Title:
Method for installing a faux wood ceiling and apparatus for use therein
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An apparatus for building a faux wood ceiling includes wooden beams and interlocking planks or panels. Each of the beams are attachable to a wall or ceiling. Each of the interlocking planks has a lip on one side and another lip on an opposite side. One lip engages with another lip of an adjacent interlocking plank when installed, while the other lip engages with a first lip of a second adjacent interlocking plank when installed. Each of the wooden beams is actually a hollow wooden beam, which can be finished to appear as an older wooden beam. Adjustable height brackets enable the ceiling to be mounted below and existing structures. The wood ceiling can be installed quickly and easily on site from a kit of parts. Once installed, access to wiring and plumbing is available by removing any of the wooden panels by simply pressing upwards. The end result is a finished wooden ceiling that requires no complex brackets or hanging structures, yet provides all of the conveniences of a drop ceiling.



Inventors:
Hornidge, John (Madison, VA, US)
Application Number:
10/150657
Publication Date:
11/20/2003
Filing Date:
05/17/2002
Assignee:
Wood Creations, Inc.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/220.6, 52/506.08
International Classes:
E04B9/00; (IPC1-7): E04B9/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
YIP, WINNIE S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MAYER & WILLIAMS PC (Morristown, NJ, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. An apparatus for building a faux wood ceiling comprising: a plurality of wooden beams, each of said beams being attachable to a wall or ceiling; and a plurality of interlocking planks, each of said plurality of interlocking planks having a first lip on a first side and a second lip on a second side, said first lip for engaging a second lip of a first adjacent interlocking plank when installed and said second lip for engaging a first lip of a second adjacent interlocking plank.

2. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein each of said plurality of wooden beams comprises a hollow wooden beam.

3. The apparatus according to claim 2, wherein each of said plurality of wooden beams is finished to appear as an older wooden beam.

4. The apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising a plurality of adjustable height brackets, each of said plurality of adjustable height brackets including a first plurality of adjustment holes disposed in a plurality of predetermined distances from an edge of the bracket, and a second plurality of fixed holes at other predetermined distances.

5. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein each of the plurality of beams includes a molding attachment on which several of the plurality of planks rests when installed.

6. A method for installing a faux suspended wooden ceiling comprising: attaching a plurality of faux wooden beams to a ceiling or two or more walls; resting a plurality of wooden planks on each other perpendicular to a length of the faux wooden beams; and disposing an edge of each of the plurality of wooden planks on an edge of at least one of the plurality of faux wooden beams.

7. The method according to claim 6, wherein each of said plurality of wooden beams comprises a hollow wooden beam.

8. The method according to claim 6, wherein each of said plurality of wooden beams is finished to appear as an older wooden beam.

9. The method according to claim 6, wherein the step of resting the plurality of wooden planks on each other further comprises resting the plurality of wooden planks in an interlocking manner.

10. The method according to claim 6, wherein the step of attaching includes using a plurality of adjustable height brackets to mount the wooden beams to a ceiling or wall.

11. The method according to claim 10, wherein each of the plurality of adjustable height brackets includes a first plurality of adjustment holes disposed in a plurality of predetermined distances from an edge of the bracket, and a second plurality of fixed holes at other predetermined distances.

12. A kit for installing a faux wooden ceiling comprising: a plurality of faux wooden beams, each of said plurality of faux wooden beams being attachable to a ceiling or wall, each of said plurality of faux wooden beams having an edge; and a plurality of panels, each of said plurality of panels having a first lip on one side and a second lip on another side opposite said one side, said first lip couplable with a second lip of a first adjacent panel when installed and said second lip couplable with a first lip of a second adjacent panel on an opposite side from said first adjacent panel when installed.

13. The kit according to claim 12, wherein each of said plurality of faux wooden beams comprises a hollow wooden beam.

14. The kit according to claim 12, wherein each of said plurality of faux wooden beams is finished to appear as an older wooden beam.

15. The kit according to claim 12, further comprising a plurality of adjustable height brackets, each of said plurality of adjustable height brackets including a first plurality of adjustment holes disposed in a plurality of predetermined distances from an edge of the bracket, and a second plurality of fixed holes at other predetermined distances.

16. An apparatus for creating a wooden ceiling comprising: a plurality of hollow beams, each of said hollow beams being attachable to a wall or floor joist and being substantially parallel to each other and having their lengths disposed in a first direction; and a plurality of panels, each of said panels having a length such that the panel spans a distance between two adjacent hollow beams when said panel is mounted substantially perpendicular to the two adjacent hollow beams.

17. The apparatus according to claim 16, wherein each of said plurality of panels has a first lip on one side and a second lip on another side opposite said one side, said first lip couplable with a second lip of a first adjacent panel when installed and said second lip couplable with a first lip of a second adjacent panel on an opposite side from said first adjacent panel when installed.

