- BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to a panelling system defined by a plurality of inter-engaging panels. The system is primarily designed for flooring but can be used for other surfaces requiring to be paneled with an attractive layer of a covering material formed in individual panels. The system is primarily designed for use with panels formed of wood but other materials can be used either to form the entire panel or a part of the panel.
Various techniques have been proposed for the manufacture of wood panel flooring. Conventionally wood panel flooring is formed as tongue and groove planks which are arranged edge to edge so that the tongue of one projects into a groove of the next. This construction is time consuming and relatively inaccurate so that gaps can be exposed leading to an unattractive appearance.
Floor panels in rectangular shape have been proposed which generally again connect one to the next using a tongue and groove arrangement so as to provide an improved laying system but the finished product mimics the tongue and groove conventional system.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Relatively inexpensive rectangular panels of a softwood such as pine are readily available at relatively inexpensive price. However simply laying these panels as butting side by side floor panels over the floor provides an unattractive appearance little better than the conventional plywood sub-floor.
It is one object of the invention to provide a panelling system defined by a plurality of inter-engaging rectangular panels.
According to one aspect of the invention there is provided a flooring system comprising:
- a plurality of wood floor panel members for fastening to a sub-floor edge to edge in an array to cover the sub-floor;
- each floor panel member having a rectangular panel formed of wood and having an upper surface for defining a floor surface, a bottom surface for resting on the sub-floor and four side edges;
- two of the side edges of the panel each having fastened thereto so as to be carried thereby a decorative dividing strip extending along the length of the side edge and having a top surface of the strip lying in a common plane with the upper surface of the panel;
- and two of the side edges of the panel being exposed for butting directly against a decorative dividing strip of a next adjacent panel member;
- the panel members being arranged such that, when they are assembled into the system edge to edge with the dividing strips carried thereby, a respective one of the decorative dividing strips is located between each edge of a panel and the next adjacent edge of a next adjacent panel;
- the dividing strips of the panels being arranged with a portion of at least one of the strips of each panel projecting beyond an end of the respective side edge of the respective panel such that the dividing strips, when the panels are arranged in the system, fill also the rectangular area at the junction between four of the panels.
Preferably the strips are fastened to the panels so as to be carried thereby during installation. However the strips are separate from the panels so as to be attached or inserted into place thereto during installation.
In one arrangement, each panel is formed from an imperforate single body so as to form when completed a flat imperforate flooring.
In another arrangement, each panel is formed from side by side deck boards to form a deck panel with spaces between each board and the next.
In this arrangement preferably the strips are fastened to ends of the deck boards so as to extend at right angles to the deck boards along the ends thereof
In this arrangement preferably there are provided support straps attached to the panel member underneath the strips and underneath an end portion of each of the deck boards so as to provide structural support therefor.
Preferably the system includes separate decorative dividing strip portions separate from the panels and each arranged to be attached to an exposed side edge of a respective one of the panels to complete an exposed edge of the panel.
Preferably each panel has holes drilled into the upper surface by which the panel can be screwed to the supporting surface by a screw inserted into the hole and the hole plugged by a decorative plug.
Preferably the holes are arranged closely adjacent the corners of the panel such that the holes are arranged at the corners of a rectangle surrounding the junction.
Preferably the dividing strips when attached to the panels are arranged on opposed side edges.
Preferably more than one of the divider strips extends into the rectangular area.
Preferably the panels are square.
Preferably all the panel members are identical.
Preferably the divider strips have ends which project beyond the end of the respective edge and the ends are cut to form diagonal end edges at an angle to the respective side edge.
Preferably the ends of the divider strips meet at the junction between four of the panels with the apexes in contact at a center of the rectangular area at the junction.
Preferably the decorative strips have a height equal to the thickness of the panel.
