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Publication numberUS20060032170 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/903,850
Publication dateFeb 16, 2006
Filing dateJul 30, 2004
Priority dateJul 30, 2004
Also published asCA2477009A1
Publication number10903850, 903850, US 2006/0032170 A1, US 2006/032170 A1, US 20060032170 A1, US 20060032170A1, US 2006032170 A1, US 2006032170A1, US-A1-20060032170, US-A1-2006032170, US2006/0032170A1, US2006/032170A1, US20060032170 A1, US20060032170A1, US2006032170 A1, US2006032170A1
InventorsRaymond Vershum, Sam Saladino
Original AssigneeVershum Raymond G, Sam Saladino
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Floor underlayment
US 20060032170 A1
Abstract
An easy-to-install flooring underlayment 10 with improved tear resistance and tensile properties is disclosed. The flooring underlayment 10 has a first layer 12 and a second layer 14 with a plurality of cell-like openings 20. A plurality of the cell-like openings 20 have a surface opening or a cross-sectional area (A) of at least 2.5 mm2. Both the first and second layers 12, 14 may be made of polymeric materials, and the second layer 14 may be in contact with the first layer 12, connected to the first layer 12, integral with the first layer 12, or embedded in the first layer 12.
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Claims(31)
1. A flooring underlayment comprising:
a homogeneous first layer, and a second layer in contact with the homogeneous first layer, the second layer having a plurality of cell-like openings having a surface opening of at least 2.5 mm2.
2. The flooring underlayment of claim 1, wherein the second layer is a netting.
3. The flooring underlayment of claim 1, wherein the openings are positioned about a matrix about the second layer.
4. The flooring underlayment of claim 1, wherein the openings are positioned randomly about the second layer.
5. The flooring underlayment of claim 1, wherein the openings have a surface opening of at least 10 mm2.
6. The flooring underlayment of claim 1, wherein the second layer is fixedly connected to a surface of the first layer.
7. The flooring underlayment of claim 6, wherein the second layer is connected to the first layer by a heat lamination process.
8. The flooring underlayment of claim 6, wherein the second layer is connected to the first layer by an adhesive.
9. The flooring underlayment of claim 1, wherein the second layer is embedded within the first layer.
10. The flooring underlayment of claim 1, wherein a portion of the second layer extends past an edge of the first layer.
11. The flooring underlayment of claim 1, wherein the first layer is formed of a first polymeric material.
12. The flooring underlayment of claim 11, wherein the first polymeric material is polyethylene foam.
13. The flooring underlayment of claim 11, wherein the first polymeric material is low-density polyethylene foam.
14. The flooring underlayment of claim 11, wherein the second layer is formed of a second polymeric material.
15. The flooring underlayment of claim 11, wherein the second layer is formed of a rubber-based material.
16. The flooring underlayment of claim 11, wherein the second layer is formed of a nylon-based material.
17. The flooring underlayment of claim 14, wherein the second polymeric material is a thermoplastic.
18. A flooring underlayment comprising:
a substantially integral first polymeric layer; and,
a second polymeric layer connected to the first polymeric layer, the second polymeric layer comprising a plurality of cell-like openings, wherein a plurality of the cell-like openings have a cross-sectional area of at least 2.5 mm2.
19. The flooring underlayment of claim 18, wherein the second polymeric layer is made of a netting.
20. The flooring underlayment of claim 18, wherein an outermost edge of the second polymeric layer extends past an outermost edge of the first polymeric layer.
21. The flooring underlayment of claim 18, wherein the first polymeric layer is formed of a polyethylene foam.
22. The flooring underlayment of claim 21, wherein the second polymeric layer is made of polyethylene.
23. The flooring underlayment of claim 18, wherein the second polymeric layer is heat laminated to the first polymeric layer.
24. A flooring underlayment comprising:
an integral first polymeric layer having a first surface and a second surface, and a netting connected to the second surface of the first polymeric layer.
25. The flooring underlayment of claim 24, the netting has a matrix of openings, and wherein a plurality of the openings have a cross-sectional area of at least 10 mm2.
26. The flooring underlayment of claim 25, wherein a plurality of the openings have a cross-sectional area of at least 40 mm2, and wherein the netting comprises a polymeric material.
27. The flooring underlayment of claim 24, wherein the first polymeric layer is formed of polyethylene foam.
28. The flooring underlayment of claim 27, wherein the netting is made of polyethylene.
29. A flooring underlayment comprising:
a substantially integral first layer, and a second layer at least partially housed within the first layer, the second layer having a plurality of cell-like openings having a surface opening of at least 10 mm2.
30. The flooring underlayment of claim 28, wherein the first layer is formed of polyethylene foam.
31. The flooring underlayment of claim 28, wherein the second layer is embedded within the first layer.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable.

