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Publication numberUS20090108719 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/978,072
Publication dateApr 30, 2009
Filing dateOct 26, 2007
Priority dateOct 26, 2007
Also published asCA2640442A1
Publication number11978072, 978072, US 2009/0108719 A1, US 2009/108719 A1, US 20090108719 A1, US 20090108719A1, US 2009108719 A1, US 2009108719A1, US-A1-20090108719, US-A1-2009108719, US2009/0108719A1, US2009/108719A1, US20090108719 A1, US20090108719A1, US2009108719 A1, US2009108719A1
InventorsRobert LILLY
Original AssigneeKlickit Products, L.L.C.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus and method for attaching a backsplash to a countertop
US 20090108719 A1
Abstract
A serpentine clip attaches a backsplash to a countertop. The clip has a first arm that engages a slot in the rear edge of the countertop and a second arm that engages a slot in the backsplash. Each arm preferably includes barbs that securely retain the arms in the slots.
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Claims(25)
1. Apparatus for attaching a backsplash to a countertop, comprising a body having a U-shape with a base member and first and second opposed arm members extending from the base member, and a third arm member extending from the second arm member, wherein the first and third arm members have opposite sides and including barbs on at least one of said opposite sides, and wherein the first arm member is configured for attachment to the countertop and the third arm member is configured for attachment to the backsplash.
2. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the countertop has an upper surface that defines a first plane and includes a rear edge having a first slot that is substantially parallel to the first plane, and wherein the first arm engages said first slot.
3. The apparatus according to claim 2 wherein the backsplash has a forward surface that defines a second plane that is substantially transverse to the first plane and a lower edge having a second slot that is substantially parallel to the second plane, and wherein the third arm engages said second slot.
4. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the first and second arm members extend from the base member at about a 90 degree angle.
5. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the third arm extends from the second arm at about a 90 degree angle.
6. The apparatus according to claim 5 wherein the third arm is substantially parallel to the base member.
7. The apparatus according to claim 1 including barbs on both of the opposite sides of the first and third arm members.
8. The apparatus according to claim 3 wherein the first and third arm members define a first width at the barbs and wherein the width of the first and second slots is less than the first width.
9. The apparatus according to claim 3 wherein when the backsplash is attached to the countertop the second arm member rests on the upper surface of the countertop.
10. Apparatus for attaching a backsplash to a countertop, comprising a clip member having a first arm that engages a slot in the countertop and a second arm that engages a slot in the backsplash to secure the backsplash to the countertop.
11. The apparatus according to claim 10 wherein the clip member has a serpentine shape with a base member, and the first arm member extends from the base member at about a 90 degree angle and the second arm member is substantially parallel to the base member.
12. The apparatus according to claim 11 in which the second arm member extends from an intermediate arm member between the base member and the second arm member.
13. The apparatus according to claim 10 wherein the clip member has a U-shape and the first and second arm members extend from the base at about a 90 degree angle.
14. The apparatus according to claim 10 wherein each of the first and second arm members have opposite sides, and including barbs on at least one of said opposite sides of each of said first and second arm members.
15. The apparatus according to claim 14 including barbs on both of said opposite sides of each of said first and second arm members.
16. The apparatus according to claim 11 wherein the countertop defines an upper surface and the distance from the center of the slot to the upper surface defines a first distance, and wherein the distance from the center of the first arm member to the second arm member is equal to the first distance.
17. A method for attaching a backsplash to a countertop, comprising the steps of:
(a) providing a clip having a U-shape with a base member and first and second opposed arm members extending from the base member, and a third arm member extending from the second arm member;
(b) forming a slot in a rear edge of the countertop;
(c) forming a slot in a bottom edge of the backsplash;
(d) attaching the backsplash to the countertop with the backsplash substantially perpendicular to the countertop by inserting the first arm member in the slot in the rear edge of the countertop, and inserting the third arm member in the slot in the bottom edge of the backsplash.
18. The method according to claim 17 including the step of removing a portion of the rear edge of the countertop and a portion of the bottom edge of the backsplash prior to step (d).
19. The method according to claim 17 in which the clip as a width and wherein the step of removing a portion of the rear edge of the countertop and a portion of the bottom edge of the backsplash further comprises removing a section having a width that is substantially the same as the width of the clip.
20. The method according to claim 17 including the step of retaining the arm members in the slots by providing barbs on said arm member.
21. Apparatus for attaching a backsplash to a countertop, comprising a one-piece clip having a serpentine body including a first arm configured for connecting to the countertop and a second arm configured for connecting to the backsplash.
