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Publication numberUS20060150539 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/330,348
Publication dateJul 13, 2006
Filing dateJan 12, 2006
Priority dateJan 13, 2005
Publication number11330348, 330348, US 2006/0150539 A1, US 2006/150539 A1, US 20060150539 A1, US 20060150539A1, US 2006150539 A1, US 2006150539A1, US-A1-20060150539, US-A1-2006150539, US2006/0150539A1, US2006/150539A1, US20060150539 A1, US20060150539A1, US2006150539 A1, US2006150539A1
InventorsLuc Vanhastel, Mark Cappelle
Original AssigneeLuc Vanhastel, Mark Cappelle
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Stair nosing profile
US 20060150539 A1
Abstract
Stair nosing profile. Stair nosing profile, of the type intended for forming an edge at a covering for a stair (8), more particular a covering formed of panels (2-2A-2B), in particular floor panels, which, at least at one side, are provided with coupling means (3), characterized in that the stair nosing profile (1) is composed of at least two components, a first component (4) forming at least a portion of the nosing (6) of the stair nosing profile (1) and extending, away from the nosing (6) of the stair nosing profile (1), towards the rear with a portion (7) intended for being applied on top of the stair (8), and a second portion (5) forming a substructure for the first component (4), respectively, whereby the stair nosing profile (1), in the proximity of its rearmost extremity (9), is provided with coupling means (10) intended to cooperate with the coupling means (3) of the panels (2), and whereby these coupling means (10) are realized at least partially in the second component (5).
Images(6)
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Claims(30)
1-29. (canceled)
30. Stair nosing profile for forming an edge of a stair covering made of at least one floor panel having a floor panel coupling means, comprising a first component having at least a first portion forming a nosing of the stair nosing profile and a second portion extending away from the nosing towards a rear area of the stair nosing profile, said second portion adapted for installation on top of a stair, and a second component forming a substructure for the first component, wherein the stair nosing profile, adjacent to a rearmost extremity thereof, includes a stair nosing profile coupling means intended to cooperate with a floor panel coupling means of a floor panel already installed on the stair, and wherein the stair nosing profile coupling means is formed at least partially in the second component.
31. Stair nosing profile according to claim 30, wherein said stair nosing profile coupling means enables a locking with said floor panel in horizontal and vertical directions.
32. Stair nosing profile according to claim 30, wherein said second portion of said first component is thin-walled and is substantially made of a material based on synthetic material or metal.
33. Stair nosing profile according to claim 30, wherein the first component comprises an extruded profile.
34. Stair nosing profile according to claim 30, including mechanical connection means for enabling said first component to be attached, directly or indirectly, to the second component.
35. Stair nosing profile according to claim 34, wherein the connection means provides a snap-on and/or clamping connection.
36. Stair nosing profile according to claim 30, wherein the first component and the second component comprise mutually cooperating stop-forming portions which define a vertical positioning plane.
37. Stair nosing profile according to claim 30, wherein the second component substantially comprises a wood-based material.
38. Stair nosing profile according to claim 30, wherein the second component substantially comprises a profiled lath.
39. Stair nosing profile according to claim 30, wherein the second component forms part of a series of two or more interchangeable components, wherein the components of said series differ from each other in thickness and/or in the form of the stair nosing profile coupling means.
40. Stair nosing profile according to claim 30, wherein said stair nosing profile coupling means is configured such that, when a stair nosing profile cooperates with a floor panel coupling means of a floor panel, such floor panel becomes tightened at its upper edge against an adjacent edge of the first component.
41. Stair nosing profile according to claim 30, including attachment means for mounting the two components on a stair, said attachment means formed such that after mounting of the stair nosing profile, they are hidden from view.
42. Stair nosing profile according to claim 30, wherein the first component is provided with a decorative covering on a side thereof that is visible after installation.
43. Stair nosing profile according to claim 42, wherein the decorative covering comprises a film or the like.
44. Stair nosing profile according to claim 42, wherein the decorative covering matches an already installed floor panel with which the stair nosing profile is intended to cooperate.
45. Stair nosing profile according to claim 30, wherein the first component forms a downward-directed nose portion, the underside of which is located lower than a lowermost point or a lowermost side of the second component.
46. Stair nosing profile for forming an edge of a covering for a stair, said profile comprising a first component having a first portion forming a nosing of the stair nosing profile and a rearwardly extending thin-walled second portion extending away and rearwardly from the nosing, and a second component forming a substructure for the first component; the upper side of the first component being free of attachment elements and being covered by means of an industrially applied film, said film extending continuously at least from a front side of the first component up to and onto an upper side thereof.
47. Stair nosing profile according to claim 46, wherein the first component is made of a material based on synthetic material or metal.
48. Stair nosing profile according to claim 46, wherein the first component extends with said thin-walled second portion up to the proximity of a rear side of the second component, and said film also extends up to the proximity of said rear side.
49. Stair nosing profile for forming an edge of a stair covering made of at least one floor panel, which, at least at one side, is provided with floor panel coupling means, said stair nosing profile comprising at least one thin-walled portion, a rear extremity of which faces toward a rearward direction, wherein said thin-walled portion is formed such that, when the stair nosing profile cooperates with a floor panel of said covering, the rear extremity of said thin-walled portion is at least partially countersunk relative to an upper side of the floor panel.
