WO2000053865A1 - Free lay ceramic tile flooring systems and methods - Google Patents

Free lay ceramic tile flooring systems and methods Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2000053865A1
WO2000053865A1 PCT/US2000/006268 US0006268W WO0053865A1 WO 2000053865 A1 WO2000053865 A1 WO 2000053865A1 US 0006268 W US0006268 W US 0006268W WO 0053865 A1 WO0053865 A1 WO 0053865A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
flooring
replaceable wear
base matrix
free lay
free
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2000/006268
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Graham Scott
Original Assignee
Interface, Inc.
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US12388499P priority Critical
Priority to US60/123,884 priority
Application filed by Interface, Inc. filed Critical Interface, Inc.
Publication of WO2000053865A1 publication Critical patent/WO2000053865A1/en

Links

Classifications

    • 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
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47GHOUSEHOLD OR TABLE EQUIPMENT
    • A47G27/00Floor fabrics; Fastenings therefor
    • A47G27/04Carpet fasteners; Carpet-expanding devices ; Laying carpeting; Tools therefor
    • A47G27/0475Laying carpet tiles

Abstract

A free lay flooring system including a base matrix (12) for securing a replaceable wear surface (14) to a floor or subfloor. The base matrix includes a plurality of flooring recesses (16) sized to receive the replaceable wear surface. Ceramic tile, carpet, carpet tile, fabric, vinyl flooring and wood are a sample of materials suitable as the replaceable wear surface (14). When viewed from above, the base matrix (12) and replaceable wear surface (14) appear as a 'grout-less' tile flooring structure.

Description

FREE LAY CERAMIC TILE FLOORING SYSTEMS AND METHODS
RELATED APPLICATION
This application claims priority to a U.S. Patent Application serial no.
60/123,884 filed March 11, 1999, entitled, "Free Lay Ceramic Tile Flooring
Systems and Methods," which is incorporated by reference herein.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates in general to the field of caφet and other floor
covering, and in particular to free lay ceramic tile flooring systems and methods.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Typical floor coverings include ceramic tile, caφet, wood flooring or other
materials that cover a floor or subfloor. Ceramic tile provides a durable, attractive,
and long lasting floor covering. However, installing ceramic tile requires an
investment in labor and materials, such as, cutting devices, adhesive, grout, and of
course, ceramic tiles. Further, a relatively level floor or subfloor is necessary for
installing a ceramic tile floor covering. An installer must possess skills necessary
to level an unleveled floor or remove an existing floor covering before installing
the new floor.
The investment in time, labor and materials required to install a ceramic tile
floor covering discourages users from changing their installed floor even if they
tire of the design, color, or texture floor covering. An easy, efficient and cost effective system and method of installing ceramic tile floors provide users the
option to change their floor covering at will.
Therefore, a need exists for free lay systems and methods for installing
ceramic tiles and other flooring surfaces.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to the use of a base matrix to secure a replaceable
wear surface to a floor. This invention includes free lay ceramic tile flooring
systems and methods having a base matrix and a replaceable wear surface. The
base matrix includes a plurality of flooring recesses sized to receive the
replaceable wear surface. Divider partitions surround each flooring recess. The
replaceable wear surface may include a variety of flooring surfaces such as
ceramic tile, caφet, caφet tile, fabric, vinyl flooring, wood, and a variety of other
materials.
A plurality of base matrices may be positioned on a floor or subfloor with
the result that the replaceable wear surfaces will be entirely surrounded by divider
partitions thereby providing an attractive flooring that can be efficiently installed.
Objects of this invention include:
To provide systems and methods for a "grout-less" ceramic tile flooring
structure.
To provide systems and methods for a free lay flooring structure that
contours to the floor or subfloor. To provide systems and methods for a flooring structure where the wear
surface is easily replaced.
To provide systems and methods for a flooring structure that provides for
many design options for the replaceable wear surface.
As the following description and accompanying drawings make clear, these
and other objects are achieved by this invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Fig. 1 shows a perspective view of a base matrix and replaceable wear
surface of the free lay ceramic tile system of this invention.
Fig. 2 shows a top plan view of a plurality of base matrices of Fig. 1 with
replaceable wear surfaces disposed thereon arranged to create a floor covering.
Fig. 3 shows a cross-sectional view of a replaceable wear surface disposed
within the base matrix.
Fig. 4 shows a cross-sectional view of an alternative embodiment of the
replaceable wear surface of Fig. 3.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
Fig. 1 shows a free lay ceramic tile flooring system 10 of this invention.
The free lay ceramic tile flooring system 10 includes a base matrix 12 and a
replaceable wear surface 14. In a preferred embodiment, the replaceable wear
surface 14 is a ceramic tile.
The base matrix 12 includes a plurality of flooring recesses 16 sized to
receive the replaceable wear surface 14. Divider partitions 18 surround each
flooring recess 16. In a preferred embodiments, the divider partitions 18 are arranged such that each partition is joined at substantially a 90° angle forming a
square around the recess 16. A flush fit between the replaceable wear surface 14
positioned in the flooring recess 16 of the base matrix 12 allows the replaceable
wear surface 14 to remain in position in the base matrix 12 when a downward
pressure is exerted on the base matrix 12. When viewing the base matrix 12 from
above, the combination of the divider partitions 18 and the replaceable wear
surface 14 of ceramic tile disposed within the flooring recess 16, appears as a
flooring surface of ceramic tile surrounded by grout. Yet this invention provides
for a "grout-less" ceramic tile flooring structure.
Preferably, the base matrix 12 has a thickness of about 1/8 inch and
constructed of an elastomer. This allows the base matrix 12 to contour with the
floor or subfloor providing for a level flooring surface. In an alternative
embodiment, the base matrix 12 is secured to the floor by an adhesive.
As will be appreciated by reference to Figure 2, a plurality of base matrices
20 may be positioned on a floor or subfloor with the result that replaceable wear
surfaces 14 will be entirely surrounded by divider partitions 18 thereby providing
an attractive flooring that can be efficiently installed.
Fig. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 3-3 of Fig. 2 showing a
replaceable wear surface 14 disposed within the base matrix 12. The replaceable
wear surface 14 fits in a pocket 22 of the flooring recess 16. Divider partitions 18
surround the replaceable wear surface 14 keeping the replaceable wear surface 14
in position in the base matrix 12. Fig. 4 shows a cross-sectional view of an alternative embodiment of the
replaceable wear surface 14. The replaceable wear surfaces 14 may be a variety of
flooring surfaces such as ceramic tile, caφet, caφet tile, fabric, vinyl flooring,
wood, and a variety of other materials. An example of a wear surface embodied as
a caφet tile 24 is shown in Fig. 4. Fig. 4 shows the caφet tile 24 without a
backing however this invention envisions a backing positioned between the caφet
tile 24 and the base matrix 12. In the embodiment shown in Fig. 4, the caφet tile
24 is flush mounted within the flooring recess 16 at a level even with the divider
partitions 18. In an alternative embodiment, the caφet tile 24 may extend
outwardly from the base matrix 12 above the level of the divider partitions 18.
An advantage of this invention is that it provides systems and methods for a
"grout-less" ceramic tile flooring structure.
Another advantage of this invention is that it provides systems and methods
for a free lay flooring structure that contours to the floor or subfloor.
Yet another advantage of this invention is that it provides systems and
methods for a flooring structure where the wear surface is easily replaced.
Still another advantage of this invention it that it provides systems and
methods for a flooring structure that provides for many design options for the
replaceable wear surface.
While certain embodiments of this invention have been described above,
these descriptions are given for puφoses of illustration and explanation.
Variations, changes, modifications and departures from the systems and methods disclosed above may be adopted without departure from the spirit and scope of this
invention.

