Title:
Tray Ceiling System
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A system to form a tray ceiling is disclosed, wherein an L-shaped member is placed against the existing wall and ceiling surfaces proximate to where the existing wall meets the existing ceiling. The L-shaped member is then attached to the existing wall and ceiling surfaces at the edges of the “L”. This is done around the perimeter of the existing ceiling, using a plurality of the L-shaped members, such that the part of the existing ceiling enclosed by the L-shaped members has the appearance of being recessed, as in a tray ceiling. Attaching the L-shaped member against the existing wall and ceiling creates a cavity wherein lights, audio speakers, or other items can be installed if desired.



Inventors:
Launs, Ronald E. (Grosse Pointe Farms, MI, US)
Application Number:
11/852633
Publication Date:
03/12/2009
Filing Date:
09/10/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B9/30
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FONSECA, JESSIE T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JOHN ALEXANDER GALBREATH (REISTERSTOWN, MD, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A tray ceiling system, comprising: (a) a plurality of elongated members adapted for attachment to an existing wall and ceiling of a room, said elongated members having a first surface substantially parallel to said ceiling and a second surface substantially perpendicular to said ceiling, such that said first surface and said second surface are substantially perpendicular to each other; and (b) means for attaching said elongated members to said existing wall proximate to an edge of said first surface, and to said ceiling proximate to an edge of said second surface, around the perimeter of said existing ceiling, such that a cavity is created between said elongated members and said existing wall and ceiling, and the part of said existing ceiling inward from said elongated members is provided with a recessed appearance.

2. The system of claim 1, wherein said means for attaching comprise furring strips attached to said existing walls and ceiling, and said elongated members are attached to said furring strips.

3. The system of claim 1, wherein at least one light is located within said cavity.

4. The system of claim 1, wherein a plurality of lights are located within said cavity.

5. The system of claim 1, wherein at least one audio speaker is located within said cavity.

6. The system of claim 5, wherein a plurality of audio speakers are located within said cavity.

7. The system of claim 1, wherein said elongated members are joined at the corners of said room in a perpendicular manner, with a first said elongated member extending longitudinally to said existing wall and a second elongated member butting against said first elongated member.

8. The system of claim 1, wherein said elongated members are joined at the corners of said room in a diagonal manner, with the longitudinal ends of said elongated members being cut or preformed such that they fit together at an angle.

9. The system of claim 1, wherein said system also comprises a corner piece located against said existing ceiling in a corner formed by two said exiting walls.

10. The system of claim 1, wherein said elongated members are substantially L-shaped in cross-section.

11. The system of claim 1, wherein said elongated members are formed of one piece, from a material selected from the group consisting of: polymer, foam polyvinyl chloride, non-foam polyvinyl chloride, medium-density fibreboard, and wood.

12. A tray ceiling system, comprising: (a) a plurality of elongated members, said elongated members being substantially L-shaped in cross-section; and (b) means for attaching said substantially L-shaped members to an existing wall proximate to a first edge of said substantially L-shaped member, and to an existing ceiling proximate to an opposing second edge of said substantially L-shaped member, around the perimeter of said existing ceiling, such that a cavity is created between said substantially L-shaped members and said existing wall and ceiling, and the part of said existing ceiling inward from said substantially L-shaped members is provided with a recessed appearance.

13. The system of claim 12, wherein said means for attaching comprise furring strips attached to said existing walls and ceiling, and said substantially L-shaped members are attached to said furring strips.

14. The system of claim 12, wherein at least one light is located within said cavity.

15. The system of claim 12, wherein a plurality of lights are located within said cavity.

16. The system of claim 12, wherein at least one audio speaker is located within said cavity.

17. The system of claim 12, wherein said substantially L-shaped members are joined at the corners of said room in a perpendicular manner, with a first said substantially L-shaped member extending longitudinally to said existing wall and a second substantially L-shaped member butting against said first substantially L-shaped member.

18. The system of claim 12, wherein said substantially L-shaped members are joined at the corners of said room in a diagonal manner, with the longitudinal ends of said substantially L-shaped members being cut or preformed such that they fit together at an angle.