50. Stair nosing profile according to claim 49, wherein an underside of the first component is substantially flat, apart from attachment portions; said underside, in normal mounted condition, is located lower than an upper side of the floor panel of the covering; and said thin-walled portion has a thinned area in the proximity of said rear extremity.
51. Stair nosing profile for forming an edge of a stair covering made of at least one floor panel having a floor panel coupling means, comprising a first component and a second component, said second component forming a substructure for the first component, and wherein the stair nosing profile includes stair nosing profile coupling means arranged to cooperate with the floor panel coupling means to effect a locking with said floor panel in horizontal and vertical directions.
52. Stair nosing profile comprising stair nosing profile coupling means arranged to cooperate with floor panel coupling means of floor panels, said stair nosing profile comprising a one-piece profile including said stair nosing profile coupling means, said stair nosing profile coupling means configured to enable locking of said nosing profile with a floor panel coupling means in horizontal and vertical directions.
53. Stair nosing profile according to claim 52, said stair nosing profile comprising thin-walled and/or extruded material and being formed of a material based on metal and/or synthetic material.
54. Stair nosing profile according to claim 52, including an adapting portion enabling the stair nosing profile to be adjusted for cooperation with floor panels of different geometry.
55. Stair nosing profile according to claim 54, said adapting portion comprising a bendable portion, and also comprising said stair nosing profile coupling means.
56. Stair nosing profile for cooperating with floor panels, said profile comprising a one-piece profile including an adapting portion enabling said profile to be adapted for cooperation with floor panels of different geometry.
57. Stair nosing profile for forming an edge of a stair covering made of at least one floor panel, comprising a first component having a first portion forming a nosing of the stair nosing profile and a rearwardly extending second portion adapted to cover a top of a stair, and a second component forming a substructure for the first component; wherein the first component comprises synthetic material and/or metal, and wherein the second component comprises a wood-based material.
58. Stair covering comprising a stair nosing profile made according to claim 30.
Description
  • [0001]
    This invention relates to a stair nosing profile, of the type intended for forming an edge at a covering for a stair, more particularly for a covering formed of panels.
  • [0002]
    More particularly, the invention relates to a stair nosing profile intended for use in combination with floor panels for covering a staircase or a stair. In particular, the invention is intended for use in combination with floor panels that can be floatingly installed, such as hard floor panels, for example, laminate panels, prefabricated parquet, veneer parquet, or solid parquet.
  • [0003]
    It is known that such floor panels, when floatingly installed, are coupled at their edges, either by means of a classical tongue and groove connection, whereby these possibly are glued into each other, or by means of a mechanical coupling providing for a mutual coupling in horizontal as well as in vertical directions, for example, as described in the patent document WO 97/47834.
  • [0004]
    Covering staircases or stairs by means of floor panels and thereby applying a stair nosing is also known, for example, from the patent documents EP 0,773,335, U.S. Pat. No. 5,787,674 and DE 203 05 142.
  • [0005]
    The last-mentioned document discloses a stair nosing profile consisting of two elements. A first element relates to an adapted floor panel that is attached to the stair, whereas the second element consists of a front profile of wood, which is connected to the adapted floor panel by means of a tongue and groove connection, whereby this second element forms the nosing of the stair. The adapted floor panel comprises coupling means at its free extremity, by means of which coupling means said stair nosing can cooperate with a subsequent floor panel. As the thickness of floatingly installed floor panels mostly is between 5 and 10 mm, the aforementioned tongue and groove connection in this case, as such, is also relatively thin, which forms an increased risk of the front profile breaking off when the stair is walked upon. Moreover, the tongue and groove connection between the front profile and the adapted floor panel is not very resistant against horizontal forces drawing the two elements from each other. Such load will often occur during the normal use of a staircase or stair.
  • [0006]
    From the above-cited patent document U.S. Pat. No. 5,787,674, a stair nosing is known that consists of two elements between which a connection has been established that is stronger than the one known from DE 203 05 142. The stair nosing described in this document comprises a first element forming a portion of the nosing of the stair nosing and extends, away from the nosing of the stair nosing, towards the rear with a portion intended for being provided on top of the stair. As the nosing is made in one piece with the portion that is mounted on top of the stair, the risk that the nosing will break off is minimum. At its upper side, this first element is coated with a decorative layer that can imitate the appearance of the panels with which it is used. This same first element comprises coupling means in the form of a groove, by means of which it can cooperate with panels with a tongue. The second element of this known stair nosing forms a substructure providing for the connection with the actual stair. A disadvantage of such stair nosing is that the first element must be designed and marketed for each different type of panel with which it is to be used. By different type, here in particular a difference in appearance, thickness and/or coupling means of the panels is meant. Thickness and coupling means vary in the most cases, but not always, together. Marketing all possible combinations requires a huge logistic attempt of the manufacturer.
