WO2008109961A1 - A tiling apparatus - Google Patents

A tiling apparatus Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2008109961A1
WO2008109961A1 PCT/AU2008/000376 AU2008000376W WO2008109961A1 WO 2008109961 A1 WO2008109961 A1 WO 2008109961A1 AU 2008000376 W AU2008000376 W AU 2008000376W WO 2008109961 A1 WO2008109961 A1 WO 2008109961A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
tiles
backing
defined
spacer members
backing element
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/AU2008/000376
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Robert Frazer
Original Assignee
Innvotech Pty Ltd
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 AU2007901367A priority Critical patent/AU2007901367A0/en
Priority to AU2007901367 priority
Application filed by Innvotech Pty Ltd filed Critical Innvotech Pty Ltd
Publication of WO2008109961A1 publication Critical patent/WO2008109961A1/en

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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
    • E04F15/02194Flooring consisting of a number of elements carried by a non-rollable common support plate or grid
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F13/00Coverings or linings, e.g. for walls or ceilings
    • E04F13/07Coverings or linings, e.g. for walls or ceilings composed of covering or lining elements; Sub-structures therefor; Fastening means therefor
    • E04F13/08Coverings or linings, e.g. for walls or ceilings composed of covering or lining elements; Sub-structures therefor; Fastening means therefor composed of a plurality of similar covering or lining elements
    • E04F13/0862Coverings or linings, e.g. for walls or ceilings composed of covering or lining elements; Sub-structures therefor; Fastening means therefor composed of a plurality of similar covering or lining elements composed of a number of elements which are identical or not, e.g. carried by a common web, support plate or grid
    • 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
    • E04F15/02016Construction of joints, e.g. dividing strips with sealing elements between flooring 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
    • E04F15/08Flooring or floor layers composed of a number of similar elements only of stone or stone-like material, e.g. ceramics, concrete; of glass or with a top layer of stone or stone-like material, e.g. ceramics, concrete or glass
    • E04F15/082Flooring or floor layers composed of a number of similar elements only of stone or stone-like material, e.g. ceramics, concrete; of glass or with a top layer of stone or stone-like material, e.g. ceramics, concrete or glass with a top layer of stone or stone-like material, e.g. ceramics, concrete or glass in combination with a lower layer of other material
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F2201/00Joining sheets or plates or panels
    • E04F2201/09Puzzle-type connections for interlocking male and female panel edge-parts
    • E04F2201/095Puzzle-type connections for interlocking male and female panel edge-parts with both connection parts, i.e. male and female connection parts alternating on one edge

Abstract

This invention relates to an apparatus for forming a tiled surface. In one form the apparatus comprises spacer members that are configurable to form a lattice for receiving tiles. In another form the apparatus comprises a backing element for forming, in combination with a number of backing elements, a backing support for a tiled surface. The backing element includes formations for linking backing elements together to form the backing support. A portion of the formations are shaped to form, when adjacent backing elements are linked, a continuous barrier for preventing grout from reaching a substrate on which the backing elements are located.

Description

A TILING APPARATUS

Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to tiles . More specifically, the invention relates to forming tiled surfaces in commercial and domestic environments .

Priority claim

The subject application claims priority from

Australian provisional application 2007901367. The contents of the provisional application are incorporated herein by this reference.

Background of the Invention

The procedure for laying tiles remains substantially unchanged through hundreds of years . Although technical advance has led to improvements in tiles, tools and materials, such as grouts and adhesives, the process still requires the following steps :

(a) applying an adhesive to a substrate over which tiles are to be laid;

(b) setting tiles in the adhesive in a desired configuration with gaps between the tiles for receiving grout;

(c) allowing the adhesive to cure to bond the tiles in the desired configuration to the substrate; and

(d) filling gaps between the tiles with a grout to improve the appearance of the tiled surface and to prevent moisture seeping through the tiled surface to the substrate.

Using conventional techniques , tools and materials, the process may take up to three days to complete. Furthermore, the process is labour intensive and requires competent tile-layers to set the tiles accurately in the adhesive, thereby ensuring that the tiles are aligned in the desired configuration. Accordingly, the cost of installing tiled surfaces is costly.

