Title:
TILING SYSTEM
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention relates to articles of manufacture which are trowels and tile receivers in a kit which provides a system for installing tile. One object of this invention is to provide an article of manufacture consisting of a base, having left and right edges, and front and rear edges, and the area between the left and right edges has a convex surface and a means for holding the base.



Inventors:
Beyder, Meyer (WARREN, NJ, US)
Beyder, Yefim (WARREN, NJ, US)
Application Number:
12/813723
Publication Date:
01/06/2011
Filing Date:
06/11/2010
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/287.1, 52/749.11
International Classes:
E04G21/14; E04F13/073; E04G21/16
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
STEPHAN, BETH A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Gearhart Law LLC (Summit, NJ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. An article of manufacture, comprising: a base, having left and right edges, and front and rear edges, and the area between the left and right edges has a convex surface; and a means for holding the base.

2. The article of claim 1, wherein the means for holding is a handle.

3. The article of claim 1, wherein the base has a length and a width, and the length is greater than the width.

4. The article of claim 1, wherein the left and right edges are perpendicularly oriented to the front and rear edges.

5. The article of claim 1, wherein the rear edge is oriented at a 45 degree angle to either the left or right edge.

6. The article of claim 1, wherein the base is solid.

7. The article of claim 1, wherein the base is hollow.

8. The article of claim 1, wherein the base is a curved sheet having a thickness of from 1/16th inches to ½ inch.

9. The article of claim 1, wherein the base is made of metal, plastic or wood.

10. The article of claim 1, wherein the right edge is between 1 and 6 inches, and front edge is between 1 and 8 inches.

11. A kit of tools for preparing a surface to receive tiles, comprising: at least one tool having a base and a means for holding the base, the base having left and right edges, and front and rear edges, and the area between the left and right edges have a rounded surface, wherein the rounded surface is cylindrical or elliptical; and the left and right edges are perpendicularly oriented to the front and rear edges; at least one tool having a base and a means for holding the base, the base having left and right edges, and front and rear edges, and the area between the left and right edges have a rounded surface, wherein the rounded surface is cylindrical or elliptical and the rear edge is oriented at a 45 degree angle to the left edge; and at least one tool having a base and a means for holding the base, the base having left and right edges, and front and rear edges, and the area between the left and right edges have a rounded surface, wherein the rounded surface is cylindrical or elliptical and the rear edge is oriented at a 45 degree angle to the right edge.

12. An article of manufacture suitable for receiving tiles, comprising: a channel having at least three interconnected surfaces, wherein at least two surfaces are in perpendicular orientation and can be fastened to two perpendicularly oriented building surfaces, and the third surface can receive mosaic tiles when the channel is affixed to the perpendicularly oriented building surfaces.

13. The article of claim 12, wherein the third surface has a concave shape.

14. The article of claim 12, wherein the channel has holes or tabs for mounting to perpendicularly oriented building surfaces.

15. The article of claim 12, wherein the third surface has a flat shape.

16. The article of claim 12, wherein the channel is plastic.

17. The article of claim 12, wherein the third surface has a beveled edge.

18. The article of claim 12, wherein the channel has a length of from 3 to 108 inches, and the two surfaces each have a height of from 0.5 to 15 inches.

19. The article of claim 12, further comprising a supplemental holding means for holding said base.

20. The article of claim 12, wherein said channel forms a sidewall of a pan.

Description:

CLAIM OF PRIORITY

This application claims priority to U.S. Ser. No. 61/269,939 filed Jul. 1, 2009, and U.S. Ser. No. 61/280,008 filed Oct. 28, 2009, the contents of which are fully incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to articles of manufacture for systematic tile installation and a kit for the same.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates equipment used to install tile, and in particular, mosaic tiles. Bathtub enclosures and shower stalls frequently have tiled walls. The tiles used are frequently standard 4×4 tiles, and shower stalls and bathtub enclosures have square corners formed at ninety degree angles. While easy to install, the right angle corners are difficult to keep clean and as a result, many tile installations eventually collect dirt and mildew during use. Recently, however, mosaic tiles have become more popular. Since the tiles are smaller the installer is not limited to the right angle corners in the enclosures. The small size allows curved corners to be formed. The curved or “rounded” corners are much easier to clean than the right angle corners and the accumulation of mildew is very low. In addition, the rounded corners have an appearance that is appealing to the homeowner.

