BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates to a floor panel, as well as to a method for manufacturing such floor panel.
In particular, the invention relates to so-called laminate panels for forming a floor covering.
It is known that in such laminate panels for floors, the appearance of wood, more particularly parquetry or the like, or the appearance of stones or ceramic tiles, is imitated by providing the floor panels, in the proximity of their upper surface, with a decorative layer printed with a pattern, for example, a wood pattern or tile pattern, over which a transparent synthetic layer is provided.
Usually, the printed decorative layer consists of printed paper, whereas the clear synthetic layer normally consists of a synthetic resin or one or more transparent or clear resin-impregnated material layers, for example, paper layers, in which possibly also products can be incorporated in order to enlarge, for example, the wear and tear resistance of the final upper surface. Generally, said synthetic layer, at least when it also forms the top layer or, thus, uppermost layer of the floor panel, is named “overlay”.
It is also known to provide certain laminate panels with indentations and to provide an amount of paint, printing ink or the like in these indentations, in order to underline certain aspects of the pattern to be imitated.
2. Discussion of the Related Art
A known technique for realizing this is described in DE 29 26 983. According to this known technique, a layer, impregnated in resin, is provided on top of the decorative layer, and subsequently the whole assembly is brought into a press, on one hand, in order to let the whole already partially harden, and, on the other hand, to realize indentations in the upper side during pressing. Subsequently, an amount of paint is doctored into the indentations, after which again a resin-impregnated layer is provided on top of the whole, and finally the whole is hardened completely by the influence of pressure and temperature. This technique has the disadvantage that it is complex and, consequently, time-consuming and that it must be performed rather precisely, in consideration of the fact that two layers must be provided on top of each other and care must be taken in particular that the intermediate hardening is performed to a proper degree. Another disadvantage consists in that one always has to work with at least two top layers, which can exert a disadvantageous influence on the clearness with which the pattern of the printed decorative layer finally is visible, and by which the pattern, formed by the paint in the indentations, is softened.
Thus, the complex and rather expensive procedure described in the German DE 29 26 983 is less suitable for producing larger volumes at a minimum cost price, as desirable in the production of floor panels.
Another known technique, which, amongst others, is described in GB 2,054,458, consists in that, during the formation of the indentations, also an amount of colour product, more particularly, ink, is printed onto the laminate, possibly into the indentations, by means of the press with which the indentations are formed. This known technique requires particularly expensive equipment for, during pressing the laminate panels, simultaneously performing a printing action, which renders this technique thus little suitable for the production of floor panels. As the colour product is provided during the formation of the indentations, as well as is formed by means of a printing process, moreover an appearance similar to printed matter is obtained, which renders the imitation effect less than optimum, at least for certain applications. As the ink is provided in the indentations during pressing, only very thin coatings can be obtained. Also, this technique is exclusively suitable for printing of larger deepened parts.
Further, it is also known to apply techniques whereby the application of colour products on certain locations in recesses is coupled specifically to particular surface treatments, as a consequence of which the typical characteristics of the normal panel surface can not be guaranteed any longer.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
According to a first aspect, the present invention aims at a floor panel whereby, on one hand, the advantages of classical laminate panels for floors are maintained, however, on the other hand, additional components can also be incorporated in the surface in an optimum manner. Furthermore, the invention aims at a floor panel which can be realized smoothly, with minimum production costs.
To this aim, according to a first aspect, the invention relates to a floor panel of the type consisting of a laminate panel which comprises at least a printed decorative layer and a top layer forming the top surface of the floor panel, more particularly a so-called overlay, whereby this top layer is realized on the basis of a thermosetting resin, with the characteristic that in the upper side of the floor panel, indentations are formed and in that at least in a number of these indentations, a component is provided, which component has been obtained in that it has been provided in those indentations after the provision of the indentations.
As the indentations are situated in the upper side of the floor panel, and this upper side, with the exception of the indentations, remains unchanged, the floor panels will keep their classical advantages in respect to wear resistance, cleaning features and the like at their surface which is walked upon. As said component is provided in the indentations, the former is little or not at all subject to wear and tear, in particular when said indentations are realized with relatively small dimensions. Due to the fact that said component is no longer covered by an additional overlay, the clarity of the pattern or such formed by said component, in the case such component consists of a colour product, is not affected by such overlay.
Preferably, the invention is applied in combination with floor panels, said top layer of which being a layer based on melamine resin, because such top layer as such, as is known, is very suitable for floor panels.
