Title:
SHOWER CADDY
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A shower caddy system comprising a caddy having vertically stacked rows of trays declined toward a mounting surface and mounting tabs which are removably secured to a mounting bracket attached to the mounting surface.



Inventors:
Perkovich, Paul F. (Torrance, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/039212
Publication Date:
11/27/2008
Filing Date:
02/28/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
211/90.04
International Classes:
A47K5/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PUROL, SARAH L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Paul Perkovich (Milwaukee, WI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A shower caddy, comprising: (a) a generally rectangular plastic frame having an upper portion and a lower portion, comprising: an open back; a first side wall extending between the upper portion and the lower portion of the frame, the first side wall having a rear edge; a second side wall extending between the upper portion and the lower portion of the frame, wherein the second side wall is disposed in a horizontally spaced-apart manner from the first side wall, the second side wall having a rear edge which is in substantially the same vertical plane as the rear edge of the first side wall; at least one shelf extending between the first side wall and the second side wall, wherein the shelf is declined toward the lower portion of the frame, and wherein the shelf comprises a retaining member extending between the first side wall and the second side wall, the retaining member comprising at least one drainage hole; a first mounting tab extending outwardly from the rear edge of the first side wall in the upper portion of frame; a second mounting tab extending outwardly from the rear edge of the second side wall in the upper portion of frame; (b) at least one mounting bracket for attachment to a mounting surface, each mounting bracket having at least one mounting clip, wherein each mounting clip is removably securable to one of the mounting tabs of the caddy.

2. The shower caddy of claim 1, wherein each mounting tab comprises an opening, and wherein the mounting clip of each mounting bracket comprises a projection capable of passing through the opening of the mounting tab in order to removably secure the mounting tab to the mounting bracket.

3. The shower caddy of claim 1, further comprising a third mounting tab extending outwardly from the rear edge of the first side wall in the lower portion of frame and a fourth mounting tab extending outwardly from the rear edge of the second side wall in the lower portion of frame.

4. The shower caddy of claim 3, wherein the shower caddy comprises two mounting brackets, and wherein each mounting bracket comprises two mounting clips.

5. The shower caddy of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of drainage holes in the retaining member of the shelf.

6. The shower caddy of claim 1, wherein the shower caddy comprises a plurality of shelves.

7. The shower caddy of claim 1, wherein the retaining member is substantially planar.

8. The shower caddy of claim 1, further comprising bracing material extending from an outer end portion of each of the mounting tabs toward a respective side wall.

9. The shower caddy of claim 1, further comprising one or more support members extending outwardly from the side walls.

10. The shower caddy of claim 1, wherein the at least one shelf is declined at an angle of greater than 90°.

11. The shower caddy of claim 10, wherein the at least one shelf is declined at an angle of about 120°.

12. The shower caddy of claim 1, wherein the shower caddy retains its shape upon exposure to water of at least 100° Fahrenheit.

13. The shower caddy of claim 1, wherein the shower caddy retains its shape upon exposure to water of 180° Fahrenheit.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/939,273, filed on May 21, 2007 and titled “Shower Caddy,” the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

It is now common for the shower and tub area of a bathroom to be filled with a large number of products and accessories. These products include shampoos, hair conditioners, soaps, scrubs, lotions and oils. This has created a greater need for storage in what is most often a limited space. The many containers for such products can create clutter, be unsightly, and possibly cause a safety hazard.

Showers used in homes, hotels and other such structures usually are of two main types. One type includes a bathtub, with the shower arm protruding from a wall forming part of the structure which partially encloses the shower. Access is typically provided through an opening adjacent to the longer side of the tub. Usually, the opening is closeable by a shower curtain or by one or more sliding or swinging doors. A second type of shower consists of an enclosure or stall which has a shower arm and head protruding from a wall or ceiling, and which is also closeable by a curtain, or by a sliding or swinging door.

Shower caddies can be used to organize the products found in a shower. Shower caddies most often hang on the shower arm pipe that comes out from the wall which holds the shower head. Most shower caddies currently available are constructed to be attached to the shower arm, by hanging the caddy on the arm. Another type of shower caddy provides a hook to permit the caddy to be hung on the outer enclosure panel or door of a shower enclosure. A third type of caddy is made for positioning in a corner of a shower, held in place by a vertical tension rod.