In the past, creating rounded corners was costly and required a great deal of effort by the installer. Consequently, the rounded installations were costly. Skilled tile professions often had to resort to expensive and time consuming carpentry to create forms for rounded shower stall corners. This invention provides the user with a fast and simple method for producing unique tiling designs, which are pleasant to the eye and reduce mildew build-up by eliminating the square corners, all at minimal cost.

DESCRIPTION OF THE RELATED ART

U.S. Pat. No. 325,009 describes the use of an elastic or spring cleat of a “tongue” or “groove” shape elastically or adjustably fitting into a corresponding groove or tongue in the back of a tile, so that a secret fastening is obtained which permits the perfect adjustment of the tiles to the required surface and pattern by the use of temporary or permanent strips or keys between the back of the tile and the surface to be tiled.

U.S. Pat. No. 1,939,815 relates to a method of applying tiles, which involves preparing one surface of each of the said tiles with applications of a limited quantity of non-hardening plastic cement which will retain its elastic and adhesive qualities as long as it is protected from direct contact with the atmosphere, then applying a coasting of mortar or similar cement substance (which will harden when set) over the said plastic cement. The tile thus prepared is then ready to be applied to a wall or other surface.

U.S. Pat. No. 2,205,700 relates to tilting and more particularly to a system of interfitting tile units and fasteners therefore, for use in flooring as well as wall finishing and paneling. The invention has, further, more particularly to do with tiles which are made of metal by die-casting or other approved process or formed from sheet metal or other suitable material possessing the requisite tensile strength and rigidity, the respective tiles being enameled or otherwise coated or ornamentally surfaced.

U.S. Pat. No. 2,836,830 relates generally to a receptor such as used as the base of a shower stall construction, the primary object of the invention being to provide a precast receptor which will be leak-proof and one which will not deteriorate due to constant exposure due to the effects of water.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,319,392 describes a prefabricated multiple ceramic tile panels, and similar structural members suitable for use as surface coverings, space dividers, countertops, fenestrations, and the like.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,335,048 discloses a method of producing a mosaic type tile plate, comprising the steps of superposing in the indicated sequence a first layer of acoustically insulating material, a second layer of vulcanizable material and a plurality of individual tile elements adhered space from each other to a supporting sheet with the individual tile elements contacting the vulcanizable layer.

U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,850,403 and 3,850,404 teach an apparatus for setting a row of tile along an upwardly extending wall of a swimming pool or the like and for forming a concrete deck along the upper edge of such wall in overlying relation therewith. The apparatus includes upper and lower support components adapted to be secured to such wall and respectively defining downwardly facing and upwardly facing seats adapted to receive the upper and lower edge portions of rigid tile blocks or flexible mosaic tile sheets therein so as to support the same spaced distance from the pool wall. The apparatus further includes a mold form cooperative with the supports so as to be held thereby, and having a shaped configuration defining the perimetric edge portion of a concrete deck formed from a mass of concrete poured against the mold in overlying relation with the pool wall. The space between the tile units, whether rigid blocks or flexible sheets, is filled with mortar either before or as part of the deck-forming procedure so as to secure the tile to the pool wall. The mold form and lower support are removable, and the upper support remains in place and forms a water stop in association with the concrete deck. The apparatus further includes backing structure cooperative with the upper and lower supports to stiffen or rigidify flexible mosaic tile sheets so as to permit the mortar to secure the same to the pool wall.

