The present invention relates to a wall covering comprising wall panels and assembly fittings.
Wood based materials expands and contracts under the influence of heat, cold and moisture. It is on walls and ceilings common to use wood panels with tongue and groove. This will permit individual movement at each joint via the tongue and groove. A great amount of gaps are hereby formed which will collect dust and dirt which gaps furthermore are difficult to clean. It is desired to achieve decorative wall covering materials with larger continuous and plane surfaces which are easy to keep clean. This has so far been impossible since changes in moisture level and temperature will call for a play as changes in moisture and temperature will make the covering material expand and contract.
It has, through the present invention, been made possible to solve the above mentioned problem whereby a wall covering material comprising wall panels and assembly fittings have been achieved. The wall panels comprises a decorative surface, a first long side edge provided with a tongue and a second long side edge provided with a groove. The invention is characterised in that the assembly fittings comprises an upper horizontal moulding, intermediate vertical strips including cover profile and assembly profile, and preferably a lower horizontal moulding.
The lower horizontal moulding preferably comprises an upwards directed outer cheek and a panel groove while the upper horizontal moulding preferably comprises a downwards directed outer cheek and a panel groove. According to one embodiment of the invention the lower horizontal moulding is provided with a lower edge which is intended to abut a floor covering via a sealing strip arranged on the lower edge. The possibility for water and dirt to penetrate between the floor covering and the lower horizontal moulding will hereby be radically reduced. This is especially effective when the flooring material is of a so called floating floor type. Such floor coverings are, as known, allowed to move with changes in moisture level and temperature. These movements are most noticeable along one or more walls.
The lower horizontal moulding is furthermore suitably provided with an elastic connecting strip on the inside of the upwards directed outer cheek. The connecting strip is intended to connect to the decorative surface of the wall panels and prevent penetration of dirt here as well.
The female snapping means are for example embodied by a U-shaped profile which is attached to the wall to be covered while the male snapping means may be embodied by a protruding profile which is intended to be received by the U-profile.
The upper horizontal moulding is provided with a rear edge which is intended to abut the wall to be covered. This rear edge is preferably provided with mail snapping means which are intended to co-operate with female snapping means which are fastened on the wall. The upper horizontal moulding is furthermore suitably provided with an upper edge which is intended to abut the wall to be covered via a sealing strip arranged on the upper edge. Like on the lower horizontal moulding, the upper horizontal moulding is, of the same reason, provided with an elastic connecting strip on the inner side of the outer cheek which connecting strip is intended to connect to the decorative surface of the wall panels.
The assembly profile comprises a girder which is intended to be fastened on the wall to be covered, and outwards directed cheeks which are intended to receive a fastening profile arranged on the rear side of the cover profile. Also the cover profile is suitably provided with elastic connection strips on the rear side of the cover profile which connection strips are intended to connect to the decorative surface of the wall panels thereby preventing water and dirt from penetrating.
According to one embodiment of the invention the wall panels are assembled in groups of 2-50 vertically arranged wall panels between the vertical strips. In cases where the numbers of panels in each group exceeds 5 and may be desirable to attach the panels to the covered wall. This can be achieved by means of glue pads or double faced adhesive tape. These fastening means should be elastic to make movement between wall and panel possible.
The wall panels are alternatively attached to the covered wall by means of a horizontal anchor profile, which anchor profile includes horizontal anchor rail and anchor clip. The number of anchor clips is preferably N−1 per anchor rail when the number of wall panels per group is N. The anchor clip is preferably provided with sliding profile which interacts with the anchor rail and a locking tongue which interacts with the groove of the wall panel.
In cases where the groups are formed by 2-10 vertically arranged panels arranged between vertical strips may fastening elements like glue pads and anchor profile according to above be excluded.
It is also possible to arrange the wall panels horizontally whereby the vertical strips are arranged between groups of horizontally arranged wall panels.
The wall panels are suitably provided with elastic distance means on their rear sides. These distance means are intended to force the wall panels to bear on intended parts of the assembly profiles.
The cover profile, as well as other visible profiles and strips, are suitably manufactured of a wood based core such as fibre board like MDF (Medium Density Fibre board) or HDF (High Density Fibre board), particle board or massive wood. This core can suitably be covered with a thin decorative thermosetting laminate or a thermoplastic foil.