22. The apparatus according to claim 21 wherein said first arm connects to said countertop in a slot formed therein, and said second arm connects to said backsplash in a slot formed therein.
23. The apparatus according to claim 21 wherein said serpentine body is further defined by a U-shaped section having a base member and opposite arms extending from the base, wherein the first arm is defined by one of the arms extending from the base and the second arm extends from the opposite of said arms extending from said base.
24. The apparatus according to claim 21 wherein said serpentine body is further defined by a U-shaped section having a base member, and said first and second arms extend from said base member.
25. The apparatus according to claim 21 including gripping means on said first and second arms to retain said arms in said slots.
Description
    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    This invention relates to an apparatus and method for quickly and reliably attaching a backsplash to a countertop, and more particularly, to a clip that securely interconnects the backsplash to the countertop in the desired orientation.
  • BACKGROUND
  • [0002]
    Most countertops, such as those found in a kitchen, bathroom or utility room, include a backsplash at the rear edge between the countertop and the wall behind the counter to define a barrier between the countertop and the adjoining wall. The backsplash is typically a relatively narrow strip of material that is placed on top of the countertop, extending vertically upward at the rear edge and against the wall. The backsplash serves as a barrier that prevents water and other materials on the countertop from coming into prolonged contact with the wall. In many instances, the wall behind the countertop is sheetrock that could be damaged by contact with water and for that reason alone it is important to minimize the amount of water coming into contact with the wall.
  • [0003]
    Backsplashes vary widely in the vertical height that they extend above the surface of the countertop and the materials they are manufactured from. Nonetheless, all backsplashes serve primarily as a barrier against water, as noted above. In addition, they are also attractive finishes for the countertop.
  • [0004]
    There are many kinds of backsplashes, depending upon the needs of the installation and the owner's wishes. For example, some backsplashes are made of tile, regardless of whether the countertop is tile. Tile makes for an attractive backsplash but tends to be relatively expensive both in terms of materials and in the labor required to install it. Another popular countertop is made of granite or some other native or “cultured” stone. These kinds of countertops typically have a backsplash fabricated from the same material. Another popular kind of countertop is made of a solid polymeric compound sold under the brand name CORIAN. These and other solid compounds are commonly referred to as solid surface countertops. As with stone countertops, backsplashes used with CORIAN and other solid surface countertops are made of the same material.
  • [0005]
    The present invention relates to a backsplash that is used with another popular type of countertop, which is especially popular in more moderately priced installations, namely, a countertop made from a composite laminate material that is bonded to a substrate such as particle board. In this kind of installation the backsplash is made of the same material, laminate bonded onto a wooden substrate, typically particle board. There are several ways to attach a laminate backsplash to a laminate countertop, but most of the known methods are relatively cumbersome and labor intensive. One method relies upon setting plastic brackets at intervals along the length of the countertop at the rear edge, and then setting screws into a milled-out portion of the lower edge of the backsplash with the screw heads exposed a short distance. The exposed screw heads fit into notches in the brackets to thus attach the backsplash. This product is sold under the brand name SMART CLIP.
  • [0006]
    Despite the presence of several different techniques for doing the job, there is a continuing need for apparatus and method that make the job of correctly attaching a backsplash to a countertop more accurate, efficient and economical. The present invention comprises an apparatus that quickly and reliably aligns the backsplash with the countertop and securely attaches the one to the other. Using the method facilitated by the apparatus, backsplash installation is much faster, more economical and more accurate than conventional methods.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0007]
    The invention will be better understood and its numerous objects and advantages will be apparent by reference to the following detailed description of the invention when taken in conjunction with the following drawings.
  • [0008]
    FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a backsplash clip according to the present invention, illustrating the clip between a section of countertop and the section of backsplash that will be attached to it.
  • [0009]
    FIG. 2 is a side elevation view of a first illustrated embodiment of a backsplash clip according to the present invention.
  • [0010]
    FIG. 3 is a partial cross sectional view showing the backsplash clip shown in FIG. 1 relative to a section of countertop and backsplash, prior to installation.
  • [0011]
    FIG. 4 is a partial cross sectional view similar to the view of FIG. 3 except showing the clip installed in the countertop and the backsplash, and the backsplash therefore attached to the countertop.
  • [0012]
    FIG. 5 is a view of a corner section of a countertop illustrating several backsplash clips connecting the backsplash to the countertop and a clip interconnecting two sections of backsplash at a corner, illustrating some of the backsplash clips in phantom lines and showing one clip in isolation.
  • [0013]
    FIG. 6 is a side elevation view of a second illustrated embodiment of a backsplash clip according to the present invention.
