Title:
Modular fireplace cabinets
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A modular assembly for fireplace insert cabinets comprises at least two modules. Each module has a generally planar top and a support bottom. At least one of the modules is adapted for supporting a fireplace insert, and the other module includes a cavity having an opening and containing an article support.



Inventors:
Hussong, James D. (Spirit Lake, IA, US)
Drexler, Thomas L. (Lakefield, MN, US)
Application Number:
11/518848
Publication Date:
09/27/2007
Filing Date:
09/11/2006
Assignee:
Hussong Manufacturing Co., Inc. (Lakefield, MN, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F24B1/18
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Primary Examiner:
TRAN, HANH VAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Peter J. Ims (Minneapolis, MN, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A modular assembly for fireplace insert cabinets comprising at least two modules, each module having a generally planar top and a support bottom for stacking one module on top of the other module, at least one of the modules being adapted for supporting a fireplace insert, and the other module being provided a cavity having an opening and containing an article support.

2. The modular assembly of claim 1 wherein the at least two modules are adapted for installation in a corner of a room one on top of the other.

3. The modular assembly of claim 1 wherein the at least two modules are adapted for mounting on a flat wall of a room one on top of the other.

4. The modular assembly of claim 1 and further comprising a platform having a generally flat surface adapted to be supported selectively on either of the planar top or at the support bottom of each of the modules.

5. The modular assemble of claim 1 and further comprising at least two platforms of different heights wherein each platform includes a generally flat surface adapted to be supported selectively on either of the planar top or at the support bottom of each of the modules.

6. The modular assembly of claim 1 and wherein the article support comprises at least one shelf.

7. The modular assembly of claim 1 and wherein the article support comprises a wine rack.

8. The modular assembly of claim 1 and wherein the article support comprises a glass rack.

9. The modular assembly of claim 1 and further comprising at least one door rotatably positioned over the opening in the module.

10. A modular assembly for fireplace insert cabinets comprising a first module having a generally planar top and a support bottom and being adapted for supporting a fireplace insert, and at least one platform for position on the generally planar top to provide a mantel.

11. The modular assembly of claim 10 and further comprising a second module and wherein the second module comprises a generally planar top and a support bottom and a cavity having an opening and containing an article support and wherein the second module is positionable on top of the platform such that the first module supports the second module or below the first module such that the second module supports the first module.

12. The modular assembly of claim 11 and further comprising a second platform positioned on top of the second module or between the first and second module.

13. The modular assembly of claim 12 and wherein the first and second modules are of different heights.

14. The modular assembly of claim 11 wherein the at least two modules are adapted for installation in a corner of a room one on top of the other.

15. The modular assembly of claim 11 wherein the at least two modules are adapted for mounting on a flat wall of a room one on top of the other.

16. The modular assembly of claim 11 and wherein the article support comprises at least one shelf.

17. The modular assembly of claim 11 and wherein the article support comprises a wine rack.

18. The modular assembly of claim 11 and wherein the article support comprises a glass rack.

19. The modular assembly of claim 11 and further comprising at least one door rotatably positioned over the opening in the module.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION(S)

This application claims priority of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/715,519 which was filed on Sep. 9, 2005 and which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

The present invention relates to gas fireplace inserts. More particularly, the present invention relates to a modular system of fireplace cabinets for containing gas fireplace inserts.

Gas fireplace inserts have been utilized for many years as an alternative to a wood burning fireplace. Gas fireplace inserts provide the warmth and appearance of a wood burning fireplace, while also being able to be conveniently lit with an igniter that is typically connected to a light switch. Further, the person enjoying the fire does not have to contend with providing a supply of wood or lighting the wood, which at times can be difficult and frustrating.

Typically, a gas fireplace insert is either positioned into a hearth of an existing wood burning fireplace or a custom made structure is constructed to support and contain the gas fireplace insert. A custom made structure is relatively expensive to construct, and therefore may prevent potential customers from purchasing a gas fireplace insert.