Although the invention can be applied in combination with different kinds of patterns for the printed decorative layer, it offers in particular special advantages in embodiments in which the printed decorative layer represents a wood pattern, as in such manner particularly good imitations of post-treated, in particular coloured, for example, lime-treated, wooden floor parts or parquetry parts, sometimes also called “patinated” oder “cerused” floor parts or parquetry, often in short denominated with the French term “ceruse”, can be realized.
An obvious solution for imitating such coloured or “patinated” floor by means of laminate panels consists in providing the decorative layer with a printed pattern representing a patinated wooden floor part or parquetry part and subsequently applying a classical overlay on top thereof. Practice has shown that in such specific application, it is difficult to arrive at a good imitation of a really coloured wooden floor.
However, by providing the floor panels, in accordance with the present invention, on one hand, with a decorative layer printed with a wood pattern, and, on the other hand, with indentations in which a colour product is provided, a considerably better imitation can be realized. Hereby, the printed wood pattern either may consist of a traditional print, as the one applied for imitating a non-coloured floor, whereby the imitation effect of the coloration then is exclusively obtained by the colour product in the indentations, as well as of a particular print which indeed represents certain aspects of the coloration, whereby the imitation effect of the coloration then is obtained by the combination of the special print and the colour product in the indentations. According to the latter manner, by means of the print of the decorative layer at least the discoloration of a treated wood surface can be imitated, whereas by means of the colour product in the indentations, residual colour materials, which remain in the real pores or other recesses in the wood in a treatment of a real wooden floor, can be imitated.
Preferably, in order to imitate coloured, “patinated” or lime-treated wood, said component will consist of a colour product with a light colour, in particular white. However, colour products of another colour are not excluded. These colour products as such preferably are little or not at all transparent.
When imitating wood, it is preferred that said indentations are provided in function of the wood pattern, and even better follow the lines of the wood pattern. In the case that said component then consists of a colour product, it is obtained that the pattern created by this colour product is optimally adapted to the underlying printed pattern of the decorative layer. In the case that said component does not consist of a colour product, but, as will be explained in the following, has other purposes, and, for example, consists of a colourless or almost colourless agent, the advantage is created that the presence of such component will be less apparent, as said agent is distributed over the surface of the floor panel in accordance with the underlying printed pattern.
The aforegoing does not exclude that such colour component, provided in indentations, can also be applied in combination with patterns other than a wood pattern.
It is noted that the floor panels according to the invention can be provided at one or more of their upper edges with a cut-away material part in order to create a particular profile at those edges. By means of such cut-away part, for example, a so-called “chamfer” can be formed, or simply a rectangular recess, which, when laying several floor panels adjacent to each other, forms a groove. According to a particular embodiment of the present invention, in such case the surface created by cutting away said material part is provided, at least partially, with a finish, such that the appearance of the surface is adapted to the effect obtained by the colour product in said indentations.
Adapting the colour of the surface at the location where a part has been cut away to the colour of the applied component can be performed in any manner. To this aim, for example, a covering layer can be provided on this surface, said covering layer showing a matching colour or a matching pattern. For providing such covering layer, for example, use can be made of transfer printing, as described, amongst others, in the international patent application WO 01/96688.
According to a particular variant, however, said surface will be coloured at least partially with a colour product having the same tint or almost the same tint as the colour product used for said component. In a particular form of embodiment, even the same agent, for example, the same paint, shall be applied to this aim. The advantage of this technique consists in that the finish of said surface, in other words, the finish of the “chamfer”, automatically is adapted to the upper surface of the floor panel in an optimum manner, contrary to a coating provided by means of transfer printing, as with transfer printing, separate materials are used which then specifically must be adapted to the upper surface of the floor panel.
According to a particular characteristic of the invention, said floor panel is provided with a coloured transparent top layer, in other words, a coloured “overlay”.
Up to the present, overlays, at least in case they are applied in combination with a printed decorative layer, always are realized such that they, after the floor panel has been formed, thus, after curing, are as transparent as possible and also as colourless as possible, in order to thereby render the printed decorative layer optimally visible. To this aim, “overlays” then are formed of an in its turn very pure paper which is impregnated with resin. The pure paper itself as such is white, however, after impregnation with resin and after pressing the overlay, it becomes almost colourless.
By using, according to the invention, as aforementioned, a coloured “overlay”, particular new effects can be realized. By a “coloured overlay”, hereby an “overlay” is to be understood which, in applied condition, clearly gives the floor panel a certain tint, in other words, is not colourless. Hereby, such tint can be of any colour, including black or white.
