US 2895778 A
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July 21, 1959 P. B. LIE ER 2,895,778
' COUNTERTOP CONSTRUCTION Filed May 6, 1957 United States Pate fifice 2,895,778 Patented July 21, 1959 COUNTERTOP CONSTRUCTION Philip Ben Lieber, Shreveport, La. Application May 6, 1957, Serial No. 657,172
2 Claims. (Cl. 311-106) The present invention pertains to cabinet making generally, but more specifically to the making of counter tops for restaurants, homes and the like. The invention also pertains to that type of counter top wherein the surface is covered with a Water and acid resisting sheet material.
Currently popular in the building trades for use as a countertop is a material known by the trade-name of Formicaa resinous plastic providing a hard, durable surface and offered in many colors. The material is resistant to water and most acids and is manufactured in two types; as a thermo plastic and as a thermo setting plastic. The various physical and chemical properties may be found in Patent No. 2,433,643. While the thermo plastic type is highly ideal in the building trades in that most any type post-forming can be done, it is also known that its cost usually prohibits its use. For this reason architects and builders have specified the standard grade or thermosetting type. Due to the characteristics of this type, however, applications are limited mostly to flat surfaces. Being very brittle the sheet cannot be bent while cold and only by the proper application of heat can it be bent at all; and even then only to a considerably large radius.
For instance, in the construction of a kitchen cabinet,
the cabinet maker usually frames in a suitable substructure with drawers, doors and shelves spaced at the desire of the owner or to meet some other specification. The application of a covering for the counter top, however, requires particular skill. It would 'be a relatively simple matter to apply the plastic sheet by an adhesive to the top flat surface; but to properly form the backsplash is a different matter. Since the brittle sheet material cannot be bent to a small radius and turned up at its perimetral edge to form the backsplash, the cabinet maker must make a butt joint between the backsplash and the counter top and either glue the joint or apply some filler material such as plastic wood to simulate a fillet. The use of a dilferent material would present an unsightly appearance while a plain butt joint would eventually be penetrated by the seepage of water. Moreover, the cabinet maker is constantly plagued with out-of-square corners and with projecting cabinets that vary in height above the counter top. Any miscalculation, of course, means a Waste of the sheet from which the pattern is cut and the use of a new sheet.
One of the objects of the present invention is the provision of a cabinet construction wherein the standard grade of the thermosetting plastic sheet known as Formica may be used as a countertop and also the backsplash with a small radius formed at the juncture of the two.
Another object of the invention is the provision of a cabinet construction wherein the countertop and the backsplash are pre-fonned and may be offered for sale by sections according to length.
A further object of the invention is the provision of a cabinet construction wherein small radii may be formed of a thermosetting plastic whereby subsequently glued joints may be made to appear as if molded from a single sheet.
A still further object of the invention is the provision of a construction facilitating the installation of a wainscoting between the backsplash of a counter and upper cabinets or the like. This same construction is highly advantageous also in the construction of shower stalls or any other construction where the heretofore butted or lapped joints of plastic sheets have failed to serve their purpose.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent in the course of the following detailed description, when viewed together with the accompanying drawing in which:
Fig. 1 is a broken, isometric view of a countertop employing the construction details of my invention.
Fig. 2 is an isometric view of a pre-formed end splash member.
Fig. 3 is a sectional view taken along lines 3-3 of Fig. 1.
Fig. 4 is a sectional View taken along lines 44 of Fig. 1.
Fig. 5 is a detailed, sectional View illustrating the manner of forming an expansion joint in the present invention.
In the drawing numeral 10 designates generally a countertop made in accordance with the teachings of the present invention. The various views shown are those of a common kitchen cabinet and are given by way of example to illustrate the teachings of the invention.
As pointed out in one of the objects of the invention, all of the parts of the countertop are pre-formed and ready for installation at the job site. The main counter top 11 consists in a wooden base 12 with a sheet of Formica 13 afiixed to the top surface by an adhesive. The backsplash ground 14 is used in connection with a cove molding 15, both of which are fixed to the countertop base 12 as illustrated in Fig. 3.
It will be remembered that the thermosetting type or standard grade of the Formica is used. In order to make the small radius 17 at the juncture of the countertop and backsplash, the back side of the Formica sheet is actually machined along that portion of the sheet when the subsequent radius will occur. By experimentation it has been found that this machining not only lessens the thickness of the material to facilitate the bend, but actually relieves the surface strains set up in the original material by extreme pressures during its manufacture. While the original material is sanded over its back side, such sanding is unidirectional and is made with a relatively coarse grit. Consequently small grooves are left in the material face from one end of the sheet to the other. Thus, any attempt to make a 'bend of a small radius in the original material will fracture the material along one of the sanding grooves where the surface stresses are the greatest. Both heat and pressure are .used as well as an adhesive to bond the sheet to the preformed base 12.
