Title:
Shower curtain rod and fixture
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to an improved shower curtain rod and fixture. More particularly, the invention encompasses a shower curtain rod that can be used safely and securely in the motel/hotel industry. This invention further includes inventive features, such as, a shower rod that has substantially straight ends and a portion that is visibly curved to allow for “elbow room” for upper body movement of a person using a shower, a non-twist or non-sagging feature that prevents the inventive shower curtain rod from rotating or twisting after it has been installed, a fixture to securely and safely secure the inventive shower curtain rod to a surface, such as a wall, to name a few.



Inventors:
Patel, Niranjan (Edison, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/804987
Publication Date:
11/27/2008
Filing Date:
05/21/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HUYNH, KHOA D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
AHSAN & ASSOCIATES, PLLC (HOPEWELL JUNCTION, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A straight and curved shower curtain rod, comprising: (a) a shower curtain rod having a central portion having a curvature, (b) said shower curtain rod having end portions that are substantially straight, (c) said substantially straight end portions having at least one opening, wherein at least a portion of said opening has spiraling rings, (d) a shower rod end fixture having a substantially flat surface and a protruding portion, wherein said protruding portion has at least one opening, and wherein at least a portion of said opening has spiraling rings, (e) at least one securing device, wherein at least a portion of said securing device has spiraling rings, and (f) wherein said at least one securing device passes through said at least one opening in said substantially straight end portion and through said at least one opening in said protruding portion and securely mates with said spiraling rings in said substantially straight end portion and said spiraling rings in said protruding portion, so as to prevent any movement between said shower curtain rod and said shower rod end fixture.

2. The straight and curved shower curtain rod of claim 1, wherein said central portion is between about 20 percent to about 80 percent of the total length of said straight and curved shower curtain rod.

3. The straight and curved shower curtain rod of claim 1, wherein material for said rod is selected from a group consisting of stainless steel, rustproof zinc, nickel, chrome, plastic, rubber, metallic material and composite material.

4. The straight and curved shower curtain rod of claim 1, wherein material for said shower rod end fixture is selected from a group consisting of stainless steel, rustproof zinc, nickel, chrome, plastic, rubber, metallic material and composite material.

5. The straight and curved shower curtain rod of claim 1, wherein said securing device is selected from a group consisting of a screw, a bolt, a set-screw, and a pin.

6. The straight and curved shower curtain rod of claim 1, wherein said at least one opening in said shower rod end fixture has a recess portion to accommodate a head portion in said at least one securing device.

7. The straight and curved shower curtain rod of claim 1, wherein said rod is selected from a group consisting of a hollow tube, and a solid tube.

8. The straight and curved shower curtain rod of claim 1, wherein said rod is a tube where an outer material of said tube is different than an inner material for said tube.

9. The straight and curved shower curtain rod of claim 8, wherein said outer material is selected from a group consisting of stainless steel, rustproof zinc, nickel, chrome, plastic, rubber, metallic material and composite material.

10. The straight and curved shower curtain rod of claim 8, wherein said inner material is selected from a group consisting of stainless steel, rustproof zinc, nickel, chrome, plastic, rubber, metallic material and composite material.

11. The straight and curved shower curtain rod of claim 1, wherein said rod has a finish selected from a group consisting of a polished finish, a bright finish, a brushed finish, a satin finish, a powder coated finish and a white powder coat finish.

12. The straight and curved shower curtain rod of claim 1, wherein said rod is between about 36 inches to about 78 inches long, with an outer diameter of between about one half inch to about one inch, and wherein said central portion has about a bow of between about 4 inches to about 8 inches in the middle and said straight end portions are between about 3 inches to about 9 inches in length.

13. The straight and curved shower curtain rod of claim 1, wherein said rod is preferably about 72 inches long, and more preferably about 60 inches long, with about a one inch outer diameter, and wherein said central portion has a bow of about 6 inches in the middle and said straight end portions are preferably about 4 inches in length, and more preferably about 6 inches in length.

14. The straight and curved shower curtain rod of claim 1, wherein at least one second securing device passes through an opening in said protruding portion and securely secures said rod to said protruding portion.

15. The straight and curved shower curtain rod of claim 1, wherein said rod is selected from a group consisting of a hollow metal tube and a hollow rigid plastic tube.

16. The straight and curved shower curtain rod of claim 1, wherein said central portion having a curvature is substantially in a horizontal plane.

17. The straight and curved shower curtain rod of claim 1, wherein at least one spacer separates said shower rod end fixture from a wall.

