Title:
Fractionable Cement Veneer
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A breakable veneer for simulating the appearance of stone, tile, concrete, etc., is disclosed. The veneer may be made by producing a mold of a desired texture, filling the mold with a mixture including portland-type cement, resin, and colorant. The veneer may be made to have an average thickness between about 1/16 and ¼ inches in a sheet form, and may have a peel coat applied to the finished surface. When produced, the veneer is flexible, being able to conform to various surfaces and applied to various surfaces using any of various adhesives, and able to be transported is a finished form to an installation site. The veneer may be scored and then broken or fractured along the scoring lines to create simulated broken stone, ceramic tiles, cut stone, etc.



Inventors:
Anderson, Jay L. (Grantsville, UT, US)
Application Number:
12/172213
Publication Date:
01/14/2010
Filing Date:
07/11/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/746.1, 52/746.12
International Classes:
E04C2/30
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHAPMAN, JEANETTE E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
F. Chad Copier, Registered Patent Attorney (Highland, UT, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A device, comprising: a base layer, wherein the base layer includes a mixture of, cement, sand, and epoxy; a protective layer; and wherein the device is configured to be transported, and wherein the device is configured such that it may fractured into individual pieces prior to installation to simulate stone or ceramic materials.

2. The device of claim 1, wherein the base layer further includes resin.

3. The device of claim 1, wherein at least one of the base layer and the finish layer further includes colorant.

4. The device of claim 1, wherein the protective layer is a polymer peel coat.

5. The device of claim 4, wherein the polymer peel coat is applied after the finish layer and prior to transportation to an installation site.

6. The device of claim 4, wherein the polymer peel coat is configured to be removed after installation of the device such that the peel coat protects the finish layer until the peel coat is removed.

7. The device of claim 1, the device has a generally uniform thickness of between about 1/16 and ¼ inches.

8. The device of claim 7, wherein the device has a generally uniform thickness of about ⅛ inch.

9. The device of claim 1, wherein the device is a sheet material that measures between about 2 inches and 12 feet wide and between about 2 inches and 12 feet long.

10. The device of claim 1, wherein the device further comprises a finish layer, and a textured surface.

11. The device of claim 10, wherein the finish layer covers the textured surface.

12. The device of claim 1, wherein the finish layer includes at least one colorant and at least one binding agent.

13. The device of claim 1, wherein the base layer is made with at mixture made with at least the following components by weight: about 31 lbs. dolomite sand; about 36 oz. resin; about 48 oz. epoxy mix of resin and catalyst; about 7.85 lbs. portland cement; and about 70 oz. water.

14. The device of claim 13, wherein the portland cement is type I, type II, or a mixture thereof.

15. The device of claim 14, wherein the dolomite sand is #70, #100 or a mixture thereof.

16. A method of installing a veneer product, comprising: providing a cement-based veneer, wherein the cement-based veneer has a finished surface and a removable protective coat covering the finished surface; fragmenting the veneer into a plurality of pieces; providing a surface to be covered by the veneer pieces; applying adhesive to the surface; placing the veneer pieces on the surface and the adhesive; and removing the protective coat.

17. The method of claim 16, further comprising scoring the veneer, and wherein the fragmenting occurs along the scored lines from the scoring.

18. The method of claims 16, the adhesive is a thinset, and wherein the thinset is used to provide groutlines between the pieces when placed on the surface.

19. The method of claim 18, wherein excess thinset is removed when the protective coat is removed.

20. The method of claim 16, wherein the cement-based veneer is configured to resemble one of natural stone or ceramic tile.

Description:

FIELD

This application relates generally to durable building materials. More particularly, this application relates to a cement-based veneer or sheet material that may be cut or broken to resemble stone structures such as stone drives, paths, walls, etc.

BACKGROUND

Natural stone provides durability and aesthetic appeal that many find desirable. Stones have been used to build buildings, walls, roads, paths, drives, etc., for centuries, and continue to be used today. Stones may be cut to provide tight joints, or may be proved as broken or loose stones having natural shapes that are pieced together like a puzzle with mortar to create a desired structure or design. Additionally, natural stones may be worked to achieve various surface finishes, and stones naturally come in a variety of colors and hues. However, structures made from natural stones, while durable and strong, are time consuming and require great skill by a stone mason in most instances to achieve a desired look. Additionally, the stone material must be quarried and relocated to the site where the structure will be constructed, where it often requires additional shaping and working by the stone mason. The time, skill, and transportation costs generally render the use of natural stone to be prohibitively expensive for many applications. Additionally, solid structures of stone and mortar are generally not resistant to earthquake and require considerable engineering and internal or external structure work to achieve safety when used in a structure.

