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I've been pondering whether to post this idea for a while. The problem is, it's not really an invention, it's more of a design. What's needed is a halfdesignery <cue everyone to link to various sites that fulfil this role>
So the idea is overlapping tiles. The simplest type of overlapping tiling is
shingles on a roof - kind of like this : \\\\\\\
But shingles are boring... I want tiles that overlap and underlap each other. So my design uses square saddle-shaped tiles. Each tile is locked in place because it 'underlaps' two tiles and overlaps two tiles.
This tiling might be impractical as a ground covering, but might make a nice ornamental wall covering.
I've shown two embodiments of the ovelapping tiling: first uses thick tiles with spaces between them. second uses paper-thin tiles with no spaces.
This is kind of similar to a trendy wall covering I've noticed recently which uses overlapping circular tiles (I can't find an example on the internet, but if someone can feel free to link to it). EDIT: I've also posted my own rendering of overlapping circular tiles.
No grout interlocking tiles
[DrCurry, Sep 19 2006]
Close Fitting Interlocking Tiles
Again, no grout. [DrCurry, Sep 19 2006]
[jhomrighaus, Sep 19 2006]
||No grout lines to clean!? Where do I sign up?
||I think the word you're looking for is "interlocking," and there are plenty of those on the Internet. Then again, a quick search doesn't reveal any that overlap in the way you suggest, so you may well be onto something new.
||Keep this up and I'll be out of a job.
||they have these as solar panels for roofs