Modular constructions have advantages of using basic forms assembled together, rather than having the requirement for individual custom made cabinets for each type of arrangement. The present invention relates to this modularity.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention includes a modular assembly for fireplace insert cabinets comprises at least two modules that are stacked one on top of the other. Each module has a generally planar top and a support bottom. At least one of the modules is adapted for supporting a fireplace insert, and the other module includes a cavity having an opening and containing an article support.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective illustration of a corner mounted cabinet with shelves of the present modular system;

FIG. 2 is a perspective illustration of a cabinet that will receive a fireplace insert for mounting in the corner of a room;

FIG. 3 is a perspective illustration of a cabinet for mounting against a flat surface of wall;

FIG. 4 is an illustration of a cabinet for receiving a fireplace insert and for mounting against a flat surface of wall;

FIG. 5 is a perspective illustration of a hearth or base platform of a first height and usable with a corner module;

FIG. 6 is a perspective illustration of a hearth or base platform of a second height and also used for corner installation;

FIG. 7 is a perspective illustration of a hearth or base platform of a third height and illustrating a wall mount base;

FIG. 8 is a front view of the platform of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a front view of a hearth or base platform having a height shown in FIG. 6, but for mounting against a wall;

FIG. 10 is a slight perspective view of a first modular installation having a fireplace insert in a module for wall mount, and mounted on a base such as that shown in FIGS. 7-9;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a cabinet for mounting a fireplace insert and mounted directly on a supporting floor;

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a modular unit including a lower cabinet for supporting an upper cabinet having a fireplace insert in place, and shown as a wall surface mount;

FIG. 13 is a front view of a modular cabinet showing the cabinet for a fireplace insert at the bottom, and a cabinet having shelves forming a second module at the top supported on the top of the lower cabinet;

FIG. 14 is a further modified form showing a cabinet supporting a fireplace insert on a base cabinet having see-through doors;

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of a fireplace insert module installed on the top of a kitchen counter;

FIG. 16 is a perspective schematic view of a typical fireplace insert used in one of the cabinets of the present module; and

FIG. 17 is a schematic top view of a typical installation of a fireplace insert in the corner of a room.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The components of a modular cabinet for a gas fireplace insert are generally illustrated in FIGS. 1-9. The components can be positioned into a corner of a room or along a flat surface of a wall depending upon the desire location of the gas fireplace where the modular components can be placed in any of a number of configurations to provide the appearance of a customized cabinet without the costs associated with the construction of a customized cabinet.

FIGS. 1-2 show basic modules 10, 22 that will be called cabinets in this application that are utilized as modular components of a cabinet for a gas fireplace insert that is positioned into a corner of a room. The module 10 includes a planar top 12, a support bottom 11 that is substantially planar, an opening 14 in a front surface 15 that provides access to a cavity 17 where the cavity contains a number of shelves 16 in selected positions. The opening 14 can be provided with doors as shown in some of the later embodiments, of various styles, and the shelves 16 within the cavity 17 can be replaced with wine racks, glass racks, or other article supports.

The module 10 can be used as a base for the module 22 or a cabinet that is positioned on a top planar surface 24 of the module 22. The modules 10 and 22 have similar dimensions including a width A at the top surface and a length B such that the cabinets 10 and 22 fit into a corner of a room. The modules 10 and 22 also have a height D. A width C of the base is less than the width A at the top surface such that either module can be stacked upon each other irrespective of what module is utilized as the lower module. Optional decorative columns 18 can be utilized on beveled front corners having a width E. The opening 14 can be provided with doors as shown in some of the later embodiments, of various styles, and the shelves 16 within the cavity 17 can be replaced with wine racks, or glass racks, or other article supports.

The module 22 is a corner cabinet having substantially the same dimensions as the module 10 and includes a planar top 24, a support bottom 21 with a substantially planar surface and a front opening 26 in a front surface 25 that provides access to a cavity 27 for accepting the gas fireplace insert. The front opening 26 is of a sufficient size to receive a fireplace insert and support doors for that insert. Fireplace inserts are shown in subsequent figures, and the actual construction of the fireplace insert is shown schematically in FIG. 17.

