Title:
Tile and liner bracket structure for swimming pools and swimming pools utilizing the same
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A peripheral bracket member provided in conjunction with a liner-type pool, having a body whose outwardly facing surface directly substantially engages, and has a contour that substantially conforms to the contour of the inwardly facing surface of the pool wall and which is mounted on the pool wall to form a border adjacent to the top of the pool wall. A channel structure extends along a lower region of the inwardly facing surface of the bracket body at a level below the normal water line of the pool which receives and holds a bead provided at the liner edge. An elongate cap is affixed to the bead-receiving bracket structure. The tile and bracket structure also provides aesthetic junctions with and secure watertight seals at the skimmer openings and other pool wall terminations such as stairs and wall ladders.



Inventors:
Lucas, Thomas (Clifton Park, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/192728
Publication Date:
12/28/2006
Filing Date:
07/28/2005
Assignee:
Latham Plastics, Inc. Recreational Products Division
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H4/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, TUAN N
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Cozen O''Connor (New York, NY, US)
Claims:
1. A swimming pool comprising: a plurality of wall sections connected to each other in end to end relatonship and defining an inwardly facing pool wall surface; a tile and liner bracket structure including at least one bracket member, said bracket structure overlying and mounted on said inwardly facing pool wall surface, said bracket structure including a body having a top edge, a bottom edge, an inwardly facing surface and an outwardly facing surface having a contour substantially conforming to the contour of said inwardly facing pool wall surface to which said bracket structure is mounted, said outwardly facing body surface positioned substantially flush against and in substantial engagement with said inwardly facing pool wall surface, said bracket structure further including a channel structure having a first channel extending along a lower region of said inwardly facing body surface, said first channel being structured and arranged to receive and hold a bead provided at an edge of a flexible liner, said inwardly facing body surface having a tile-mounting region situated above said bead-receiving first channel to which decorative tiles can be affixed; a flexible liner having a bead provided at an edge thereof, said liner bead received within and held by said bead-receiving first channel; and said bead-receiving first channel being situated below the normal waterline of the swimming pool.

2. A swimming pool as recited in claim 1 wherein said tile-mounting region of said bracket extends substantially between said top edge of said body and said channel structure.

3. A swimming pool as recited in claim 1 wherein said top edge of said body is situated substantially flush with a top edge of said inwardly facing pool wall surface.

4. A swimming pool as recited in claim 1 further including an elongate channel cap fixed to and overlying said bead-receiving channel structure.

5. A swimming pool as recited in claim 4 wherein said channel structure of said bracket structure further comprises a second channel opening from said inwardly facing body surface and extending along said lower region of said inwardly facing body surface adjacent and parallel to said bead-receiving first channel and wherein said channel cap includes a connection flange, said connection flange being received and held within said second channel to fix said channel cap to said channel structure to overlie the same.

6. A swimming pool as recited in claim 4 wherein said liner bead received and held in said bead-receiving first channel defines an elongate slot, and wherein said channel cap includes an elongate projection received and held within said elongate slot.

7. A swimming pool as recited in claim 5 wherein said liner bead received and held in said bead-receiving first channel defines an elongate slot, and wherein said channel cap includes an elongate projection situated below said connection flange which is received and held within said elongate slot.

8. A swimming pool as recited in claim 5 wherein said channel structure includes an inwardly projecting lower flange, an inwardly projecting upper flange and an inwardly projecting intermediate flange situated between said upper and lower flanges, said lower and intermediate flanges defining said bead-receiving first channel and said upper and intermediate flanges defining said cap-receiving second channel.

9. A swimming pool as recited in claim 5 further including at least one threaded fastener passing through said bracket structure and wall section for mounting said tile and liner bracket structure on said one of said wall sections.

10. A swimming pool as recited in claim 1 wherein said bead is formed on an edge of said liner.

11. A swimming pool as recited in claim 1 wherein said bead is formed on a separate strip of flexible material attached to said liner.