According to a second and preferred aspect of the invention there is provided a panelling system comprising:
- a plurality of panel members for locating on a supporting surface edge to edge in an array to at least partly cover the supporting surface;
- each panel member having a rectangular panel and having a front surface for defining an exposed surface of the panelling system, a rear surface for engaging the supporting surface and four side edges including a first pair of opposed side edges and a second pair of opposed side edges;
- each of the first pair of opposed side edges of the panel having fastened thereto a decorative dividing strip extending along the length of the side edge and having a front surface of the strip lying in a common plane with the upper surface of the panel;
- and each of the second pair of opposed side edges of the panel being exposed for butting directly against a decorative dividing strip of a next adjacent panel member;
- the panel members being arranged, by rotating one panel through 180 degrees relative to the next adjacent panel, such that, when they are assembled into the system edge to edge with the dividing strips carried thereby, a respective one of the decorative dividing strips is located between each edge of a panel and the next adjacent edge of a next adjacent panel so as to form a rectangular area at a junction between corners of four of the panels;
- the dividing strips of each panel being arranged with a portion thereof projecting beyond an end of the respective side edge of the respective panel and cut on each side at and angle to form a pointed portion having an apex at a position mid way through the thickness of the divider strip, such that four dividing strips, when the panels are arranged in the system, meet at the junction between four of the panels with the apexes in contact at a center of the rectangular area at the junction.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
According to a third aspect of the invention there is provided panelling system comprising:
- a plurality of panels for locating on a supporting surface in an array to at least partly cover the supporting surface;
- each panel being rectangular and having a front surface for defining an exposed surface of the panelling system, a rear surface for engaging the supporting surface and four side edges;
- and a plurality of decorative dividing strips;
- each decorative dividing strip being arranged to extend along the length of a respective one of the side edges of a respective one of the panels and to separate the side edge of the respective one of the panels from a side edge of a next adjacent panel;
- each decorative dividing strip having a front surface of the decorative dividing strip arranged to lie substantially in a common plane with the front surface of the adjacent panels;
- the panel members being arranged such that, when they are assembled into the system edge to edge with the dividing strips, a respective one of the decorative dividing strips is located between each edge of a panel and the next adjacent edge of a next adjacent panel;
- such that four dividing strips meeting at a junction between four corners of four of the panels act to define a rectangular area at the junction;
- each of the four dividing strips being arranged with a portion thereof projecting beyond an end of the respective side edge of the respective panel and cut on each side at an angle to form a pointed portion having an apex at a position mid way through the width of the divider strip, such that the four dividing strips meet at the junction between the four of the panels with the apexes in contact at a center of the rectangular area at the junction.
One embodiment of the invention will now be described in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a plan view of a part of a first embodiment of flooring system defined by butting panel members.
FIG. 2 is a plan view on an enlarged scale of the junction between four such panels.
FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view along the lines 3-3 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a plan view of a part of a second embodiment of flooring system defined by butting panel members.
FIG. 5 is a cross sectional view along the lines 5-5 of FIG. 4.
FIG. 6 is a plan view of one panel of the embodiment of FIG. 4.
FIG. 7 is an isometric view of an alternative embodiment similar to that of FIG. 4.
FIG. 8 is an isometric view of the embodiment of FIG. 7 showing the supporting floor joists for the deck panels.
FIG. 9 is an isometric view of the embodiment of FIG. 7 showing an arrangement of border pieces to complete an attractive layout of the panels.
FIGS. 10, 11 and 12 each comprise a plan view of the embodiment of FIG. 7 showing an arrangement of border pieces and optional insert pieces to complete an attractive layout of the panels.
- DETAILED DESCRIPTION
In the drawings like characters of reference indicate corresponding parts in the different figures.
The arrangement described herein comprises a floor system defined by a series of square panels, six of which are shown at 10 through 15. Each of the panels has a top surface 16 defining a floor surface on which the user walks and providing an attractive appearance as described hereinafter. Each of the panels includes a bottom surface 17 for sitting on a sub floor 18 of a conventional nature. Each of the panels has four side edges so that for example the panel 10 has side edges 20 and 21 which form a first pair of opposed side edges and side edges 22 and 23 which form a second pair of opposed side edges. The panels are cut simply from flat sheet with side edges defined by flat surfaces at right angles to the top and bottom surfaces so that there is no need for machining of the side edges to form any interconnecting elements since the side edges are intended merely to butt.
