Title:
Grab bar universal mounting plate
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A grab bar assembly for mounting on a wall is provided. The wall includes a stud having an X axis perpendicular to a length of the stud and a Y axis parallel to the length of the stud. The grab bar assembly comprises a grab bar having a first end and a mounting plate attached to the first end in fixed relation to the grab bar. The mounting plate comprises a plurality of openings shaped and arranged such that the grab bar can be rotated to any position in a plane that is parallel to a plane defined by the X axis and the Y axis of the stud and two fastening devices can be secured in the stud through the openings.



Inventors:
Berlovan, Viorel (Medina, OH, US)
Application Number:
11/230913
Publication Date:
03/22/2007
Filing Date:
09/20/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K3/024
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FETSUGA, ROBERT M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP (Cleveland, OH, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A grab bar assembly for mounting on a wall, the wall including a stud having an X axis perpendicular to a length of the stud and a Y axis parallel to the length of the stud, the grab bar assembly comprising: a grab bar having a first end; and a mounting plate attached to said first end in fixed relation to said grab bar; wherein said mounting plate comprises a plurality of openings shaped and arranged such that said grab bar can be rotated to any position in a plane that is parallel to a plane defined by the X axis and the Y axis of the stud and two fastening devices can be secured in the stud through said openings.

2. The grab bar assembly of claim 1, wherein: said grab bar has a second end having a second mounting plate fixedly attached thereto; and said second mounting plate comprises a plurality of openings shaped and arranged such that said grab bar can be rotated to any position in a plane that is parallel to a plane defined by an X axis and a Y axis of a second stud and two fastening devices can be secured in the second stud through said openings in said second mounting plate.

3. The grab bar assembly of claim 1, wherein three fastening devices can be secured in the stud through said openings.

4. The grab bar assembly of claim 1, wherein one of said openings has a first shape and one of said openings has a second shape.

5. The grab bar assembly of claim 1, wherein: a plurality of said openings have a first shape and a plurality of said openings have a second shape; and said openings having said first shape and said openings having said second shape are alternately disposed around a circumference of said mounting plate.

6. The grab bar assembly of claim 1, wherein a plurality of said openings are arcuate shaped and circumferentially extend around a center of said mounting plate.

7. The grab bar assembly of claim 1, wherein one of said openings is circumferentially extending and one of said openings is radially extending.

8. A grab bar assembly for mounting on a wall, said grab bar assembly comprising: a grab bar having a first end; and a mounting plate attached to said first end in fixed relation to said grab bar; wherein said mounting plate comprises a plurality of arcuate shaped openings circumferentially extending around a center of said mounting plate.

9. The grab bar assembly of claim 8, wherein said grab bar has a second end having a second mounting plate fixedly attached thereto; and said second mounting plate comprises a plurality of arcuate shaped openings circumferentially extending around a center of said second mounting plate.

10. The grab bar assembly of claim 8, wherein: said openings are shaped and arranged such that said grab bar can be rotated to any position in a plane that is parallel to a plane defined by an X axis perpendicular to a length of a stud in the wall and a Y axis parallel to the length of the stud in the wall; and two fastening devices can be secured in the stud through said openings.

11. The grab bar assembly of claim 10, wherein: said grab bar has a second end having a second mounting plate fixedly attached thereto; said second mounting plate comprises a plurality of arcuate shaped openings circumferentially extending around a center of said second mounting plate; and said openings in said second mounting plate are shaped and arranged such that said grab bar can be rotated to any position in a plane that is parallel to a plane defined by an X axis and a Y axis of a second stud and two fastening devices can be secured in the second stud through said openings in said second mounting plate.

12. The grab bar assembly of claim 10, wherein three fastening devices can be secured in the stud through said openings.

13. The grab bar assembly of claim 8, wherein said mounting plate further comprises a plurality of radially extending openings.

14. The grab bar assembly of claim 13, wherein said circumferentially extending openings and said radially extending openings are alternately disposed around a circumference of said mounting plate.

15. A grab bar assembly for mounting on a wall, said grab bar assembly comprising: a grab bar having a first end; and a mounting plate attached to said first end in fixed relation to said grab bar; wherein said mounting plate comprises a circumferentially extending opening and a radially extending opening.

16. The grab bar assembly of claim 15, wherein: said grab bar has a second end having a second mounting plate fixedly attached thereto; and said second mounting plate comprises a circumferentially extending opening and a radially extending opening.