Basically, such tint in the top layer or, thus, overlay, can be realized by using coloured paper for the paper carrier of the overlay, however, preferably the overlay or, thus, top layer shall be coloured in that this layer is formed on the basis of coloured resin. By colouring the resin itself, on one hand, a tint is obtained, however, on the other hand, the transparency of the overlay is little or not affected.
According to a particular form of embodiment, the coloured overlay is chosen such that, on one hand, this overlay, by means of its tint, and, on the other hand, said colour product present in the indentations, commonly contribute to a “patinating” or “colouring” effect. In such case, a classical imitated wood pattern can be used for the printed decorative layer; the coloured tint to be imitated, which is present over the entire surface, can be obtained by means of the coloured overlay; and the colour product present in the indentations can be used as an imitation of the colour product which normally in reality remains in the wood pores and the like.
Of course, such coloured overlay also can be used for creating other particular effects.
It is noted that the use of such coloured “overlays” allows to realize different final results, starting from one and the same printed decorative layer. In the case of the imitation of parquetry or wooden floor parts, for example, an imitation of a non-coloured floor then can be realized by means of a printed decorative layer with a clear overlay only, whereas, in case of an imitation of a coloured embodiment, one starts with one and the same printed decorative layer, which, however, in that case will be provided with a coloured overlay.
Preferably, the coloured overlay hereby is monochromatic and thus free of any well-defined fixed pattern, with the advantage that, when forming the boards of which the floor panels are realized, the overlay must not be especially positioned in respect to the possible pattern of the printed decorative layer.
Preferably, said indentations have a small dimension in at least one direction, more particularly a width which, for the major part of such indentations, is less than 2 mm and even better less than 1 mm. By using relatively small indentations, the component present in the indentations is not or almost not strained during the use of the floor panels.
According to an important variant of the invention, said component comprises at least one active agent. By an active agent, each product has to be understood which renders well-defined features, other than features exclusively aiming at determining the appearance or forming a top layer. To this aim, products can be applied having, for example, one or more of said features: anti-bacterial, anti-static, dirt-repellent, mildew-repellent.
The application of other active agents is not excluded. Another application consists, for example, in applying materials creating a certain optical effect, such as materials having reflecting and/or fluorescent and/or phosphorescent features. This may be for decorative purposes as well as practical purposes, for example, as an emergency lighting in corridors or passages and/or for indicating an emergency exit on the floor and the like. So, for example, micro-indentations can be provided in the surface, which represent an arrow or another symbol and are filled with a component 13 lighting up in darkness, whereas with normal light conditions, this arrow is not visible.
The component in the indentations may also comprise particles which enhance wear resistance, such as corundum.
It is clear that according to the present invention, such products can be optimally utilized in combination with floor panels, on one hand, because said component is little or not at all strained when using the floor panel and thus is very little subject to wear and tear, and, on the other hand, the respective component still can be freely present at the upper surface and consequently can be optimally active.
It is clear that the application of an active agent for said component provided in the indentations also can be combined with a colour product, for example, in that active ingredients, such as anti-bacterial products, anti-static products or the like, are blended into the colour product.
The floor panels of the invention preferably are realized as DPL (Direct Pressure Laminate).
Said component present in the indentations preferably consists of a cured matter, such as a paint paste, a hardenable product containing active agents or the like, which matter preferably is created as a consequence of the fact that a certain amount thereof is brought into the indentations in that it is deposited therein, for example, rolled thereinto, wiped thereinto, doctored thereinto, sprayed thereinto or the like, contrary to high-pressure printing techniques.
It is noted that the above-described possibility of imitating a post-treated wooden floor or parquetry floor, more particularly, a wooden floor or parquetry floor coloured with colour substance or the like, by means of laminate panels, according to which use is made of a decorative layer printed with a wood pattern and of indentations provided with a colour product, also can be utilized in other kinds of laminate panels, regardless whether further intermediate layers and additional covering overlays are applied, regardless of how the component is provided in the indentations, regardless of the material of which the possible overlay consists, and regardless of the fact whether an overlay is applied or not.
According to a second aspect, the invention thus also relates to a floor panel, of the type consisting of a laminate panel comprising a decorative layer which is printed and/or provided with a pattern, with the characteristic that the floor panel is provided with a coloured or “patinated” appearance, which is realized at least by means of indentations in which a component in the form of a colour product is provided.
