Title:
Wall-adaptable shower rod assembly
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A shower rod assembly has a first rod has a first rod, a second rod telescopically connected to the first rod, a first plate suitable for attachment to a wall and receiving a first end of the first rod, and a second plate having a surface suitable for attachment to another wall and receiving the second end of the second rod. A flap is formed on the first plate so as to have an edge portion integrally connected to the plate and another edge portion separated from the plate. A bracket is affixed to the flap so as to connect pivotally with a plug in a respective end of one of the rods.



Inventors:
Moore, Sean A. (Houston, TX, US)
Application Number:
11/355138
Publication Date:
01/11/2007
Filing Date:
02/16/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K3/08; A47K3/14
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20060242760Spa tub apparatusNovember, 2006Chao
20050066439Users water storageMarch, 2005Korsinsky et al.
20050198732Wall mounted bathroom support bars with integral mounting flangeSeptember, 2005Knirk et al.
20050091742Infant bath support systemMay, 2005Bennett
20050144715Shower screen provided with lightingJuly, 2005Bassista
20080005832Lining for swimming poolsJanuary, 2008Aguilar De
20080148477Adjustable plumbing fittingsJune, 2008Shafik
20040128750Automatic toilet/urinal cleaning deviceJuly, 2004Cramer
20080201837Bidet For Toliet BowlAugust, 2008Oh
20070094787Multiple-electric-eye induction faucetMay, 2007Hwang
20060026745Dual action flushing assembly for toiletsFebruary, 2006Heath



Primary Examiner:
FETSUGA, ROBERT M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MICHAEL BEST & FRIEDRICH LLP (Chi) (MILWAUKEE, WI, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A shower rod assembly comprising: a first rod having a first end and a second end; a second rod telescopically connected to said first rod, said second rod having a first end received within said second end of said first rod, said second rod having a second end; a first plate having a surface suitable for attachment to a wall, said first plate having a flap formed on an opposite surface of said first plate, said flap having a structure thereon receiving said first end of said first rod; and a second plate having a surface suitable for attachment to another wall, said plate receiving said second end of said second rod.

2. The assembly of claim 1, said structure being pivotally connected to said first end of said first rod.

3. The assembly of claim 2, said structure being bracket extending outwardly from said opposite surface of said first plate, the assembly further comprising: a plug affixed onto said first end of said first rod, said plug being pivotally connected to said bracket.

4. The assembly of claim 2, said plug having a longitudinal axis, said plug having a hole extending through said plug transversely to said longitudinal axis, said bracket having a slot extending therethrough, said slot being aligned with said hole, the assembly further comprising: a pin extending through said slot and said hole so as to pivotally connect said plug to said structure.

5. The assembly of claim 1, said flap having a first edge portion that is integrally connected to said opposite surface of said first plate, said flap having another edge portion that are separated from said opposite surface of said first plate.

6. The assembly of claim 5, said flap having a generally rectangular configuration, said first edge portion extending outwardly forwardly of said opposite surface, said flap extending in generally parallel relation to said opposite surface.

7. The assembly of claim 6, said another edge portion comprising a first side edge portion, a second side edge portion and a bottom edge portion, said first and second side edge portions extending in generally parallel relation to each other.

8. The assembly of claim 1, further comprising: a first tape having an adhesive on opposite sides thereof, said first tape affixed to said surface of said first plate; and a second tape having an adhesive on opposite sides thereof, said second tape affixed to said surface of said second plate.

9. The assembly of claim 1, each of said first and second rods being curved.

10. The assembly of claim 1, further comprising: a first bubble level affixed to said first plate; and a second bubble level affixed to said second plate.

11. The assembly of claim 1, further comprising: a first plug affixed onto said first end of said first rod and pivotally connected to said first plate; and a second plug affixed onto said second end of said second rod and pivotally connected to said second plate, said first plug having a diameter that is different than a diameter of said second plug.

12. A shower rod assembly comprising: a first rod having a first end and a second end; a second rod telescopically connected to said first rod, said second rod having a first end received within said second end of said first rod, said second rod having a second end, each of said first and second rods being curved; a first plate having a surface suitable for attachment to a wall, said first plate having a flap formed on an opposite surface of said first plate, said flap having a structure thereon receiving said first end of said first rod; and a second plate having a surface suitable for attachment to another wall, said second plate receiving said second end of said second rod.

13. The assembly of claim 12, said first end of said first rod being pivotally connected to said structure, said second end of said second rod being pivotally connected to said second plate.

14. The assembly of claim 13, said structure comprising a bracket extending outwardly from said flap of said first plate, the assembly further comprising: a first plug affixed onto said first end of said first rod, said plug being pivotally connected to said bracket of said first plate.

