|Publication number||US20010015042 A1|
|Application number||US 09/843,719|
|Publication date||Aug 23, 2001|
|Filing date||Apr 30, 2001|
|Priority date||Feb 4, 1999|
|Also published as||US6237295, US6418693|
|Publication number||09843719, 843719, US 2001/0015042 A1, US 2001/015042 A1, US 20010015042 A1, US 20010015042A1, US 2001015042 A1, US 2001015042A1, US-A1-20010015042, US-A1-2001015042, US2001/0015042A1, US2001/015042A1, US20010015042 A1, US20010015042A1, US2001015042 A1, US2001015042A1|
|Original Assignee||Ballard International Distributing Co.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Referenced by (16), Classifications (9), Legal Events (9)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
 The present invention is directed to a flooring assembly and fastener therefor and, in particular, to recycled plastic lumber decking and clips to retain the decking on joists.
 In the prior art, various fasteners have been proposed to retain flooring or decking in place. U.S. Pat. No. 5,660,016 to Erwin et al. discloses a foam-filled extruded decking plank and decking attachment system. This system includes clamps or hold down blocks which are secured onto a structure that supports the planks. The blocks permit relative motion between the planks. U.S. Pat. No. 4,599,842 to Counihan discloses a fastening system for fastening planar sections such as flooring boards to a base surface. The system includes fastening strips that interlockingly engage in a set of grooves cut in the ends of the boards. While the system of Erwin et al. recognizes that joist and deckings fabricated from different materials of construction may expand or contract at differing rates, this system is rather complex and adapted for especially extruded decking. In light of these complexities, a need has developed to provide an improved and simple system for assembling flooring or decking planks. In response to this need, the present invention provides an assembly and a fastener therefor which is simple but effective in retaining flooring planks to a support structure such as joists.
 Accordingly, it is a first object of the present invention to provide an improved flooring assembly, particularly for recycled plastic lumber.
 Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved fastener to retain flooring or decking in place.
 A still further object of the present invention is a fastener for use with tongue and groove deck planks.
 One other object of the present invention is a method of installing flooring using interconnecting flooring and the inventive flooring fastener.
 Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent as a description thereof proceeds.
 Reference is now made to the drawings of the invention wherein:
FIG. 1 is a sectional view of one embodiment of the inventive assembly in exploded form to show greater detail;
FIG. 2 shows the assembly of FIG. 1 in a partially assembled state;
FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of one embodiment of the inventive fastener;
FIG. 4 shows a perspective view of a second embodiment of the inventive fastener;
FIG. 5 shows a perspective view of a third embodiment of the inventive fastener; and
FIG. 6 shows a connection between adjacent planks; and
 A first embodiment of the inventive assembly and fastener is disclosed in FIG. 1 and is represented by the reference numeral 10. The assembly includes floor or decking planks (hereinafter planks) 1 and a plurality of fastening clips 3 (one shown in FIG. 1). The planks 1 are longitudinal or elongated in shape and rest on a series of transversely-positioned joists 3.
 A longitudinal side end of each plank has a tongue 7 with the opposing side edge having a groove 9. The tongue is sized to engage the groove 9 of an adjacent plank when the planks 1 are placed in a side-by-side relationship.
 Referring to FIGS. 3 and 6, each clip 3 comprises a base 11 and a groove-engaging end portion 13. The base 11 is connected to the groove-engaging end portion 13 by a leg portion 15.
 In the FIG. 3 embodiment, the base 11 has a throughhole 17 sized to receive a screw 19. The screw 19 extends through the throughhole 17 and is threadably attached to joist 5.
 The FIG. 3 embodiment also shows a pair of protrusions 21 which extend from an underside of the base 11. The protrusions 21 extend into the joist 5 to further secure the clip thereto. The protrusions 21 also function as an anti-rotation feature so that the edge 23 of the groove-engaging portion 13 remains generally parallel to the longitudinal axis of the groove 9. In this way, the clip 3 does not rotate, and possibly disengage from the groove 9.
 As shown in FIGS. 1, 3 and 6, the leg member 15 can be slightly curved in cross section to match a rounded edge 25 of a plank 1. The leg member 15 can be configured in other shapes to match the edges of a given plank.
 Referring to FIG. 6 again, the end portion 13, when installed, is positioned between a face 29 of the groove 9 and a lower face 31 of the tongue 7. With the groove-engaging end portion 13 positioned as shown in FIG. 6, the planks 1 are in a tongue and groove engagement and retained against the joist 5. With this arrangement, no fasteners have to be driven through the planks 1. This is a significant advantage when the planks 1 are made from materials such as recycled and extruded plastic materials. Since these materials expand and contract at differing rates than the wood joist 5, the clips 3 allow for longitudinal expansion of the planks 1 while still maintaining the planks adjacent the joists.