FIGS. 3 and 4 illustrate modules 28 and 36 which will be referred to as cabinets in this application for mounting against a flat wall of a room. The modules 28, 36 that have essentially the same dimension openings 30, 36 in front surfaces 31, 39, as the openings 14, 26 in the front surfaces 17, 27 of the modules 10, 22 illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, all respectively. Similar to the module 10, the module 28 includes a planar top 32, a support bottom 29 with a substantially planar surface and shelves 34 positioned in selected positions within a cavity 33 as shown. The opening 30 will accept standard doors, as will the opening 14 in the cabinet of FIG. 1. Decorative columns can be utilized on the module 28 as well.

The module 28 has a height D, a length C at the base, a width E at the base, a width B at the top surface that is greater than the width E at the base and a length A at the top surface which is greater than the length C at the base. The width E and the length C of the base are both less than the width B and the length A at the top surface such that the cabinet 28 can be positioned on the top surface 40 of the cabinet 36 with sufficient stability as well as if the cabinet 36 is positioned on the top surface 32 of the cabinet 28.

FIG. 4 illustrates the flat wall supported fireplace insert cabinet 36 that is made with the opening 38 in the front surface 37 that provides access to a cavity 39 for receiving a fireplace insert, which is shown in FIG. 18. The cabinet 36 has substantially the same dimensions as the cabinet 28. The cabinet 36 also has a planar top 40 and a support bottom 37 that also has a substantially planar surface.

The modules 10, 22, 28 and 36 shown in FIGS. 1-4 are the basic modular units for placing various fireplace configurations in a room. Platforms may be positioned at the floor level, or on the surface supporting the modules, between the stacked modules as well as on the top surface of the top module to accentuate the look of the modular fireplace cabinet.

Referring to FIGS. 5-9, a variety of platforms of different heights and designs are illustrated. While a platform may be illustrated for use with a corner module or a flat wall module, the platform could also be constructed of the same height for the non-illustrated module. For instance, a Figure illustrating a corner mounted design could easily be modified to be utilized with a wall mounted design and vice versa.

FIG. 5 shows a modular platform 46 having a flat planar surface 45 and a flat bottom surface 47, that can be used as a base for the modules 10, 22, 28 and 36 between the stacked modules 10, 22, 28 and 36 or positioned on an upper surface of the modules 10, 22, 28 and 36 shown in FIGS. 1-4. FIG. 6 shows a platform 48 having a greater height than the platform 46 where the platform also includes a flat planar top surface 49 and a flat bottom surface 43. The platform 48, while shown schematically in FIG. 6, is shown in more detail in FIG. 9, can be used as a mantel on any one of the flat cabinet tops 12, 22, 32 and 40 shown in FIGS. 1-4.

The platform 48 typically is about 3½ inches high, and thus can be manufactured individually as shown in FIG. 9 with the decorative surfaces, indicated at 48A. The platform 48 will fit onto the top surfaces of the various cabinets, to provide the mantel as well as a base for supporting the bottom supports of the various cabinets.

A platform is shown at 50 in FIG. 7 has a height greater than the height of either platform 46 or 48. The platform 50 is a modular unit having a flat planar top surface 50A and a flat bottom surface 50B that can be used for supporting any one of the cabinets, either the fireplace insert cabinets or the shelved cabinets, and the platform 50 can be used on the floor, to raise the overall assembly or as a decorative mantel. In FIG. 8, a front view of the modular base 50 is shown in greater detail, and it includes a decorative surfaces 52 to optionally provide a more ornate appearance.

A typical assembly of the modular units is shown in FIG. 10, where the platform 50 is illustrated as a base that supports and elevates a fireplace insert cabinet 36 to be utilized with a flat wall. A fireplace insert shown generally at 56 is shown within the cabinet. In this instance, a face plate 58 is positioned into the opening 26 or 38 of the fireplace insert cabinets, and also there can be doors on the front opening of the fireplace insert which are shown at 60. The platform 48 with the decorative surface 48A is utilized as a mantel on top of cabinet 36 in FIG. 10. In this instance, the fireplace insert is above the floor a selected distance, and no additional top cabinetry is utilized.

