Search International and National Patent Collections
Some content of this application is unavailable at the moment.
If this situation persists, please contact us atFeedback&Contact
1. (WO1991009189) PREDECORATED WALLBOARD JOINT AND METHOD OF JOINING PREDECORATED WALLBOARDS TO FORM A CONCEALED JOINT
Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

PREDECORATED WALLBOARD JOINT AND METHOD
OF JOINING PREDECORATED WALLBOARDS

TO FORM A CONCEALED JOINT

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
This application is a continuation-in-part of United States patent application Serial No. 452,763 filed December 14, 1989.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
(1) Field of the Invention
The invention relates to an improved method of forming the joint between two predecorated
wallboards and an improved predecorated wall comprising abutting predecorated wallboards joined by said method.
(2) Description of the Prior Art
Predecorated wallboard building panels are widely used in the building industry, including the manufactured housing industry, to form relatively inexpensive and durable walls. Although the dimensions can vary, the predecorated wallboard building panels are typically manufactured in 4' X 81, 4" X 9', 4' X 10 ' , and 4* X 12 ' sizes and are nailed, screwed, or otherwise secured to wall studs. Although the
predecorated wallboard building panels may be easily secured to the wall support studs to form a wall, it is well Jnown in the art that the joints between the adjacent panels are difficult to hide or decorate in a manner so as to render them unobtrusive. In fact, although numerous solutions to the problem have been advanced, the problem has not been satisfactorily resolved until the development of the method of this invention of joining adjacent predecorated wallboards.
In fact, many prior art efforts at concealing the joint between predecorated wallboard building panels tend to emphasize the joint rather than create a monolithic, seamless wall. For example, U.S. 3,816,199 to Dawdy et al. discloses a concealed joint for the fastening of predecorated wallboard. The patent teaches pressing the edges of the predecorated sheet into joints formed between the panels and then
inserting a decorative strip to hold the predecorated sheet edges in place in the joint. Similarly, U.S.
Patent No. 4,656,805 to Wenkowski discloses a paper batten for use in "concealing" the joints between predecorated gypsum wallboard. The batten is
fabricated from predecorated wallboard paper with pressure-sensitive adhesive on the back thereof for securement over the joint. Unfortunately, it has been found that the paper battens tend to wrinkle and fall off. Moreover, the battens when in place are still noticeable and do not create the appearance of a monolithic or seamless wall.
In another method known to those familiar with the art of construction predecorated wallboard walls, wallboard with vinyl film or the like adhered to only the major center portion of the wallboard front face is used. The wallboard is formed with tapered side edges so that abutting wallboards are secured to wall studs by fasteners through the tapered side edge portions to which the vinyl covering is not adhered. Conventional joint compound (such as used in
traditional gypsum wallboard joint filling) is then applied over the slight channel defined by the two abutting tapered wallboard side edge portions so as to conceal the fasteners and the joint in a manner similar to that in which joints and fasteners are concealed in standard drywall construction. Once the joint compound has been allowed to cure, the unadhered edge flaps of the vinyl film attached to the center of the wallboard are trimmed to precisely fit adjacent flaps, and the flaps are glued to the surface of the dried joint compound. If sufficient care is utilized in trimming and joining the abutting edge flaps, a monolithic wall appearance is achieved with this conventional
