Title:
Floor And Tile With Padding
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A flexible floor board with a pad attached to the bottom side of the floor board. The pad covers partially the bottom side of the floor board and extends beyond the floor board. The bottom side of the pad is covered with a restickable glue layer and the floor board has a male lock on one end and a female lock on the other end. A floor board is engages to an adjacent floor board by pressing down the female lock of the first floor board onto the male lock of the second floor board. The bottom side of first floor board that is not covered by the pad is placed into contact with the pad of the second floor board that extends beyond the second floor board.



Inventors:
Liu, David C. (Marietta, GA, US)
Application Number:
12/538634
Publication Date:
02/10/2011
Filing Date:
08/10/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/745.05
International Classes:
E04F15/22; E04B5/00
View Patent Images:
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Foreign References:
WO2008149034A12008-12-11
EP01396601988-10-19
Primary Examiner:
MINTZ, RODNEY K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Wang Law Firm, Inc. (Norcross, GA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A floor board comprising: a body having top side and a bottom side, a first end and a second end; and a first pad attached to the bottom side of the body, the pad having a top side and a bottom side; a glue layer attached to the first pad, wherein the first pad covering partially the bottom side of the body and extending beyond the first end.

2. The floor board of claim 1, wherein the body further comprising a plurality of blocs.

3. The floor board of claim 1, further comprising a top layer.

4. The floor board of claim 1, wherein the body further comprising a plurality of slits distributed between the first end and the second end.

5. The floor board of claim 1, wherein the pad being recessed from the second end.

6. The floor board of claim 1, wherein the body further comprising a male lock at the first end and a female lock at the second end.

7. The floor board of claim 6, wherein the male lock further comprising a protruding element and the female lock further comprising a receiving recess.

8. The floor board of claim 7, wherein the male lock of the floor board engages the female lock of another floor board vertically.

9. The floor board of claim 6, wherein the body further comprising a third end with a male lock and a fourth end with a female lock.

10. The floor board of claim 6, wherein the male lock engages the female lock vertically.

11. The floor board of claim 1, wherein the pad is made from EVA material.

12. The floor board of claim 1, further comprising a glue layer covering the top side of the first pad extending beyond the first end.

13. The floor board of claim 1, further comprising a glue layer covering the bottom side of the first pad.

14. The floor board of claim 13, further comprising a protective film attached to the glue layer.

15. The floor board of claim 1, wherein the glue layer further comprising a layer of restickable glue.

16. The floor board of claim 1 further comprising a second pad attached to the bottom side of the body, the second pad covering the entire bottom side of the body and the first pad being attached to a under surface of the second pad, the first pad covering partially the under surface of the second pad and extending beyond the first end.

17. A ceramic tile comprising: a body with a bottom side; a pad with a plurality of protruding elements attached to the bottom side of the body, wherein the pad covering partially the bottom side of the body and extending beyond the bottom side of the body; and a glue layer attached to the pad.

18. The ceramic of claim 17, further comprising a cushion wrapped around the body.

19. The ceramic of claim 18, wherein the cushion being made from foam.

20. The ceramic of claim 18, wherein the cushion being made from rubber.

21. The ceramic of claim 17, wherein the pad being made from EVA material.

22. The ceramic of claim 17, wherein the glue layer being covered by a film.

23. The ceramic of claim 17, wherein the pad having a top side and a bottom side, the top side of the pad extending beyond the bottom side of the body being covered by glue.

24. The ceramic of claim 17, wherein the glue layer further comprising a layer of restickable glue.

25. A method for installing a hardwood floor, comprising the steps of: installing a first floor board with a pad extending beyond the floor first board, the first floor board having a male lock and a female lock; and installing a second floor board with a male lock and a female lock by engaging the female lock of the second floor board onto the male lock of the first floor lock and placing the second floor board on the pad that extends beyond the first floor board.

26. The method of claim 25, wherein the female lock of the second floor board engages onto the male lock of the first floor lock by applying a downward vertical force.

27. The method of claim 25, further comprising the step of installing the pad onto the first floor board.

28. The method of claim 25, further comprising the step of removing a protective film from the pad.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to wood flooring, and more particularly, to hardwood floor board.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Conventional engineered hardwood floors boards are usually glued down on subfloor. The glue down process is often messy because of easy contamination of the glue onto the floor surface. The glue down process affords a short time window for the floor boards to be installed before the glue starts to cure. This time window also depends on room temperature and moisture, which made the glue down process not easy to control, even for professional installers.

