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Publication numberUS3028603 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 10, 1962
Filing dateJul 14, 1960
Priority dateJul 14, 1960
Publication numberUS 3028603 A, US 3028603A, US-A-3028603, US3028603 A, US3028603A
InventorsRodman Clarence J
Original AssigneeRodman Clarence J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Detachable bathtub apron
US 3028603 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 10, 1962 c. J. RODMAN DETACHABLE BATHTUB APRdN Filed July 14, 1960 FIG. I

CLARENCE J.

R DMAN 2 Sheets-Sheet l ENTOR.

ATTORNEYS A ril 10, 1962 c. RODMAN. 3,023,603

DETACHABLE BATHTUB 'APRON Filed July 14, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG? 5 I42 [4| I20 233 225 23l (22a /ao F 6 INVENTOR. CLARENCE .1. R DMAN flz i d W ATTORNEYS 3,028,603 DETACHABLE BATHTUB APRON Clarence J. Rodman, 1315 S. Union Ave., Alliance, Ohio Filed July 14, 1960, Ser. No. 42,812 Claims. (Cl. 4-173) The invention relates generally to free hanging bathtubs, and more particularly to a quickly and easily detachable apron for such bathtubs.

Conventional bathtubs of sheet metal are provided with front panels or aprons which are not detachable so that, in order to make the plumbing connections at the head of the tub after the tub is set, access thereto must be provided through a door or opening in the wall against which the head of the tub abuts. This same door opening is necessary for making repairs.

A general object of the present invention is to provide an improved detachable front apron for a bathtub-by means of which access can be had to the plumbing connections of the tub.

The Bowden Patent No. 2,919,449 shows a tub having a removable front panel for this same general purpose but the construction has certain disadvantages. In the first place, the patent requires a molding strip to be attached to the floor by screws, and this molding must be atent removed and replaced each time the panel is removed.

Such operation is bound to damage or disfigure the molding so as to mar its appearance when replaced.

Secondly, the bottom of the panel of the patent rests on a thin block or blocks on the floor, so that even with the molding removed the block or blocks must be removed before the panel can be swung outwardly, and the blocks have to be replaced when the panel is to be replaced. The patent shows a modification wherein the panel rests on the fioor instead of blocks, but in either case it is quite ditficult to take hold of the panel to swing it outwardly because the panel is designed normally to abut walls at either end.

Accordingly, another object of the present invention is to provide an improved detachable bathtub apron which requires no molding or trim strips of any sort.

A further object is to provide an improved detachable bathtub apron which can be easily taken hold of and swung outwardly for removal without removing any molding or supporting blocks or the like.

Another object is to provide an improved detachable bathtub apron construction which resiliently snaps into and is resiliently held in position.

A further object is to provide an improved detachable bathtub apron which has novel hand holds for swinging the apron outwardly.

A still further object is to provide a novel detachable bathtub apron construction adapted to provide toe space below the apron. I

These and other objects are accomplished by the improvements comprising the present invention, preferred embodiments of which are shown by way of example in the accompanying drawings and described in detail herein. Various modifications and changes in details of construction are comprehended within the scope of the vention as defined in the appended claims.

Referring to the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view showing a tub with one embodiment of the improved detachable apron attached thereto.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical section Ehrough the tub and apron in installed position on a oor.

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary front elevation thereof, partly broken away.

FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 2 of another embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 5 is a front elevation, partly broken away, of the embodiment of FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view on line 6-6 of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 2 of another modification.

FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIG. 2 of still anothe modification.

The bathtub shown in FIG. 1 may be formed from sheet metal, and preferably has a bell 10 with a horizontal rim portion around the upper edge of the bell. Upturned guard flanges 11 and 12 are formed at the head and foot respectively of the rim, and an upturned guard flange 13 extends along the rear edge of the rim. Along the front edge of the front rim portion 14 and coextensive therewith is a downturned flange 15 terminating in an inturned leg 16.

The flanges 11, 12 and 13 are adapted to abut the building walls forming a recess for the bathtub, and one or both ends of the rim may be provided with an attaching flange 17 below the guard flange. Stringer supports attached to the walls support the rim of the tub at the ends and rear thereof, so that the bottom of the bell is spaced above the floor 18.

The front panel or apron, indicated as a whole at 219 in FIGS. 1-3, has inturned flange 21 along its upper edge adapted to abut the leg 16, and pins 22 at or near each end of flange 21 enter holes 22' in flange 16 to provide detachable interengaging connection means. The central part of the apron may be provided with an indented panel 23 which is ornamental and also reinforces the apron to increase its rigidity.

The height of the apron 20 is such that its bottom edge terminates well above the floor 18 to provide a toe space between the floor and the apron. An inturned flange 25 is provided along the bottom edge of the apron and spaced apart holes 26 are provided in the flange 25 to provide finger holds for pulling outwardly on the bottom of the apron to remove it. The ends of the panel preferably have inturned flanges 27 to abut the end walls.