  • [0007]
    According to a first aspect, the present invention aims at an improved stair nosing profile, which is stable in use and whereby one or more of the aforementioned disadvantages are excluded. To this aim, the present invention relates to a stair nosing profile of the type intended for forming an edge at a covering for stair, more particular a covering formed of panels, in particular floor panels, which, at least at one side, are provided with coupling means, with as a characteristic that the stair nosing profile is composed of at least two components, a first component forming at least a portion of the nosing of the stair nosing profile and extending, away from the nosing of the stair nosing profile, towards the rear with a portion intended for being applied on top of the stair, and a second component forming a substructure for the first component, respectively, whereby the stair nosing profile, in the proximity of its rearmost extremity, is provided with coupling means intended to cooperate with the coupling means of the panels, and whereby these coupling means are realized at least partially in the second component.
  • [0008]
    The use of two components, as described herein above, offers the advantage that a stair nosing profile according to the first aspect of the invention can be mounted in a smooth manner and can be applied rather universally. Moreover, a particularly stable construction is obtained.
  • [0009]
    In that the coupling means, according to the first aspect of the invention, are situated at the rearmost end of the stair nosing profile, also the advantage is obtained that a connection between the stair nosing profile and the panel connected thereto, more particularly floor panel, is easy to perform. The coupling means of the stair nosing profile then are rather easy accessible. In that the coupling means are situated at the rearmost end, it is also possible to exclude possible components extending up to below the actual underside of the panels. This allows for a stable support of the installed panels, as they, in this manner, can be supported over their entire or almost entire underside by the stair or by a subfloor.
  • [0010]
    In that the aforementioned coupling means according to the first aspect of the invention also are performed at least partially in the aforementioned second component, the possibility is obtained that the stair nosing profile can easily be adapted in function of the geometry of different coupling means of the floor panels adjoining thereto, solely by applying an adapted second component, thus without having to alter the first component in respect to the shape thereof.
  • [0011]
    Preferably, after mounting the stair nosing profile, the second component is concealed. Further, it is preferred that the visible side of the stair nosing profile substantially is formed by the first component, and still better is entirely determined by the first component. Preferably, the exterior side of this first component then is performed as a decorative side. Thereby, thus the visible portion of the stair nosing profile and the portion with coupling means are formed at least by two different components, namely the aforementioned first and second components. This offers the advantage that a manufacturer, who wants to provide such stair nosing profiles for a broad range of covering panels, more particularly floor panels, will have to make a smaller logistic attempt in order to offer stair nosing profiles for each type of panel.
  • [0012]
    It is, thus, so that the range of panels, more particularly floor panels, available in practice substantially consists of, on the one hand, floor panels differing in shape as the thickness and/or coupling means provided thereon are performed differently, and, on the other hand, floor panels having decorative sides that differ from each other, for example, in that they have a different appearance, more particularly are provided with a different pattern. Often, the same manufacturer of floor panels offers the same patterns on floor panels of different shape. As explained below, in such case the total quantity of different components for providing a stair nosing profile for each form of floor panel and for each pattern, according to the invention, can be limited.
  • [0013]
    By using a stair nosing profile according to the first aspect of the invention, it then will be sufficient to fabricate, for each pattern of a floor panel for which a matching stair nosing profile must be available, exclusively a series of first components that are provided with a matching decorative side. By matching is meant, on the one hand, that the decorative side may have a tint matching the appearance of the panels. On the other hand, the decorative side may also be provided with a pattern that is identical or almost identical to the appearance of the panels and thereby imitates the appearance of the panels.
  • [0014]
    As the second component must be made different for each panel of differing thickness and/or with a differing form of coupling means only, the total number of different forms of embodiment of this second component can be limited to the number of different forms for floor panels present in the aforementioned range.
  • [0015]
    Preferably, the first and/or the second component of the stair nosing profile then will also form a part of a series of two or more interchangeable components. The components of the series of interchangeable first components differ than at least from each other as they have different decorative sides. The components of the series of interchangeable second components then differ at least from each other in shape, more particularly in that they are performed with a different thickness and/or are performed with a differing geometry of the coupling means. For each merchantable thickness of available floor panels, preferably a corresponding second component will be provided in the series.
  • [0016]
    The stair nosing profile can be designed for any thickness of floor panel. However, in particular it is intended for being designed in order to cooperate with floor panels with a typical thickness of 5 to 15 mm.
  • [0017]
    Preferably, the aforementioned first component, or at least the portion thereof that extends towards the rear, is thin-walled. This offers the advantage that, starting from a pre-determined maximum thickness of the portion of the stair nosing profile to be mounted on the stair, a relatively large distance remains available between the upper side of the stair and the first component, as a result of which a large freedom remains available for providing the substructure, and more particularly the aforementioned second portion, of an optimized design, for example, optimized in function of good attachment characteristics and/or in function of the coupling means to be realized at it.
  • [0018]
    The aforementioned thin-walledness also allows to perform the portion of the stair nosing profile intended for attachment on top of a stair with a very small total thickness, such that even stair nosing profiles, adapted to relatively thin floor panels, for example, of a thickness of less than 1 cm and even less than 7 mm, can be realized without obtaining that the aforementioned portion of the stair nosing profile thereby becomes thicker or substantially thicker than these floor panels. A possible difference in thickness towards above thus preferably is limited to maximum 1 mm.