Furthermore, glue down floors often experience delamination problem that is nearly impossible to be repaired. The repair process most of often require tearing up the installed floor and reinstalled the whole floor again. When engineered floor boards are firmly glued down on subfloor, and the floor boards could not expand or contract as the glue strongly grip onto the floor boards. The expansion or contraction force deforms or tears up the multi-layers of an engineered floor and delaminates the engineered floor. The problems with the glue down process can be easily avoided by a floating process with floor board and mechanic locks. Floating installation allows floor boards to slide and move above the subfloor, which will avoid the delamination. However, floating installation often leaves hollow areas between the floor and the subfloor when the subfloor is not flat. This hollowness makes loud noise and thus making it not acceptable for most end users.

Furthermore, when water leaks through the floating floor, the water will spread underneath of the floor and eventually damages the floor. As the floor absorbs some water, the mechanic lock will likely to unlock or unable to re-lock.

Therefore, there is a need for a hardwood floor without the problems of both glue down and floating installation. A hardwood floor can be installed easily without messy glue, without a short installation time window, without delamination, without hollow area, and without quick water damage, and it is to this floor board the present invention is primarily directed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a floor board. The floor board has a body, a pad attached to a bottom side of the body, and a glue layer attached to the pad. The body has top side and a bottom side, a first end and a second end. The pad covers partially the bottom side of the body and extends beyond the first end.

In another embodiment of the invention there is provided a ceramic tile. The ceramic tile has a body with a bottom side, a pad with a plurality of protruding elements attached to the bottom side of the body, and a glue layer attached to the pad. The pad covers partially the bottom side of the body and extends beyond the bottom side of the body.

In yet another embodiment of the present invention there is provided a method for a hardwood floor. The method comprises installing a first floor board with a pad extending beyond the floor first board, the first floor board having a male lock and a female lock, and installing a second floor board with a male lock and a female lock by engaging the female lock of the second floor board onto the male lock of the first floor lock and placing the second floor board on the pad that extends beyond the first floor board.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Features and advantages of embodiments of the invention will become apparent as the following Detailed Description proceeds, and upon reference to the Drawings, where like numerals depict like elements, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a cross section view of a floor board according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is perspective view of a floor board;

FIG. 3 illustrates engagement details of two adjacent floor boards;

FIG. 4 illustrates assembly of one floor board onto an another floor board according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 5 illustrates engagement of one floor board onto an another floor board according to another embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 6 is a cross section view of a floor board according to another embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 7 is a cross section view of assembly of two ceramic tiles according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 8 is a cross section view of assembly of two ceramic tiles according to another embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of assembly of two ceramic tiles;

FIG. 10 is a flow chart for a hardwood floor installation;

FIG. 11 is flow chart for a ceramic floor installation;

FIG. 12 is an alternative embodiment of engagement of two adjacent floor boards;

FIG. 13 is a cross section view of two stone tiles;

FIG. 14 is a top view of a stone tile;

FIG. 15 illustrates assembly of four stone tiles;

FIG. 16 illustrates an alternative embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a hardwood floor board with a flexible pad with a layer of restickable glue and method of installation of such. The hardwood floor made from the hardwood floor boards of the present invention is easy to install and the flexible pad with the restickable glue serves as a cushion that provides soft feeling for people who walk on it. The flexible pad also eliminates the need for preparation of the underlayment or subfloor, which means that the hardwood floor boards can be installed on top of the subfloor that is not perfectly leveled. Because of the pre-installed flexible pad comes with a layer of restickable glue, there is no need for application of additional glue during the installation time; consequently, the installation process can be made easy and fast. The flexible pad also prevents spilled liquid to reach the underlayment and subfloor easily and thus preventing damage to the underlayment or subfloor. A hardwood floor made from the hardwood floor boards of the present invention can be disassembled easily if repair is needed and there is no delamination issued since the hardwood floor boards are not affixed firmly on the subfloor. The subfloor in the context of this application can be wood surface or a cement slab. The restickable glue is not liquid glue; it is a type of dry glue that takes a long time to cure. The restickable glue provides adhesion between the flexible pad and the subfloor and also enables the flexible pad, and the hardwood floor to which the flexible pad is attached, to be detached from the subfloor and glue back to the subfloor before the restickable glue cures.

