Title:
Floor screen apparatus and method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A decorative floor screen, or partition, according to which one or more panels are inserted into a frame.



Inventors:
Jensen, George William (Dallas, TX, US)
Application Number:
11/590014
Publication Date:
05/08/2008
Filing Date:
10/31/2006
Assignee:
GWJ Company (Grand Prairie, TX, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H3/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
PUROL, DAVID M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HAYNES AND BOONE, LLP (Dallas, TX, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method comprising: inserting a first panel into a frame comprising parallel-spaced first and second members so that the first panel extends between the first and second members; and toollessly coupling a divider to the frame so that the divider extends between the first and second members.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein the divider comprises a bar member; and wherein toollessly coupling the divider to the frame comprises: disposing the divider between the first and second members so that the bar member extends at an angle between the first and second members; and rotating the divider.

3. The method of claim 2 wherein the first and second members comprise respective first and second channels; wherein the divider comprises opposing first and second protrusions extending from the bar member; and wherein, in response to the rotation of the divider, the first and second protrusions extend into the first and second channels, respectively, and the bar member extends between, and is generally perpendicular to, the first and second members.

4. The method of claim 3 wherein an interference fit is formed between opposing ends of the bar member and the first and second members, respectively, in response to the rotation of the divider; and wherein the divider is held in place, relative to the frame, in response to the formation of the interference fit.

5. The method of claim 3 further comprising: adjusting the position of the divider, relative to the frame, after toollessly coupling the divider to the frame.

6. The method of claim 5 wherein adjusting the position of the divider, relative to the frame, comprises translating the divider in a direction generally corresponding to a direction of extension of the first and second members.

7. The method of claim 6 wherein the bar member remains generally perpendicular to the first and second members during translating the divider.

8. The method of claim 7 wherein the bar member comprises a third channel; and wherein the first panel extends within the third channel in response to translating the divider.

9. The method of claim 8 wherein an interference fit is formed between opposing ends of the bar member and the first and second members, respectively, in response to the rotation of the divider; wherein the divider is held in place, relative to the frame, in response to the formation of the interference fit; and wherein translating the divider comprises applying a force to the bar member so that frictional forces associated with the interference fit are overcome.

10. The method of claim 8 wherein the bar member comprises a fourth channel spaced in a parallel relation to the third channel; and wherein the method further comprises: inserting a second panel into the frame so that the second panel extends within the first, second and fourth channels.

11. The method of claim 1 wherein inserting the first panel into the frame comprises inserting the first panel through a slot formed in a third member extending between the first and second members of the frame.

12. The method of claim 1 further comprising: hingedly coupling one or more other frames to the first-mentioned frame to form a floor screen.

13. An apparatus comprising: a frame into which a panel is adapted to be removably inserted, the frame comprising first and second members spaced in a parallel relation and across which the panel is adapted to extend; and a divider coupled to the frame, the divider extending between the first and second members and movable, relative to the frame, in a direction generally corresponding to a direction of extension of the first and second members.

14. The apparatus of claim 13 wherein the first and second members comprise respective first and second channels within which the panel is adapted to extend; and wherein the divider comprises: a bar member extending between, and generally perpendicular to, the first and second members; and opposing first and second protrusions extending from the bar member and into the first and second channels, respectively.

15. The apparatus of claim 14 wherein the bar member comprises a third channel within which the panel is adapted to extend.

16. The apparatus of claim 15 wherein the bar member comprises a fourth channel spaced in a parallel relation to the third channel; and wherein another panel is adapted to extend within the first, second and fourth channels.

17. The apparatus of claim 14 wherein the bar member remains generally perpendicular to the first and second members during any relative movement between the divider and the frame.

18. The apparatus of claim 14 wherein the divider is held in place, relative to the frame, by an interference fit between opposing ends of the bar member and the first and second members, respectively.

19. The apparatus of claim 13 further comprising one or more frames hingedly coupled to the first-mentioned frame; wherein the frames form a floor screen.

20. The apparatus of claim 13 wherein the frame comprises parallel-spaced third and fourth members extending between the first and second members so that the divider is positioned between the third and fourth members.

21. The apparatus of claim 20 wherein the frame further comprises a slot formed in the third member and through which the panel is adapted to be removably inserted into the frame.

22. A method of assembling a decorative floor screen, the method comprising: removably inserting a first panel into a frame comprising parallel-spaced first and second members so that the first panel extends between the first and second members; toollessly coupling a divider comprising a bar member to the frame so that the divider extends between the first and second members, comprising: disposing the divider between the first and second members so that the bar member extends at an angle between the first and second members; and rotating the divider; and adjusting the position of the divider, relative to the frame, after toollessly coupling the divider to the frame, comprising translating the divider in a direction generally corresponding to a direction of extension of the first and second members; wherein the first and second members comprise respective first and second channels; wherein the divider comprises opposing first and second protrusions extending from the bar member; wherein, in response to the rotation of the divider, the first and second protrusions extend into the first and second channels, respectively, the bar member extends between, and is generally perpendicular to, the first and second members, and an interference fit is formed between opposing ends of the bar member and the first and second members, respectively; wherein the divider is held in place, relative to the frame, in response to the formation of the interference fit; wherein the bar member remains generally perpendicular to the first and second members during translating the divider; wherein the bar member comprises a third channel; wherein the first panel extends within the third channel in response to translating the divider; wherein translating the divider comprises applying a force to the bar member so that frictional forces associated with the interference fit are overcome; wherein the bar member comprises a fourth channel spaced in a parallel relation to the third channel; wherein inserting the first panel into the frame comprises inserting the first panel through a slot formed in a third member extending between the first and second members of the frame; and wherein the method further comprises: inserting a second panel through the slot and into the frame so that the second panel extends within the first, second and fourth channels; and hingedly coupling one or more other frames to the first-mentioned frame.