Modernly, natural stones have been cut to thin sections and placed as a veneer on walls and other surfaces to achieve the look of stone while reducing some of the problems associated with solid stone structures. Similarly some molded concrete products have been created that simulate the cut stone veneer and is similarly installed. However, cut-stone veneer or cement molded simulated stone still generally require a skilled mason and transportation of large amounts of heavy stone and/or concrete material to the construction site. In many cases, the molded concrete products do not closely simulate natural stone.

Some molded concrete products are made to reduce the need for skilled stone masons by performing and shaping sections of simulated stone that fit together in a pattern. However, these products do not provide an appearance of a natural stone structure when installed because of the repeating patterns necessary for such a standardized product, particularly when simulated broken or naturally shaped stones.

SUMMARY

A surface veneer for simulating the appearance of stone, tile, pavers, etc. is disclosed. The veneer may be made by producing a mold of a desired texture, filling the mold with a mixture including portland-type cement, resin, and colorant, and then allowed to cure. The veneer may be made to have an average thickness between about 1/16 and ¼ inches in a sheet form. Sheets of veneer may be made in a variety of sizes, such as 4′×4′ and 4′×8′ sheets. When produced, the veneer is relatively light and easy to transport in a finished form to an installation site.

The veneer may be finished prior to installation with a wide range of surface finishes and textures. The veneer may be finished for a particular application, such as for exterior, heavy traffic use, or for decorative interior wall covering or tub and shower surrounds. In some embodiments, the veneer may also include a peel coat to protect the finish during transportation and installation. When ready to be installed, the veneer may be scored with a knife and broken along the scored lines to form a variety of shapes. Additionally, the veneer may be broken randomly without scoring the surface. For example, a veneer sheet may be scored to simulate square stones for a wall, or may be scored to simulate broken stone for a walkway or driveway.

The pieces may then be laid out and thinset may be used to adhere the veneer pieces to a desired surface. Excess thinset may be allowed to create grout lines between veneer pieces and then leveled with a trowel. Excess thinset on the face of the veneer panel would then be removed when the peel coat is removed, leaving a clean surface and grout line edge.

These and other aspects of the present invention will become more fully apparent from the following description and appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The following description can be better understood in light of Figures, in which:

FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of an exemplary embodiment of a breakable cement veneer;

FIG. 2 is an elevated perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a breakable cement veneer during formation;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of an exemplary embodiment of a breakable cement veneer during formation;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a depth gauge for use in forming breakable cement veneers;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a mold for use in forming breakable cement veneers;

FIG. 6 is flow diagram of an exemplary method of manufacturing a breakable cement veneer; and

FIG. 7 is a flow diagram of an exemplary method of installing a breakable cement veneer.

Together with the following description, the Figures demonstrate and explain the principles of breakable cement veneers and associated methods. In the Figures, the thickness of layers and regions may be exaggerated for clarity. The same reference numerals in different drawings represent the same element, and thus their descriptions may not be repeated.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In the illustrated embodiments, aspects and features of breakable cement veneer products and associated methods are disclosed and described below. The following description supplies specific details in order to provide a thorough understanding. Nevertheless, the skilled artisan would understand that the apparatus and associated methods of using the apparatus can be implemented and used without employing these specific details. Indeed, the devices and associated methods can be placed into practice by modifying the illustrated devices and associated methods and can be used in conjunction with any other apparatus and techniques conventionally used in the industry.

Exemplary breakable cement veneers that may be formed using the methods described herein are illustrated in FIG. 1. FIG. 1 illustrates a cross-sectional view of an exemplary breakable cement veneer 100, which may include base 110, finish layer 150, and peel layer 160. In FIG. 1 the dimensions of breakable cement veneer 100 and its various components and layers are exaggerated for illustrative purposes.

Body 110 may be a cement-based mixture formed as described below, and made of a mixture of water-based epoxy, resin, water, colorants or pigments, sand, and cement. In some embodiments, the epoxy may be provided to the mixture as a separate resin and catalyst, such as those offered by Tresco Paint in Hayward, Calif. Similarly, the resin may be Astro 600 resin also offered by Tresco Paint. The sand may be dolomite sand, such as Dolowhite offered by Chemical Lime of Salinas, Calif., and the cement may be portland, white, type I or II, or any mixture thereof to achieve a desired color along with colorants, which may be any colorants used in producing colored cement products. For example, in some embodiments the quantity of cement in the mixture may be apportioned between white and grey portland-type cements depending on the desired final color, or shading to enhance selected colorants.