Further is noted that for laminate panels, also the use of an active component, provided in parts which are deepened in respect to the upper surface, regardless whether those are indentations or not, and regardless of the further composition of the laminate panel, can be advantageous, as such deepened parts often allow the application of such active component in a better manner than in case such active component must be provided over the entire surface. In consideration thereof, the invention, according to a third aspect, also relates to a floor panel of the type consisting of a laminate panel with a top layer based on synthetic material, whereby this floor panel shows deepened parts at its upper side, with the characteristic that, substantially at the deepened parts, a component comprising at least one active agent is provided.
As already discussed, the deepened parts may consist of indentations, preferably local indentations of small dimensions. According to another important possibility, such deepened parts are formed by the surface of parts which are formed in that at the upper side of the floor panels, whether at the edge thereof or not, material parts have been removed, for example, the surface of a so-called “chamfer”, the surface of a rectangular recess, and so on.
Also, the use of a coloured so-called overlay in combination with a printed decorative layer in its turn offers important advantages, amongst others, in that thereby a new technical construction is obtained which allows to realize new creations, more particularly patterns, appearances and the like, independent of possible other characteristics. Also, the use of a coloured overlay offers the advantage that certain decors, the practical realization of which had been problematical before, now can be realized more adequately.
So, for example, it is known that it is difficult to realize very light decors, for example, so-called “cťrusť”, as well as very dark decors in a proper manner, as with the techniques known up to now, whereby the decor is determined substantially by the printed decorative layer, the richness of the obtained decor often is considerably less than intended.
Also, it is known that with very light or very dark decors, a large quantity of printing ink or other printing medium must be applied on the decorative layer in order to arrive at a proper appearance. On one hand, this poses the problem that such thick printing is difficult to perform. On the other hand, such thick printing results in that the decorative layer hardly takes up any resin and the necessary resin treatment or impregnation is rendered difficult. Also, this results in that more or less a layered structure is formed, as a lesser adhesion between the decorative layer and the overlay occurs, whereby, when milling the edges of the floor panels, pieces of the upper side may come off.
In consideration of the above, according to a fourth aspect the invention thus also relates to a floor panel of the type consisting of a laminate panel comprising at least a decorative layer provided with a certain pattern, with the characteristic that the floor panel also comprises at least a so-called overlay, which is coloured, but transparent. This overlay is of course situated above the decorative layer, however, according to the fourth aspect of the invention, must not necessarily form the uppermost layer of the panel. In fact, it is not excluded to provide a clear colourless overlay on top of the coloured overlay.
This technique creates new possibilities.
One of those possibilities consists in that light or dark decors can be produced with a greater richness and with less problems by colouring the overlay with a light tint, for example, a white colour product, in the case of a light decor and colouring the overlay with a dark tint in the case of a dark decor. The inventor has found out that thereby rich decors can be realized without necessitating an extra thick print on the decorative layer, as a consequence of which the aforementioned disadvantages can be excluded.
According to a variant of the invention, instead of the aforementioned coloured overlays, also coloured resins can be used for impregnating the decorative layer, by which similar effects as described above can be realized. Also, a combination of, on one hand, the use of a decorative layer resin-treated with a coloured resin, and, on the other hand, the use of one or more coloured overlays is possible.
A fifth independent aspect of the invention relates to laminate tiles imitating stone tiles, in other words, which have a decorative layer with an image imitating the surface of such stone tiles, whereby by “stone tiles” ceramic tiles as well as tiles of natural stone or other stone-material tiles have to be understood.
Laminate tiles imitating a stone tile are already well-known. As aforementioned, these laminate tiles comprise at least a core consisting, for example, of MDF, HDF or another material, and a printed decorative layer. Further, they are preferably also provided with an overlay and a backing layer.
In the known embodiments, when imitating stone tiles, it is common to represent wide joints with a width of approximately 1 cm between the imitated tiles, such by means of the print on the decorative layer. These imitated joints, which mostly imitate a cement joint, either may coincide with the peripheral edge of the floor panel or not. Also, the panel, and more particularly the top layer, can be somewhat indented at the location of the printed joints in order to even better imitate a real joint. Also, it is known to have the surface of such floor panel correspond in size either to the surface of one tile to be imitated, or to the surface of several tiles to be imitated.