17. The grab bar assembly of claim 15, wherein: said openings are shaped and arranged such that said grab bar can be rotated to any position in a plane that is parallel to a plane defined by an X axis perpendicular to a length of a stud in the wall and a Y axis parallel to the length of the stud in the wall; and two fastening devices can be secured in the stud through said openings.

18. The grab bar assembly of claim 17, wherein said grab bar has a second end having a second mounting plate fixedly attached thereto; said second mounting plate comprises a circumferentially extending opening and a radially extending opening; and said openings in said second mounting plate are shaped and arranged such that said grab bar can be rotated to any position in a plane that is parallel to a plane defined by an X axis and a Y axis of a second stud and two fastening devices can be secured in the second stud through said openings in said second mounting plate.

19. The grab bar assembly of claim 17, wherein three fastening devices can be secured in said stud through said openings.

20. The grab bar assembly of claim 15, wherein: said mounting plate comprises a plurality of circumferentially extending openings and a plurality of radially extending openings; and said circumferentially extending openings and said radially extending openings are alternately disposed around a circumference of said mounting plate.

Description:

BACKGROUND

The present invention relates to grab bars and more specifically, a grab bar having a universal mounting plate.

Many people in today's society require help during the bathing process. Specifically, many elderly or disabled people need help getting into and out of the bath. Furthermore, many of these same people need help moving or maintaining balance while bathing. Grab bars have been used to provide such help to people.

Many grab bars are cylindrical bars which mount to a wall of a bath via mounting members on the ends of the bars. The grab bars are mounted to the studs of the wall. Due to variances in the lengths of the grab bars and the distances between the studs in the wall, the grab bars, to be securely mounted to the studs in the wall, may have to be mounted at a non-horizontal angle. The mounting members of current grab bars only have limited mounting arrangements.

Current mounting members only have three small openings through which mounting screws may be disposed to secure the mounting members to the studs in the wall. However, when the angle of a grab bar is rotated to a non-horizontal position, the openings in the mounting members no longer align with the studs in the wall. As a result, screws going through these openings will not penetrate a stud. When the mounting screws do not penetrate a stud, the strength and reliability of the grab bar is significantly decreased.

SUMMARY

A grab bar assembly for mounting on a wall is provided. The wall includes a stud having an X axis perpendicular to a length of the stud and a Y axis parallel to the length of the stud. The grab bar assembly comprises a grab bar having a first end and a mounting plate attached to the first end in fixed relation to the grab bar. The mounting plate comprises a plurality of openings shaped and arranged such that the grab bar can be rotated to any position in a plane that is parallel to a plane defined by the X axis and the Y axis of the stud and two fastening devices can be secured in the stud through the openings. Numerous other advantages and features of the present invention will become readily apparent from the following detailed description of the invention and the embodiments thereof, from the claims and from the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention as well as embodiments and advantages thereof are described below in greater detail, by way of example, with reference to the drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a grab bar having a universal mounting plate at each end in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the grab bar of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a rear elevational view of one mounting plate of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the mounting plate of FIG. 3 taken along the A-A line;

FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of the grab bar of FIG. 1 prior to being mounted at a 90° angle with a stud;

FIG. 6 is a front elevational view of the grab bar of FIG. 1 prior to being mounted at a 45° angle with the stud; and

FIG. 7 is a front elevational view of the grab bar of FIG. 1 prior to being mounted parallel to the stud.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

While this invention is susceptible of embodiment in many different forms, there are shown in the drawings and will be described herein in detail specific embodiments thereof with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the specific embodiments illustrated.

FIGS. 1 and 2 show a grab bar assembly 10. The grab bar assembly 10 includes a mounting plate 12 disposed at each end 13 of a grab bar 14. The grab bar assembly 10 may have more or less than two mounting plates 12. Furthermore, the mounting plates 12 may be disposed in location with respect to the grab bar 14 other than at the ends 13.

As shown in FIG. 1, the mounting plates 12 are circular. However, the mounting plates 12 may be any desired shape. Additionally, the mounting plates 12 are made from a relatively strong material, such as metal. However, the mounting plates 12 may be made from other types of materials. Regardless of the material used, the mounting plates need to be sufficiently strong to enable the grab bar assembly 10 to support three hundred pounds of weight.

