Patent application title: OUTDOOR FLOORING, DECK AND PATIO SURFACE SYSTEM AND METHOD
David M. Busby (Beaverton, OR, US)
Philip J. Busby (Beaverton, OR, US)
IPC8 Class: AE04B502FI
Class name: Static structures (e.g., buildings) intersection of wall to floor, ceiling, roof, or another wall (i.e., two-way corner construction) barrier or module seated on projecting means on vertical structure
Publication date: 2010-03-18
Patent application number: 20100064609
A system and method for providing an outdoor flooring such as a
lightweight deck surface, employs a fiber reinforced polymer structural
panel with plural grid openings therein. Connectors adapted to interlock
adjacent panels to one another and to a base, also are adapted for
receiving support column members therein for providing ground or base
oriented surface or an elevated surface. A surfacing material, such as a
quarried stone or tile, is attached to the top of the panel, providing a
deck surface without requiring substantial structural support.
1. A flooring system, comprising:a structural panel member having length
and width dimensions, adapted for mounting as a base framework;said panel
member comprising:plural openings therein defined in a pattern in a
portion of said panel member; andcutting guideline members for assisting
in guiding cutting of said structural panel member into sub-panels, at
least one of said sub-panels having a length or width dimension that is a
pre-defined desired dimension.
2. The flooring system according to claim 1, wherein plural said cutting guideline members are provided to provided plural said pre-defined desired dimensions.
3. The flooring system according to claim 2, wherein said plural pre-defined desired dimensions comprise 24 inches and 16 inches.
4. The system according to claim 1, wherein said structural panel member comprises a fiber reinforced polymer panel.
5. The system according to claim 1, wherein said structural panel member is formed with plural openings therein.
6. The system according to claim 5, wherein said plural openings form a grid pattern.
7. The system according to claim 5, wherein ones of said plural openings are substantially rectangular in shape.
8. The system according to claim 5, wherein ones of said plural openings are substantially square in shape.
9. The system according to claim 5, comprising plural ones of said structural panel members and further comprising a connector member for connecting adjacent ones of said panel members to one another.
10. The system according to claim 9, wherein said connector member comprises engaging members for interacting with ones of said plural openings on said structural panels for providing engagement.
11. The system according to claim 1, further comprising a connector member for connecting said panel member to a base, wherein said connecting member comprises an engaging feature and said structural panel member comprises a corresponding engagement feature for interacting to provide engagement therebetween.
12. The system according to claim 11, further comprising a support column member, wherein said connector member further comprises an engaging feature for also engaging with said support column member for providing an elevated support for said panel member.
13. A flooring system, comprising:a structural panel member having length and width dimensions, adapted for mounting as a base framework;a connector for engaging with said structural panel member for securing said panel member to a base or to an adjacent other structural panel.
14. The system according to claim 13, wherein said connecting member comprises an engaging feature and said structural panel member comprises a corresponding engagement feature for interacting to provide engagement therebetween.
15. The system according to claim 13, wherein said base comprises a support column member, wherein said connector member further comprises an engaging feature for also engaging with said support column member for providing an elevated support for said panel member.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/669,586 filed Mar. 31, 2007, which claims priority of U.S. provisional patent application 60/735,348, filed Mar. 31, 2006.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to outdoor flooring, surfaces for decks, patios and the like, and more particularly, to a decking system and method for enabling use of surface materials that would ordinarily lack suitable structural features to accommodate deck or patio applications.
Stone walkway and step surfaces are frequently used at homes and businesses, as the appearance is attractive and enjoyed by many. Walkway and step stones are typically rather thick, to provide sufficient structural properties to support weight necessary in walkway and step use. As such, given the weight of stone, elevated deck surfaces such as for home decks, do not employ stone surfaces, as the weight of the stone requires substantially structural support beyond what is typically employed for deck construction.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
In accordance with the invention, a deck and patio surface system comprises a fiber reinforced structural panel employed as a substrate, a mounting fastener for enabling the panel to be secured to a deck, patio, or the like, and a surfacing material bonded or otherwise attached to the structural panel.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved deck system to enable use of stone surface in above-ground deck applications.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide an improved system for deck or patio applications to allow use of surface material not normally by itself having sufficient structural properties for such use.