As a consequence of the fact that relatively wide joints are imitated, the advantage is created that differences which inevitably occur, on one hand, as a result of extension and crimping in the printed paper of the decorative layer before this is provided on the core material, and, on the other hand, as a result of production tolerances when processing the pressed basic boards to form floor panels, will be less apparent. When a wide joint is imitated by representing half a joint at the respective edges of adjoining floor panels, whereby such half joint also is rather wide, it will be less apparent if the pattern is somewhat shifted in respect to the edge of the floor panel, as such shifting only results in that the half joint, at one side, will become somewhat narrower than it should be, whereas, on the other side, it will become somewhat too wide. Also when the imitated joints are not situated at the edges, but extend transversely over the floor panels, differences will hardly show, as the imitated joints, in view of their width, will still be at least partially aligned, even with a mutual shifting.
Nowadays, there is a tendency to apply very fine joints for real stones, for example, with a width of several millimetres to less than 1 mm, or even to lay the stones directly against each other, whereby in the last case, due to the irregularity of the edge of a real stone tile, still a tiny joint remains visible. With laminate tiles, it is rather difficult to imitate thin joints by means of printing, in particular when joints of half the width must be provided along the peripheral edge of a floor panel. The least divergence between the printed pattern and the real edge of the floor panel then results in that the printed joint either completely drops off the floor tile, or appears completely on the floor tile, at a distance to the edge of the floor tile, which renders such floor tiles unusable. Also if the printed joints are provided such that they extend transversely over such final floor tile, the application of such printed narrow joints results in that divergences, more particularly a shifting of the printed pattern in respect to the edge of the floor panel, will be very apparent, such because then it may occur that the printed joints of adjoining floor tiles are shifted completely in respect to each other, which is experienced as very annoying.
Basically, the laminate floor tiles might be realized without printed joint and, during laying, might be placed with their flat upper sides directly against each other. Tests, however, have shown that this leads to a very bad optical result. Furthermore, when wet-cleaning such tiles, moisture might penetrate between the floor tiles, which then is immediately taken up under the decorative layer into the core material, which results in that the core material swells up and pushes the decorative layer, as well as the top layer present thereabove, upward. This results in that the upper surface, at the location of the upwardly pushed edges, wears faster, which finally leads to the occurrence of ugly edges. Hereby, it is noted that this risk is rather high with laminate tiles imitating stone tiles, as the users of such laminate tiles often have the habit to regularly wet-clean these tiles, just as real stone floor tiles.
Thus, the present invention aims at a laminate tile whereby the aforementioned disadvantages are excluded. To this aim, the invention, according to a fifth aspect, relates to a floor panel of the type consisting of a laminate panel which comprises at least a printed decorative layer which is provided with a pattern imitating a stone floor tile, characterized in that this floor panel, at its upper edge, is provided with a chamfer. When such floor panels according to the fifth aspect of the invention are installed adjacent to each other, the chamfer results in that an effect is created as if real stone floor tiles were concerned which are laid against each other with a narrow joint. It is clear that hereby, it is no longer necessary to print joints on the decorative layer and that consequently the aforementioned problems, which are created by divergences in the position of these printed joints, will not occur.
Preferably, the chamfer consists of a material part which has been removed along the respective upper edge, more particularly, milled off. In the most preferred form of embodiment, this chamfer is formed by a bevel or bevelled edge, for example, at 45 degrees, or a rounding, however, other shapes of removed material parts, for example, a small rectangular recess, are not excluded.
Said chamfer preferably extends along the entire periphery of the floor panel. Furthermore, one floor panel imitates preferably only one real tile. According to another possibility, one floor panel also may imitate a plurality of stone floor tiles, whereby the chamfer then preferably is provided along the entire periphery of the floor panel, whereas the intermediate joints extending transversely over the floor panel are obtained by a print on the decorative layer or by means of a locally milled-in groove or in any other manner.
It is clear that the floor panels, more particularly floor tiles, which are realized according to the fifth aspect of the invention, may have different forms and dimensions and thus may be square as well as rectangular as have any other shape, although the square embodiment is preferred.
Preferably, on the surface of the chamfer, a coating, more particularly decorative coating, is provided, which preferably also offers a protection against moisture penetration and which, for example, is formed by a print, layer of paint or other hardening substance, or an impregnating agent or a strip, possibly glued onto the surface. In case of a print, this latter can be realized by means of transfer printing or any other printing process. In case of a layer of paint or an impregnating agent, or another liquid component, this latter can be provided, for example, by means of small paint rollers, by means of a spraying or sputtering technique or any other technique. Also, dry techniques, such as powder coating, are not excluded. According to another possibility, the groove formed by the chamfer at two adjoining panels also might be filled with a strip or jointing material.
According to an important preferred characteristic of floor panels according to the fifth aspect of the invention, the coating on said chamfer shall either imitate a jointing material, for example, cement joint, or be adapted, at least in respect to the colour, to the colour of the upper surface of the floor panel, more particularly, show the same or approximately the same tint.
