Title:
ADA-compliant portable bathroom modules
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
ADA-compliant, portable bathroom modules provide safe, easily installed complete or partial bathrooms in a room of a home or building and are easily removed when no longer needed, without permanently changing the appearance of the home or building. The units form an enclosed structure having a roof with a ventilation fan, and door. The modular design allows a complete bathroom or a portion thereof to be selected, as desired, by the user. The complete model includes a shower module, a toilet module and an intermediate hallway/center module. A portion of a complete bathroom includes a shower module or toilet module alone (⅓ unit), or together with a hallway/center module (⅔ unit) to enhance access. The complete bathroom or portions thereof may include a back flush toilet and sewage ejection pump to accommodate installation on a concrete slab, an integral (instantaneous) water heater to allow a cold water only hook-up, and a wall mounted body dryer.



Inventors:
Muha, Jon A. (McKees Rocks, PA, US)
Ewonce, David (Pittsburgh, PA, US)
Application Number:
10/059279
Publication Date:
07/31/2003
Filing Date:
01/31/2002
Assignee:
MUHA JON A.
EWONCE DAVID
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/34, 52/36.2, 4/476
International Classes:
A47K4/00; E04B1/348; E04H1/12; (IPC1-7): A47K3/16; A47K11/06; E04H1/00; E04H3/00; E04H14/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
KATCHEVES, BASIL S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
J&K Manufacturing, Inc. (Wexford, PA, US)
Claims:

We claim:



1. ADA-compliant portable bathroom modules for easy assembly or disassembly in a room of a home or building; comprising three modules: a toilet module, a center/hallway module and a shower module; toilet and shower modules can be installed separate from each other, with a hallway, or together with the hallway in the middle to form a complete bathroom; the full, partial or individual modules form a free-standing, pre-wired and pre-plumbed enclosed structure with a roof and door.

2. The ADA-compliant portable bathroom modules of claim 1, wherein said shower and toilet modules consist of a floor piece, two wall pieces and a roof piece.

3. The ADA-compliant portable bathroom modules of claim 1, wherein said hallway module consists of a floor piece, a back wall piece and a roof piece.

4. The ADA-compliant portable bathroom modules of claim 3, wherein said hallway has an additional side wall when it is used as not part of a whole bathroom (used as a partial).

5. The ADA-compliant portable bathroom modules of claim 1, wherein any module roof piece can include a pre-wired, factory-mounted ceiling fan and light.

6. The ADA-compliant portable bathroom modules of claim 1, wherein shower and toilet modules are pre-plumbed.

7. The ADA-compliant portable bathroom modules of claim 6, where flexible plumbing hose drops through the floor and connects to water supply in the basement or crawl space.

8. The ADA-compliant portable bathroom modules of claim 6, where toilet pipes connect through the floor to the main stack for waste removal.

9. The ADA-compliant portable bathroom modules of claim 6, where shower drain connects through the floor to the main stack, laundry tub or a floor drain.

10. The ADA-compliant portable bathroom modules of claim 6, where on slab construction a backflush toilet and sewage ejector pump are included to pump waste water out or up and out rather than normal down flow (gravity-based) plumbing.

11. The ADA-compliant portable bathroom modules of claim 6, with an exterior wall sink mounted on any side of shower or toilet module.

12. The ADA-compliant portable bathroom modules of claim 1, wherein a front standard, bi-fold or pocket door is included.

13. The ADA-compliant portable bathroom modules of claim 1, wherein all pieces fit through any door or alcove.

14. The ADA-compliant portable bathroom modules of claim 1, wherein interior of pieces are molded fiberglass and exterior is fluted fibercore (corrugated) NRP or FRP (plastic).

15. The ADA-compliant portable bathroom modules of claim 1, with 1 ⅝″ or 3⅝″ metal, plastic or wood studs in-between inside fiberglass and outside plastic. Studs may also be attached to exterior plastic pieces only, forming exterior walls, with interior fiberglass pieces and exterior walls joining during installation.

16. The ADA-compliant portable bathroom modules of claim 1, wherein said toilet module includes an ADA-height toilet.

17. The ADA-compliant portable bathroom modules of claim 1, wherein said toilet and shower modules include factory-mounted grab bars.

18. The ADA-compliant portable bathroom modules of claim 15, where exterior walls may connect together with hinges, cam buckles or other fastener.

19. The ADA-compliant portable bathroom modules of claim 1, with exterior access panels to pre-plumbed wet walls of modules.

20. The ADA-compliant portable bathroom modules of claim 1, with two module sizes: 3′×3′ (standard) and 5′×3′ (wide or wheelchair model) approximate interior dimensions, with complete bathroom unit interior dimensions of 3′W×9′L×7′H (standard) and 5′W×9′L×7′H (wide model).

