Title:
Trim system for a suspended ceiling
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A suspended ceiling system having a trim strip which conceals a construction clearance between a perimeter grid element and a soffit-type wall. The trim strip can be mounted onto the perimeter grid element, attached to the underside of the soffit-type wall or both.



Inventors:
Krantz-lilienthal, Eric (Lancaster, PA, US)
Stackenwalt, Richard D. (Marietta, GA, US)
Application Number:
11/093346
Publication Date:
10/06/2005
Filing Date:
03/30/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/506.07, 52/506.1
International Classes:
E04B2/00; E04B5/00; E04B9/00; E04B9/30; (IPC1-7): E04B2/00; E04B5/00; E04B9/00
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Primary Examiner:
AHMAD, CHARISSA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Armstrong World Industries, Inc. (Lancaster, PA, US)
Claims:
1. A ceiling system comprising: a soffit, a perimeter grid element and a trim strip; the perimeter grid element being spaced from and running parallel to the soffit whereby a construction clearance is provided therebetween; the trim strip being mounted onto the perimeter grid element and concealing the construction clearance between the perimeter grid element and the soffit.

2. The ceiling system of claim 1, wherein the trim strip is fixedly attached to the perimeter grid element.

3. The ceiling system of claim 1, wherein the perimeter grid element has first and second opposed flanges, the opposed flanges forming an opening therebetween.

4. The ceiling system of claim 3, wherein the opening is a screw slot.

5. The ceiling system of claim 3, wherein the opening is a bolt slot.

6. The ceiling system of claim 1, wherein the trim strip has first and second opposed legs and an intermediate section integrally connecting the first and second legs.

7. The ceiling system of claim 6, wherein the first leg, the second leg and intermediate section form a grid element receiving channel.

8. The ceiling system of claim 7, wherein the grid receiving channel conforms substantially to a flange of a perimeter grid element.

9. The ceiling system of claim 8, wherein the flange of the perimeter grid element is force fit into the grid receiving channel of the trim strip.

10. The ceiling system of claim 8, further comprising a tab which extends from the second leg of the trim element and into the grid receiving channel, wherein upon insertion of the flange of a perimeter grid element into the grid receiving channel of the trim strip, the tab snaps over the top side of first portion of the flange.

11. The ceiling system of claim 6, the trim strip further including a clearance covering portion which extends outwardly from the second leg of the trim element, the clearance covering portion having a step configuration which includes a first horizontal step, a second horizontal step and an intermediate vertical step which integrally connects the first and second horizontal steps.

12. The ceiling system of claim 11, wherein the first horizontal step extends outwardly from the second leg of the trim element in a direction substantially parallel to, but offset from, the intermediate portion of the trim element.

13. A ceiling system comprising: a soffit having an underside which faces the interior of a room, a grid element being spaced from the soffit whereby a construction clearance is provided therebetween, and a trim strip being attached to the underside of the soffit and extending to at least the edge of the grid element, wherein the trim element conceals the construction clearance between the grid element and the soffit.

14. The ceiling system of claim 13, wherein the trim strip has first and second opposed legs and an intermediate section integrally connecting the first and second legs.

15. The ceiling system of claim 14, wherein the first leg, the second leg and intermediate section form a grid element receiving channel.

16. The ceiling system of claim 14, wherein a flange of the perimeter grid element is force fit into the grid receiving channel.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. §119(e) of U.S. provisional application Ser. No. 60/557,642, filed Mar. 30, 2004, entitled Trim System.

BACKGROUND

The present invention relates generally to suspended ceiling systems, and more particularly, to a suspended ceiling system which includes trim elements along its perimeter. The trim elements of the invention can be utilized in floating ceiling systems, in order to bridge the construction clearance between a perimeter grid element and a soffit or soffit-type wall.

Suspended ceilings often have a plurality of perimeter grid elements which extend parallel to the wall perimeter but are terminated at a location spaced from the wall. One way to eliminate this space is to construct a soffit which extends down from the primary building structure above to the level of the ceiling perimeter. However, in some instances, due to the difficulties of constructing and leveling a soffit, a construction clearance may be visible between the soffit and perimeter grid elements.

One solution of eliminating the visibility of the construction clearance between a soffit and a perimeter grid element extending parallel thereto is to attach a conventional L-shaped beam member, or right angle, to the soffit. In this well known configuration, the upper leg of the wall angle is placed in abutting relation and is fixedly attached to the soffit. The lower leg of the wall angle extends in a direction perpendicular to the upper leg and fits under the flange of a perimeter grid element. As previously mentioned, due to construction imperfections, the soffit is rarely level across its entire span. As a result, gaps are frequently visible between the wall angle and soffit, resulting in a nonuniform, undesirable appearance at the ceiling perimeter. To eliminate these gaps, using the L-shaped wall angles would require custom sizing. Also utilizing a wall angle having a wide lower leg may be aesthetically undesirable if its width is greater than the flanges of the grid elements which are visible at the interior of the room.

The present ceiling system provides a solution for covering any construction clearance between a soffit and a perimeter grid element where such grid element extends parallel to the soffit. At the same time, the ceiling system preserves the aesthetic appeal of the ceiling system and eliminates the need for custom wall angles.