  • [0019]
    According to a second aspect, the invention aims at a stair nosing profile, which, after mounting, results in a good and, in respect to safety, reliable finishing of the edge of the staircase covering. To this aim, the invention according to this second aspect relates to a stair nosing profile of the type intended for forming an edge at a covering of a stair, said profile being composed of at least two components, a first component forming at least a portion of the nosing of the stair nosing profile and extending, away from the nosing of the stair nosing profile, with a thin-walled portion towards the rear, and a second component forming a substructure for the first component, respectively, characterized in that the upper side of the first component is free of attachment portions and that the first component is covered by means of an industrially applied film or the like, whereby this film extends continuously at least from the front side up to onto the upper side of the first component.
  • [0020]
    According to this second aspect, the front side and the upper side of the first component form a decorative side consisting of an industrially applied film or a covering comparable thereto. As this film or the comparable covering is industrially provided, a more reliable result can be obtained than in the case that the adhesion of such film is performed by a user when installing a stair nosing profile. In view of the fact that according to this second aspect, also the upper side of the first component is free of attachment portions, such as screw holes or the like, the user, during the installation, can hardly perform any operations that will damage the aforementioned decorative side of the stair nosing profile.
  • [0021]
    According to a third independent aspect, the invention aims at a stair nosing profile, whereby the height of a possible upright edge at the upper side of the covered stair, more particularly at the height of the transition between the stair nosing profile and the panels adjoining thereto, is limited to a minimum and preferably even is excluded, whereas the first component still could be performed with a sufficient material thickness. To this aim, the invention according to its third aspect relates to a stair nosing profile of the type intended for forming an edge at a covering of a stair, more particularly a covering formed of panels, in particular floor panels, which, at least at one side, are provided with coupling means, with as a characteristic that the stair nosing profile comprises at least one thin-walled portion, which is realized such that, when this stair nosing profile cooperates in combination with the panels for which it is designed, this thin-walled portion, at its extremity, is at least partially countersunk in respect to the upper side of these panels. By “countersunk” is meant that at least the underside of the thin-walled portion in the proximity of its rearmost extremity is situated lower than the upper side of the panel with which the stair nosing profile cooperates. It is clear that countersinking the thin-walled portion leads to a more flat finishing, whereas the thin-walled portion still can be performed sufficiently stable. Preferably, thus, a possible height difference at the location of the aforementioned transition then is limited to less than 1 mm. It is clear that this contributes to safety when using a stair covered with a stair nosing profile and panels, as aforementioned.
  • [0022]
    According to a fourth aspect, the invention aims at a stair nosing profile that is easy to install, whereby a good connection with the stair to be covered as well as a good connection between the stair nosing profile and an adjoining panel are established. To this aim, the invention relates to a stair nosing profile of the type intended for forming an edge at a covering for a stair, more particularly a covering formed of panels, in particular floor panels, which, at least at one side, are provided with coupling means, whereby the stair nosing profile is composed of at least two components, a first component and a second component, respectively, the latter forming a substructure for the first component, with the characteristic that the stair nosing profile is provided with coupling means, which are intended to cooperate with the coupling means of the aforementioned panels and which allow a locking with said panels in horizontal and vertical directions. Hereby, the substructure allows for a good attachment at the stair situated there underneath, whereas the coupling means in mounted condition exclude that the stair nosing profile and the panel may come loose from each other.
  • [0023]
    So, for example, coupling means can be applied similar to those described in respect to floor panels in the patent application WO 97/47834. The presence of such coupling means allows a glueless installation of the panels on the stair, which highly facilitates installation.
  • [0024]
    According to its fifth aspect, the invention relates to a stair nosing profile intended to cooperate with panels, in particular floor panels, which, at least at one side, are provided with coupling means, with the characteristic that this stair nosing profile substantially consists of a one-piece profile, which preferably is thin-walled and/or extruded and preferably is formed of a material on the basis of metal and/or synthetic material, whereby this stair nosing profile is provided with coupling means, which are intended to cooperate with the coupling means of the aforementioned panels and which allow a locking with said panels in horizontal and vertical directions.
  • [0025]
    A stair nosing profile that is designed according to the fifth aspect of the invention, offers a sturdy construction of the edge of the stair covering in combination with a sturdy locking with the panels with which it cooperates. Moreover, due to the fact that the profile consists of one piece, the tolerance differences that influence the locking or coupling with these panels, are restricted.
  • [0026]
    In a particularly preferred form of embodiment, the stair nosing profile according to the fifth aspect of the invention comprises an adapting portion, such that the stair nosing profile can be adapted in height in order to cooperate with several types of floor panels. More specifically, this adapting portion is performed as a bendable portion, which preferably is a part of the aforementioned coupling means and preferably is also made in one piece with the stair nosing profile itself. It is evident that such adapting portion is advantageous in respect to the stock to be kept by the supplier of this product.
