip thereby preventing the plank 500 from lifting away from the joists 202. To remove or replace any of the planks 500 the individual plank 500 can simply be slid to permit the clip to be removed from the keyhole 506 without the necessity of removing adjacent planks 500.

Another advantage of the keyhole design as shown in FIGS. 13 and 14 is that the plank may be installed where there is limited area around the deck because the plank need only be slid, for example, a few inches to engage a clip within the keyhole contrasted to sliding the plank the entire length of the plank as necessary for some of the other embodiments of this invention described herein.

Referring now to FIGS. 15 and 15A where yet another embodiment of a clip 558 and a plank 584 combination is shown. Said clip 558 is comprised of, inter alia, a trunk 560, bores 566, tab 556, tab 550, a head 564 and nubs 552. Said bores 566 go through the head 564 and trunk 560. Said bores are dimensioned to accept a fastener such as a bolt, screw, nail or other available fastener. Said bores 566 optionally have a countersink in the end near the head 564 to permit a fastener to fall flush to or below the surface of the head 564. Said tabs 556 and 550 optionally have a series of nubs 552 comprised of protrusions on the upper edges of tabs 556 and 550 to create a gap and increase the strength of the connection when the clip 558 is engaged into a plank 584. Optionally ridges may be formed into the trunk 560 similar in form the ridges 106 shown in FIG. 6. In a preferred embodiment of the clip 558 the entire clip 558 is made out of a synthetic polymer or plastic. In another preferred embodiment the clip 558 could be made out of metal or a metal alloy. In yet another preferred embodiment the clip 558 has a head 564 of metal and the balance made of a polymer.

Said plank 584 has, inter alia, an upper surface 570, slot 578, tab 586, roundover 572, tab 582 and slot 580. In a preferred embodiment at least two clips 558 are used to secure a plank 584 to a joist. A typical application of this embodiment is shown in FIG. 1 where the clip 204 and the plank 206 in FIG. 1 are replaced by clip 558 and plank 584, respectively. Clips 558 are fastened to the joists 202 and the plank 584 is slid between clips 558 where tab 550 fits under tab 586 and edge 562 fits into slot 578. Another clip 558 similarly fits into slot 580 and tab 582 on the opposite edge of the plank 584. Said roundover 572 is primarily cosmetic and may optionally be present on the plank 584. In a preferred embodiment said plank 584 is constructed of solid wood but may also be made of engineered wood, synthetic material, metal, masonry or other solid material.

FIGS. 16 and 16A show another alternate embodiment of a complimentary plank 624 and clip 628. Said plank 624 is comprised of, inter alia, a bottom surface 622, tab 620, tab 614, top surface 602 and slot 608. Said slot 608 is formed along the length of the plank 624. Said tab 620 and tab 614 partially cover the slot 608. Said clip 628 is comprised of, inter alia, bores 640, head 638 and trunk 630. In the preferred application of the clip 628, a series of clips 628 are fastened to joists similar to the joists 202 in FIG. 1. The head 638 of the first clip 628 in the series of clips is slid into the slot 608 of the plank 624 and the trunk 630 is fit between tab 620 and tab 614 to secure the plank 624 to the joist 202. The plank 624 is successively slid onto subsequent clips 628 to secure the plank 624 to the joists 202. In one of the preferred embodiments the clip 628 is made of plastic but it could also be effective if made out of any rigid polymer, metal or other solid material or combination of solid materials.

Now referring to FIGS. 17 and 18 where an alternate embodiment of a plank 701 is shown that is comprised of, inter alia, a lower tab 704, an upper tab 710, a slot 708 and cutouts 702. Said slot 708 is bounded by the lower tab 704 and the upper tab 710. In the preferred embodiment the plank 701 is made from wood, engineered wood, polymer, metal or masonry but any other solid material could be utilized.

The plank 701 is used similar to the deck frame assembly 200 in FIG. 1 where clips 204 are fastened to joists 202 that are supported by girders 210. In the preferred embodiment the plank 701 is secured by a clip (for example, the clips shown in any of FIG. 5, 6, 9A, 9B, 10A, 16A or 19, but any clip with a head complimentary to the slot 708 could be used) to a joist 202. Said cutouts 702 are positioned periodically on the lower tab 704 and are spaced apart the equal to the distance between the joists 202. When installing the plank 701 the cutouts 702 are fit over the clips 204 and the bottom surface 700 of the plank 701 rests on to the joists 202. The plank 701 is slid along the top of the joists 202 so that the head of the clips fit into the slot 708 between the upper tab 710 and lower tab 704.