U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,324,605 and 4,522,855 relate to an arrangement and method for tiling bath enclosures, shower stalls, and the like, comprises providing a sheet of imperforate, substantially waterproof material with a dry, solvent-based film adhesive formed on the exterior side of the sheet. The interior side of the sheet is adhered to those substrate walls to be tiled, and tile adhesive is applied over the film adhesive on the exterior side of the sheet. The tile adhesive includes a solvent which partially dissolves the film adhesive, and a crosslinking agent which securely bonds the adhesives to each other and the waterproof sheet. Ceramic tiles are pressed into the wet adhesive, and are fixedly anchored in place as the adhesive cures, such that the waterproof sheet forms a barrier between the tiles and the substrate walls which is substantially impervious to moisture.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,181,326 teaches a tool for marking tiles having a predetermined thickness, so that the tiles may be cut precisely to enable them to be placed adjacent each other and spaced apart a predetermined, uniform, distance corresponding to the thickness of a desired grouting thickness. The tool includes a generally flat, elongated, rectilinear bar having a pair of opposed ends, a pair of opposed sides, and generally flat top and bottom opposed faces. A plurality of different sized slide elements are selectively used with the bar depending of the desired thickness of the grouting. Individual ones of the slide elements are adapted to be carried by the bar and movable along the length of the bar between the ends and removed from the bar by sliding off an end. Each of said slide elements have a body member which is supported by the top face and has a pair of opposed arms extending along and bearing against the sides. The arms have a height less than the thickness of the tile. Each of the arms has a finger which extends beyond the bottom face and inwardly beneath the bottom face. The fingers are of an equal, predetermined thickness which facilitates marking the tile so that, upon installation, adjacent tiles may be spaced apart said predetermined, selected distance. A screw type fastener extends through the body which, upon tightening, has an end bearing against the top face for holding the slide element in a selected position along the bar. The tool includes a plate attached to an end of the bar which has a straight edge and which is movable to different angular positions relative to the bar. This allows cutting the tile at an angle to fit next to angular walls.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,617,642 teaches a method and device for fitting tile and other building material into a mosaic pattern. A base section is connected to a slidable and rotatable rod connected to one or more cut line adjustment rods which conform to a particular pattern for cutting the tile. The base section is mounted flush with an edge and the rods are positioned to conform to an obstruction or other cut out to be cut into the tile. The adjustment rods are then fixed in place, the device is laid over a tile, and the cut lines are made on the tile by tracing the cut line pattern from the device. The tile is cut along the cut line pattern and fitted into the mosaic pattern.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,354,058 teaches the present invention to overcome several disadvantages in conventional tile installation by providing tile regulators and a method of using them that provide both the proper grout spacing between tiles and vertical and horizontal plumb levels of the tiles, which regulators enhance the ease of installing the tiles and the final appearance of the newly laid tile. The present tile regulators are designed to compensate for the existing limiting conditions associated with conventional regulating products.

U.S Patent No. 20040074156 teaches a three dimensional flashings suitable for association with buildings where at least part of the flashing is a shape retaining three dimensional form to render its association with an underlying three dimensional substrate of the building easier even should it not initially match the conformation thereof. Such a flashing in such three dimensional region is adhesively associable with the substrate and includes for shape retention purposes below a suitable flexible weather resistant layer (e.g.; EDPM) an underlying conformable three dimensionally conformed material such as aluminum sheeting (optionally in a mesh form).

U.S Patent No. 20080229676 teaches a sill flashing and method for installing a window or other portal in a wall opening. The flashing includes a sill portion, at least one jamb portion at an angle relative to the sill portion, and a front face plate. The flashing is configured to be disposed in the opening with the sill portion disposed against a sill of the opening, an outer surface of the jamb portion disposed against one of the jambs of the opening, and a front face plate at an outer surface of the wall. The sill portion defines a plurality of support portions and a rear dam which can support the portal in the opening. The sill portion also includes one or more integral housing, configured to overlap an adjacent support portion when the flashing is cut and disposed multiple parts defining an interface therebetween.

Various implements are known in the art, but fail to address all the problems solved by the invention described herein. One embodiment of this invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawings and will be described in more detail herein below.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to articles of manufacture which are trowels and tile receivers which provide a system for installing tile. One object of this invention is to provide an article of manufacture consisting of a base, having left and right edges, and front and rear edges, and the area between the left and right edges has a convex surface and a means for holding the base. A further object of the invention is one in which the means for holding is a handle. A further embodiment of the invention provides an object consisting of a base that has a length and a width, and the length is greater than the width. Still another embodiment is one wherein the left and right edges are perpendicularly oriented to the front and rear edges. In addition, the front edge is oriented at a 45 degree angle to either to the left or to the right edge. The base may be solid, hollow, or consist of a curved sheet having a thickness of from 1/16th inches to ½ inch.

In addition, the base may be made of metal, plastic or wood. The right edge may be between 1 and 10 inches, and front edge is between 1 and 6 inches.

