Title:
Decco bath & shower works
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A bathtub enclosure appliance made from adaptable, configurable modules, the appliance modules configured to enclose the bathtub and contain water within. The appliance may be fitted or installed in almost every kind or type of bathtub arrangement. Enclosure appliance modules, in an exemplary embodiment, comprise: (1) base modules resting upon the top of the tub side, the base modules placed upon and at the ends of the tub sides so the base modules abut the walls of the bathtub enclosure; (2) column modules received and held by the base modules, the column modules abutting the walls of the bathtub enclosure, and serving as a vertical support structure; (3) top corner modules resting on top of the column modules and abutting the walls and ceiling of the bathtub enclosure; and (4) a header module, held and supported by the top corner modules, and abutting the ceiling of the bathtub enclosure. The appliance also has a shower curtain or a pleated curtain to retain water. Various styles and motifs may be selected by varying the appearance and structure of the component modules within enclosure appliance kits.



Inventors:
Lethert, Andrew (Fort Myers, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/438157
Publication Date:
07/12/2007
Filing Date:
05/22/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K3/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PHILLIPS, CHARLES E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STURM & FIX LLP (Des Moines, IA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A shower enclosure, the shower having a tub, the enclosure comprised of: two base modules, each resting upon the rim of the tub, and attached thereto; two columns, each column resting upon and attached to a base module; two corner modules, each module resting upon and attached to a column; and a header module, attached to the corner modules; whereby the enclosure is configured to provide an open frame to the shower and tub.

2. The enclosure of claim 1, wherein the modules are made according an architectural style selected from the group consisting of Keystone, Classical, Contemporary, Colonial and Deco.

3. The shower enclosure of claim 1, further including a pleated closure.

4. The shower enclosure of claim 1, wherein the modules are made from foam-filled fiberglass.

5. A method for enclosing a shower having a tub, the method comprising: providing two base modules, each resting upon the rim of the tub, and attached thereto; providing two columns, each column resting upon and attached to a base module; providing two corner modules, each module resting upon and attached to a column; and providing a header module, and attaching the header module to the corner modules; whereby the enclosure is configured to provide an open frame to the shower and tub.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is related to and derives priority from U.S. Provisional application No. 60/758,156 filed Jan. 10, 2006, entitled DECCO BATH AND SHOWER WORKS, which is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD

The present invention relates generally to shower enclosures; particularly the present invention is disclosed as a decorative shower enclosure having a valence structure with a column on each of two ends, each of the columns installed or placed at the end of the entrance to a bathtub, with the structure having a pleated, retractable closure or barrier as a means of retaining shower water within.

BACKGROUND

Bathtubs with included showers are commonly installed as units with an enclosure, the enclosure providing walls, a ceiling and a floor for the bathtub-shower unit. The shower nozzle is mounted on the wall within an enclosure above the tub to provide a shower for a person using the facility. Water emanating from the shower nozzle is confined to the enclosure by a shower curtain or, in some cases, a sliding door made from translucent plastic or shatterproof glass. The shower curtain is normally made to drape loosely from a set of eyelets or curtain rings which slide along a straight curtain rod. A set of such rings is normally mounted on the shower curtain rod, which is positioned at or above the height of the shower nozzle. A shower curtain is usually draped in the bathtub below the straight curtain rod so that water is not splashed out of the bathtub. Because the bathtub is below the shower nozzle, the bathtub collects water, which drains from the bathtub.

Doors and shower curtains as described provide required functionality, but in many cases, are incongruous with esthetic principles employed in modern bathroom design. Thus what is needed is a functional enclosure for a bathtub, the enclosure containing water within the enclosure, while having a pleasing appearance.

SUMMARY

Herein is disclosed in an exemplary embodiment, a bathtub enclosure appliance, the appliance comprising modules configured to enclose the bathtub and contain water within. The appliance is configurable and adaptable and may be fitted or installed in almost every kind or type of bathtub arrangement. Enclosure appliance modules, in the exemplary embodiment, comprise: (1) base modules resting upon the top of the tub side, the base modules placed at the extreme ends of the tub sides so the base modules abut the walls of the bathtub enclosure; (2) column modules received and held by the base modules, the column modules abutting the walls of the bathtub enclosure, and serving as a vertical support structure; (3) top corner modules resting on top of the column modules and abutting the walls and/or ceiling of the bathtub enclosure; and (4) a header module, held and supported by the top corner modules, and/orabutting the ceiling of the bathtub enclosure.

The appliance as exemplified in the embodiment disclosed below will be seen to have several benefits and advantages. One such advantage is the appliance is adaptable and configurable and may be installed as a kit in almost any kind or type of bathtub enclosure.

Another advantage and benefit is the appliance may be made in various colors and architectural styles to conform to the desires of the owner.

And yet another advantage and benefit is the appliance kit is simple to configure and install.

The benefits and advantages of the invention will appear from the disclosure to follow. In the disclosure reference is made to the accompanying drawings, which form a part hereof and in which is shown by way of illustration a specific embodiment in which the invention may be practiced. This embodiment will be described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention, and it is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and that structural changes may be made in details of the embodiments without departing from the scope of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows the exemplary embodiment of the enclosure appliance installed within a bathtub enclosure, in comparison to a standard enclosure.