Nevertheless, tiled surfaces are excellent for a wide range of applications due to the durability of tiles and the capability to form tiles in vast range of colours, patterns and shapes.

However, grout becomes brittle over time such that the grout may chip away or become dislodged from between tiles to leave gaps between the tiles.

Furthermore, mould and bacteria tends to be attracted to the grout in a tiled surface and can result in discolouration of the grout. Bleaches may be used to remove discolouration of the grout.

Furthermore, mould and bacteria on the grouting requires more intense cleaning. For example, cleaning a glazed surface of a tile may simply require wiping over with detergent and water. However, cleaning of grout typically requires scouring with a brush and/or an abrasive in conjunction with using a detergent and water.

It is an object of the present invention to alleviate, at least in part, one or more of the problems outlined above in respect of grout-based tiled surfaces. Summary of the Invention

The invention provides a backing element for forming, in combination with a number of backing elements, a backing support for a tiled surface, the backing element comprising:

(a) a support panel for placement on a substrate and for supporting one or more tiles; and

(b) formations for linking backing elements together to form the backing support; and

wherein a portion of the formations are shaped to form, when adjacent backing elements are linked, a continuous barrier for preventing grout that is placed in a gap between tiles on the adjacent backing elements and placed on the formations from reaching a substrate on which the backing elements are located.

The backing element enables the formation of a tiled surface without having to place adhesive on the underlying substrate. This arrangement has the benefit that the tiled surface can be subject to traffic without having to wait for the adhesive to cure and does not require the degree of expertise of a competent tiler to arrange tiles. Furthermore, the tiled surface can be lifted from the underlying substrate without having to break tiles and without the time and effort required to remove adhesive from the substrate. Accordingly, a tiled surface formed with backing elements in accordance with the invention can be formed quickly and easily and can be removed quickly and easily.

Additionally, the continuous barrier enables grout to be placed between tiles without interfering with the ability to remove the tiled surface and leave the underlying substrate in a state ready to receive a new floor covering. This saves time and effort required that would normally be required to remove grout from the underlying substrate and, because grout has good adhesive properties , preventing grout from contacting the underlying substrate is important.

Preferably, the portion of formations for forming the barrier have a shape that enables the formations to be interleaved to form the barrier .

Preferably, the portion of formations for forming the barrier have a shape of a truncated triangle .

The backing element may include spacers for separating adjacent tiles and wherein the spacers are engageable with the support panel and are selectively configurable for defining, on the support panel or in combination with other backing elements, a desired array of spacers between which tiles are receivable to form a tiled surface .

Preferably, the support panel and the spacers include means enabling engagement of the spacers with the support panel in selective configurations .

Preferably, the means comprises one or more lugs on each spacer and a plurality of lug-receiving recesses on the support platform.

Preferably, the recesses form a regular array comprising a series of rows of recesses .

Preferably, the array is angularly off-set relative to the sides of the backing element such that an imaginary line drawn along a row intersects a side of the support panel at an oblique angle . In one embodiment of the invention, the backing element may comprise spacers for separating adjacent tiles , the spacers forming a lattice on each backing element for receiving a plurality of tiles .

Preferably, the spacers are integrally formed on the backing element.

Preferably, the backing element defines a square array of recesses, for example, for accommodating 9 tiles.

The lattice may be configured with tiles in rows and with tiles in each row off-set relative to tiles in an adjacent row.

The embodiment of a multi-tile backing element is advantageous because sections of the panel may be removed to customise the shape of the panel for covering irregularly shaped areas. For this purpose, tiles may be cut to fit the recess shapes that result from sectioning the panel .

Preferably the backing elements and spacer members are formed to defined recesses for accommodating tiles having side dimensions in the range of 10mm to 1000mm.

Preferably the recesses formed by the spacer members have dimensions that are lmm to 10mm, and more preferably 4mm to 6mm, less that the corresponding side dimension of a tile to located in the recess such that the tile is retain in compression in the recess surrounded by the spacer members .

The invention also provides an apparatus for forming a tiled surface, the apparatus comprising spacer members configurable to form a lattice for receiving tiles , the spacer members being compressible by tiles located in the lattice on adjacent sides of spacer members such that the spacer members impart a compressive force on the tiles , thereby retaining the tiles in the lattice .