12. A swimming pool as recited in claim 1 wherein said inwardly facing pool wall surface is substantially planar.

13. A swimming pool as recited in claim 1 wherein said inwardly facing pool wall surface is curved.

14. A swimming pool as recited in claim 1 wherein said body of said bracket structure has a height in the range of between about 7 to 9 inches and a thickness of between about 0.06-0.10 inches.

15. A swimming pool as recited in claim 1 wherein said body of said bracket structure has a height of about 8 inches and a thickness of about 0.08 inches.

16. A swimming pool as recited in claim 1 wherein said bracket member of said bracket structure comprises an extruded plastic member.

17. A swimming pool as recited in claim 1 wherein said bracket member of said bracket structure has a length of between about 10 to 12 feet.

18. A swimming pool as recited in claim 1 wherein said tile and liner bracket structure comprises at least two bracket members and means for interconnecting said at least two bracket members with abutting side edges to define continuous top and bottom edges, a continuous body and a continuous channel structure.

19. A swimming pool as recited in claim 18 wherein said means for interconnecting said at least two bracket members comprises a thin plastic sheet having opposite side surfaces on which pressure-sensitive adhesive coatings are provided.

20. A swimming pool comprising: a plurality of wall sections connected to each other in end to end relationship and defining an inwardly facing pool wall surface, a top edge and an outwardly facing surface, a skimmer opening formed through a wall section opening onto said inwardly and outwardly facing pool wall surfaces, said skimmer opening being generally rectangular and intersecting said inwardly facing pool wall surface at upper and lower edges, and at a pair of side edges; a tile and liner bracket structure overlying and mounted on said inwardly facing pool wall surface in the region of said skimmer opening, said bracket structure including a body having a top edge, a bottom edge, an inwardly facing body surface and an outwardly facing body surface having a contour substantially conforming to the contour of said inwardly facing pool wall surface to which said bracket structure is mounted, said outwardly facing body surface positioned substantially flush against and in substantial engagement with said inwardly facing pool wall surface in the region of said skimmer opening, said body having a reduced height section forming, with adjacent body sections an open body area overlying said skimmer opening, said bracket structure further including a channel structure having a first channel extending along a lower region of said inwardly facing body surface and terminating at said open body area, said first channel being structured and arranged to receive and hold a bead provided at an edge of a flexible liner, said inwardly facing body surface having a tile-mounting region situated above said bead-receiving first channel to which decorative tiles can be affixed; a flexible liner having a bead provided at an edge thereof, said liner bead received within and held by said bead-receiving first channel; and said bead-receiving first channel being situated below the normal waterline of the swimming pool.

21. A swimming pool as recited in claim 20 wherein said upper edge of said skimmer opening is spaced below said top edge of said inwardly facing pool wall surface, and wherein said reduced height section of said body overlies a region of said inwardly facing pool wall surface defined between said upper edge of said skimmer opening and said top edge of said inwardly facing pool wall surface.

22. A swimming pool as recited in claim 20 wherein said open body area formed by said reduced height and adjacent sections of said body is defined by opposed inner side edges and an upper interconnecting edge of said body and wherein said first channel extending along a lower region of said body terminates substantially at said opposed inner side edges of said body.

23. A swimming pool as recited in claim 22 wherein said inwardly facing pool wall surface includes upper, lower and side edge surface regions bordering said upper, lower and side edges of said skimmer opening, and wherein said outwardly facing body surface includes upper and side edge surface regions bordering said upper and inner side edges of said body open area, said upper and side edge surface regions of said outwardly facing body surface overlying said upper and side edge surface regions of said inwardly facing pool wall surface.

24. A swimming pool as recited in claim 23 and further including means for forming a water seal between said upper and side edge surface regions of said inwardly facing pool wall surface, and said upper and side edge surface regions of said outwardly facing body surface.

25. A swimming pool as recited in claim 24 wherein said sealing means include a first seal member at least in part overlying at least one of said overlying upper and side edge surface regions of said outwardly facing body surface and said inwardly facing pool wall surface, to urge said overlying surfaces into sealing engagement.

26. A swimming pool as recited in claim 25 wherein said sealing means further include a second seal member overlying at least in part and fastened to at least one of said lower and side edge surface regions of said inwardly facing pool wall surface.

