Välinge IP related to LVT and resilient surfaces.
Viken, Sweden - November 22, 2011
Välinge has during the past 10 years developed and patented a wide range of products and production methods related to LVT.
Floor Panels with high quality resilient surfaces generally called Luxury Vinyl Tiles or LVT have in the recent years shown high growth rates. Välinge believes that this flooring category may grow to several hundred million m2 during the next 10 years since LVT has better moisture and sound properties than for example laminate floors.
Floating LVT floors with mechanical locking systems are of two different types.
1. A resilient surface is glued to a board of for example HDF, plastic based material or other core materials.
2. Solid LVT in thicknesses of 4 -6 mm.
Välinge initiated its R&D related to resilient surfaces already in 2001 as a part of the “roll to panel” flooring project. The intension was to use flooring materials that generally were delivered in roll format, for example LVT, linoleum, carpets etc, as surface layers on a core material in order to form a floor panel with locking system that could be installed as a floating floor. This new flooring concept was shown to several Välinge licensees during 2002- 2004 and at the Domotex fair in January 2005.
Välinge is pleased that several flooring companies have introduced or are planning to introduce such LVT floors.
Välinge has over the years developed and patented many products and production methods related to LVT floors. Published Välinge IP comprises 5 patent families and more than 10 different inventions related to LVT floors. Some published embodiments are shown below.
According to available information, Välinge is of the opinion the the first floor panel with a resilient surface and a mechanical locking system made in one piece with the core is shown in VA 12 with priority date July 2001.
VA 12 (2001) describes a floor panel with a mechanical locking system comprising a resilient layer attached on a plastic or HDF core material. The resilient surface may seal against moisture penetration.
VA 21 (2003) describes a cost efficient method to produce LVT floor panels. The resilient surface is cut and separated prior to gluing to a core material. The method reduces waste of the LVT surface since the locking system is formed in the core material
VA 31 (2006) describes a decorative groove in a resilient surface intended to imitate grout lines in tile shaped panels or bevels in plank shaped floors.
The application also describes micro sealing systems formed in the upper resilient layer suitable for locking with angling or vertical folding.
VA 50 (2009) describes a one-piece vertical snap system and a fold down installation method where the short edges are bended during folding.
VFT 9 (2011) describes Zip-Loc, which allows mechanical locking in very thin solid LVT material.
The application also describes production methods to cut and form solid LVT panels with knives to save material and production costs.
A method to cut grooves on the rear side of the plastic core is also described. This method reduces the weight of the panel and decreases the material cost since the cut of material may be recycled and used to form new core material.
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