18. The apparatus according to claim 16, further comprising a plurality of adjustable height brackets, each of said plurality of adjustable height brackets including a first plurality of adjustment holes disposed in a plurality of predetermined distances from an edge of the bracket, and a second plurality of fixed holes at other predetermined distances.

19. The apparatus according to claim 16, wherein each of the plurality of beams includes a molding attachment on which several of the plurality of panels rests when installed.

20. The apparatus according to claim 16, wherein each of said plurality of hollow beams is finished to appear as an older wooden beam.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates generally to method for installing suspended or drop ceilings and apparatuses for use therein, and more particularly to a method for installing a suspended or drop ceiling made of wood and apparatuses for use therein.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Existing suspended or drop ceilings typically involve complex handing support mechanisms and/or multiple cross grids that fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. Yet when complete, these drop ceilings leave something to be desired from an aesthetic perspective.

[0003] The present invention is therefore directed to the problem of developing a method for installing a suspended or drop ceiling and an apparatus for use therein that provides an aesthetically pleasing finished design without requiring complex interlocking cross grid mechanisms.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] The present invention solves these and other problems by providing inter alia a drop ceiling that resembles a wooden beam ceiling without requiring separate supporting members that run perpendicular to the large wooden beams.

[0005] According to one aspect of the present invention, the ceiling can be installed from a kit that includes faux wood beams and wood planks or panels. The faux wood beams attach to the walls or ceilings, depending upon the exact configuration of the existing ceiling and joists. Once the beams are attached, the wooden planks or panels can be easily installed by laying them across two beams. The wooden planks or panels include interlocking lips that when abutted resemble a bead finish, thereby providing a finish look of a single wooden ceiling. The exact finish of the wooden beams and planks can be tailored to the desires of the owner, such as an old fashioned wood ceiling look, a more modern installation, etc.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0006] FIG. 1 depicts a cross section of an exemplary embodiment of a plank or panel for use in the faux suspended wooden ceiling embodiments herein according to one aspect of the present invention.

[0007] FIG. 2 depicts a cross section of an exemplary embodiment of a beam for use in the faux suspended wooden ceiling embodiments herein according to another aspect of the present invention.

[0008] FIG. 3 depicts a finished faux suspended wooden ceiling according to another aspect of the present invention.

[0009] FIG. 4 depicts an exemplary embodiment of an adjustable height bracket for use in various embodiments according to another aspect of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0010] It is worthy to note that any reference herein to “one embodiment” or “an embodiment” means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the invention. The appearances of the phrase “in one embodiment” in various places in the specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment.

[0011] Throughout this description, the term planks and panels may be used interchangeably. As used herein, these terms describe any wooden board or any composite, laminated structure, or the like that can be used to form the main portion of the ceiling in any length or width desired in combination with the faux beams described herein.

[0012] The embodiments herein relate to a suspended or drop ceiling using beams, e.g., hollow beams, composed of wood and panels between the beams. Other aspects of the invention will be apparent from a reading of the following in light of the attached figures.

[0013] An object of the embodiments of the present invention is to provide the home re-modeler with an alternative to the standard cross grid and tile drop ceiling. The end result resembles an authentic beam and beaded board ceiling. An exemplary embodiment 10 of a finished faux suspended wooden ceiling according to one aspect of the present invention is shown in FIG. 1.

[0014] An exemplary embodiment of a wooden beam drop ceiling according to one aspect of the present invention includes inter alia two elements—faux wooden beams and wood planks. Turning to FIG. 2, shown therein is a faux wooden beam 20 for use in the faux suspended wooden ceiling embodiment herein according to one aspect of the present invention. In short, the faux wood beams 20 are not structural supports in that they do not support the weight of the floor or structure above. Therefore, these wood beams 20 are not necessarily beams per se but can be made to look as if they are solid. Making them hollow significantly reduces the cost and difficulty associated with their installation.

[0015] The faux wood beams 20 are attached at either end to the wall or ceiling in a traditional manner. A bracket 21 is mounted to the beam 20 using screws 23. The bracket 21 can be an adjustable height bracket, as shown in FIG. 4, which enables the ceiling to be installed at any height below the joists to accommodate existing structures or wiring.

[0016] A wood stud 24 is then attached to the bracket 21 via screws 25. In turn, the stud is attached to the ceiling joist 22 via screws 26.

[0017] The beam 20 has a hollow side (in which the bracket 21 sits) that faces the ceiling. Opposite the side that faces the ceiling is an end cap 27 that includes a fancy trim element 28 and internal wood trim pieces 29 that attach the end cap 27 to the sides 18, 19 of the wooden beam 20.

[0018] Molding 16, 17 runs along side the beam 20 and is attached to the ceiling or beam, as necessary, in the traditional manner. This molding 16, 17 supports the planks or panels 30 as discussed below.

[0019] Caps at the ends of the beams may be employed if the end of the beam is viewable after the installation due to the particular features of the room in which the ceiling is to be installed.