27. A swimming pool as recited in claim 25 wherein said first seal member comprises an inverted U-shaped member having a pair of side sealing legs and an interconnecting upper sealing leg, and wherein said pair of side sealing legs overlie said overlying upper and side edge surface regions of said outwardly facing body surface and said inwardly facing pool wall surface, to urge said overlying surfaces into sealing engagement.

28. A swimming pool as recited in claim 27 wherein an edge portion of said flexible liner overlies said lower edge surface region of said inwardly facing pool wall surface bordering said skimmer opening, said sealing means further including a second seal member comprising a U-shaped member having a pair of side sealing legs and an interconnecting lower sealing leg, and wherein said pair of side sealing legs overlie the overlying side edge surface regions of said outwardly facing body surface and said inwardly facing pool wall surface to sealingly urge them together, and wherein said interconnecting lower sealing leg overlies said overlying edge portion of said liner and lower edge surface region of said pool wall surface to sealingly urge them together.

29. A swimming pool as recited in claim 28 wherein said side sealing legs of said first seal member extend downwardly and overlie portions of said side edge surface regions of said inwardly facing body surface terminating in a downward direction prior to said channel structure, and wherein said side sealing legs of said second seal member extend upwardly and overlie portions of said side edge surface regions of said inwardly facing body surface including said channel structure.

30. A swimming pool as recited in claim 24 wherein an edge portion of said flexible liner overlies said lower edge surface region of said inwardly facing pool wall surface bordering said skimmer opening, and wherein said sealing means include at least one sealing member overlying said lower edge surface region of said inwardly facing pool wall surface and said edge portion of said liner.

31. A swimming pool as recited in claim 30 further including an inner gasket member having portions situated between said upper and side edge surface regions of said outwardly facing body surface, and said upper and side edge surface regions of said inwardly facing pool wall surface and between said lower edge surface region of said inwardly facing pool wall surface and said edge portion of said liner.

32. A swimming pool as recited in claim 31 further including an outer gasket member overlying said at least one sealing member and fastened to and overlying said upper, lower and side edge surface regions of said inwardly facing pool wall surface.

33. A swimming pool as recited in claim 32 further including a skimmer faceplate overlying said outer gasket member.

34. A swimming pool comprising: a plurality of wall sections connected to each other in end to end relationship and defining an inwardly facing pool wall surface; a non-wall structure having an inwardly facing surface, a side edge and a side surface, said non-wall structure situated adjacent to one of said wall sections with side surfaces of said wall section and adjacent non-wall structure in contiguous relationship, said inwardly facing pool wall surface and non-wall structure inwardly facing surface together defining an inwardly facing substantially continuous surface assembly; a tile and liner bracket structure mounted on said inwardly facing pool wall surface and said adjacent inwardly facing non-wall structure surface, said bracket structure including a body having a top edge, a bottom edge, a side edge, an inwardly facing surface and an outwardly facing surface having a shape substantially conforming to the shape of said inwardly facing substantially continuous surface assembly, said outwardly facing body surface positioned substantially flush against and in substantial engagement with said inwardly facing substantially continuous surface assembly, said bracket structure further including a channel structure having a first channel extending along a lower region of said inwardly facing body surface proximate to said bottom edge of said body, said first channel opening from said inwardly facing body surface and structured and arranged to receive and hold a bead provided at an edge of a flexible liner, said inwardly facing body surface having a tile-mounting region situated above said bead-receiving first channel to which decorative tiles can be affixed; said outwardly facing surface of said body including a side edge surface region proximate to said side edge of said body, said inwardly facing surface of said non-wall structure including a side edge surface region proximate to said side edge of said non-wall structure, said side edge surface region of said outwardly facing body surface overlying and fastened to said side edge surface region of said inwardly facing surface of said non-wall structure; sealing means for forming a water seal in the region between said overlying side edge surface regions of said inwardly facing surface of said non-wall structure and said outwardly facing surface of said body; a flexible liner having a bead provided at an edge thereof, said liner bead received and held within said bead-receiving first channel; and said bead-receiving first channel being situated below the normal waterline of the swimming pool.