Such simple square panels can be cut to various selected rectangular sizes and preferably square sizes commonly of the order of 15 to 16 inches in transverse width. The thickness of the panel may be of the order ¾ inch but thicker or thinner material may be used. Such panels can be readily formed inexpensively from the type of panelling used for forming pine shelving which is formed by gluing pieces side by side to form panels commonly of the order of 8 feet long by 16 inches wide. Production lines are presently available for manufacturing such shelving elements at high speed inexpensively.
Thus square panels cut from these to an accurate square shape using CMC machines can be readily available at relatively inexpensive price.
In order to form these into a flooring system having an attractive appearance, each panel has attached two divider strips which are attached to opposite side edges of the panel. Thus for example the panel 10 has two divider strips 30 and 31 attached along the side edges 20 and 21. The divider strips are formed from a wood having a dissimilar appearance from the pine panel so as to provide an attractive appearance in the floor when completed and laid. Oak strips are readily available and can provide such a suitable dissimilar appearance due to the different colouring of the wood and the different stain characteristics.
Each divider strip has a depth equal to the thickness of the panel so that a bottom surface of the divider strip is coincident with the plane of the bottom surface 17 and similarly a top surface of the divider strip is coincident with the plane of the top surface 16. The divider strips are relatively thin and conveniently will be of the order of ¼ to ⅜ inch thick so as to add that extent onto the respective side edges of the panel so that the panel member defined by the panel and the two divider strips is no longer square but is rectangular in view of the additional width defined by the divider strips.
The panel 13 has the divider strips indicated at 30A and 31A so that the panel 13 is rotated through 180° relative to the panel 10. In this way the divider strip 30A carried by the panel 13 engages the side edge 23 of the panel 10 which is free from any dividing strips and is simply bare for butting the divider strips 30A. Similarly the divider strips 31A butts the next adjacent panel not numbered.
The panel 11 is also rotated through 180° relative to the panel 10 so that its bare edge 23A butts the divider strip 31 and its divider strip 30A butts the edge 23B of the panel 14. In this way it will be appreciated that the whole floor can be laid by rotating the panels back and forth through 180° and laying them each to the next with the side edges butting. In this way between each panel and the next adjacent panel is one divider strip thus separating the panels by the thickness of the divider strip while allowing the bare edge of the strip to butt against the outside surface of the divider strip.
The divider strips are fastened to the respective panel by a suitable fastening elements, commonly used in the wood manufacturing industry and in the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, this includes a glue layer 40 and fastening pins 41.
Each of the divider strips extends along the full length of the respective side edge of the panel and also extends beyond the end of the side edge into a pointed portion 50. Thus as shown in FIG. 2 the divider strip 30A is fastened to the panel 13 and the divider strip 30 is fastened to the panel 10. The divider strip 30A extends to the end corner 51 of the side edge 22A of the panel 13. The divider strips 30A then include the pointed portion 50 which is chamfered by two side edges 52 and 53 converging to an apex 54. The ends 52 and 53 are cut at 45° relative to the sides of the divider strip so that they are 90° each to the other forming a right angle triangle converging to the apex 54 which lies on a centre line 55 of the divider strips 30A.
Symmetrically the divider strips 30 includes an end portion 56 also converging to an apex which touches the apex 54 at the center of the rectangular area between the corners of the panels 10, 13 and the further two panels not numbered. In this way, in each of the square intersections between the edges of the panels, each panel at the intersection carries one of the divider strips with each of the divider strips having the pointed extension portion symmetrical to the extension portion 50 and extension portion 56 projecting into the center of the square area with the apexes of these pointed portions touching at the center of the square area.
The panels are fastened to the sub floor 18 by screws 60 which are located in screw holes 61. Each panel has four such screw holes 61 arranged adjacent the corners of the panel and spaced inwardly from the divider strips of the panel. Thus at each junction between floor panels, four screw holes 61 surround the junction and provide an attractive appearance, when those screw holes are plugged by visually distinct plugs 62 in known manner. Thus the divider strips coming to a junction where the junction is visually distinct together with the surrounding four holes of the screw pattern which are also visually distinct provides a visually distinct and attractive pattern across the whole extent of the floor when laid.