Yet another aspect of this invention is a kit of tools for preparing a surface to receive tiles, consisting of at least one tool having a base and a means for holding the base, the base having left and right edges, and front and rear edges, and the area between the left and right edges have a rounded surface, wherein the rounded surface is cylindrical or elliptical; and the left and right edges are perpendicularly oriented to the front and rear edges.

The kit may also consist of at least one tool having a base and a means for holding the base, the base having left and right edges, and front and rear edges, and the area between the left and right edges have a rounded surface, wherein the rounded surface is cylindrical or elliptical and the front edge is oriented at a 45 degree angle to the left edge.

Additionally, the kit may consist of at least one tool having a base and a means for holding the base, the base having left and right edges, and front and rear edges, and the area between the left and right edges have a rounded surface, wherein the rounded surface is cylindrical or elliptical and the front edge is oriented at a 45 degree angle to the right edge.

In another embodiment, this invention consists of an article of manufacture suitable for receiving tiles, comprising a channel having at least three interconnected surfaces, wherein at least two surfaces are in perpendicular orientation and can be fastened to two perpendicularly oriented building surfaces, and the third surface can receive mosaic tiles when the channel is affixed the perpendicularly oriented building surfaces. The third surface of this aspect of the invention may have a concave shape. Furthermore, the channel may have holes or tabs for mounting the object to perpendicularly oriented building surfaces.

Finally, in another aspect of the invention, the third surface has a flat shape or may have a beveled shape. Materials from which the channel may be produced include, but are not limited to a plastic. The channel has a length of from 3 to 108 inches, and the two surfaces each have a height of from 0.5 to 15 inches.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of various trowels of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the surfaces prepared by the trowels.

FIG. 3 is the top view of a trowel.

FIG. 4 is the bottom view of a trowel.

FIG. 5 is the top view of a trowel.

FIG. 6 is a side view of a convex shaped trowel.

FIG. 7 is an a top view of and trowel with an angle on the right edge.

FIG. 8 is an a top view of and trowel with an angle on the left edge.

FIG. 9 is a front side view of a tile receiver with a beveled surface edge.

FIG. 9B is a front side view of a tile receiver with a flat surface edge.

FIG. 10 is a front view of tile receivers showing how they can be installed in prepared corners.

FIG. 11 is a front side view of tile receivers installed and ready to accept tile.

FIG. 12 is a frontal view of a trowel embodiment of the present invention having supplemental holding means.

FIG. 13 is a shower or bath pan with built-in tile receivers.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The preferred embodiments of the present invention will now be described with reference to the drawings. Identical elements in the various figures are identified with the same reference numerals.

The invention is directed to articles of manufacture for installing tiles in a unique manner. It also includes a kit which combines the articles of manufacture described herein, and optionally, other articles useful to those skilled in the art. The trowels allow the user to spread materials on a wall in a curved shape. Such materials consist of, but are not limited to joint compound, grout, glue, tar, cement, or any other material known by those skilled in the art.

FIG. 1 shows a preferred embodiment of the article of manufacture, its various shaped trowels 100.

One trowel 100 may consist of a base 210, having a left edge 220 and a right edge 230, and a front edge 260 and a rear edge 270. The area between the left edge 220 and a right edge 230 has a convex surface 240 and a means for holding the base, such as a handle 200. The handle may be made of wood or any materials describe herein, and may have a grip 205, which may prevent slippage of the handle from the hand under wet conditions. The handle 200 attaches at the base handle interface 215. Furthermore, the handle can be of any shape including an ergonomic shape to cradle the human hand. In another embodiment, trowel is made by surface injected molding methods and the handle may be contained on the inner side of the convex surface 240 of the trowel's base.

The invention also provides an object consisting of a base 210 which has an upper surface 291 and a bottom surface 292. It has a length 211 and a width 212, and the length may be greater than the width. The preferred dimensions may be between 1 and 10 inches/cm for the length 211, and between 1 and 6 inches/cm for the width 212.