21. The ADA-compliant portable complete bathrooms of claim 20, wherein said bathrooms have a one-piece bubble dome roof instead of three separate pieces.

22. The ADA-compliant portable bathroom modules of claim 1, with floor leveling devices attached similar to those used on pool tables or furniture.

23. The ADA-compliant portable bathroom modules of claim 1, with hallway and toilet floor pieces having no drainage hole like shower floor does.

24. The ADA-compliant portable complete bathrooms of claim 20, where units consist of three floor pieces, five wall pieces and three roof pieces.

25. The ADA-compliant portable bathroom modules of claim 6, wherein said shower or toilet modules include and integral or instantaneous water heater so that only cold water supply must be connected to unit.

26. The ADA-compliant portable bathroom modules of claim 1, where complete bathroom units or shower with hallway partial units include a wall or roof mounted body dryer blower.

27. The ADA-compliant portable bathroom modules of claim 1, wherein toilet module may be all plastic inside and outside.

28. The ADA-compliant portable bathroom modules of claim 1, where exterior sink wall includes a mirror, lights and a GFI plug.

29. The ADA-compliant portable bathroom modules of claim 1, with factory pre-wiring; which is dropped through the floor and run (home run) to the power box.

30. The ADA-compliant portable bathroom modules of claim 1, with an entrance ramp included.

31. The ADA-compliant portable bathroom modules of claim 1, with custom molds for hallway fiberglass floor and interior back wall.

32. The ADA-compliant portable bathroom modules of claim 1, wherein all three floor pieces are level with each other.

33. The ADA-compliant portable bathroom modules of claim 1, wherein said shower modules includes scald prevention, flexible shower hose, folding seat or chair with a cut-out, grab bars, curtain rod and curtain, and a removable threshold water stopper.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to ADA-compliant portable bathroom modules, and more particularly, to freestanding ADA-compliant portable bathroom modules that can make up a complete bathroom, be used in various combinations or by themselves, that are easily assembled and installed or disassembled and removed in a home or building with minimal time, effort and expense.

[0003] 2. Brief Description of the Prior Art

[0004] A typical bathroom consists of a toilet, a sink, a shower and/or a bath. Some emphasis however, has been placed upon customizing the traditional bathroom for individual applications. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 2,817,091 discloses a mobile sanitary trailer designed for use by large gatherings of people (i.e. a traditional restroom on wheels). U.S. Pat. No. 2,037,895 teaches a pre-constructed bathroom designed for easy installation at a building site. U.S. Pat. No. 3,837,011 illustrates a self-cleaning restroom, cleaned by automatically moving a spray boon around the inside of the enclosure, then draining the fluid, and finally drying the restroom.

[0005] In recent years, as the rights of the handicapped have received greater support, restrooms and their components have evolved to become more handicap accessible. A handicap-accessible or “ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant” restroom will typically have wider than ordinary doors which allow a wheelchair to pass through, and at least one oversize toilet stall with grab bars for use by the handicapped. Truly handicap-accessible restrooms have other features including a ramp or lift device to access the restroom and shower in a wheelchair, and placement of water valves and other restroom accessories at a height by which they may be reached from a wheelchair. Recent emphasis has been placed on making public facilities accessible to handicapped persons, including persons in wheelchairs. However, most homes, hotel rooms, apartments, and the like are for non-handicapped people, unless such buildings are specifically constructed with handicapped persons in mind. Even when homes are constructed with handicapped persons in mind, tubs and showers thereof are merely provided with grab bars, which is totally inadequate for many situations. Additionally, a person may unexpectedly become seriously handicapped while living in a house or apartment which was not constructed, or inadequately constructed, to accommodate seriously handicapped persons. This happens, for example, when a person sustains a debilitating injury, becomes frail due to age, is struck with illness, or the like. When this occurs, it is often quite difficult and expensive to radically modify an existing building to include bathroom facilities for accommodating the newly handicapped person. Even when existing bathrooms can be enlarged to accommodate wheelchairs, recently handicapped persons in many such houses still find it difficult to get to the bathrooms unless the houses themselves are further modified, thereby further increasing the expense of modifying a house to accommodate a handicapped person. Also, many nursing and assisted living facilities today are not new construction but converted and remodeled schools or churches, etc. that have doorways and alcove considerations when bringing in the bathrooms.