FIG. 1 is a cross section view of a floor board 100 according to one embodiment of the invention. The floor board 100 has a top layer 102, a body 104, and a pad 106. The floor board 100 has a female lock 108 on one edge and a male lock 110 on the opposing edge. The female lock 108 and the male lock 110 extend along the length of the floor board 110. The body has a top side and a bottom side and a pad 106 is affixed to the bottom. A layer of restickable glue 112 is affixed to the bottom side of the pad 106. The top layer 102 is attached to the top side of the body 104 and is preferably made from a layer of good quality of wood and with some decorative patterns. The top layer 102 may be a thin layer such that enables the entire floor board 100 to have certain flexibility. Alternatively, the top layer 102 may also have thicker thickness that allows re-sanding if needed.

The pad 106 is flexible and preferably made from ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), polyurethane, polyethylene, PVC, or rubber. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the pad may also be made from other materials with similar quality. The restickable glue 112 preferably does not harden while maintaining its glue quality. The restickable glue 112 is spread on both sides of the pad 106. The pad 106 is attached to the floor board 100 through another layer of restickable glue 112 or a glue of another type. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the pad 106 may be attached by other means. The restickable glue 112 on the lower side of the pad 106 is covered with a protective film or paper before use. Alternatively, the pad 106 can be provided separately from the board 100 and with restickable glue 112 can be spread on both side of the pad 106. At the construction site, the installer can then attach the pad 106 to the board. The pad 106 covers partially the under surface of the floor board 100 while extending partially beyond the bottom surface of the floor board 100 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. The top side of the pad 106 that extends beyond the bottom surface is covered by a glue layer, which is also protected by a protective film before use. The force with which the floor board 100 is attached to the subfloor is proportional to adhesion force between the pad 106 and the subfloor provided by the restickable glue 112. Alternatively, the pad 106 may have no glue layer under it, i. e., the pad 106 may be installed on a subfloor without attaching to the subfloor through any attaching means. The resulting installed floor will be floating on the top of the subfloor.

The body 104 of the floor board 100 is preferably made from several wood blocs 114. These wood blocs 114 are physically separated from each other but fixed to the top layer 102 closely adjacent to each other, thus allowing the resulting floor board 100 to be flexible. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that wood blocs 114 may be lined up in either X or Y direction or XY direction. Because of the floor board 100 is thin, the floor board 100 offers flexibility that enables the floor board 100 to better attach to the subfloor.

Two adjacent floor boards 100 can be engaged by pressing down the female lock 108 of one floor board 100 against the male lock 110 of another floor board 100. Because of this locking mechanism, one floor board 100 can be attached to another floor board 100 without sliding either of floor boards 100. This lack of sliding movement is particularly useful in view that the underside of the floor board 100 has a pad 106 with a restickable glue layer 112. The restickable glue layer 112 will attach easily to the underlayment or subfloor, thus making difficult to slide the floor board 100.

The structure described above and illustrated in FIG. 1 can apply to all floor board structures, including, by way of example, solid floor board, engineered floor board, laminated board, board made from bamboo, ceramic tiles, stone tiles, vinyl, etc. This structure is particularly advantageous for installation on uneven subfloor. The floor board can be different kinds to allow floor to have good contact with uneven subfloor and deformed floor boards. Though FIG. 1 shows a structure with a top layer 102, a body 104, and a pad 106, it is understood that the invention can be practice with a single wood layer, i.e., without the top layer 102 and the body 104 can be made from one single piece of wood instead of several wood blocs 114. The body 104 composed of multiple wood blocks 114 is usually preferred for floor board of large dimension.

FIG. 2 is perspective view 200 of a floor board 100. As can be seen in FIG. 2, the pad 106 covers partially the under surface of the floor board 100 and extends partially beyond the floor board 100. The male lock 110 and the female lock 108 extend along the length of the floor board 100. Along the width of the floor board 100 another male lock 202 of same of different profile may be located and a corresponding female lock (not shown) may be on the opposing edge. FIG. 3 shows engagement 300 of a male lock 110 and a female lock 108. The male lock 110 has a protruding element 310, and the female lock 108 is formed by a receiving recess 316. When a press down force 318 is applied against the floor board 320, the female lock 108 of the floor board 320 engages the male lock 110 of the floor board 322. Because of unique construction of both male lock 110 and female lock 108, two floor boards 320, 322 are firmly attached. The engagement of floor boards 320 and 322 is further enforced by a pad lock, which is provided by pad 106 and restickable glue layer 112 that covers the top side of the pad 106 adhering to the bottom side of the body of the floor boards. The pad lock and the mechanical lock provided by the male lock 110 and female lock 108 ensure that adjacent floor boards are firmly engaged. Alternatively, the floor boards shown in FIG. 12 are secured in place by layers of glue 1202 placed on the floor board 1206. Alternatively, the layers of glue 1204 may also be placed on the floor board 1208. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 12, two adjacent floor boards are engaged through the mechanical lock and the pad lock.