Still another embodiment is one wherein the left edge 220 and right edge 230 are perpendicularly oriented to the front edge 260 and the rear edge 270. In an alternative, there may be angled edges 290, such as angle a 231, angle b 232 or angle c 233 or any combination thereof. For example, the front edge 260 may be oriented at a 45 degree angle, as in angle a 231 or as in angle b 232, to either to the left edge 220 or to the right edge 230. Or the front edge 260 may be oriented at a 90 degree angle, as in angle c 233, to either to the left edge 220 or to the right edge 230. In a preferred embodiment, the right edge may be between 2 and 4 inches, and front edge is between 2 and 5 inches.

The base 210 may be solid, hollow, or may consist of a curved sheet or may be made of metal, plastic, wood or any of the materials disclosed herein or known to those skilled in the art. The base can have any thickness; the preferred thickness is from 1/16th inches to ½ inch.

FIG. 12 shows yet another embodiment of the present invention. In this embodiment the base width 212 of the base 210 may be slightly greater than the width 212 of the preferred embodiments shown in FIG. 1. The greater width 212 may be needed to accommodate a supplemental holding means 202. The pair of supplemental holding means 202 may be attached to the base 210 at or beside the right and left edges 230 and 220 respectively. The supplemental holding means 202 preferably also has a top grip surface 204A and a bottom grip surface 204B. Either of these surfaces may contain frictional elements, surfaces or accents to enhance the gripping capability provided by the supplemental holding means 202.

The supplemental holding means 202 may be utilized when a two handed grip on a trawler 100 is needed, such as during smoothing or leveling operations, especially during instances when a one handed grip would not be practical or when an evenly spread, pressure is required. One may lean on the top grip surface 204A with the base of one's palms or with the base of one's fingers, and may also grip the bottom grip surface 204B. One may then rock the trowler 100 from side-to-side over the rounded surface 280 (FIG. 6), or slide the trawler 100 in any direction. The length of the supplemental holding means 202 may be greater, lesser or equal to the base length 211; and may be between ½ and 3 inches wide across width 203.

Preferably, the supplemental holding means 202 are L-shaped as shown, with the base 204C attaching to the upper surface 291 of the base 210, and with the top and bottom grip surfaces 204A and 204B jutting out past the left edge 220 and the right edge 230, thus forming the leg portion of the letter L. Alternatively, there may be only one supplemental holding means 202 placed as shown, or in a different location, with either the means for holding the base 201 remaining in the location as shown, in a different location, or absent altogether, and replaced by the another supplemental holding means 202.

Another aspect of this invention is a kit 600 of tools, or trowels 200 for preparing a surface to receive tiles, consisting of one or more tools having a base and a means for holding the base, the base having left and right edges, and front and rear edges, and the area between the left and right edges have a rounded surface, wherein the rounded surface is cylindrical or elliptical; and the left and right edges are perpendicularly oriented to the front and rear edges.

The kit may also consist of at least one trowel 100 having a base 210 and a means for holding the base 201, the base having a left edge 220 and a right edge 230, and a front edge 260 and a rear edge 270, and the area between the left and right edges has a rounded surface, wherein the rounded surface 280 is cylindrical or elliptical and the rear edge 270 is oriented at a 45 degree angle, angle a 231, to the left edge.

Additionally, the kit consists of at least one trowel 100 having a base 210 and a means for holding the base 201, the base having a left edge 220 and a right edge 230, and a front edge 260 and a rear edge 270, and the area between the left edges 220 and the right edges 230 has a rounded surface, wherein the rounded surface 280 is cylindrical or elliptical and the rear edge 260 is oriented at a 45 degree angle, angle b 232 to the right edge 230.

FIG. 3 shows a top view of the trowel 100 having a corner 216 a base 210 and a means for holding the base 201, the base having a left edge 220 and a right edge 230, and a front edge 260, a rear edge 270 and an upper surface 291. In this embodiment all edges form a 90 degree angle with one another.

FIG. 4 shows a bottom view of the trowel 100 with its bottom surface 292 and means for attaching the base to the handle 250.

FIG. 5 shows the base 210 and the handle 200. In other embodiments the base and the handle may take on various shapes, such as circular, rounded, oblique, ergonomic or rounded. In addition, the handle may take on any orientation with respect to the base. Finally, the handle may be telescopic, or provide for an extension which screws or snaps in place, allowing the user to shape a surface in hard to reach places.