predecorated wallboard wall construction. Such a system is described in U.S. Patent to Kossuth et al. and also discloses a concealed joint for the fastening of predecorated wallboard. Kossuth et al., however, use a tapered edge wallboard and the "mud system" for filling the channel between the sheets and the tapered area. However, a significant shortcoming is that this method requires the use of tapered edge wallboard and considerable skilled labor to properly finish the joints. The method of this invention for joining predecorated wallboards and the walls formed thereby provide for a similar monolithic appearance using and eliminates the need for skilled labor to form the
"seamless" joints between adjacent predecorated
wallboard building panels.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
In accordance with the present invention, there is provided a predecorated wallboard joint and a method of joining predecorated wallboards to conceal the joints therebetween without the use of joint compound, battens, and similar conventional techniques now in use in building construction, particularly manufactured housing construction. This is
accomplished by first attaching a pair of predecorated wallboards to wall studs or the like, in either
abutting or closely adjacent relationship, the
wallboards of the type each having a predecorated sheet adhered to the major central portion of the face of the undecorated wallboard and wherein the predecorated sheet is not adhered adjacent to the side edges of said wallboard and extends beyond the side edges thereof to form edge flaps.
In a preferred embodiment of this invention wallboard may have square edges and the method of installation is as follows. The edge flaps of the abutting predecorated wallboards are pulled back to expose the joint between the abutting wallboards and the surface area of the undecorated wallboard adjacent to the side edges thereof. A groove is then cut along at least a substantial portion of the length of the joint between the pair of abutting wallboards and within the square edges thereof, and a joint strip is adhered over at least a substantial portion of the length of the groove. The joint strip comprises a rib along the length thereof adapted to matingly fit within the groove and a support strip secured thereto which extends laterally over at least a portion of the undecorated wallboard adjacent to the side edge of each of the abutting wallboards. Finally, the edge flaps of the abutting wallboards are positioned in overlapping relationship, the overlapping portions of the edge flaps are removed, and the remaining portion of the edge flaps are adhered to the joint strip so as to form a smooth, seamless appearing joint surface between the predecorated square edge wallboards.
In another embodiment of this invention the wallboard may be made with preformed edges, say for example, at an angle such as a 45° angle or the like. In this embodiment the groove cutting step is
eliminated.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a monolithic appearing wall formed from square edge predecorated wallboard.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a monolithic appearing wall formed from predecorated wallboard which eliminates the need to fill joints with joint compound and the substantial skilled labor requirements to properly apply the joint compound.
It is a further object of the present
invention to provide a monolithic appearing
predecorated wallboard wall which may be quickly installed by unskilled labor without the mess and time delays associated with application of joint compound.
A still further object of this present invention is to provide a monolithic wall formed from predecorated wallboard of either the conventional square edged type or preformed at an angle.
It is a further object of the present
invention to provide a monolithic appearing wall formed from predecorated wallboards wherein the method of forming the joints therebetween allows for and corrects variances in the manufacturing of the square edge predecorated wallboards.
It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a monolithic appearing wall formed from predecorated wallboard wherein less than full width predecorated wallboard panels can be joined together and the use thereof not be evident in the finished wall.

