US20060070325A1 - Hardwood flooring board - Google Patents

Hardwood flooring board Download PDF

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Publication number
US20060070325A1
US20060070325A1 US11/002,856 US285604A US2006070325A1 US 20060070325 A1 US20060070325 A1 US 20060070325A1 US 285604 A US285604 A US 285604A US 2006070325 A1 US2006070325 A1 US 2006070325A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
layer
board
hardwood
material
adhesive
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Abandoned
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US11/002,856
Inventor
Tryggvi Magnusson
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FLOORING SPECTRUM
Shaw Industries Inc
Original Assignee
FLOORING SPECTRUM
SPECTRUM TOWERS LLC
Shaw Industries Inc
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Priority to US56363804P priority Critical
Priority to US10/863,696 priority patent/US20050268571A1/en
Application filed by FLOORING SPECTRUM, SPECTRUM TOWERS LLC, Shaw Industries Inc filed Critical FLOORING SPECTRUM
Priority to US11/002,856 priority patent/US20060070325A1/en
Assigned to SPECTRUM TOWERS, LLC reassignment SPECTRUM TOWERS, LLC ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: MAGNUSSON, MR. TRYGGVI
Assigned to SPECTRUM TOWERS, LLC reassignment SPECTRUM TOWERS, LLC ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: MAGNUSSON, TRYGGVI
Assigned to SHAW INDUSTRIES GROUP, INC. reassignment SHAW INDUSTRIES GROUP, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: SPECTRUM TOWERS, LLC
Publication of US20060070325A1 publication Critical patent/US20060070325A1/en
Assigned to SHAW INDUSTRIES GROUP, INC. reassignment SHAW INDUSTRIES GROUP, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: FLOORING SPECTRUM
Assigned to FLOORING SPECTRUM reassignment FLOORING SPECTRUM ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: MAGNUSON, TRYGGVI
Assigned to FLOORING SPECTRUM reassignment FLOORING SPECTRUM ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: SPECTRUM TOWERS, LLC
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B21/00Layered products comprising a layer of wood, e.g. wood board, veneer, wood particle board
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B21/00Layered products comprising a layer of wood, e.g. wood board, veneer, wood particle board
    • B32B21/02Layered products comprising a layer of wood, e.g. wood board, veneer, wood particle board the layer being formed of fibres, chips, or particles, e.g. MDF, HDF, OSB, chipboard, particle board, hardboard
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B21/00Layered products comprising a layer of wood, e.g. wood board, veneer, wood particle board
    • B32B21/13Layered products comprising a layer of wood, e.g. wood board, veneer, wood particle board all layers being exclusively wood
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B21/00Layered products comprising a layer of wood, e.g. wood board, veneer, wood particle board
    • B32B21/14Layered products comprising a layer of wood, e.g. wood board, veneer, wood particle board comprising wood board or veneer
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B3/00Layered products comprising a layer with external or internal discontinuities or unevennesses, or a layer of non-planar form ; Layered products having particular features of form
    • B32B3/02Layered products comprising a layer with external or internal discontinuities or unevennesses, or a layer of non-planar form ; Layered products having particular features of form characterised by features of form at particular places, e.g. in edge regions
    • B32B3/06Layered products comprising a layer with external or internal discontinuities or unevennesses, or a layer of non-planar form ; Layered products having particular features of form characterised by features of form at particular places, e.g. in edge regions for securing layers together; for attaching the product to another member, e.g. to a support, or to another product, e.g. groove/tongue, interlocking
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B3/00Layered products comprising a layer with external or internal discontinuities or unevennesses, or a layer of non-planar form ; Layered products having particular features of form
    • B32B3/26Layered products comprising a layer with external or internal discontinuities or unevennesses, or a layer of non-planar form ; Layered products having particular features of form characterised by a particular shape of the outline of the cross-section of a continuous layer; characterised by a layer with cavities or internal voids ; characterised by an apertured layer
    • B32B3/263Layered products comprising a layer with external or internal discontinuities or unevennesses, or a layer of non-planar form ; Layered products having particular features of form characterised by a particular shape of the outline of the cross-section of a continuous layer; characterised by a layer with cavities or internal voids ; characterised by an apertured layer characterised by a layer having non-uniform thickness