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The invention relates generally to a floor underlayment, and more particularly to a floor underlayment that reduces tearing, has improved tensile properties and is easy to install.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Floor underlayment systems are well known in the art. Floor underlayments are generally used to make the floor more resilient and slightly cushioned, to even out minor irregularities, and to dampen sound. While floor underlayment systems according to the prior art provide a number of advantageous features, they nevertheless have certain limitations. The present invention seeks to overcome certain of these limitations and other drawbacks of the prior art, and to provide new features not heretofore available.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally provides a flooring underlayment. One embodiment of the flooring underlayment comprises a first layer and a second layer. The first layer is generally a substrate having a first surface and a second surface. The second layer is generally a netting having a plurality of cell-like openings.

According to another embodiment, the first layer and the second layer may be formed of polymeric materials.

According to another embodiment, the second layer may be in contact with the first layer, connected to the first layer, integral with the first layer or embedded in the first layer.

According to another embodiment, cell-like openings of the second layer are arranged in a matrix.

According to yet another embodiment, a plurality of the cell-like openings have a surface opening or a cross-sectional area of at least 2.5 mm2.

Other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following examples in the specification taken in conjunction with the following drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

To understand the present invention, it will now be described by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a flooring underlayment.

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the flooring underlayment of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a partial cross-sectional side elevation view of the flooring underlayment of FIG. 1.

FIGS. 4A-4E are top plan views of examples of netting for a flooring underlayment.

FIG. 5 is a partial cross-sectional side elevation view of another embodiment of a flooring underlayment.

FIG. 6 is a partial cross-sectional side elevation view of another embodiment of a flooring underlayment.

FIG. 7 is a partial cross-sectional side elevation view of another embodiment of a flooring underlayment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

While this invention is susceptible of embodiments in many different forms, and will herein be described in detail, preferred embodiments of the invention are disclosed with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as exemplifications of the principles of the invention and are not intended to limit the broad aspects of the invention to the embodiments illustrated.

Referring now in detail to the FIGS., and initially to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown a flooring underlayment 10 having a first layer 12 and a second layer 14. The first layer 12 is generally a substrate having a first surface 16 and a second surface 18. In one embodiment, the first layer 12 generally comprises a foam material, and the second layer 14 generally comprises a netting with a plurality of openings 20. The second layer 14 is in contact with, and in one embodiment, is connected to, the first layer 12. In a preferred embodiment, the second layer 14 is laminated to the second surface 18 of the first layer 12 to form the underlayment 10. The netting 14 of the second layer generally comprises a mesh or lattice configured material.

As shown in FIG. 1, the flooring underlayment 10 is generally located between an upper flooring 11, such as wood, laminate, carpet, etc., and a sub-flooring. In one embodiment, the flooring underlayment 10 is installed in strips on the sub-floor, and then the upper flooring 11 is installed on top of the flooring underlayment 10. The first layer 12 of the flooring underlayment 10 is generally used to make the upper flooring 11 more resilient and slightly cushioned, to even out minor irregularities, and to dampen sound. The second layer 14 of the flooring underlayment 10 generally provides strength characteristics to the first layer 12, thereby improving the tear-resistance and tensile properties of the flooring underlayment 10. This assists in making installation faster, easier and less expensive.

In a preferred embodiment, both the first layer 12 and the second layer 14 are formed of polymeric materials. As explained above, the first layer 12 is typically made of a foam, as shown in FIG. 3, however it may also be made of a film, as shown in FIG. 5. The foam or film that forms the first layer 12 can be polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride, polystyrene, or any other suitable polymer or co-polymer of the above. Further, the first layer 12 may be made of a low-density or high-density material. In a preferred embodiment, however, the first layer 12 is made of a low-density polyethylene foam. Low-density polyethylene foam lends itself to this application because it is recyclable and has good cushioning properties. The polyethylene material can be formed by means of a conventional polyethylene foam sheet extrusion process or any other suitable foam forming process. The first layer 12 can also be formed of non-polymeric materials. The thickness of the first layer 12 can vary as the application of the underlayment 10 dictates.

