US 3745735 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 Casano TILE-SPACING CONSTRUCTION  Inventor: Frank V. Casano, 63 Debora Drive,
. Plainview, N.Y. 11803 22 Filed: Feb. 24, 1972 Y  Appl. No.: 229,034
52/677  Int. Cl E04f 13/08  Field of Search ..52/390392, 509,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,287,874 11/1966 Stahlhut 52/668 X [451 July'17, 1973 Hunter 52/604 X 1,890,954 12/1932 Snyder... 52/390 X 1,912,972 6/1933 Coca 52/509 X 2,483,560 10/1949 Peterson 52/604 X 3,501,877 3/1970 White 52/604 X Primary ExaminerAlfred C. Perham Attorney-Bauer & Amer  ABSTRACT A member having utility in establishing uniform spacing in the layout of a tile arrangement, which member is so constructed that plural tile-spacing shapes can be made therefrom, when used along or in combination with a like member. 1
1 Claim, 11 Drawing Figures PATENTEB JUL 1 11915 'llILlE-SlPACING CONSTRUCTION The present invention relates to tile layout guides or spacing devices, and more particularly to a tile-spacing construction member with a capability of providing numerous tile-spacing shapes which, in turn, can be used to facilitate the layout of a wide range of tile arrangements.
Tile arrangements can employ square, rectangular, and triangular tiles, all in various relationships, and will therefor require spacing devices in corresponding various shapes in order to maintain uniform sized grooves for the grout subsequently placed in these grooves. In addition to flexibility in shape, the spacing devices should, in the interest of convenience, be able to be left in their operative positions maintaining the spacing during application of the grout. With known spacing devices, however, there is a tendency of the grout to lift these devices into a position protruding above the tiles. Successful counteracting of this tendency automatically dictates use of inexpensive spacing devices since there will only be one-time use of the same, yet these spacers must also be sufficiently versatile to provide the requisite number of different tile-spacing shapes to be used in a wide range of tile arrangements and heretofore said versatility could not be achieved with an economically mass-produced construction.
Broadly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved tile-spacing member overcoming the foregoing and other shortcomings of the prior art. Specifically, it is an object to provide an economically produced spacing member, out of which the noted plural tile-spacing shapes are readily produced.
A tile-spacing construction member demonstrating objects and advantages of the present invention includes an elongated, U-shaped body, of a width that provides the requisite size to the grout groove when placed between adjacent tiles. By strategic location of connecting notches on these uniform shaped bodies, the same may be bent or interconnected with each other to provide an ample variety of tile-spacing shapes.
The above brief description, as well as further objects, features and advantages of the present invention, will be more fully appreciated by reference to the following detailed description of a presently preferred, but nonetheless illustrative embodiment in accordance with the present invention, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a plan view of a typical tile arrangement illustrating the operative position of the tile-spacing constructions hereof in exemplary tile-spacing shapes according to the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view, on an enlarged scale, of the tile-spacing construction members hereof in a cross-shaped geometrical figure or shape;
' FIG. 3 is a perspective view, similar to FIG. 2, but illustrating said members, in modified form, in a T- shaped geometrical figure or shape;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view, in the same enlarged scale as FIGS. 2 and 3, illustrating the tile-spacing construction member hereof in a curved shape;
FIG. 5a is an isolated plan view of a tile-spacing construction member;
FIG. 5b is a side view projected from FIG. 5a illustrating the location of aligned connecting notches of said member;
FIG. 6a, like FIG. 5a, is a plan view of a tile-spacing construction member hereof having a different location for its connecting notch;
FIG. 6b is a side elevational view projected from FIG. 6a illustrating said location of said connecting notch;
FIGS. 7a and 7b are respectively plan and side elevational views of a tile-spacing construction member which has been cut to a reduced length which contributes to providing the geometrical shape of FIG. 3; and
FIG. 8 is a side elevational view, on an enlarged scale, in section taken on line fl-S of FIG. 1 illustrating the operative position of the tile-spacing construction hereof in the body of the grout or adhesive which secures the tiles in place.