SUMMARY

The present shower caddy or organizer addresses the problems created by the need to store and access a multitude of bath products and other items within a shower enclosure. The present caddy includes a frame, preferably molded from plastic, that has four mounting tabs near the corners of the frame to affix the caddy to four mounting brackets adhered to a preferred surface of a shower or tub enclosure. The caddy is preferably removably secured and therefore can be removed and replaced at will.

The present shower caddy further provides rows of trays, preferably four rows, stacked in succession, with each tray declined at an angle, preferably a thirty degree angle from the horizontal, for easy access to containers such as shampoos, conditioners, body soaps, lotions, oils, scrubs, and the like. This allows the present caddy to hold more containers and accessories within a volume of space less than other currently available shower caddies. The caddy can also include pegs for suspending other articles to include shavers, razors, scrubbers, and other related items.

DRAWINGS

These features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with regard to the following description, appended claims and accompanying figures where:

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of the present shower caddy.

FIG. 2 is a rear perspective view of the shower caddy of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a right side view of the shower caddy of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a right side perspective view of the shower caddy of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a rear perspective view of the shower caddy of FIG. 1.

FIGS. 6A through 6E show a mounting bracket for use in connection with the shower caddy of FIG. 1.

FIG. 7 is a front perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the present shower caddy.

FIG. 8 is a rear perspective view of the shower caddy of FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 is a right side view of the shower caddy of FIG. 7.

FIG. 10 is a right side perspective view of the shower caddy of FIG. 7.

FIG. 11 is a rear perspective view of the shower caddy of FIG. 7.

All dimensions specified in this disclosure are by way of example only and are not intended to be limiting. Further, the proportions shown in these Figures are not necessarily to scale. As will be understood by those with skill in the art with reference to this disclosure, the actual dimensions of any device or part of a device disclosed in this disclosure will be determined by their intended use.

DESCRIPTION

Shower Caddy

An embodiment of the present shower caddy 1 is shown in FIGS. 1 through 5. In this embodiment, the shower caddy 1 comprises shelves 30 connected by a side wall 25 which is adapted to contact a surface on which the shower caddy 1 is to be mounted. The side wall 25 of the caddy 1 contacts the mounting surface (such as a shower door or wall) along rear edge 24 of the side wall 25. The side wall 25 extends between the upper and lower portions of the shower caddy 1, and also extends outward, i.e. away from a surface to which the shower caddy 1 is adapted to be mounted. The shower caddy 1 is then mounted to the mounting surface using mounting tabs 5 connected to the rear edge 24 of the side wall 25. In the embodiment of FIGS. 1 through 5, the rear edge 24 is designed to contact a mounting surface along its entire length, however it is only necessary for the rear edge 24 to contact the mounting surface at the locations where the mounting tabs 5 contacts the rear edge 24.

In the embodiment of FIGS. 1 through 5 the shower caddy 1 comprises an open back, such that the portion of the frame between each rear edge 24 of the side walls 25 of the frame of the caddy 1 is substantially open and not covered by a panel. This is advantageous in shower applications because it minimizes the surface area of the shower caddy which contacts the mounting surface of a shower, which is an area where mold or other unwanted microorganisms can grow in the wet environment of a shower. It also reduces the amount of material, such as plastic material, used to form the present shower caddy 1. Thus in the present design, the shower caddy 1 preferably only contacts a mounting surface along the rear edge 24 of the side wall 25, as well as contacting the rear surface 39 of the mounting tabs 5.

The present shower caddy 1 further comprises shelves 30 attached to the side walls 25 for holding items, such as shampoo bottles and other containers normally kept in a shower. The shelves 30 extend between the two side walls 25 of the shower caddy. The side walls 25 are thus disposed in a horizontally spaced-apart manner, i.e. a distance exists between the side walls 25 in a plane roughly parallel to a support surface, such as a shower floor, where the present caddy 1 is designed to be used. The rear edges 24 of each of the side walls, however, are preferably disposed in substantially the same vertical plane.

