US 3817015 A
A system is provided for quickly converting a floor area from one surface to another. A hard floor, typically wood, as for dancing, is covered by one or more detachable carpet sections located within an otherwise fully carpeted floor area. The carpet sections can be detached and removed to convert the underlying area into a dance floor. In one embodiment grooves are formed in the underlying floor and contain felt strips which lock with detachable, flexible locking strips attached to the carpet sections and which lock therewith when the carpet is installed. Hardened insert strips overlay the felt strips when the carpet is removed to provide a flat, smooth dancing surface.
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United States Patent [191 F rangos June 18, 1974  Filed: Oct. 24, 1972  Appl. No.: 300,381
 US. Cl 52/511, 16/16, 52/222, 52/273  Int. Cl E04f 13/08  Field of Search 52/222, 273, 173, 511;
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,012,919 12/1961 .Ianney, Jr 52/273 3,391,434 7/1968 Girard 52/273 3,433,137 3/1969 Henderson 52/222 3,696,461 10/1972 Kelly 16/16 CONVERTIBLE FLOOR SYSTEM Inventor: John W. Frangos, 2 Brimball Hill Dr., Beverly, Mass. 02114 Primary Examiner-Alfred C. Perham Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Morse, Altman, Oates &
Bello  ABSTRACT A system is provided for quickly converting a floor area from one surface to another. A hard floor, typically wood, as for dancing, is covered by one or more detachable carpet sections located within an otherwise fully carpeted floor area. The carpet sections can be detached and removed to convert the underlying area into a dance floor. In one embodiment grooves are formed in the underlying floor and contain felt strips which lock with detachable, flexible locking strips attached to the carpet sections and which lock therewith when the carpet is installed. Hardened insert strips overlay the felt strips when the carpet is removed to provide a flat, smooth dancing surface.
2 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures CONVERTIBLE FLOOR SYSTEM I BACKGROUND or THE INVENTION 1. Field-of the Invention DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings, the reference charac- This invention relates generally to floor systems and ter generally indicates a hard floor area, typically more particularly is directed towards a floor system that is quickly convertible from a fully carpeted area to a smooth, hardwood, floor area.
2. Description of the Prior Art Most modern restaurants install wall-to-wall carpeting in their dining and lounge areas, not only for decorative effects but also for the comfort of the patrons and the sound absorbtion characteristics provided by carpeting. Those restaurants that feature dancing normally have a special hardwood floor area set aside and restricted to dancing only. Generally the hardwood floor areas are rather expensive and used only for dancing. The restaurant owner does not normally use this area for anything but dancing for the reason that if tables or chairs were placed on this floor during those times of day when there is no dancing, the floor finish would be marred by the furniture legs and stained by spilled food. As a result, thatportion of the restaurant is unused for long periods of time as during breakfast or lunch when there normally is no dancing. The restaurant owner thus loses the possibility of increased patronage during certain periods of the day and also reduces his seating capacity for special events such as meetings, banquets and the like.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a convertible floor system whereby a floor area can be quickly and easily changed from a smooth, hardwood surface for dancing or the like to an area that is fully carpeted and blended into other adjacent carpeted areas.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention features a convertible floor system, comprising a floor area, hardwood flooring over at least a portion of said floor area, fixed carpeting over a por- BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a view in perspective of a convertible floor system made according to the invention, with one carpeting section removed,
FIG. 2 is a detail sectional view showing the convertible flooring in a hardwood mode,
FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 showing the system in a carpeted mode,
FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3 showing a modification of the invention,
FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIGS. 3 and 4 but showing a further modification of the invention, and,
FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 3 but showing another modification of the invention.
wood, covered by carpeting l2, normally inlaid in a wall-to-wall manner. Within the permanently carpeted floor area is a convertible area bounded by the line 14. This area is convertible from a hardwood flooring 16 to a carpeted area 18, the carpet section overlaying the flooring 16 being removable.
In the illustrated embodiment, the convertible area includes two adjacent hardwood floor sections 16 although single or multiple hardwood floor sections can be utilized according to particular requirements. Typically, the convertible area is rectangular in outline although other configurations are possible.