19. The system of claim 12, wherein said system also comprises a corner piece located against said existing ceiling in a corner formed by two said exiting walls.

20. The system of claim 12, wherein said elongated members are formed of one piece, from a material selected from the group consisting of: polymer, foam polyvinyl chloride, non-foam polyvinyl chloride, medium-density fibreboard, and wood.

Description:

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Invention

The invention is in the area of tray ceiling systems.

2. Description of the Related Art

Faux tray ceiling systems, in which tiles are placed around the perimeter of an existing “regular” ceiling to create the appearance of a recessed or “tray” ceiling, are known in the art. U.S. Pat. No. 6,723,419 to Rogers discloses such a system, using solid foam tiles that have a flat attachment surface for fixing the tiles to the existing ceiling.

This type of system has significant disadvantages, however. Since the tiles are solid blocks of foam, there is no room within them in which to locate lights, speakers, and other items that the homeowner may wish to have around the periphery of the ceiling. There is also no room to locate electrical wires running to the aforementioned lights, speakers, etc. within the solid blocks of foam. If the wires are placed between the tile attachment surface and the existing ceiling, then that interferes with the fit of the tile against the existing ceiling. Further, if a significantly recessed ceiling is desired, then that requires a solid tile that is relatively thick. This in turn means more material and greater cost, and adds unnecessary weight to the system.

Thus it can be seen that a tray ceiling system that uses a different approach, and has a different physical structure that overcomes these disadvantages, would be a significant advance over the prior art.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention is a system to form a tray ceiling, wherein an L-shaped member is placed against the existing wall and ceiling surfaces proximate to where the existing wall meets the existing ceiling. The L-shaped member is then attached to the existing wall and ceiling surfaces at the edges of the “L”. This is done around the perimeter of the existing ceiling, using a plurality of the L-shaped members, such that the part of the existing ceiling enclosed by the L-shaped members has the appearance of being recessed, as in a tray ceiling. Attaching the L-shaped member against the existing wall and ceiling creates a cavity wherein lights, audio speakers, or other items can be installed if desired.

Several objects and advantages of the invention are:

It is an object of the invention to provide a tray ceiling system that can be easily and quickly installed, and that gives the appearance of a tray ceiling without having to use framing, drywall, and joint compound/spackle. The invention also eliminates the use of seam strips/joint tape and sanding of seams.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a system that allows lights, audio speakers, and other items to be installed within the border around the tray ceiling, and that provides room for the power or other wires connected to said items.

It is another object of the invention to provide a system wherein the L-shaped member can be formed in one piece, in order to minimize installation effort and time.

It is yet another object of the invention to provide a device that is relatively easy and cost-effective to manufacture, and that can be made from a variety of materials.

Further objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from a consideration of the ensuing description and drawings.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the L-shaped member that is a primary element of the system.

FIG. 2 is a view of existing wall and ceiling surfaces, with furring strips installed thereon to provide means for attaching the L-shaped member.

FIG. 3 illustrates the existing wall and ceiling surfaces of FIG. 2, with L-shaped members attached thereto.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the L-shaped member in place against the furring strips.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the system of the invention (viewed from below), as it would border the perimeter of an existing ceiling and thus create a recessed tray ceiling within the border.

FIG. 6 is similar to shows an alternative embodiment similar to the embodiment of FIG. 3, except that in this embodiment, lights and speakers are located within the cavity formed by the L-shaped member.

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 4, except that a light and power wires running thereto are located within the cavity formed by the L-shaped member.

FIG. 8 illustrates a perpendicular corner-joining of the L-shaped members, wherein one L-shaped member extends all the way to the wall and the other L-shaped member butts up against it.

FIG. 9 illustrates a diagonal or “mitered” corner joining of the L-shaped members.

