US 3657852 A
A floor or like tile consists either of a single piece composed of any one of a range of different materials or of a plurality of superimposed laminations each composed of any one of the said range of materials, and is formed with a plurality of identical, laterally projecting tongues and, in its underside, with an equal number of identical pockets which open to the periphery of the tile and alternate, around the periphery, with the tongues, the tongues and pockets being so shaped that any tongue of any one of the tiles is adapted to engage and fit within any pocket of any other of the tiles and when so engaged, is held against endwise withdrawal from the pocket so that, when the two tiles are located in a common plane, relative movement therebetween in the said plane, is prevented.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Worthington et al.
 FLOOR TILES  Inventors: Walter J. Worthington; Douglas R. Henson, both of 245 Walmby Road, Sulton Coldfield, England  Filed: Sept. 15, 1969  App1.No.: 857,747
 U.S.Cl ..52/591,52/392,52/594  ..E04f 13/18, E040 1/30  Field ofSearch ..52/392,591,590,574,594
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 636,200 10/1899 Frink ..52/386 680,468 8/1901 Sierer ....52/590 2,882,714 4/1959 Gagle et a1. ..52/59l X 2,999,431 8/1961 Mitchell ..52/590X 3,247,638 4/1966 Gay, Jr. ..52/594 1,361,501 12/1920 Schepmoes ..52/594 X [451 Apr. 25, 1972 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 306,715 2/1929 GreatBritain ..52/395 425,590 10/1947 Italy ..52/591 Primary Examiner-Alfred C. Perham Anomey-lmirie & Smiley ABSTRACT A floor or like tile consists either of a single piece composed of any one of a range of different materials or of a plurality of superimposed laminations each composed of any one of the said range of materials, and is formed with a plurality of identical, laterally projecting tongues and, in its underside, with an equal number of identical pockets which open to the periphery of the tile and alternate, around the periphery, with the tongues, the tongues and pockets being so shaped that any tongue of any one of the tiles is adapted to engage and fit within any pocket of any other of the tiles and when so engaged, is held against endwise withdrawal from the pocket so that, when the two tiles are located in a common plane, relative movement therebetween in the said plane, is prevented.
1 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures Pmmmms 1972 I 3,657, 852
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sum 2 BF 2 1 .UIg- 7- i 7 IHVENTORS WALTER If WoRTHiNsToN DOUGLAS R. HENs N FLOOR TILES This invention relates to floor and like tiles and its principal object is to enable the tiles to be laid without the use of adhesives or tools so that the laying operation if facilitated, expedited and may be carried out by unskilled personnel, the cost of laying is reduced to a negligible amount, laid tiles may be lifted, re-arranged and re-laid as and when desired, worn tiles may be lifted and replaced by fresh tiles quickly and easily, and the formation of undesirable air pockets beneath the laid tiles is avoided.
Further objects of the invention are to enable the tiles to be fabricated from any one, or any combination, of a wide range of different materials, and to minimize the possibility, first, the corner of any laid tile lifting inadvertently, either completely or partially more particularly, and, secondly, of undesirable clearances being formed between the adjoining edges of the laid tiles.
In accordance with the said invention, each of the floor tiles is provided, around its periphery, with a plurality of laterally projecting, identical tongues each of which is of a thickness less than the tile thickness, has one face co-planar with one face of the tile, and consists of a frusto-isosceles-triangular shank of which the base lies in one edge of the tile, and of a head portion which projects from the apex of and is symmetrical to the said shank and of which the width increases from a dimension equal to the width of the said apex to a maximum dimension less than the width of the said base, and the said tile face has an equal number of pockets which alternate with the tongues around the tile periphery, open to the said periphery and each of which, in shape and dimensions, is complementary to the shape and dimensions of the tongues so that any one of the tongues may be engaged in any of the pockets in another one of the tiles, and when the tiles located in a common plane, the tongue is held positively against endwise withdrawal from the pocket and the tiles are locked against relative movement in the said plane.
In order that the invention may be understood and carried into practice more readily, it will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a plan and FIG. 2 is an elevation of a tile constructed in accordance with one typical embodiment of the invention',
FIG. 3 is an underside plan, on an enlarged scale, of part of the tile shown in FIGS. 1 and 2; and
FIGS. 4 7 are sectional elevations along the line aa, FIG.
3, illustrating alternative typical embodiments of the inven tron.
The tile shown in FIGS. 1 3 consists of a square body 1, which is provided on each of its four edges with three identical, laterally projecting tongues 2 which alternate, lengthwise of the edge, with three pockets 3 which open both to the edge and to the underside of the body.
Each tongue is integral with the body and has a frustoisosceles-triangular shank 4 of which the base lies in the corresponding body edge, and a head which projects from the apex and is symmetrical to the longitudinal center line, of the shank and of which the lateral edges diverge and then converge relatively to one another so that the width of the head increases, lengthwise of the tongue, from a dimension equal to the width of the shank apex to a maximum less than the width of the shank base, and then reduces to zero at the tip of the tongue.