In the present instance the standard opening 16 is left for a sink and positioned along the length of the countertop as per specification. Any other openings such as for surface heating units or the like could be specified before the top is formed so that all fixtures would properly fit into position when the top is assembled at the job site. It will also be noted that the sheet of Formica is turned up along the face of the backsplash and is finally capped with a strip 18 of the same material.
Heretofore it has been virtually impossible to fit an endsplash into proper juncture with a backsplash where only the backsplash had a radius at its base. Due to the general framework being out-of-square or to variations in the radius and even to variations in the thickness of the material, the mitering work has been extremely tedious.
To obviate the necessity of any mitering work on the job site, the present invention proposes a set-on type of end splash as shown in Fig. 2 and designated generally by the numeral 19. This component is made similar to that of the backsplash with a main ground member 20 and its corresponding cove molding 21. Bonded to the surface, of course, is the covering material 22 of Formica. One end of the component is rounded off to a radius 23 matching the radius 17 on the backsplash. The over all length of the endsplash is standard and is cut to properly match the construction of the pre-formed counter when finally set into position as shown in Fig. 1. It is also capped along the top edge with a strip of Formica 24.
In this end splash construction it will be noted that the inner edge 24 of the convex radius 25 is sanded to a feather edge so that when the member is finally glued into position on the countertop, the joint is hardly perceptible. Fig. 4 shows a sectional view of an end splash mounted to the countertop. The cove radius 35 blends into the counter surface material 13 so that no noticeable joint appears.
It will be remembered that the present invention is to facilitate on-the-job installation of cabinets, particularly countertops and end splashes. For this reason the Many times counters are designed either in an L-shape r or U-shape. One of the advantages of the present invention is that when ordering countertops by units of length, a 90 degree turn to form an L-shape counter is easily done. The joining may be made with a special spline or by dowels or by any other standard method. Such a unit is designated by the numeral 26 of Fig. 1. The construction of this unit is identical with that of the main counter 10. Let it be supposed, now, that the alleged 90 degree corner was not actually 90 degrees, but was quite out-of-square. The workman installing the countertop of the present invention would simply align the end splashes of the main counter and the auxiliary counter and simply trim the abutting face edge of the auxiliary countertop for the proper fit. With the set-on type of end splashes a corner would have to be considerably out-of-square before the end splashes would fail to mesh properly with the corresponding radius formed on the backsplash.
As pointed out earlier in the specification, the present invention provides a means of using a thermosetting plastic as a bonded covering for countertops and the like and provides a means of bending and bonding the sheet to smaller radii than has been possible heretofore.
Due to this unique feature it is now possible to use a standard grade of material. which is less expensive than the special post forming grade. The invention permits a finished product of the finest quality and provides waterproof joints while still allowing for expansion and contraction of the material.
While I have described my invention in detail with reference to a countertop, it will be remembered that this has been by way of example only and that such bonding and joining could be applied to other items and materials without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as fall within the purview of the following claims.
1. A countertop comprising a main base and backsplash, said base and backsplash being simultaneously faced with a plastic material so as to leave a small radius at the juncture between the two, end splashes for said countertop, each of said endsplashes being formed separately and adapted for assembly with said countertop when the same is installed, said endsplashes being faced with a plastic material and provided with a concave radius along one bottom edge identical with the radius formed at the juncture between said base and said backsplash, a convex radius also formed at one corner of each of said endsplashes to conform to the concave radius between said base and said backsplash, the bottom faces of said endsplashes being machined to a sharp edge to overlap and blend with the countertop facing material when set onto the same, the area of all radial bends being supported throughout the entire lengths thereof.
2. A countertop comprising a main base and backsplash, said base and backsplash being simultaneously faced with a plastic material so as to leave a small radius at the juncture between the two, separately formed endsplashes for said countertop, said endsplashes being faced with a plastic material and provided with a concave radius along one bottom edge identical with the radius formed at the juncture of said base and said backsplash, a convex radius also formed along one corner of each of said endsplashes to conform to the concave radius between said base and said backsplash, the bottom faces of said endsplashes being machined to a sharp edge, said endsplashes adapted to be positioned one at each end of said main base after the same is installed with the bottom faces overlapping the marginal edges of said main countertop base but in planes not necessarily degrees to the plane of said backsplash.
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