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B3/00Layered products comprising a layer with external or internal discontinuities or unevennesses, or a layer of non-planar form ; Layered products having particular features of form
    • B32B3/26Layered products comprising a layer with external or internal discontinuities or unevennesses, or a layer of non-planar form ; Layered products having particular features of form characterised by a particular shape of the outline of the cross-section of a continuous layer; characterised by a layer with cavities or internal voids ; characterised by an apertured layer
    • B32B3/30Layered products comprising a layer with external or internal discontinuities or unevennesses, or a layer of non-planar form ; Layered products having particular features of form characterised by a particular shape of the outline of the cross-section of a continuous layer; characterised by a layer with cavities or internal voids ; characterised by an apertured layer characterised by a layer formed with recesses or projections, e.g. hollows, grooves, protuberances, ribs
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F15/00Flooring
    • E04F15/02Flooring or floor layers composed of a number of similar elements
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F15/00Flooring
    • E04F15/02Flooring or floor layers composed of a number of similar elements
    • E04F15/04Flooring or floor layers composed of a number of similar elements only of wood or with a top layer of wood, e.g. with wooden or metal connecting members
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B2250/00Layers arrangement
    • B32B2250/033 layers
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B2250/00Layers arrangement
    • B32B2250/40Symmetrical or sandwich layers, e.g. ABA, ABCBA, ABCCBA
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B2307/00Properties of the layers or laminate
    • B32B2307/50Properties of the layers or laminate having particular mechanical properties
    • B32B2307/582Tearability
    • B32B2307/5825Tear resistant
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B2419/00Buildings or parts thereof
    • B32B2419/04Tiles for floors or walls
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F2201/00Joining sheets or plates or panels
    • E04F2201/01Joining sheets, plates or panels with edges in abutting relationship
    • E04F2201/0107Joining sheets, plates or panels with edges in abutting relationship by moving the sheets, plates or panels substantially in their own plane, perpendicular to the abutting edges
    • E04F2201/0115Joining sheets, plates or panels with edges in abutting relationship by moving the sheets, plates or panels substantially in their own plane, perpendicular to the abutting edges with snap action of the edge connectors
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F2201/00Joining sheets or plates or panels
    • E04F2201/02Non-undercut connections, e.g. tongue and groove connections
    • E04F2201/023Non-undercut connections, e.g. tongue and groove connections with a continuous tongue or groove

Abstract

The present invention is a hardwood flooring board including a middle layer formed from a non-hardwood flooring material and a hardwood material upper layer which is secured to an upper surface of the middle layer that is thick enough to include decorative designs. The middle layer forms between 45% and 75% of the overall material of the board and enables the board to be manufactured to be more dimensionally stable, i.e., wider and longer, than conventional hardwood flooring boards such that the boards can be more uniformly constructed. Also the use of the non-hardwood material in the middle layer greatly increases the dimensional stability and long term performance of the flooring boards, while providing a genuine hardwood appearance to the floor. The board also includes a lower layer that can be formed from either a hardwood material or a non-hardwood material to function as a base for the board. The upper layer is secured to the middle layer by an adhesive that is urged into the openings or cracks in the upper layer during the assembly of the board to prevent the cracks from spreading through the upper layer when the boards are in use.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/863,696 for an Improved Hardwood Flooring Board filed on Jun. 8, 2004, that claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/563,638, filed on Apr. 20, 2004, the entirety of which are incorporated herein by reference.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to flooring surfaces, more specifically to a flooring surface made of individual flooring boards secured to one another to form the flooring surface.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • In a large number of commercial and residential buildings, hardwood flooring surfaces are utilized to provide an aesthetically pleasing appearance to the interior of the building. In most instances, the flooring surface is formed from a number of flooring boards or planks engaged with one another to form the flooring surface. These boards are usually formed entirely of the desired hardwood, with each board being formed into the desired shape to facilitate the use of the boards to form the flooring surface.