  • [0027]
    It is clear that the application of such adapting portion in a stair nosing profile made in one piece also remains of advantage in applications where such stair nosing profile does not comprise coupling means for realizing a connection with an adjacent panel. Starting from this fact, the invention according to a sixth aspect also relates to a stair nosing profile of the type intended to cooperate with panels, in particular floor panels, with the characteristic that this stair nosing profile substantially consists of a one-piece profile, with a base with which this profile can be provided on an upper side of a stair to be covered, whereby this stair nosing profile comprises an adapting portion, preferably a movable adapting portion, such that the stair nosing profile can be adapted, can adapt itself, respectively, in order to cooperate with several types of floor panels, preferably with floor panels differing at least in thickness. Preferably, this stair nosing profile consists of a thin-walled and/or extruded profile and/or is it formed of a material on the basis of metal and/or synthetic material. The adapting portion preferably consists of a bendable portion, which, when applied, comes to sit on the edge of the adjoining panel, either on the upper side of this panel, or on a projecting edge portion of this panel, whereby this latter also can consist of a coupling part provided at the panel.
  • [0028]
    According to a seventh aspect, the invention relates to a stair nosing profile, of the type intended for forming an edge at a covering for a stair, more particularly a covering formed of panels, in particular floor panels, with the characteristic that the stair nosing profile is composed of at least two components, a first component made as a profile and forming at least a portion of the nosing of the stair nosing profile and extending, away from the nosing of the stair nosing profile, towards the rear with a portion intended for being provided on top of the stair, and a second component forming a substructure for the first component, respectively, whereby the first component substantially consists of synthetic material and/or metal, which preferably is extruded, and whereby the second component consists of a wood-based material, either wood, or a composite product on the basis of wood, such as MDF/HDF or the like. The application of such different materials for the two components offers the advantage that a sturdy upper construction of a durable material can be realized, whereas at the same time a substructure is offered that is easy to process and consists of a relatively inexpensive material.
  • [0029]
    With the intention of better showing the characteristics of the invention, hereafter, as an example without any limitative character, several preferred forms of embodiment are described, with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:
  • [0030]
    FIG. 1 represents a stair nosing profile according to the invention;
  • [0031]
    FIGS. 2 and 3 represent the stair nosing profile of FIG. 1, in mounted condition and during mounting, respectively;
  • [0032]
    FIG. 4, at a larger scale, represents the portion indicated by F4 in FIG. 2;
  • [0033]
    FIGS. 5 and 6 represent a variant according to a stair nosing profile according to the invention;
  • [0034]
    FIG. 7 represents another variant in mounted condition;
  • [0035]
    FIG. 8, at a larger scale, represents the portion indicated by F8 in FIG. 7;
  • [0036]
    FIG. 9 represents another variant in mounted condition.
  • [0037]
    FIGS. 1 to 4 show a stair nosing profile 1 that is realized according to the first aspect of the invention. As represented in FIG. 2, this relates to a stair nosing profile 1 that is intended for forming an edge of a staircase covering, more particularly a staircase covering formed of panels 2-2A, in particular floor panels, which, at least at one side, are provided with coupling means 3. The stair nosing profile 1 is composed of at least two components 4 and 5, a first component 4 forming at least a portion of the nosing 6 of the stair nosing profile 1 and extending, away from the nosing 6 of the stair nosing profile 1, towards the rear with a portion 7 intended for being applied on top of the stair 8, and a second portion 5 forming a substructure for the first component 4, respectively. According to the first aspect, the stair nosing profile 1, in the proximity of its rearmost extremity 9, is provided with coupling means 10 intended to cooperate with the coupling means 3 of the panels 2, whereby these coupling means 10 are realized at least partially in the second component 5.
  • [0038]
    In the represented example, the coupling means 10 are realized such that, when they cooperate with the coupling means 3 of the panels 2, a locking in horizontal and vertical directions is effected between the stair nosing profile 1 and the panels 2, in this case a locking in vertical direction by means of a tongue and groove connection 11, and in horizontal direction by means of locking portions 12-13 engaging behind each other, at the panel 2 and the stair nosing profile 1, respectively.
  • [0039]
    Preferably, the coupling means 10 are realized such that, when this stair nosing profile 1 cooperates in combination with the panels 2 for which it is designed, these panels 2 are tightened at their upper edge 14 laterally against the stair nosing profile 1, preferably against the edge 15 of said first component 4, this because, due to the cooperation of the coupling means 3 and 10, a so-called pretension is created. This pretension shall preferably be effected by an elastically deformable portion, for example, in that the lip 16 represented in FIGS. 1 to 4, in coupled condition is elastically deformed, such that a thereby created returning force forces the coupled panel 2 next to its upper side 14 into permanent contact with the aforementioned edge 15. The herein mentioned principle of pretension is known as such for floor panels, to which end reference is made to WO 97/47834.
  • [0040]
    As represented, the first component 4 preferably is entirely made as a thin-walled profile.
  • [0041]
    In general, by “thin-walled” has to be understood that the wall thickness D is smaller than 5 mm, and still better is smaller than 3 mm, and in the most preferred form of embodiment is in the order of magnitude of 1,5 mm or smaller.
  • [0042]
    In order to render this first component sufficiently sturdy, it preferably consists of a material on the basis of synthetic material or metal. A suitable production method thereof is extrusion, for example, aluminum extrusion.