  • [0014]
    FIG. 7 is a side elevation view of a third illustrated embodiment of a backsplash clip according to the present invention.
  • [0015]
    FIG. 8 is a partial cross sectional view showing a fourth illustrated embodiment of a backsplash clip showing the clip relative to a section of countertop and backsplash, prior to installation.
  • [0016]
    FIG. 9 is a cross sectional of the clip shown in FIG. 8 with the clip installed in the countertop and the backsplash, and the backsplash therefore attached to the countertop.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • [0017]
    With reference to the drawings, a first illustrated embodiment of a backsplash clip 10 is shown in FIG. 1 adjacent a section of a composite laminate countertop 12 and a composite laminate backsplash 14 prior to installation of the clip with the countertop and backsplash. For ease of reference, throughout this document like structures shown and identified in one drawing figure are given the same reference number in other drawing figures. Both the countertop 12 and backsplash 14 are fabricated in a like manner and comprise a sheet of composite laminate material 16 bonded onto the surface of a substrate 18 that is typically wooden, and more typically particle board. There are many kinds of laminate material that are used for countertops and backsplashes. As an example, one typical composite laminate is a product sold under the brand name FORMICA (see www.formica.com). In addition to these and other composite laminates, any appropriate countertop material may be used, including solid surface products, various plastics, wood and butcher block, and the like. As noted, the substrate 18 is usually a particle board sheet, but may also be conventional plywood or other substrate materials.
  • [0018]
    The upper surface of countertop 12 is planar given reference number 11. The rear edge of the countertop 12 is referred to generally as rear edge 13. The surface of backsplash 14 is also planar and is identified with number 17. The bottom edge of backsplash 14 is referred to generally as bottom edge 15.
  • [0019]
    Clip 10 is shown in isolation in FIG. 2 and comprises a generally serpentine body 21 defined by a U-shaped section having opposite arm members 20 and 22 that extend outwardly from base member 24 at approximately 90 degree angles relative to the base member. An arm member 26 extends from arm member 22 at about a 90 degree angle. One side of arm member 20 has three barbs 28 and one side of arm member 26 includes three barbs 30. As detailed below, barbs 28 and 30 function to anchor the clip in the countertop 12 and backsplash 14, respectively. Clip 10 is preferably metallic and fabricated in a single piece. The clip may conveniently be manufactured by cutting extruded stock into lengths and is preferably a one-piece member. The clip 10 may also be fabricated from other materials, including plastics. The width of clip 10 at all points except where the barbs are located is designated as width Z.
  • [0020]
    Prior to attaching backsplash 14 to countertop 12, both the backsplash and the countertop must be prepared. With reference to FIGS. 1 and 3, a slot 32 is cut into rear edge 13 of substrate 18 of countertop 12. The width of slot 32 is approximately the same as width Z of clip 10 and the slot extends into substrate 18 in a direction that is substantially parallel to the plane defined by surface 11 of the countertop. Similarly, a slot 34, also having a width Z is cut into the bottom edge 15 of substrate 18 of backsplash 14 such that the slot extends into substrate 18 in a direction that is substantially parallel with the plane defined by surface 17 of the backsplash. When the backsplash 14 is attached to countertop 12 as illustrated in FIG. 3, the plane of countertop 12 (defined by surface 11) is perpendicular to the plane of backsplash 14 (defined by surface 17), and slot 34 is perpendicularly to slot 32. The distance from the center of slot 32 to the surface 11 of laminate 16 on countertop 12 is distance Y. Slots 32 and 34 are preferably cut into the substrate 18 with a router, and it will be appreciated from review of the illustrations that the router bit and router settings are the same for both the slot 32 in the countertop and the slot 34 in the backsplash. Because the width of slots 32 and 34 is the same as the width of body 21 of clip 10 (i.e., width Z), the overall width of arm members 20 and 26 measured at barbs 28 and 30, respectively, is wider than slots 32 and 34.
  • [0021]
    The distance from the center of slot 34 to the rearward face 40 of backsplash 14 is distance X. With respect to clip 10, the distance measured from the centerline through arm member 20 to the face 23 of arm member 22 that faces arm member 20 is distance Y. The distance measured from the centerline through arm member 26 to the rearward-facing surface 25 of arm member 24 is distance X.