35. A swimming pool as recited in claim 30 wherein said sealing means includes an elongate sealing member overlying and fastened to said side edge region of said inwardly facing surface of said non-wall structure to sandwich said side edge region of said outwardly facing surface of said body therebetween.

36. A swimming pool as recited in claim 35 wherein said sealing means further includes a gasket member situated between said side edge region of said inwardly facing surface of said non-wall structure and said side edge region of said outwardly facing surface of said body.

37. A swimming pool as recited in claim 35 wherein said elongate sealing member extends from above said channel structure of said bracket structure to a position proximate to the top edge of said body and wherein said sealing means further includes a second sealing member overlying said bead-holding channel structure and fastened to said side edge region of said inwardly facing surface of said non-wall structure.

38. A swimming pool as recited in claim 37 wherein said liner bead received in said first channel defines an elongate slot therein and wherein said second sealing member includes a projection received in said bead slot.

39. A swimming pool as recited in claim 34 wherein said non-wall structure includes a stair structure.

40. A swimming pool as recited in claim 34 wherein said non-wall structure includes a wall ladder.

41. A tile and liner bracket member for a swimming pool comprising: a body having a top edge, a bottom edge, an inwardly facing surface and an outwardly facing surface having a contour adapted to conform to the contour of an inwardly facing pool wall surface to which said bracket structure is to be mounted, said outwardly facing body surface adapted to be positioned substantially flush against and in substantial engagement with said inwardly facing pool wall surface, said bracket structure further including a channel structure having a first channel extending along a lower region of said inwardly facing body surface, said first channel being structured and arranged to receive and hold a bead provided at an edge of a flexible liner, said inwardly facing body surface having a tile-mounting region situated above said bead-receiving first channel to which decorative tiles can be affixed.

Description:

This application claims the benefit of U.S. provisional application 60/607,132, filed Sep. 3, 2004.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to swimming pools and, more particularly, to liner-type swimming pools having flexible plastic liners.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Residential swimming pools are often constructed of a plurality of separate wall sections situated and fixed to each other in end to end relationship to define an enclosed container or vessel which is then lined by a thin, flexible plastic liner which makes the container watertight. Such “liner” swimming pools are less expensive than swimming pools made of concrete.

On the other hand, concrete swimming pools are considered to be more aesthetically pleasing than liner pools. Decorative tiles are easily applied to pool walls formed of concrete while the concrete is in a wet or moldable state. While plastic liners are often provided with decorative printed designs, the designs printed on the portion of the liner that is situated above the water line of the pool often becomes discolored due to exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun and the chemicals in the pool water. While it has been proposed to apply a separate plastic border having a decorative print over discolored portions of a liner when discoloration of the original liner occurs (e.g., see U.S. Pat. No. 6,618,867 to Hodak), the print on the border is still not as decorative as actual tiles.

Arrangements have been suggested for applying decorative tiles to the side walls of liner-type pools. U.S. Pat. No. 4,205,499 to Lankheet discloses a liner pool in which a peripherally extending groove is formed in the pool wall which receives and holds a bead provided at the edge of the liner. The groove is formed a distance below the top edge of the wall section to provide an area above the channel on the surface of the pool wall on which tiles can be mounted. However, this arrangement requires a special construction for the pool wall and obviously is not useful in connection with retrofitting conventional liner type pools. U.S. Pat. No. 4,706,308 to Palmere discloses a peripherally extending receptor apparatus which overhangs the plastic liner and which includes a liner bead-receiving channel and a tile setting track. However, the open space between the receptor apparatus and the liner is prone to collect dirt and algae and can be damaged by ice in the winter months. The receptor apparatus rubs against the liner and causes it to unduly wear or fail. Moreover, such tile-mounting structures do not form aesthetic junctions with terminations of the pool wall. Similarly, U.S. Pat. No. 5,018,324 to Lankheet discloses a tile track that hangs over a plastic liner and is therefore subject to the same problems inherent in the Palmere arrangement.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved tile and liner bracket member for liner type swimming pools, and swimming pools which utilize the same.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a new and improved tile and liner bracket member for liner type swimming pools, and swimming pools which utilize the same, which overcome the problems inherent in prior art arrangements.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide a new and improved tile and liner bracket member for liner type swimming pools, and swimming pools which utilize the same, wherein the liner is connected to the bracket structure below the water line of the pool and a water tight seal is provided between the liner and the pool wall below the water line and at the junctions between the liner and terminations of the pool wall, including conventional skimmer openings, wall ladders or other accessories affixed to or integral with the pool wall.