15. The assembly of claim 12, said flap having a first edge portion that is integrally connected to said opposite surface of said first plate, said flap having another edge portion that are separated from said opposite surface of said first plate.

16. The assembly of claim 15, said flap having a generally rectangular configuration, said first edge portion extending outwardly forwardly of said opposite surface, said flap extending in generally parallel relation to said opposite surface.

17. The assembly of claim 16, said another edge portion comprising a first side edge portion, a second side edge portion and a bottom edge portion, said first and second side edge portions extending in generally parallel relation to each other.

18. A mounting assembly for securing a shower rod to a wall comprising: a plate having a surface suitable for attachment to the wall; a flap formed on an opposite surface of said plate so as to have a first edge portion integrally connected to said opposite surface and another edge portion that is separated from said opposite surface of said plate; a bracket affixed to said flap on a side of said flap opposite said plate, said bracket suitable for receiving an end of the shower rod.

19. The mounting assembly of claim 18, further comprising: a plug pivotally connected to said bracket, said plug having a diameter suitable for receiving the end of the shower rod.

20. The mounting assembly of claim 18, said flap having a generally rectangular configuration, said first edge portion extending outwardly forwardly of said opposite surface, said flap extending in generally parallel relation to said opposite surface.

Description:

RELATED U.S. APPLICATIONS

The present application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. application Ser. No. 11/178,115, filed on Jul. 11, 2005, and entitled “Shower Rod Assembly”, presently pending.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable.

REFERENCE TO MICROFICHE APPENDIX

Not applicable.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to shower rods. More particularly, the present invention relates to curved shower rods. Additionally, the present invention relates to shower rod assemblies in which the complete assembly can be easily connected to walls without the need for special tools. The present invention also relates to shower rod assemblies that can be attached to walls having a various cants and parallelisms.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Shower rods are often used for the support of shower curtains in the bathing environment. Typically, shower rods are formed so as to have a pair of rods in telescopic relationship so as to expand outwardly or inwardly to fit the dimensions between the walls at opposite ends of the bath tub. In certain circumstances, threaded connections are established between each of the rods such that rotation of the rods can create a compression fit between the walls. As a result, the shower rods can be supported by the forces exerted directly onto the wall by the rods.

Curved shower rods are becoming increasingly popular. These curved shower rods tend to expand the space available within the bath or shower for convenience of the person taking a shower. These curved shower rods are affixed to opposing walls adjacent to the bath tub. As such, the wide arc of the shower rod will extend outwardly beyond the tub. The curved shower rod also allows the shower curtain to more easily nest at one end or the other in a space adjacent to the wall. This allows the shower curtain to be neatly folded and positioned when not in use. The inward curve of the shower rod further prevents leaks.

Unfortunately, it is often difficult to install the curved shower rod onto the walls. In many circumstances, tools are required so as to properly affix the plates to the walls at opposite ends of the bath tub. Alignment of the plates so as to maintain a perfectly horizontal shower rod can be somewhat difficult. The curved nature of the shower rod makes visual alignment difficult. Additionally, the slight variations in the distance between the walls makes the use of a telescoping curved shower rod increasingly difficult. Under certain circumstances, the facing walls are not truly parallel to each other and are angularly offset from parallel. Additionally, under other circumstances, the walls are not entirely planar. As such, attachment of the shower rod can be more difficult.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a shower rod that can be easily installed onto the walls adjacent to the bath tub.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a shower rod whereby installation of the shower rod can be carried out without tools.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a shower rod assembly that minimizes the amount of assembly required by the user prior to installation.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a shower rod which virtually assures that the plates at the end of the shower rod are maintained in a proper horizontal orientation.

It is still a further object of the present invention to provide a shower rod that can be adapted to slight variations in the distance between the walls at the ends of the bath tub.

It is a further object to provide a shower rod assembly that can adapt to variations in the flatness of the walls.

It is still another objet of the present invention to provide a sower rod mounting assembly which allows the shower rod assembly to adapt to variations in the parallelism between the walls.

These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from a reading of the attached specification and appended claims.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a shower rod assembly that comprises a first rod having a first end and a second end, a second rod telescopically connected to the first rod such that the first end of the second rod is received within the second end of the first rod, a first plate having a surface suitable for attachment to a wall and arranged so as to receive the first end of the first rod, and a second plate having a surface suitable for attachment to the wall. The second plate is suitable for receiving a second end of the second rod.