Each shelf 30 comprises retaining members 35 and shelves 37. The embodiment of the present shower caddy shown in FIGS. 1 through 5 comprises four rows of vertically spaced-apart shelves 30, comprising retaining members 31-34 and shelves 18-21, respectively. The retaining members 32-34 each comprise a plurality of curved panels 6 which are preferably sized to accommodate a container, such as a shampoo bottle. Each of the curved panels 6 comprises a top edge 16 and bottom edge 15, and also preferably comprises a drainage hole 22 in order to allow water which enters the shelf 30 to drain from the tray. The upper shelf 18 comprises a retaining member 31 having a planar outer surface in order to better accommodate items which themselves comprise a planar surface. Preferably, each of the shelves 30 includes one or more drainage holes 22, as shown in the embodiment of FIGS. 1 through 5 in which each curved panel 6 comprises a separate drainage hole 22.

As best seen in FIG. 3, each of the shelves 37 is disposed at an angle of greater than about 90°, preferably at an angle of about 120°, with respect to the rear edges 24 of the side walls and to the surface on which the caddy 1 is mounted, such that the shelves 37 decline toward the mounting surface. In this way the forward edge 38 of each shelf 37 is closer to the lower portion of the frame than to the upper portion. By declining the shelves 37 at an angle of greater than 90°, items placed in the shelves 30 will tend to slide toward the retaining members 35 when placed on a shelf 37. In addition, when the drainage holes 22 are placed at a forward edge 38 of the shelves 37 and/or at the bottom edge 36 of the retaining members 35, as shown in FIGS. 1 through 5, water which enters the shelf 30 will be directed toward such drainage hole 22 and out of the shower caddy 1, thereby also helping to avoid or minimize the growth of mold and other microorganisms by maintaining a drier environment within the shelves 30. In the embodiment of FIGS. 1 through 5, shelves 37 are declined at an angle of greater than 90° with respect to the rear edge 24 of the side wall 25. Further, in this embodiment, each of the shelves 18 through 21 are declined at approximately the same angle such that planar shelves 18, 19, 20 and 21 are approximately parallel to each other. The shelves are declined in a fixed manner for stability.

The present shower caddy 1 can further include features to enhance its utility, such as the pegs or posts 7 located on one or more side walls 25 of the present shower caddy 1. As shown in FIGS. 3 through 5, such posts can be placed in a vertically spaced apart manner such as posts 7 and 8 shown in FIGS. 3 through 5 in order to allow objects that are hung or otherwise removably secured to such posts 7 to hang downward from them. In addition, such posts can also be placed in a horizontally spaced apart manner such as posts 7 and 7a shown in FIGS. 3 through 5.

The embodiment of the present shower caddy shown in FIGS. 7-11 includes many of the same features as the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-5, and the same reference numbers are used in these figures to designate features common to both embodiments. In the embodiment of FIGS. 7-11, posts 7 are replaced by support members 60 extending outwardly from one or more of the side walls 25 of the shower caddy. The support members 60 are preferably formed with bracing material 61 extending from the side wall 25 toward an outer end portion of the support member 60 in order to provide greater strength to the support member. The tabs 5 have likewise been provided with bracing material 63 extending from an outer end portion of the tabs 5 toward the side wall 25 in order to provide further structural support and resistance to breakage due to impact from the rear of the caddy.

The embodiment of the present shower caddy shown in FIGS. 7-11 also differs from that of FIGS. 1-5 in that the scalloping used in retaining members 32, 33, and 34 of FIGS. 1-5 has been removed. The use of retaining members 35 having a planar outer surface facing the front of the caddy reduces the surface area of such retaining members 35 and the amount of material thereby necessary to form such retaining members 35.

Mounting System

One advantage of the present shower caddy 1 is that it is removably securable to a surface, such as a shower wall, and can therefore be removed for cleaning. In a moist environment such as a shower which promotes the growth of microorganisms, such as mold and fungi, the ability to remove a shower caddy 1 is particularly advantageous. It is contemplated that the present shower caddy 1 can advantageously be made from a washable plastic material, such as polypropylene or styrene-butadiene copolymer, and more preferably is made from a plastic able to withstand water temperatures such as those typically found in a household dishwasher. In this way the present caddy 1 can be washed in a household dishwasher, i.e. it will retain its shape when exposed to water at temperatures of between about 100° F. and 180° F. or higher, more preferably between 120° F. and 155° F., and more preferably about 140° F.

