Title:
Modular stairway system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A modular stair system includes a plurality of upright support members which are spacedly positioned form one another to form an array. A plurality of treadle members are positioned adjacent one another to extend between the upright support members. Each of the treadle members is fitted with one or more connection members which are configured to engage and form a detachable union with a counterpart connection member of an adjacently positioned treadle to form a stair system.



Inventors:
Gianelo, Angelo (Salt Lake City, UT, US)
Application Number:
11/706927
Publication Date:
02/21/2008
Filing Date:
02/14/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04F11/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FERENCE, JAMES M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TRASKBRITT, P.C. (SALT LAKE CITY, UT, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A modular stairway comprising: a plurality of upright support elements spacedly positioned from one another in two parallel rows; a plurality of treadle members, each treadle member comprising: a generally horizontally oriented planar panel having opposing ends, upright panel mounted to each end, each end panel extending above and below said planar panel, a first generally “U” shaped element secured to a first upstanding side of each said end panel, said first “U” shaped element defining a first vertical channel which is accessible and through upper and lower ends of said first channel, a second generally “U” shaped element secured to a second upstanding side of each said end panel, said second “U” shaped element defining a second vertical channel which is accessible through an open upper and lower ends of said second channel, said second channel being positioned elevationally lower than said first channel wherein said treadle members are arranged in an array, a first said treadle member being positioned adjacent a second said treadle member, wherein said planar panel of said first treadle member is oriented elevationally than said first treadle member of said second treadle member, said “U” shaped element of said second treadle member being positioned within said second channel of said first treadle member and an said upright support being positioned within said first channel of said second treadle member.

2. The modular stairway of claim 1 of said second treadle member wherein said first “U” shaped element is vertically slidable within said second channel of said first treadle member.

3. The modular stairway of claim 1, wherein said upright element is vertically slidable in said first channel of said second treadle member.

4. The modular stairway of claim 1, wherein in each said treadle member said second channel element is positioned elevationally below said planar panel.

5. The modular stairway of claim 1, wherein said second “U” shaped element defines an extension, extending from a vertical edge of said second “U” shaped element, said extension being fitted with a connection structure for securing said connection structure to a said upright panel of an adjacently positioned treadle member.

6. The modular stairway of claim 1, wherein said connection structure comprises a series of apertures configured to receive a connection member.

7. The modular stairway of claim 6, wherein said upright panels are fitted with a cooperative connecting structure configured to engage said connection structure of said extension and form a detachable union.

8. The modular stairway of claim 7, wherein said cooperative connecting structure comprises a plurality of apertures defined in said upright panel configures for receiving said connection member.

9. The modular stairway of claim 8, further including said connection member being positioned within a said aperture in said extension and an aligned aperture in said upright panel.

10. The modular stairway of claim 9, wherein a number of said apertures in said upright panel exceed numerically a number of said apertures in said extension.

11. The modular stairway of claim 1, wherein said upright panel includes a third aperture positioned opposite said second channel and further to communicate with an upright support member positioned within said first channel.

12. The modular stairway of claim 11, further comprising a second connection member which extends through said third aperture to form a connection between said upright panel and said upright support member.

13. The modular stairway of claim 12, wherein said upright panel defines at least one lateral extension which at least partially over a vertically oriented access opening to said second channel.

14. The modular stairway of claim 12, wherein said lateral extension defines said third aperture.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to stair assembly systems and more particularly to assembly stairway systems which are fabricated from a multiplicity of modular elements. More particularly, the invention is directed to an assembly system formed of a plurality of horizontally extending modular elements which are interconnected to a series of upright members to form an integrated stairway system.

2. State of the Art

Stairway assembly systems are often designed for a multiplicity of applications, both commercial and domestic. Such systems conventionally include a one or more stringers which may be formed by cutting a plurality of transurfaces and riser surfaces into a board or other structural member. The stringers are traditionally positioned between a lower floor surface and an upper floor surface and typically are arranged in a parallel fashion. A series of horizontally positioned transurfaces are positioned to extend from one stringer to another to form a series of parallel oriented horizontal surfaces which serve as steps. Traditionally, a riser is positioned at the rear portion of each step to extend upwardly to engage the adjacently positioned and elevationally superior next step.