FIG. 10 illustrates a corner-joining of the L-shaped members wherein a separate corner piece is placed against the ceiling in the corner formed by the two walls, and the longitudinal ends of the L-shaped members are butted up against the corner piece.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The following provides a list of the reference characters used in the drawings:

    • 10. L-shaped member
    • 11. Wall-proximate edge
    • 12. Ceiling-proximate edge
    • 13. Downward-facing surface
    • 14. Inward-facing surface
    • 15. Existing wall
    • 16. Existing ceiling
    • 17. Wall furring strip
    • 18. Ceiling furring strip
    • 19. Upward-facing surface
    • 20. Outward-facing surface
    • 21. Recessed tray ceiling
    • 22. Light
    • 23. Speaker
    • 24. Wire
    • 25. Corner piece

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the L-shaped member that is a primary element of the system. L-shaped member 10 is an elongated member that substantially forms an “L” when viewed in cross-section. L-shaped member 10 has a wall-proximate edge 11 that is placed against the existing wall surface, and a ceiling-proximate edge 12 that is placed against the existing ceiling surface. L-shaped member 10 also has a downward-facing surface 13 that faces toward the floor of the room when L-shaped member 10 is in place. Said another way, downward-facing surface 13 is substantially parallel to the ceiling and floor of the room when L-shaped member 10 is in place. L-shaped member 10 also has an upward-facing surface 19 that faces toward the ceiling of the room when L-shaped member 10 is in place, and that is also substantially parallel to the ceiling and floor of the room when L-shaped member 10 is in place.

L-shaped member 10 also has an inward-facing surface 14 that faces toward the interior, recessed part of the ceiling when L-shaped member 10 is in place. Said another way, inward-facing surface 14 is substantially perpendicular to the ceiling and floor of the room when L-shaped member 10 is in place. L-shaped member 10 also has an outward-facing surface 20 that faces away from the interior, recessed part of the ceiling when L-shaped member 10 is in place, and that is also substantially perpendicular to the ceiling and floor of the room when L-shaped member 10 is in place.

FIG. 2 is a view of existing wall and ceiling surfaces, with furring strips installed thereon to provide means for attaching the L-shaped member. The room in which the inventive system is installed has existing walls 15 and an existing ceiling 16. A wall furring strip 17 is attached to existing wall 15 using any suitable means, with the lower edge of wall furring strip 17 being at a distance from existing ceiling 16 that is substantially equal to the distance from ceiling-proximate edge 12 to upward-facing surface 19 of L-shaped member 10. A ceiling furring strip 18 is also attached to existing ceiling 16 using any suitable means, with the inner edge of ceiling furring strip 18 being at a distance from existing wall 15 that is substantially equal to the distance from wall-proximate edge 11 to outward-facing surface 20 of L-shaped member 10.

FIG. 3 illustrates the existing wall and ceiling surfaces of FIG. 2, with L-shaped members attached thereto. It can be seen that this view shows the perpendicular corner-joining of the L-shaped members 10, as detailed in FIG. 8. It should also be understood that when L-shaped member 10 is placed against existing wall 15 and existing ceiling 16 (or said another way, when wall-proximate edge 11 is placed against existing wall 15 and ceiling-proximate edge 12 is placed against existing ceiling 16), upward-facing surface 19 rests against the lower edge of wall furring strip 17 and outward-facing surface 20 rests against the inner edge of ceiling furring strip 18.

This fit of L-shaped member 10 against the furring strips is further shown in the cross-sectional view of FIG. 4.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the system of the invention (viewed from below). It can be seen that when a plurality of L-shaped members 10 are placed against the existing walls and ceiling of a room, the L-shaped members 10 form a border around the perimeter of the existing ceiling and thus create a recessed tray ceiling 21 within the border. It can be seen that this view shows the perpendicular corner-joining of the L-shaped members 10, as detailed in FIG. 8.

FIG. 6 shows an alternative embodiment similar to the embodiment of FIG. 3, except that in this embodiment, lights 22 and speakers 23 are located within the cavity formed by L-shaped member 10.

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 4, except that a light 22 and wire 24 that supplies power to light 22 are located within the cavity formed by L-shaped member 10.

