US3045294A - Method and apparatus for laying floors - Google Patents

Method and apparatus for laying floors Download PDF

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US3045294A
US3045294A US57313856A US3045294A US 3045294 A US3045294 A US 3045294A US 57313856 A US57313856 A US 57313856A US 3045294 A US3045294 A US 3045294A
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boards
floor
sleepers
sub
laying
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Jr William F Livezey
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Jr William F Livezey
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    • 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
    • E04F15/02005Construction of joints, e.g. dividing strips
    • E04F15/02027Means for spacing the flooring from an adjoining wall
    • 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
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F2201/00Joining sheets or plates or panels
    • E04F2201/05Separate connectors or inserts, e.g. pegs, pins, keys or strips
    • E04F2201/0511Strips or bars, e.g. nailing strips

Description

July 24, 1962 w. F. LIVEZEY, JR 3,045,294

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR LAYING FLOORS Filed March 22, 1956 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIGI. 3o

FIG. 2.

INVENTORi WILLIAM F. LIVEZEYJR AT T YS.

July 24, 1962 w. F. LIVEZEY, JR 3,

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR LAYING FLOORS Filed. March 22, 1956 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 ,0 I 7 INVENTORZ 37 I, WILLIAM F. LIVEZEY JR.

ATTYS,

United States The present invention relates to a method and apparatus for laying floors, and more particularly to a method and apparatus for laying wooden floors on concrete and similar sub-floors.

The primary reasons for the widespread use of wood flooring are its durability and the ease with which its surface may be refinished. One of the major drawbacks of Wooden and similar fioorings is the problem caused by the expansion and contraction of the material by reason of severe changes in the atmospheric humidity. In addition to changes of atmospheric humidity, substantial damage is normally caused When a quantity of water is spilled on the floor. The conventional method of laying floors lattemps to overcome these difficulties by restricting the expansion and contraction of the flooring. While this method is satisfactory for laying floors in small areas, it is not entirely satisfactory for laying large floors both as to cost and as to resistance against soaking by water spillage.

Another important factor in laying certain types of floors is the requirement for precise leveling of the subfloor, since the finished floor laid in conventional manner, must follow the contour of the sub-floor. The laying of a level sub-floor is so costly, that the trade must tolerate a sub-floor which varies substantially from true level.

In laying conventional floors, the flooring is secured directlyto a support base, either by nailing or by an adhesive coating. To provide a nailable surface on concrete sub-floors, it is the usual practice to lay wooden sleepers at specified locations on the concrete sub-floor. When laying the sleepers, it is possible to compensate for variations from the level of the sub-floor, but the sleepers normally project slightly above the level of the surroundatent ing concrete. The laying of the sleepers is accomplished by securing the sleepers to a base structure, and then 'slushi-ng cinder concrete into the areas intermediate the sleepers. Since the sleepers are laid in a moist substance, they absorb a substantial quantity of moisture and are subject to expansion and later contraction. If the flooring is laid While the sleepers are expanding from the dampness, a loose, squeaky floor with open joints between the individual boards results when the sleepers and flooring boards dry and contract. Should the floor later become wet, for example as a result of spillage, more severe damage occurs, and at a faster rate.

Furthermore, the resilience of the conventional floor varies across its surface. Where the boards are secured to the sleepers, substantially no resilience is present; however, intermediate the sleepers, the boards are unsupported and the flooring exhibits a degree of resilience. If a uniform floor is desired, the sleepers must be laid within short distances of one another which substantially eliminates all resilience. provide resilience in a floor of this type.