It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a new and improved tile and liner bracket member for liner type swimming pools, and swimming pools which utilize the same, in which the liner is located entirely below the water line thereby protecting it from discoloration due to exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun and to which decorative tiles can be mounted to provide the desirable aesthetic characteristics of concrete pools.

Briefly, these and other objects are attained by providing in conjunction with a liner-type pool, a peripheral tile and liner bracket member having a body whose outwardly facing surface directly substantially engages, and has a contour that substantially conforms to the contour of the inwardly facing surface of the pool wall and which is mounted on the pool wall to form a border adjacent to the top of the pool wall. A channel structure extends along a lower region of the inwardly facing surface of the bracket body at a level below the normal water line of the pool which receives and holds a bead provided at the liner edge. An elongate cap is affixed to the bead-receiving bracket structure. In one embodiment, the bracket structure comprises an extruded product formed of plastic about eight inches in height, about 0.08 inches in thickness and about 8 to 10 feet in length. The bracket member is flexible so that it can closely conform to the contour of the pool wall, not only along relatively straight lengths, but also along curved lengths.

The tile and bracket structure also provides aesthetic junctions with and secure watertight seals at the skimmer openings and other pool wall terminations such as stairs and wall ladders. In the case of a skimmer opening, bracket structure body is provided with a reduced height section forming, along with adjacent body sections, an open area overlying the skimmer opening. Sealing members are fastened to the pool wall which are situated over the edge regions of the body and bead-receiving channel structure bordering the skimmer opening.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A more complete appreciation of the present invention and many of the attendant advantages thereof will be readily understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1A is a front elevation view of a tile and liner bracket member in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 1B is a side elevation view of the tile and liner bracket member shown in FIG. 1A;

FIG. 2 is a side elevation view of the channel structure of the tile and liner bracket member shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B and designated at “A” in FIG. 1B;

FIG. 3 is a perspective broken away view of a pool wall on which a tile and liner bracket member in accordance with the invention is mounted;

FIG. 4 is a side elevation view in cross section of a pool wall on which a tile and liner bracket member in accordance with the invention is mounted;

FIG. 5 is an exploded perspective view of a pool wall on which a tile and liner bracket member in accordance with the invention is mounted showing the attachment of a liner bead and channel cap to the channel structure;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view showing a tile and liner bracket member mounted on a pool wall and showing a connecting member for interconnecting two adjacent bracket members;

FIG. 7 is a exploded perspective view showing the application of a tile and liner bracket member in accordance with the invention to a pool wall in the region of a skimmer opening;

FIG. 8 is a side section through a skimmer opening of a swimming pool to which a tile and liner bracket member in accordance with the invention is mounted;

FIGS. 9-14 are perspective views showing sequential steps of mounting a tile and liner bracket member in accordance with the invention to a swimming pool wall in the region of a skimmer opening; and