Further, in a preferred embodiment, the first layer 12 is an integral material. Further, in a most preferred embodiment, the first layer 12 is a homogeneous layer. As such, it has substantially common properties throughout, as opposed to certain recycled materials which are comprised of various heterogeneous materials composed of dissimilar elements.

As explained above, and shown in the FIGS., the netting of the second layer 14 of the underlayment 10 has a plurality of openings 20. In the examples shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 4A, and 4B the openings 20 are generally cell-like and are generally positioned in a matrix or some other pattern about the second layer 14. As shown in FIGS. 1, 2, and 4A, the openings 20 are approximately ½ inch squares. It is anticipated in a preferred embodiment that a plurality of the openings 20 may range from a size of 1/16 inch square to a least 1 inch square. The openings 20, however, can be of any shape, including but not limited to square, rectangular, pentagonal, hexagonal, octagonal, circular, oval, or any other polygon or closed curve. Further, as shown in FIG. 4C, it is identified that the openings 20 can be shaped the same or differently, and the openings 20 can also be sized the same or differently. Additionally, there may be a pattern to the sizes and shapes of the openings 20, or the openings 20 may be sized and shaped randomly and not in a pattern as shown in FIGS. 4D and 4E. Thus, it is understood that the openings 20 may be arranged in any combination of the above-mentioned shape, size, and position options.

While the size of the openings 20 can vary, in a preferred embodiment, a plurality of the openings 20 of the second layer 14 have a surface opening or a cross-sectional opening area A of at least 2.5 mm2, which corresponds to approximately a 1/16 inch square opening 20, but more preferably at least 10 mm2, which corresponds to approximately a ⅛ inch square opening 20, and most preferably at least 40 mm2, which corresponds to approximately a ¼ inch square opening 20, and moreover, the cross-sectional opening area A can be much larger than 40 mm2. For example, in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1, 2, and 4A, the surface opening or the cross-sectional opening area A is defined by the length of the opening 20, approximately 12.7 mm, multiplied by the width of the opening 20, approximately 12.7 mm. Accordingly, in this example, the surface opening or the cross-sectional opening area A is approximately 161.29 mm2. In another embodiment, the opening 20 is approximately 5 mm wide by approximately 10 mm long. Accordingly, in this example, the surface opening or the cross-sectional opening area A is approximately 50 mm2. The surface opening or the cross-sectional opening area A can be found using the applicable mathematical area formula for the shape of the opening 20 in question, or by using any area measurement device.

Similar to the first layer 12 being formed in various embodiments of a first polymeric material, the second layer 14 is formed of a second polymeric material in various embodiments. Such a polymeric material for the second layer 14 may include a rubber-based or a nylon-based polymer, high-density or low-density polyethylene, polystyrene, linear low density polyethylene, or any other suitable polymer or co-polymers of the above. If the second layer 14 is a rubber-based polymer, and the second layer 14 is on either the first surface 16 or the second surface 18 of the first layer 12, the flooring underlayment 10 may stay in place better due to the increased coefficient of friction provided by the rubber of the second layer 14. Further, the polymeric material for the second layer 14 may be a thermoplastic, which means that it becomes soft when heated and hard when cooled, such as polystyrene or polyethylene. In a preferred embodiment, the second layer 14 is made of a low density polyethylene netting. As explained in detail below, this allows the second layer 14 to be heat laminated to the first layer 12. Like the first layer 12, the second layer 14 can also be formed of non-polymeric materials.

The order of the first and second layers 12,14 is not important. In FIG. 1, the second layer 14 is in contact with the second surface 18 of the first layer 12. Conversely, in FIG. 6, the second layer 14 is in contact with the first surface 16 of the first layer 12. The second layer 14 can also be fixedly connected to either the first surface 16 or the second surface 18 of the first layer 12. As mentioned above, the second layer 14 can be heat laminated to the first layer 12. Further, the connection of the first layer 12 to the second layer 14 can be achieved using an adhesive or any other process known by those skilled in the art.