As shown, the hardwood areas 16 are defined by shallow marginal grooves 20 extending all about the areas 16 and between adjacent areas. Seated in the grooves 20 is a strip 22 of felt or similar material, permanently set in place and forming one half of a strip connector of the sort sold under the trademark Velcro. Velcro fasteners are comprised of two parts, one being a non-woven material such as felt and the other part being comprised of a flexible material 24 provided with a plurality of small hook-like loops 26 of a stiff resilient plastic material, such as nylon, projecting from the face of the material. When the two sections are pressed together, these hooks lock with the fibers of the felt, holding the two parts together. The parts can be separated by peeling one away from the other as suggested in FIG. 1. The connection and separation may be repeated indefinitely.
The felt strip 22 is thinner than the depth of the recess 20 to provide clearance to accommodate the co operating hooked strips 24 marginally bonded to the ing the carpet section firmly in position to prevent accidental displacement thereof. With thecarpet section 18 installed, the entire floor area will be carpeted in a continuous manner so that in a restaurant, for example, all of the floor area will be available for setting up tables and chairs or otherwise making maximum use of the available space.
When the convertible area is to be utilized for dancing purposes, for example, the carpet sections 18 are peeled back as shown in FIG. 1, separating the hooked strips 24 from the felt strips 22 and exposing the underlying hardwood flooring as shown in FIG. 2. Smooth, hard thin strips 28 are then placed in the grooves to form a flush continuous surface as shown in FIG. 2. In the preferred form of the invention, the strips 28 are fabricated from a laminated plastic material such as that sold under the trademark Formica to provide a very smooth, hard, durable finish corresponding to that of the hardwood surface 16.
The area may be quickly and easily converted back into a carpeted area by merely removing the strips 28 and replacing the carpet sections.
Referring now to FIG. 4 of the drawings there is illustrated a modification of the invention and, in this embodiment, members 30, preferably elongated flexible magnetic strips, are attached along the inner margins of the removable carpet sections 18. Magnetically attractive parts, such as steel nails 32, are secured in the groove to detachably engage the carpet margins.
Referring now to FIG. 5, there is illustrated a further modification of the invention and, in this embodiment, removable carpet section 18" are provided with flexible magnetic strips 34 attached along the inner marginal carpet faces. Typically, the strips 34 are a magnetic vinyl (PVC) material sold by 3 M Corporation under the trademark Plastifrm." Preferably the strip is approximately 0.060 inch thick and 1 inch wide and backed by a pressure sensitive adhesive. Co-operating magnetically attractive inserts 36 are fastened to the floor in sockets or grooves depending upon the configuration of the inserts.
The inserts may be in the form of steel cylindrical plugs, typically 1 inch in diameter by inch in length spaced approximately on 4 inches centers, or a steel strip, typically l inch wide by A inch thick. In either case the insert is flush with the floor surface so that the floor remains flat.
Referring now to FIG. 6, there is illustrated yet another modification of the invention and, in this embodiment, removable carpet sections 18" are detachably connected by means of Velcro strips with a relatively wide band 24' which may be the felt or hook portion permanently attached to the bottom marginal edge of one carpet section. The band 24' extends beyond the edge of the carpet section and detachably connects to a cooperating band 22', which may be hooked or felted depending upon the band 24', permanently attached to the bottom marginal edge of the adjacent removable carpet section. Around the border of the area covered by the removable carpet sections is a metal strip 34 nailed to the floor over the edge of the fixed carpet 12'.
The metal stip covered by a layer of felt 22" and the bottom margin of the movable carpet 18" provided with a hooked band 24" for detachable connection.
Having thus described the invention what I claim and desire to obtain by Letters Patent of the United States l. A convertible floor system, including a. hard flooring defining at least one closed area,
b. carpeting permanently installed over said flooring outside of said area,
c. at least one flexible carpet section coextensive with said area, and,
d. cooperating flexible fastening means mounted to said flooring about the border of said area and marginally to said carpet section for removably securing said section over said area,
e. said fastening means including a felt member permanently affixed to said flooring and a flexible hooked member permanently affixed to said carpet section along the under marginal surfaces thereof,
f. said flooring being formed with grooves about said border and accommodating said felt member and hardened smooth strips mountable in said grooves upon removal of said carpet sections to form a continuous smooth hard floor surface.
2. A convertible floor system according to claim 1 wherein said closed area is divided into a plurality of floor sections, said grooves extending between said floor sections, a plurality of flexible carpet sections each dimensioned to cover a corresponding floor section in abutting relation and a single strip of felt member permanently mounted in said grooves and engageable with both marginal edges of abutting carpet sections overlying said felt member between adjacent sections.
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