  • [0043]
    At its rearward-directed extremity 17, the thin-walled portion 7 is at least partially countersunk in respect to the upper side 18 of the panels 2, by which is meant that the underside 19 of this portion 7, which preferably, with the exception of possible attachment parts, is substantially flat, in mounted condition will be seated lower than the upper side 18 of the panel 2. It is clear that this is facultative. According to a variant, for example, the thin-walled portion 7 might also rest with its extremity 17 upon the upper side 18 of the adjacent panel 2.
  • [0044]
    As in the embodiment of FIGS. 1 to 4, the portion 7 is countersunk in the second portion 5, this form of embodiment also forms an example of the aforementioned third aspect of the invention.
  • [0045]
    In the represented form of embodiment, the portion 7 has a thinner part 20 next to the extremity 17, whereby the upper surface of the portion 7 slightly slopes somewhat to the rear. In this manner, the profile 4 remains sufficiently sturdy, whereas due to the thinner part 20 next to the extremity 17 an adaptation of the thickness of the stair nosing profile 1 towards the thickness of the panel 2 is obtained and said countersinking does not necessarily have to take place over the entire thickness of the portion 7. Hereby, the upper surface of the thinned portion 20 terminates at the same height as the upper side 18 of the panel 2. As explained in the introduction, a mutual height difference, however, is not excluded.
  • [0046]
    As represented in FIGS. 1 to 4, the first component 4 is provided with a decorative covering 21. In this case, this decorative covering 21 forms the decorative side of the first component 4 and, in the represented example, consists of a encasing film. However, other forms of decorative coverings 21 are not excluded. Preferably, this decorative covering is performed as matching the appearance of the applied panels 2. In the example, the applied film extends continuously over the entire visible side of the first component 4. Hereby, the decorative covering 21, so to speak, can form a whole with, for example, the pattern of the upper side 18 of the panels 2 adjoining thereto.
  • [0047]
    The first component 4 of FIGS. 1 to 4 is, at its upper side and even at its entire exterior side, also free of attachment portions, such as screw openings or the like. In that this component 4 is also covered by means of an industrially applied film that extends continuously at least from the front side 22 up to the upper side 23 of the first component 4, it is clear that the represented form of embodiment of FIGS. 1 to 4 at the same time forms an example of the aforementioned second aspect of the invention.
  • [0048]
    According to a not represented variant, the decorative side shall be formed by the basic material itself of the first component 4, which then possibly can be treated, by means of grinding, glossing, polishing, galvanizing, anodizing and the like. Also, a lacquer or layer of paint may be provided on the decorative side. Combinations of such material treatment and a decorative covering 21 are not excluded. Also, anti-slip strips may be provided at the upper side.
  • [0049]
    The first component 4 extends with the thin-walled portion 7 up to the proximity of the rear side, more particularly the rearmost upper edge 24, of the second component 5, and preferably even somewhat further, whereas the decorative covering 21, more particularly the aforementioned film, extends up to the end or, thus, the edge 15 of the portion 7.
  • [0050]
    Preferably, the second component 5 consists of an element that is manufactured of a wood-based material, for example, MDF or HDF. By using a wood-based material, the same production techniques can be used, for example, for manufacturing the coupling means 10, as those used for manufacturing the panels 2, which, as known, mostly also are made of MDF/HDF. Hereby, a manufacturer of floor panels, who wants to market stair nosing profiles 1 adapted thereto, can manufacture a substantial portion, namely, the component 5, easily himself, in view of the fact that he already has the required equipment and know-how at hand. In practice, thus, the second component 5 will consist of a profiled lath produced by means of a continuous milling process or the like.
  • [0051]
    As explained in the introduction, the second component 5 is exchangeable and can be replaced, for example, by a similar component with another thickness or another geometry of the coupling means 10. An example of another second component, which is somewhat thicker, is represented in FIG. 1 in dash-dotted line 5A.
  • [0052]
    FIGS. 1 to 4 show that the stair nosing profile 1 has mechanical components with which the first component 4, in this case directly, can be attached on the second component 5. As represented, these connection means preferably are of such nature that they provide for a snap and/or clamping connection. In the represented example, the connection means consist of several parts commonly forming two couplings, a coupling 25 substantially providing a locking in vertical direction and a coupling 26 substantially providing a locking in horizontal direction, respectively.
  • [0053]
    The coupling 25 is formed by a seat 27 provided in the first component 4, with which the first component 4 can be provided over the foremost end 28 of the second component 5, whereby this seat 27 is formed by a space between the underside of the portion 7 and an elastically bendable flange 29 that is provided at the inner side of the nosing 6 and which preferably, in mounted condition, provides for a permanent pressing force.
  • [0054]
    The coupling 26 is at least formed by a recess 30 in the upper side of the second component 5 and a corresponding projecting part 31 at the underside 19 of the portion 7, with which at least a locking is provided against a forward shifting of the first component 4 in respect to the second component 5.
  • [0055]
    It is noted that in respect to an optimally repeatable connection between the first component 4 and the second component 5, these components preferably comprise mutually cooperating stop-forming portions that define a vertical positioning plane. In the represented example, these stop-forming portions are formed by the mutually cooperating sides 32 and 33 of the protruding portion 31, the recess 30, respectively, which define the indicated positioning plane V.