In a second conventional method, the base sub-fioor is fabricated within the tolerated limits of level as set forth above. The top surface of the floor is primed or painted with asphalt and an asphalt adhesive or mastic is troweled over the complete surface. The finished flooring is then laid on the mastic, leaving expansion areas at walls, columns, doorways, etc. The expansion area is then filled with hot asphalt. To provide damp-proofing, I

after it has been primed, and the mastic is troweled onto the damp-proofing instead of being placed directly on the primed surface of the concrete. This type of flooring is only as level as the sub-floor, and provides practically no resilience. When laid in large areas, and when the flooring is subject to severe atmospheric changes in humidity, the individual boards, being held against movement, are slightly, but permanently crushed about their periphery by the expansion forces exerted upon them by the adjacent boards. When the humidity disappears, the boards dry out and are no longer subject to the expansion forces. The crushed peripheries of the boards then leave open joints. When water spillage occurs, the expansion forces are sufficiently great to cause the boards to heave up or buckle, causing irreparable damage to the boards, and necessitating laying of a new floor in the damaged area. This method of laying floors does not provide resilience unless a resilient layer is placed over the complete subfioor area intermediate the sub-floor and the finished floor.

With the foregoing in mind, a primary object of the present invention is to provide a method and apparatus for laying floors which provide a uniform resilience over the entire floor area without the requirement for a sheet of resilient material underlying the complete floor area.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a method and appaartus for laying floors which provides a precisely levelfloor substantially independent of the levelness of the sub-floor.

Another important object of the present invention is to provide a floor which affords expansion and contrac-,

tion of the flooring material without buckling or leaving open joints in the floor surface.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a floor which is highly economical to lay, and which may be lifted and replaced by anyone to correct damage.

All of the objects of the invention and the various features and details of the operation thereof are more fully set forth hereinafter with reference to the accornpanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary perspective view of a floor being laid in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken on the line 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional View taken on the line '33 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary perspective view of a com posite sleeper made in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a flooring strip;

FIG. 6 is a view showing an intermediate step in the laying of the floor in accordance with the present invention;

It is not commercially practical to FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken on the line 7-7 of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is an enlarged view similar to FIG. 6 showing the succeeding step in the operation; and

FIG. 9 is a plan view showing a further step in the operation.

The present invention provides novel apparatus and methods for laying flooring in which the floor consists of a plurality of short lengths of flooring boards. The individual boards may be 12 inches long, 1 inch high and 1% inches wide, but of course, variations are possible within the scope of the present invention. The individual boards are laid in laterally abutting relationship across the full width of the floor, to form a first series of boards, and subsequent series are laid in endwise abutting relation 1 thereto. The boards are supported at their ends by sleepers which extend across the full width of the area being floored, and an auxiliary support is, provided intermediate the. sleepers to insure substantially uniform resilience .2) along the length of the board. The boards are laterally slidable on the supports to compensate for lateral expansion and contraction due to the changes in temperature and humidity, and means is provided to bias the boards together to insure tight joints therebetween at all times.

Referring now to the drawings, the flooring of the present invention is composed of a plurality of boards 10. As shown in FIGS. 2, 3, 5, and 6, the boards 10 have parallel top and bottom surfaces 11 and 12, respectively, and slightly downwardly tapered side and end surfaces 13 and 14, respectively. The tapered side and end surfaces insure a neat joint on the upper surface of the floor, while affording clearance between the boards adjacent the lower surface. As shown, the ends of the board are grooved as indicated at 16 to receive outwardly projecting flanges 17 of the composite sleeper 18 upon which the ends of the boards are supported.

In accordance with the invention, the sleepers 18 each comprise a base portion 19 preferably formed of cork or a similar resilient substance and an upper portion or facing plate 20 of metal or other durable material. The face plate 20 is formed with an upstanding central portion 21 which mounts the outwardly projecting flange 17 which is received in the groove 16, as described above, and as shown in FIG. 3. Intermediate the sleepers 18 is disposed an auxilary support member 25 which is formed of cork or other suitable resilient material. Thus, when the floor is assembled, the individual boards are held against upward movement by reason of the engagement of the flanges 17 in the grooves 16 at the opposite ends of the board. The board is resiliently supported against downward movement by the undersurface of the board 12 resting on the face plate 28 of the sleepers 18 and on the auxiliary support member 25. However, the board is free for lateral sliding movement on the sleepers 18 and the auxiliary support 25. To insure freedom of movement of the boards laterally, the upper surfaces of the sleepers 18 and the support 25 are lubricated, for example, by a thin coating of paraflin or other wax material. Endwise movement of the boards is limited by the abutting engagement of the boards of one series with those of the adjacent series, and to a certain degree by the engagement of the upper portion of the sleepers 18 in the grooves 16.

