Disclosed is a wood covering, especially a wood floor covering
with a wood layer (2) and a support (3). The wood layer (2) and
the support (3) are permanently bonded to one another. The support
(3) consists of pieces of thermoplastic synthetic foil material
(5), compressed by the action of pressure and temperature and bonded
together at least partially.
What is claimed is:
1. A wood covering including an upper layer formed by a wood layer
(2) and a support (36) permanently bonded to the upper layer (2),
said support comprising pieces of thermoplastic synthetic foil (5)
compressed and at least partially bonded to one another by pressure
2. The wood covering according to claim 1 wherein the foil pieces
(5) comprises polyolefin foils.
3. The wood covering of claim 1 wherein the foil pieces include
4. The wood covering according to claim 1 further including non-thermoplastic
materials mixed in with the pieces of thermoplastic synthetic foil.
5. The wood covering according to claim 1 wherein the support
(6) exhibits varying degree of density over its cross section.
6. The wood covering according to claim 5 wherein the density
variation is continuous.
7. The wood covering according to claim 1 wherein various surface
regions of the support (36) have different degrees of compaction.
8. The wood covering according to claim 1 wherein the support
(36) includes layers of fiber-glass.
9. The wood covering of claim 1 wherein the support includes glass
10. The wood covering according to claim 1 wherein the support
(36) includes air bubbles.
11. The wood covering of claim 1 wherein the support includes
12. The wood covering according to claim 1 wherein the wood layer
(2) includes wood flakes.
13. The wood covering according to claim 12 wherein the wood covering
is sufficiently flexible to be rolled up.
14. The wood covering according to claim 1 wherein the support
(36) is bounded on an upper surface and a lower surface by a layer
15. The wood covering according to claim 1 wherein the support
(36) has a thickness in the range of 3 mm to 10 mm.
16. The wood covering according to claim 1 wherein the wood layer
has a thickness in the range of approximately 1 mm to approximately
17. The wood covering according to claim 1 wherein the support
(36) is provided with an underlayer which comprises fiber-glass
18. The wood covering according to claim 1 wherein the support
(36) is provided with an underlayer which comprises glass fiber
19. The wood covering according to claim 1 wherein the support
(36) is provided with an underlayer which comprises polyester fabric.
20. The wood covering according to claim 1 wherein the upper layer
(2) is provided with a mosaic-like appearance.
21. A process for the manufacture of a wood covering according
to claim 1 comprising the steps of: pouring pieces of thermoplastic
synthetic material in several applications to form a layer of pieces;
placing a wood layer (2) on the layer of pieces; and bonding the
wood layer and the layer together by pressure and heat to form a
22. The process according to claim 21 further including the step
of laying down a second wood layer (2) upon the carrier layer (36);
and bonding the carrier layer to the second wood layer with pressure
23. The process according to claim 21 wherein the heat corresponds
to a softening temperature range for the thermoplastic synthetic
24. The process according to claim 23 further including the step
of applying a hot-melt adhesive layer on the carrier layer prior
to bonding the carrier layer to the second wood layer.
25. The process according to claim 21 wherein the pressure and
heat are applied with a calendar roller.
26. The process according to claim 21 wherein the pieces have
a three-dimensional configuration prior to compression.
27. The process according to claim 21 wherein the pieces have
a flake-like configuration prior to compression.
28. The process according to claim 21 wherein the pieces are mixed
with textile material.
29. The process according to claim 21 wherein the layer of pieces
has a variable thickness.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The invention concerns a wood covering, particularly a wood floor
covering with an upper layer formed by a layer of wood and a support.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Wood coverings, particularly wood floor coverings are known as
parquet, flooring, veneers and the like. Parquet floors are laid
in such a way that individual parquet slabs are laid on a substrate,
usually a floor, to form various patterns, and cemented to the same.