An apron-retaining bracket 28 has an angular bottom flange 29 secured to the floor, or preferably on top of the floor covering 30, by screws 31, and has a preferably vertical leg 32. An angular bracket support is secured to the upper end of leg 32, and preferably has a forwardly extending flange 33 and an upstanding leg 34 vertically adjustably secured to leg 32 by means of bolts 35 passing through slots 36 and 37 in legs 32 and 34, respectively.

The flange 33 and the inturned flange 25 of the apron are provided with longitudinal ribs or corrugations which are adapted to frictionally and resiliently interengage when the panel is pushed inwardly into position with the pins 22 entered in the registering holes in the leg 16 of the rim flange 15. These ribs may have a zig-zag cross section, and are formed so that the ribs 25 on flange 2.5 will snap or springinto interfitting engagement with the ribs 33' on flange 33, and so that the flange 25 can be pulled out of engagement with flange 33' by inserting ones fingers into the holes 26 and pulling outwardly on the bottom of the apron. The slots 36, 37 allow adjustment of the flange 33 to assure a tight snap fit.

Accordingly, the apron can be removed and replaced at will to allow access to the plumbing connections at the head of the tub, without requiring removal of molding strips or blocks and the like, and Without requiring the use of any tools. Moreover, the apron is resiliently held in place on the bracket and provides support for the front rim of the tub under load.

In order to facilitate entering the pins 22 into holes 22 when installing the a ron, stop fingers 45 are attached to the flange 16 to provide abutments for the flange 21 of the apron so as to locate the pins is registry with the holes. These stop fingers may have angular flanges as secured to the flange 16 as by spot welding, adjacent to the holes 22', and depend from the rear edge of said flange 16.

In the embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 46, the height of the apron 123 to extended so that the bottom flange 125' thereof is closely adjacent to or abutting the floor covering 13%. The inturned flange 125 has a zigzag cross section forming ribs 125 for resilently interfitting ribs 133 on the forwardly extending flange of the bracket 134. The bracket 134 is vertically adjustably secured to the vertical leg 132 of the bracket support by bolts 135 so that flange 125 can rest on the floor covering 130, and the bracket support has a bottom horizontal flange 129 secured to the floor 13 by screws 131. Thus, a floor covering 13% of tile or linoleum, for example, may be pro-installed and the apron snapped into position in tight abutment therewith.

The bracket support 132 preferably has a top horizontal flange 149 extending rearwardly toward the bell it of the tub, and this flange provides a convenient shelf for storing and concealing articles in the bathroom.

Preferably, each end of the front face of the apron is provided with a finger hold 141 punched or formed out of the sheet metal to provide a forwardly spaced flange 142, behind which ones fingers can be inserted to pull outwardly on the bottom portion of the apron to disengage the ribs 125' from the ribs 133. As shown, these finger holds 141 are vertically disposed but, obviously, they may be horizontally disposed with the finger openings at the bottom. In either case, the outer flange 142 provides a shield over the opening formed in the apron to prevent the entrance of water, which may be accidentally splashed in that direction, and also provides an ornamental appearance at the finger hold.

In the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 7, the apron 229 has a height similar to that shown in FIG. 2 to provide a toe space, and is provided with the inturned flange 225 with the ribs 225 thereon. In this case, the bracket support 223 and the forwardly extending flange 233, which is engaged by the ribs 225, are in one piece. The bottom flange 229 of the bracket support is secured to the floor by means of screws 231. The apron 220 may be provided with finger holds similar to those shown at 141 in the embodiment of FIGS. and 6, or with finger holds such as those shown at 25 in FIG. 2, as desired.

In the embodiment of FIG. 8, the apron 32% may be identical with the apron 26 shown in FIG. 2, having the same type of zigzag ribs 325 on the bottom inturned flange 325. The bracket support 328 is preferably the same construction as the bracket support 23 in FIG. 2 and has the angular bracket 334 adjustably secured thereon by screws 335.

In this case, however, the forwardly extending flange is provided at intervals with upwardly turned tongues 344- at the rear of the ribs 333', said tongues forming stops against which the inner edge of flange 325 on the apron abuts when the ribs 325' and 333 are in L ght engagemerit.

In all embodiments of the improved detachable bathtub apron, the apron can be quickly and easily assembled on the tub after all plumbing connections have been made at the head end of the tub, with the tub set in place, by working through the opening normally occupied by the apron, All that is necessary to install the apron is to insert the pins 22 in the holes in the leg 16 of the rim flange and then push inwardly on the bottom of the apron to snap the zigzag ribs on the apron into engagement with the interfitting ribs on the bracket flange. No molding strips or trim strips of any kind are required to complete the installation.