The sleepers 18 and the supports 25 are securely united to the sub-floor -27 by means of mastic or other suitable cement indicated at 28 and 29, respectively, in FIG. 3. The sleepers 18 and the auxiliary supporting members 25 perferably extend continuously across the width of the area being laid terminating short of the opposite side walls 30. Likewise, the boards 11 are laid in series extending across the width of the area and are coextensive with the sleepers 18. Since the sleepers 18 terminate short of the side walls 30, the boards 10 are free to slide outwardly toward the wall and to become disengaged from the sleeper, for example, when severe conditions of humidity are present.

The space between the end of the flooring and the wall 30 is covered by a suitable trim 31 such as cove base and the like. In doorways and the like, threshold plates effectively cover the expansion margin. Preferably, the trim 31 is mounted as indicated at 32 to be susceptible of vertical displacement when pressure is exerted on the underside. Thus, under severe humidity changes, when the boards 10 expand toward the wall 30 and disengage the upper portion of the composite sleeper 18, the boards may be displaced upwardly and displace the trim 31, thereby freeing the board. To insure against jamming of the board between the walls, an elevating element 33 is perferably imbedded in the support member 25 to engage the board and effect upward movement thereof upon its disengagement from the flange 17 of the composite sleeper 18.

Under normal conditions, the boards 10 are displaced only slightly in a lateral direction by reason of their expansion to the changes in humidity. Means is provided to return the boards to their normal position when the humidity returns to the condition at which the floor is laid. To this end, the boards are biased inwardly of the area away from the wall 30. While other resilient members may be employed, preferably an elongated spring 36 is tensioned between the outermost board and the sub-floor 27. To this end, as shown in FIG. 2, the spring is anchored in the sub-floor, for example, as indicated at 37 and is engaged at the other end against the outermost board, for example, by an angle member 38. The angle member 38 bears against the outermost board 10 without physical attachment thereto so that upon extremely severe changes in humidity, the board is free to be displaced upwardly by the member 33. Under normal conditions, however, the outermost board remains en gaged with the flange 17 of the sleeper 18 and travels back and forth in accordance with the cumulative lateral contraction and expansion of the series of boards. Freedom of movement of the boards is obtained by tensioning the spring sufficiently to overcome the frictional forces of the boards on the sleeper in moving them laterally along the sleepers. Thus, the spring does not severely restrain the expansion or contraction of the boards, but simply returns the boards to their initial position to close up open joints therebetween as the boards contract after having expanded.

It is noted that the present sleepers 18 and auxiliary supports 25 provide a dead air space intermediate the sub-floor 2'7 and the finish floor composed of the boards 11;. Because of the dead air space between the bottoms 12 of the boards 10 and the sub-floor 27, the boards are not in direct contact with the sub-floor surface. Thus when water spills on the floor, it may accumulate in the dead air space without soaking the flooring boards. Therefore the boards do not soak up the water on the sub-floor as would the boards in conventional floors wherein the boards are in direct contact with the subfloor.

The present invention provides for ready repair of the fioor when damaged. For example, in normal installations, if a substantial quantity of water is spilled on the floor, the conventional floors are severely damaged by reason of the normal restraining forces which limit the expansion of the individual members of the floor. The present invention provides a floor which is readily disassembled in the event of damage. Damage by water spillage is substantially eliminated because the expansion forces are not restrained, and in the event of spillage of an excessive quantity of water, the floor is readily picked up by removing the trim 31 releasing the tension on the spring 36 and sliding out the individual boards 10 beyond the end of the sleeper, and removing them. After the removed boards 10 and the sub-floor have been dried, the floor is relaid in the same manner by simply sliding the boards laterally thereof longitudinally of the sleepers to their original positions on the composite sleepers, reengaging the angle member 38 with the outermost board, and replacing the trim 31.