It is yet another object of the present invention to provide an improved method for providing a deck surface.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a deck or patio system adapted for use over waterproofed living space without requiring penetration of the waterproof membrane.
It is still another object of the present invention to provide a system and method for providing a new surface over an existing damaged patio surface.
It is an additional object of the present invention to provide a system and method for providing a raised deck or surface for receiving tile, stone or other paver type surfacing.
The subject matter of the present invention is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the concluding portion of this specification. However, both the organization and method of operation, together with further advantages and objects thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description taken in connection with accompanying drawings wherein like reference characters refer to like elements.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a portion of the system according to the invention;
FIG. 2 is a top view of the fastener of FIG. 1, during an initial forming phase;
FIG. 3 is a top view of the fastener of FIG. 2 when formed to final shape;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view of the fastener of FIG. 3 taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a side view of the fastener of FIG. 3 taken in the direction of arrow 5 of FIG. 3;
FIGS. 6-19 are illustrations of the steps of the method of installing a deck system in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 20 is a view of an alternate structural panel;
FIG. 21 is a close up perspective view of a panel of FIG. 20;
FIG. 22 is a perspective view of a connector for connecting adjacent panels and/or for mounting panels to an under support;
FIG. 23 is a top view of an installation of plural panels using plural connectors;
FIG. 24 is a side view of an installation where connectors are floating;
FIG. 25 is a perspective view of a panel for use in pedestal mounting configurations;
FIG. 26 is a view of underneath a corner of a panel;
FIG. 27 is a top view of an installation of plural panels using plural connectors;
FIG. 28 is a perspective view of two adjacent panels positioned on a connector disk;
FIG. 29 is a top perspective view of a spacer/aligner;
FIG. 30 is a top perspective view illustrating use of the connector disks and pipes to provide an elevated mounting for panels;
FIG. 31 provides an up close perspective view of a pipe mounted in a connector;
FIG. 32 is a top perspective view of a panel mounted on a connector disk, with a support pipe and bottom connector disk, providing a raised deck portion for mounting of pavers, stones, or tiles, for example;
FIGS. 33 and 34 are side sectional views showing the mounting of connectors with pipes and panels 70, with stone/tile in FIG. 33, and pavers in FIG. 34; and
FIGS. 35 and 36 are top and side views of an alternate fasteners.
The system according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention comprises a composite deck surface having a structural panel, fastener elements to secure the structural panel to a deck base, and a surfacing material bonded to the structural panel.
Referring to FIG. 1, an exploded perspective view of a portion of the system 10, a structural panel 12, suitably comprising a fiber reinforced polymer panel having a grid pattern of openings 14 in the illustrated embodiment, is adapted to be received on top of a deck base structure, which may suitably comprise wood deck framing timbers 16. A fastener element 18, described in further detail in connection with FIGS. 2-5 herein, is adapted to be received in an opening 14 so as to engage with the structural panel 12, seating such that the top surface of the fastener is below the top surface of the panel 12. The fastener includes a central hole 20 adapted to receive a fastener therethrough, to allow securing the panel to the deck framing timber 16.
A surfacing material 22, which may comprise a cut stone having an aesthetically pleasing appearance, color and/or pattern, is suitably bonded to the structural panel, using a bonding material 24, for example. The surfacing material may also comprise tile, dry laid brick, concrete or stone pavers, for example.
The structural panel is suitably provided in sheets having dimensions of 4 foot by 8 foot, with a 1.5 inch square grid size, in the illustrated embodiment. The panel is suitably approximately 1 inch thick. The individual grid openings narrow somewhat from the top of the panel to the bottom, such that they are wider at the top face than at the bottom. In the particular embodiment, the opening is 1 5/16th inch at the top measured from interior edge to the opposite edge of an individual grid opening, but is 11/4th inch at the bottom face of the panel.