FIG. 6 shows the base 210 may be have a rounded surface 280 that is cylindrical or elliptical. In certain embodiments, the shape may be determined by the specific purpose which the user wishes to achieve. Radius a 293 forms angle d 294 and angle e 295, and demonstrates that the handle 200 may be oriented perpendicular to the base. In other embodiments, the angle of the handle 200 and radius a 293 can be oriented differently with respect to the base. This angle and radius may change whether the base is flat or curves, or even if the curve increases or decreases.

FIG. 7 shows that the kit consists of at least one trowel 100 having a base 210 and a handle 200, the base having a left edge 220 and a right edge 230, and a front edge 260 and a rear edge 270, and the area between the left edges 220 and the right edges 230 has a rounded surface, wherein the rounded surface 280 is cylindrical or elliptical and the rear edge 260 is oriented at a 45 degree angle, angle b 232 to the right edge 230.

FIG. 1 also shows the invention as a kit. The kit has at least one trowel 100 having a base 210 and handle 200, the base having a left edge 220 and a right edge 230, and a front edge 260 and a rear edge 270, and the area between the left and right edges has a rounded surface, wherein the rounded surface 280 is cylindrical or elliptical and the rear edge 270 is oriented at a 45 degree angle, angle a 231, to the left edge.

FIG. 2 shows the walls of a typical shower enclosure after the trowels of the present invention are used to prepare the rounded corners. Concrete (or other) materials are prepared. The still moist material is applied to the corner or the trowel, and spread over the corners. The rounded surface of the trowel creates a rounded shape with the concrete. Depending on the build up material used, in may require several layers to achieve the appropriate surface. The trowels with the angled edges can be used to create uniform rounded surfaces where the corners meet. After the concrete dries the rounded surface is suitable for receiving tiles, and in particular, mosaic tiles.

FIG. 9 shows one or more tile receivers 400. The tile receiver 400 has a channel 410 having at least three interconnected surfaces, wherein at least two surfaces are perpendicular surfaces 490, form a 90 degree angle 450, and wherein said perpendicular orientation permits the mounting surface 400 to be fastened to two perpendicularly oriented building surfaces. Further, the tile receiver 400 has a third surface, the tile receiving surface 440 which can receive mosaic tiles when the channel is affixed the perpendicularly oriented building surfaces. The third surface of this aspect of the invention may have a concave surface 430. Furthermore, the channel may have holes or tabs for mounting the object to perpendicularly oriented building surfaces. The channel 410 may have a beveled surface 510. The tile receiver 400 may be contain a hollow are 510 or be solid. Furthermore, there may have length markers 540 along the channel's 410 tile receiving surface 440, which permit the user to accurately cut the tile receiver 400 to a custom length for a particular use.

Furthermore, there may have length markers 540 along the channel's 410 tile receiving surface 440, which permit the user to accurately cut the tile receiver 400 to a custom length for a particular use.

FIG. 9B shows that the channel 410 may have a flat surface 510 that blends seamlessly into the surrounding walls. There may be cutting guide grooves 560 along the channel's 410 tile receiving surface 440, which permit the user to accurately cut the tile receiver 400 to a custom length for a particular use. In another embodiment, these grooves are perforated. The tile receiver may also consist of a solid filled area 480 or be hollow.

FIGS. 10 and 11 demonstrate how the tile receiver's perpendicular surfaces 490 attach to perpendicularly oriented surfaces 420. The tile receivers 400 can be placed horizontally or vertically. They may have different shaped ends so that when placed in a line or along a corner, the meet providing a virtually seamless line. In addition, the ends may be cut to an appropriate shape by the installer. In an alternative embodiment, all the tile receivers have straight edges, and a corner tile receiver 530 (FIG. 11) may be used to provide a smooth line in corners on which to attach tiles.

Materials from which the channel may be produced include, but are not limited to plastic, wood or metal. The channel can have a length of from 2 to 108 inches, and the two surfaces each have a height of from 1.5 to 15 inches.

The components of this invention may be made from include but are not limited to: metal, metal alloy, plastics, wood, composites. Other useful materials from which to manufacture any of the components of this invention include one or more plastics and resins, including but not limited to plastic, rubber, foam, silicone, ABS, Polycarbonate, Noryl™, PVC, Polystyrene, ABS/PVC, PVC/Acrylic, Polysulfone, Acrylic, Polyethylene, Kydex™, PETG; glass, including but not limited to fiberglass, borosilicate, or quartz; wood; metals, including but not limited to stainless steel, iron, tin, aluminum, copper; rubber including but not limited to natural rubber, SBR, Isoprene rubber, Butadiene rubber, and Chloroprene rubber; or any combinations or composites of these materials or other materials and new materials that may be manufactured in the future. The parts to the kit may be manufactured from identical or different components.