There are also ready-made parquet floors in which the individual
slabs are already assembled into patterns and sold as tiles. In
this case, too, the individual slabs must be laid alongside one
another and cemented to the subfloor. In addition to the tedious
installation, parquet floors have the disadvantage that they must
be sealed after being laid and later maintained with waxes. These
materials are for the most part injurious to health. With flooring
there are other problems. The individual wooden boards must be laid
alongside one another on the substrate and attached to it. The laying
of these floors is expensive, and they must also be varnished. With
long use these floors begin to squeak. All wood floors present problems
with dimensional stability, particularly relative to the effects
of moisture, because the wood is normally sensitive to the effects
of moisture and weathering. Moreover, the handling of numerous pieces
of wood or wood tiles during their transport to the installation
site is particularly inconvenient. These materials cannot be stored
just anywhere; especially dry storage space is needed. Furthermore,
parquet floors and wood flooring do not absorb sound and are thus
also of limited use.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The goal of the present invention is to make available a wood covering,
especially a wood floor covering, which does not exhibit the disadvantages
cited above, is easy to lay, absorbs noise and is resilient to the
This goal is achieved by the wooden covering as claimed. A process
for the manufacture of the wood covering is also provided.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The invention will be described in detail with reference to the
following drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a schematic drawing of a section through the inventive
wood covering; and
FIG. 2 is a schematic view of a section through the inventive wood
covering with a graded density structure.
The inventive floor covering exhibits an upper layer formed by
a wood layer, able to be walked on and visible after its installation,
which is attached to a support not visible once it is installed.
The support is formed by thermoplastic synthetic foil material in
pieces, compressed by the action of pressure and heat and bonded
together at least partially. The upper layer and the support are
bonded together permanently. Such a wood covering combines the advantages
of a covering made of natural materials with the advantages of particularly
easy handling. Because the support consists of at least partially
consolidated pieces of plastic foil, and the bonding of the plastic
foil exhibits good cohesion but is still so loose that bubbles and
even small cavities are present in the compacted plastic material,
it is particularly elastic. If a layer of wood is bonded to this
carrier layer, the result is a wood covering exhibiting favorable
elastic properties: it is resilient to the step and absorbs noise.
Sound deadening is one of the important properties of the inventive
wood floor covering. Moreover, the inventive wood covering is dimensionally
stable. Due to the carrier layer consisting of plastic foil, the
wood covering is waterproof and dimensionally stable even when subjected
to the influences of moisture and weathering. Other materials which
are not thermoplastic can also be mixed in with the thermoplastic
synthetic foil layers. In particular, if the elasticity and the
sound-damping properties of the wood covering are to be increased,
it is also possible to add textile materials to the plastic material
of the support, preferably in the form of pieces or filaments. The
addition of these materials makes the support looser and thus more
resilient to the step and absorptive of sound.
In one embodiment of the invention, the thermoplastic synthetic
material is a polyolefin. Particularly suitable are polyethylene
foils. The polyethylene foil pieces are particularly easy to handle,
and the bonding of the individual pieces of polyethylene foil under
the influence of pressure and temperature is very good, the temperature
being within the softening temperature range of the plastic.
It is advantageous for the cross section of the support to exhibit
a gradient structure, that is to say, for the degree of compression
of the foil pieces to change continuously over the cross section.
If the density decreases in the direction of the upper layer/wood
layer, the invented wood covering will be particularly resilient
to the step; if the density increases in the direction of the upper
layer, the sound-damping properties of the wood floor covering will
be particularly good.
The invention provides that the support will have a thickness between
3 mm and 10 mm and that the thickness of the wood layer will be
at least about 1 mm and maximally 3 mm. A thin wood covering (for
example, 3 mm support and 1 mm wood layer) is particularly suitable
for furniture or interior wall coverings. It is easily formed and
pliable and can be easily laid, for example, around the corners
of furniture. Such a wood covering can also be used as a kind of
wood veneer; the support is in this case made sticky by the application
of heat and thereby bonded to the surface to be covered. The covering
can for example be "ironed" onto the surface of the article
to be covered. The wood layer can advantageously take different
forms. It can consist of wood veneer or precious wood veneer; but
it can also be formed by parquet pieces or mosaic parquet. It is
also possible to apply relatively small wood pieces in a random
arrangement to the support, for example, by means of a roller with
holes under a vacuum, an entirely new surface being formed. Such
a wood covering can even have a rough surface, particularly when
wood chips are used. The chips can for example be from 2 mm to 3
mm wide and from 8 mm to 15 mm long and interlock with one another.
It is even possible to use chips of precious woods, they impart
a corresponding appearance to the surface. The chips can also be
pressed into the support, so that a smooth or rough surface will
arise under the roller or press. Advantageous is the use of an adhesive
between the foil pieces and the wood chips. They can then even be
sanded, or filled out with a hardening material which will also
consolidate them from above. In that way, such a wood floor covering
is made smooth and resistant to wear. If the support is particularly
thin and the wood layer consists, for example, of individual wood
segments, such a wood covering will thus be so elastic that it can
be rolled up. This is particularly advantageous for many applications,
for example, in the case of wall and furniture coverings.