  • However, while these hardwood flooring surfaces provide the desired appearance to the interior of the building, the natural characteristics of traditional solid wood flooring often create challenges during installation and can develop later effecting the long term performance of the floor.
  • To reduce these problems, a number of different types of flooring boards have been developed that are formed from non-hardwood materials that give the appearance of a hardwood. While these boards are faster to install and can be less expensive, the quality of the hardwood appearance is often unsatisfactory, and long term performance is poor, as normal wear and tear can often damage the hardwood-appearing surface of the boards, exposing the non-hardwood material forming the board.
  • Therefore, it is desirable to develop a flooring board that is made of wood, yet is easy to install with a special profile and construction that insures long term performance. Further, the board should be able to be maintained in a manner similar to that of a hardwood surface and offer all the aesthetic features of a traditional solid wood floor.
  • Furthermore, with regard to the veneer layers applied to flooring boards of this type, the veneer layers are constructed from sheets of a hardwood material that are cut in a known manner to form the thin veneers from the hardwood material. In this process, the veneer is usually formed with cracks or gaps in one surface of the veneer, with the other surface being a smooth surface that forms the exposed surface of the flooring board. While these cracks initially do not mar the appearance of the veneer after it is used to form the flooring board, due to fluctuating humidity levels after installation, the cracks can propagate completely through the veneer layer and can break the smooth surface of the veneer, detrimentally effecting the appearance of the hardwood flooring board.
  • Therefore, it is also desirable to develop a hardwood flooring board in which the cracks initially present in any veneer layer used to form the exposed, aesthetically pleasing surface of the flooring board are treated to prevent the cracks from propagating through the veneer layer and affecting the overall appearance of the board.
  • Also, in order to enhance the appearance of the flooring board and the flooring surface formed by the board, certain decorative features (i.e., a beveled edge, scraping, or embossing) can be added to the hardwood decorative surfaces of the boards during the production and milling process. However, due to the fact that traditional solid hardwood boards need to be sanded on the job site after installation and prior to finishing, any decorative enhancement that was added to the hardwood surface during the production and milling process would be eliminated or significantly altered during this sanding process.
  • Thus, it is further desirable to develop a laminate hardwood flooring board that has the ability to incorporate designs on the exposed surface of the board in order to enhance the appearance of the board in manner that would not be eliminated or altered after installation.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • According to a primary aspect of the present invention, an improved hardwood flooring is constructed with upper and lower layers formed of a conventional flooring material and a central or middle layer formed of an alternative non-hardwood flooring material. The board includes a hardwood layer forming the upper layer of the board to give the board the appearance of a conventional hardwood flooring surface when the boards are assembled to form the flooring surface. This enables the boards to be sanded when damaged similarly to a hardwood only board in order to maintain the hardwood appearance of the board.
  • However, the use of the alternative flooring material as the middle layer or core of the board greatly increases the dimensional stability of the board. In addition, the raw material cost for the non-hardwood material forming the middle layer costs less than that of the hardwood forming the upper layer. Further, the types of non-hardwood materials that can be used to form the middle layer can be chosen to enhance various properties of the board, such as the dimensional stability, longer average board length and a specially milled connection between each board that significantly minimizes any future visible contraction of each board.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, the upper layer or veneer layer of the board is secured to the middle layer by a suitable adhesive in a process which urges the adhesive into the cracks present on an inner surface of the veneer layer. By urging the adhesive into the cracks, the adhesive effectively prevents the spread or propagation of the cracks in the veneer layer such that these cracks will not detrimentally affect the appearance of the veneer layer by spreading completely through the veneer layer due to any changes in the environmental conditions surrounding the boards.