[0020] The number of faux wood beams is based on a size of the room in which the ceiling is to be installed and a desired aesthetic effect one is attempting to create. The finish of these faux wood beams is also a function of the aesthetics and could be any desired finish without departing from the scope of the invention. The beam is made to resemble an authentic floor joist beam. It can be made to look plain or intricate depending on what types of molding cuts are made in the surface and/or the style of applied molding used.

[0021] The beam is not restricted in length or directional placement. The beams can be hung easily from wood or metal hangers mounted to a self-placed wooden cleat to the floor or joist and alternately to the beam. The beams can be spaced at variable distances relative to each other to allow different sized panel widths to accommodate easy access to the space above.

[0022] Turning to FIG. 3, shown therein in cross section (i.e., the width of the plank 30) is an exemplary embodiment of a plank 30 for use in the faux suspended ceiling embodiments of the present invention. The wooden planks 30 include alternating interlocking lips 31, 32 so that one can simply lay the planks 30 between the faux wood beams (e.g., on the molding 16, 17 from FIG. 1) from one end of the room to another. This embodiment 30 includes a bead finish 33 in the center. When two planks 30 are coupled together at lips 31, 32 the resulting joint has the same appearance as bead finish 33. The end result is a simple but stylish wooden ceiling that can be easily opened for access to wiring, plumbing or other household systems that are usually disposed in the ceiling joists or in the space between the drop ceiling and the floor above.

[0023] The size of the planks or panels 30 used between the beams 20 determines the distance between the substantially parallel placement of the beams 20. Clearly, the beams 20 could be made non-parallel if desired though. The panels 30 in between the beams 20 that act as the ceiling span from beam 20 to beam 20 resting on a lip or molding 16, 17 of the beam 20. The panels 30 are cut in such a way to overlap one another at their ends without visual evidence of a seam or connection. The panels 30 can be made of wood (or other appropriate materials, including but not limited to composites, laminated structures, etc.) with a decorative cut that, when used, resembles beaded board. Other similar cuts and finishes can be used as well, depending upon the desired finish look. The panel 30 can be cut in various ways to be versatile in design. Molding placed on the walls around the perimeter of the ceiling provides a finished look and supports the ends of the panels at a point where the panels meet the wall.

[0024] Interlocking lips on the edges of the plank or panel elements are provided to hide the joints, which results in a true ceiling look. However, these lips are not necessary to all embodiments of the invention. For example, planks or panels could be designed to abut against each other without any interlocking lips without departing from the scope of the present invention.

[0025] Also, this ceiling can be shipped in pieces as a kit and then assembled on the job site with relative ease. Depending upon the size of the installation, a kit can be provided based on the dimensions of the room and standard spacing between the beams. For example, in a 10 foot by 20 foot room, with the beams running the longest dimension, one might have two or three beams. The number of planks is then easily calculable.

[0026] A key aspect of the present invention is the use of continuous length beams without cross grids. This avoids a complex installation of hangers and other traditional mechanisms. As a result of the interlocking planks or panels in combination with the supporting structure (e.g., the molding or other similar feature) of the faux beams, numerous wires, hangers or cross grids are not required due to the interlocking mechanism of the wooden planks. This avoids the traditional complications of drop ceilings and the less than pleasing appearance.

[0027] According to another aspect of the present invention, the faux beams can be mounted at various distances below the floor joists depending on the length of fixed brackets or by use of “adjustable” brackets in order to clear objects (pipes, ducts, wiring, etc.) that may have been previously installed (below the joists). An exemplary embodiment of an adjustable bracket 21 is depicted in FIG. 4. Several pairs of holes 41-44 are provided at preset distances on the bracket along a line that runs the length of the bracket 21, through which holes 41-44 mounting screws can be inserted for attaching the bracket to the wood stud 24 (which in turn attaches to the joist) and the faux beams at the desired height. These hole pairs are merely exemplary. What is important is that a plurality of holes be provided among which an installer can select to use some of to attach the bracket to the wood stud as desired to accommodate any potential spacing requirements for a given installation. Additional hole pairs 45, 46 are provided for attaching the beam to the bracket 21, which in this embodiment hole pairs 45-46 are disposed at an angle of between about 30-60 degrees relative to the line on which the hole pairs 41-44 exist. This design is also not necessary in all situations. For example, one could simply provide a plurality of holes from which an installer could select. This bracket enables the ceiling to be adjusted to the particular characteristics of a given installation.

[0028] Although various embodiments are specifically illustrated and described herein, it will be appreciated that modifications and variations of the invention are covered by the above teachings and are within the purview of the appended claims without departing from the spirit and intended scope of the invention. For example, the disclosure relates to faux wood beams, however, the invention is not so limited and could be used to create other aesthetically pleasing effects, such as plaster beams, drywall beams, steel beams, etc. Moreover, while the embodiments discuss wooden elements, the planks and beams could be made of any other materials, including but not limited to imitation wood, plastic, composites, laminated materials, pressboard, metals, etc. Furthermore, these examples should not be interpreted to limit the modifications and variations of the invention covered by the claims but are merely illustrative of possible variations.