Referring to FIGS. 19 and 20 where an alternate embodiment of a clip 744 is shown comprising, inter alia, a trunk 742, a tab 740, a tab 746, cutouts 748 and bores 750. In this embodiment of the clip 744 the bores 750 are dimensioned to accept a fastener such as a screw, nail or bolt. Said bores 750 pass through the trunk 742 from the side of the trunk 742 under the tab 746 to the bottom surface of the trunk 754. Said tab 746 has cutouts 748 adjacent to the bores 750 to permit passage of a fastener and a tool to secure the fastener. One of the advantages of the position of the bores 750 is to permit a plank, such as the plank 310 shown in FIG. 10B, to be laid onto a supporting joist before the clip 744. In this installation method a plank, for example plank 310, is laid onto a joist then a first clip 744 is inserted into the slot 312 and fastened to the joist. Then a second plank 310 is laid onto the joist and its slot 312 is pressed into the first clip 744 and a second clip 744 is inserted into the slot 312 on the side of plank 310 opposite the first clip 744 and the second clip 744 is then fastened to the joist to secure the second plank 310. This method is repeated until the planks 310 cover the substrate. The installation method described above is similar to that shown and described below in FIG. 24.

Now referring to FIGS. 21 and 22 where the preferred embodiment of a clip 768 is shown that comprises, inter alia, a bore 778, a trunk 772 and a head 770. Said trunk optionally includes a series of ridges 776 to provide an airspace between the clip 768 and any plank material. One of the distinguishing features of this clip 768 is that the bore 778 passes through the head 770 off of center and exits through the bottom side of the trunk 772 at or near its center. Similar to the clip 300 shown in FIG. 10A, clip 768 could have multiple bores 778, each angled through the trunk 772. Said bore 778 is dimensioned to accept a fastener 774 such as a screw, bolt, nail or other similar means. Optionally, the upper end of the bore 778 may have a countersink to permit the head of the fastener 774 to fall below the surface of the head 770. In a preferred embodiment, this clip 768 is made of plastic or metal but could also be made of any durable, rigid material or combination of materials.

FIG. 23 is an alternate embodiment of a clip that comprises, inter alia, a trunk 782, a bore 784 and a head 786. The distinguishing feature that this clip demonstrates is the rounded shape of the head 786 as well as the angular edge 780 of the head 786. The edge 780 may facilitate the clips engagement into the slot of any of the above-described planks. As in other clips described above, this clip may have more than one bore and/or have the bores at an angle not perpendicular to the surface of the head 786.

FIG. 24 is an alternate embodiment of a clip that comprises, inter alia, a trunk 802, a bore 806 and a head 800. The distinguishing feature that this clip demonstrates is the rounded shape of the head 800 as well as the angular edge 804 of the head 800. The edge 804 may facilitate the clips engagement into the slot of any of the above-described planks. As in other clips described above, this clip may have more than one bore and/or have the bores at an angle not perpendicular to the surface of the head 800.

FIG. 24 is an illustration of an example of a method to install a deck comprising, inter alia, plank 790, plank 791, clip 793, clip 794, slot 795, slot 796, slot 797 and fasteners 792. This method is one of the preferred methods used with clips that have bores at an angle not perpendicular to the surface of the head of the clip such as the clips shown in FIG. 19 or 21.

In this installation method a plank 791 is laid onto a joist then the slot 795 is fit into a first clip 794. Then a second clip 793 is fitted into slot 796 on plank 791 and fastened with fastener 792 to the joist below. Then the next plank 790 is laid onto the joist and its slot 797 is fitted into the second clip 793. This method is repeated by laying subsequent planks and then clips until the deck is completed.

Generally, any of the various embodiments of the clips described above in this invention can have one or more bores, any of the shapes of the edges of their head, have ridges and/or nubs, bores can be perpendicular to the head or angular respective to the head and be made out of any of the described materials or combination of materials. Likewise, the planks can be made out of any solid material that can be shaped to have the planks slot interface with the clip.

The foregoing description conveys the best understanding of the objectives and advantages of the present invention. Different embodiments may be made of the inventive concept of this invention. It is to be understood that all matter disclosed herein is to be interpreted merely as illustrative, and not in a limiting sense.