FIGS. 15-19 are perspective views showing sequential steps of mounting a tile and liner bracket member in accordance with the invention at a junction with a termination of the pool wall, namely pool wall ladder.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring now to the drawings wherein like reference characters designate identical or corresponding parts throughout the several views, and more particularly to FIGS. 1A and 1B, a tile and liner bracket member 10 in accordance with the invention includes a body 12 having a top edge 14 comprising an inwardly extending flange 15, a bottom edge 16, a surface 18 which faces inwardly towards the water in the pool when the bracket member 10 is mounted on a pool wall, and a surface 20 which faces outwardly away from the water in the pool. A channel structure 22 extends along a lower region of the inwardly facing surface 18 of body 10. The region 23 (FIG. 1A) of inwardly facing body surface 18 between the channel structure 22 and the top edge 14 constitutes a tile-mounting region on which decorative tiles can be fixed. Openings 24 are formed through the body 12 through which fasteners pass for securing the bracket member 10 to a pool wall as described below. In a preferred embodiment, the tile and liner bracket member 10 is formed of polyvinyl chloride by an extrusion process. The body 12 of bracket member 10 has a thickness T preferably in the range of between 0.06 to 1.0 inches, and most preferably about 0.08 inches, and a height H preferably in the range of between about 7 to 9 inches and most preferably about 8.0 inches. The length L of the bracket member 10 is preferably in the range of about 10 to 12 feet. With these or equivalent dimensions and materials the tile and liner bracket 10 has flexibility and can conform to the contour of a pool wall both along straight wall lengths as well as along curved wall lengths having radii of curvature as short as about 6 inches. The bracket members may be cut from longer extruded lengths which may be provided to pool installers in coiled rolls.

The channel structure 22 formed on the lower region of the body 12 of the tile and liner bracket member 10 includes a lower flange 26 projecting inwardly from the inwardly facing surface 18, an inwardly projecting upper flange 28 and an inwardly projecting intermediate flange 30. The lower and intermediate flanges 26, 30 define a first lower channel 32 while the upper and intermediate flanges 28, 30 define a second upper channel 34. As best seen in FIG. 1A, the channels extend parallel to each other in a generally horizontal direction.

A plurality of aligned bracket members 10 are situated adjacent to the top surface 46 of pool wall 44 in side by side relationship, with their side edges in contiguous relationships with each other, to form a substantially continuous peripheral border. The upper tile mounting regions 23 of the bodies 12 of bracket members 10 are aligned with each other to form a substantially continuous tile-mounting surface around the periphery of the pool. Similarly, the channels 32, 34 of channel structures 22 of the bracket members are aligned with each other to form a substantially continuous channel structure. As discussed in detail below, the continuity of the tile mounting regions and/or channel structure typically ceases where the pool wall surface is interrupted by a non-wall structure, such as a pool wall ladder or steps, or by skimmer openings.

Referring to FIG. 3, a tile and liner bracket member 10 overlies and is mounted directly on the inwardly facing surface 42 of pool wall 44 with the top edge 14 of body 12 situated substantially flush with the top edge 46 of pool wall 44. The bracket members are mounted to the pool wall by means of threaded fasteners 48 (FIG. 4) that pass through openings 24 in body 12 and pool wall 44. The openings 24 may be countersunk to receive the heads of fasteners 48. Upon mounting the bracket member 10 on the pool wall 44, the outwardly facing surface 20 of bracket body 10 is positioned substantially flush against and in substantial engagement with the inwardly facing pool wall surface 42. The outwardly facing body surface 20 assumes a contour that substantially conforms to the contour of the inwardly facing surface 42 of pool wall 44. As seen in FIG. 6, a bracket connecting member 36 comprises a thin rectangular plastic sheet, the inner and outer surfaces of which are coated with a pressure sensitive adhesive. The connecting member 36 has a height which is generally co-extensive with the height of the tile and liner bracket members 10. A connecting member is adhesively affixed to the surface 42 of pool wall 44 at each junction between adjacent bracket members 10. The length of each connecting member 38 is such that a few inches of the adjacent edge regions of each of the outer body surfaces 20 overlie and are adhesively affixed to the connecting member. This construction provides a secure seal against water passing through any space between the adjacent bracket members.

Decorative tiles 50 are adhesively affixed to the upper tile-mounting region 23 of the inwardly facing surface 18 of bracket body 10 between the upper flange 28 of channel structure 22 and the inwardly extending flange 15 at top edge 14 of the body 10. Each tile can be relatively large and extend the full height of tile mounting region 23, or may be smaller so that a mosaic pattern can be utilized.