Brief Description of the Drawings
Some of the objects of the invention having been stated, other objects will become evident as the description proceeds, when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
Figure 1 is a perspective view of a square edge predecorated wallboard to be joined in accordance with the present invention;

Figure 2 is a horizontal cross-sectional view of two abutting predecorated wallboards secured to a stud and the edge flaps thereof turned back;
Figure 3 is a horizontal cross-sectional view of the two abutting predecorated wallboards of Figure 2 with a V-shaped groove cut in the joint formed between the abutting wallboards;
Figure 4 is a horizontal cross-sectional view of the two abutting predecorated wallboards of Figure 3 with a joint strip ready to be adhered to the groove formed in the joint therebetween;
Figure 5, is a horizontal cross-sectional view of the two abutting predecorated wallboards with the joint therebetween having been completed in
accordance with the present invention to form a
monolithic and seamless appearing wall;
Figure 6 is a horizontal cross-sectional view of a predecorated wallboard with two V-grooves cut in the back thereof so as to extend around two corners in a "seamless" fashion; and
Figure 7 is a horizontal cross-sectional view of the predecorated wallboard of Figure 6 extending around two corners in a "seamless" fashion.

Detailed Description of the Preferred Embodiment
Referring now to the drawings, Figure l shows as one embodiment a predecorated square edge wallboard 10 which comprises a predecorated sheet 12 which is adhesively secured to a square edge gypsum board 14 with adhesive 16. Predecorated sheet 12 is secured to central portion A of gypsum board 14 with adhesive 16 so as to allow for unsecured sections B adjacent to the side edges of gypsum board 14. Also, predecorated sheet 12 is wider than gypsum board 14 and extends a distance C beyond each side edge thereof. Thus, edge flaps are formed on each side of predecorated wallboard 10 by sections B and C of predecorated sheet 12 which are not adhesively secured to gypsum board 14
therebeneath.
By way of further explanation, it should be appreciated that gypsum board 14 can be of varying size and may actually comprise any gypsum board, fiberboard, particleboard, epsom board, laminated paper, plastic or ceramic board for sue as the substrate for the
predecorated square edge wallboard 10. It should be understood that in one embodiment of this invention square edged wallboard may be used and as explained in the description of Figures 2-7 a groove along the length of the joint is cut. Alternatively an angle or shaped edge may be preformed. While the angle is preferably formed at about 45°, it should be understood that the preformed angle or shape such as U-shaped, is of such shape as to smoothly accommodate a joint strip.
Predecorated sheet 12 also can be of varying size so long as it is at least 4 inches wider than gypsum board 14, and sheet 12 may comprise embossed or unembossed paper, vinyl coated paper, vinyl with suitable backing, non-woven materials, fiberglass, fabrics, coated fabrics, and other materials suitable for serving as predecorated sheet material for square edge wallboard 10. It will be further appreciated that various suitable methods may be used to adhesively laminate predecorated sheet 12 to gypsum board 14 which include, by way of example only, using a water, solvent or epoxy based liquid adhesive to coat gypsum board 14 over the entire length thereof and up to a 3 inch border on each side before sheet 12 is rolled or pressed onto gypsum board 14. Most suitably,
predecorated sheet 12 has a minimum 2 inch overlap C on each edge of gypsum board 1 .
In addition to the representative method of assembly of predecorated square edge wallboard 10 described above, the following techniques may also be utilized: 1. Liquid adhesive is applied to
predecorated sheet 12 over the full length of the sheet less a minimum of 5 inches on each side. For example, on a 52 inch wide continuous role of predecorated sheet 12 to be applied to a 48 inch wide gypsum board 14, adhesive 16 should be applied to the center of sheet 12 to a controlled width of 42 inches. Once adhesive 16 is applied to sheet 12, the sheet should be centered and rolled or pressed onto gypsum board 14;
2. Pressure-sensitive 16 is applied to the full length and width of gypsum board 14, and when adhesive 16 is applied three inches of gypsum board 14 is covered adjacent to each edge with a release paper (not shown) . Predecorated sheet 12 is centered and rolled or pressed onto the exposed pressure-sensitive adhesive 16 on gypsum board 14 so as to create a bond for the full length of gypsum board 14 and the width thereof less a 3 inch strip on each of gypsum board 14;
3. Pressure-sensitive adhesive 16 is centered and applied to gypsum board 14 for the full length thereof and the width thereof less a 3 inch strip on each side so as to create a clean edge strip B, 3 inches wide on each side of the full length of gypsum board 14. Predecorated sheet 12 is then
centered and rolled or pressed onto the exposed
pressure-sensitive adhesive 16 creating a bond the full length of gypsum board 14 and the width thereof less the 3 inch strip B adjacent to each edge;
4. Pressure-sensitive adhesive 16 is applied to the back of predecorated sheet 12 for the full length and width thereof. A release paper is then applied to the edges of sheet 12 at a width to allow the adhesive-covered sheet 12 to be centered on gypsum board 14 with an exposed adhesive surface that is at a width of 6 inches less than the width of gypsum board 14;