Conventional staircases may be quite difficult and time consuming to not only construct but also to layout initially. Building codes are involved to require minimum configurations for the various elements of instructions which make up a conventional staircase. Furthermore, the laying out and counting of the notches in the stringers may be quite time consuming. Not only do the notches, cut into the stringer sections, significantly weaken the structural integrity of the stringer, furthermore, due to the weakening of the structure, such stringers must be fabricated from fairly expensive materials so as to avoid failure of the stairway assembly system. It follows that conventional construction methods and approaches to constructing stairway systems significantly limit the efficiency with which such systems may be constructed.

Various attempts have been made historically to construct stairway systems that involve modular construction. For example, in U.S. Pat. No. 5,778,610 (Berg) a stair assembly that extends between an upper and lower surface is disclosed. These simply includes a stair support member with a top inclined edge and a plurality of transupports adapted to be fixedly coupled to the stair support member. Each transupport has a riser surface that projects upwardly from the top inclined surface in a transupport extended surface from the top inclined surface to an upper point from the riser surface. Stair transit risers are affixed to the transupports and riser surfaces to form a staircase from which both the stringer and the transupports are hidden from view.

Alternative staircase systems which adopt a modular approach are those identified and disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,502,933 (Skillern); U.S. Pat. No. 5,293,722 (Reinmann); U.S. Pat. No. 6,763,912 (Robinson et al.); U.S. Pat. No. 4,422,270 (Lapoint et al.) and U.S. Pat. No. 6,125,598 (Lanphier). A further disclosure of a modular stair assembly system is shown in US Patent Application Publication US20040040785 A1.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A modular stairway system of the instant invention includes a plurality of upright support elements spacedly arranged from one another in a generally parallel arrangement. In a preferred construction, the upright support elements may be arranged in two parallel rows with the distance between each pair of adjacent support elements being maintained consistent throughout the array. A plurality of treadle members is interassociated with the upright support elements to form a stairway structure.

Each treadle member comprises a generally horizontal oriented planar panel having opposing ends. Secured to each of the opposing ends is an upright panel which extends elevationally above the plane of the treadle member and, furthermore, extends below the surface of that planar panel as well. Each of the upright panels is fitted with a first generally “U” shaped element which is secured to a first upstanding side edge of the upright panel. The first “U” shaped element may be formed of a plurality of planar panels which are associated one to another along their upright edges to form a general “U” shaped structure of the element. The “U” shaped element defines a vertical channel within the body of the element which is accessible through an upper and lower open end of that channel.

A second generally “U” shaped element is secured to a second upstanding side edge of the upright panel. Similar to the first “U” shaped element, the second “U” shaped element may also be formed of a plurality of planar panels which are interconnected to one another along their upright vertical edges to form a “U” shaped structure. The second “U” shaped element also defines a second “U” shaped channel which extends elevationally over its length and which is accessible through an open upper end and a open lower end. The second channel is dimensioned to slidably receive the first “U” shaped element of an adjacently positioned treadle member. The second channel defined by the second “U” shaped element is positioned to be elevationally lower than the first channel defined by the first “U” shaped element.

The treadle members are positioned in an array wherein each treadle position adjacent to a subsequent treadle with a longitudinal axis of adjacent treadles being positioned generally parallel to one another. In the case of each pair of adjacent treadle members, the first “U” shaped element of the pair of treadles is positioned within the second channel of a first treadle member. In each pair of adjacently positioned treadle members, a first treadle member is positioned elevationally above a second treadle member.