  • According to still another aspect of the present invention, the high-strength construction enables the board to be sanded and precisely milled after it is formed, and prior to installation, such that once the boards is installed they require only a light screening (i.e., sanding with 120 grit sandpaper) that lightly abrades the surface of the board so that the wood readily accepts a finish. Also, because the board does not require significant sanding after installation, the board may be formed with a wide range of decorative features (i.e., a beveled edge, scraping, or embossing) that enhance the appearance of the boards and the resulting flooring surface formed by the boards.
  • Other aspects, features and advantages of the present invention will be made apparent from the following detailed description taken together with the drawing and figure.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The drawings illustrate the best most currently contemplated of practicing the present invention.
  • In the drawings:
  • FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a flooring surface constructed using boards formed according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 2 is an isometric view of a flooring board constructed according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view along line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
  • FIGS. 4A-4B are partially broken away cross-sectional views of the boards of FIG. 3 in connected and disconnected configurations;
  • FIGS. 5A-5D are partially broken away cross-sectional views illustrating the connection of the boards of FIGS. 4A-4B; and
  • FIG. 6 is a partially broken away cross-sectional view of a flooring board having a veneer surface secured to the board using the adhesive and method of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • With reference now to the drawing figures in which like reference numerals designate like parts throughout the disclosure, a flooring surface is shown generally at 8 in FIG. 1. The surface is formed over a support surface 9, such as a concrete slab, from a number of flooring boards 10 constructed according the present invention.
  • Looking now at FIGS. 2-3, each board 10 is between 0.10 inches and 1.00 inches, and preferably about 0.75 inches in thickness, and includes an upper layer 12, a core or middle layer 14 and a lower layer 16. The upper layer 12 and the lower layer 16 can be attached to opposites sides of the middle layer 14 in any conventional manner, such as by using an adhesive or mechanical fasteners, in conjunction with heat and/or pressure, so as long as the upper layer 12 and lower layer 16 are prevented from delaminating or otherwise becoming detached from the middle layer 14 during the installation and use of the boards 10.
  • The upper layer 12 is formed of a conventional hardwood material in order to provide the desired aesthetic appearance to the flooring surface 8 constructed using the boards 10. Any particular hardwood material can be used for upper layer 12, depending upon the desired appearance for the flooring surface 8. The upper layer 12 has a thickness of between about two (2) mm and about five (5) mm. This allows the upper layer 12 to be sanded approximately 3-5 times before the layer 12 is worn completely through. Thus, any gouging, scratching or refinishing of the upper layer 12 can be done similarly to a conventional hardwood flooring board without exposing the middle layer 14, as occurs with the prior art engineered non-hardwood flooring boards. Also, due to the use of a hardwood material to form the upper layer 12, the board 10 can have a face grade from the National Oak Flooring Manufacturers Association similar to the boards formed entirely of the hardwood.
  • The lower layer 16 can also be formed from a hardwood material similar to the upper layer 12, or can be formed from a non-hardwood material that has certain selected properties, e.g., water resistance or rigidity, as a base for the board 10. The material forming the lower layer 16 is capable of being secured to the support surface 9 by any suitable means, such as an adhesive, when the boards 10 are attached “in flex,” or a mechanical fastener, e.g., a nail or screw, to hold the boards 10 thereon to form the flooring surface 8. The lower layer 16 also has a thickness comparable to the upper layer 12, preferably between about two (2) mm and about five (5) mm.
  • The middle layer 14 is formed of an alternative, non-hardwood flooring material that provides a stable core for the board 10. The non-hardwood material used in the middle layer 14 can be any suitable generally rigid and non-compressible material, but is preferably a material such as High Density Fiber Board, Medium Density Fiber Board, plywood, chipboard, Orientated Strand Board, a cheaper wood or wood composite material, or the like, in comparison to the materials utilized to form the upper layer 12 and the lower layer 16. This non-hardwood material can be selected and used to form the middle layer 14 to create boards 10 that are more dimensionally stable such as by orienting the non-hardwood material in a direction perpendicular to the length of the board 10 and the grain of the hardwood forming the upper layer 12. This enables the boards 10 to be made longer and wider than conventional flooring boards which results in fewer boards 10 being required to form the flooring surface 8. Also, the non-hardwood material forming the middle layer 14 can be formed or milled very precisely prior to assembly into the board 10, which results in uniform boards 10 with tight tolerances than can easily by engaged with one another to form the flooring surface 8.