Reference is now made to the drawings, and in particular to FIG. I wherein there is shown an arrangement of tiles, individually and collectively designated lid, which in a typical arrangement are of the various shapes illustrated to contribute to an enhanced overall appearance in the arrangement. As generally understood, in the formation of the tile arrangement, the in dividual tiles 10 are placed in adjacent position to each other with grooves 112 left therebetween and subsequently are filled with grout or other such adhesive substance I4 all as is more specifically illustrated in FIGS. I and 8. As is further generally understood, a typical construction of a tile arrangement on a support surface 116 contemplates the application of an adhesive coat 1% over the support surface 16 and the successive placement of the tiles Ill, usually one at a time, into adhesive contact with the adhesive coat llSuntil the desired tile arrangement is completed. The foregoing procedure is facilitated by use of a cross-shaped geometrical FIG. 20 as shown in FIG. 2, a T-shaped geometrical FIG. 22 as shown in FIG. 3, and a curved shape 24 as shown in FIG. 4, as tile-spacing constructions adjacent corresponding tile shapes to provide uniform grooves 12 or spaces between the tiles 10 which subsequently are filled with grout M.
In practice, it has been found that the three shapes 201), 22 and 24 of FIGS. 2-4, inclusive, are adequate to maintain the proper spacing between the shapes of tile commonly encountered in a typical tile arrangement. Thus, as illustrated in FIG. ll, an intersection 26 of four corners of the tiles lift is properly spaced or serviced by a cross-shape 2d, obtuse tile angle 28 by a curved shape 24, and an intersection 3th of two tile corners with the side of the third tile by the T-shape 22. An important contribution of the present invention is the provision of substantially uniform individual tile-spacing construction members 32 and 34 (see in particular FIGS. 5a, 5b, 6a and 6b) which are so constructed that each is readily adapted to be formed into said curved shape 2d, and also to be placed into an interconnected relation forming said cross-shape 2d, and after slight modification of member 24 into a short version 36 (see FIGS. 3, 7a and 7b) into said T-shape 22.
In accordance with the present invention, each of the members 32 and 34 are advantageously fabricated from a metal strip of aluminum or other appropriate bendable material. While the strip is in the flat, it is further advantageously die cut or otherwise appropriately provided with spaced openings 238 therealong, the function of which will soon be explained. The subsequent manufacturing steps need not occur in the order mentioned, but will include, for member 1%, the provision of peripheral notches dll and 42, which notches are in transverse alignment and each are of the same width which, in turn, is approximately the width of the member in its ultimate U-shaped configuration. That is, member 34 is ultimately delineated into three, approximately equal, sections bent or otherwise formed into a U-shaped configuration in cross section in which there is formed a base 44 and opposing sides 46 and 48. As best illustrated in FIGS. 50 and 5b, the notches 40 and 42 originate in the upper edges 50 of the opposing side walls 46 and 48 and extend from these edges to approximately the medial portion of each of these side walls.
The tile-spacing construction member 32 has all of the significant structural features just described in connection with member 34, these features being designated by the same reference numerals. The only significant difference between member 32 and 34 is the location of the notches 40 and 42. Specifically, these notches in member 52 originate in the base 44 and extend therefrom to approximately the medial portion of each of the side walls 48 and 46. Thus, assuming the same orientation for the members 34 and 32, the.
notches 40 and 42 in the member 34 face in one direc tion and in the member 32 in the opposite direction. As a consequence, the facing pairs of notches 40 and 42 of the members 32 and 34 are adapted to interfit with each other, as illustrated in FIG. 2, thereby providing the cross-shape illustrated in this figure. Specifically, in the cross-shape 20, the remaining side wall portions which bound the notches 40, 42 of member 32, specifically designated 52 in FIG. 2, straddle the notches 40, 42 of member 34, while the corresponding wall structure on member 34, designated 54, straddles the notches 40, 42 of member 32. As already noted, the width of the notches 40, 42 are approximately equal to the width of the base 44 of each of the members 32 and 34, so that the notches 40 and 42 of the respective members snap together in a slight friction fit.