18. The straight and curved shower curtain rod of claim 1, wherein at least one spacer separates said shower rod end fixture from a wall, and wherein said spacer is selected from a group consisting of a metal spacer, a polymer spacer, a silicon spacer, a composite-material spacer, a rubber spacer and a plastic spacer.

19. A straight and curved shower curtain rod, comprising: (a) a shower curtain rod having a length of between about 36 inches to about 78 inches, (b) said shower curtain rod having a central portion having a curvature, and wherein said curvature has a bow of between about 4 inches to about 8 inches, (c) said shower curtain rod having end portions that are substantially straight, and wherein said substantially straight end portions are between about 3 inches to 9 inches long, (d) said substantially straight end portions having at least one opening, wherein at least a portion of said opening has spiraling rings, (e) a shower rod end fixture having a substantially flat surface and a protruding portion, wherein said protruding portion has at least one opening, and wherein at least a portion of said opening has spiraling rings, (f) at least one securing device, wherein at least a portion of said securing device has spiraling rings, and (g) wherein said at least one securing device passes through said at least one opening in said substantially straight end portion and through said at least one opening in said protruding portion and securely mates with said spiraling rings in said substantially straight end portion and said spiraling rings in said protruding portion, so as to prevent any movement between said shower curtain rod and said shower rod end fixture.

20. The straight and curved shower curtain rod of claim 19, wherein at least one second securing device passes through an opening in said protruding portion and securely secures said rod to said protruding portion.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to an improved shower curtain rod and fixture. More particularly, the invention encompasses a shower curtain rod that can be used safely and securely in the motel/hotel industry. This invention further includes inventive features, such as, a shower rod that has substantially straight ends and a portion that is visibly curved to allow for “elbow room” for upper body movement of a person using a shower, a non-twist or non-sagging feature that prevents the inventive shower curtain rod from rotating or twisting after it has been installed, a fixture to securely and safely secure the inventive shower curtain rod to a surface, such as a wall, to name a few.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

In the construction of most bathrooms, it is common to position a shower head or shower nozzle which is mounted on the wall in an enclosure above a bath tub or a shower stall to thereby provide the option of a shower for the resident or the guest using the bathroom facility. In defining such enclosures, splashing water out of the enclosure is limited by the use of a sliding door, typically a translucent plastic or shatter proof glass, or more conveniently, a shower curtain. The shower curtain is ordinarily constructed and arranged to drape loosely from a set of eyelets or curtain rings which slide along the curtain rod. A set of such rings is normally mounted slidably on the shower curtain rod which is positioned normally at the height of the sprinkler head or other nozzle. The shower curtain is draped in the bath tub below or around a shower stall so that water is not splashed out of the bath tub or the shower stall. Because the bath tub is below the shower nozzle, the bath tub also functions to collect water which drains from the bath tub during the shower.

Many bath tubs and shower stalls are constructed in a rectangular manner having one side exposed while the other three sides have a wall or an enclosure. For such straight side bath tubs a straight shower rod can be easily positioned above the straight edge. A shower curtain can then be secured to the straight shower rod so as to prevent the splashing of the water to an area outside of the tub or the shower stall and also to direct the water from a shower head towards a shower drain.

It is well know in the art to provide a shower curtain rod which is shaped and profiled to fit above and in cooperation with a particular type shower or tub construction. These types of shower curtain rods are intended to be used to support a shower curtain so as to prevent water from splashing out of the enclosure bordered by the shower curtain as the curtain is draped into a bath tub below the curtain rod.

A curved shower rod is particularly adapted for use with an oval or an elliptical shaped bath tub so as to follow the contours of the oval or the elliptical shaped bath tub so as to direct the water coming from a shower head towards the drain or just to provide an extra “elbow room” to the user or guest.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,754,504 (Cellini), the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference, discloses a shower enlarger where the shower area can be enlarged to provide a greater stall space for upper body movement of a person using the shower. The one-piece curtain rod has an offset medial section for outwardly displacing an upper area of a shower curtain to allow for greater space in shower stall for upper body movement while showering. The offset medial section also includes a pair of angular curtain rod sections that extend in diverging relation away from opposite ends of the offset medial section.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,022,104, (Miller), the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference, discloses a shower curtain support for a straight sided bath tub where the shower rod is provided with a central straight portion having a length approximately equal to that of the bath tub and which also includes offset end rod portions which enable connection with the tile wall which surrounds the bath tub. In this construction, the bath tub is positioned below the shower curtain rod so that the shower curtain can drape in the tub. The overhead shower rod has a straight length portion which approximately conforms to the length or profile of the bath tub when viewed from above.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,216,287 (Wise), the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference, discloses a shower curtain rod having two end portions with angled fittings to enable the shower curtain rod to be attached between a pair of parallel walls at a bath tub enclosure. The shower curtain rod is constructed with a central portion curving to follow the edge or profile of an oval or elliptical bath tub. This curving central portion enables the shower curtain to hang into the bath tub. When positioned above the bath tub, the shower curtain rod is particularly useful to deflect splashed water into the tub by enabling a user to simply slide the shower curtain along the length of the shower curtain rod so that it hangs into the tub therebelow.