5. Pressure-sensitive adhesive 16 is centered and applied to the back of predecorated sheet 12 for the full length thereof and at a width that is 6 inches less than the width of gypsum board 14.
Predecorated sheet 12 is then centered over gypsum board 14 and pressed or rolled thereon so that sheet 12 overlaps the sides of gypsum board 14 by at least 2 inches;
6. A hot melt adhesive 16 in molten state is applied to gypsum board 14 for the full length and width thereof, and the adhesive is allowed to cool.
Cooled hot melt adhesive 16 is then flash-heated in a controlled area that runs the full length of gypsum board 14 and a width that terminates 3 inches from the side edges of gypsum board 14. Next, the predecorated sheet 12 is rolled or pressed onto gypsum board 14 so that it adheres to the full length of gypsum board 14 and for the width thereof less a 3 inch strip along each side edge;
7. A hot melt adhesive 16 in its molten state is applied to gypsum board 14 for the full length and for the width thereof up to 3 inches from the side edge so as to form two 3 inch wide stripes B along each side edge of gypsum board 14 which do not have adhesive thereon. Predecorated sheet 12 is centered and rolled or pressed onto the adhesive face of gypsum board 14 so as to overlap the edges thereof by at least 2 inches. As an option, adhesive 16 on gypsum board 14 may be allowed to cool and then later flash-heated so that predecorated sheet 12 can be rolled or pressed thereon;
8. A hot melt adhesive 16 in its molten state is applied to the back of predecorated sheet 12 for the full length and width thereof. Adhesive 16 is allowed to cool, and predecorated sheet 12 is rolled up with a release paper to prevent sticking. Next, the release paper is removed from predecorated sheet 12 and adhesive 16 is reheated in a controlled area that is equal to the width of gypsum board 14, less three inches on each side, and sheet 12 is then centered and rolled or pressed onto the face of gypsum board 14 so as to allow sheet 12 to extend a minimum of two inches over each side edge of gypsum board 14. As an option, release paper strips (not shown) may be applied to the sides of predecorated sheet 12 to prevent the edges from adhering to the edges of the substrate;
9. A hot melt adhesive 16 in its molten state is applied to the back of sheet 12 in a
controlled area that runs the full length thereof and to a width equal tot he width of gypsum board 14 less a 3 inch strip B along each side edge thereof. Adhesive 16 is then allowed to cool and is rolled up with a release paper sandwiched therein to prevent sticking.

Sheet 12 is later reheated to activate 16, and sheet 12 is then rolled or pressed onto gypsum board 14 so as to allow the edges C on each side to extend a minimum of 2 inches beyond gypsum board 14.

Installation of Wallboard
With reference to Figures 2-7, the
predecorated wallboard wall and the method of
construction thereof can be further described. With specific reference now to Figure 2 of the drawings, it can be seen that predecorated square edge wallboards 10 are placed in abutting position over wood stud 20 and nailed thereto with nails 22. It should be appreciated that the wallboards do not have to be placed in
abutting relationship. The determination of the relationship of the wallboards to each other will depend upon the size of joint strip 30. Although wallboards 10 are depicted as nailed to a wooden stud, it is contemplated that predecorated square edge wallboards 10 of varying lengths, widths, and
thicknesses may be nailed, screwed, stapled, glued, foamed or otherwise secured into place on metal, wood, fiberglass or plastic wall studs by centering joint J formed between abutting wallboards 10 over a stud.
If wallboard 10 is wider than the wall being constructed or wallboard 10 must be continued around a wall corner, gypsum board 14 can be cut or mitered, as necessary, on the back side at a suitable location and at a depth which extends through gypsum board 14 but not through predecorated sheet 12 (see Figure 6) . In this fashion, sheet 12 acts as a "hinge" to allow gypsum board 14 to break away at corners while still allowing predecorated sheet 12 to continue in a
seamless fashion. The mitered gypsum board 14 can be bent inward or outward to form inside or outside corners as the need may arise in wall construction (see Figure 7) . The mitered corner construction is shown in

Figures 6 and 7 of the drawings with a single cut for inside corners designated as SC and the mitered cut for outside corners designated as MC therein.
With reference now to Figure 3, when adjacent wallboards 10 have been nailed to stud 20 in abutting relationship to form joint J, predecorated sheets 12 are pulled backward to expose a 3 inch uncovered gypsum board surface strip adjacent the side edge of each gypsum board 1 . For pressure-sensitive board coated method 2 and hot melt board coated method 6 described above, the uncovered edges will have a coating of adhesive (not shown) thereon whereas the side strips will not have adhesive thereon for predecorated
wallboards laminated according to the remaining
techniques also described hereinabove. A rotary cutter such as manufactured by Herco, Inc. of Newcomerstown,

Ohio, is then used to cut a groove G along the length of joint J and within the square edges of adjacent wallboards 10. Most suitably, the rotary cutter travels along a vertical track and utilizes a suction apparatus therewith to clean cutting debris from groove