In order to allow the present caddy 1 to be removably secured to a mounting surface, such as a shower wall, the present shower caddy 1 employs a mounting system comprising a mounting bracket 40 having a mounting clip 50 which is secured to a mounting tab 5 on the caddy 1. As shown in FIGS. 1-5 and 7-11, the mounting tabs 5 preferably comprise a planar member 4 extending from the rear edge 24 of the side wall 25 of the present shower caddy 1 at an angle such that its planar surface is approximately parallel to a mounting surface on which the present caddy 1 is to be mounted. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-5, four mounting tabs 5 are provided, namely tabs 9 through 12. Tabs 9 and 10 are provided on one side wall 25 of the present shower caddy 1 in a vertically spaced apart manner and mounting tabs 11 and 12 are provided on an opposing side wall 25, also in a vertically spaced apart manner, such that tabs 9 and 12 are located in an upper portion of the shower caddy and tabs 10 and 13 are located in a lower portion of the shower caddy. These tabs thereby provide four locations on the present shower caddy 1 which can be secured to a mounting surface. While four mounting tabs are preferably included in the present shower caddy, in some embodiments the use of two mounting tabs located in the upper portion of the caddy, one on each rear edge 24, can provide sufficient support.

Each of the mounting tabs 5 preferably further comprises an opening 13 through which a projection can pass in order to removably secure the present shower caddy 1 to a mounting surface. However, other configurations of the mounting tab 5 can be used in order to removably secure the mounting tab 5 to a bracket 40 in the present system. In addition, different numbers of mounting tabs 5 can be used to secure the present shower caddy 1 to the mounting surface. Preferably at least two tabs 5 attached to an upper portion of both of the side walls 25 are used, and preferably three mounting tabs 5 would be used (for example, an additional mounting tab at the bottom edge 41 of the shower caddy 1 if such lower edge 41 extended to the mounting surface). In addition, a greater number of mounting tabs 5 can be used with the present shower caddy 1 for greater stability of the shower caddy.

In order to secure the present shower caddy 1 to a mounting surface with the mounting tabs 5, one or more brackets 40 are first secured to the mounting surface. The brackets 40 can be mounted using means known to the art, including physical fasteners such as screws or bolts. However, the brackets of the present shower caddy system are preferably mounted using an adhesive, in particular when the mounting surface is glass or tile. For example, a double-sided adhesive tape, or adhesive applied in another way can be used to mount the mounting brackets 40 onto a mounting surface.

Each mounting bracket 40 comprises a rear surface 44 to which an adhesive, for example, can be applied and which is placed in contact with a mounting surface. In one embodiment, the bracket 40 further comprises a mounting clip 50 which is adapted to engage a mounting tab 5 and removably secure the mounting tab 5 to the bracket 40. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 6, the mounting tab 5 comprises a clip retaining member 51 having a projection 52 which is sized to be able to enter and preferably to pass through the opening 13 in the mounting tab 5. The clip retaining member 51 is hingedly attached to the bracket 40 so that its free end 53 can be moved away from the outer surface 46 of the mounting bracket 40 and thereby allow passage of the mounting tab 5 into a slot 56 of the mounting clip 50. Hinges known to the art can be used with the present mounting clip. However, advantageously the mounting bracket 40 and mounting clip 50 are molded as a unitary piece of plastic material using a material which allows flexion of the clip retaining member 51 at the attached end 55 of the mounting clip 50.