[0006] Often, it is desirable to construct a handicap-accessible bath facility in a home or building on a temporary basis and remove it later. Such a need arises when a person is either terminally ill or temporarily ill, both of which happen fairly often. U.S. Pat. No. 4,899,402 provides a handicap-accessible bath facility which can be relatively easily and inexpensively installed when a person becomes handicapped but which can also be relatively easily and inexpensively removed when it is no longer necessary to have such a facility.

[0007] Inventors have also devised a number of devices to make restrooms more handicap-accessible. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,757,501 discloses a portable shower stall, platform and ramp combination for use with an invalid's shower chair which permits a handicapped person with an attendant to use an ordinary shower stall. U.S. Pat. No. 4,928,329 teaches a bathtub and shower structure for access by the handicapped. U.S. Pat. No. 5,065,462 teaches a restroom facility which is accessible to the handicapped and has all of its facilities usable by the wheelchair bound or infirm.

[0008] A number of prefabricated bathroom units have also been previously designed. U.S. Pat. No. 4,238,858 provides a walk-in ablution or toilet compartment formed from a few standardized constructional elements which are light and can be transported into living rooms independently of the width of door openings, and can there be assembled together, and which can be provided with all desired necessary functions, e.g. for washing, for bathing, and for use of toilet, while for each of the individual functions a separate space can if desired be provided within the compartment. U.S. Pat. No. 5,652,976 provides a prefabricated and pre-plumbed modular invalid bathroom unit which has wheelchair access for installation in a first floor room for the invalid. The modular design can readily pass through a common door opening of a house or dwelling for ease of assembly and disassembly.

[0009] The prior art does not adequately address the problems associated with ADA-compliant, portable, bathroom modules. It is an object of the present invention to improve on the units of the prior art. It is a further object of the present invention to provide a series of complete and partial bathroom unit combinations formed from a minimal number of modular components, customized to the users needs and space limitations. A further aspect of the present invention is to provide portable bathroom modules that can be easily installed in a house or building formed on a concrete slab.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] The above objects are achieved with ADA-compliant, portable bathroom modules according to the present invention. The modules according to the present invention provides a safe, portable bathroom, or portions thereof, that is easily installed in any space on the first floor of a home or any floor of a facility or building and easily removed when no longer needed, without permanently changing the appearance of the building. The full or partial units form an enclosed structure having a roof with a ventilation fan for expelling moisture and the like. The fan is incorporated into a light for the unit. An ADA appropriate sink is mounted on an exterior wall. An ADA height toilet is mounted in one portion of the interior and a shower is provided in a separate portion of the interior of the unit.

[0011] The modular construction allows a full model or a portion thereof to be selected, as desired, by the user depending on needs and space limitations. The full models include a shower area, a toilet area and an intermediate hallway/center portion. The desired unit can be constructed as a portion of a full unit to provide a shower module or toilet module alone (⅓ unit), a shower module or toilet module together with a hallway/center module portion (⅔ unit) to enhance access. Additionally, a (⅔ combo unit) is possible where a shower is placed in the hallway module and joined to a toilet module, or a toilet is placed in the hallway module and joined to a shower module.

[0012] The present invention contemplates a door on the unit to enhance privacy, a back flush toilet and sewage ejection pump to accommodate installation on a concrete slab, an instantaneous water heater to allow the unit to be installed with only a cold water hook-up, a bubble-dome roof, and a wall mounted body dryer. These and other advantages of the present invention will be clarified in the Detailed Description of the Preferred Embodiments taken together with the attached drawings in which like reference numerals represent like elements throughout.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a complete bathroom unit (all 3 modules) according to a first embodiment of the present invention, without door;

[0014] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a complete bathroom unit (all 3 modules) according to a second embodiment of the present invention, without door;

[0015] FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the complete bathroom unit shown in FIG. 1 with the roof removed;

[0016] FIG. 4 is a schematic front view of the complete bathroom unit shown in FIG. 1;

[0017] FIG. 5 is a schematic top plan view of the complete bathroom unit shown in FIG. 1;

[0018] FIG. 6 is a schematic front view of the complete bathroom unit shown in FIG. 2;

[0019] FIG. 7 is a schematic top plan view of the complete bathroom unit shown in FIG. 2;

[0020] FIGS. 8a and b are a side views of a shower module of the complete bathroom unit shown in FIG. 1 with a shower seat positioned in separate orientations;

[0021] FIGS. 9a and b are side views of a toilet module of the complete bathroom unit shown in FIG. 1 with the toilet mounted in alternative positions;

[0022] FIG. 10 is a side view of a shower module of the complete bathroom unit shown in FIG. 2;

[0023] FIG. 11 is a side view of a toilet module of the complete bathroom unit shown in FIG. 2;

[0024] FIG. 12 is a perspective view upward through a door opening in the complete bathroom unit shown in FIG. 1;

[0025] FIG. 13 is a perspective view upward through a door opening in the complete bathroom unit shown in FIG. 2;

[0026] FIGS. 14a and b are top and bottom plan views, respectively, of a center roof portion used in both the complete bathroom units shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.