23. A decorative floor screen comprising: a first frame into which a panel is adapted to be removably inserted, the first frame comprising first and second members spaced in a parallel relation and across which the panel is adapted to extend, the first and second members comprising respective first and second channels within which the panel is adapted to extend; one or more other frames hingedly coupled to the first frame; and a divider coupled to the first frame, the divider extending between the first and second members and movable, relative to the first frame, in a direction generally corresponding to a direction of extension of the first and second members, the divider comprising: a bar member extending between, and generally perpendicular to, the first and second members, the bar member comprising: a third channel within which the panel is adapted to extend; and a fourth channel spaced in a parallel relation to the third channel, wherein another panel is adapted to extend within the first, second and fourth channels; and opposing first and second protrusions extending from the bar member and into the first and second channels, respectively; wherein the bar member remains generally perpendicular to the first and second members during any relative movement between the divider and the first frame; wherein the divider is held in place, relative to the first frame, by an interference fit between opposing ends of the bar member and the first and second members, respectively; and wherein the first frame further comprises: parallel-spaced third and fourth members extending between the first and second members so that the divider is positioned between the third and fourth members; and a slot formed in the third member and through which the panel is adapted to be removably inserted into the first frame.

24. A system comprising: means for inserting a first panel into a frame comprising parallel-spaced first and second members so that the first panel extends between the first and second members; and means for toollessly coupling a divider to the frame so that the divider extends between the first and second members.

25. The system of claim 24 wherein the divider comprises a bar member; and wherein means for toollessly coupling the divider to the frame comprises: means for disposing the divider between the first and second members so that the bar member extends at an angle between the first and second members; and means for rotating the divider.

26. The system of claim 25 wherein the first and second members comprise respective first and second channels; wherein the divider comprises opposing first and second protrusions extending from the bar member; and wherein, in response to the rotation of the divider, the first and second protrusions extend into the first and second channels, respectively, and the bar member extends between, and is generally perpendicular to, the first and second members.

27. The system of claim 26 wherein an interference fit is formed between opposing ends of the bar member and the first and second members, respectively, in response to the rotation of the divider; and wherein the divider is held in place, relative to the frame, in response to the formation of the interference fit.

28. The system of claim 26 further comprising: means for adjusting the position of the divider, relative to the frame, after toollessly coupling the divider to the frame.

29. The system of claim 28 wherein means for adjusting the position of the divider, relative to the frame, comprises means for translating the divider in a direction generally corresponding to a direction of extension of the first and second members.

30. The system of claim 29 wherein the bar member remains generally perpendicular to the first and second members during translating the divider.

31. The system of claim 30 wherein the bar member comprises a third channel; and wherein the first panel extends within the third channel in response to translating the divider.

32. The system of claim 31 wherein an interference fit is formed between opposing ends of the bar member and the first and second members, respectively, in response to the rotation of the divider; wherein the divider is held in place, relative to the frame, in response to the formation of the interference fit; and wherein means for translating the divider comprises means for applying a force to the bar member so that frictional forces associated with the interference fit are overcome.

33. The system of claim 31 wherein the bar member comprises a fourth channel spaced in a parallel relation to the third channel; and wherein the system further comprises: means for inserting a second panel into the frame so that the second panel extends within the first, second and fourth channels.

34. The system of claim 24 wherein means for inserting the first panel into the frame comprises means for inserting the first panel through a slot formed in a third member extending between the first and second members of the frame.

35. The system of claim 24 further comprising: means for hingedly coupling one or more other frames to the first-mentioned frame to form a floor screen.

36. A kit comprising: a frame into which a panel is adapted to be removably inserted, the frame comprising first and second members spaced in a parallel relation and across which the panel is adapted to extend; and a divider adapted to be coupled to the frame, the divider adapted to extend between the first and second members and be movable, relative to the frame, in a direction generally corresponding to a direction of extension of the first and second members when the divider is coupled to the frame.

37. The kit of claim 36 wherein the first and second members comprise respective first and second channels within which the panel is adapted to extend; and wherein the divider comprises: a bar member adapted to extend between, and be generally perpendicular to, the first and second members; and opposing first and second protrusions extending from the bar member, the first and second protrusions being adapted to extend into the first and second channels, respectively.

38. The kit of claim 37 wherein the bar member comprises a third channel within which the panel is adapted to extend.

39. The kit of claim 38 wherein the bar member comprises a fourth channel spaced in a parallel relation to the third channel; and wherein another panel is adapted to extend within the first, second and fourth channels.

40. The kit of claim 37 wherein, when the divider is coupled to the frame, the bar member is adapted to remain generally perpendicular to the first and second members during any relative movement between the divider and the frame.

41. The kit of claim 37 wherein the divider is adapted to be held in place, relative to the frame, by an interference fit between opposing ends of the bar member and the first and second members, respectively.

42. The kit of claim 36 further comprising one or more frames adapted to be hingedly coupled to the first-mentioned frame; wherein the frames are adapted to form a floor screen.

43. The kit of claim 36 wherein the frame comprises parallel-spaced third and fourth members extending between the first and second members so that the divider is adapted to be positioned between the third and fourth members.

44. The kit of claim 43 wherein the frame further comprises a slot formed in the third member and through which the panel is adapted to be removably inserted into the frame.

45. A system for assembling a decorative floor screen, the system comprising: means for removably inserting a first panel into a frame comprising parallel-spaced first and second members so that the first panel extends between the first and second members; means for toollessly coupling a divider comprising a bar member to the frame so that the divider extends between the first and second members, comprising: means for disposing the divider between the first and second members so that the bar member extends at an angle between the first and second members; and means for rotating the divider; and means for adjusting the position of the divider, relative to the frame, after toollessly coupling the divider to the frame, comprising means for translating the divider in a direction generally corresponding to a direction of extension of the first and second members; wherein the first and second members comprise respective first and second channels; wherein the divider comprises opposing first and second protrusions extending from the bar member; wherein, in response to the rotation of the divider, the first and second protrusions extend into the first and second channels, respectively, the bar member extends between, and is generally perpendicular to, the first and second members, and an interference fit is formed between opposing ends of the bar member and the first and second members, respectively; wherein the divider is held in place, relative to the frame, in response to the formation of the interference fit; wherein the bar member remains generally perpendicular to the first and second members during translating the divider; wherein the bar member comprises a third channel; wherein the first panel extends within the third channel in response to translating the divider; wherein translating the divider comprises applying a force to the bar member so that frictional forces associated with the interference fit are overcome; wherein the bar member comprises a fourth channel spaced in a parallel relation to the third channel; wherein means for inserting the first panel into the frame comprises means for inserting the first panel through a slot formed in a third member extending between the first and second members of the frame; and wherein the system further comprises: means for inserting a second panel into the frame so that the second panel extends within the first, second and fourth channels; and means for hingedly coupling one or more other frames to the first-mentioned frame.