FIG. 4 illustrates assembly 400 of one floor board 402 onto another floor board 404 according to one embodiment of the invention. The floor board 404 is first fixed on the subfloor 406 and the protective film covering the glue layer 112 is removed, exposing the glue layer 112. Then the female lock 408 of the floor board 402 is aligned on the top of the male lock 410 of the floor bard 404. After pressing down the floor board 402 against the floor board 404, the floor board 402 will be firmly attached to the subfloor 406 because of the glue layer 112. Two floor boards 402, 404 are engaged to each other through the male lock 110 and female lock 108 and through the portion of the glue layer 112 of the floor board 404 that extends beyond the floor board 404 and under the floor board 402. FIG. 5 illustrates an alternative engagement 500 between two adjacent floor boards according to another embodiment of the invention. Additional glue 502 is placed along the male lock 410 to provide additional engagement between the male lock 410 and the female lock 408.

The floor board of the present invention has certain flexibility and this flexibility is provided through a unique construction of the body of the floor board. One unique construction is shown and described by FIG. 1 and another unique construction is shown in FIG. 6. FIG. 6 is a cross section view 600 of a floor board 602 according to another embodiment of the invention. The floor board 602 has a body 604 that includes several slits 606. The slits 606 do not cut through the body 604 but enable the floor board 602 to flex. The flexibility enables the floor board 602 to better affix to the subfloor.

The same principle of the current invention can be easily applied to other floor coverings such as ceramic tiles. FIG. 7 is a cross section view 700 of assembly of two ceramic tiles according to one embodiment of the invention. The ceramic tile 702 has a body 703 with a bottom side that includes many shallow recesses 704 and a pad 710 attached to the bottom side of the ceramic tile 702. The pad 710 is preferably made from the materials described above for the pad 106. The pad 710 has a plurality of protruding sections 708, each of the protruding sections 708 fits into a shallow recess 704. The protruding sections 708 provides complete support to the body 703 against impact. The pad 710 has also a glue layer 712 similar to the glue layer 112. The pad 710 is fixed to most of the bottom side of the ceramic tile 702 and a portion 714 of the pad 710 extends beyond the ceramic tile 702. During the installation, a ceramic tile 702 is fixed onto the extended portion 714 of an adjacent ceramic tile 706. The ceramic tile 702 can be installed on top of the underlayment 718 or a cement subfloor. Alternatively, a pad or a film layer 716 can be installed on the top of the underlayment or subfloor 718 before the ceramic tile 702 is installed.

The film layer 716 can be a membrane or foam that provides additional moisture sealing ability. The film layer 716 may be made from foam, plastic, rubber, or material similar to that of the pad 112. A layer of film, preferably plastic film, (not shown) can be affixed into the shallow recess 704 so that it is easier to glue the pad 710 to the bottom surface of the ceramic tile 702. Additional glue 718 may also be used to help attachment of one ceramic tile 702 onto the pad 712 of an adjacent ceramic tile 706. The film layer 716 and pad 710 help to improve impact resistance of ceramic tile 702. Similar to floor board described in FIGS. 1-6, the joint between two adjacent ceramic tiles is water sealed and the pad 712 provides additional help to prevent moisture or water to reach the underlayment or subfloor.

FIG. 8 is a cross section view 800 of assembly of two ceramic tiles according to another embodiment of the invention. The ceramic tile 802 has a cushion 806 attached to two sides of the ceramic tile 802 like ā€œLā€ shape. Alternatively, the ceramic tile 802 may have cushion 806 in all four sides. The ceramic floor 802 may have a wrap around recess on its four sides to facilitate the attachment of the cushion 806 if the height of the cushion 806 is less than that thickness of the ceramic tile 802 but it is not necessary. The cushion 806 may be made from foam, rubber, plastic, or any other material with similar property. The cushion 806 provides tight sealing to the joint between two adjacent ceramic floors 702. The cushion 806 may be covered by a layer of glue, which is covered by a protective film or paper before the use. The cushion 806 offers cushion between the ceramic tiles 802 and also provides an efficient water seal for the resulting ceramic floor. FIG. 9 is a perspective view 900 of assembly of two ceramic tiles 902, 904 with a wrap around cushion 903. The pad 909 has a plurality of protruding elements 910. The ceramic tile 904 is placed on the portion of the pad 909 that extends beyond the ceramic tile 902. Though protruding elements 910 are shown as square, the protruding elements 910 of any shape can be used. The protruding elements 910 also provides additional function as serving as mechanical lock against ceramic tile 904 lateral movement.