Referring to FIGS. 3-5, the edge of the pool liner 52 is provided with a bead 54 which is received within and held by the first channel 32 to form a water tight seal between the liner and the bracket member over the substantial periphery of the pool. The bead may either be formed integrally with the liner at its edge or may be formed on a separate strip 56 of flexible plastic material, e.g., PVC, which is then fused to the edge of the liner 52 as shown at 58 in the preferred embodiment. The height of the bracket body 12 and location of the bead-receiving first channel 32 are such that the first channel 32 is located below the normal water line of the pool. In this manner, the edge of the liner is attached to the bracket members 10 in a water tight manner around substantially the entire periphery of the pool. At the same time, the tile-mounting region 23 of body 12 extends from below the normal water line of the pool to the top edge of the pool wall.

An elongate channel cap 60 is fixed to the bead-receiving channel structure in overlying relationship therewith and serves both to present an aesthetic appearance by covering the channel structure as well as to reinforce the water tight seal between the liner 52 and bracket member 10. The channel cap 60 comprises a cover strip 62. The liner bead which is received and held in the bead-receiving first channel 32 is formed so as to define an elongate slot 68 (FIG. 5). The channel cap 60 is affixed to the bead-receiving channel structure by means of lower cap flange 66 being received in bead slot 68 and upper cap flange extending into and being held in second channel 34 of the channel structure 22. The lower cap flange 66 is preferably formed such that when it is received in the bead slot 68, it causes the bead 54 to expand and more tightly engage the channel 32 thereby reinforcing the water tight seal. The channel cap 60 extends around the substantial periphery of the pool except at termination points of the pool wall.

The construction of the tile and liner bracket member according to the invention provides a liner pool with the appearance of a tiled concrete pool. The pool liner is entirely situated below the pool water line thereby avoiding discoloration of the liner due to direct impingement of UV rays from the sun. There is no space formed between the bracket member and either the liner or pool wall within which dirt or algae can accumulate or within which water can freeze and cause damage. The bracket member does not rub against the liner so that the provision of the tile and liner bracket does not result in undue wear of the liner.

Referring now to FIGS. 7-14, the construction of the tile and liner bracket member 10 is shown when the bracket member is applied to a pool wall in the vicinity of a skimmer opening 70 formed through the pool wall 44. The skimmer opening 70 opens onto the inwardly facing surface 42 and outwardly facing surface (not shown) of pool wall 44 and is generally rectangular intersecting the pool wall surface at upper and lower edges 72, 74 and at side edges 76, 76. The body 12 of bracket member 10 has a reduced height section 78 which forms, along with adjacent full height body sections, an open area 80 that overlies the skimmer opening 70. The upper edge 72 of skimmer opening 70 is spaced below the top surface 46 of the pool wall 44 so that the reduced height section 78 of bracket body 10 overlies the region of the inwardly facing pool wall surface 42 defined between the upper edge 72 of the skimmer opening and the top surface 46 of pool wall 44. Thus, tiles can be mounted on the reduced height section 78 between the skimmer opening and the top surface 46 of the pool wall 44.

The open area 80 of body 10 is defined by opposed inner edges 82 of body 10 and an upper interconnecting edge 84 of body 10. As seen in FIG. 10, the channel structure 22 extends along the lower region of the full height sections of body 10 (only the left full height section is shown) and terminates at ends 86 substantially at the opposed inner edges 82 of body 10. The position of liner 52 that spans the distance between the ends 86 of the channel structure 88 is shaped so as to overlie the region of the pool wall surface 42 bordering the lower edge 74 of skimmer opening 70.