[0027] FIG. 15 is a “⅔ toilet” (toilet module+hallway module) top plan view of the complete bathroom unit shown in FIG. 1 with the roof removed;

[0028] FIG. 16 is a “⅔ shower” (shower module+hallway module) top plan view of the complete bathroom unit shown in FIG. 1 with the roof removed;

[0029] FIG. 17 is a “⅔ shower combo” (shower module+hallway module with toilet) top plan view of the complete bathroom unit shown in FIG. 1 with the roof removed;

[0030] FIG. 18 is a top plan view of the complete bathroom unit shown in FIG. 2 with the roof removed;

[0031] FIG. 19 is a “⅔ shower” top plan view of the complete bathroom unit shown in FIG. 2 with the roof removed;

[0032] FIG. 20 is a “⅔ toilet” top plan view of the complete bathroom unit shown in FIG. 2 with the roof removed;

[0033] FIG. 21 is a “⅓ toilet” (toilet module only) top plan view of the complete bathroom unit shown in FIG. 2 with the roof removed; and

[0034] FIGS. 22a,b,c and d are schematic explosion views of the 3 modules and the complete bathroom units shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 (not to scale).

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0035] A complete ADA-compliant portable bathroom unit 10 according to a first embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 1. This model, referred to as a wide, wheel chair or Ambassador model, measures approximately 5′W×9′L×7′H inside dimensions. A separate sized complete portable bathroom unit 20 is illustrated in FIG. 2, referred to as a standard or Windsor model, measures approximately 3′W×9′L×7′H inside dimensions. Each complete unit 10 or 20 comes in three modules, namely, a shower module 22, a middle hallway or center module 24, and a toilet module 26. The assembly of units 10 and 20 where inside fiberglass pieces and outside wall pieces of modules are separate instead together is described in Examples 1 and 2.

[0036] Unlike prior art portable bathroom units which are formed as open rooms with no roofs, the complete units 10 and 20, and portions thereof, represent enclosed structures. The units 10 and 20 include a roof 30, shown in FIGS. 12, 13, 14a and 14b, which combine with the modules' walls to enclose the unit to add privacy as well as to relieve odor and moisture from the units 10 and 20. The roof 30 can be equipped with a fan/light combination 32 to provide for the ventilation to the units 10 and 20.

[0037] Each complete unit 10 and 20 has an interior formed of 8 interlocking fiberglass pieces (3 floor+5 wall) and an exterior formed stud wall pieces that are attached to the outside of the fiberglass pieces. (Shower and toilet modules both have 1 floor and 2 wall pieces=6, and hallway/center module has 1 floor and 1 wall piece=2, 6+2=8) The roof 30 is formed of three connected roof pieces, one for each module, to close the roof. The hallway/center module roof is shown in FIGS. 14a and 14b.

[0038] The 3 modules and their 8 interlocking fiberglass pieces will interconnect in a conventional fashion and are molded in accordance with the design of the units 10 and 20. Both units 10 and 20 are pre-wired for the fan/light combination 32 as well as a light switch 34 and a GFI plus 36. The fan/light combination 32 is mounted on the center module roof forming the roof 30.

[0039] The fiberglass pieces will consist of three separate floor pieces, namely, a shower floor 40, a center floor 42 and a toilet floor 44. There are two fiberglass shower walls 46, two fiberglass toilet walls 48 and one fiberglass back center wall 50, as indicated above.

[0040] One aspect of the present invention provides a front door option, such as a pocket door, a bi-fold door, standard door or shower curtain to complete the enclosure for each unit 10 and 20. The exterior walls that are attached to the fiberglass may be made of 1⅝″ or 3⅝″ metal, wood or plastic studs which are shaped into a rectangle and fastened to ½″ thick fluted fibercor (corrugated) plastic walls with ⅛″ NRP or FRP laminate on the outside. As discussed above, exterior walls have different widths depending on the unit 10 or 20 they are being utilized in.

[0041] Unlike prior art prefabricated bathroom units, each unit 10 and 20 has a level unraised floor 44 in the toilet section 26. Additionally, it is preferable that an ADA height toilet 52 be incorporated in to the units 10 and 20. This construction allows for proper area around the user's feet with the user on the toilet and also allows for wheelchair access to the toilet area. In the unit 10, the wheelchair model, the toilet 52 can face either the front or back of the unit or can face the shower area. In a similar fashion, the shower seat 54, when used in the unit 10, can face the front of the back of the unit or face the toilet area.