  • [0056]
    By said repeatable connection is meant that, when joining the components 4 and 5, the edge 15 of the first component 4 is always situated at the same place in respect to the rear side 24 of the second component 5, as well as the coupling means 10 formed in the second component 5 are always located at the same place in respect to the edge 15, such, too, when the component 4 or 5 is replaced by another.
  • [0057]
    It is clear that by applying the sides 32 and 33 as reference planes during the manufacture of the components 4 and 5, tolerance differences in the design of the whole formed by the assembled components 4 and 5 can be kept minimal. By milling the portion of the coupling means 10 situated in the second component 5, and more particularly the pertaining locking part 13, for example, simultaneously with the recess 30, is obtained that this portion of the coupling means 10 is always situated at the same place in respect to the side 33. Analogous, by milling, for example, the edge 15 of the first component 4 to size up to a precise distance from the side 32, is obtained that the edge 15 also is always situated at the same place. As a result, when mounting the components 4-5, the coupling parts 10 and the edge 15 also are always situated at the same place in mutual respect.
  • [0058]
    In connection with the precise realization of the aforementioned edge 15, it is noted that the first component 4 originally preferably is realized with a certain material excess, such as indicated by reference 34 in FIG. 1, which then allows to perform the aforementioned milling treatment. In general, it is preferred that, when the component 4 is formed by means of extrusion, the portions possibly formed thereon, which must be precisely made, such as the aforementioned edge 15, are realized by means of a finishing treatment, such as a milling operation, as by such finishing treatment a higher precision can be achieved than by means of extrusion alone.
  • [0059]
    The mounting of the stair nosing profile 1 takes place as explained below by means of FIG. 3. First, the second component 5 is attached on the upper side of the stair 8, preferably by means of mechanical attachment means, such as the represented screw 35. Hereby, the head of the screw 35 can be countersunk into a groove 37 or the like in the upper side of the second component 5. Hereby, tapping screws 35 can be used, such that no separate screw openings have to be provided in the second component 5.
  • [0060]
    Thereafter, the second component 4, as represented in FIG. 3, is provided on the second component 5 by means of a combined shifting and turning movement. Hereby, the flange 29 is elastically bent, such that the first component 4, as a result of the forces created thereby, so to speak, snaps over the second component 5.
  • [0061]
    After mounting, the second component 5 and the screws 35 are entirely hidden from view.
  • [0062]
    It is clear that an additional gluing between the components 4 and 5 and/or between the second component 5 and the stair 8 is possible. According to a not represented variant, the attachment among the components 4 and 5 might also be realized exclusively by means of a glue connection.
  • [0063]
    In the represented form of embodiment, the panel 2 that is provided on top of the stair 8 may be coupled to this component 5 as well before mounting the second component 5 on the stair 8, as well as after the mounting thereof. In the latter case, this coupling can take place before as well as after the installation of the first component 4.
  • [0064]
    In FIG. 3, it is further represented that the applied coupling means 3 and 10 allow for that a panel 2 can be connected to the stair nosing profile 1 by means of a turning movement W, which allows for a smooth connection, even after the second component 5, and possibly the first component 4, too, have been installed on the stair 8. The represented coupling means 3-10 are performed such that the coupling can also be snapped together by means of a shifting movement S. It is not excluded that other kinds of coupling means 3-10 can be applied, too, such as, for example, coupling means that can effect a so-called “drop-in” or “push” connection, or coupling means 3-10 that allow a connection solely by a turning movement or solely by a shifting movement. Such connection as such is widely known as coupling means for interconnecting floor panels. According to the first aspect, however, also a normal tongue and groove can be applied. According to a number of the other above-described aspects of the invention, it is even not excluded to apply no coupling means.
  • [0065]
    As an alternative, as indicated in FIG. 2, a stop portion 38 can be provided at the underside of the second component 5 in order to position the latter against the stair 8. As also represented, the first component 4 preferably forms a downward-directed nose portion 39, the underside 40 of which being situated lower than the lowest point of the second component 5, such that the component 5 does not form an obstacle for providing a panel 2A, which is possibly mounted to the front side 41 of the stair 8, up to behind the nosing portion 39. The application of a panel 2A against the front side 41 is facultative. Also, the nosing portion 39 must not necessarily be mounted with its rear side 42 up to against the front side 41 or up to against the panel 2 placed in front thereof.
  • [0066]
    In the case that two stair nosing profiles 1 adjoin with their extremities against each other, coupling pieces can be provided in between in order to guarantee for a perfect adjoining in each others prolongation, or, in the case of a mitred adjoining, to obtain that the mitre joint will not be open. As represented, to this end one or more seats 43 or the like can be provided in the stair nosing profile 1, in which either straight coupling pieces or coupling pieces with extremities extending at an angle in respect to each other can be provided.
  • [0067]
    FIGS. 5 and 6 represent a variant of a stair nosing profile 1 that is made at least according to the first aspect of the invention. Apart from the two aforementioned components 4-5, the stair nosing profile 1 further is composed of a third component 44, which, in the represented example, consists of a material allowing, due to its springy features, an indirect snap-on or clamping connection between the components 4 and 5, as becomes clear from the figures. Thus, the first component 4 is indirectly applied on the second component 5. In mounted condition, the third component 44, due to its resiliency, exerts a clamping force that keeps the two components 4 and 5 together.