SUMMARY

The ceiling system of the invention includes a grid framework having perimeter grid elements spaced from, and preferably running parallel to, a soffit-type wall. A construction clearance is provided between the perimeter grid elements and the soffit. The ceiling system further includes a trim strip which conceals the construction clearance between the perimeter grid element and the soffit. The trim strip can either be mounted onto the perimeter grid element or attached to the underside of a soffit.

There are several advantages of the system of the invention including the ability of the trim strip of the invention to compensate for construction inaccuracies in the construction of the soffit. Also, the system is economical to use, as it eliminates the cost of manufacturing custom wall angles or specials. The invention possesses many other advantages, and has other purposes which may be made more clearly apparent from consideration of the example embodiments. The example embodiments are shown in the accompanying drawings and form part of the specification. The example embodiments will now be described in detail for the purpose of illustrating the general principles of the invention, but it is to be understood that the description of the example embodiments should not be considered limiting.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of a trim strip in accordance with an example embodiment of the invention mounted onto a perimeter grid element having a screw-slot panel supporting flange which is open on the lower side thereof, the trim strip being positioned to cover the construction clearance between the soffit and grid element.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the example embodiment of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the example embodiment of FIG. 1 further showing the trim mechanically attached to the underside of a soffit.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of a trim strip in accordance with the example embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-3, the trim strip being mounted onto a grid element having a bolt-slot panel supporting flange which is open on the lower side thereof.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The following description of the invention is provided as an enabling teaching of the invention in its best, currently known embodiment. Those skilled in the relevant art will recognize that many changes can be made to the embodiments described while still obtaining the beneficial results of the present invention. It will also be apparent that some of the desired benefits of the present invention can be obtained by selecting some of the features of the present invention without utilizing other features. Accordingly, those who work in the art will recognize that many modifications and adaptations to the present invention are possible and may even be desirable in certain circumstances and are a part of the present invention. Thus, the following description is provided as illustrative of the principles of the present invention and not in limitation thereof, since the scope of the present invention is defined by the claims.

Referring now in greater detail to the Figures, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout the drawings. FIGS. 1-4 illustrate a trim strip, also referred to herein as a trim member, in accordance with an example embodiment. The trim member 20 has first and second opposed legs, 22 and 24 respectively, and an intermediate section 26 integrally connecting the first and second opposed legs 22, 24. The first leg 22, second leg 24 and intermediate section 26 form a grid receiving channel 28. The grid receiving channel 28 is dimensioned to conform generally to a panel supporting flange of a perimeter grid element so that the trim member can be mounted onto an adjacent grid element as described in greater detail below.

FIGS. 1-3 illustrate a perimeter grid element, available from Armstrong World Industries, Inc., having a screw-slot panel supporting flange 12 which is open on the lower side thereof. FIG. 4 illustrates a second type of perimeter grid element, also available from Armstrong World Industries, Inc., having a bolt-slot panel supporting flange 12′ which is open on the lower side thereof. As shown in each of FIGS. 1-3, the geometry of the grid receiving channel 28 of the trim strip 20 conforms substantially to the geometry of a first portion 14 of the screw slot flange 12. As a result, the trim element 20, via the grid receiving channel 28, can be force fit onto the first portion 14 of flange 12. The same trim element 20 can be attached to flange 12′, shown in FIG. 4, in a similar manner due to the box-like configuration of the flange 12′.

For further positive engagement of the trim element 20 to the grid element 10, the second leg 24 of the trim element 20 may contain a tab 30 extending from the second leg 24 and into the grid receiving channel 28. Upon insertion of the first portion 14 of flange 12 into the grid receiving channel 28 of trim strip 20, tab 30 snaps over the top side of first portion 14. When viewed from below, the intermediate section 26 will cover the bottom side of first portion 14, and, thus, have the appearance of the bottom portion of flange 14.

As shown in FIGS. 1-4, the trim strip 20 further includes a clearance covering portion 32 which extends outwardly from the second leg 24 of the trim element 20. The clearance covering portion 32 has a step configuration which includes a first horizontal step 34, a second horizontal step 38 and an intermediate vertical step 36 which integrally connects the first and second horizontal steps. The first horizontal step extends 34 outwardly from the second leg 24 of the trim element 20 in a direction substantially parallel to, but offset from, the intermediate portion 26 of the trim element 20. The intermediate vertical step 36 extends downwardly from the first horizontal step 34 to the level of the intermediate section 26. The second horizontal step 38 extends horizontally from the intermediate vertical step 36. Although not required, when the trim element 20 is attached to a perimeter grid element 10, the second horizontal step 38 of the clearance covering portion 32 will preferably lie in abutting relationship with the underside of an adjacent soffit 40. As shown in FIGS. 1-4, the second horizontal step 38 can have a tapered configuration to promote further a seamless transition.

It should be noted that the second horizontal step 38 of the clearance covering portion 32 can be mechanically fastened to the soffit, such as by a screw 50 as shown in FIG. 3. If desired for aesthetical purposes, the fastening means 50 can be covered up applying joint compound 45 over the second horizontal step 38, as shown in FIG. 4, so that the fastener 50 will not be visible. Additionally, whether or not a mechanical fastener 50 is used, joint compound 45 can be applied to the second horizontal step 38, and painted over, so that the soffit 40 will look as though it extends up to and abuts the intermediate vertical step 36. As a result, the perimeter solution has the ability to maintain its floating nature while giving the impression of a wall-to-wall system which is permanently attached to or fit tight against a soffit.





 
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