In FIG. 4 and FIG. 5 is shown a second embodiment which forms the panels from deck boards so as to simulate a deck. In this embodiment the panels are formed from deck boards 70 which are preferably of the order of six inches across by one inch deep leaving spaces between the boards indicated at 71 of the order of 0.5 inches. These dimensions are of course for example only and different dimensions of deck boards can be used. The deck boards are arranged side by side with the spacing and parallel with the ends of the deck board fastened to a pair of divider strips 72 and 73. The divider strips are shaped as previously described so that the divider strips have a length substantially equal to the length of the deck board but with triangular pieces 74 at the end of each strip. The triangular pieces project beyond the end of the panel that is beyond the side edge 75, 76 of the two outermost deck boards 70A and 70B with the intermediate deck board 70C therebetween. Thus the panel is basically formed from the three deck boards 70A, 70B and 70C together with the side decorative strips 72 and 73. Thus as shown in FIG. 4 the side decorative strips 72 and 73 hold the deck boards 70A, 70B and 70C in spaced parallel relationship thus defining four spaces including end spaces 71A and 71B located at the ends of the side strips 72 and 73 before the strips define the converging portion which is triangular at the end as indicated at 74.
In order to provide structural integrity for the deck panel, two support straps 78 and 79 are provided which are arranged underneath the end strip 72 and 73 and underneath the deck boards 70A, 70B and 70C. Thus each of the straps 78 and 79 has a width greater than the respective decorative strip so an edge portion 78A underlies the ends of the deck boards to support the ends. The ends of the deck boards are fastened to the decorative strips by suitable fastening elements indicated at 80. These can be nails extending through from the edge 81 of the decorative strip through the decorative strip and into the end of the respective deck board. However these connections or nails are insufficient to provide structural support for the ends of the deck boards so the additional straps 78 and 79 are provided. The ends of the straps are shaped so that they match the ends of the decorative board forming the triangular or diagonal point 74 converging to the apex 74A. Thus the straps 78 and 79 have similarly shaped diagonal ends 78A and 78B converging to an apex 78C.
It will be appreciated that taking the panel as shown in FIG. 6 and rotating an identical panel through 90° will allow an outer face 73A to be located parallel to the outer edge 74 of the deck board 70A. The fact that the deck board 70A is spaced from the diagonal portions 74B and 74C of the decorative strips 72 and 73 ensures that side edges 74D and 74E of the rotated panel fit against the surfaces 74B and 74C respectively and thus provide a decorative strip along the edge 74 parallel to the deck board 70A but spaced from the deck board 70A.
As previously described, therefore each triangular piece 74 of four of the deck panels meet at a common location between the four of the deck panels. These triangular pieces all meet at the apex 74A and each provides ¼ of the rectangular area between the edge of the deck panels.
It will be appreciated therefore that the same concept of providing the decorative strips and meeting these decorative strips at respective apexes so that each fills one quarter of the rectangular area can be used in many different arrangements. In the arrangement of FIG. 1, the panels are formed from imperforate flat boards. In the arrangement of FIGS. 4, 5 and 6, the same concept is utilized in a deck arrangement using deck boards which are spaced to define slots therebetween.
The same arrangement can be used in other situations where the decorative strips are not actually attached to the panels prior to installation. In such an arrangement there is provided a plurality of square panels and a plurality of decorative divider strips. The square panels can be laid in place on the supporting surface and the decorative dividing strips placed in between with the triangular portions extending into the space as previously described. This arrangement can therefore be used where the panels are formed for example of concrete and the decorative strips are formed of wood and they can be attached by suitable coupling arrangements after the installation is complete or during the installation.
In order to complete an edge where the edge 74 of the deck panel of FIG. 6 is intended to form an end of a deck, a decorative piece can be provided formed by simply one decorative strip attached to its supporting strap 78 without any attached panel. This edge piece can then be inserted between the edges 74B and 74C simply to complete that edge.