46. A kit for assembling a decorative floor screen, the kit comprising: a first frame into which a panel is adapted to be removably inserted, the first frame comprising first and second members spaced in a parallel relation and across which the panel is adapted to extend, the first and second members comprising respective first and second channels within which the panel is adapted to extend; one or more other frames adapted to be hingedly coupled to the first frame; and a divider adapted to be coupled to the first frame, the divider adapted to extend between the first and second members and be movable, relative to the first frame, in a direction generally corresponding to a direction of extension of the first and second members when the divider is coupled to the first frame, the divider comprising: a bar member extending between, and generally perpendicular to, the first and second members, the bar member comprising: a third channel within which the panel is adapted to extend; and a fourth channel spaced in a parallel relation to the third channel, wherein another panel is adapted to extend within the first, second and fourth channels; and opposing first and second protrusions extending from the bar member and adapted to extend into the first and second channels, respectively; wherein, when the divider is coupled to the frame, the bar member is adapted to remain generally perpendicular to the first and second members during any relative movement between the divider and the first frame; wherein the divider is adapted to be held in place, relative to the first frame, by an interference fit between opposing ends of the bar member and the first and second members, respectively; and wherein the first frame further comprises: parallel-spaced third and fourth members extending between the first and second members so that the divider is adapted to be positioned between the third and fourth members; and a slot formed in the third member and through which the panel is adapted to be removably inserted into the first frame.

Description:

BACKGROUND

The present disclosure relates in general to screens or partitions, and in particular to decorative floor screens or partitions.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a decorative floor screen including a plurality of frames and a plurality of panels inserted therein.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of a portion of the floor screen of FIG. 1 taken along line 2-2.

FIG. 3 is a sectional view of a portion of the floor screen of FIG. 1 taken along line 3-3.

FIG. 4 is a sectional view of a portion of the floor screen of FIG. 1 taken along line 4-4.

FIG. 5 is a sectional view of a portion of the floor screen of FIG. 1 taken along line 5-5.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged perspective view of an adjustable divider of the floor screen of FIG. 1.

FIG. 7A is a perspective view of one of the frames of the floor screen of FIG. 1, and depicts the insertion of one of the panels into the frame.

FIG. 7B is a view similar to that of FIG. 7A, but depicting the panel fully inserted into the frame.

FIG. 7C is a view similar to that of FIG. 7B, but depicting the installation of the adjustable divider of FIG. 6 into the frame.

FIG. 7D is a view similar to that of FIG. 7C, but depicting the adjustable divider installed in the frame.

FIG. 7E is a view similar to that of FIG. 7D, but depicting the adjustable divider in another position in the frame.

FIG. 7F is a view similar to that of FIG. 7E, but depicting the insertion of a second panel into the frame.

FIG. 7G is a view similar to that of FIG. 7F, but depicting the second panel fully inserted into the frame.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the floor screen of FIG. 1, but depicting the replacement of one of the panels with another panel.

FIG. 9 is a view similar to that of FIG. 1, but depicting different types of panels fully inserted into the frames of the floor screen.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring to FIGS. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.and 6, in an exemplary embodiment, a decorative floor screen, or partition, is referred to in general by the reference numeral 10 and includes frames 12, 14 and 16. Hinges 18a, 18b and 18c hingedly couple the frames 12 and 14, and hinges 20a, 20b and 20c hingedly couple the frames 14 and 16. In an exemplary embodiment, each of the hinges 18a, 18b, 18c, 20a, 20b and 20c comprises a bi-directional hinge.

Panels 22 and 24 are coupled to the frame 12, panels 26, 28 and 30 are coupled to the frame 14, and a panel 32 is coupled to the frame 16. In an exemplary embodiment, the panels 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 and 32 are composed of cardboard. An adjustable divider 34 is coupled to the frame 12, and adjustable dividers 36 and 38 are coupled to the frame 14.

The frame 12 includes a pair of vertically-extending members 40 and 42, which are spaced in a parallel relation. A horizontally-extending member 44 extends between the members 40 and 42 at the top of the frame 12, and a horizontally-extending member 46 extends between the members 40 and 42 at the bottom of the frame 12. A slot 48 is formed through the horizontally-extending member 44, and a channel 50 is formed in the horizontally-extending member 46, with the slot 48 and the channel 50 being generally aligned with one another. Channels 52 and 54 are formed in the vertically-extending members 40 and 42, respectively. Vertically-extending surfaces 58 and 60 of the vertically-extending members 40 and 42, respectively, are defined by the channels 52 and 54, respectively. The surface 58 is generally aligned with one pair of aligned respective ends of the slot 48 and the channel 50, and the surface 60 is generally aligned with the other pair of aligned respective ends of the slot 48 and the channel 50.

The adjustable divider 34 includes a bar member 62 and opposing end protrusions 64 and 66 extending outwardly from the bar member 62. Parallel-spaced, horizontally-extending channels 68 and 70 are formed in the bar member 62, and extend between the protrusions 64 and 66 (see FIG. 6).

As noted above, the adjustable divider 34 is coupled to the frame 12. More particularly, the protrusions 64 and 66 of the adjustable divider 34 extend into the channels 52 and 54, respectively, thereby capturing the adjustable divider 34 within the frame (see FIG. 4). In an exemplary embodiment, the protrusions 64 and 66 contact or nearly contact the vertically-extending surfaces 56 and 58, respectively. In an exemplary embodiment, the opposing ends of the bar member 62 contact or nearly contact the vertically-extending members 40 and 42, respectively. In an exemplary embodiment, an interference fit is present between the opposing ends of the bar member 62 and the vertically-extending members 40 and 42, respectively.