U.S. Pat. No. 7,076,815 (Orpilla), the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference, discloses a curved shower curtain rod having two end portions that are bent at 70 degrees. The curved shower curtain rod is straight in the middle but curved at both ends. The middle of the curtain rod is still along the outside edge of the tub, but the ends curve towards inside to the middle of the tub.

However, one of the problems that exists with the present shower rods is that they twist and/or sag and/or rotate thus creating an unsafe environment and this movement of the curved shower rod also weakens the associated fixtures. This is primarily due to the fact that the center of gravity of the curved shower rod is at a location which forces the central curved portion to move or rotate or sag down towards the earth.

Thus, it is clear that the shower rods and shower rod fixtures of the prior art have a problem that needs an inventive solution. These and other problems are overcome by the present invention.

PURPOSES AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention is an improved shower rod and a shower rod fixture.

Therefore, one purpose of this invention is to provide a shower rod with at least one opening to secure said shower rod to a shower rod fixture so as to prevent twisting and/or rotating and/or sagging of the shower rod.

Another purpose of this invention is to provide a shower rod fixture with at least one opening so as to secure a shower rod to said shower rod fixture so as to prevent twisting and/or rotating and/or sagging of the shower rod.

Yet another purpose of this invention is to provide a shower rod with at least one portion that is substantially straight and at least one portion that has a visible curvature.

Therefore, in one aspect this invention comprises a straight and curved shower curtain rod, comprising:

  • (a) a shower curtain rod having a central portion having a curvature,
  • (b) said shower curtain rod having end portions that are substantially straight,
  • (c) said substantially straight end portions having at least one opening, wherein at least a portion of said opening has spiraling rings,
  • (d) a shower rod end fixture having a substantially flat surface and a protruding portion, wherein said protruding portion has at least one opening, and wherein at least a portion of said opening has spiraling rings,
  • (e) at least one securing device, wherein at least a portion of said securing device has spiraling rings, and
  • (f) wherein said at least one securing device passes through said at least one opening in said substantially straight end portion and through said at least one opening in said protruding portion and securely mates with said spiraling rings in said substantially straight end portion and said spiraling rings in said protruding portion, so as to prevent any movement between said shower curtain rod and said shower rod end fixture.

In another aspect this invention comprises a straight and curved shower curtain rod, comprising:

  • (a) a shower curtain rod having a length of between about 36 inches to about 78 inches,
  • (b) said shower curtain rod having a central portion having a curvature, and wherein said curvature has a bow of between about 4 inches to about 8 inches,
  • (c) said shower curtain rod having end portions that are substantially straight, and wherein said substantially straight end portions are between about 3 inches to 9 inches long,
  • (d) said substantially straight end portions having at least one opening, wherein at least a portion of said opening has spiraling rings,
  • (e) a shower rod end fixture having a substantially flat surface and a protruding portion, wherein said protruding portion has at least one opening, and wherein at least a portion of said opening has spiraling rings,
  • (f) at least one securing device, wherein at least a portion of said securing device has spiraling rings, and
  • (g) wherein said at least one securing device passes through said at least one opening in said substantially straight end portion and through said at least one opening in said protruding portion and securely mates with said spiraling rings in said substantially straight end portion and said spiraling rings in said protruding portion, so as to prevent any movement between said shower curtain rod and said shower rod end fixture.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The features of the invention believed to be novel and the elements characteristic of the invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The drawings are for illustration purposes only and are not drawn to scale. Furthermore, like numbers represent like features in the drawings. The invention itself, however, both as to organization and method of operation, may best be understood by reference to the detailed description which follows taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1A is a first embodiment of the invention showing front view of the inventive shower rod fixture.

FIG. 1B is a side view of the inventive shower rod fixture of FIG. 1A.

FIG. 2A is a second embodiment of the invention showing a side view of the inventive shower rod fixture.

FIG. 2B is a front view of the inventive shower rod fixture of FIG. 2A.

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the inventive shower rod.

FIG. 4A is an enlarged top view of one end of the inventive shower rod of FIG. 3.

