US 20050255271 A1
The present invention is a wall covering system comprising two or more sheet elements composed of a flexible, rigid, or semi-rigid material. Each sheet element has one or more sides with a smooth, non-linear profile. One non-linear side along each sheet element is arranged in a paired configuration so as to contact in a non-overlapping and interlocking fashion. The resultant non-linear seam minimizes color variations, avoids gaps, and overlapping between sheets thereby minimizing the visibility of the seam. An optional covering may be applied to one or both sides of the sheet element.
1. An apparently seamless wall covering system comprising at least two sheet elements each having a decorative surface, a bonding surface and a perimeter, said perimeter disposed around and between said decorative surface and said bonding surface, each said sheet element having at least one side composed of at least one smooth, non-linear segment, said sheet elements abutted when applied to a surface to form a seam between said smooth, non-linear segments along two said sheet elements, said seam both non-overlapping and interlocking so as to minimize visibility of said seam.
2. The apparently seamless wall covering system of
3. The apparently seamless wall covering system of
4. The apparently seamless wall covering system of
5. The apparently seamless wall covering system of
6. The apparently seamless wall covering system of
7. The apparently seamless wall covering system of
8. The apparently seamless wall covering system of
9. A method for hand hanging a wall covering system:
(a) outlining location of at least two sheet elements along a wall, each said sheet element having at least one non-linear surface;
(b) bonding first said sheet element to said wall over its respective location;
(c) interlocking second said sheet element to at least one other said sheet element so that said non-linear surfaces between said sheet elements are aligned in a non-overlapping fashion; and
(d) bonding second said sheet to said wall over its respective location.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention generally relates to a wall covering system that minimizes the visibility of seams therein. Specifically, the invention comprises two or more sheets of flexible material each having a perimeter with one or more sides composed of smooth, non-linear segments. Sheets are arranged along a surface so as to abut in a non-overlapping, interlocking fashion.
2. Description of the Related Art
Home remodeling and decorating is a multi-billion dollar industry fueled in part by the availability of do-it-yourself products. Such products enable one with little skill or experience in a particular task, examples including plumbing and carpentry, to quickly and efficiently complete a project having the quality and appearance that might otherwise require an expert. However, the installation of wall coverings remains a uniquely challenging activity for a novice.
The qualitative appearance of a wall covering system is largely determined by the visibility of seams. In short, appearance quality is compromised when seams are visible.
The related arts do not provide a wall covering system, namely hand hung sheets composed of paper, vinyl, fabric, and combinations thereof, allowing a non-expert to achieve a seamless appearance. For example, conventional wall coverings include two or more rectangular-shaped sheets having a seam of linear extent whereby one sheet abuts another. A linear seam provides a visual reference easily distinguished by the human eye. This visual reference is caused in part by color variations between wall covering sheets, gaps between sheets, and overlapping of sheets. Typically, the visibility of a linear seam is minimized by color matching between sheets and precision alignment of abutting sheets so as to avoid gaps and overlaps.
Do-it-yourself wall covering systems attempt to achieve a nearly seamless appearance via sheets having minimal thickness so as to minimize the depth of gaps between abutting sheets and/or the height of ridges resulting from the overlapping of sheets. For example, Gauss, U.S. Pat. No. 6,324,811, teaches lightweight, non-fabric sheets of hand-torn wallpaper applied in an overlapping fashion so as to have a seam-free appearance. The ragged edge of hand-torn paper avoids the appearance of seams by complimenting the chromatic presentation and/or random motif printed on the visible surface of the paper. However, higher-quality and professional grade wall coverings are thick, since they are typically composed of one or more layers of heavy paper, vinyl and/or fabric, and thereby frustrate the teachings of Gauss.
What is currently required is a wall covering system that enables a novice to hand hang two or more sheets, composed of paper, vinyl, fabric, and combinations thereof, so as to produce an apparently seamless appearance that might otherwise require an expert to achieve.
An object of the present invention is to provide a wall covering system comprised of sheets of flexible, semi-rigid, or rigid material each having a perimeter composed in part or whole of smooth, non-linear segments wherein sheets are arranged along a surface in a complimentary non-overlapping, interlocking fashion.