The proportion of the various materials in the mixture of base 110, may vary, depending on the desired hardness, durability, flexibility, veneer thickness, color, shade, or other desired characteristics. In some embodiments, for example, the cement may be between about 5 and about 10 lbs., the Astro 600 resin may be between about 12 and 72 oz., the sand may be total between about 15 and 50 lbs, with any combination of dolomite, or other similar sand products, and the epoxy amounts may vary. Of course the amount of water added may be adjusted depending on desired thickness and workability of the mixture. In some exemplary embodiments, the proportions of the various components by volume of the mixture may be about the following amounts:

32 oz. epoxy part A from Tresco Paints;

16 oz. epoxy part B from Tresco Paints;

36 oz. Astro 600 resin from Tresco Paints;

70 oz. water;

colorants as desired;

22 lbs. dolowhite #70 sand from Chemical Lime;

9 lbs. dolowhite #100 sand from Chemical Lime; and

7.85 lbs cement.

The mixture above may be produced by first mixing the epoxy components, resin, and water, followed by colorants, sand and cement to create the desired mixture for producing breakable cement veneer 100. In addition to the components described above, base 110 may also include other additives in the mixture such as hardeners, UV resistant or reflective materials, low-heat materials, recycled materials such as ground concrete, plastic, glass, etc., or any other cement additive as desired by one of ordinary skill that provides a cement veneer as described. For example, ground concrete and glass, along with lime, may be substituted for some or all of the dolomite sand.

As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, mold 120 may be placed on support surface 130. Support surface 130 may be a movable support such as a board or other stiff support material such as a table, conveyor surface, etc. that may be used to support mold 120 during manufacture of breakable cement veneer 100. Depth gauge 170 may be disposed over mold 120 during manufacture of breakable cement veneer 100 as described below.

As generally illustrated in the flow-chart of FIG. 6, in some embodiments, breakable cement veneer 100 may be manufactured by providing mold 120 on support surface 130, and applying a cement mixture of base 110 to mold 120. A release agent may be applied to mold 120 prior to applying any of the cement mixture of base 110. A first amount of cement mixture may be applied to mold 120 and brushed, pressed, troweled, or otherwise forced into features 122 (see FIG. 5) of mold 120. Depth gauge 170, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, may then be placed over mold 120 having a first amount of mixture on the mold surface of mold 120. Sufficient mixture of base 110 may then be applied over depth gauge 170 and leveled with a trowel, float, oscillations, vibrations, or other device or process such that the thickness of base 110 approximates the thickness of gauge wires 174 to provide a generally uniform thickness.

In some embodiments, base 110 may have a generally uniform thickness generally slightly more than the thickness of gauge wires 174 of depth gauge 170. Gauge wires 174 may be random in pattern within frame 172, sufficiently spaced to provide for a generally uniform depth of base 110 without imparting a pattern into base 110 as a result of depth gauge 170. Depth gauge 170 may be selected based on the desired finished thickness of breakable cement veneer 100. Frame 172 may be stiffer than gauge wires 174 to provide sturdy frame 172 of depth gauge 170, while having the same gauge as gauge wires 174. In some embodiments, frame 172 may be coupled side-by-side layers of gauge wires to provide the framing and stiffness for depth gauge 170. Depth gauge 170, frame 172, and gauge wires 174 may be metal, plastic, or any other suitable material, or any combination of those materials.

In some embodiments, depth gauge 170 may not be needed where an automated process levels base 110, where mold 120 has upwardly extending edges that may allow screeding or leveling based on the depth of mold 120, electronic confirmation of thickness, or other mechanized or automated process or device to provide a generally uniform thickness. The thickness of breakable cement veneer 100 may be between about 1/16 and ¼ inch, as desired. In some embodiments, thicknesses of more than ¼ inch may be achieved, as desired.

Once the thickness of base 110 is established, depth gauge 170 may be removed, if used, and the base may be worked to remove any impressions left by the depth gauge with troweling or other process, and may otherwise allow for a generally smooth surface.

Breakable cement veneer 100 may then be allowed to dry. Once dry, breakable cement veneer 100 may be removed from mold 120, with features 122 of mold 120 resulting in corresponding features in breakable cement veneer 100. Mold 120 may have any pattern desired in breakable cement veneer 100, such as brushed concrete, leather, brick, skip trowel, stucco, stone, sand, or virtually any desired pattern that may be molded into mold 120. Mold 120 may be made of flexible material such as rubber, foam, latex, or other mold material, or may be hard, such as metal, ceramic, or other hard molds.