FIG. 2 shows the basic components of the enclosure appliance.

FIG. 3 shows possible architectural styles and motifs for components of the enclosure appliance.

FIG. 4 shows relative placements and positions of the appliance components.

FIG. 5 shows the components in kit form.

FIG. 6 shows placements and structural relationships of base and column components.

FIG. 7 shows structural relationships among column, header and corner modules.

The drawings—labeling

In the drawings each component or feature will be labeled with a four-digit label. The first digit corresponds to the drawing or figure number. For example, all components or features in FIG. 2 will be labeled as 2xxx, where xxx is the label of the component or feature appearing in FIG. 2. The following labels are assigned to components or features:

  • 020 baththtub
  • 030 enclosure wall
  • 040 enclosure ceiling
  • 100 base module
  • 110 bottom of base module that rests upon bathtub
  • 120 top of base module configured to receive the bottom part of a column module
  • 200 column module
  • 210 bottom part of column module made to be received and held by the base module
  • 220 top part of column module configured to join with a top corner module
  • 300 top corner module
  • 310 part of top corner module made to receive top part of column module
  • 320 part of top corner module made to receive and hold header module
  • 400 header module
  • 500 shower curtain, pleated closure serving as a curtain or drape

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

With reference to the accompanying figures an exemplary embodiment, a bathtub enclosure appliance comprising modules, the appliance modules configured to enclose the bathtub and contain water within. FIG. 1 shows the exemplary embodiment, referenced by A, in contrast and comparison with a conventional shower-tub enclosure, referenced by B.

The appliance is configurable and adaptable and may be fitted or installed in almost every kind or type of bathtub arrangement. With reference to FIG. 2 the enclosure appliance modules, in the exemplary embodiment, comprise: (1) base modules 2100 resting upon the top of the tub side 2020, the base modules 2100 placed at the extreme ends of the tub sides so the base modules 2100 abut the walls of the bathtub enclosure; (2) column modules 2200 received and held by the base modules 2100, the column modules 2200 abutting the walls of the bathtub enclosure, and serving as a vertical support structure; (3) top corner modules 2300 resting on top of the column modules 2200 and abutting the walls and ceiling of the bathtub enclosure; and (4) a header module 2400, held and supported by the top corner modules 2300, and abutting the ceiling of the bathtub enclosure.

Styles and Appearances of the Enclosure Appliance

FIG. 3 shows one possible style of the enclosure appliance. For example, components of the enclosure appliance may be selected to complement a decorating motif, and may be made in a plurality of motifs. With reference to FIG. 3, the components of the enclosure appliance are illustrated in several architectural styles. In FIG. 3, base modules are indicated by 3100, column modules by 3200, corner modules by 3300 and header modules by 3400. In FIG. 3 are shown deco, colonial, classical, keystone, contemporary architectural styles. However, it will be appreciated an almost infinite variety of styles and appearances may be furnished by selecting different base, column top corner and header modules. FIG. 3 shows a pleated curtain, which may also be used with the enclosure appliance. The curtain may be attached using curtain rings, a curtain rod or other known means of attachment.

Structural Arrangement of the Modules

With reference to FIG. 4, the base modules 4100 rest upon the wall of the tub 4020, and are affixed in a proper manner, for example using adhesives to attach components of the enclosure appliance. The base modules 4100 receive column modules 4200, and further, the column modules 4200 are adjoined with top corner modules 4300. The top corner modules 4300 accept a header module 4400 as shown. All modules are configured to be joined together to affect a tight seal with the tub 4020, the enclosure walls 4030 and the enclosure ceiling 4040. A standard shower curtain, or special pleated curtain 4500 provides a means of keeping water within while the appliance is used.

With reference to FIG. 5, the enclosure appliance may be made and sold as a kit, wherein the color, and architectural style may be selected to accommodate or complement the decorative style of the bathroom housing the bathtub. Modules, components and parts may be made from injection, or vacuum molded plastic materials or may be made from laminated and coated wood or other suitable materials; the modules may be made from plastics, such as Styrofoam, and may be coated with other materials, such as vinyl or similar coatings. For example, the modules may be made from foam-filled fiberglass. The modules may be pre-painted or left natural for painting and finish by a decorator.

With reference to FIG. 6, the bottom part 6110 of the base module 6100 rests upon the rim of the tub 6020, and abuts the wall 6040 of the enclosure. Adhesive is applied to the base module 6100 to attach it to the tub rim. The top part 6120 of the base module 6100 receives the bottom part 6210 of the column module 6200, and is held in place by an adhesive or both.

FIG. 7 shows the configuration and arrangement of the top corner module 7300, the header module 7500 and the column module 7200. The top corner module is retained against the wall 7050 and the wall 7040 of the enclosure using a suitable adhesive. The bottom part 7310 of the top corner module 7300 is held against the top part 7220 of the column module 7200. A portion 7320 of the top corner module 7300 is made to receive and hold the header module 7400. The curtain 7500 is also shown.

DISCLOSURE SUMMARY

A single exemplary embodiment and a variant of the embodiment of the invention have been disclosed. It will be appreciated that the embodiment and its variant are directed to a bathtub enclosure appliance that is functional, decorative, and easy to install.

The full scope and description of the invention is given by the claims that follow.