Claims

Claims:
1. A free lay flooring system comprising:
a base matrix; and
a replaceable wear surface adapted to fit within the base matrix.
2. The free lay flooring system of claim 1 , further comprising a plurality of
flooring recesses in the base matrix, the flooring recesses sized to receive the
replaceable wear surface.
3. The free lay flooring system of claim 2, further comprising divider
partitions surrounding each flooring recess.
4. The free lay flooring system of claim 3, wherein the divider partitions are
arranged such that each divider partition is joined at a substantially 90° angle
forming a square around the recess.
5. The free lay flooring system of claim 1 , wherein the replaceable wear
surface is selected from the group consisting of:
ceramic tile;
caφet;
caφet tile;
fabric;
vinyl flooring; wood; and
other floor covering materials.
6. The free lay flooring system of claim 3, wherein the base matrix contours
to a floor or subfloor.
7. The free lay flooring system of claim 3, wherein when viewing the base
matrix from above, the combinations of divider partitions and replaceable wear
surface disposed in the flooring recess appear as a flooring surface surrounded by
grout.
8. The free lay flooring system of claim 2, wherein the replaceable wear
surface fits flush within the flooring recess of the base matrix that allows the
replaceable wear surface to remain in position in the base matrix when a
downward pressure is exerted on the base matrix.
9. The free lay flooring system of claim 1 , wherein the base matrix has a
thickness about 1/8 inch.
10. The free lay flooring system of claim 1 , wherein the base matrix is
constructed of a elastomer.
11. The free lay flooring system of claim 1 , wherein the base matrix secures to
a floor by an adhesive.
12. The free lay flooring system of claim 2, further comprising a pocket formed
by the flooring recesses for receiving the replaceable wear surface.
13. The free lay flooring system of claim 3, wherein the replaceable wear
surface comprises a ceramic tile.
14. The free lay flooring system of claim 3, wherein the replaceable wear
surface comprises a caφet tile.
15. The free lay flooring system of claim 14, wherein the caφet tile further
comprises a backing layer positioned between the caφet tile and the base matrix.
16. The free lay flooring system of claim 14, wherein the caφet tile is flush
mounted within the flooring recess at a level even with the divider partitions.
17. The free lay flooring system of claim 14, wherein the caφet tile extends
outwardly from the base matrix above a level of the divider partitions.
18. A method for assembling a free lay system comprising: positioning a plurality of base matrices having divider partitions forming
flooring recesses; and
placing a replaceable wear surface m each flooring recess
19. The method of claim 18, wherein the placing a replaceable wear surface in
each flooring recess is performed with a ceramic tile comprising the replaceable
wear surface.
20. The method of claim 18, wherein the placing a replaceable wear surface m
each flooring recess is performed with a caφet tile comprising the replaceable
wear surface.
PCT/US2000/006268 1999-03-11 2000-03-10 Free lay ceramic tile flooring systems and methods WO2000053865A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US12388499P true 1999-03-11 1999-03-11
US60/123,884 1999-03-11