As noted above, the panel 22 is coupled to the frame 12. More particularly, the panel 22 extends between the vertically-extending members 40 and 42, and between the horizontally-extending member 44 and the adjustable divider 34. The panel 22 extends within the channel 68 of the adjustable divider 34, the slot 48 in the member 46 and the channels 52 and 54 in the members 40 and 42, respectively, thereby capturing the panel 22 within the frame 12. The panel 22 contacts, and is supported by, the bar member 68 (see FIG. 3).

As noted above, the panel 24 is coupled to the frame 12. More particularly, the panel 24 extends between the vertically-extending members 40 and 42, and between the adjustable divider 34 and the horizontally-extending member 46. The panel 24 extends within the channel 70 of the adjustable divider 34, the channel 50 in the member 46, and the channels 52 and 54 in the members 40 and 42, respectively, thereby capturing the panel 24 within the frame 12. The panel 24 contacts, and is supported by, the horizontally-extending member 46 (see FIG. 5).

The frames 14 and 16 are substantially similar to the frame 12 and therefore the frames 14 and 16 will not be described in detail. The adjustable dividers 36 and 38 are substantially similar to the adjustable divider 34 and therefore the adjustable dividers 36 and 38 will not be described in detail.

The couplings between the frame 14 and the adjustable dividers 36 and 38 are each substantially similar to the above-described coupling between the adjustable divider 34 and the frame 12, and therefore the couplings between the frame 14 and the adjustable dividers 36 and 38 will not be described in detail.

The coupling between the frame 14 and the panel 26 is substantially similar to the above-described coupling between the frame 12 and the panel 22 and therefore the coupling between the frame 14 and the panel 26 will not be described in detail. The coupling between the frame 14 and the panel 28 is similar to both the coupling between the frame 12 and the panel 22, and the coupling between the frame 12 and the panel 24, with the panel 28 being supported by the adjustable divider 38 in a manner similar to the above-described manner in which the panel 22 is supported by the adjustable divider 34, and with the panel 28 engaging the adjustable divider 36 in a manner similar to the above-described manner in which the panel 24 engages the adjustable divider 34. The coupling between the frame 14 and the panel 30 is substantially similar to the above-described coupling between the frame 12 and the panel 24 and therefore the coupling between the frame 14 and the panel 30 will not be described in detail. The coupling between the frame 16 and the panel 32 is substantially similar to the coupling between the frame 12 and the panel 24, except that the panel 32 generally extends along the full length of the frame 16 and does not engage an adjustable divider.

To assemble the screen 10, in an exemplary embodiment and as illustrated in FIGS. 7A, 7B, 7C, 7D, 7E, 7F and 7G, the panel 24 is inserted into the frame 12, sliding through the slot 48 so that the panel 24 extends Within the channels 52 and 54 and slidably engages the frame 12. The panel 24 is slid downward within the frame 12, as indicated by the arrow in FIG. 7A. As illustrated in FIG. 7B, the panel 24 is slid downward until the panel 24 is fully inserted in the frame 12, extending within the channel 50 in the member 46 of the frame 12.

In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in FIGS. 7C and 7D, the adjustable divider 34 is toollessly coupled to the frame 12. As shown in FIG. 7C, the adjustable divider 34 is disposed between the vertically-extending members 40 and 42 of the frame 12 so that the divider 34 extends at angle between the members 40 and 42. That is, the divider 34 is angularly oriented with respect to the horizontally-extending members 44 and 46 of the frame 12. The adjustable divider 34 is then rotated in a clockwise direction, as indicated by the arrow in FIG. 7C, so that at least a portion of the protrusion 66 of the divider 34 moves downward and enters the channel 54, and at least a portion of the protrusion 64 of the divider 34 moves upward and enters the channel 52. In an exemplary embodiment, one or both of the opposing ends of the bar member 62 of the divider 34 rubs, or slides, against the vertical member 40 and/or 42 during the rotation of the divider 34.

The rotation of the divider 34 is continued until the divider 34 is no longer angularly oriented with respect to the horizontally-extending members 44 and 46. Instead, and as illustrated in FIG. 7D, the divider 34 is parallel to the members 44 and 46 and is perpendicular to the vertically-extending members 40 and 42. As a result, the divider 34 is toollessly coupled to, and captured within, the frame 12. In an exemplary embodiment, upon the completion of the rotation of the divider 34, the protrusions 64 and 66 contact or nearly contact the vertically-extending surfaces 56 and 58, respectively. In an exemplary embodiment, upon the completion of the rotation of the divider 34, the opposing ends of the bar member 62 contact or nearly contact the vertically-extending members 40 and 42, respectively. In an exemplary embodiment, upon the completion of the rotation of the divider 34, an interference fit is formed between the opposing ends of the bar member 62 and the vertically-extending members 40 and 42, respectively, so that the divider 34 is held in place, relative to the frame 12.

In an exemplary embodiment, instead of undergoing the above-described clockwise rotation, the divider 34 may be angularly oriented with respect to the horizontally-extending members 44 and 46, and may undergo counterclockwise rotation, as viewed in FIG. 7C, so that at least a portion of the protrusion 66 of the divider 34 moves upward and enters the channel 54, and at least a portion of the protrusion 64 of the divider 34 moves downward and enters the channel 52.