The deck panels can be supported on a suitable support arrangement defined either by a sub floor or more preferably by straps 90 applied over joists 91. Thus the straps 78 and 79 sit on the straps 90 shown in chain dot line in FIG. 4. The spacing between the straps is arranged to match the width of the deck panels so that in one direction the straps 78 and 79 simply span across the straps 90 whereas in the other direction the straps 78 and 79 sit directly on respective straps 90.
In FIG. 7 is shown an isometric view of a deck panel 100 which is very similar to that shown in FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 with the exception that it does not include the underlying support pieces so that the panel is formed simply by a single thickness of the wood strips. Thus the panel includes 3 transverse members at 101 together with the longitudinal side pieces 102 and 103 which are shaped with the pointed ends as previously described for interconnection in the manner previously described.
In FIG. 8, the layout of the panels to form a deck is shown so the panels are arranged in rows and columns as previously described with the pointed end pieces meeting at the junction as previously described.
In this arrangement, where the deck panel is formed by the single thickness, the structural strength for the deck must be provided by a series of joists 103 and 104 arranged across an area to be spanned by the deck and carried on suitable transverse supports (now shown). The floor joists 103 are wider than the joists 104 so as to provide an upper surface which provides support for the rails 101 and 102. Thus the wider joists 103 carry the rails 102 and the ends of the rails 101 when the rails 101 span between the joists 103. For those panels which are arranged in the opposite orientation, the joists 103 carry the edges 101A and 101B of the transverse rails 101. The intermediate joists 104 carry the opposite side edges of the rails 101 so that each of the rails 101 has its side edges supported either by a joist 103 or by a joist 104.
Turning now to FIG. 9 and the same arrangement shown in FIG. 11, the deck panels are arranged to form a walkway which may be supported directly on a layer of an aggregate material to provide merely a decorative covering over the aggregate. In this case additional filler pieces 105 are provided which are not connected to the deck panels but are separate pieces to be added into the system after the deck panels are laid. Thus each of the additional elements 105 has the same width as a side rail 102 so it defines an outer edge 106 which is common with the outer edge of the rail 102. However it will be noted that the end edges are the piece 105 are cut diagonally so as to complete the missing portions of a junction between two of the rails 102. Thus the rails 102 form a diagonal point joining at the midpoint whereas the extra piece 105 fills the remaining one half of the area at the intersection. Yet further additional pieces 106 are provided which are pointed at one end as indicated at 107 and diagonal as indicated at the other end 108. These elements thus are applied to the missing places after the deck panels are laid completely so as to fill the outside edge to define common longitudinal side edges as indicated at 110 and common longitudinal transverse edges as indicated at 109. In the arrangement shown there are additional finishing pieces in the form of simple wooden strips as indicated at 111 and 112 and corner pieces 103.
In FIG. 10 is shown a further layout including a standard arrangement of the panels with the edge pieces 111 and 112 shown in complete length with all of the four corner pieces 113. It will be appreciated that the size of the deck formed by the panels can be increased or decreased by increasing the number of the panels so as to increase the numbers of rows and/or columns whereupon the length of the side pieces 1 11 and 112 will be changed so as to extend along the full length of the deck.
In FIG. 12 is shown a further arrangement which is similar to that shown in FIG. 10 but modified to provide improved decorative appearance by adding a center piece 114 and edge pieces 115 which are similar to the corner pieces but shaped to co-operate with additional insert strips 116 and 117 which are located between the deck panels.
It will be appreciated that other layouts can be provided which use the panels in an attractive appearance by filling in the areas between panels with wood strips of a distinctive appearance.
The same arrangement utilizing the square panels and shaped decorative strips can be used for other panelling arrangements including walls and ceilings. Of course in walls and ceilings there is no requirement for structural strength supporting weight on the panels so that the panels may be formed of thinner materials. The panels may be simply flat sheets or may be interconnected tongue and groove boards in a similar manner to the panels of FIGS. 1 and 4 respectively.
Since various modifications can be made in my invention as herein above described, and many apparently widely different embodiments of same made within the spirit and scope of the claims without department from such spirit and scope, it is intended that all matter contained in the accompanying specification shall be interpreted as illustrative only and not in a limiting sense.