The present invention is comprised of at least two sheet elements each having a decorative surface, a bonding surface and a perimeter disposed around and between both decorative and bonding surfaces. Each sheet element has at least one side composed of at least one smooth, non-linear segment. The complimentary, non-linear sides along two sheets are abutted to form a seam of non-linear extent so as to create a visual reference which is less distinctive than a linear seam and as such seamless. Alternate embodiments of the present invention include an adhesive layer disposed along the bonding surface. In other embodiments, a thin removable covering is provided along one or both sides of the sheet element to achieve the desired degree of rigidity to simplify installation. A method for hand hanging the present invention is also provided.
Three advantages are offered by the apparently seamless wall covering system. The present invention greatly reduces installation cost by eliminating professional services required for a professional appearance. The present invention eliminates the tedium of hand hanging a wall covering by providing a decorative system that is both challenging and enjoyable in its application. The non-linear sides of the present invention improve sheet interlock thereby avoiding gaps and overlaps.
The invention will now be described in more detail, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
While a planar disposed arrangement is shown in
Referring now to
Sheet elements 2 a, 2 b may be composed of a variety of materials including but not limited to fabrics, paper, vinyl, cloth backed paper, cloth backed vinyl, and combinations thereof The adhesive layer 5 may be composed of a variety of bonding materials known within the art. For example, the adhesive layer 5 may be a water or heat activated material applied onto the bonding surfaces 4 a, 4 b during fabrication of the sheet element 2 and dried to a solid. It is likewise possible for the adhesive layer 5 to be a liquid and/or solid adhesive applied between bonding surfaces 4 a, 4 b and wall 6 during application.
The composition of sheet element 2 and adhesive layer 5 may provide the desired degree of rigidity in the sheet element 2 to facilitate application to a wall 6. For example, it is possible for the sheet element 2 alone or in combination with the adhesive layer to be flexible, rigid, or semi-rigid.
It is likewise possible to have an optional removable covering 28, preferably a polymer, contacting and adhered to decorative surface 3 and/or bonding surface 4, as shown in
Decorative surfaces 3 a, 3 b are outwardly disposed and visible. A variety of exemplary decorative surfaces 3 a, 3 b are possible including murals, photographs, portrait, floral designs, faux finishes, single and multiple color motifs, repeating designs, randomly disposed and arbitrary designs, and textured finishes.
Sheet elements 2 a, 2 b are abutted so as to minimize gaps and avoid overlapping there between. The resultant seam 8 is disposed at a right angle with respect to the bonding surfaces 4 a, 4 b. It is preferred that the sheet elements 2 a, 2 b contact across their thickness, as represented in
Referring now to
The perimeter 7 of a sheet element 2 may include three or more sides 18. For example, the middle sheet element 2 b in
In the examples described above, a portion of the respective perimeters 7 a and 7 c along the sheet elements 2 a and 2 c contact the middle sheet element 2 b in a complimentary fashion so as to provide intimate contact over the entire length of the interlock. As such, the sheet element 2 c to the right has a wave-shaped edge 11 b. Whereas, the sheet element 2 a to the left has a protrusion 9 a so as to occupy the opening 10 along the middle sheet element 2 b. One or more protrusions 9 a-9 c may reside about a perimeter 7 a, as shown in
Referring now to
Each unit cell 19 may have one or more designs 26 on its decorative surface 3. For example,
While a variety of sizes and shapes are possible for the described unit cells 19 a-19 d, exemplary embodiments may be comprised of a square-shaped element having sides with an approximate length (L) of 48-inches wherein each interlocking male side 24 and female side 25 are provided over a depth (D) of 2.5-inches. As shown in
Referring now to
The description above indicates that a great degree of flexibility is offered in terms of the present invention. Although the present invention has been described in considerable detail with reference to certain preferred versions thereof, other versions are possible. Therefore, the spirit and scope of the appended claims should not be limited to the description of the preferred versions contained herein.