In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 7D, the position of the adjustable divider 34 is adjusted by translating the divider 34 downward. In an exemplary embodiment, a downward force is applied to the divider 34 to translate the divider 34 downward. In an exemplary embodiment, the downward force is applied to the divider 34 by pushing and/or pulling the bar member 62 downward. In an exemplary embodiment, the downward force is applied to the divider 34 by permitting gravity to force the divider 34 downward. During the downward translation of the divider 34, the opposing ends of the bar member 62 nearly contact and/or slidably engage the members 40 and/or 42, and/or the ends of the protrusions 64 and 66 nearly contact and/or slidably engage the surfaces 56 and 58, respectively. In an exemplary embodiment, if an interference fit is formed between the opposing ends of the bar member 62 and the vertically-extending members 40 and 42, respectively, the downward force applied to the bar member 62 overcomes the frictional forces associated with the interference fit in order to translate the divider 34 downward. In an exemplary embodiment, if necessary, the position of the adjustable divider 34 may also be adjusted by translating the divider 34 upwards. In several exemplary embodiments, the divider 34 may be adjusted as necessary by translating the divider 34 in a direction corresponding to a direction of extension of the vertically-extending members 40 and 42, which, as viewed in FIG. 7D, is either upward or downward.

In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 7E, the divider 34 is translated downward until the panel 24 extends within the channel 70 of the divider 34. In an exemplary embodiment, upon the completion of the downward translation of the divider 34, the top edge of the panel 24 extends within the channel 70 and contacts the bar member 62.

In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 7F, the panel 22 is then inserted into the frame 12, sliding through the slot 48 so that the panel 22 extends within the channels 52 and 54 and slidably engages the frame 12. The panel 22 is slid downward towards the divider 34, as indicated by the arrow in FIG. 7F.

In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 7G, the panel 22 is slid downward until the panel 22 extends within the channel 68 of the divider 34. In an exemplary embodiment, upon the completion of the downward movement of the panel 22, the bottom edge of the panel 22 extends within the channel 68 and contacts the bar member 62.

In several exemplary embodiments, during the above-described insertion of the panels 22 and 24 into the frame 12, and the toolless coupling of the divider 34 to the frame 12, the frame 12 is resting on a horizontal surface such as a floor, the frame 12 is upright, or the frame 12 is angularly oriented.

During the assembly of the screen 10, in an exemplary embodiment, the panel 30 is inserted into the frame 14 in a manner similar to the above-described manner in which the panel 24 is inserted into the frame 12. The adjustable divider 38 is then coupled to the frame 14 in a manner similar to the above-described manner in which the adjustable divider 34 is coupled to the frame 12. The panel 28 is then inserted into the frame 14 in a manner similar to the above-described manner in which the panel 22 is inserted into the frame 12. The adjustable divider 36 is then coupled to the frame 14 in a manner similar to the above-described manner in which the adjustable divider 34 is coupled to the frame 12. The panel 26 is then inserted into the frame 14 in a manner similar to the above-described manner in which the panel 22 is inserted into the frame 12.

During the assembly of the screen 10, in an exemplary embodiment, the panel 32 is inserted into the frame 16 in a manner similar to the above-described manner in which the panel 24 is inserted into the frame 12.

Before, during or after the above-described insertion of the panels 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 and 32, the coupling between the frame 12 and the adjustable divider 34, and the couplings between the frame 14 and the adjustable dividers 36 and 38, the frames 12 and 14 are hingedly coupled to one another using the hinges 18a, 18b and 18c, and the frames 14 and 16 are hingedly coupled to one another using the hinges 20a, 20b and 20c. In several exemplary embodiments, when the floor screen 10 is upright, the position of each frame 12, 14 and 16 may be adjusted, relative to the positions of the other frames, by pivoting the frame 12, 14 or 16 about the hinged axis defined by the hinges 18a, 18b and 18c, and/or the hinges 20a, 20b and 20c.

In operation, in an exemplary embodiment, the floor screen 10 is positioned upright and operates as a decorative floor screen or partition, providing an aesthetically-pleasing element within the overall design of the interior or exterior space in which the screen 10 is positioned, and/or partitioning the space to define at least two areas therein.

In several exemplary embodiments, during the operation of the floor screen 10, and if required and/or desired, one or more of the panels 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 and 32 may be replaced by one or more other panels. In several exemplary embodiments, one or more of the panels 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 and 32 may be replaced by one or more other panels for a wide variety of reasons.

For example, as illustrated in FIG. 8, the panel 22 is removed from the frame 12 by sliding the panel 22 out of the frame 12 through the slot 48, and a panel 72 is inserted into the frame 12 through the slot 48. The panel 72 includes a rose pattern printed or placed thereupon. In an exemplary embodiment, the panel 22 is replaced by the panel 72 in order to decorate for Valentine's Day. In an exemplary embodiment, after Valentine's Day has passed, the panel 72 may then be replaced by the panel 22 or another panel, or the panel 72 may remain inserted in the frame 12.

In several exemplary embodiments, one or more of the panels 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 and 32 may be replaced by one or more other panels for a wide variety of decorative reasons. Decorative reasons include, for example, changing the look and/or decor of the screen 10 in response to a change in the overall look or design of the space in which the screen 10 is positioned, and/or changing the look and/or decor of the screen 10 in response to a change in the Earth's seasons such as, for example, a change in season from Autumn to Winter, Winter to Spring, Spring to Summer, or Summer to Autumn. Other decorative reasons include, for example, changing the look and/or decor of the screen 10 in response to an occurrence of a holiday, holiday season and/or observance such as, for example, Christmas, Halloween, Mardis Gras, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Easter, the Fourth of July, etc.

In several exemplary embodiments, one or more of the panels 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 and 32 may be replaced by one or more other panels for a wide variety of functional reasons. For example, one or more of the panels 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 and 32 may be replaced so that the screen 10 is permitted to operate as a type of easel, with at least one of the replacement panels being adapted to be a type of canvas upon which a painting, a drawing and/or other artwork may be created.