To provide an indication when severe expansion has taken place, a groove is made in the upper surface 11 of the boards as indicated at 40 in FIG. 2, adjacent the outer terminus of the trim 31. The amount of expansion or contraction may then be observed by gaging the distance between the groove 40 and the outer terminus of the trim 31.

The composite sleeper 18 and the auxiliary support members 25 not only provide resilience in the floor at substantially less cost than the conventional method of laying resilient wood floors, but also provides means for obtaining a precisely level finish floor on the unlevel surface of a sub-floor. This is accomplished by forming the resilient portion 19 of the sleeper 18 in a manner to conform to the contour of the sub-floor on its lower surface, but maintaining precisely level its upper surface which mounts the facing plate 20. Thus, the vertical dimension or thickness of the resilient portion of the sleeper 18'varies in accordance with the variation of the sub-floor surface below the desired level or elevation of the finish floor, and the upper surface of the resilient portion 19 of the composite sleeper 18 is precisely parallel to the desired level or elevation.

The present invention affords an economical method for laying floors which are truly level. In carrying out the improved method of the invention, the sub-floor 27 is laid or poured in the conventional manner so as to be approximately level. Strips of cork or other resilient materials which will constitute the portion 19 of the composite sleeper 18 are cemented to the sub-floor in proper spacing, preferably 12 inches, from center to center, and a strip which forms the supporting member 25 is cemented to the sub-floor intermediate the other strips. Preferably, the strips are laid starting adjacent one end wall of the area being floored. The strips when laid are of uniform thickness and follow the contour of the subfloor. The upper surface of the strips of resilient material is then shaved or cut with the aid of proper instruments to be truly level, the central strip which forms the sup porting member 25 being cut or shaved to a height greater than the other strips by an amount equal to the thickness of the plate 20. i

The upper portion of the composite sleeper 18 is then cemented in place upon the level surface of the resilient material adjacent the end wall, and thereafter the upper surfaces of the sleeper 18 and the strip 25 are lubricated. The first series of boards is then engaged against the upper portion of the strip with the groove engaging the flange 17 and the bottom surface resting on the plate 20 and the strips 25. When the series of boards has been laid with the boards in laterally abutting relation with one another, the upper portion 21a of the next composite sleeper 18a is lubricated by a coating of parafiin or the like and is inserted into the grooves at the other end of the boards and is cemented onto the level upper surface of the corresponding resilient strip which has been previously leveled. When the series of boards has been laid in this manner, a precisely level surface has been obtained, as indicated at 50 in FIGS. 6 and 7.

In the succeeding operation, a resilient strip of greater thickness than the portion 20b of the next sleeper 18b is then cemented to the sub-floor 27, for example, as indicated at 51 in proper spacing for the next series of boards, for example with the center 12 inches from the end of the boards constituting the surface 50. A second strip of resilient material of greater thickness than the strip 51 is then laid intermediate the strip and the level surface as indicated at 52. With the surface 50 as a supporting surface, a machine is then advanced to shave or cut the marginal portion of the strips 51 and 52 to a precise level condition corresponding to the level condition of the surface Stl. The strip 52 is shaved to a height greater than the strip 51 to form an intermediate support 25b, the leveled strip 51 forming the base 19b of the composite sleeper 18b. The next series of boards is then mounted against the boards of the surface 50 in engagement with the composite sleeperindicated at 18a in FIGS. 6 and 8. When laying the boards adjacent the side wall 30, the springs 36, 36 (see FIG. 9) are extended to engage the angles 38, 38 against the outermost board of the series, for example as shown at 3811 in FIG. 9.