A suitable panel that is employed with the system and method may be a fiber reinforced general purpose polyester molded resin panel, although other materials may be used. The panel size is preferably 4 foot by 8 foot in the preferred embodiment, based on construction standards and practices, but may be otherwise re-sized to the desired dimensions, within a 1/16th inch tolerance, so as to provide a system that functions with 16 inch framing dimensions typically used in deck applications. The panel can be provided in other sizes than the illustrated example, chosen to have sufficient support while spanning the supporting elements supporting the panel. Preferably the panel is a pre-configured dimensional size suitable for compliance with customary building practices.
Referring now to FIGS. 2-5, which are views illustrating the fastener 18 and explaining how it is manufactured, the fastener in a preferred embodiment is made of a stainless steel material, stamped to the shape shown in FIG. 2. The fastener is provided with a row series of twelve teeth 26 on each of 2 sides thereof in a central region, as well as a corner tooth 28 at each of the four peripheral corners of the fastener. The corner teeth 28 are on extended arm portions 34 of the fastener having a slight taper inwardly on the outer faces thereof, and an arcuate shape on the inward sides thereof. Teeth 26 and 28 are suitably 3/64th inch in height. A central hole 30 is provided in the fastener, as are two side tabs 32 on opposing sides, next to the sides carrying the rows of teeth. A slight notch is defined between the tabs 32 and the arm portions 34.
After the fastener is formed as in FIG. 2, it is then bent along lines 36, approximately 90 degrees downwardly, to provide the configuration visible in FIGS. 1 and 5, where the arm portions 34 and teeth 28 form "legs". The central portion of the fastener about hole 30 is countersunk to provide a 17/32 inch inner diameter flat bottom countersink, for receiving a fastener head discussed below.
FIGS. 35 and 36 illustrate a top view (FIG. 35) and sectional view (FIG. 36) along line A-A of FIG. 35 of an alternative embodiment of the fastener 18', which in a preferred embodiment is made of a stainless steel material, stamped to the shape shown in FIG. 35. The fastener is provided with a row series of twelve teeth 26' on each of the 4 sides thereof in a central region, 1 inch being the length of the toothed portion in the illustrated embodiment. Teeth 26' are suitably 0.0312 inch (0.79248 cm) in height. A central hole 30' is provided in the fastener center, countersunk. Side wall portions 31 extend upwardly to define the teeth at a level above the position of the hold 30', the side wall being at an angle of 92 degrees as illustrated in FIG. 36. The distance from outermost tooth edge on one side to the corresponding outermost tooth edge on the opposite side is suitably 1.43 in (3.6322 cm)
In employing the system to provide a deck or patio surface, the installation steps illustrated in FIG. 6-19 are employed. The example shown in FIGS. 6-19 is in a deck installation, where a wood frame deck is present and the system is installed thereon.
Referring to FIG. 6, first, a waterproof membrane 38, such as a 40 mil bituminous based material, is placed over the wood framing to protect the framing from water damage over time. Next, in FIG. 7, plural structural panels are cut and positions as necessary to fit over the area of the deck framing that the system is to be installed upon. Next, (FIG. 8) fasteners 18 (or 18') are placed into openings 14 in the structural panel in locations where the panel is to be secured to the frame 16. The fasteners are tapped with a hammer so as to have the top surface of the fasteners be flush with the top surface of the structural panel. Next, as shown in FIG. 9, a punch (e.g., a 1/2 inch punch) is used with a hammer to set the fastener in the structural panel. Use of the punch results in the teeth of the fastener "biting" into the inner walls of the opening in the structural panel, as well as setting the fastener to be below the top surface of the structural panel.
Referring now to FIG. 10, a bead of adhesive material (for example, fiberglass adhesive) is applied between the joints of the panel sections. Stainless steel screws are then screwed through the openings 30 in each fastener, to secure the structural panels to the deck frame 16, as shown in FIGS. 11 and 12, FIG. 12 being a split view showing both a close up view of a single secured fastener/screw and a father away view illustrating a wider area, with 5 fasteners visible.