The cover profile may also be made of metal, preferably extruded aluminium. The front face of the cover profile is then preferably provided with a thin decorative thermosetting laminate.
The assembly profile are suitably attached to the foundation by means of screws, nails, glue or the like. At least the inner parts of the cheeks of the assembly profile and edge parts are suitably provided with a rough surface by being etched, blasted, anodised or the like thereby ensuring that the cover profile not unintentionally disengage the assembly profile.
The wall panels most often comprises a core which has been covered with a decorative layer. The core is most often constituted of wood particles or wood fibres which are boded together by means of resin or glue. Since the wood material of the core is sensitive to moisture it is advantageous to coat the surface closest to the joint if the panels are to be exposed to much moisture. This surface coating may suitably incorporate resin, wax or some kind of oil. It is not necessary to coat the joint in cases where it is to be glued since the glue itself will protect from penetration of moisture. The decorative layer is most often constituted of a decorative paper impregnated with melamine-formaldehyde resin even if other substances are possible to use for impregnation. One or more layers of so-called overlay papers of cellulose which suitably also are impregnated with melamine-formaldehyde resin are possibly arranged on top of the decor layer. The abrasion resistance can be improved by applying hard particles of for example aluminium oxide, silicon oxide or silicon carbide on one or more of the layers in connection to the impregnation. The rear side may suitably be coated with lacquer or a surface layer of paper and resin.
The wall panels are in two of their edges provided with tongue and groove which are used for joining the wall panels. The tongues and grooves may according to one embodiment of the invention be shaped so that they can be snap joined as shown in WO 96/27721 or joined by turning as shown in WO 97/47834.
WO 96/27721 shows a joint where the groove is provided with recesses on the inside which corresponds to heels on the tongue. The heels will snap into the recesses when the tongue is inserted into the groove.
WO 97/47834 shows a joint to floor where the floor boards are assembled by being priced or turned into position having a long side as point of pivot. A traditional tongue has according to this invention been provided with a heel on the lower side. The heel corresponds to a recess in the groove on the opposite side of the floor board. The lower cheek of the groove will flex away and then snap back into position when the floor board is in the correct position.
It is of course also possible to glue joints with traditional tongue and groove as well as the snap joints described above.
FIG. 2a shows, schematically in perspective view, a part of a wall covering material 1 according to a second embodiment of the invention while FIG. 2b shows schematically, in cross-section, a part of the wall covering material 1 shown in FIG. 2a. The wall covering material 1 comprises wall panels 2 and assembly fittings 3. The wall panels 2 comprises a decorative surface, a first long side edge provided with tongue and a second long side edge provided with groove. The assembly fittings 3 comprises a lower and an upper horizontal moulding 31 and 32. Vertical strips 34 (see FIGS. 1a-1 b) comprising cover profile 341 and assembly profile 342 can be arranged on the vertical ends of the wall covering 1 as end finishing profiles or as decorative elements in the wall covering material 1. The vertical strips are in this, second, embodiment of the invention not necessary for holding larger portions of wall panels to the covered wall. The wall covering 1 includes two horizontal anchor profiles 4 which anchor profiles 4 comprises anchor rail 41 and anchor clip 42. The anchor rail 41 is attached to the covered wall through, for example, screws whereupon the anchor clip 42 is snapped onto the anchor rail 41. The anchor clip 42 is provided with a sliding profile 421 which interacts with the anchor rail 41 and a locking tongue 422 which interacts with the groove of the wall panel 2. The anchor clip 42 can hereby be sliding along the anchor rail 41 so that the locking tongue 422 can be inserted into the groove of the last assembled wall panel 2. The next wall panel 2 can then be assembled with the previous one via tongue and groove whereupon another anchor clip 42 is snapped on and slid into position. The anchor clips 42, together with the anchor rail 41, allows for movement along the covered wall thereby allowing the wall panels to expand and contract with maintained distance between the covered wall and the panels. The expansion and contraction is, as described earlier, caused by variations in moisture level and temperature. The number of anchor clips 42 are then N−1 per anchor rail when the number of wall panels 2 per group is N.