In use, in order to attach the present shower caddy 1 to a mounting surface, one or more brackets 40 are first attached to the mounting surface, such as through the use of an adhesive. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 6, the bracket 40 comprises a structural member 42 connecting two mounting clips 50. In this embodiment, the bracket 40 is attached to a mounting surface such that the two mounting clips 50 are vertically spaced apart and such that the free ends 53 of each of the clip retaining members 51 are oriented upward, i.e., away from a support surface such as a shower floor. In order to mount the shower caddy 1 shown in FIGS. 1 through 5, two brackets 40 are preferably first attached to the shower caddy 1, after which adhesive is added to the brackets 40 or exposed through the removal of a protective layer, for example, and the shower caddy 1 and brackets 40 are then attached to a desirable location of the mounting surface. In order to attach the shower caddy 1 to the brackets 40, each of the mounting tabs 5 is placed through the free end 53 of the mounting clip 50 and into the slot 56. The clip retaining member 51 is actuated so as to move the free end 53 further from the outer surface 46 of the mounting bracket 40, and the mounting tab 5 is then moved into the slot 56 such that the opening 13 of the mounting tab 5 is aligned with the projection 52 of the mounting clip 50. The clip retaining member 51 is then moved back toward the outer surface 46 of the mounting bracket 40 such that the projection 52 is retained in the opening 13 of the mounting tab 5, thereby retaining the mounting tab 5 in the mounting clip 50 and securing the shower caddy 1 to the bracket 40. The clip retaining member 51 is preferably attached to the mounting clip 50 and/or to the bracket 40 with a spring mechanism so that the clip retaining member resists being moved in a direction away from the outer surface 46 of the bracket 40. One of skill in the art will realize that the bracket 40 and mounting clip 50 can be molded from a plastic material selected so as to provide the clip retaining member with this function. Preferably, a lower edge 3 of the mounting tab 5 is in contact with a lower surface 57 of the mounting clip 50 so that the weights of the shower caddy 1 is supported at least in part by this lower surface 57 of the mounting clip 50 rather than by the projection 52.

EXAMPLES

Example 1

Shower Caddy

The shower caddy 1 as depicted in FIGS. 1 through 5 is molded from a strong transparent plastic, such as polypropylene or styrene-butadiene copolymer. The lower edge of each shelf (e.g., lower edge 41) is 11 inches long, and the distance between the two side walls 25 is also approximately 11 inches. The side wall rear edge 24 is 16 inches and the shelves 30 extend away from the side wall rear edge 24 by a maximum distance of 4.5 inches. Each of the shelves 37 is declined at a 30° angle with respect to a plane parallel to the floor or other support surface of a room in which the shower caddy 1 is mounted, i.e., at an angle of approximately 120° with respect to the mounting surface to which the shower caddy 1 is mounted.

The mounting brackets 40 depicted in FIG. 6 are attached to the mounting tabs 50 of the shower caddy 1 and double-sided adhesive tape is applied to the rear surface 44 of the mounting bracket 40. The rear surfaces 44 of the mounting brackets 40 are then placed in contact with a shower wall and are held in place for approximately 15 seconds until the adhesive becomes sufficiently bonded to the shower wall to support the weight of the brackets 40 and the shower caddy 1.

Example 2

Use of the Shower Caddy

The shower caddy 1 mounted as in example 1 is removed from the mounting brackets by actuating the clip retaining members 51 so as to move their free ends 53 a sufficient distance from the outer surface 42 of the mounting brackets 40 so that the projection 52 is no longer within the opening 13 of the mounting tab 5, and the shower caddy 1 is then moved upward, i.e., away from the lower surface 57 of the mounting clip 50. The mounting tabs 5 are then removed from the mounting clip 50 and placed in a household dishwasher and washed in a regular dish washing cycle. Following this, the cleaned shower caddy 1 is then taken back to the shower having the mounting brackets 40, and the shower caddy 1 is reinstalled by moving the lower edges 3 of the mounting tabs 5 past the free end 53 of the mounting clip 50 and into the mounting clip 50 until the lower edge 3 of the mounting tab 5 is resting on the lower surface 57 of the mounting clip 50 and the projection 52 is within the opening 13 of the mounting tab 5.

As used herein, the term “comprise” and variations of the term, such as “comprising” and “comprises,” are not intended to exclude other additives, components, integers or steps. The terms “a,” “an,” and “the” and similar referents used herein are to be construed to cover both the singular and the plural unless their usage in context indicates otherwise.

Although the present invention has been discussed in considerable detail with reference to certain preferred embodiments, other embodiments are possible. The steps disclosed for the present methods are not intended to be limiting nor are they intended to indicate that each step depicted is essential to the method, but instead are exemplary steps only. Therefore, the scope of the appended claims should not be limited to the description of preferred embodiments contained in this disclosure. All references cited herein are incorporated by reference to their entirety.