An edge trim 40 may now be applied to the peripheral edges of the assembled structural panel group, by cutting the trim to length and applying adhesive thereto (to the inside corners of the edge trim) and then mounting the edge trim to the edges of the panels (FIGS. 13-15). The edge trim can be, for example, metal edge trim and may be provided in a variety of colors and finishes, as desired for the aesthetic taste of the user.
The surface material 22 is now prepared and applied to the structural panel, illustrated in FIGS. 16-18. In the illustrated embodiment, surfacing material 22 comprises quarried stone tiles having dimensions of 153/4 inch by 153/4 inch, and approximately 11/32nd inch thickness. The surface material tiles are first dry set and cut to fit around any obstacles 42 (a vertical post in FIG. 16). Next, an adhesive is applied to the back of the stones and spread with a notched trowel in the particular embodiment shown. The adhesive suitably comprises Hold-Tite brand adhesive, suitably an elastomeric polymer. The surface material is now placed adhesive side down onto the structural panel surface, positioned suitably with 1/8th inch spacing between the tiles. The joints between tiles are not grouted, but are left open, allowing drainage and room for expansion and providing an appearance that is visually appealing. FIG. 18 illustrates the steps of placing the tiles in left, middle and right portions. FIG. 19 illustrates a finished deck surface employing stone tiles as the surfacing material, with edge trim on the peripheral edges of the structural panel.
In an alternative embodiment, the bonding material 24 is provided in the form of a sheet membrane 24', such as an EPDM rubber or similar material, which is flexible and soft. The sheet is suitably 1/16th inch thick, of dimensions corresponding to those of the surfacing material 22, and is coated on both sides with a pressure sensitive contact adhesive. The sheet membrane 24' is placed onto the surfacing material 22 and then the surfacing material is placed onto the structural panel 12. This alternative manner of adhering the material to the panel results in a flexible bond.
Accordingly, as system and method are provided whereby a deck surface of quarried stone is feasible. The use of the fiber reinforced polymer structural panels, the fasteners and the adhering of the stone tiles results in a lightweight high strength system weighing only 8 to 10 pounds per square foot in the preferred embodiment. The bonding of the surface material to the structural panel provides further strength to the overall system. As noted above, other surface materials may be employed, including but not limited to tile, brick, concrete and stone pavers.
Under an ASTM #E72-98 test, an exemplary system withstood 6282 lbs. of force with no failure, a maximum 1.47'' deflection and a maximum 0.35'' set deflection.
The preferred material for the surfacing material 22 is natural quarried stone, which includes slates, quartz and sandstone. All stones are suitably from deep cuts producing the highest quality and highest density stone for exterior applications.
In preferred embodiments, all stones have an ASTM #C121 Water Absorption of 0.10%-0.37%. and an ASTM #C1026 Freeze Thaw unaffected rating or a natural resistance to damage under these conditions. Generally all stones have an ASTM #1028 Coefficient of Friction equal to or greater than most wood or composite products, so as to not be overly slippery as a walking surface. In most cases sealing of the surface is not required due to the high density of this material. However, sealing can enhance the natural beauty if applied, but it is not required for long term durability.
Although the illustrated embodiment shows an outdoor flooring system use for a deck surface mounted to a wood frame, other uses are also possible. For example, the system and method can be employed as ground level patios, either as new construction or to cover a cracked or otherwise undesirable patio, providing positive drainage. Application to steps is also another use. Further, the system and method can be employed over waterproofed living spaces, for example, by placing the structural panels over the top of the waterproof deck on sleepers (horizontal structural member on or near the ground that support weight) as a level, floating deck, without penetrating the waterproof membrane.
FIG. 20 is a diagram of an alternative structural panel 12', while FIG. 21 is a close-up perspective view of a portion of a panel 12'. Panel 12' includes plural openings 14', which are substantially square in the illustrated configuration, provided in a grid-like pattern. The panel 12' is suitable 4 feet long in dimension of arrow 44 by 4 feet long in the dimension defined by arrow 46 illustrated embodiment.