FIG. 4B is an enlarged side view of one end of the inventive shower rod of FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged side view of a securing device.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged view of an embodiment showing a portion of the inventive shower rod as secured to the inventive shower rod fixture of this invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIGS. 1A and 1B illustrate a first embodiment of the invention showing a front view and a side view, respectively, of the inventive shower rod fixture or flange 23. The shower rod fixture 23, has a base 10, having a back surface 11, and a protruding section 12, having an opening 13, to accommodate a shower rod (as more clearly shown in FIG. 6). The protruding section 12, preferably has an upper flattened section 15, and a lower flattened section 17. The upper flattened section 15, has at least one upper opening 14, and the lower flattened section 17, has at least one lower opening 16. It is preferred that the opening 14, and opening 16, are substantially aligned so as to allow for the passage of at least one securing device 20. The base 10, preferably has at least one opening 18, so as to allow the mounting of the shower rod fixture 23, to a flat surface, such as, a wall (not shown), using a secure device, such as a screw (not shown). It is preferred that the upper opening 14, has a recessed area 19, to accommodate a head of the securing device 20. For some applications it is also preferred that the upper opening 14, has grooves or spiraling rings 21, shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B, to accommodate corresponding grooves in the securing device 20. Similarly, for some applications it is also preferred that the lower opening 16, has grooves or spiraling rings 27, to accommodate corresponding grooves in the bottom of the securing device 20. It is preferred that the upper opening 14, in the shower rod end fixture 23, has a recess portion 19, to accommodate a head portion 24, in the securing device 20, as more clearly shown in FIG. 5.

FIGS. 2A and 2B illustrate a second embodiment of the invention showing a side view and a front view, respectively, of the inventive shower rod fixture 23. The shower rod fixture 23, is similar to fixture 23, as illustrated in FIGS. 1A and 1B, except that the openings 14 and 16, have grooves or spiraling rings 21 and 27, respectively, to accommodate the grooves of the securing device 20. Furthermore, the openings 18, to secure the fixture 23, to a flat surface, such as a wall are in line with the upper opening 14 and the lower opening 16.

Also shown in FIG. 2A is an optional spacer or gasket 41. The spacer or gasket 41, could be used in order to prevent gouging of a flat surface, such as a wall (not shown), or as a cushioning device 41. It is preferred that the gasket 41, is provided between the back surface 11, of the fixture 23, and the wall (not shown). Furthermore, in order to accommodate the unevenness of a wall or to accommodate variations of a length of a shower rod 30 (shown in FIG. 3) one or more spacers or gaskets 41, could be provided between the back surface 11, of the shower rod fixture 23, and a wall (not shown). It should be appreciated that at least one spacer 41, can be used to separate the shower rod end fixture 23, from a wall, and wherein the spacer 41, can be selected from a group comprising of a metal spacer, a polymer spacer, a silicon spacer, a composite-material spacer, a rubber spacer, a plastic spacer, to name a few.

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the inventive shower or spacious rod 30. The spacious or shower rod 30, having an interior 33, preferably has a central curved portion 39, and end portions 31, that are substantially straight. The shower rod 30, at one end 31, preferably has at least one opening 34, to allow the passage of the securing device 20, and a second opening 36, which is shown in FIG. 4B, which is directly opposite the opening 34, for the passage of the securing device 20. For some applications the shower rod 30, at another end 31, preferably has an end 32, that has no opening similar to opening 34 and/or 36. For most applications the shower rod 30, would be hollow to make the shower rod 30, a tube like structure, but the shower rod 30 could also have the interior area 33, that is a solid. It should be appreciated that when the rod 30, is securely secured to the shower rod fixture 23, the central portion having a curvature 39, is substantially in a horizontal plane, so as to prevent the twisting, sagging or rotating of the rod 30, with respect to the shower rod fixture 23.

FIG. 4A is an enlarged top view of one end 31, of the inventive shower rod 30, of FIG. 3, showing the opening 34, and with a solid interior 33, having a solid or inner core 37.

FIG. 4B is an enlarged side view of one end 31, of the inventive shower rod 30, of FIG. 3, showing the first opening 34, on the surface of the shower rod 30, and a second opening 36. For most applications the second opening 36, is directly opposite the first opening 34, and with a hollow, tube-like interior 33, and a hollow tube or outer shell 35.

