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This application claims priority of Canadian patent application No. 2,707,905 filed Jun. 30, 2010, the entire contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.
The invention relates to the field of non-skid devices and in particular, to a long-lasting non-skid strip to be installed on stairs, floors, sloped passages, and the like.
There have been proposed and employed in practice a variety of devices for protecting people from slippage on stairs, floors, sloped passages, and the like. One of the more common devices is grip tape. Generally, grip tape is an adhesive backed friction-surfaced paper strip or sheet. Grip tape generally comes in ready-to-apply-strips or rough sheets similar to adhesive-backed sandpaper. The grade and size of grit varies by company and manufacture method.
Grip tape is easy to apply; a user simply removes a smooth backing to expose the adhesive, and then lays the tape onto a required surface. However, if applied carelessly small air pockets can become trapped between the surface and the tape leaving an unprofessional unfinished look.
Although easy to use and apply, grip tape is also susceptible to weathering. In high traffic areas exposed to the elements the tape has a tendency to easily tear and pull away from the surface that it is applied to. Moreover, over time the grit becomes easily worn down.
Accordingly, a need exists for an easy to use and install non-slip device that looks professionally installed and can withstand the rigors of time and continued use in inclement weather. Other objects of the invention will be apparent from the description that follows.
According to the present invention there is provided a non-skid strip for securing to a tread portion of a stair, a floor, a sloped passage, and the like. The non-skid strip may include a rigid or flexible strip body adapted to be secured to the tread. The strip body may have an upper surface, and a lower surface connectable to the tread. The upper and lower surfaces of the strip body may be substantially flat.
Attached to and projecting away from the upper surface of the strip body may be a plurality of cleat-like nodules which can frictionally engage the bottom of a person's shoe to prevent them from slipping off of the stair tread. Each of the plurality of cleat-like nodules may be conically-shaped.
To secure the strip body to the stair tread, the non-skid strip may include a fastener. A fastener may travel through a hole in the strip body from the upper to the lower surface in order to be secured to the stair tread.
The strip body and plurality of cleat-like nodules may be integrally formed from a single material such as plastic.
Other aspects of the invention will be appreciated by reference to the detailed description of the preferred embodiment and to the claims that follow.
The preferred embodiment of the invention will be described by reference to the drawings thereof in which:
FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of a non-skid strip in accordance with the present invention affixed to a stair tread;
FIG. 2 is a right-side elevation of the non-skid strip of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is top plan view of the non-skid strip of FIG. 1 in isolation; and
FIG. 4 is a zoomed-in view of FIG. 3 of area 4-4.
Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2 a non-skid strip 10 is affixed to a stair tread 12. The non-skid strip includes a strip body 14 adapted to be secured to a tread 12 portion of a stair. The strip body 14 has an upper surface 16 and a lower surface 18 connectable to the tread 12. As depicted, strip body 14 also includes a front edge 20, a rear edge 22, a left edge 24 and a right edge 26. Generally, the front 20 and rear 22 edges are preferably dimensioned longer than the left 24 and right 26 edges so that the front and rear edges extend substantially the width of a stair tread. As those skilled in the art will appreciate, strip body 14 does not necessarily have to be rectangular in shape and can assume any shape. Preferably, upper surface 16 and lower surface 18 are flat.
In addition, the height (h) of strip body 14 should generally be quite low. A low profiled or substantially flat strip body 14 will allow non-skid strip 10 to sit more flush with the surface of stair tread 12 and prevent a user from tripping over the non-skid strip as he or she walks over it. As those skilled in the art will appreciate, the actual dimensions and shape of the non-skid strip 10 can vary and may depend upon the non-skid strip's application and the surface to which it will be affixed to.
As best depicted in FIGS. 3 and 4, attached to and projecting away from the upper surface 16 of the strip body 14 are a plurality of cleat-like nodules or protrusions 30 which can frictionally engage the bottom of a person's shoe to prevent them from slipping off of the stair tread 12. Each of the plurality of cleat-like nodules 30 may be conically-shaped and come to form a tip 32. The plurality of cleat-like nodules 30 are dispersed over substantially the entire upper surface 16 and may be arranged in any desired pattern. As those skilled in the art will appreciate, the shape of a cleat-like nodule 30 and pattern of their placement along upper surface 16 can vary. For example, the cleat-like nodule 30 can be pyramid-shaped and dispersed randomly along the upper surface 16.
Strip body 14 is adapted to be secured to a tread portion of a stair 12. As those skilled in the art will appreciate, strip body 14 may be secured to the stair tread 12 in a number of different ways, for example, adhesives may simply be applied to lower surface 18 and then strip body 14 may simply be stuck to stair tread 12. As illustrated, preferably, strip body 14 comprises a hole 34 formed from the upper surface 16 through to the lower surface 18. The hole 34 serves to guide placement of a fastener 36 for securing the strip body 14 to the stair tread 12. Alternatively, or in combination with, a double-sided adhesive tape (not depicted) may be applied to the lower surface 18 to aid in affixing the strip body 14 to the top of the stair tread 12. Use of double-sided adhesive tape is optional, but may assist the user in positioning and holding the strip body 14 onto the stair tread 12 before affixing the strip body to the stair tread with fastener 36. Double-sided adhesive tape may run the entire length of, or be cut into sections, along bottom surface 18 of strip body 14. Fastener 36 may be a nail; however, preferably the fastener is a screw which allows for easier installation and removal.
As best depicted in FIG. 4, hole 34 is preferably stretched with straight portions 36 and 38 bound by curved portions 40 and 42 to resemble a flattened oval or slotted hole. With this shape, this has the advantage of allowing the fastener 36 to move with the stair tread 12 relative to the strip body 14. Allowing this movement is advantageous as it allows the strip body 14 to remain in place as the fastener 36 and stair tread 12 move, for example, when the tread expands due to swelling from moisture absorption or contraction in cold temperatures. As those skilled in the art will appreciate, this movement is accomplished best when fastener 36 is mostly tightened down near the middle of the flattened oval or slotted shaped hole 34 during initial installation. To increase the aesthetic look of the strip 10 when installed with the fastener 36, and to prevent the fastener head 44 from projecting above the cleat-like nodule 30 and pose as a safety hazard, hole 34 may be countersunk within strip body 14 leaving a ledge 46 for the head of the fastener 36 to travel upon. As depicted, a wall 48 may also be formed around hole 34 to match with the fastener head 44 and to provide support to the fastener 36 as it moves within hole 34.
Strip body 14 may be constructed from any suitable material, such as plastic, rubber or steel. Strip body 14 may be rigid; however, preferably, strip body 14 is flexible which will allow it to bend and follow the undulations of the stair tread 12 as the tread undergoes expansion and contraction caused by the external elements. Strip body 14 may be formed simply by punching or cutting the desired shape from a larger sheet of material. Preferably, strip body 14 and plurality of cleat-like nodules 30 are integrally formed from a single material such as plastic and may be formed from a mold.
It will thus be seen that a new and novel non-skid strip has been illustrated and described and it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the spirit of the invention.