US 3319389 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 16, 1967 B. LEVINE 3,319,339
SUSPENDED CEILING ASSEMBLY INCLUDING INTERLOCKING GRID MEMBERS AND COVER MOLDINGS Filed Aug. 4, 1964 I l l I l I I /Z/ INVENTOR.
BENSON LEVINE ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,319,389 SUSPENDED CEILING ASSEMBLY INCLUDING INTERLOCKING GRID MEMBERS AND COVER MOLDINGS Benson Levine, West Hartford, Conn., assignor to B & L Lighting Company, Hartford, Conn., a corporation of (Zonnecticut Filed Aug. 4, 1964, Ser. No. 387,368 3 Claims. (Cl. 52-309) This invention relates to suspended ceiling assemblies of the type customarily employed to support ceiling panels of translucent material, acoustic tile material or the like, and particularly to such suspended ceiling assemblies wherein a grid of interlocked members underlies and supports the ceiling panels.
Prior art suspended ceiling assemblies for supporting ceiling panels have generally been fabricated entirely of metal to provide the required strength and rigidity. The grid members of such ceilings are painted or in some cases burnished metal finish. The choice of finished appearance is very limited, however, and such painted metal grids are not readily adaptable to match the decor of a wood panelled room, for instance.
The present invention is directed to a particular suspended ceiling assembly which employs a cover molding preferably made of a wood having a decorative and attractive grain. The cover molding, when assembled with the other members of the applicants suspended ceiling assembly, provides a snugly fitting, unique border to the ceiling panels and is the only portion of the assembly visible from the interior of the room in which it is installed.
It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved suspended ceiling assembly, lending itself to an unusually attractive and decorative finished appearance which may be selected to blend with the decor of a room.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a suspended ceiling assembly which is readily adaptable to many configurations and proportionalities of assembly in a grid pattern, and having a broad variety of selectable finished appearances.
A further object of the present invention is to provide an improved ceiling assembly including a cover molding adapted to being readily cut and fitted on the site of installation.
Other objects and additional advantages of the present invention will be apparent from a reading of the following detailed description and the claims, taken together with the attached drawing, wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the finished suspended ceiling assembly as it appears from the interior of a room.
FIGURE 2 is a perspective View of several interlocking sections of the suspended ceiling assembly of the present invention, and,
FIGURES 3 and 4 are top elevational views of several pairs of interlocking sections of the suspended ceiling assembly of the present invention showing parallel supporting members and interlocked cross members fitted therebetween.
The suspended ceiling assembly of the present invention is comprised of a plurality of supporting members which are interlocked to form a grid onto which ceiling panels or translucent lighting panels are placed to be supported thereon and form the ceiling facing the interior of a room. The supporting members may be of generally T-shaped cross-sectional configuration, each having a web portion with flanges extending transversely from one end of the web portion. A cover molding, preferably of wood having a decorative and attractive grain, is cut with a T-shaped slot along its major axis to slidingly receive the flanges of the supporting members. The molding is notched so as to accommodate the abutting flange portions of the supporting members at each point where they are interlocked at right angles with adjacent members. Thus, the finished ceiling viewed from the interior of the room appears to be comprised only of the supported ceiling or lighting panels, and a grid defined by the snugly fitting decorative molding disposed in a multiple rectangular configuration.
A small section of such a ceiling is shown in FIG- URE 1, wherein the suspended panels 10 are supported by a ceiling assembly of the present invention which when viewed from the interior of a room appears only as a decorative molding 11 forming a grid intersecting at right angles with like molding sections 12 and '13. The finished ceiling, as can be seen from FIGURE 1, presents the attractive appearance of a snugly fitting abutment of the moldings 13 and 12, which meet the molding '11 at right angles on either side thereof. Although only a small portion of the ceiling is shown in FIG- URE 1, the same attractive aspect and appearance is realized in a large grid of the suspended ceiling assembly such as would cover the entire ceiling area of a room and the suspended ceiling assembly of the present invention is adaptable to use in virtually any size of room.
FIGURE 2 shows in more detail the several interlocking members of the suspended ceiling assembly of the present invention, as well as the manner in which the finished molding used in the present invention is adapted to slidingly engage the support members and is so shaped as to accommodate the flange portions of interlocking support members where they abut each other at right angles. In FIGURES 2, 3, and 4 a portion of a ceiling assembly grid is shown, which comprises preferably a plurality of supporting members ;-15 arranged in parallel relationship with each other. Each supporting member 15 is comprised of a web portion 16 and flange portions 17 extending transversely from one end of the web portion 16. Similarly, the cross members 18, each comprise a web portion 19 and flange portions 20 extending transversely from one end of the web portion 19.
The parallel supporting members 15 are adapted to interlockingly engage at right angles with the cross members 18 so that the flange portion 17 of the supporting member 15 is abutted by the flange portions 20 of the cross member 18. This arrangement is perhaps most clearly shown in FIGURES 3 and 4 where like members of the suspended ceiling assembly of the present inven tion are shown by the same numerical designations as in FIGURE 2. The flange portion 17 of the supporting member 15, as is clearly shown in the top elevation view of FIGURE 3, is abutted at right angles by the flange portions 20 of the cross member 18.
As best shown in FIGURE 2, the decorative cover molding 21 is of an elongated C-shaped configuration so as to slidingly receive the flanges 17 and 20 of the supporting members 15 and cross members 18. Additionally, the cover molding 21 is notched, as may most clearly be seen at 22, so that flange portions of a cross member snugly abut the flange portion of the supporting member in a right angular relationship, where the supporting member 15 is interlocked to the cross member 18.