As illustrated in FIG. 9, several exemplary modifications to the floor screen 10, subsequent to the initial assembly of the floor screen 10, are shown. Stenciled and drawn images 74 and 76 have been created on the panels 22 and 24, respectively. The panel 26 and the adjustable divider 36, which are shown in FIG. 1, have been removed from the frame 14. As shown in FIG. 9, the panel 28 has been replaced by a panel 78 having a pattern, and the panel 30 has been replaced by a panel 80. In an exemplary embodiment, the panel 80 is composed of cork and/or an equivalent material so that papers and/or other material are permitted to be removably tacked onto the panel 80, as shown in FIG. 9. As a result, in an exemplary embodiment, the panel 80 functions as a type of bulletin board. Since the length of the panel 80 shown in FIG. 9 is greater than the length of the panel 30 shown in FIG. 1, the divider 38 has been adjusted by translating the divider 38 upward, relative to the frame 16, in order to accommodate the replacement of the panel 30 with the panel 80. The panel 32, which is shown in FIG. 1, has been replaced by a panel 82, an adjustable divider 84 and a panel 86, all of which are shown in FIG. 9.

In several exemplary embodiments, instead of, or in addition to the above-described modifications to the floor screen 10, the relative positions of the panels 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 and 32 may be modified as required and/or desired. For example, the adjustable divider 34 and the panels 22 and 24 may be removed from the frame 12 and coupled to the frame 16, and, correspondingly, the panel 32 may be removed from the frame 16 and inserted into the frame 12.

In an exemplary embodiment, one or more of the panels 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 and 32 of the floor screen 10 may be sized to accommodate scrapbook applications. In an exemplary embodiment, one or more of the panels 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 and 32 may be sized so that one or more 12 in.×12 in. sheets of scrapbook paper may be attached thereto.

In an exemplary embodiment, one or more of the panels 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 and 32 of the floor screen 10 may comprise dry-erase boards. In an exemplary embodiment, one or more of the panels 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 and 32 of the floor screen 10 may comprise a ferritic material in order to permit one or more magnets, such as refrigerator magnets, to be magnetically coupled thereto.

In several exemplary embodiments, the sizes of the panels 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 and/or 32 may be varied. To accommodate any variation in size of one or more of the panels 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 and/or 32, one or more of the adjustable dividers 34, 36 and 38 may be moved, relative to the respective frames 12,14 and/or 16. In several exemplary embodiments, one or more panels and accompanying adjustable dividers may be added to one or more of the frames 12,14 and 16. In several exemplary embodiments, one or more additional frames may be coupled to one or more of the frames 12, 14 and 16.

In several exemplary embodiments, instead of being a part of the floor screen 10, one or more of the frames 12, 14 and 16 may be used as a picture frame and/or a poster frame. In an exemplary embodiment, one or more of the frames 12, 14 and 16 may be mounted to a wall. In an exemplary embodiment, the frames 12, 14 and 16 may be mounted to a wall and at least one panel may be inserted into each of the frames 12, 14 and 16 in order to form a triptic. In several exemplary embodiments, one or more of the panels 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 and 32 may comprise a photograph, a pane of glass, a poster and/or any combination thereof.

In an exemplary embodiment, each of the panels 22 and 24 is composed of 60 in.×12 in. cardboard.

In several exemplary embodiments, in addition to, or instead of cardboard, one or more of the panels 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 and 32 may be composed of a wide variety of materials including, for example, plastic materials and/or textile materials. In an exemplary embodiment, one or more of the panels 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 and 32 may comprise fabric suitable for receiving one or more pins for coupling paper materials and/or other materials to the panels.

In several exemplary embodiments, the frames 12, 14 and 16 may be rotated 90 degrees so that the members 40 and 42 extend horizontally instead of vertically, and so that the adjustable divider 34 is adapted to translate horizontally, relative to the members 40 and 42 of the frame 12.

A method has been described that includes inserting a first panel into a frame comprising parallel-spaced first and second members so that the first panel extends between the first and second members; and toollessly coupling a divider to the frame so that the divider extends between the first and second members. In an exemplary embodiment, the divider comprises a bar member; and wherein toollessly coupling the divider to the frame comprises disposing the divider between the first and second members so that the bar member extends at an angle between the first and second members; and rotating the divider. In an exemplary embodiment, the first and second members comprise respective first and second channels; wherein the divider comprises opposing first and second protrusions extending from the bar member; and wherein, in response to the rotation of the divider, the first and second protrusions extend into the first and second channels, respectively, and the bar member extends between, and is generally perpendicular to, the first and second members. In an exemplary embodiment, an interference fit is formed between opposing ends of the bar member and the first and second members, respectively, in response to the rotation of the divider; and wherein the divider is held in place, relative to the frame, in response to the formation of the interference fit. In an exemplary embodiment, the method comprises adjusting the position of the divider, relative to the frame, after toollessly coupling the divider to the frame. In an exemplary embodiment, adjusting the position of the divider, relative to the frame, comprises translating the divider in a direction generally corresponding to a direction of extension of the first and second members. In an exemplary embodiment, the bar member remains generally perpendicular to the first and second members during translating the divider. In an exemplary embodiment, the bar member comprises a third channel; and wherein the first panel extends within the third channel in response to translating the divider. In an exemplary embodiment, an interference fit is formed between opposing ends of the bar member and the first and second members, respectively, in response to the rotation of the divider; wherein the divider is held in place, relative to the frame, in response to the formation of the interference fit; and wherein translating the divider comprises applying a force to the bar member so that frictional forces associated with the interference fit are overcome. In an exemplary embodiment, the bar member comprises a fourth channel spaced in a parallel relation to the third channel; and wherein the method further comprises inserting a second panel into the frame so that the second panel extends within the first, second and fourth channels. In an exemplary embodiment, inserting the first panel into the frame comprises inserting the first panel through a slot formed in a third member extending between the first and second members of the frame. In an exemplary embodiment, the method further comprises hingedly coupling one or more other frames to the first-mentioned frame to form a floor screen.