  • To accomplish this, the middle layer 14 is preferably formed to have a thickness of between about six (6) mm and fifteen (15) mm. Thus, the middle layer 14 forms between about 40% and about 75% of the total material of the board 10, more preferably between 45% and 65% of the total board material, and most preferably about 55% of the total board material.
  • In a particularly preferred embodiment, the upper layer 12 and middle layer 14 are secured to one another, with or without the bottom layer 16, in a process where the middle layer 14 and upper layer 12 are adhered to one another utilizing a suitable adhesive 100, as best shown in FIG. 6. The adhesive 100 is spread on either the upper layer 12 or middle layer 14, with the upper layer 12 and middle layer 14 subsequently being pressed together in a known manner. During the compression of the upper layer 12 and the middle layer 14, the adhesive 100 is cured, such as by heating, UV light, or by mixing of a catalyst into the adhesive prior to application to the layers 12 and 14, to securely adhere the layers 12 and 14 to one another to form the board 10. Also, if a bottom layer 16 is present, the bottom layer 16 can be secured to the middle layer 14 in the same manner as the upper layer 12, and at the same time as the upper layer 12, or in a completely different manner subsequent to the compression of the upper layer 12 to the middle layer 14.
  • Prior to the adhesive completely curing, the adhesive 100 is forced by the compression of the upper layer 12 and middle layer 14 against one another into gaps or cracks 102 present in a lower surface 104 of the upper layer 12 in order to more securely adhere the upper layer 12 to the middle layer 14. The presence of the adhesive 100 in the cracks 102 also serves to prevent the spread or propagation of the cracks 102 from the lower surface 104 through the entire upper layer 12. As such, the cracks 102 will not detrimentally affect the appearance of the exposed upper surface 106 of the upper layer 12.
  • To enhance the direction of the adhesive 100 into the cracks 102 during compression, the middle layer 14 is formed of a non-oriented fiberboard, in a preferred embodiment that prevents the adhesive 100 from being compressed or flowing into the board forming the middle layer 14, consequently urging the adhesive 100 upwardly into the cracks 102. More preferably, this non-oriented fiberboard has a high density at least long the side positioned adjacent the upper layer 12, i.e., greater than 790 kg/m3, and preferably greater than 850 kg/m3, to enable the middle layer 14 to more easily urge the adhesive 100 into the cracks 102 in the upper layer 12. To further facilitate the adhesive 100 flowing into the cracks 102, an adhesive having a viscosity of between twenty-five (25) poise and forty (40) poise is utilized, with an adhesive having a viscosity of about thirty (30) poise being especially preferred. In a particularly preferred embodiment for the adhesive 100, the adhesive 100 takes the form of a urea formaldehyde resin that is catalyst curable, such as the urea formaldehyde resin sold under the trade name SYNTEKO 1203 by Casco Products AB of Stockholm, Sweden.
  • The compression force utilized to secure the upper layer 12 and middle layer 14 to one another must be high enough to direct the adhesive 100 into the cracks 102 without damaging the upper surface 106 of the upper layer 12. Preferably, this force exerted on the layers 12 and 14 is greater than two hundred (200) psi in order to ensure that the adhesive 100 is urged into the cracks 102 within the upper layer 12. The elevated pressure applied to the layers 12 and 14 works in a synergistic fashion with the non-oriented high density construction of the middle layer 14 to urge the adhesive 100 into the upper layer 12 while also forming a secure bond between the upper layer 12 and a middle layer 14.