FIGS. 8, 9, and 10 illustrate alternative structures at the corner joint between two L-shaped members 10. It can be understood that these views are from below, looking up at the L-shaped members 10. FIG. 8 illustrates a perpendicular corner-joining of the L-shaped members 10, wherein one L-shaped member 10 extends all the way to existing wall 15 and the other L-shaped member butts up against it. FIG. 9 illustrates a diagonal or “mitered” corner joining of L-shaped members 10, wherein the ends of L-shaped members 10 are cut or preformed at an angle such that they fit together in a way similar to that seen in a mitered-joint picture frame. FIG. 10 illustrates a corner-joining of L-shaped members 10, wherein a separate corner piece 25 is placed against existing ceiling 16 in the corner formed by existing walls 15, and the longitudinal ends of L-shaped members 10 are butted up against corner piece 25. It should be understood that corner piece 25 is similarly L-shaped in cross-section, such that a cavity is created when corner piece 25 is place against existing ceiling 16.

Installing the tray ceiling system of the invention involves the following steps:

When using furring strips to attach the L-shaped members to the existing walls and ceiling, the furring strips are cut to fit the room dimensions and are then positioned and attached to the walls and ceiling using any suitable means, at the proper locations described above in the discussion of FIGS. 2-4. The L-shaped members are also cut to fit the room dimensions and the particular corner-joining method used. Next, the L-shaped members are lifted into place against the existing wall and ceiling and attached to the furring strips using nails, screws, adhesive, or any other suitable means. The joint between the existing wall and the wall-proximate edge of the L-shaped member, and the joint between the existing ceiling and the ceiling-proximate edge of the L-shaped member, can be caulked if desired to eliminate any visible gaps. Caulk can also be used to cover seams between the members, nail holes in the members, and any decorative/architectural molding that is added.

It should be understood that if lights, speakers, or other items are to be located on the L-shaped member, these items and any wires connected to them can be installed prior to lifting the L-shaped members into place. Alternatively, these items can be installed after the L-shaped members are in place. In the latter case, it is advantageous to pre-position any necessary wires before lifting the L-shaped members into place. After the items are installed, any wires running to them are then connected to a central power, data, or other source.

While the above descriptions contain many specificities, these shall not be construed as limitations on the scope of the invention, but rather as exemplifications of embodiments thereof. Many other variations are possible without departing from the spirit of the invention. Examples of just a few of the possible variations follow:

The shape and dimensions of the L-shaped member can be different than those shown. As just one example, the height of the inward-facing surface can be greater or smaller in order to yield a profile that protrudes from the ceiling more or less, respectively. Said another way, the height of the inward-facing surface can vary in order to vary the “depth” of the tray ceiling recess. As another example, the width of the downward-facing surface can be greater or smaller in order to yield a profile that protrudes from the wall more or less, respectively. The length of the L-shaped member will vary, of course, depending on the dimensions of the room in which the inventive system is employed. Many other different shapes and dimensions are possible. Further, when the elongated member is referred to herein as substantially L-shaped in cross-section, that encompasses embodiments in which one leg of the “L” is shorter than the other leg, as well as the embodiment in which the two legs of the “L” are equal.

The means used to attach the L-shaped member to the existing wall and ceiling can be different than the furring strips shown. As a non-limiting example, the edges of the L-shaped member can be attached directly to the existing wall and ceiling surfaces using an adhesive or other means.

The L-shaped member is preferably formed of one piece, in order to minimize cost as well as installation time and effort. It is also preferably made from foam polyvinyl chloride (PVC) material that is sufficiently strong to support the weight of the member itself, or the weight of the member plus any lights, speakers, or other items located therein. However, the L-shaped member can also be made from other materials, including but not limited to regular (non-foam) PVC, other polymers, medium-density fibreboard (MDF), and other forms of wood. The L-shaped member can also be formed of multiple pieces that are attached together.

The downward-facing surface and/or the inward-facing surface of the L-shaped member can be formed in a variety of shapes for decorative purposes, including but not limited to a groove, ridge, bevel, dart design, alternating tooth design, a convex or concave design, and an egg-shaped design. Alternatively, a separate molding or trim piece can be attached to the downward-facing surface and/or the inward-facing surface of the L-shaped member, in order to provide a decorative appearance. Accordingly, the scope of the invention should be determined not by the embodiments illustrated, but by the appended claims and their legal equivalents.