After removal from mold 120, the molded surface of breakable cement veneer 100 may then be processed and/or finished using any known cement finishing process such as acid wash, stain, epoxy coating, etc., resulting in finish layer 150. Finish layer 150 may be made to virtually any color (translucent, solid, mixed, blended, etc.) and finish quality (such as waterproof, water penetrable, water vapor penetrable, gloss, satin, flat, etc. finishes). Once finish layer 150 is completed, peel layer 160 may be applied to protect finish layer 150 of breakable cement veneer 100. Peel layer 160 may be any coating, such as a brush or spray on liquid polymer coating that dries to a peelable layer, with the advantage of adhering to each surface feature 122 of finish layer 150. Similarly, other membranes or covering, such as plastic sheeting or other known coatings may be used.

As generally shown in FIG. 7, breakable cement veneer 100 may be installed by first preparing a surface for installation of breakable cement veneer 100. Depending on the surface and the desired final appearance, preparation may include patching, grinding, cleaning, leveling, etc., the surface to be covered. The surface to be covered may be a wall, ceiling, floor, or other desired surface, and may be and exterior on interior surface. Additionally, the flexible nature of breakable cement veneer 100 may allow installation of breakable cement veneer 100 on cracked, somewhat uneven, curved, sloping, etc, surfaces. Breakable cement veneer 100 may be installed on a surface that will allow adhesive bonding of breakable cement veneer 100. In some embodiments, groutlines may be generally positioned over cracks in the installation surface to reduce possible subsequent damage to the installed veneer.

Breakable cement veneer 100 may be scored on the finished side such that peel layer 160 is generally cut through and some depth of finish layer 150 and possibly base 100 is scored or cut. The scoring lines should be made to provide desired shapes in pieces broken from the breakable cement veneer 100 sheet. Once scored, breakable cement veneer 100 may be broken along the scored lines. The scoring lines may be in any desired pattern to make any desired shape of each piece of breakable cement veneer 100 removed from a sheet of breakable cement veneer 100. The pieces may then be laid out to form a desired pattern. Thinset or other adhesive may then be applied to the surface to be covered and the pieces may be placed as desired. Breakable cement veneer 100 may be adhered to a desired surface using any known adhesive or bonding medium, such as various thinsets, glues, etc., used to adhere building materials to each other.

In some embodiments, the adhesive used to adhere the pieces to the surface may push up along the edges of the pieces to form groutlines. This excess adhesive may be removed by troweling the surface of the pieces, thereby leveling the adhesive with the peel layer 160 of breakable cement veneer 100.

Once breakable cement veneer 100 is applied and in place, peel coat 160 may be removed to reveal finished layer 150. Peel coat 160 may provide ease of installation because installers need not worry about cleaning excess adhesives or materials from the presented surface of breakable cement veneer 100 because any materials deposited on the presented surface may be removed along with peel coat 160. Similarly, peel coat 160 may provide protection from dirt, scratches, or other damage prior to and during the installation process.

In some embodiments, breakable cement veneer 100 may be manufactured in sheets of material with any desired dimension, depending on the size of mold 120 and a desired finished dimension. For example, breakable cement veneer 100 may be made in 4′×4′ or 4′×8′ sheets. Of course, virtually any size may be produced, limited only by the transportation and handling considerations of manufacture and subsequent installation. Similarly, mold 120 may be made in a variety of shapes and designs, such as a 90 degree angle mold for corners, stair treads, etc., undulating, corrugated, curved, or other desired contour.

In some embodiments, breakable cement veneer 100 may stiffen over time once installed, gaining strength and durability as the cement in breakable cement veneer 100 fully cures. A desired shape or contour of breakable cement veneer 100 may also be achieved by placing breakable cement veneer in a desired shape, wetting veneer 100, and allowing veneer 100 to dry while being held in the desired shape.

In addition to any previously indicated modification, numerous other variations and alternative arrangements may be devised by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of this description, and appended claims are intended to cover such modifications and arrangements. Thus, while the information has been described above with particularity and detail in connection with what is presently deemed to be the most practical and preferred aspects, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that numerous modifications, including, but not limited to, form, function, manner of operation and use may be made without departing from the principles and concepts set forth herein. Also, as used herein, examples are meant to be illustrative only and should not be construed to be limiting in any manner.