A watertight seal is formed between the pool wall surface 42 and the areas of the bracket 10 and liner portion 88 bordering skimmer opening 70. The pool wall surface 42 includes upper, lower and side edge surface regions 90, 92 and 94 respectively bordering the upper, lower and side edges 72, 74 and 76 respectively of skimmer opening 70. The outwardly facing body surface 20 includes an upper edge surface region 96 bordering the upper edge 84 of body 10 defining open area 80 and side edge surface regions 98, 98 bordering the inner edges 82 of body 10 defining open area 80. The upper and side edge regions 96, 98 of the outwardly facing body surface 20 overlies the upper and side edge surface regions 90, 94 of pool wall surface 42. The portion 88 of liner 52 that spans the ends 86 of channel structure 22 overlies the lower edge surface region 92 of pool wall surface 42. In order to form a water tight seal, a first inverted U-shaped seal member 100 having a pair of side sealing legs 102 and an interconnecting sealing leg 104 is situated over the overlying side and upper edge surface regions of body 12 and pool wall 44 and is ultimately fastened by the threaded members 106 to the skimmer apparatus 108 situated adjacent to the outer surface of pool wall 44 to urge the overlying side and upper edge surface regions of body 12 and pool wall 44 into sealing engagement. Similarly, a second U-shaped seal member having a pair of side sealing legs 112 and an interconnecting sealing leg 114 is situated over the overlying side edge surface regions of body 12 and pool wall 44 and the overlying lower edge surface region of body 12 and liner portion 88 and is likewise ultimately fastened by threaded members to skimmer apparatus 108 to urge the liner into sealing engagement with the pool wall.

Referring to FIGS. 7 and 8 in conjunction with FIGS. 9-14, the junction between the tile and liner bracket 10 (and liner 52) and the skimmer opening 70 is formed as follows: a first gasket 118 is fastened to the pool wall 42 bordering opening 70 (FIG. 9). A bracket member 10 having a reduced height section 78 is fastened to the pool wall surface with the open area 80 overlying the skimmer opening (FIG. 10). A short piece of butyl rope 122 is preferably situated beneath the channel structure 22. The first sealing member 100 is situated over the overlying body, gasket and pool wall surface regions (FIG. 11). The side sealing legs 102 terminate in a downward direction at the upper flange 28 of channel structure 22. The channel cap terminates just prior to the end region of the channel structure 22. The liner 52 is installed and the channel cap 60 is affixed to the channel structure 22 (FIG. 12). The second U-shaped seal member 110 is then installed (FIG. 13). It is noted that the side sealing legs 112 of the seal member 110 conform to and overlie channel structure 22 as well as the end portions of the side sealing legs 102 of the seal member 100. Finally, a cover plate 124 is situated over the sealing members 100, 110 whereupon threaded fasteners 116 are passed through aligned openings in the pool wall 44, gasket 118, seal members 100, 110 and cover plate 124 to compress the assembly to form a secure and aesthetically pleasing junction with the skimmer opening.

Turning now to FIGS. 15-19, the construction of the tile and liner bracket member 10 is shown when the bracket member is applied to a pool wall in the vicinity of a junction with a non-wall structure, namely a wall step module 126. The wall step module 126 has an inwardly facing surface 128, a side edge 130 and a side surface 132, and is situated adjacent to the pool wall with their side surfaces in contiguous relationship. The inwardly facing surfaces 42 and 128 of the pool wall step module define an inwardly facing substantially continuous surface assembly. The outwardly facing body surface 42 substantially conforms to the shape of the inwardly facing surface assembly 42, 128 and is positioned substantially flush against and in engagement with the surface assembly. The outwardly facing surface 20 of body 10 include a side edge surface region 134 proximate to the side edge 130 of the wall step module 126 which overlies and is fastened to the side edge surface region 130 of the wall step module. A gasket 136 is situated between the overlying side edge regions 128 and 134 of the wall step module and body 10. An elongate first sealing member 138 extends from the bead-holding channel structure 22 of the bracket member 10 to a position proximate to the top edge of the body 10 and a second sealing member 140 overlies the channel structure 22. The first and second sealing members are affixed by threaded fasteners to the pool wall and urge the body 10, gasket 136 and inwardly facing surface 128 of the wall step module together to form a water tight seal. A cover plate 142 is fastened over the sealing members to provide an aesthetically pleasing junction between the bracket member 10 and the non-wall structure.

Obviously, numerous modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in the light of the above teachings. It therefore to be understood that within the scope of the claims appended hereto the invention may be varied from the specific embodiment disclosed herein.