With the complete series of boards in place, the upper portion, indicated by broken lines at 21b in FIG. 8, of the composite sleeper 18b, is engaged in the grooves at the opposite ends of the boards 10 comprising the second series and the upper portion 21b is cemented against the upper surface of the base portion 19b. When the strip 21b is cemented to the portion 1%, a second composite sleeper 18b is formed. Thus, the second series of boards constitute a continuation of the level surface 50 formed by the first series of boards. Additional strips of resilient material such as cork are laid beyond the second series and the surface just formed is employed as a guide surface for shaving or cutting the strips to dispose their upper surfaces precisely level, and the next series of boards is laid in the manner just described. These steps are repeated until the complete area is floored at which time the upper surface tis finished inthe conventional manner; the trim strips 31 are applied around its periphery; and the index grooves 40 are formed.

While I have described the preferred method of v installation, several modifications are possible within the scope of the invention. For example, instead of laying the'complete series of boards 10 in place before cementing the upper portion of the composite sleeper to the lower portion, it is possible to assemble the composite sleeper prior to laying the boards of the series and then follow the procedure outlined previously in connection with the replacement and repair of damaged floors.

Also, instead of starting at one end of the area, it may be found desirable to erect a temporary level platform across the full width of the central part of the area which serves as a level guiding base for shaving or cutting the strips forming the bases of the first composite sleepers and the intermediate supporting member to the precisely level condition. 'The plat-form is removed after laying the first series of boards and the remainder of the floor is laid in the manner described above.

, While particular forms of the present invention have been herein illustrated and described, it is not intended to limit the invention to such a disclosure, but changes and modifications may be made therein and thereto within the scope of the following claims.

I claim:

1. A floor construction comprising a sub-floor, a pinrality of sleepers, each consisting of a base portion of resilient material secured ,to said sub-floor and an upper portion united to said base port-ion and having a face plate with an upstanding web terminating in outturned flange portions parallel to said face plate, and a plurality of fioor boards each having a flat undersurface supported at its ends on the face plate of the upper portion of said sleepers and having means defining grooves in its end walls receiving said outturned flange portions, said grooves affording sliding movement of said boards on the upper portions of said sleepers, and spring means of less thickness than said resilient material and underlying said floor boards and overlying said sub-floor intermediate said sleepers, said spring means being secured to said sub-floor rat a point underlying said floor boards and engaging at the other end an outer floor board to bias the same inwardly longitudinally of the sleepers.

2. Construction according to claim 1 wherein said flange portion terminates in spaced relation to the lateral edges of said sub-floor, and including means to displace the boards upwardly upon lateral movement thereof beyond the terminus of said flange portions.

3. The method of laying a level floor comprising the steps of forming a sub-floor, securing resilient base strips to said sub-fioor at spaced parallel locations therealong, forming said secured base strips to dispose their upper surfaces level, securing upper portions to said leveled base strips to form composite sleepers, and mounting a series of floor boards to span between the upper portions of adjacent composite sleepers, to form a row of boards substantially coextensive with said sleepers by sliding successive boards longitudinally of said sleepers into sidewise abutting relation.

4. The method according to claim 3 wherein the boards are mounted row by row and wherein further the previously laid row is used as a guide for forming the base strips to dispose their upper surfaces level.

5. The method according to claim 3 including the step of applying a laterally inward resilient bias on the series of floor boards in each row to resiliently maintain said boards of said series in laterally abutting relation.

(References on following page) UNITED STATES PATENTS Prickett July 29, 1924 Van der Bulcke Oct. 24, 1905 Praray Aug. 23, 1910 Roeder Oct. 2, 1917 Olsen Nov. 24, 1925 McWilliams Jan. 6, 1931 Barrows Aug. 25, 1931 8 Wolfson Nov. 22, 1932 Snyder et a1 Oct. 16, 1934 Kern Sept. 7, 1943 Taphoureau Feb. 16, 1954 Olsen Oct. 2, '1956 FOREIGN PATENTS Great Britain Oct. 12, 1932 Switzerland Apr. 1, 1946 France June 15, 1955

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