According to another important preferred characteristic, the chamfer, measured at the upper side of the floor panel, shall extend over a distance which is of the order of magnitude of 1 millimetre or smaller.
By providing a coating on the chamfer, the immediate penetration of moisture under the decorative layer into the core is prevented, which minimizes the above-mentioned disadvantage connected therewith.
It is clear that the floor panels which are realized according to the fifth aspect of the invention, at their edges preferably also are provided with coupling means, by which adjoining panels can be coupled to each other, preferably glueless.
According to a sixth independent aspect, the invention relates to a floor panel, of the type consisting of a laminate panel, with a resin-based top layer, with the characteristic that it is provided with a polished glossy surface. The inventor has found that by polishing such top layer, surprisingly beautiful glossy surfaces can be realized, such contrary to the general expectance that such top layer, when being excessively polished, would be removed and/or damaged.
By panels with “a resin-based top layer”, in particular laminate panels with a top layer based on thermosetting resin, for example, melamine resin, are meant.
According to a diverging form of embodiment of the invention, polishing is also applied to panels which, at their upper side, are provided with a lacquer, varnish or the like, whether resin-based or not. The applied technique then consists in successively providing the respective lacquer, drying, and polishing by means of brushing, possibly preceded by roughening.
By a glossy surface is understood that there is a clearly higher degree of gloss than such top layer shows after having been provided on the floor panel or the basic board, of which such floor panel is manufactured, thus, before being polished.
According to an important preferred characteristic, the glossy effect is realized by first roughening said top layer and then finishing, more particularly polishing it. By means of the preceding step of roughening, it was found, rarely enough, that afterwards, good and even very good degrees of gloss can be obtained by a rather short finishing process, more particularly polishing process, which renders this technique optimally applicable at an industrial level.
The roughening can be performed in any manner, however, of course is performed such that the top layer will not be really damaged. According to a practical form of embodiment, this can be realized by means of a rotating brush or a rotating brush-like element provided with an abrasive material at the parts which come into contact with the top layer. For example, a brush-like element can be used, with bristles in which abrasive granules are incorporated, or a brush-like element whereby instead of bristles, lip-shaped sheets of abrasive paper are used.
The finishing or polishing is preferably performed by means of a rotating brush with bristles, although other techniques are not excluded, for example, by means of flat rotating polishing wheels.
It is clear that the sixth aspect of the invention relates to the floor panels themselves as well as to the aforementioned methods which can be applied therewith.
It is clear that according to the sixth aspect, a smooth method for realizing a glossy surface is offered, which is considerably easier to realize than trying to realize a gloss by means of an adapted press plate.
Such glossy surface is optimum for imitating, for example, a waxed marble floor, however, can also be employed in combination with any pattern.
It is noted that all characteristics of floor panels according to the first, second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth aspects can be combined at random.
Also, at random one or more of all subordinate characteristics which are described in respect to the floor panel according to the first aspect of the invention, can be applied in combination with the main characteristics of the floor panels according to the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth aspects, thus, without having to apply all main characteristics of the first aspect.
Also, the subordinate features of floor panels, described above or in the following, according to one of the aforementioned aspects, can be applied at random in floor panels according to another of said aspects, without also applying the main characteristic of the first-mentioned aspect, such of course inasmuch the application of such subordinate feature does not contradict the other features.
Finally, the invention also relates to a method for manufacturing a floor panel according to the invention, with the characteristic that this method comprises at least two main steps, on one hand, a first step wherein one or more basic layers, a decorative layer and a transparent so-called overlay, by means of a thermosetting synthetic material, are pressed together to a whole in a heated press, whereby, preferably simultaneously with pressing together, indentations are formed in the upper side, and, on the other hand, a second step, whereby said component is brought into the indentations. This method allows for a particularly smooth production, with relatively low production costs and in a manner suitable for mass production.
It is clear that this method can be applied for manufacturing floor panels according to the different aforementioned aspects, at least inasmuch as indentations are used when realizing them.
It is also clear that the decorative layer and overlay possibly can be united beforehand.
In a diverging form of embodiment of the aforementioned method, the overlay to be pressed is omitted and whether or not replaced by another layer, whereby the indentations then are formed in the resin of the resin-treated decorative layer or in said other layer. This other layer can be of any kind, for example, a transparent layer of lacquer.
Generally, the invention does not exclude that apart from the described layers, additional other layers can be applied.