  • [0022]
    The rear edges of both the countertop and backsplash must also be prepared by removing some material. Thus, a section 36 of the rear edge 13 of countertop 12 is removed between slot 32 and surface 11. Likewise, a section 38 of the bottom edge 15 of backsplash 14 is removed between slot 34 and the rearward face 40 of the backsplash. The width of both of the removed sections 36 and 38 is the same as the width of the body 21 of clip 10, that is, width Z. A router bit may be used to remove sections 36 and 38. Ideally, the router bit will include a guide disk that rides in the slots 32 and 34 as the router is run along the rear edge 13 of countertop 12 and bottom edge 15 of backsplash 14. The router bit and router settings are the same for removal of both sections 36 and 38.
  • [0023]
    With countertop 12 and backsplash 14 prepared as described above, the backsplash may be attached to the countertop. As best illustrated in FIG. 4, clip 10 is first attached to countertop 12 by inserting arm member 20 into slot 32. Because the width of clip 10 at barbs 28 is wider than slot 32, the clip must be hammered into the slot. As the arm member 20 is driven into slot 32, the barbs 28 are driven into and engage the particle board of substrate 18, which is somewhat malleable. The depth of slots 32 and 34 is preferably slightly greater than the length of arms 20 and 26, respectively. Because width Y on countertop 12 is the same as width Y between arm member 22 of clip 10 and the inner-facing surface 23 of arm member 22, the inner-facing surface 23 of the clip slides over the top of surface 11 of laminate 16. The clip is hammered into slot 32 until the rearward-facing surface 25 of arm member 24 is flush with the back face 42 of substrate 18 of countertop 12. The barbs 28 securely fasten the clip 10 to the countertop and prevent inadvertent removal of the clip, and in this context the barbs function as means for retaining the clip in both the countertop and the backsplash, and for maintaining the connection between the backsplash and the countertop. It will be understood that there will be several clips 10 installed along the length of the countertop, depending upon the length of the countertop and backsplash, the desired spacing between clips, and other considerations.
  • [0024]
    Backsplash 14 is next attached to countertop 12 by inserting the slot 34 in the backsplash over arm member 26. As detailed above with respect to arm member 20, because the width of clip 10 at barbs 30 is wider than slot 34, the backsplash must be forced onto the clip. This is preferably done with the palm of a hand or with a rubber mallet or similar tool that will not damage the backsplash. Because width X on backsplash 14 is the same as width X measured between arm member 26 of clip 10 and the rear-facing surface 25 of member 24, the rearward surface 40 of the backsplash is flush with rearward-facing surface 25 of arm member 24. The barbs 30 securely fasten the backsplash to the clip.
  • [0025]
    If desired, caulking or sealant 27 may be applied to the lower edge of the backsplash where the backsplash abuts the countertop when assembled as described above. The sealant essentially creates a gasket, sealing the joint between the backsplash and the countertop.
  • [0026]
    With backsplash 14 fully attached to clip 10 such that arm member 26 is fully inserted into slot 34, the bottom edge 15 of backsplash 14 is flush with the upper surface 11 of laminate 16 and the backsplash is at a right angle to the countertop. It will be appreciated that multiple clips 10 are used to attach a section of backsplash to a countertop—the number of clips depending upon the length of the backsplash and the separation between adjacent clips. Typically, adjacent clips 10 will be separated by about 10 inches, although this separation distance may vary widely depending upon the circumstances. The attachment between the backsplash and the countertop is very secure and no adhesives are required. Nonetheless, an optional layer of adhesive may be applied to the lower surface of backsplash 18 where the surface abuts surface 11 of the countertop—where a sealant 27 is used, the sealant itself acts as an adhesive. In addition, a bead of sealant such as a silicone material 29 may be applied at the joint between the backsplash and the countertop to provide a water-tight seal between the two. The bead of silicone material 29 may be used either with or without a sealant 27.
  • [0027]
    A countertop and backsplash that define a corner section is shown in FIG. 5. Here it may be seen that four backsplash clips 10 are used to attach the backsplash 14 to the countertop 12, two clips per section of the backsplash, each installed in the manner detailed above. In addition, one clip 10 has been used to join two sections of backsplash, identified with reference numbers 44 and 46, which meet at a right angle. It will be appreciated that the vertical edges of the backsplash sections 44 and 46 where the two sections meet must first be prepared as described above with respect to the countertop and backsplash bottom edges, namely, with a groove and with removed material in order to accept the clip 10.
  • [0028]
    The backsplash clip 10 described above and illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 5 is the first illustrated embodiment. In addition, there are numerous different design configurations that are equivalent to the first illustrated embodiment. One alternative configuration is shown in FIG. 6, which illustrates a backsplash clip 50 that is identical to backsplash clip 10 except that in addition to barbs 28 and 30 on arm members 20 and 26, respectively, arm member 20 includes barbs 52 on the opposite side of the arm member from barbs 28, and arm member 26 includes barbs 54 on the opposite side of the arm member from barbs 30. The additional barbs on clip 50 provide enhanced gripping of the clip with the countertop and backsplash.