By using compressible spacer members between adjacent tiles, the present invention is able to provide a finished tiled surface without the need for grout. Accordingly, the time and labour invested in preparing the tiled surfaces is reduced. Furthermore, the compressible spacer members do not form a rigid, brittle link between adjacent tiles. Therefore, the spacer members will not become brittle and will not dislodge over time.

Most importantly, however, the apparatus enables a tiled surface to be prepared without requiring accurate alignment of tiles by an experienced tiler. The alignment of the tiles is determined by the lattice of spacer members. As the spacer members are compressible, they will accommodate a certain degree of inaccuracy when preparing the lattice. As a result, an aesthetic tiled surface may be prepared without the degree of precision required by the conventional process .

Furthermore, retaining tiles in compression improves the strength of the tile in the same manner as a concrete slab prepared with pre-tensioned reinforcement. Accordingly, the spacer members act to make the tiles stronger and more impact resistant than tiles in a tiled surface prepared by the conventional process .

Preferably, the spacer members are formed of a material that is compressible to form a moisture impermeable seal when compressed between tiles located in the recesses . Spacer members that produce a moisture seal with adjacent tiles enable a moisture impermeable tiled surface to be formed. Such surfaces may be used in "wet" areas, such as bathrooms and kitchens .

Preferably, the spacer members include an antibacterial agent .

Preferably, the spacer members include an anti- fungal agent .

The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agents prevent mould and bacteria concentrating at spacer members between adjacent tiles. Accordingly, the tiled surface is easier to clean than conventional tiled surfaces because mould and bacteria is less likely to form between tiles . Hence , simple wiping of the tiled surface, rather than scouring with abrasives, will be required to clean the tiled surface .

The spacer members may be coated with antibacterial and anti-fungal agents .

Preferably, however, the anti-bacterial and anti- fungal agents are impregnated in the spacer members.

Preferably, the anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agents comprise 0.2 to 10wt% of the spacer members. More preferably, the anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agents comprise 0.5 to 3wt% of the spacer members.

The spacer members preferably are elongate and have a generally rectangular profile such that the long sides of the rectangle contact side of tiles .

The spacer members may be formed of a resilient material. This ensures that, when compressed by adjacent tiles, the spacer members maintain a moisture seal between adjacent tiles.

The spacer members may be a plastics material, including elasticised forms, or a rubber material.

The apparatus preferably further comprises at least one backing support on which the spacer members are mountable to form ridges raised above a surface of the backing support such that the backing support and spacer members define the recess into which a tile is locatable .

Preferably the spacer members are formed such that, when mounted on a backing support, the spacer members extend to a level substantially flush with an upper surface of the tile when tiles are located in recesses and the spacer members are compressed by adjacent tiles .

In a preferred form, the spacer members are preformed and subsequently mounted to the backing support.

The present invention also provides a tiled surface comprising:

(a) a plurality of backing elements as described above, located on an underlying substrate and linked to form a support panel for tiles ; and

(b) a plurality of tiles located on the backing elements to form an array of tiles in a desired configuration . I

The invention also provides a method of forming a tiled surface, the method comprising the steps of:

(a) forming a lattice of spacer members on a substrate to define an array of recesses for receiving tiles ; and

(b) locating tiles in the recesses such that spacer members between adjacent tiles and the tiles are subject to a compressive force that retains the tiles within the recesses, thereby forming a tiled surface .

The method may include the steps of:

(c) providing a medium having first and second opposed surfaces, each surface including a polymer-based adhesive;

(d) applying the medium to the substrate such that adhesive on the first surface contacts the substrate and such that adhesive on the second surface faces away from the substrate; and

(e) applying at least one tile to adhesive on the second surface to fasten the or each tile to the medium, thereby forming a tiled surface.

Brief description of the drawings

Embodiments of the invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings , in which :

Figure 1 is an isometric view of a backing element in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention .

Figure 2 is a vertical cross-section of two adjacent linked backing elements of the form in Figure 1 with tiles located in adjacent recesses. Figure 3 is a top plan view of a panel backing in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention .

Figure 4 is a bottom plan view of a backing element in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention .

Figure 5 is a top plan view of part of four linked backing elements shown in Figure 4.

Figure 6 is a side view of spacers that is engageable with the backing element shown in Figure 4.

Detailed description of a preferred embodiment

An apparatus for forming a tiled surface in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention is shown in Figures 1 and 2.

The apparatus comprises spacer members in the form of walls 30 mounted on a backing support in the form of a backing element 10 that has upper and lower faces 12 and 14 and respective sides 16. The respective sides 16 include formations in the form of interlocking lugs 18 that link adjacent backing elements 10 together.

The backing elements 1OA and 1OB may be laid over a substrate 24 without fastening to the substrate 24.

However, the backing elements 10 can be fastened to the substrate 24 by screws 62 that pass through cavities 2OA and 2OB and that contact shoulders 22A and 22B.

Each backing element 10 includes walls 30 that have an upstanding generally rectangular profile above the upper surface 12. The walls 30 are formed of a compressible material, such as plastics (for example, TPE) or rubber so that the wall 30 is compressible by adjacent tiles 4OA and 4OB to form a moisture-impervious seal ^, between the tiles and the wall 30.

Each backing element 10 includes a T-shaped channel 28 into which the wall 30 is inserted and retained by flanges 34 that extend laterally from a base 32 of the wall 30.

The wall 30 may be incorporated into the backing element 10 in other ways. For example, the walls 30 may be co-extruded with the backing element 10. The advantages of this approach are that manufacture is simplified, i.e. no post extrusion assembly would be required to fit the walls 30 to backing elements 10, and that the backing element 10 and walls 30 for a unitary structure for improved structural integrity.

Referring to the embodiment shown in Figures 1 and 2, the wall 30 may be loosely held by the channel 26 because ultimately the wall 30 is compressed between adjacent tiles 4OA and 4OB to retain the wall 30 in position. The walls 30 on each backing element extend across the upper surface 12 adjacent to adjoining sides 16 to form the L-shape.

The tiles 4OA and 4OB may be attached to the upper face 12 of the backing elements 1OA and 1OB respectively by an adhesive 60.

In the form shown in Figure 2 , tiles 4OA and 4OB must be destroyed in order to remove screws 62 and thereby lift backing elements 1OA and 1OB from the substrate 24. However, the weight of the tiles typically is sufficient to retain the backing elements 1OA and 1OB and the tiles 4OA and 4OB stably located on the substrate 24. Accordingly, it is not essential to fasten the backing elements 1OA and 1OB to the substrate 24 and a tiled surface formed without fastening the backing elements 10 to the surface 24 can be lifted without destroying tiles. This is a significant benefit in view of conventional tiling processes that require the tiles and underlying adhesive to be smashed in order to remove the tiled surface .

Naturally, tiles 4OA and 4OB lifted form the surface may be re-used to form another tiled surface with the backing elements 1OA and 1OB.

In order to form a tiled surface, backing elements 10 are laid on a substrate 24 and are linked together by bringing interlocking lugs 18 of adjacent backing elements 1OA and 1OB into engagement (Figure 2) . The interlocking lugs 18 on respective adjacent backing elements 1OA and 1OB prevent lateral relative movement of the backing elements 1OA and 1OB and thereby retain the tiles 4OA and 4OB in compression with the walls 30 when the tiles 4OA and 4OB are located in a region bound by the walls 30.

Although each backing element 10 includes an L- shaped formation of walls 30 , an array of side-by-side backing elements 10 having the same L-shaped formation of walls 30 creates a lattice of upstanding walls 30 that define recesses into which tiles may be located. Accordingly, locating identical backing elements in abutment with each side 16 of the backing element shown in Figure 2 creates a region bound by walls 30 into which a tile is locatable.

Once the backing elements 10 are arranged on the substrate 24, tiles may be located in the respective regions down by walls 30. The spacing between opposing walls 30 in a bound region is approximately 4-6 mm less than the corresponding dimension of the tile such that the walls 30 are forced to compress in order to accommodate the tiles 4OA and 4OB in respective adjacent bound regions (Figure 2) .