Approximately centrally of the panel spanning from edge to edge is a cut line 50, defined by a double sidewall 58, 58' between openings 14' adjacent one another along the cut lines, with a central opening 60 defined therein. A solid portion 56 is provided across the cut line at regularly spaced intervals, the interval being the size of the spacing of the openings in the illustrated embodiment, The cut line 50 provides an easy to cut dividing line along the panel providing subdividable portions to easily cut the panel (or a portion thereof) into 2 parts or to cut out a standard size portion. Along the other direction of the panel, a pair of cut lines 52 and 54 are defined, suitably evenly spaced, to provide an easy to cut line defining 3 sub-dividable portions of the panel in that direction for sub-dividing the panel in to 3 subportions. In the illustrated embodiment, the cut lines enable easy cut lines with 2 foot and 16 inch spacings, which are typical joist spacings employed in deck construction, for example. Other dimension may be employed as desired to provide easy to cut lines along typically desired spacings.
FIGS. 22-34 illustrate embodiments for use to provide a terrace surface, optionally on pedestals.
FIG. 22 is a perspective view of a connector for connecting adjacent panels and/or for mounting panels to an under support. The connector 62 is a disk-shaped member having 4 central raised members 64 suitably of substantially square profile when viewed from above. Centrally of the members 64 is a recessed portion 66. Radially positioned about the edge of the disk 62 are 8 raised members 68. Member 64 and 68 are of size and shape so as to be receivable in openings 14 or 14' of panels 12, 12', and as discussed below, to engage with alternate panel 70. In a particular embodiment, disk 62 has a diameter of 6 inches.
FIG. 23 is a top view of an installation of plural panels 12' using plural connectors 62. In the illustration of FIG. 23, at the leftmost edge of the installation of panels 12', the connectors 62 are moved inwardly slightly from the edge of the panel, illustrating the case where there is some obstruction, for example, that would prevent the connectors from extending beyond the left most edge of a panel, as contrasted with the rightmost portion of the drawing, where the connectors are able to extend beyond the edge of the panels, and are accordingly positioned.
There are 6 panels 12' shown in FIG. 23, with a portion of one panel having illustrative pavers or bricks 64 placed thereon and dry-laid over optional construction fabric (nonwoven) 65 (perimeter pavers being secured with adhesive), and a portion of another panel 12' having tiles or stones 67 placed thereon, either secured to the panels with adhesive applied to the tiles or stones or via sheet adhesive. A metal trim 69 may be applied to peripheral edges of the panels, a portion being illustrated in FIG. 23. The connectors may be floating or secured to the underlying layer.
FIG. 24 is a side view of an installation where connectors 62 are floating (i.e. not secured to any base or substrate) on a concrete base, for example.
FIG. 25 is a perspective view of a panel 70 for use in pedestal mounting configurations. The panel 70 is suitably 315/8 inch by 315/8 inch dimensions in a particular embodiment and 1.25 inch thickness. Panel 70 includes central portions 72, 74 that define thicker edges of the openings along portions 72, 74, subdividing the panel into 4 equal size quadrants. The edges 76 of the panel are wider (as contrasted with panels 12, 12' which have edges with substantially the same width as the portion between any 2 adjacent openings).
FIG. 26 is a view of underneath a corner 78 of panel 70, wherein a recessed region 80 is defined, of depth and shape profile so as to correspond to the height and shape of raised members 64 of disk 62.
FIG. 27 is a top view of an installation of plural panels 70 using plural connectors 62. In the illustration of FIG. 27, at the leftmost edge of the installation of panels 12', the connectors 62 are moved inwardly slightly from the edge of the panel, illustrating the case where there is some obstruction, for example, that would prevent the connectors from extending beyond the left most edge of a panel, as contrasted with the rightmost portion of the drawing, where the connectors are able to extend beyond the edge of the panels, and are accordingly positioned. The connectors 62 are suitably positioned to be 313/4 inches on center, placed so as to be positioned at intersection points of any adjacent panels and at the corners of any 4 adjacent panels.