An apparatus has been described that includes a frame into which a panel is adapted to be removably inserted, the frame comprising first and second members spaced in a parallel relation and across which the panel is adapted to extend; and a divider coupled to the frame, the divider extending between the first and second members and movable, relative to the frame, in a direction generally corresponding to a direction of extension of the first and second members. In an exemplary embodiment, the first and second members comprise respective first and second channels within which the panel is adapted to extend; and wherein the divider comprises a bar member extending between, and generally perpendicular to, the first and second members; and opposing first and second protrusions extending from the bar member and into the first and second channels, respectively. In an exemplary embodiment, the bar member comprises a third channel within which the panel is adapted to extend. In an exemplary embodiment, the bar member comprises a fourth channel spaced in a parallel relation to the third channel; and wherein another panel is adapted to extend within the first, second and fourth channels. In an exemplary embodiment, the bar member remains generally perpendicular to the first and second members during any relative movement between the divider and the frame. In an exemplary embodiment, the divider is held in place, relative to the frame, by an interference fit between opposing ends of the bar member and the first and second members, respectively. In an exemplary embodiment, the apparatus further comprises one or more frames hingedly coupled to the first-mentioned frame; wherein the frames form a floor screen. In an exemplary embodiment, the frame comprises parallel-spaced third and fourth members extending between the first and second members so that the divider is positioned between the third and fourth members. In an exemplary embodiment, the frame further comprises a slot formed in the third member and through which the panel is adapted to be removably inserted into the frame.

A method of assembling a decorative floor screen has been described that includes removably inserting a first panel into a frame comprising parallel-spaced first and second members so that the first panel extends between the first and second members; toollessly coupling a divider comprising a bar member to the frame so that the divider extends between the first and second members, comprising disposing the divider between the first and second members so that the bar member extends at an angle between the first and second members; and rotating the divider; and adjusting the position of the divider, relative to the frame, after toollessly coupling the divider to the frame, comprising translating the divider in a direction generally corresponding to a direction of extension of the first and second members; wherein the first and second members comprise respective first and second channels; wherein the divider comprises opposing first and second protrusions extending from the bar member; wherein, in response to the rotation of the divider, the first and second protrusions extend into the first and second channels, respectively, the bar member extends between, and is generally perpendicular to, the first and second members, and an interference fit is formed between opposing ends of the bar member and the first and second members, respectively; wherein the divider is held in place, relative to the frame, in response to the formation of the interference fit; wherein the bar member remains generally perpendicular to the first and second members during translating the divider; wherein the bar member comprises a third channel; wherein the first panel extends within the third channel in response to translating the divider; wherein translating the divider comprises applying a force to the bar member so that frictional forces associated with the interference fit are overcome; wherein the bar member comprises a fourth channel spaced in a parallel relation to the third channel; wherein inserting the first panel into the frame comprises inserting the first panel through a slot formed in a third member extending between the first and second members of the frame; and wherein the method further comprises inserting a second panel through the slot and into the frame so that the second panel extends within the first, second and fourth channels; and hingedly coupling one or more other frames to the first-mentioned frame.

A decorative floor screen has been described that includes a first frame into which a panel is adapted to be removably inserted, the first frame comprising first and second members spaced in a parallel relation and across which the panel is adapted to extend, the first and second members comprising respective first and second channels within which the panel is adapted to extend; one or more other frames hingedly coupled to the first frame; and a divider coupled to the first frame, the divider extending between the first and second members and movable, relative to the first frame, in a direction generally corresponding to a direction of extension of the first and second members, the divider comprising a bar member extending between, and generally perpendicular to, the first and second members, the bar member comprising a third channel within which the panel is adapted to extend; and a fourth channel spaced in a parallel relation to the third channel, wherein another panel is adapted to extend within the first, second and fourth channels; and opposing first and second protrusions extending from the bar member and into the first and second channels, respectively; wherein the bar member remains generally perpendicular to the first and second members during any relative movement between the divider and the first frame; wherein the divider is held in place, relative to the first frame, by an interference fit between opposing ends of the bar member and the first and second members, respectively; and wherein the first frame further comprises parallel-spaced third and fourth members extending between the first and second members so that the divider is positioned between the third and fourth members; and a slot formed in the third member and through which the panel is adapted to be removably inserted into the first frame.

A system has been described that includes means for inserting a first panel into a frame comprising parallel-spaced first and second members so that the first panel extends between the first and second members; and means for toollessly coupling a divider to the frame so that the divider extends between the first and second members. In an exemplary embodiment, the divider comprises a bar member; and wherein means for toollessly coupling the divider to the frame comprises means for disposing the divider between the first and second members so that the bar member extends at an angle between the first and second members; and means for rotating the divider. In an exemplary embodiment, the first and second members comprise respective first and second channels; wherein the divider comprises opposing first and second protrusions extending from the bar member; and wherein, in response to the rotation of the divider, the first and second protrusions extend into the first and second channels, respectively, and the bar member extends between, and is generally perpendicular to, the first and second members. In an exemplary embodiment, an interference fit is formed between opposing ends of the bar member and the first and second members, respectively, in response to the rotation of the divider; and wherein the divider is held in place, relative to the frame, in response to the formation of the interference fit. In an exemplary embodiment, the system further comprises means for adjusting the position of the divider, relative to the frame, after toollessly coupling the divider to the frame. In an exemplary embodiment, means for adjusting the position of the divider, relative to the frame, comprises means for translating the divider in a direction generally corresponding to a direction of extension of the first and second members. In an exemplary embodiment, the bar member remains generally perpendicular to the first and second members during translating the divider. In an exemplary embodiment, the bar member comprises a third channel; and wherein the first panel extends within the third channel in response to translating the divider. In an exemplary embodiment, an interference fit is formed between opposing ends of the bar member and the first and second members, respectively, in response to the rotation of the divider; wherein the divider is held in place, relative to the frame, in response to the formation of the interference fit; and wherein means for translating the divider comprises means for applying a force to the bar member so that frictional forces associated with the interference fit are overcome. In an exemplary embodiment, the bar member comprises a fourth channel spaced in a parallel relation to the third channel; and wherein the system further comprises means for inserting a second panel into the frame so that the second panel extends within the first, second and fourth channels. In an exemplary embodiment, means for inserting the first panel into the frame comprises means for inserting the first panel through a slot formed in a third member extending between the first and second members of the frame. In an exemplary embodiment, the system further comprises means for hingedly coupling one or more other frames to the first-mentioned frame to form a floor screen.