G. Although a V-shaped groove is shown in Figure 3, a U-shaped or modified rectangular groove may also be cut within joint J of abutting, predecorated wallboards 10. Applicants have discovered that the grooving process will plumb the joint and remove any irregularities in the thickness of the outside edges of gypsum board 14 as well as any irregularity in the straightness of the edges thereof, and further serves to plumb the joint to form a desirable straight vertical joint.
Referring now to Figure 4, joint strip 30 which is adhered to groove G can be seen. Most
suitably, joint strip 30 comprises a support strip 32 about 4 to 5 inches wide which is a semi-flexible strip of a suitable thickness which may be constructed of non-woven fabric, conventional fabric, coated fabric, cellulose, coated cellulose, paper, coated paper, plastic material or mixtures thereof. The edges of support strip 32 are sanded or beveled to a thickness of about 1 mil. Rib 34 is adhesively secured to support strip 32 and may be constructed of PVC,
cellulose, rubber material or mixtures thereof. Rib 34 is adhesively affixed to support strip 32 so as to allow for flexing of joint strip 30 without
delamination occurring. Also, the shape and dimensions of rib 34 are determined by the shape of groove G, which it will normally correspond to in size and shape.
Prior to insertion of joint strip 30 into groove G, groove G is coated with a bead or the like of caulking. If predecorated wallboards 10 are
manufactured using liquid adhesives applied to either the board or sheet (the first representative method and method 1 above) , pressure-sensitive adhesive applied to the gypsum board or predecorated sheet according to methods 3, 4 and 5 above, or hot melt adhesive applied to the gypsum board or predecorated sheet according to methods 7, 8 and 9 above, an adhesive 36 will be applied to the back of support strip 32 in the form of either pre-applied hot melt adhesive, pre-applied pressure-sensitive adhesive with release paper or liquid adhesive applied at time of installation. If predecorated wallboards 10 are manufactured using pressure-sensitive board coating according to method 2 above or hot melt glue board coating according to method 6 above, adhesive 36 does not have to be applied to joint strip 30 prior to adherence thereof to groove

G. Regardless of the source of adhesive used to secure joint strip 30 to groove G, the bonding thereof creates a smooth joint between gypsum boards 14 without the necessity for sanding, puttying or filling of the joint or the necessity of covering the joint with battens or the like. This is very significant since applicants1 joint eliminates the mess and drying time required for cement filler as well as the necessity for use of skilled laborers to form a smooth joint. Moreover, if the simple expedient of attaching battens were to be used to cover the joint, the appearance of the fully constructed wall is not monolithic and, in fact, is unattractive due to the presence of periodic batten strips thereon.
Referring finally to Figure 5 of the
drawings, it can be appreciated that in order to fully finish the smooth joint formed by the adherence of joint strip 30 to groove G, the edge flaps of
predecorated sheets 12 are released and allowed to overlap. Next, a vertical cut is made through both edge flaps with a metal straight edge and razor blade or knife, and the edge flaps are peeled back and loose edge strips 12" are removed. It should be noted that if predecorated wallboards 10 were formed by applying pressure-sensitive adhesive to predecorated sheets 12 in accordance with method 4 above, it will be necessary to remove the strips of release paper from the back of predecorated sheets 12 prior to adhering the double-cut edges to joint strip 30. If wallboards 10 were formed by hot melt adhesive coating of sheet 12 in accordance with method 8 above, it will be necessary to apply heat to the double-cut edge flaps to iron the remaining strips into place over joint strip 30. If the
predecorated wallboards were manufactured according to any of the remaining methods described above, it will be necessary to apply a coat of liquid adhesive (water, solvent or epoxy based) to the back of joint strip 30 and to press the double-cut edge flaps into place thereon.
In should be appreciated that although certain features of the invention are shown in slightly enlarged representation in several drawings for greater clarity of understanding, the wallboard joint
contemplated by the invention is substantially flat and parallel to the outer wall surfaces and thus forms a "seamless" and monolithic appearing wall.
It will be understood that various details of the invention may be changed without departing from the scope of the invention. Furthermore, the foregoing description is for the purpose of illustration only, and not for the purpose of limitation—the invention being defined by the claims.