  • [0068]
    Further, it is noted that, as in the forms of embodiments of FIGS. 1-4 and 5-6 also a combination of the use of two components 4-5 and coupling means 10 is made, these forms of embodiment also form an example of the fourth aspect of the invention, which is mentioned in the introduction.
  • [0069]
    By applying synthetic material or metal for the first component 4 and a wood-based material for the second component 5, it is clear that the forms of embodiment of FIGS. 1 to 6 also form an example for the seventh aspect of the invention.
  • [0070]
    FIG. 7 shows a form of embodiment, whereby the stair nosing profile 1 is performed at least in accordance with the fifth aspect of the invention and, to this aim, consists on the one hand substantially of a one-piece profile 45, whereas, on the other hand, it also has coupling means 10 with which a locking in vertical and horizontal directions can be effected with a panel 2 with which the stair nosing profile 1 is intended to cooperate.
  • [0071]
    As represented, the profile 45 preferably is thin-walled and/or extruded and is formed of a material on the basis of metal and/or synthetic material.
  • [0072]
    The precise construction and mounting of this form of embodiment can simply be deduced from FIG. 7.
  • [0073]
    At its exterior side, the represented profile 45 is provided with a decorative side and preferably is encased by a decorative covering 21.
  • [0074]
    FIGS. 7 and 8 show that the profile 45 is provided with an adapting portion 46 allowing to adapt the stair nosing profile 1 in height in order to cooperate with several types of panels 2, more particularly panels 2 of different thickness. In this case, this adapting portion 46 consists of an elastically bendable portion, which preferably is part of the coupling means 10 of the stair nosing profile 1. In mounted condition, the adapting portion 46 is more or less bent and thus adapts to the thickness or the geometry of the coupling means 3 of the panel 2. The profile 45 can be designed such in respect to the form of the coupling means 3 of the panels 2, that, in coupled condition, mutual tensioning forces are created at one or more locations, for example, forces P1 and/or P2 and/or P3, as represented in FIG. 8.
  • [0075]
    FIG. 8 shows in dashed line the same profile 45, combined with another floor panel 2B. Depending on the embodiment of this floor panel 2B, it may occur that a minor height difference H is created, which mostly is not experienced as disturbing. Possibly, this can be eliminated by providing an intermediate element underneath the adapting portion, for example, by gluing a thin material strip against the underside of the adapting portion 45.
  • [0076]
    FIG. 9 shows an application of the stair nosing profile 1 of FIG. 7 on a stair 8, which as such has a nosing portion 47.
  • [0077]
    It is clear that the stair nosing profile 1 of FIGS. 7 and 9 also forms an example of the sixth aspect of the invention described in the introduction. This is also an example of the second and third aspects.
  • [0078]
    It is noted that in all embodiments of the invention, irrespective according to which aspect, preferably all attachment means present at the stair nosing profile that are necessary for mounting the aforementioned two components 4-5 on a stair 8, are realized such that they, after the covering has been mounted, are hidden from view.
  • [0079]
    The present invention is in no way limited to the forms of embodiment described by way of example and represented in the figures, however, such stair nosing profiles can be realized according to various variants, without departing from the scope of the invention. Hereby, it is possible, amongst others, to combine the characteristics of two or more of the aforementioned aspects with each other at random in one and the same form of embodiment, this inasmuch as these characteristics do not contradict each other. All subordinate characteristics of a stair nosing profile according to a certain aspect each are facultative. Subfeatures of one aspect may also be applied in combination with the main characteristics of another aspect, to the extent that they are not contradictory.
  • [0080]
    It is noted that the aforementioned two components 4-5 as such may consist of several components, as long as one does not deviate from the respective inventive concept.
  • [0081]
    Finally, reference is made to the fact that according to the present invention the term “stair nosing profile” must be broadly interpreted. Thus, such stair nosing profile is not only intended for covering the stairs of a staircase, however, according to the invention it may also be applied with any form of stair or stair-like transition, and even for an edge finish of a raised part that not necessarily forms a stair. The invention is, amongst others, also particularly suitable for finishing a stair that is created when a stair-shaped transition is built-in into a floor covering, which, as such, consists, for example, of only one stair. Although the stair nosing profile is intended to cooperate with panels and it is a requirement of the invention that it “can” be applied in combination with panels, it is not excluded that it can be applied in combination with other coverings, for example, carpet.
  • [0082]
    It is clear that the invention also relates to a “stair covering”, namely a stair covering constructed of panels, more particularly floor panels, whereby the edge of the stair is formed of a stair nosing profile, as described above, that cooperates with these panels.
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US7266929 *Oct 10, 2003Sep 11, 2007Endura Products, Inc.Threshold and detachable sealing fin
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Classifications
U.S. Classification52/179
International ClassificationE04F11/16
Cooperative ClassificationE04F11/175, E04F11/166, E04F19/063, E04F2201/0115, E04F11/163, E04F19/061, E04F2201/0153
European ClassificationE04F11/16B
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 2, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: FLOORING INDUSTRIES LTD, IRELAND
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:VANHASTEL, LUC;CAPPELLE, MARK;REEL/FRAME:017226/0105;SIGNING DATES FROM 20051208 TO 20051209