Referring to FIG. 28, a perspective view of two adjacent panels 70 positioned on a connector disk 62, a spacer/aligner member 82 is received in recessed portion 66 of the disk 62 and acts to space adjacent panels 70 with approximately 1/8 inch between. Portions 64 are received in recessed region 80 to secure the panels to the connector disks.
FIG. 29 is a top perspective view of spacer/aligner 82, wherein a lower portion 84 is of a shape and profile to be received within portion 66 of a connector 62, and upper arm portions 86 define the alignment and spacing of corners of adjacent panels 70.
Referring again to FIG. 27, field pavers 88 may be dry-laid on the panels 70 over optional nonwoven construction fabric. Edge pavers 90 in this configuration would be glued to the panels 70 with adhesive. Stones or tiles 92 can be adhered to the panels 70 with adhesive applied to the panels individually or with sheet adhesive. The stone/tile 92 can be fit to the individual panels 70 edges so that the panes can be removed at a later time if desired, FIG. 27 showing one panel 70' being so fit with stone/tile.
FIG. 30 is a top perspective view illustrating use of the connector disks 62 in connection with ABS pipe members 94 to provide an elevated mounting for panels 70. The spacing and configuration of raised members 68 on connector 62 are such that lower end of pipe member 94 is received on the connector, inwardly of the raised member 68, for mounting of the connector to the pipe. The lower connector provides a bottom mounting of the pipe member. On the top of pipe member 94, a second connector 62 is mounted, whereby the top of connector 62 is thereby positioned to receive panels 70. Plural pipe member 94 and connectors are positioned to define a mounting field for plural panels 70, providing a raised deck portion for mounting of pavers, stones, or tiles, for example, as shown in FIG. 32.
FIG. 31 provides an up close perspective view of pipe 94 mounted in a connector 62. The connectors are suitably secured to the pipes by adhesive.
FIGS. 33 and 34 are side sectional views showing the mounting of connectors with pipes and panels 70, with stone/tile in FIG. 33, and pavers in FIG. 34.
Accordingly, with the herein described systems, gauged stone or tile may be employed in any outdoor living space (or indoor) in any climate and without the requirement of the use of traditional cement based mortars grouts or adhesives. Also, on grade pavers can be provided to surface the underlayment system with brick/concrete/stone pavers without the need for traditional sand beds.
The components of the systems described herein provide a strong yet light-weight underlayment assembly for a durable and secure exterior flooring surface, supplying strength, durability and creative flexibility.
In a particular embodiment, the outdoor floor system described herein weighs only 8-10 lbs. per square foot combined weight of the outdoor floor system underlayment and an average weight of a 1/4''-1/2'' gauged stone or tile, which falls within the "10-15 lbs./sq' of dead load" calculations for residential deck construction. Under these conditions the system can be placed over conventionally framed deck structures with joist spacing 16''-24'' O.C. A roof top terrace will also only need to be designed for standard load conditions. Paver deck applications will be 10-20 lbs./sq' dead load and will require additional structural reinforcement and consultation with a licensed structural engineer.
The system can cover an existing cracked patio if the subgrade is stable. The finished patio can be installed as a level surface with positive drainage, and no cracks will migrate through the new finished stone surface. It can also be placed over any solid bearing surface. Each panel is supported by the interlocking connectors 62.
The high strength panel members have dimensional stability and minimal deflection under load conditions and require no additional surfacing material to achieve strength. This solid underlayment adds reinforcing strength to a stone/tile surface and bearing strength to a dry-laid paver surface.
The system further provides lateral strength or side-to-side stability, achieved in part by using adhesive to bond panel edges edge-to-edge.
In accordance with the above, a structural underlayment system used for outdoor floors is provided that can be placed over wood or metal joist framing or on a pedestal system. It supports natural gauged stone or tile, brick, concrete or stone pavers and can be used in place of other materials used for elevated decks or roof top terraces.
While plural embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that many changes and modifications may be made without departing from the invention in its broader aspects. The appended claims are therefore intended to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.
Patent applications by Philip J. Busby, Beaverton, OR US