  • [0029]
    The configuration of the barbs used on the arm members of the backsplash clips may likewise be varied. One example of many different possibilities is shown in FIG. 7, wherein the barbs 62 and 64 on arm member 26 and barbs 66 and 68 on arm member 20 are relatively sharpened on their outermost ends compared to the barbs exemplified by barbs 28 of clip 10. Again, the added barbs and the fact that these barbs are somewhat pointed enhances the ability of the clip to grip the countertop and remain engaged therein. It will be appreciated that if clip 60 is made of plastic, the barbs 62, 64, 66 and 68 may be somewhat resilient and deformable, which further increases the ability of the clip to be retained in the slots in the countertop and backsplash. The barbs may take on many equivalent shapes, including for example multiple serrations on one or both sides of the arm members.
  • [0030]
    Yet another illustrated alternative embodiment of a backsplash clip 70 according to the present invention is shown in FIGS. 8 and 9. In this case, clip 70 is defined by a serpentine, generally U-shaped body 72 that has opposite arm members 74 and 76 that extend at right angles from a base member 78. Each arm member 74 and 76 includes barbs 80, which in the illustration extend from both sides of the arm members, but which could be used on only one side of the arm members as detailed above with respect to clip 10. When clip 70 is used to attach the backsplash 14 to the countertop 12, the countertop 12 is prepared identically as described above, with a slot 32 cut into the substrate 18 and a section 36 of material removed from the rear edge of the countertop between the slot and the surface 11 of laminate 16. However, as shown, backsplash 14 is prepared somewhat differently. A slot 82 is thus cut into the rear edge 84 of substrate 18 such that slot 82 is parallel to slot 32 when the backsplash and countertop are aligned as shown in FIG. 8. A section of material 86 is removed from the rear face 84 of the substrate 18 between the slot 82 and the lower edge 88 of the backsplash 14.
  • [0031]
    Clip 70 is used to attach backsplash 14 to countertop 12 in much the same manner as detailed above with respect to the embodiment of FIGS. 1 through 5. Thus, the clip 70 is first attached to countertop 12 by inserting arm member 74 into slot 32 and hammering the clip into the slot until the base member 78 abuts the rear of the countertop, in the region where the section of material 36 has been removed. Next, the backsplash 14 is placed over the countertop 12 such that the backsplash is transverse to the plane of the countertop and slot 82 aligns with arm member 76. The backsplash is next pounded onto the clip 70 until the clip is fully seated in the backsplash, as illustrated in FIG. 9. When the clip is fully seated as shown in FIG. 9, the laminate backsplash 14 is securely attached to the countertop 12. As noted above in the description of the embodiment of FIGS. 1 through 5, adhesive may optionally be used between the backsplash and the countertop.
  • [0032]
    Those of ordinary skill in the art will readily appreciate that certain modifications may be made to the invention described above with the result that the modified invention is equivalent to that described and claimed herein. For example, in the backsplash clips described and illustrated, the barbed arms are set an approximately right angles to the base from which they extend. Those angles may be modified somewhat since the material from which the clips are fabricated tend to be somewhat resilient and thus allow some flexibility.
  • [0033]
    While the present invention has been described in terms of a preferred embodiment, it will be appreciated by one of ordinary skill that the spirit and scope of the invention is not limited to those embodiments, but extend to the various modifications and equivalents as defined in the appended claims.
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8096093Jan 17, 2012Pinky Yin Wah PoonGroutless wall tile systems
US8147009 *Dec 1, 2009Apr 3, 2012Rider H JoeCabinet component system
US8196881 *Sep 21, 2010Jun 12, 2012Reinbold Curt ACountertop cut-out retainer and method of use thereof
US20110234066 *Sep 29, 2011Peter CelanoCabinet system
WO2012028049A1 *Aug 10, 2011Mar 8, 2012Pinky Yin Wah PoonGroutless wall tile systems
Classifications
U.S. Classification312/140.3, 248/222.13
International ClassificationA47B96/18
Cooperative ClassificationF16B12/20, F16B12/08, A47B77/06
European ClassificationA47B77/06, F16B12/08, F16B12/20
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Oct 26, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: KLICKIT PRODUCTS, L.L.C., OREGON
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:LILLY, ROBERT;REEL/FRAME:020070/0023
Effective date: 20071025