FIG. 11 shows a cabinet 22 for corner mounting where the base of the cabinet is adjacent the floor. The platform 48 with the decorative surface 48A is positioned on the top planar surface of the cabinet 22 and is utilized as a mantel. In FIG. 11, a different style of fireplace insert indicated at 64 is positioned into the cavity of the cabinet 22 through the opening 26 in the front surface 25 of the cabinet 22.

FIG. 12 shows an assembly that includes a wall mount fireplace insert cabinet 36, with a platform 48 position at the top of the cabinet 36 where the platform 48 is utilized as a mantel. The fireplace insert module cabinet 36 is mounted on top of a wall mount base cabinet 28, so that the fireplace insert shown at 66 is raised up from the floor, and is supported on the top of the base shelf cabinet 28. In this instance, the base cabinet 28 has a platform 48 that is positioned between the top of the lower cabinet 28 and the fireplace insert cabinet 36 where the platform 48 is also utilized as a mantel. It should be noted that in this instance the lower cabinet 28 contains shelves 34. However, the lower cabinet 28 could also contain any of a number of other article supports such as a wine rack or a glass rack and may also include doors that cover the opening.

The modules permit stacking in different orders, so that the fireplace can be raised up as shown in FIG. 12, or mounted on the lower level as shown in FIG. 13. In FIG. 13, a corner fireplace insert cabinet 22 is illustrated as being supported on the platform 48 having the decorative surface 48A. Another platform 48 with the decorative surface 48A is positioned between the fireplace insert cabinet 22 and the module 10 which is positioned on the top surface of the platform 48. Another platform 48 is positioned on the top surface of the module 10 as a mantel. In this instance the opening 14 in the module 10 is open making the shelves 16 accessible. A fireplace insert 70 is provided in this lower cabinet 22 as well.

FIG. 14 shows a reverse arrangement of the arrangement in FIG. 12, with the platform 48 supported on a base corner cabinet 10 and supporting fireplace insert cabinet 22. In this instance the cabinet 10 includes doors 72 that are typically transparent thereby making wine racks 74 contained therein visible. The platform 48 on the top surface of the fireplace insert cabinet 22 provides a mantel, and additional decorations or decorative attachments 72 can be used. In this case the fireplace insert 74 has a door 75 in the front, and may have other decorative grills as desired.

As illustrated in FIG. 1-14 the modular cabinet system of the present invention can be utilized to customize the appearance of the fireplace cabinet to any number of designs. The modular cabinet system easily allows a purchaser to selected a desired design, whether the fireplace is near floor level or elevated, along with different designed platforms to provide a customized appearance without having to incur the cost of having the cabinet custom made.

FIG. 15 illustrates a corner fireplace insert cabinet 22 mounted onto a kitchen counter 80, and placed into the corner of the room. The mantel 48 is shown in place, and the fireplace insert 82 is shown as well. These gas fireplace inserts require zero clearance essentially, and can be used right in the kitchen as shown for a warm feeling.

FIG. 16 shows a fireplace unit 90 having typical dimensions that would permit it to be installed into a corner cabinet, and FIG. 17 shows a fireplace insert 92 being installed in the corner of the room and illustrating some of the connections including the exhaust vent 93 through a wall 94 to outside the building.

The module assemblies thus permit one to make various combination that can be changed easily to provide different looks. Only a selected number of cabinet designs are needed to provide a full range of selectable models. The platforms shown in FIGS. 5-9 can be made in different heights. The base or shelved cabinets can be left open, or optional doors can be installed as desired.

Wine racks or glass racks, or any other accessory or article supports, or any combination thereof can be secured into the cabinets in place of shelves. While transparent doors on the modules 10, 28 are typical various optional door styles are available.

Although the present invention has been described with reference to preferred embodiments, workers skilled in the art will recognize that changes may be made in form and detail without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.