In forming the T-shape 22 of FIG. 3, use is made of the construction member 32, as already described, but in the slightly modified version as designated 36 in FIG. 3. Specifically, the modification consists of shortening the length of the U-shaped body of member 36 so that the connecting notches 40 and 42 thereof are located adjacent an end thereof, rather than in the medial portion. As a consequence, only one arm of significant length on the member 36 extends in a radial direction beyond the intersection of the connecting notches 40 and 42 while greatly shortened wall portions 56 on the member 32 exist on the opposite side thereof.
The remaining exemplary shape, namely the curved shape 24 of FIG. 4, can readily be formed from either one of the members 32 or 34, the member 32 being selected for illustration in FIG. 4. In practice, the tilespacing shape 24 is positioned on a side wall 46 rather than on its base 44. Additionally, member 32 is bent from its straight shape into the curved shape 24 in the direction which is permitted by virtue of the bending clearance provided by the connecting notches 40 and 42. In other words, in the formation of the curved shape 24, the removed material represented by the notches 40 and 42 provides the necessary clearance for movement of the edges 58, which bound the notches, into adjacent position to thereby form the curved shape in the member 32.
As already noted, the fabrication of the tile-spacing construction members 32 and 34, and including the modified version 36, is greatly facilitated by the fact that the material of construction is bendable. Such material, however, is also lightweight, and there therefore is a tendency in these tile-spacing construction members to exhibit a buoyancy which could interfere with their proper use during the formation or arrangement of the tiles 10. This is more particularly illustrated in FIG. 8 wherein the operative position of the tilespacing construction member 36 is illustrated in an interposed position between adjacent tiles 10 so as to provide a groove therebetween for grout or adhesive material 14.
In practice, the grout 14 is placed within the groove 12, thereby-filling the compartment bounded by the base 44 and opposing side walls 46 and 48. Following this initial placement of the grout 14, there is some separation,'and thus corresponding movement within the body of the grout 14, of the various ingredients thereof of different weights. Thus, the heavier constituents of the grout 14 gravitate to the bottom of the groove 12 while the lighter constituents, including water, rise to the upper surface. It is particularly this rising movement of the water or lighter constituents which could have a tendency to correspondingly raise the tilespacing construction member 36 into an elevated position in which the upper portions of the side walls 46 and 48 project above the upper surface of the grout 14. The foregoing tendency or undesirable buoyancy of the tile-spacing construction member 36 is, however, obviated for all practical purposes, by the provision of the flow-through or seepage openings 38 which are provided at spaced intervals in the base 44 and also in the side walls 46 and 48. It has been found that these openings 38 relieve the pressures within the body of the grout 14 which have a tendency to lift the tile-spacing construction member, whether it is the shortened version 36, or either of the elongated versions 32 and 34.
A latitude of modification, change and substitution is intended in the foregoing disclosure, and in some instances some features of the invention will be employed without a corresponding use of other features. Accordingly, it is appropriate that the appended claims be construed broadly and in a manner consistent with the spirit and scope of the invention herein.
What is claimed is:
1. In combination, a support surface having an arrangement of tiles thereon, said adjacent tiles of said arrangement each bounding elongated grout-receiving recesses therebetween, and separated, plural tilespacing constructions having operative positions in said grout-receiving recesses so as to provide a uniform width to said recesses, each said tile-spaced construction comprising a cooperating pair of tile-spacing members having connecting structure on each for forming selected tile-spacing shapes, each said member having an elongated body of U-shaped configuration in crosssection defined by a base and opposing side walls, said connecting structure on one said member consisting of aligned notches formed in said side walls originating in the upper edges thereof and terminating approximately in the medial portion thereof to define openings facing in one direction, said connecting structure on the other said member consisting of aligned notches formed in said side walls originating in the base and terminating approximately in the medial portion thereof to define openings facing in an opposite direction, the interfitting of said openings facing in opposite directions within each other being effective to form tile-spacing shapes hold said arrangement of tiles in place on said support surface without removal of said tile-spacing constructions.