As a result of sides 36 of walls 30 abutting edges 42A and 42B of respective tiles 4OA and 4OB to compress the wall 30, a moisture impervious seal is formed between the wall 30 and the respective adjacent tiles 4OA and 4OB. It will be appreciated that the tiled surface formed in the above described manner avoids the need of grouting between adjacent tiles and also avoids the need for placing an adhesive on the substrate and accurately aligning tiles in the adhesive prior to grouting to achieve the desired configuration.

An alternative embodiment of the invention is shown in Figure 3. Features of the embodiment shown in

Figure 3 that are equivalent to features shown in Figures 1 and 2 are denoted with like reference numerals .

In this alternative embodiment, a lattice of walls 30 is formed on a backing panel 50 to define a square array of nine trays 52. Each tray 52 is formed to receive a tile such that tiles in adjacent trays 52 compress the walls 30 to form a moisture impermeable seal and form a tiled surface. The size and shape of the panels 50 may vary depending on the particular application .

The panel 50 includes interlocking lugs for linking adjacent panels 50 and thereby form a larger tiled surface .

A benefit of using panels 50 is that the panels 50 may be sectioned to customise the panel 50 shape to fit irregular areas .

The panel 50 may be fastened to a substrate, such as a wall or floor. In the case of forming a tiled surface on a floor, the panel 50 may simply rest on the substrate.

The backing elements 10 and backing panel 50 may be formed to accommodate tiles have side lengths ranging from 10mm to 1000mm. Although, the backing elements 10 and backing panel 50 accommodate square tiles, it will be appreciated that the configuration of the walls 30 can be modified to accommodated non-square tiles .

A backing element 110 in accordance with another embodiment of the invention is shown in Figures 4 to 6 with like features to the features shown in Figures 1 and 3 denoted with like reference numerals and a "1" prefix.

The backing element 110 differs from the backing element 10 in that the upper surface 112 includes a formation for enabling engagement of tile spacers 80 in selective configurations .

Specifically, the formation comprises an array of circular recesses 70 formed in rows that are off-set at an oblique angle relative to the orientation of the sides 116 of the backing element 110. The angular off-set is evident in Figure 4 which show the alignment of the sides 116 as perpendicular "X" and "Y" axes in the centre of the backing element 110. The rows of recesses 70 are off-set at a relatively small angle relative to the axes .

The tile spacers 80 (Figure 6) are formed as elongate bars having a rectangular cross-section with formations on an underside for cooperating with the recesses 70 to engage the tile spacers 80 with the backing element 110.

The formations comprise lugs 82 having a complimentary size and shape to the size and shape of the recesses 70. Accordingly, the tile spacers 80 can be located in any given direction on the upper face 112 of the backing element and in any configuration so as to define a desirable array of tile spacers 80. To facilitate formation of an array, the tile spacers 80 may be sectioned along their length to form a shorter length of a tile spacer 80 as required.

Accordingly, it will be understood that the tile spacers 80 are engageable with the backing element 110 by locating the lugs 82 in respective recesses to retain the tile spacers 80 in engagement with the backing element 110 by friction fit and it will be appreciated that the array of recesses 70 enables selective configuration of the tile spacers 80.

Enabling selective placement of the tile spacers 80 allows customisation of tile arrangements, including enabling the use of differently sized and shaped tiles in the same arrangement. Additionally, the tile spacers 80 and recesses 70 enable the customisation to be done faster than conventional methods of laying tiles and may enable an arrangement to be altered, in the event that a tile location or type needs to be changed, where the tiles are not bonded to the backing element 110.

The angular off-set of the rows results in recesses in a given row being either fully or partially accessible along a side 92 of the tile 90. A spacer 80 will be in snug abutment with the side 92 when lugs 84 of the spacer 80 are located on the first fully exposed recess 70 in a row. It will be understood, however, that moving a spacer 80 along a side 92 will result in the spacer 80 engaging different recesses 70 at an alternative distance from the side 92 , thus adjusting the spacing of the spacer 80 relative to the side 92 of the tile 90. In the present embodiment, the angular off-set of the rows and the spacing apart of adjacent recesses 70 in each row by 4.2 mm means that the spacing of a spacer 80 from the side 92 can be adjusted in increments of 0.5mm. This fine adjustment of the location of the spacers 80 ensures that tiles are snugly confined between spacers 80 to limit slipping of the tile 90 on the upper surface 214.