The tongues are of the same uniform thickness which is less than the body thickness and may be equal, or substantially equal, to half the body thickness, and their lower surfaces are co-planar with the underside of the body so that their upper surfaces are spaced from and parallel to the top of the body.
The tongues on each body edge are spaced equidistantly apart by a distance equal to the width of the shank bases, one tongue is located at one end of the edge one of the pockets opens to the opposite end of the edge, the tongued end of each edge is adjacent to the pocketted end of the adjoining edge, and the tongues on each two opposed body edges are staggered relatively to one another.
Each of the pockets is complementary, in shape and dimensions, to the shape and dimensions of the tongues and opens, at its widest end or mouth, to the periphery of the body so that each mouth extends either between the bases of two adjacent tongues or between one end of the corresponding body edge and the base of the tongue adjacent to, but spaced from, the said end.
Hence the tile may be connected to a second tile which has been laid, pocketted surface downwards, upon a floor, by, for example, inclining the former tile to the latter tile, inserting the tongues on the lower edge of the inclined tile between the tongues on any edge of the laid tile, then sliding the former tongues to the underside of the laid tile until the two edges are in abutment, and finally lowering the inclined tile on to the floor, whereupon the tongues on each of the abutting edges will engage and interlock with the pockets opening to the other edge. Consequently the tongues are held positively against endwise withdrawal from the respective pockets in which they are engaged and, provided neither of the tiles is lifted off the floor, the tiles cannot be disconnected or more relatively to one another, and the corners of the tiles at the opposite ends of the abutting edges are prevented from lifting.
By repeating the procedure, any desired area of the floor may be covered by interconnected rows of interconnected tiles although, at the boundary of the covered area it may be necessary or desirable to remove the tongues from the exposed tile edges, cut the boundary tiles down to size and/or shape, and/or provide special boundary tiles of which some are provided with the tongues on three of their edges and others are provided with the tongues on two adjoining edges only.
The tiles may be fabricated in any desired manner from any one or any combination of a wide range of different materials. For example, as shown in FIGS. 1 3, each tile may be fabricated in one piece from a vinyl or other synthetic plastics material, a natural or synthetic rubber compound, wood, ceramic, concrete or stone or, as shown in FIG. 4, in laminate form in which each of two or more superimposed laminations is composed of any selected one of the above-mentioned materials, one or more of the lower laminations is or are provided with the tongues and is or are formed with the pockets, the several laminations are bounded or otherwise secured permanently together, and the upper or top lamination may be composed of a hard wearing and/or decorative material, or is covered with a veneer of such material.
Alternatively as shown in FIG. 5, the upper surface of each tile, whether fabricated in one piece or in laminate form, may be given a hard wearing and/or decorative top surface by embedding stone, ceramic metal or like pieces 8 therein, or, as shown in FIG. 6, the upper or top lamination of each tile may consist of flocked pile, or a piece of woven carpet, felt or analogous material which, if desired and as shown in FIG. 7, may be surrounded by an upstanding, peripheral lip 6 on the lower, or the next adjacent lower, lamination.
Also as shown in FIG 7, the underside of each tile, whether fabricated in one piece or in laminate form and particularly when composed of stiff but flexible material such as a synthetic plastics and/or a rubber compound, may be formed with a system of recesses 7 so as to enhance the resiliency of a floor covering consisting of the interconnected tiles.
Alternatively or additionally, the upper surface of each of the pockets may be provided with one or more studs which, or each of which, is adapted to engage a hole, or a corresponding one of an equal number of holes, in any tongue engaged in the pocket so as to permit or enhance the interlocking action between the pocket and tongue.
It will be appreciated that, when any floor or other area is covered by the interconnected tiles, should any one or more of the tiles become worn or otherwise marred in appearance, or damaged, it or they may be removed and replaced by a fresh tile or tiles without undue difficulty. Further, particularly when the covering consists of interconnected tiles of which the upper surfaces are colored or patterned differently, the entire covering may be dismantled and the tiles may be reconnected in difierent relative positions so as to change the design or pattern of the top of the covering.
What we claim is:
l. Rectangular floor tiles wherein each tile is provided, around its periphery, with a plurality of laterally projecting, identical tongues each of which is of a thickness less than the tile thickness, has one face co-planar with one face of the tile, and consists of a frusto-isosceles-triangula.r shank of which the base lies in an edge of the tile and of a head portion which projects from the apex of and is symmetrical to the shank and of which the width increases from a minimum equal to the width of the said apex to a maximum less than the width of the said base, the tile also has, in the said face, a plurality of pockets each of which, in shape and dimensions, is complementary to the shape and dimensions of each tongue and has a mouth, of the same width as the shank bases, opening to the tile periphery between an adjacent two of the tongues, the mouths of the pockets alternate with the shank bases around the tile periphery, each two adjacent tongues are spaced apart by a distance equal to the width of the said mouths, and the base of one of the shanks reaches to one end and the mouth of one of the pockets reaches to the opposite end, of each edge of the tile.
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