The first plate is pivotally connected to the first end of the first rod. The second plate is also pivotally connected to the second end of the second rod. The first plate has a flap that supports a bracket extending outwardly from an opposite surface of the first plate. Similarly, the second plate has a flap that supports a bracket extending outwardly from an opposite surface of the second plate. A first plug is affixed onto the first end of the first rod. This first plug is pivotally connected to the first bracket. A second plug is affixed onto the second end of the second rod. This second plug is pivotally connected to the bracket of the second plate. The respective flaps are formed with the plates so as to have an edge portion integrally connected to the plate and other edge portions separated from the plate. The flap is suitably flexible so as to orient the bracket relative to an orientation of the wall.

Each of the plugs has a longitudinal axis. Each of the plugs has a hole extending through the plug transversely to this longitudinal axis. Each of the brackets has a slot extending therethrough. This slot is aligned with the hole of the plug. A pin extends through the slot and the hole so as to pivotally connect the plug to the respective plate. The plug has an insert portion received within the respective ends of the rods. A shoulder formed on the plug. The ends of the respective rod abut this shoulder.

So as to facilitate the ability to mount the shower rod into a bath tub, a first tape is provided with adhesive on opposite sides thereof. This first tape is affixed to the surface of the first plate. A second tape also has adhesive on opposite sides thereof. The second tape is affixed to a surface of the second plate.

Each of the first rod and second rod are suitably curved. A first bubble level is affixed to the first plate and a second bubble level affixed to the second plate.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a plan view showing the assembled shower rod of the present invention as secured to opposite walls adjacent to a bath tub.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing a straight shower rod as secured to a plate in accordance with the teachings of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing a single plate and plug arrangement prior to receiving a shower rod thereon.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional plan view showing the installation of a rod onto the plug associated with the plate.

FIG. 5 is a side cross-sectional view showing the configuration of the pin and plug of the plate.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown the shower rod assembly 10 in accordance with the teachings of the preferred embodiment of the present invention. The shower rod assembly 10 includes a first rod 12 having a first end affixed to a plate 14. A second rod 16 has a first end telescopically received within a second end 18 of the first rod 12. The second rod 16 has a second end that is affixed to a plate 20 located opposite to the plate 14. The first plate 14 has a surface that is suitable for attachment to the wall 22. The second plate 20 has a surface that is suitable for attachment to the wall 24. The walls 22 and 24 are at opposite ends of the bath tub 26.

As can be seen in FIG. 1, each of the rods 12 and 16 are suitably curved. This curved shower rod assembly 10 serves to increase the space available to a person within the bath tub 26. The telescoping nature of the rods 12 and 16 facilitates the ability of the assembly 10 to be installed onto walls 22 and 24 regardless of differences in length therebetween. Similarly, the plates 12 and 20 have suitable pivotal connections so that minor problems associated with the parallelism between the walls 22 and 24 can be accommodated. As will be described hereinafter, each of the plates 14 and 20 can be secured to walls and can support the respective ends of the rods 12 and 16 on a flap formed with the plate. This flap is flexible in various orientations so as to accommodate variations on the walls 22 and 24 and between the walls 22 and 24. The flap can be formed on one or both of the plates 14 and 20.

It should be noted that the assembly 10 of the present invention is preferably associated with curved shower rods. However, the assembly 10 of the present invention can also be used in association with straight shower rods.

As can be seen FIG. 2, a plate 30 is secured to a straight shower rod assembly 32. The straight shower rod assembly 32 includes a first rod 34 and a second rod 36 that are telescopically connected together. A first end of the rod 34 is affixed onto a plug 36 that is pivotally mounted to a surface 38 of the plate 30. The surface 38 of plate 30 has a flap 39 formed thereon and therethrough. An edge portion of the flap 39 is integrally connected with surface 38. The other edge portions are separated from surface 38. The flap 39 will extend in generally parallel relation to the surface 38.

A transition section 40 will overlie the connection between the rod 32 and the rod 34. Transition section 40 can be a polymeric sleeve that is affixed over the first end 42 of the second rod 36 and the second end 44 of the first rod 34. As a result, the shower curtain rings can more easily slide over the area at the junction of the rods 34 and 36. It should be noted that the second rod 36 has a diameter that is greater than the first rod 34. This facilitates the ability of the first rod 34 to telescope within the second rod 36. A plug 46 is affixed into the second end 48 of the second rod 36. Plug 46 has a pivotal connection 50 formed at an end thereof. Pivotal connection 50 can be secured onto a corresponding plate located opposite the plate 30.