Such fine adjustment accommodates natural differences in tile 90 dimensions as a result of tile manufacture or other reasons.

Depending on the angular off-set of the rows, the spacing of recesses 70 in each row and the spacing between adjacent rows, the desired degree of fine adjustment may be provided.

The backing element 110 also differs from the backing element 10 in that interlocking lugs 118 on sides 116 comprise two forms.

A first form located on a lower part of sides 116 comprises a projection 92 extending outwardly from the sides 116 and having a bead 96 located at a free end of the projection 92 and directed upwardly to be visible when viewing the upper face 112 off the backing element 110.

A second form located on an upper part of the sides 116 comprises a projection 94. The projections 94 have a bead 96 on along an underside of the free end of the projection 94 that is visible when viewing the lower face 114 of the backing element 110. The projections 92 and 94 are formed of the same material as the backing element, typically an extrudable or injection mouldable plasties material having resilient properties .

The projections 92 are interengageable with projections 94 by forcing the projections 92 and 94 together. Although the projections 94 are not directly aligned with the projections 92, the beads 96 on each projection 92 and 94 interfere with each other causing the projections 92 and 94 to resiliently deflect to enable the beads 96 to pass each other. The projections 92 and 94 resume their original position when the beads 96 have passed such that the beads 96 abut, thereby restraining movement of one backing element 110 away from an engaged backing element 110. Engaged backing elements 110 are separable by applying sufficient force to cause the beads to push the projections 92 and 94 apart to release the beads 96.

The projections 94 have a shape that, when adjacent backing elements 110 interengage, the projections 94 form a continuous wall that prevents grout falling on the wall reaching a substrate on which the backing elements 110 are located.

The projections 94 have a shape that results in the projections 94 being interleaved when adjacent backing elements 110 are interengaged.

Specifically, the projections 94 have the shape of a truncated isosceles triangle. However, it is anticipated that other shapes are suitable for the projections 94 in order to form a continuous wall by interleaving the projections 94.

Corners of the backing elements 110 include a triangular projection 98 that forms a continuous wall with other projections 98 on corners of adjacent backing elements 110 in the manner described above and as shown in Figure 5.

The formation of a continuous wall or barrier to prevent grout reaching a substrate ensures that the substrate will not be stained by grout. Accordingly, once the tiled surface is removed, less work is required to prepare the substrate for a subsequent floor type. This also enables the tiled surface to be removed with less effort because there would be no grout bonded to the substrate that requires subsequent removal .

It is not essential that tiles be adhered to a backing element to form a tiled surface. However, tiles may be adhered to backing elements with a suitable glue . Alternatively, tiles may be adhered to backing elements by a medium in the form of a tape or sheet with polymer-based adhesive covering each side of the tape or sheet.

Accordingly, the process of adhering tiles to backing elements involves placing the medium in contact with the tile and placing the other side of the adhesive in contact with the backing element, or vice versa. There is no need to allow time for a glue-based adhesive to cure, so tiles fastened to backing elements in this manner may carry traffic immediately after forming a tiled surface .

It will be understood that the invention has application with ceramic tiles, including glazed tiles, and vinyl , carpet and wood tiles .

It will be understood that the term "comprises" or its grammatical variants as used in this specification and claims is equivalent to the term "includes" and is not to be taken as excluding the presence of other features or It will be understood to persons skilled in the art of the invention that many modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention .

Claims

CLAIMS :
1. A backing element for forming, in combination with a number of backing elements, a backing support for a tiled surface, the backing element comprising:
(a) a support panel for placement on a substrate and for supporting one or more tiles ; and
(b) formations for linking backing elements together to form the backing support; and
wherein a portion of the formations are shaped to form, when adjacent backing elements are linked, a continuous barrier for preventing grout that is placed in a gap between tiles on the adjacent backing elements and placed on the formations from reaching a substrate on which the backing elements are located.
2. A backing element as defined in claim 1 , wherein the portion of formations for forming the barrier have a shape that enables the formations to be interleaved to form the barrier .
3. A backing element as defined in claim 1 or claim 2 , wherein the portion of formations for forming the barrier have a shape of a truncated triangle .
4. A backing element as defined in any one of the preceding claims , wherein the backing element includes spacers for separating adjacent tiles.
5. A backing element as defined in claim 4 , wherein the spacers and the support panel include means enabling engagement of the spacers with the support panel and the spacers are selectively configurable for defining, on the support panel or in combination with other backing elements , a desired array of spacers between which tiles are receivable to form a tiled surface .
6. A backing element as defined in claim 5 , wherein the means comprises one or more lugs on each spacer and a plurality of lug-receiving recesses on the support platform.
7. A backing element as defined in claim 6 , wherein the recesses form a regular array comprising a series of rows of recesses .
8. A backing element as defined in claim 7 , wherein the array is angularly off-set relative to the sides of the backing element such that an imaginary line drawn along a row intersects a side of the support panel at an oblique angle .
9. A backing element as defined in claim 4 , wherein the spacers form a lattice on each backing element for receiving a plurality of tiles .
10. A backing element as defined in claim 9, wherein the spacers are integrally formed on the backing element.
11. A backing element as defined in claim 9 or claim 10, wherein the backing element defines a square array of recesses, for example, for accommodating 9 tiles.
12. A backing element as defined in any one of claim 9 to 11, wherein the lattice may be configured with tiles in rows and with tiles in each row off-set relative to tiles in an adjacent row.
13. A backing element as defined in any one of claims 9 to 12 , wherein the backing elements and spacers are formed to defined tile-recesses for accommodating tiles having side dimensions in the range of 10mm to 1000mm.
14. A backing element as defined in claim 13, wherein the tile-recesses formed by the spacers have dimensions that are lmm to 10mm less that the corresponding side dimension of a tile located in the tile-recess such that the tile is retained in compression in the tile-recess surrounded by the spacers .
15. A backing element as defined in claim 14, wherein the tile-recesses formed by the spacers have dimensions that are 4mm to 6mm less that the corresponding side dimension of a tile located in the tile-recess .
16. An apparatus for forming a tiled surface, the apparatus comprising spacer members configurable to form a lattice for receiving tiles , the spacer members being compressible by tiles located in the lattice on adjacent sides of spacer members such that the spacer members impart a compressive force on the tiles, thereby retaining the tiles in the lattice .
17. An apparatus as defined in claim 16, wherein the spacer members are formed of a material that is compressible to form a moisture impermeable seal when compressed between tiles located in the recesses .
18. An apparatus as defined in claim 16 or 17, wherein the spacer members include an anti-bacterial agent and/or an anti-fungal agent.
19. An apparatus as defined in claim 18, wherein the anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agents are impregnated in the spacer members
20. An apparatus as defined in claim 18 or claim 19, wherein, the anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agents comprise 0.2 to 10 wt% of the spacer members.
21. An apparatus as defined in claim 18 or claim 19, wherein, the anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agents comprise 0.5 to 3wt% of the spacer members.
22. An apparatus as defined in any one of claims 16 to 18, wherein the spacer members are coated with anti- bacterial and/or anti-fungal agents.
23. An apparatus as defined in any one of claims 16 to 22 , wherein the spacer members are elongate and have a generally rectangular profile such that, in use, the long sides of the rectangle contact side of tiles.
24. An apparatus as defined in any one of claims 16 to 23, wherein the spacer members are formed of a resilient material .
25. An apparatus as defined in any one of claims 16 to 24, wherein the apparatus comprises at least one backing element as defined in any one of claims 1 to 15 and on which the spacer members are mountable to form ridges raised above a surface of the backing support such that the backing support and spacer members define tile- recess into which a tile is locatable.
26. An apparatus as defined in claim 25, wherein the spacer members are formed such that, when mounted on a backing element, the spacer members extend to a level substantially flush with an upper surface of the tile when tiles are located in recesses and the spacer members are compressed by adjacent tiles.
27. An apparatus as defined in claim 25 or claim 26, wherein the spacer members are pre-formed and are subsequently mounted to the backing element.
28. A tiled surface comprising:
(a) a plurality of backing elements as defined in any one of claims 1 to 15 located on an underlying substrate and linked to form a support panel for tiles ; and
(b) a plurality of tiles located on the backing elements to form an array of tiles in a desired configuration .
29. A method of forming a tiled surface, the method comprising the steps of:
(a) forming a lattice of spacer members on a substrate to define an array of recesses for receiving tiles; and
(b) locating tiles in the recesses such that spacer members between adjacent tiles and the tiles are subject to a compressive force that retains the tiles within the recesses, thereby forming a tiled surface .
30. A method as defined in claim 29, wherein the method includes the steps of:
(c) providing a medium having first and second opposed surfaces, each surface including a polymer-based adhesive;
(d) applying the medium to the substrate such that adhesive on the first surface contacts the substrate and such that adhesive on the second surface faces away from the substrate; and (e) applying at least one tile to adhesive on the second surface to fasten the or each tile to the medium, thereby forming a tiled surface.
PCT/AU2008/000376 2007-03-15 2008-03-14 A tiling apparatus WO2008109961A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
AU2007901367A AU2007901367A0 (en) 2007-03-15 A tiling apparatus
AU2007901367 2007-03-15