The “U” shaped element of a second treadle member is positioned within the second channel of the first treadle member and, furthermore, the upright support member is positioned within the first channel of the second treadle member to form a unitary construction. This structure is a relationship or engagement of adjacent treadle members is repeated throughout the array so as to form a extended staircase structure wherein each treadle member is engaged or interlocked with a treadle member positioned elevationally below the first treadle member as well as a treadle member which is positioned immediately superior to the first treadle member.

A preferred construction of the first “U” shaped elements is configured to be vertically slidable within the second channel of a first treadle member. Furthermore, the first channel of a treadle member is configured to slidably receive what a respective upright element.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view in simplified format of a pair of adjacently positioned treadle members in association with the plurality of upstanding support members;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of a plurality of treadle members in association with the plurality of upright members engaged with one another to form a staircase structure;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a single treadle member taken from an in perspective illustrating the details of a upright side element of a pane;

FIG. 4 is a perspective top view of a section of a treadle member;

FIG. 5 is a perspective sectional view of a plurality of treadle members shown respectively engaged with a plurality of upstanding support members;

FIG. 6 is a sectional perspective view of a pair of stair treadles: and

FIG. 7 is a further sectional view of a pair of associated stair treadles.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENTS

As shown in FIG. 1, a staircase assembly of the instant invention includes a plurality of upstanding support members 11 which are engaged and otherwise secured to a plurality of horizontally extending treadle members 10. Each support member 11 is an elongate member which is secured at its lower end to an underlying foundation. When the support member is secured into the ground, the support member may be positioned within a concrete foundation or other foundational structure. When the support member is positioned above ground, the support member may be secured to appropriate structure. In preferred constructions the support member 11 maintains a constant cross sectional diameter over its height. As shown in FIG. 1, the support member possesses a generally square cross section.

The treadle members 10 are spacedly arranged relative to one another and extend between spacedly positioned pairs of upright support members 11. Each of the treadle members 10 is secured to an adjacently positioned treadle member by means of an association or interconnection of connection elements 13 which are secured to each of the treadle members 10. As shown in FIGS. 1-5, each of these connection elements may be configured as a “U” shaped element which defines an internal channel therein. These connection elements 13 may also function to interconnect the treadle members to respective upright support members 11.

In a preferred construction as shown in FIGS. 2-5, each treadle may be fitted with a connection element 13 on each of its opposing ends proximate the leading edge of the treadle. Furthermore, each treadle may also be fitted with connections elements 13 on each of its opposing ends positioned proximate the trailing edge of the treadle. Each of the connection elements 13 is configured to engage and form a detachable union with another connection member 13 mounted on an adjacent treadle. For example, a first connection member 13 mounted on the leading edge of a first treadle is dimensioned and otherwise configured to receive within a channel defined therein a second connection element 13 of a elevationally lower adjacent treadle positioned on the trailing edge of that adjacent treadle. The second connection member 13 may also be configured to receive and retain an upright supporting member 11. The first connection member may also be configured to include a secondary connection means for interconnecting the first treadle with the adjacent treadle.

As shown to advantage in FIGS. 2 through 4, treadle member 10 may include a generally horizontally oriented planar section 15 configured to have a generally rectangular configuration. The elongated edges of the platform 15 are folded downwardly to form lips 10 and 11. Both lips 10 and 11 may also be generally planar in configuration and rectangular in construction. The upper surface of the panel 10 may be textured such as shown in the illustrated embodiment to form a more secure platform for users to gain traction during a descent up or down on the staircase.

As shown in FIG. 3 a typical treadle member 10 is fitted on each of its opposing ends with a substantially planar element 12 having an upper edge 50 and a lower edge 52. The edges 50 and 52 are inclined when the treadle is in its installed condition. The edges 50 and 52 are elevationally lower proximate the leading edge of the treadle and conversely elevationally higher proximate the trailing edge of the treadle panel 10. “U” shaped elements 13 are positioned on opposing edges of the upright end panel 12 which is in turn secured to the opposing ends of a horizontally extending platform section of the treadle panel 10. Each of the upstanding end panels 12 is formed of an initially planar sheet of material which is subsequently bent at a number of locations to form a pair of spacedly positioned shelves or ledges each having the respective edges 50 and 52. As shown the upper and lower edges of the panel 12 are formed by a 90 degree bend of the material forming the panel 12.