Finally, the kit may contain other components including the trowels, tiles, tile receivers, joint compound, grout, sponges and coloring for grout.

FIG. 13 is a view of a shower or a bath pan 700 with built-in, integrated or fitted channel 410. Such integration preferably occurs at the time the pan 700 is manufactured or a short time thereafter. The channel 410 is shown disposed around the perimeter of the pan 700 along the inner wall 800. The channel 410 is substantially concave and may be molded, stamped or otherwise formed out of a sidewall 760 or may be part of a separately manufactured tile receiver 400 that is then attached to the inner wall 800. This attachment may be done with adhesive, cement, welding, riveting, crimping, fastening, or any other means of attachment.

The channel 410 is preferably concave, but may also be convex or in lesser or greater arc radians of concave or convex slopes. The channel 410 may wrap around the entire perimeter of the inner wall 800 or may be positioned along one or more inner walls 800, in a connected, disconnected or even partial disposition of the channels 410. The channel 410 may be created with tile receiving surface 440, or may already contain a finished surface, either with tile, glaze, rubber, PVC, metal, enamel or any other type of surface not mentioned herein, but which is known or used by one skilled in the art. Joints 740 may be present. The joints 740 may be required to connect several tile receivers 400 together, or to create an illusion of a consistent or uniform finish between joints the tiles installed above the pan (not shown) and the pan itself 700. The joints 740 may also be needed if the channel 410 is completely or partially detachable from the pan 700. The corners 750 may be less then or greater than 90°, but may also be round in an arc that may be consistent with the curvature of the channel 410.

The pan contains a bottom wall 710 and a top surface 720, with a drain 730. This is a typical shower or bath pan. Alternatively, the channel 410 may be prefabricated with any pan-like embodiment. For example, any floor or wall surface suitable for receiving tiles or a similar finish, may be prefabricated with a channel 410, so as to minimize installation time, and reduce errors and complexity of installation. In such an embodiment, some or the entire outer wall 760 may be missing, and there may not be a drain hole 730.

The sidewall 760 preferably meets the bottom edge of the pan 820 at a perpendicular angle. Furthermore, in a square or perpendicular pan 700, the sidewalls meet at perpendicular, obtuse, or acute angles 830. Alternatively, the pan 700 may be substantially elliptically, or a separately formed outer sidewall 770 may be missing, in which case the outer sidewall 770 will take the shape of a reverse arc of the channel 410. The pan may be made of plastic, rubber, foam, silicone, ABS, Polycarbonate, Noryl™, PVC, Polystyrene, ABS/PVC, PVC/Acrylic, Polysulfone, Acrylic, Polyethylene, Kydex™, PETG; glass, including but not limited to fiberglass, borosilicate, or quartz; wood; metals, including but not limited to stainless steel, iron, tin, aluminum, copper; rubber including but not limited to natural rubber, SBR, Isoprene rubber, Butadiene rubber, and Chloroprene rubber; or any combinations or composites of these, and may made from the same or different material than the channel 410. The top surface 720 may be ready to receive tile or other finish or may already be in a finished state.

Still referring to FIG. 13, shown is a sidewall extension 780. The sidewall extension 780 is preferably present between the top, or beveled, or flat edge 510 and the top edge of the pan 790, along the inner sidewall 800. The sidewall extension 780 is preferably between 1″ and 3″ in height, or in a different height. The purpose of the sidewall extension 780 is to create a more seamless installation of tiling or other finishing surfaces along the wall that is above the pan 700 and over the pan itself. The top edge 510 and the bottom edge 520 may be raised or flush with either the inner sidewall 800 or a bottom surface 720 respectively. There may also be length markers 540 or guide grooves 560 present along or perpendicular to the length of the channel 410.

Although this invention has been described with a certain degree of particularity, it is to be understood that the present disclosure has been made only by way of illustration and that numerous changes in the details of construction and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and the scope of the invention.