FIG. 2 shows an exemplary method of forming the inventive flooring assembly. The fastening clips 3 can be installed using the proper measurements based on the width of the planks 1 at one time or in sequence after successive planks are laid on the joists. Once planks 1 a and clips 3 a are installed, another plank 1 b is laid on the joists 5 with the leading edge 41 being positioned beneath the end portion 13 of the clip 3 a. The plank 1 b is then moved in the direction shown by the arrow in FIG. 2 so that the tongue 7 fully engages the groove 9 and the end portion 13 a is securely engaged between the faces 31 and 29, see FIG. 6. This sequence of installation can then be repeated until all planks are laid on the transversely-arranged joists.
 The plank 1 b has its tongue removed so that it can flushly engage a side wall 43, where the joists 5 extend therefrom.
 The clips 3 can be made of any material but are preferably made of high-strength material so that the end portion 13 is not easily bent in a direction to as to release the planks from the joists.
FIGS. 4 and 5 show alternative embodiments to the clip shown in FIG. 3. In FIG. 4, the base 11′ is shown with two throughholes 17 for clip attachment to a joist. In this embodiment, by virtue of the two attachment points via the screws 19, the protrusions 21 become optional.
FIG. 5 shows a clip 3 b having four protrusions 21 in substitution for the combination of a screw and protrusions or multiple screws. In the FIG. 5, the base 11″ lacks any throughholes. In this embodiment, the protrusions or prongs 21 can be driven into a joist using a hammer or the like.
 As such, an invention has been disclosed in terms of preferred embodiments thereof which fulfills each and every one of the objects of the present invention as set forth above and provides new and improved flooring assembly and fastener therefor.
 Of course, various changes, modifications and alterations from the teachings of the present invention may be contemplated by those skilled in the art without departing from the intended spirit and scope thereof. It is intended that the present invention only be limited by the terms of the appended claims.
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US6652184 *||Jun 21, 2001||Nov 25, 2003||Keith Knafelc||Apparatus for roadways and the like|
|US6718720||Oct 2, 2002||Apr 13, 2004||Cornerstone Specialty Wood Products Inc.||Flooring system and method|
|US7398623 *||Aug 20, 2004||Jul 15, 2008||Tiger Claw, Inc.||Deck board fastener with concave prongs|
|US7805902||Mar 13, 2007||Oct 5, 2010||Tiger Claw, Inc.||Fastener for grooved or slotted decking members|
|US8011153 *||Feb 13, 2009||Sep 6, 2011||Brian Keith Orchard||Deck fastener and method of use|
|US8146303 *||Sep 16, 2010||Apr 3, 2012||Brent Alan Gibson||Integrated decking member fastening track|
|US8225571 *||Sep 19, 2007||Jul 24, 2012||Brian Orchard||Deck fastener, system and method of use|
|US8615958 *||Jul 13, 2012||Dec 31, 2013||A. Raymond Et Cie||Stepped hidden decking system with fastener|
|US8656671||Jun 19, 2012||Feb 25, 2014||Robert X. Chambers||Floor systems|
|US8869481 *||Jun 30, 2010||Oct 28, 2014||Paata Dzigava||Flooring devices, systems, and methods thereof|
|US9145673 *||Nov 25, 2014||Sep 29, 2015||Hugh A. Dantzer||Deck clip and modular deck assembly|
|US20050252154 *||Aug 20, 2004||Nov 17, 2005||David Martel||Deck board fastener with concave prongs|
|US20080066417 *||Sep 19, 2007||Mar 20, 2008||Brian Orchard||Deck fastener, system and method of use|
|US20110203213 *||Jun 30, 2010||Aug 25, 2011||Paata Dzigava||Flooring devices, systems, and methods thereof|
|US20130291471 *||Dec 16, 2011||Nov 7, 2013||Young Doo Choo||Wooden deck fastening device|
|US20130340377 *||Jun 25, 2012||Dec 26, 2013||Handy & Harman||Hidden Decking Fastener|
|U.S. Classification||52/589.1, 52/489.1, 52/591.5, 52/489.2, 52/391|
|Cooperative Classification||E04F2201/0511, E04F15/10|
|Feb 1, 2006||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Jul 17, 2006||REIN||Reinstatement after maintenance fee payment confirmed|
|Sep 12, 2006||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20060716
|Apr 27, 2007||SULP||Surcharge for late payment|
|Apr 27, 2007||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Jul 7, 2008||PRDP||Patent reinstated due to the acceptance of a late maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20080707
|Feb 22, 2010||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Jul 16, 2010||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Sep 7, 2010||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20100716