At any time, the apron can be quickly and easily removed by grasping the lower part of the apron, using the finger holds, and pulling outwardly to disengage the interfltting ribs. The apron can be removed and replaced as often as desired without any danger of damaging or disfiguring the appearance of the apron or the adjoining parts.

What is claimed is:

1. A detachable apron for the front side of a wall supported bathtub having an inturned upper rim flange, said rim flange and said apron having interengaging detachable connection means, a bracket supported on the floor coextensive with said apron and having a forwardly extending flange, and an inturned flange at the bottom of said apron for frictionally and resiliently engaging said bracket flange to retain said apron in place.

2. A detachable apron for the front side of a wall supported bathtub having an inturned upper rim flange, said rim flange and said apron having interengaging de tachable connection means, a bracket supported on the floor coextensive with said apron, a forwardly extending flange vertically adjustably mounted on said bracket, and an inturned flange at the bottom of said apron for frictionally and resiliently engaging said bracket flange to retain said apron in place.

3. A detachable apron for the front side of a wall supported bathtub having an inturned upper rim flange, said rim flange and apron having interengaging detachable connection means, said apron having an inturned resilient flange along its bottom edge, a supporting bracket coextensive with said apron, a forwardly extending flange vertically adjustably mounted on said bracket, ribs on said flanges adapted to interengage to hold said apron in place, and a rearwardly extending flange at the top of said bracket providing shelf space between the bracket and the bathtub.

4. A detachable apron for the front side of a wall supported bathtub according to claim 1, in which the bracket flange and the inturned flange at the bottom of the apron are spaced above the floor to provide toe space.

5. A detachable apron for the front side of a wall supported bathtub according to claim 2, in which the bracket flange and the inturned flange at the bottom edge of the apron are spaced above the floor to provide toe space.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,528,432 Heckathorn Oct. 31, 1950 FOREIGN PATENTS 802,200 Great Britain Oct. 1, 1958 838,492 Germany May 8, 1952

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2528432 *Jun 27, 1946Oct 31, 1950Mullins Mfg CorpSeparable bathtub apron
DE838492C *Oct 28, 1950May 8, 1952Gustavsbergs Fabriker AbVorrichtung zum Aneinanderbefestigen von zwei eine Ecke bildenden Verkleidungen an der Vorder- und einer Stirnseite einer Badewanne aus gepresstem Blech
GB802200A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3257669 *Jul 8, 1963Jun 28, 1966Fay Allyn CBath tub fitted with removable panel, center drain and wall sealing means
US3283340 *Jul 22, 1963Nov 8, 1966American Radiator & StandardBathtub and bathtub drain structure
US3299444 *Dec 2, 1963Jan 24, 1967Gangelhoff Vernon EBathtub construction
US4180874 *Mar 13, 1978Jan 1, 1980Owens-Corning Fiberglas CorporationBathtub assembly
US5182821 *Sep 24, 1991Feb 2, 1993Dutton-Lainson CompanyPanel construction for bathing tub
US5208924 *Feb 19, 1991May 11, 1993Gaylan Industries, Inc.Decorative bathtub front enclosure
US5383240 *Feb 4, 1994Jan 24, 1995Weeks, Sr.; Alton S.Adjustable trim strips for bathroom fixtures
US5864898 *Aug 13, 1996Feb 2, 1999Kohler Co.Apron assembly for a bathing fixture
US5940906 *Jan 16, 1998Aug 24, 1999Kohler Co.Apron assembly for a bathing fixture
US6195815 *Oct 26, 1999Mar 6, 2001Taplanes LimitedUnit for a shower
US6434764 *May 14, 2001Aug 20, 2002Mirolin Industries CorporationWater-proof joint for tub surround
US6691339Sep 18, 2002Feb 17, 2004Aqua Glass CorporationWater-proof joint for tub surround
US7278175Jan 20, 2004Oct 9, 2007Lasco Bathware, Inc.Tub skirt panel system
US9486113 *Mar 12, 2014Nov 8, 2016Kohler Co.Bathtub apron assembly
US20050097667 *Jan 20, 2004May 12, 2005Lasco Bathware, Inc.Tub skirt panel system
US20070033728 *Aug 10, 2005Feb 15, 2007Masco CorporationSnap fit access panel for tub
US20090255050 *Apr 9, 2009Oct 15, 2009Nicolas LebrunMagnetized apron assembly
US20140259362 *Mar 12, 2014Sep 18, 2014Kohler Co.Bathtub apron assembly
EP3050552A3 *Jan 26, 2016Sep 28, 2016Bullfrog International, L.C.Spa cabinet attachment
WO1997045047A1 *Apr 11, 1997Dec 4, 1997Industriverken Plåt & Emalj AbBath arrangement, stand and method of mounting
Classifications
U.S. Classification4/559, 4/584
International ClassificationA47K3/16
Cooperative ClassificationA47K3/161
European ClassificationA47K3/16B