The cover molding 21, which is slidingly fitted to the flange portions 20 of cross member 18, is of a length to snugly abut the molding 21 which covers the flange portions 17 of the supporting member 15 and the cover molding of the next adjacent parallel supporting member.
Cross members of the ceiling assembly are interlocked in a right angular grid configuration with the supporting members by a suitable interlocking means such as that shown in FIGURES 2 and 3, where apertures 23 are provided in the supporting member to receive a first interlocking means 24 afiixed to the web portion 19 of the cross member 18. A second interlocking means in the form of a U-shaped member 25 is aflixed to the web portion 26 of the adjacent cross member 27, and slides down between the pair of flanges 29 of the first interlocking means 24, engaging the detents 28 in the flanges 29 and retaining the cross members 18 and 27 in right angular abutting relationship to the supporting member 15.
FIGURES 3 and 4 illustrate two right angular interlocking portions of a suspended ceiling assembly. Numerical designations are the same in FIGURE 4 as comparable members in FIGURES 2 and 3. Two parallel supporting members 15 are shown interlocked to a cross member 18 so that the respective flanges -17 and of those interlocked members abut to provide a rigid assembly and the respective cover moldings 21 and 27 snugly fit at right angles to give a neat, appealing appearance to the interior of the room.
It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that, while the present invention is shown as employing a T-shaped cross-sectional configuration for both the supporting members and the cross members of the suspended ceiling assembly and grid, I-shaped members or any other suitable configuration having suflicient strength and including flanges to slidingly receive a slotted cover molding can be employed within the concept of the present invention.
In assembling an entire ceiling grid, the parallel supporting members of the present invention are preferably interlocked with cross members at equally spaced intervals. The slotted molding which slidingly fits the supporting members is notched as previously described, and is slidingly adjusted so as to accommodate the abutting flange portions of the interlocking cross members. The cross members in turn are provided with cover molding of a length to precisely fit between the cover molding of adjacent parallel support members. Substantially the same assembly procedure is carried out for the entire ceiling area and lastly, ceiling panels of acoustic tile, translucent panels or the like are positioned to rest on the flanges of the parallel supporting and cross members forming the multi-rectangular grid.
As will be apparent to those skilled in the art, another advantage of employing the cover molding of the type disclosed and conceived by the present invention is that the cover molding may be readily notched at any desired points to accommodate the flange portions of cross members at additional interlocking points of abutment or at differently spaced intervals Where cross members abut the supporting members.
. The wood cover molding may be provided in large lengths and cut to desired length for both the parallel supporting members and cross members at the site of installation. Though it is usually most economical to use the identical molding for both the parallel supporting members and cross members, different sizes or different configurations of molding may be chosen and used equally well within the spirit and concept of the present invention.
Although it has been found that slotted wood molding having a decorative grained effect is readily available and adaptable for use in the present invention, it will be evident to those skilled in the art that slotted cover molding of decorative and attractive plastic or other suitable materials can also be employed with the present invention.
One of the most desirable features of the present invention is that the completed assembly imparts a custom installation appearance to a suspended ceiling without greatly adding to the cost of either materials or labor in its assembly and the wood molding completely covers and hides from view any scratches, minor bends, dents or other imperfections which may appear in the flanges of the supporting and cross members as a result of the manufacturing process, handling, shipping or installation.
Since many changes could be made in the above construction and many apparently widely different embodiments of the invention could be made without departing from the scope or spirit thereof, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as i1lus trative and not in a limiting sense.
Having thus described the invention, I claim:
1. A suspended ceiling assembly comprising a grid of parallel supporting members and cross members extending normally thereto, said grid members being of generally T-shaped cross-sectional configuration providing a vertically extending web portion and flange portions at the lower end of said web portions extending normally thereto, the ends of the flange portions of said cross members abutting against the sides of the flange portions of said parallel supporting members and said flange portions of both grid members lying in a common plane; interlocking means engaging the ends of the web portions of said cross members with the web portions of said parallel supporting members and locking said grid members at right angles to each other with the flange portions thereof in abutment, said interlocking means resting substantially upon the upper surface of the flange portions of said parallel supporting members; and cover moldings each having an inverted T-shaped slot therein slidably receiving the flange portions of said grid members, the cover moldings of said parallel supporting members having notches in the upper portions thereof receiving the ends of the abutting flange portions of said interlocked cross members, said notches being of lesser length than the width of said cover moldings whereby the cover moldings of said cross members conceal the notches in said moldings of said parallel supporting members from Observation from below said assembly, the lower Surfaces of said cover moldings lying in substantially a common plane.
2. The suspended ceiling assembly of claim 1 wherein said cover moldings consist of milled unitary wooden sections.
3. The suspended ceiling assembly of claim 1 wherein said cover moldings consist of unitary synthetic plastic sections.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,074,656 3/1937 Luhl 52-466 X 2,866,527 12/1958 Schilling 52466 X 3,023,865 3/1962 Brandstetter 52475 3,159,252 12/1964 Cotts 52727 3,189,139 6/1965 Znamirowski 52-667 X 3,213,979 10/1965 Oiler 52475 X FOREIGN PATENTS 248,293 1962 Australia.
FRANK L. ABBOTT, Primary Examiner.
JOHN E. MURTAGH, Examiner.