The floor boards and ceramic tiles described above can be used not only floor covering but also wall covering. The teaching of this application can be applied to wood floor boards made from high density fiberboard (HDF), medium density fiberboard (MDF), engineered wood, or solid wood. Because of the special construction of the floor board, the floor board can be made thinner, thus saving wood material.

The installation of hardwood floor or ceramic floor is made easy with the present invention. FIG. 10 is a flow chart 1000 for a hardwood floor installation using the present invention. The installer removes the protective film attached to the glue layer from a floor board to expose the glue, step 1002, place the floor board adjacent to an installed floor board, step 1004, and presses down the floor board so that the female lock will engage to the male lock, step 1006. The process is repeated until all floor boards are installed. After the installation, any vertical downward force, such as stepping down motion, will drive two adjacent floor boards together and further eliminate any gap between the floor boards. Foam 106 will offer some flexibility to the floor boards to shift slightly to reduce the gaps between the floor boards.

FIG. 11 is flow chart 1100 for a ceramic floor installation using the present invention. The installer first installs a layer of plastic film on the subfloor, step 1102, and this layer servers as water barrier. After the layer of film is installed, the installer can then remove the protective film from the ceramic tile, step 1104, exposing the glue layer, place the ceramic tile adjacent to an installed ceramic tile, step 1106, and press down the ceramic tile onto the exposed pad, step 1108.

FIG. 13 is a cross section view 1300 of two stone tiles according to the invention. The principles of the present invention can apply to stone tiles. The stone tile 1302 may have a bevel 1304 and a cushion 1308 attached to two sides (in ā€œLā€ shape) of the stone tile 1302. The cushion 1308 may have a layer of glue 1312 that is covered by a layer of protective film prior to use. The stone tile 1302 also has a pad 1306 attached to its bottom side. The pad 1306 extends in two directions beyond the bottom side of the stone tile 1302 and recesses in two opposite directions under the bottom side of the stone tile 1302. The portion of the pad 1306 that is extended beyond the stone tile 1302 is covered by glue 1310. The glue 1310 provides a pad lock to the stone tile 1302 and the cushion 1308 ensures a tight fitting between two stone tiles 1302. FIG. 14 is a top view 1400 of a stone tile 1302.

FIG. 15 illustrates an assembly 1500 of four stone tiles. Four stone tiles are secured tightly in place with the pad lock, which is provided by the pad 1306 from one stone tile extending under an adjacent stone tile. The portion of the pad 1306 extending under the adjacent stone tile is covered with glue that will adhere to the bottom of the adjacent stone tile. In the assembly 1500, it is shown two leakage points 1514 and 1516. A leakage point is defined as the intersection of the junction between two adjacent stone tiles and the junction between two pads. The leakage point is a possible passage from liquid to reach from a floor made from stone tiles to a subfloor. The leakage point will not cause any problem to the subfloor because it is recommended that the subfloor be covered by a plastic film.

FIG. 16 illustrates an alternative embodiment 1600. The floor board has a body 1602 and two pad layers 1604 and 1606. The body 1602 may have any construction described above. The pad layer 1604 covers the under surface of the body 1602; the pad layer 1606 covers partially the under surface of the body 1602 and extends beyond the under surface. The under surface of the pad layer 1606 is covered by a layer of restickable glue 1610 and the under surface of the pad layer 1604 that is exposed is covered with single or double layer of restickable glue 1608.

As shown above, the present invention introduces a floor board with a pad, which provides soft feeling, absorbs sound, seals water, and serves as lock and glue. The present invention combines the advantage of glue down and locking flooring system and eliminating disadvantages from either of them.

The terms and expressions which have been employed herein are used as terms of description and not of limitation, and there is no intention, in the use of such terms and expressions, of excluding any equivalents of the features shown and described (or portions thereof), and it is recognized that various modifications are possible within the scope of the claims. Other modifications, variations, and alternatives are also possible. Accordingly, the claims are intended to cover all such equivalents. Dimensions in the drawings here presented are not to the scale unless otherwise indicated. It is intended that different features shown in different figures in this specification maybe combined interchangeably.