[0042] The shower area of the units 10 and 20 allow full wheelchair access. Additionally, the three floor pieces of the present invention all bolt together and are provided with a flush top surface so that a total level floor area is provided throughout the unit 10 or 20. An important aspect of the present invention is that the unit 10 or 20 is broken up into three modules, the toilet module, the hallway module and the shower module. This modular arrangement allows each unit to be broken apart such that the user may only desire to obtain a “⅓” or “⅔” of a complete unit (i.e., a shower or toilet module only (⅓) and also a shower and toilet module with the center module (⅔). The components forming each “subassembly” of the entire unit is set forth in Examples 3 and 4. Another embodiment of the present invention is to provide toilet module that is made entirely of plastics on both sides inside and out as opposed to the normal toilet area and shower are that has fiberglass on the inside and plastic walls on the outside.

[0043] Unit 10, the wheelchair unit, is specifically designed to meet more of the American's with Disabilities Act guidelines. In particular, the shower module of unit 10 meets ADA requirements providing overall dimensions of 60″ wide and 36″ deep. The module is provided with a flexible hose 60 that is 60″ or 72″ as desired. The module is provided with a shower seat 54 discussed above. The shower seat 54 will generally incorporate cutouts to wash hard to reach areas. The module 10 is provided with ADA compliant 1½″ or 1¼″ grab bars 62 installed throughout at proper ADA height between 32″ and 36″. In the toilet module, the overall dimensions of 10 are 60″×36″ deep. The toilet seat is preferably an 18″ elongated open front toilet seat with the seat height provided at the ADA height of 17-19″. As discussed above, the grab bars are at proper ADA height and the paper holder would be positioned at proper ADA reach distance. The floor space around the feet of the user meets the 7″ as required by ADA. In the sink area outside, or lavatory, the sink is 22″ wide and 19″ deep. The sink height is mounted at ADA required 32″ with the proper bowl depth at which is less than 5″. Knee clearance of 17-19″ is provided below the sink with paddle handles provided on the sink and the mirror mounted at the required 34″. The sink can be positioned on any outside wall of either shower or toilet module of the unit 10. The unit 10 provides an entrance door width of 36″ with the open floor space required to be able to do a 360-degree turn with a 60″ circle within the unit 10. Slip resistance flooring and an ADA entrance ramp that goes out 12″ for every 1″ of rise into the unit 10 or portions thereof.

[0044] Either unit 10 or 20 provides a prefabricated modular handicapped bathroom unit for installation in a room with the water supply pipes and drain pipes hooked generally through the floor to conventional plumbing techniques routing everything to the stack.

[0045] Units 10 and 20 are illustrated with gravity-based plumbing, i.e., a crawl space or basement is available for receiving the plumbing below the units 10 and 20. Another embodiment of the present invention provides for construction of the units 10 and 20 on the slab utilizing a back flush toilet. In this embodiment, an external sewage injector pump is placed on the concrete and the plumbing waste is pumped outward or upward instead of downward. This allows either unit 10 or 20, or sections thereof, to be mounted on a slab without requiring breaking up of portions of the slab to install plumbing.

[0046] Another embodiment of the present invention can incorporate an instantaneous water heater housed in the front wall or any wall. With this embodiment only cold water will need to be run to either unit 10 or 20 and heated up within the wall for use in the shower or sink. This modification allows the units to be installed with only cold water running to the unit 10 or 20.

[0047] Another aspect that can be incorporated into the units 10 and 20 of the present invention is to provide a leveling device for the floor pieces. Such leveling device may be in the form of pool table levelers or furniture levelers mounted on the bottom of the individual floor pieces to provide an independent, easy leveling system for each section.

[0048] Another aspect of the present invention would be to provide the walls hinged together or fastened with a cam buckle or other fastener to expedite this setup procedure.

[0049] Another modification of the present invention would be to replace the three-piece system with a bubble dome so that the roof can be formed as a single piece.

[0050] Another embodiment of the present invention is to form the inside and outside sections as one-piece units to minimize construction. In this configuration, there would be three floor pieces, five wall pieces and three roof pieces to form the entire unit thereby expediting setup and removal.

[0051] A further modification of the present invention is to provide a body dryer blower system mounted within the center back wall of the unit or on any other outside exterior wall of the unit for drying the body after showering.

[0052] The invention has been described with reference to the preferred embodiments. Obvious modifications and alterations will occur to others upon reading and understanding the preceding detailed description. It is intended that the invention be construed as including all such obvious modifications and alterations.