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Citations (13)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US636200A (en) * 1899-04-12 1899-10-31 John K Frink Tile flooring.
US722520A (en) * 1902-09-22 1903-03-10 Charles P Lawshe Tile flooring.
US2114710A (en) * 1936-10-26 1938-04-19 Cora D Holcomb Mat for mounting tile and the like
US2852932A (en) * 1957-03-26 1958-09-23 Us Ceramic Tile Company Tile and grouting assembly
US4135338A (en) * 1977-04-20 1979-01-23 Alberto Malavasi Modular elements for covering floors and walls with tiles and the like
GB2080361A (en) * 1980-07-25 1982-02-03 Pirelli Flooring slab
US4567704A (en) * 1977-05-03 1986-02-04 Tile Council Of America, Inc. Resilient ceramic tile flooring
WO1992012304A1 (en) * 1991-01-05 1992-07-23 Tradency Handelsgesellschaft Kg Structural component for making flat building components and corresponding assembly set for the erection of buildings
US5806270A (en) * 1996-06-06 1998-09-15 Solano; Albert Method of floor construction with a grid system
US20040139679A1 (en) * 2001-11-28 2004-07-22 Hans Meyer Paving system for floor tiles
US6820386B2 (en) * 2001-12-24 2004-11-23 Forbo-Giubiasco Sa Hard tile with locking projections and cutouts
US20050016101A1 (en) * 2003-03-10 2005-01-27 Phil Stewart Tile cap
US20050247018A1 (en) * 2004-04-08 2005-11-10 Johnson Edward L Sr Device and method of installing ceramic tiles

Patent Citations (13)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US636200A (en) * 1899-04-12 1899-10-31 John K Frink Tile flooring.
US722520A (en) * 1902-09-22 1903-03-10 Charles P Lawshe Tile flooring.
US2114710A (en) * 1936-10-26 1938-04-19 Cora D Holcomb Mat for mounting tile and the like
US2852932A (en) * 1957-03-26 1958-09-23 Us Ceramic Tile Company Tile and grouting assembly
US4135338A (en) * 1977-04-20 1979-01-23 Alberto Malavasi Modular elements for covering floors and walls with tiles and the like
US4567704A (en) * 1977-05-03 1986-02-04 Tile Council Of America, Inc. Resilient ceramic tile flooring
GB2080361A (en) * 1980-07-25 1982-02-03 Pirelli Flooring slab
WO1992012304A1 (en) * 1991-01-05 1992-07-23 Tradency Handelsgesellschaft Kg Structural component for making flat building components and corresponding assembly set for the erection of buildings
US5806270A (en) * 1996-06-06 1998-09-15 Solano; Albert Method of floor construction with a grid system
US20040139679A1 (en) * 2001-11-28 2004-07-22 Hans Meyer Paving system for floor tiles
US6820386B2 (en) * 2001-12-24 2004-11-23 Forbo-Giubiasco Sa Hard tile with locking projections and cutouts
US20050016101A1 (en) * 2003-03-10 2005-01-27 Phil Stewart Tile cap
US20050247018A1 (en) * 2004-04-08 2005-11-10 Johnson Edward L Sr Device and method of installing ceramic tiles

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