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
AU38739/00A AU3873900A (en) 1999-03-11 2000-03-10 Free lay ceramic tile flooring systems and methods

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2000053865A1 true WO2000053865A1 (en) 2000-09-14

Family

ID=22411480

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/US2000/006268 WO2000053865A1 (en) 1999-03-11 2000-03-10 Free lay ceramic tile flooring systems and methods

Country Status (2)

Country Link
AU (1) AU3873900A (en)
WO (1) WO2000053865A1 (en)

Cited By (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6905751B2 (en) 2003-01-22 2005-06-14 Mohawk Brands Inc. Tile coverings with borders and inserts and methods of installation
GB2410258A (en) * 2004-01-20 2005-07-27 David Windsor Hewitt Use of plastic template with tiles, bricks and the like
US7743568B1 (en) 2005-02-25 2010-06-29 Montgomery Mars Tile system and method
DE102010018452A1 (en) * 2010-04-27 2011-10-27 Jörg R. Bauer Planar components for producing covering on e.g. floor of building, have carrier bodies whose top faces are formed with wear layers that are immovably arranged on flat surface in direction parallel to base to form gap-free surface area
US8241039B2 (en) 2009-08-21 2012-08-14 Bender James J Kit of pre-construction samples for replicating construction products
USD665211S1 (en) 2009-08-06 2012-08-14 Bender James J Flexible sample of replica wood flooring
US8961182B2 (en) 2009-08-21 2015-02-24 James J. Bender Kit of pre-construction samples for replicating construction products

Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2852932A (en) * 1957-03-26 1958-09-23 Us Ceramic Tile Company Tile and grouting assembly
US5238721A (en) * 1989-08-08 1993-08-24 Kabushiki Kaisha Pc Planning Title structure and method for applying title

Patent Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2852932A (en) * 1957-03-26 1958-09-23 Us Ceramic Tile Company Tile and grouting assembly
US5238721A (en) * 1989-08-08 1993-08-24 Kabushiki Kaisha Pc Planning Title structure and method for applying title

Cited By (10)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6905751B2 (en) 2003-01-22 2005-06-14 Mohawk Brands Inc. Tile coverings with borders and inserts and methods of installation
GB2410258A (en) * 2004-01-20 2005-07-27 David Windsor Hewitt Use of plastic template with tiles, bricks and the like
US7743568B1 (en) 2005-02-25 2010-06-29 Montgomery Mars Tile system and method
US7941988B2 (en) 2005-02-25 2011-05-17 Montgomery Mars Tile system and method
USD665211S1 (en) 2009-08-06 2012-08-14 Bender James J Flexible sample of replica wood flooring
US8241039B2 (en) 2009-08-21 2012-08-14 Bender James J Kit of pre-construction samples for replicating construction products
US8961182B2 (en) 2009-08-21 2015-02-24 James J. Bender Kit of pre-construction samples for replicating construction products
US9293066B2 (en) 2009-08-21 2016-03-22 James J. Bender Kit of pre-construction samples for replicating construction products
US10201238B2 (en) 2009-08-21 2019-02-12 James J. Bender Kit of pre-construction samples for replicating construction products
DE102010018452A1 (en) * 2010-04-27 2011-10-27 Jörg R. Bauer Planar components for producing covering on e.g. floor of building, have carrier bodies whose top faces are formed with wear layers that are immovably arranged on flat surface in direction parallel to base to form gap-free surface area

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
AU3873900A (en) 2000-09-28

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