For some applications it is preferred that the straight and curved shower curtain rod 30, is a hollow tube, as shown in FIG. 4B, or a solid tube, as shown in FIG. 4A. For some applications it may be preferred that the material for the outer shell 35, of the rod 30, is different than the material for the inner core 37, for the rod 30. The material for the outer shell 35, could be selected from a group comprising of stainless steel, rustproof zinc, nickel, chrome, plastic, rubber, metallic material, composite material, to name a few. The outer shell 35, could also be a hollow metal tube or a hollow rigid plastic tube. Furthermore, the material for the inner core 37, could be selected from a group comprising of stainless steel, rustproof zinc, nickel, chrome, plastic, rubber, metallic material, composite material, to name a few.

The straight and curved shower curtain rod 30, could also have a finish which could be selected from a group comprising of a polished finish, a bright finish, a brushed finish, a satin finish, a powder coated finish, a white powder coat finish, to name a few.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged side view of the securing device 20. The securing device 20, preferably has a head portion 24, and a bottom portion 26. The head portion 24, preferably has an securing area 22, which can be used in conjunction with a flat screwdriver, a Phillips screwdriver, an Allan wrench, a star wrench, to name a few. The outer surface 28, preferable has means, such as grooves or circular rings 28, to securely mate with the holes 34 and 36 in the shower rod 30, and the holes 14 and/or 16, in the shower rod fixture 23.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged view of an embodiment showing a portion of the inventive shower rod 30, as secured to the inventive shower rod fixture 23, of this invention. As one can clearly see that one end 31, of the shower rod 30, has a securing device 20, that passes through openings 14, 34, 36 and 16, and securely secures the shower rod 30, to the shower rod fixture 23. However, at the other end 31, which is the no-hole end 32, a securing device 20, such as a set-screw 20, is used to securely secure the other end 31, or the no-hole end 32, of the inventive shower rod 30, to the inventive shower rod fixture 23.

The shower curtain rod 30, when viewed from above, preferably has a curving portion 39. The curving portion 39, of the instant inventive shower rod may or may not conform to the curvature of a corresponding bath tub. The bath tub could be of any shape or size and similarly the bath or shower stall could be of any shape or size, however with the inventive straight and curved shower rod one would still get more “elbow” room for upper body movement.

For some applications it would be preferred that the shower curtain rod 30, conforms with the curvature of a correspondingly curved bath tub. The bath tub or Jacuzzi many be of an oval or it may be elliptical in shape, and thus the shower rod 30, has at least a central curved portion 39, which matches that curvature and is located the requisite distance above the bath tub (not shown) so that the shower curtain, (not shown) hangs loosely from the shower rod 30, on a set of rod hangers, drapes into the tub and to prevent splashed water from escaping from the bath tub around the ends of the curtain.

It is preferred that the shower curtain rod 30, is a hollow tube 35, having an opening 33. However, for some applications the shower curtain rod 30, could be made from a light weight solid material which is inexpensive to produce but which can withstand the normal weight of a shower curtain (not shown). Similarly, the shower curtain rod 30, could be made from a composite material. For some applications the shower curtain rod 30, could be made from a material that is strong on the outside but relatively soft and light weight on the inside, such as for example, the outside shell 35, could be of a metallic or a plastic material, while the inside or inner core 37, could be of a light weight material which is well known in the art, such as, for example, a Styrofoam material or a light-weight composite material, to name a few.

The securing device 20, could be selected from a group comprising, a screw, a bolt, a set-crew, a rivet, a pin, to name a few.

The shower rod fixture or flange 23, is preferably made from a material, such as for example stainless steel, rustproof zinc, nickel, chrome, plastic, rubber, metallic material, composite material, to name a few.

The shower rod 30, is preferably made from a material, such as for example stainless steel, rustproof zinc, nickel, chrome, plastic, rubber, metallic material, composite material, to name a few.

For some applications, it is preferred that the central portion 39, is between about 20 percent to about 80 percent of the total length of the straight and curved shower curtain rod 30.

For some applications the straight and curved shower curtain rod 30 would be about 60 inches long, with a one inch outer diameter, and wherein the central curved portion 39, has a bow of between about 4 inches to about 8 inches in the middle, and the straight end portions 31, are between about 3 inches to about 9 inches in length. However, it is preferred that the straight and curved shower curtain rod 30, is between about 36 inches to about 78 inches long, with about a diameter of between about one half inch to about one inch, and wherein the central curved portion 39, has a bow in the middle of between about 4 inches to about 8 inches, and the straight end portions 31, are between about 4 inches to about 8 inches in length.

While the present invention has been particularly described in conjunction with a specific preferred embodiment, it is evident that many alternatives, modifications and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art in light of the foregoing description. It is therefore contemplated that the appended claims will embrace any such alternatives, modifications and variations as falling within the true scope and spirit of the present invention.





 
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