  • Looking now at FIGS. 3-5D in order to enable the boards 10 to be secured to one another to form the flooring surface 8, the middle layer 14 also includes a tongue 18 and a groove 20 positioned on and extending along opposite sides of the board 10. The tongue 18 is preferably formed integrally with the middle layer 14, but may be formed of a separate, more rigid or more flexible material that is secured to the board 10, if desired. The tongue 18 can have any suitable shape but preferably has a base portion 21 extending outwardly from the middle layer 14 that has a rounded end 22 disposed opposite the middle layer 14. A notch or recess 24 is formed on one side of the base portion 21 adjacent the upper layer 12 to facilitate the engagement of the tongue 18 within the groove 20 and to allow a certain amount of expansion of the tongue 18 due to the changing moisture content of the board 10.
  • The groove 20 is shaped to be complimentary to the tongue 18 and preferably defines an interior space 28 slightly greater than the size of the tongue 18 to accommodate the normal expansion and contraction of the tongue 18 based on the changing moisture content of the board 10. The tongue 18 can be secured within the groove 20 simply by using a friction fit between them, or an adhesive (not shown) or other suitable means to permanently hold the tongue 18 in engagement with the groove 20. The groove 20 can be milled out of the middle layer 14 during the formation of the middle layer 14, similarly to the tongue 18.
  • The side of the board 10 including either the tongue 18 or the groove 20 can be formed such that the upper layer 12 extends outwardly further than the lower layer 16 to enable the boards 10 to be joined to form a surface 8 with a minimum of space between the upper layers 12 on adjacent boards 10.
  • In one particularly preferred embodiment shown best in FIGS. 3, 4A-4B and 5A-5D, the groove 20 includes one of a connecting rib 26 or connecting notch 28 integrally formed therein. The rib 26 or notch 28 is engageable with an opposed rib 26 or notch 28 formed on the tongue 18. The engagement of the rib 26 with the notch 28 secures the tongue 18 in engagement with the groove 20 without using any materials other than the boards 10 themselves, thus reducing the complexity of forming the surface 8 using the boards 10. To properly engage the notch 28 with the rib 26, the tongue 18 is formed with a recessed portion 30 that enables the tongue 18 and notch 28 to be inserted beneath the rib 26 and then engaged with one another to secure the boards 10 to each other as illustrated in FIGS. 5A-5D. The engagement of the rib 26 with the notch 28 maintains the positioning of the adjacent boards 10 with one another, such that the boards 10 present a continuous flooring surface 8 as the individual boards 10 take on and lose moisture due to the changing environmental conditions.
  • Also, in order to enable the boards 10 to be more easily attached to the support surface, the lower layer 16 may include one or more recesses 32 within which an adhesive or other fastening means to be utilized can be positioned to enable the board 10 to be positioned flush on the support surface 9 when secured to the support surface 9. In situations where mechanical fasteners (not shown) such as nails or screws are used, the fastener on occasion creates splinters when breaking through the bottom layer 16, the recesses 32 is designated to facilitate these splinters. More particularly, the recesses 32 enable the board 10, and specifically the lower layer 16, to flex under the force of the fastener being engaged with the board 10 and the support surface 9.
  • As stated previously, the construction of the board 10 allows it to be precisely sanded and milled to form highly uniform boards 10, such that the tongue 18 and the groove 20 can be very accurately formed to ensure the proper engagement of the boards 10 with one another when forming a flooring surface 8. This also allows the board 10 to be formed with various decorative features on the exposed surfaces of the board 10. Virtually any desired decorative design or feature can be formed on the board 10, and more particularly on the upper surface 106 of the upper layer 12, to enhance the appearance of the finished board 10. For example, as best shown in FIG. 3, the board 10 includes a pair of bevels 200 formed along each longitudinal side 202 of the upper surface 14. However, the bevels 200 can be formed along each edge of the upper layer, if desired. The bevels 200 are preferably formed at a forty-five degree (45°) angle with regard to the upper surface 106, but can be formed to have any desired angle or slope, and are formed on the board 10 in any conventional manner, such as by contacting the sides 202 of the upper layer 14 with a grinding wheel or other suitable device.