The appearance of the wood covering is established during its manufacture
by a planned arrangement of the individual wood slabs, wood segments
or wood pieces to form a pattern, so that ready-made wood floor
coverings can be sold, even as tiles with a size, for example, of
50 cm.times.50 cm, with a specific and/or desired surface pattern.
A different embodiment of the invention is produced if the support
is provided with a layer of wood on both sides, thus, on its upper
side and lower side. Such an embodiment yields a wood covering,
by virtue of the wood layer on both sides, a kind of wood slab,
which is waterproof due to the plastic support.
A process for manufacturing the inventive wood floor covering is
implemented by spreading several layers of plastic foil pieces to
form a layer; a layer of wood is laid down upon this layer and the
two layers are bonded together by the action of pressure and temperature,
the plastic pieces being simultaneously compressed and at least
partially bonded to one another. A single operation is thus necessary
to produce a wood floor covering ready to be laid. Usually the adhesive
action of the softened plastic material at increased temperature
and pressure is sufficient to bond the wood layer to the plastic
layer. If a still firmer bond is to be achieved or if the support
is to exhibit different degrees of compression, the plastic can
be provided with an additional, binding, thermoplastic layer which
will improve the bond still further.
The process can be varied by first precompressing the plastic material
with the action of pressure and heat; the wood layer being laid
down upon the precompressed material and bonded to the same with
additional pressure and heat, the material of the support being
subjected to final compression in this procedural step.
The gradient structure of the density of the support cross section
is achieved by varying the pressure and temperature. In the direction
of decreasing density of the plastic material, the temperature and
pressure values decrease and vice versa.
The use of flake-like foil pieces makes the process of manufacturing
the inventive wood covering particularly simple. The foil pieces
can be measured out very simply. A layering of the plastic material
into individual layers is not necessary, the material being poured
to a required depth. Simpler handling results with the use of the
foil pieces which have been given a three-dimensional shape, for
example, by a deep-drawing process, partial shrinking or stretching.
If scrap foils or foil remnants are used, these will have at least
differing thicknesses and will be deformed by the size reduction
process, such as tearing or cutting and thus "increased in
volume". The depth of the heaped-on or, scattered material
can differ over the surface of the covering to be produced. The
places exhibiting more material will be more greatly compressed
by the pressing or rolling process than those places with less material.
In this way, surface regions with differing degrees of compaction
will arise. The total production process of the inventive floor
covering is simple. The bonding of the upper layer to the support
can take place in one or several operations, the temperatures and
pressures necessary being only just high enough to effect the attachment
of the foil pieces to one another at the melting temperature of
the plastic. The underside of the floor covering can be additionally
equipped with a fiber-glass fleece, with a polyester fabric or a
glass fiber coating. This layer will make the bonding of the wood
covering to the substrate easier and also contributes to dimensional
The wood covering 1 exhibits a wood layer 2 and a support 3. The
inventive wood floor covering can also be manufactured in the form
of tiles with supports of varying thickness, making particularly
good compensation for unevenness in the floor possible. It is a
particular advantage of the invention that the upper wood layer
of the floor covering can be provided with a wear-resistant and
non-skid coating during its manufacture. A subsequent coating/sealing
of the floor covering after installation is thus not necessary.
When the wood covering is used for surfacing furniture or interior
walls, its upper layer, if it for example consists of wood veneer,
can thus be slit to permit the wood covering to be laid even around
corners. If the wood covering is to be made so that it can be rolled
up, and the upper layer is to be continuous, it can also be slit
for this purpose and then, after installation, the slit spots can
be hidden with a filler.
The wood material layer 2 forms the visible surface of the wood
covering. The support 3 is not visible during use, because it is
covered over by the wood layer 2. The support 3 consists of pieces
5 of thermoplastic synthetic foil bonded together under the action
of pressure and heat. The structure of support 3 can exhibit a constant
density (FIG. 1) or, as illustrated in FIG. 2 a density continuously
varying over the cross section of the support 6. For particularly
good resilience, it is advantageous for the compression of the plastic
material in the region 7 distant from the surface to have a density
lower than in the region near the surface 8. The process of manufacture
is particularly advantageous, if flake-like sheet pieces 4 are used.
The compression and the distribution of such sheet pieces are very