In addition to being connected to the first layer 12, the second layer 14 can also be integral with or embedded within the first layer 12. For example, FIG. 7 shows the second layer 14 housed entirely within and embedded in the first layer 12. It is understood, however, that the second layer 14 can be integral with or embedded within the first layer 12 without the second layer 14 being housed entirely within the first layer 12. Obtaining an integration of the layers 12, 14 can be achieved via several different processes known by those skilled in the art. For example, the first layer 12 can be extruded around the second layer 14, or the first layer 12 can be blown or poured, while it is in a liquid or semi-liquid state, onto the second layer 14 and cured. It is understood that those of ordinary skill in the art may contemplate additional processes without departing from the scope of the present invention.

As shown in FIG. 3, an outermost edge 22 of the second layer 14 can extend past an outermost edge 24 of the first layer 12 to facilitate an easy and quick installation. The extended edge 22 of the second layer 14 allows the installer to tape or otherwise connect or overlap sections of the underlayment 10 for ease of installation. If the second layer 14 is in contact with the second surface 18 of the first layer 12 and the extended edge 22 is used, the extended edge 22 of the second layer 14 protects the first layer 12 from tearing or deforming at the edge 24 during installation of the upper flooring 11 on top of the flooring underlayment 10. It is also understood that an outermost edge 24 of the first layer 12 can extend past an outermost edge 22 of the second layer 14 to obtain similar benefits.

Thus, the flooring underlayment 10 of the present invention provides several benefits and features not heretofore available. For example, the flooring underlayment 10 of the present invention has improved tear-resistance and tensile properties, resulting in faster, easier and less expensive installation of the underlayment 10.

Several alternative embodiments and examples have been described and illustrated herein. A person of ordinary skilled in the art would appreciate the features of the individual embodiments, and the possible combinations and variations of the components. A person of ordinary skill in the art would further appreciate that any of the embodiments could be provided in any combination with the other embodiments disclosed herein. Additionally, the terms “first” and “second” as used herein are intended for illustrative purposes only and do not limit the embodiments in any way. Further, the term “plurality” as used herein indicates any number greater than one, either disjunctively or conjunctively, as necessary, up to an infinite number.

It will be understood that the invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or central characteristics thereof. The present examples and embodiments, therefore, are to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, and the invention is not to be limited to the details given herein.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7244076 *Jul 19, 2004Jul 17, 2007Bend Industries, Inc.Method for installing paving blocks
US7721498 *Sep 13, 2006May 25, 2010Lg Chem, Ltd.Floor system
US7735279 *Sep 22, 2006Jun 15, 2010Johns ManvillePolymer-based composite structural underlayment board and flooring system
US7765761 *Sep 22, 2006Aug 3, 2010Johns ManvillePolyisocyanurate; good dimensional stability, can be relatively light in weight, are easy to handle, and can be easily cut at the job site to form a wall or ceiling sheathing layer
US8171687 *Mar 24, 2009May 8, 2012Dell Seven, Inc.Water vapor barrier for a concrete flooring system
US8536077Dec 29, 2008Sep 17, 2013Building Materials Investment CorporationFlooring underlayment membrane
US8568840Aug 7, 2012Oct 29, 2013Brock Usa, LlcBase for turf system
US8597754Dec 12, 2012Dec 3, 2013Brock Usa, LlcBase for turf system
US8603601Dec 12, 2012Dec 10, 2013Brock Usa, LlcBase for turf system
US8662787 *Jul 6, 2010Mar 4, 2014Brock Usa, LlcStructural underlayment support system for use with paving and flooring elements
US8668403Jan 15, 2013Mar 11, 2014Brock Usa, LlcLoad supporting panel having impact absorbing structure
US8827590Apr 7, 2014Sep 9, 2014Brock UsaStructural underlayment support system and panel for use with paving and flooring elements
US20100284740 *Jul 6, 2010Nov 11, 2010Brock Usa, LlcStructural Underlayment Support System For Use With Paving And Flooring Elements
Classifications
U.S. Classification52/403.1, 52/409, 52/746.1, 52/265
International ClassificationE04B7/00, E04G23/00
Cooperative ClassificationE04F15/18
European ClassificationE04F15/18
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Oct 7, 2004ASAssignment
Owner name: CANTAR/POLYAIR CORPORATION, OHIO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:VERSHUM, RAYMOND G.;SALADINO, SAM;REEL/FRAME:015226/0801;SIGNING DATES FROM 20040804 TO 20040811