Each mounting plate 12 includes a plurality of openings 16, 18. In one embodiment, the openings 16 are arcuate shaped and extend in a circumferential direction, while the openings 18 are oval shaped and extend in a radial direction. Further, the openings 16 are longer than the openings 18. However, the shape and arrangement of the openings 16, 18 may vary. As stated above, FIG. 1 shows two sets of differently shaped openings 16, 18 extending in different directions. Nevertheless, the mounting plate 12 may have more than two sets of differently shaped openings 16, 18 extending in different directions or may have all of the openings 16, 18 the same shape extending in the same direction.

As also shown in FIG. 1, the openings 16, 18 are disposed generally concentrically about the mounting plate 12. However, the openings 16, 18 may be disposed in a non-concentric manner. Additionally, the openings 16, 18 are alternately disposed around the mounting plate 12. However, the arrangement of the openings 16, 18 with respect to each other may vary.

The width of the openings 16, 18 is wide enough to allow a shank portion of a fastening or securing device to fit therethrough but not wide enough to allow a head of the fastening device to fit therethrough. This width may vary depending on the desired size of the fastening device. The most common type of fastening device is a screw having a gauge of 2-14. Accordingly, the width of the openings 16, 18 is wide enough to allow the shank, root and threads of the screw to pass therethrough, but not wide enough to allow the screw head to pass therethrough.

The grab bar 14 is attached to a perimeter 21 of a central opening 20 (both shown in FIG. 3) of the mounting plate 12. However, the grab bar 14 may be attached to different locations on the mounting plate 12. Further, the grab bar 14 may be attached to the mounting plate 12 in many ways. For example, the grab bar 14 may be welded to the mounting plate 12 or the grab bar 14 may be monolithically made with the mounting plate 12. Other manners of attaching the grab bar 14 and the mounting plate 12 are also possible. Regardless of the manner of attachment, the mounting plate 12 is fixed in relation to the grab bar 14.

Referring now to FIGS. 3 and 4, the mounting plate 12 may also include depressions 22. The openings 16, 18 may be disposed in a corresponding depression 22. The depressions 22 provide a space for the head of the fastening device to reside without protruding beyond a front surface 24 of the mounting plate 12. The depressions 22 also help provide a raised edge 26 to the mounting plate 12. The raised edge 26 may be used to attach a decorative escutcheon, if desired.

Referring now to FIGS. 5-7, the grab bar assembly 10 is shown in various positions relative to a stud 28. Mounting the grab bar assembly 10 to a stud is one of the strongest and most reliable ways to mount the grab bar assembly. However, typical studs are only 1.5 inches wide. Thus, the grab bar assembly 10 includes mounting plates 12 that provide openings 16, 18 having sufficient mounting areas 30 to enable at least two fastening devices to be disposed therethrough and secured in the stud 28.

FIG. 5 shows an X axis that is perpendicular to the length of the stud 28 and a Y axis that is parallel to the length of the stud 28. In FIG. 5, the grab bar 14 is mounted in a position that is parallel to the X axis. In FIG. 6, the grab bar 14 is mounted in a position that is at a 45 degree angle between the X axis and the Y axis. Finally, in FIG. 7, the grab bar 14 is mounted in a position that is parallel to the Y axis.

As can be seen from FIGS. 5-7, as the grab bar assembly 10 is rotated about a center of the mounting plate 12 from a position that is parallel to the X axis to a position that is parallel to the Y axis, the openings 16, 18 provide sufficient mounting areas 30 to secure at least two fastening devices in the stud 28. In fact, the openings 16, 18 provide sufficient mounting areas 30 to secure more than two fastening devices in at least part of the stud 28.

The grab bar assembly 10 is mounted by first determining the locations of the studs 28. The studs 28 may be located behind a wall or layer of dry wall. In such a case, a stud finder may be used to locate the edges 32 of the studs 28. One mounting plate 12 of the grab bar assembly 10 is aligned with a first stud 28. The opposite mounting plate 12 of the grab bar assembly 10 is then aligned with a second stud 28. The grab bar 14 can be rotated to any position in a plane that is parallel to a plane defined by the X axis and the Y axis of the lengths of the studs 28 in order to align the mounting plates 12 of the grab bar assembly 10 with the studs. At least two fastening devices, such as wood screws, are then secured in each stud 28 through the openings 16, 18 in the mounting plates 12.

The above description of some of the embodiments of the present invention has been given by way of example. From the disclosure given, those skilled in the art will not only understand the present invention and its attendant advantages, but will also find apparent various changes and modifications to the structures and methods disclosed. It is sought, therefore, to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the spirit and scope of the invention, as defined by the appended claims, and equivalents thereof.





 
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