A kit has been described that includes a frame into which a panel is adapted to be removably inserted, the frame comprising first and second members spaced in a parallel relation and across which the panel is adapted to extend; and a divider adapted to be coupled to the frame, the divider adapted to extend between the first and second members and be movable, relative to the frame, in a direction generally corresponding to a direction of extension of the first and second members when the divider is coupled to the frame. In an exemplary embodiment, the first and second members comprise respective first and second channels within which the panel is adapted to extend; and wherein the divider comprises a bar member adapted to extend between, and be generally perpendicular to, the first and second members; and opposing first and second protrusions extending from the bar member, the first and second protrusions being adapted to extend into the first and second channels, respectively. In an exemplary embodiment, the bar member comprises a third channel within which the panel is adapted to extend. In an exemplary embodiment, the bar member comprises a fourth channel spaced in a parallel relation to the third channel; and wherein another panel is adapted to extend within the first, second and fourth channels. In an exemplary embodiment, when the divider is coupled to the frame, the bar member is adapted to remain generally perpendicular to the first and second members during any relative movement between the divider and the frame. In an exemplary embodiment, the divider is adapted to be held in place, relative to the frame, by an interference fit between opposing ends of the bar member and the first and second members, respectively. In an exemplary embodiment, the kit further comprises one or more frames adapted to be hingedly coupled to the first-mentioned frame; wherein the frames are adapted to form a floor screen. In an exemplary embodiment, the frame comprises parallel-spaced third and fourth members extending between the first and second members so that the divider is adapted to be positioned between the third and fourth members. In an exemplary embodiment, the frame further comprises a slot formed in the third member and through which the panel is adapted to be removably inserted into the frame.

A system for assembling a decorative floor screen has been described that includes means for removably inserting a first panel into a frame comprising parallel-spaced first and second members so that the first panel extends between the first and second members; means for toollessly coupling a divider comprising a bar member to the frame so that the divider extends between the first and second members, comprising means for disposing the divider between the first and second members so that the bar member extends at an angle between the first and second members; and means for rotating the divider; and means for adjusting the position of the divider, relative to the frame, after toollessly coupling the divider to the frame, comprising means for translating the divider in a direction generally corresponding to a direction of extension of the first and second members; wherein the first and second members comprise respective first and second channels; wherein the divider comprises opposing first and second protrusions extending from the bar member; wherein, in response to the rotation of the divider, the first and second protrusions extend into the first and second channels, respectively, the bar member extends between, and is generally perpendicular to, the first and second members, and an interference fit is formed between opposing ends of the bar member and the first and second members, respectively; wherein the divider is held in place, relative to the frame, in response to the formation of the interference fit; wherein the bar member remains generally perpendicular to the first and second members during translating the divider; wherein the bar member comprises a third channel; wherein the first panel extends within the third channel in response to translating the divider; wherein translating the divider comprises applying a force to the bar member so that frictional forces associated with the interference fit are overcome; wherein the bar member comprises a fourth channel spaced in a parallel relation to the third channel; wherein means for inserting the first panel into the frame comprises means for inserting the first panel through a slot formed in a third member extending between the first and second members of the frame; and wherein the system further comprises means for inserting a second panel into the frame so that the second panel extends within the first, second and fourth channels; and means for hingedly coupling one or more other frames to the first-mentioned frame.

A kit for assembling a decorative floor screen has been described that includes a first frame into which a panel is adapted to be removably inserted, the first frame comprising first and second members spaced in a parallel relation and across which the panel is adapted to extend, the first and second members comprising respective first and second channels within Which the panel is adapted to extend; one or more other frames adapted to be hingedly coupled to the first frame; and a divider adapted to be coupled to the first frame, the divider adapted to extend between the first and second members and be movable, relative to the first frame, in a direction generally corresponding to a direction of extension of the first and second members when the divider is coupled to the first frame, the divider comprising a bar member extending between, and generally perpendicular to, the first and second members, the bar member comprising a third channel within which the panel is adapted to extend; and a fourth channel spaced in a parallel relation to the third channel, wherein another panel is adapted to extend within the first, second and fourth channels; and opposing first and second protrusions extending from the bar member and adapted to extend into the first and second channels, respectively; wherein, when the divider is coupled to the frame, the bar member is adapted to remain generally perpendicular to the first and second members during any relative movement between the divider and the first frame; wherein the divider is adapted to be held in place, relative to the first frame, by an interference fit between opposing ends of the bar member and the first and second members, respectively; and wherein the first frame further comprises parallel-spaced third and fourth members extending between the first and second members so that the divider is adapted to be positioned between the third and fourth members; and a slot formed in the third member and through which the panel is adapted to be removably inserted into the first frame.

It is understood that variations may be made in the foregoing without departing from the scope of the disclosure.

Any spatial references such as, for example, “upper,” “lower,” “above,” “below,” “between,” “vertical,” “horizontal,” “angular,” “upward,” “downward,” “side-to-side,” “left-to-right,” “right-to-left,” “top-to-bottom,” “bottom-to-top,” “top,” “bottom,” etc., are for the purpose of illustration only and do not limit the specific orientation or location of the structure described above.

In several exemplary embodiments, one or more of the operational steps in each embodiment may be omitted. Moreover, in some instances, some features of the present disclosure may be employed without a corresponding use of the other features. Moreover, one or more of the above-described embodiments and/or variations may be combined in whole or in part with any one or more of the other above-described embodiments and/or variations.

Although several exemplary embodiments have been described in detail above, the embodiments described are exemplary only and are not limiting, and those skilled in the art will readily appreciate that many other modifications, changes and/or substitutions are possible in the exemplary embodiments without materially departing from the novel teachings and advantages of the present disclosure. Accordingly, all such modifications, changes and/or substitutions are intended to be included within the scope of this disclosure as defined in the following claims. In the claims, means-plus-function clauses are intended to cover the structures described herein as performing the recited function and not only structural equivalents, but also equivalent structures.