As further shown to advantage in FIG. 3, the panel 12 includes a generally centrally located planar section and the pair of “U” shaped elements 19 and 20 which are positioned on opposing upstanding edges of the upright panel 12. The “U” shaped structures 19 and 20 are formed from a number of linear bends in the material which in conjunction form a generally “U” shaped structure. The second “U” shaped structure 20 includes a first planar rectangular section 24, adjacently positioned rectangular planar section 25, followed by a further planar rectangular section 26 and finally, a fourth planar section 27.

Each of the planar sections intersect the adjacent planar section at a 90 degree right angle. Initial section 24 extends outwardly from the upright panel 12 also at a 90 degree angle and therefore perpendicular to the planar surface of the central region from the panel 12. The association of the sections 24, 25, and 26 form a generally “U” shaped structure defining an internal channel which is configured to slidably receive a respective first “U” shaped structure 19 of an adjacently positioned treadle member 10.

The extension section 27 defines a number of apertures 28 which pass through the entire thickness of the panel. The apertures 28 are used in association with a connection member, e.g. a nut and bolt combination, to secure the upright panel 12 to an upright 12 of an adjacently positioned treadle member 10. The panel 12 also may include one or more extension sections 32 and 34 which extend outwardly and generally parallel to the longitudinal length of the channel defined within the interior of the second “U” shaped member 20. Each of these extensions 32 and 34 may define one or more apertures 35 and 36 which are configured for receiving a connection member, e.g. a screw or not and bolt combination, adapted to engage with the upright support 11.

The first “U” shaped element illustrated to advantage in FIG. 4 is formed similarly to the second “U” shaped element 20 in that a first rectangular planar panel 21 is formed by bending the material of the panel 12 to form a 90 degree angle thereby defining the rectangular planar panel 21 which extends outwardly to a 90 degree angle from the planar surface of the upright panel 12.

A second rectangular planar panel 22 is formed by bending the material of planar panel 21 to form a 90 degree angle and thereby defining a second rectangularly configured panel which extends in a direction generally parallel to the plane of the panel 12. A third rectangular planar panel 23 is formed by bending the material of section 22 to form a 90 degree bend along a generally vertical upright axis. The panel 23 is similarly rectangular in configuration and planar in structure. The association in three rectangular planar panels 21, 22, and 23 forms a generally “U” shaped structure which extends outwardly from the plane of the upright panel 12 to form a first “U” shaped structure.

A channel is defined within the “U” shaped structure 19. This channel may be accessible through an open upper end of the channel as well as an open lower end. Furthermore, the channel is also accessible along its upstanding vertical open side. The dimension of the first “U” shaped structure 19 are configured so as to be slidably received within the channel of a corresponding or second “U” shaped structure 20 of an adjacently positioned treadle member 10.

The panel 12 as shown in FIG. 4 also defines a plurality of apertures 40 which are positioned in a generally vertical row or array. These apertures 40 are adapted in association with the apertures 28 of the extension 27 whereby a nut and bolt may be extended through the aperture 28 and subsequently through the aperture 40 and thereafter secured to form a detachable union of the second “U” shaped element 20 of an elevationally superior positioned treadle member 10 with an elevationally lower positioned mounted treadle member 10 with the upright support panel 12 of the elevationally lower mounted treadle member 10.

As shown in FIG. 5, in each pair of adjacently positioned treadles, the lower element 19 is positioned within the channel of the adjacent element 20. Thereafter connection elements such as screw, bolts and nuts may be utilized to secure the two elements 19 and 20 together to form a secure union. Further, similar connection elements may be used to secure the two treadles to the upright support member 11.

Reference herein to details of the illustrated embodiments is not intended to restrict the scope of the appended claims which themselves recite those features which are regarded as essential to the invention.