  • The bevels 200 are formed on the upper surface 106 of the upper layer 12 after the board 10 has been sanded and milled into the appropriate shape, so that the board 10 is ready to be installed without any further sanding. The boards 10, due to their precise and uniform construction, only need to be lightly screened after installation in order to promote the penetration of the selected stain (not shown) into the boards 10. Thus, the bevels 200 remain clear and distinct after installation of the boards 10.
  • Various alternatives are contemplated as being within the scope of the following claims, particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming a subject matter regarded as the invention.

Claims (17)

1-21. (canceled)
21. A flooring board comprising:
a) a first layer formed of a first material having an upper surface and a lower surface, the lower surface including a number of openings extending into the upper layer generally perpendicular to the lower surface;
b) a second layer formed of a non-hardwood material; and
c) an adhesive joining the lower surface of the first layer to the second layer, the adhesive extending from the lower surface into the openings in the upper surface.
22. The board of claim 21 wherein the openings in the lower surface of the first layer are cracks created during the formation of the first layer.
23. The board of claim 21 wherein the first material is a hardwood material.
24. The board of claim 21 wherein the non-hardwood material is a non-oriented fiberboard.
25. The board of claim 24 wherein the second layer has a density of at least 790 kg/m3.
26. The board of claim 21 wherein the adhesive has a viscosity of between about 25 poise and about 40 poise.
27. The board of claim 21 wherein the adhesive is an urea formaldehyde adhesive.
28. A method of forming a hardwood flooring board, the method comprising the steps of:
a) providing a first layer formed of a hardwood material and having a number of openings on one surface of the first layer, and a second layer formed of a non-hardwood material;
b) applying an adhesive to one of the first layer or the second layer; and
c) pressing the first layer and the second layer against one another to urge the adhesive into the openings in the first layer.
29. The method of claim 28 wherein the step of pressing the first layer and the second layer against one another compression pressing the first layer against the second layer of a pressure of at least 200 psi.
30. A flooring board comprising:
a) an upper layer formed of a hardwood material and having a thickness greater than 2 mm; and
b) a middle layer formed of a non-hardwood material and secured to the upper layer, wherein the upper layer includes at least one decorative design opposite the middle layer.
31. The board of claim 30 wherein the at least one decorative design is a bevel disposed in at least one side of the upper layer.
32. The board of claim 30 further comprising a lower layer secured to the middle layer opposite the upper layer.
33. The board of claim 32 wherein the lower layer includes at least one channel adapted to receive a fastener that secures the board directed to a support surface.
34. The board of claim 30 wherein the upper layer includes a number of openings extending into the upper layer from a lower surface, and further comprising an adhesive extending from the middle layer into the openings in the upper layer.
35. The board of claim 34 wherein the middle layer has a density of at least 790 kg/m3.
36. The board of claim 30 wherein the upper layer has a thickness of between about 2 mm and about 5 mm.
US11/002,856 2004-04-20 2004-11-30 Hardwood flooring board Abandoned US20060070325A1 (en)

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US56363804P true 2004-04-20 2004-04-20
US10/863,696 US20050268571A1 (en) 2004-06-08 2004-06-08 Hardwood flooring board
US11/002,856 US20060070325A1 (en) 2004-04-20 2004-11-30 Hardwood flooring board

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US11/002,856 US20060070325A1 (en) 2004-04-20 2004-11-30 Hardwood flooring board
PCT/US2005/042954 WO2006091249A1 (en) 2004-04-20 2005-11-29 Improved hardwood flooring board
US11/871,784 US20080086977A1 (en) 2004-04-20 2007-10-12 Hardwood flooring board and methods

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WO2017001976A1 (en) 2015-07-02 2017-01-05 Unilin, Bvba Floor panel and method for manufacturing floor panels

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