FIG. 3 illustrates the plate 30 along with the plug 36. Plate 30 has a surface 38. A bubble level 52 can be secured along the top edge 54 of the plate 30. Bubble level 52 can be provided so as assist the installer in ascertaining in a quick and reliable manner whether the plate 30 has been installed in a level condition. The bubble level 52 can be permanently affixed onto the surface 38 of plate 30 or can be removably affixed thereto. A pair of holes 56 and 58 are formed through the plate 30. Holes 56 and 58 allow the user, if desired, to install the plate 30 onto the wall through the use of screws.

As can be seen in FIG. 3, a bracket 60 extends outwardly from the flap 39 formed on surface 38 from plate 30. Bracket 60 has a slot 62 extending vertically therethrough. As such, the pivotal connection 64 of plug 36 can be received by the bracket 60. The flap 39 has a top edge portion 39a that is integrally connected to the surface 38 and extends slightly forwardly of the surface 38. The flap 39 has free edge portions 39b, 39c and 39d which are separated from the surface 38. The edge portion 39a is strongly connected to the surface 38 so as to securely support the bracket 60 and the attached shower rod. If there is a lack of horizontal parallelism between the walls 22 and 24, then the flap can flex slightly such that edge portion 39b can flex outwardly while edge portion 39d flex inwardly (or vice versa). The bottom edge portion 39c can also flex with respect to fixed edge portion 39a so as to accommodate variations in vertical parallelism between the walls 22 and 24. Also, the flap can suitable flex in various orientations to accommodate undulations in each of the walls 22 and 24.

The plug 36 includes an insert section 66 that can be placed into the first end of the curved rod 12. A shoulder 68 is formed along the plug 36 generally adjacent to the bracket 60. Shoulder 68 will abut the end of the first rod 34 when the first rod 34 is installed onto the plug 36.

With reference to FIG. 1, it should be noted that plates 14 and 20 have generally identical configurations. The only difference in configuration is that the plug that is associated with one of the plates has a different diameter than the plug of the other plate. The reason for this difference in diameter is to accommodate the slight difference in diameter between the respective telescoping rods 12 and 16. As can be seen in FIG. 1, since the first end of the second rod 16 is received within the second end 18 of the first rod 12, the first rod 12 will have a greater interior diameter than the second rod 16. As such, the plug that is inserted into the first end of the first rod 12 will have a greater diameter so as to properly fit within the interior of the rod 12 than the diameter of the plug that is fit into the interior of the second end of the rod 16.

FIG. 4 illustrates the manner in which a shower rod 70 is affixed onto the outer surface of the plug 36. A similar arrangement applies to the opposite end of the shower rod assembly associated with the opposing plate. The plug 36 has a slightly tapered outer diameter. When the plug 36 has its insert portion 66 inserted into the end of the shower rod 70, a friction fit relationship will occur. The end of the shower rod 70 will abut the shoulder 68 at the end of the insert portion 66.

The plate 30 has a surface 38 from which the bracket 60 extends. As can be seen, the pivotal connection 72 of the plug 36 is pivotally received about a pin 74 in the bracket 60. Because of this pivotal connection, any difference in parallelism between the respective walls 22 and 24 can be accommodated. Similarly, any installation inaccuracy is also accommodated by this pivotal connection.

The plate 30 has a surface 76 that faces opposite to the surface 38. Surface 76 is suitable for attachment to a wall. A double-sided adhesive tape 78 is secured to the surface 76. When a paper layer that overlies one of the adhesive sides of the double-sided tape 78 is removed, the plate 30, along with the double-sided tape 78, will allow for an easy and quick attachment to the wall of the bath tub. Another double-sided tape will be secured to a corresponding surface of the opposite plate connected to the opposite end of the shower rod assembly.

FIG. 5 illustrates the plate 80 as located at the opposite end of the shower rod assembly. As can be seen, the plug 82 has an insert portion 84 that can be fit into the second end of the second telescoping rod. Shoulder 86 abuts the end of the rod. Bracket 88 extends outwardly of a surface 90 of the plate 80. Bracket 88 includes a slot extending therethrough. Similarly, the pivotal connection 50 has a hole formed therethrough. Pin 92 is inserted through slot of the bracket 88 and through hole of the pivotal connection 50 so as to connect the plug 82 to the bracket 88. A similar relationship occurs in association with the other plate 30. A double-sided tape 94 is secured to a surface 96 of the plate 80. This double-sided tape 94 facilitates the ability to quickly and easily mount the plate 80 to the opposite wall.

The foregoing disclosure and description of the invention is illustrative and explanatory thereof. Various changes in the details of the illustrated construction can be made within the scope of the appended claims without departing from the true spirit of the invention. The present invention should only be limited by the following claims and their legal equivalents.





 
Previous Patent: Shower rod assembly

Next Patent: Safety bar for a bathtub