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Publication numberUS3745733 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 17, 1973
Filing dateApr 13, 1972
Priority dateApr 13, 1972
Publication numberUS 3745733 A, US 3745733A, US-A-3745733, US3745733 A, US3745733A
InventorsLitvin R, Spadaro G
Original AssigneeLitvin R, Marino L
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Panel construction for modular bathrooms
US 3745733 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 Litvin et al.

[ 51 July 17,1973

[ 1 PANEL CONSTRUCTION FOR MODULAR BATHROOMS 75 Inventors: RobertL. Litvin, 1000 Lake Shore Plaza, Chicago; Giorgio L. Spadaro, Evanston, both of Ill.

[73] Assignees: Robert L. Litvin; Louisa L. Marino,

Chicago, lll. part interest to each 22} Filed: Apr-(13,1972

2'1 Appl. N0.: 243,615

Related US. Application Data [63] Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 243,614, April 13,

Primary Examiner-John E. Murtagh Attorney-Norman Lettvin [57] ABSTRACT A construction for modular bathrooms and powder rooms which includes a peripheral, panel-positioning floor track and at least four rectanguIarly-shaped wall panels, two of which are end wall panels and at least two of which are side wall panels. Each panel includes a unitary frame having top and bottom plate members and a plurality of parallel channel-like frame members joined at their ends to the top and bottom plate members. In one embodiment a premolded sheet-like fiberglass/polyester member may be secured to the frame to provide a finished decorative face for the room, and a layer of polyurethane foam is applied to the back of said sheet-like member and to portions of said unitary frame for reducing sound transmission through said panel and aiding in securing said face to said frame. Turnbuckle means are provided for engagement with rib-like projection means provided integral with the top and bottom plates for drawing and securing adjacent panels into close relation. Ceiling panel means may also be'provided which are hung from the top edges of the wall panels by unique hanger means and gasket means are provided for sealing the joint between the ceiling and the wall panel and for providing an attractive appearance along said junction.

10 Claims, 15 Drawing Figures 1 51 July 17, 1973 United States Patent I Litvin et al.

PAIENIED JUL 1 7 ma SHEET 1 0F 4 PATENIED JUL 1 7 I975 Pmmmwm 3745.733

SHEET U 0F 4 PANEL CONSTRUCTION FOR MODULAR BATHROOMS CROSS REFERENCE TO A RELATED APPLICATION This application is a continuation-in-part of U. S. Pat. application Ser. No. 243,614, filed Apr. 13, 1972.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to an improvement in modular bathroom constructions and in one particular aspect to an improved wall panel construction.

In the above-identified application there is disclosed as a preferred embodiment a modular bathroom construction in which a plurality of wall panels are provided which may be fabricated of a premolded fiberglass/polyester skin and a backing of foam polyurethane. Bracket means are provided along the side and forward upright or abutment edges and the bottom edges, which cooperate with gasket means to secure the panels in aligned relation to each other and in relation to an extruded floor track which defines the periphery of the bathroom.

Local building codes and architects may require wall panels which are of greater strength and to the back of which standard design fire walls may be secured. Furthermore, it is desirable to simplify the means by which the panels are held in aligned relation and to render the abutting edges more attractive.

It is therefore an object of this invention to provide strong lightweight wall panels to the back of which fire walls, wall board, panelling or other wall finishing material may be mounted. This permits the panel to form the basis of a divider wall between rooms such as bathrooms and bedrooms.

Another object of this invention is to provide wall panels having increased rigidity by incorporating within the panels a unitary structural frame.

It is yet another object of this invention to provide means for securing the panels in aligned relation, which means are concealed from view and are not readily detected.

Another object is to provide improved means for securing the panel in relation to the peripheral floor track.

A further object is to provide-improved celing support means and gasket means associated therewith for attractively closing the gap between the ceiling and its supporting wall panels.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION By virtue of this invention there is provided a modular bathroom construction which includes a plurality of stronglightweight rectangular wall panels. Each panel includes a unitary frame having top and bottom plates and a plurality of parallel, interconnecting channel-like framing members. A sheet-like skin is provided for securement to one side of the frame to provide a decorative face for the panel and a filler material is applied to the back side of the decorative face to provide sound deadening and to assist in securing the surface layer to the unitary frame. This panel provides increased strength and also provides a back surface and framing members to which other wall constructions, such as wall board or panelling, can be secured.

Tumbuckle means are provided in association with the top and bottom plates of the frame for interlocking adjacent panels in abutting relation. Similar means are also provided for securing the bottom edge of the panel to the peripheral track. The ceiling is supported from the top edges of the panels by means of a hanger which is secured to the top edge of the panel and along a peripheral edge of the ceiling. Gasket means are provided to close a gap between the ceiling and panel so as to prevent moisture from exiting the bathroom and to provide an attractive decorative finish.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a front perspective view of the interior of a typical rectangularly shaped bathroom constructed in accordance with this invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of a bathroom similar to that in FIG. l and including the front wall;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged, fragmentary, vertical sectional view taken substantially along line 3-3 of FIG. I depicting a side panel positioned in its floor track and the arrangement by which a ceiling panel is mounted to the upper edge of the side panel;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged, fragmentary, vertical sectional view showing the ceiling mounting in detail;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged, fragmentary, front elevational view taken substantially along line 5-5 of FIG. 3 showing the top portion of two wall panels in abutting relation and a turnbuckle arrangement for securing said panels in abutting relation;

FIG. 6 is a top plan view of said turnbuckle arrangement taken substantially along line 6-6 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a ceiling panel gasket for sealing the gap between a panel and the ceiling;

FIG. 8 is an enlarged, fragmentary, horizontal, sectional view taken substantially along line 8-8 of FIG. 1 showing the construction of a side wall and an end wall panel;

FIG. 9 is an enlarged, fragmentary view of a corner joint formed by the floor tracks;

FIG. 10 is an enlarged, fragmentary, vertical sectional view taken substantially along line ltl1l0of FIG. 1 showing a bathtub wall cap or cove molding for sealing the joint between an edge of a bathtub and the wall adjacent thereto;

FIG. 11 is a sectional view of footing or track member for use in connection with the bottom edge of a bathtub;

FIG. 12 is an enlarged, fragmentary front elevational view of a pair of adjacent abutting panels showing the interconnection thereof by the use of a double acting turnbuckle and its relation to the floor track;

FIG. 13 is an enlarged, cross-sectional view of the floor track taken substantially along line l3l3 of FIG. 12;

FIG. 14 is a top plan view showing the corner connection of a side wall and end wall panel; and

FIG. 15 is a perspective view showing the unitary frame which is incorporated into the panels of this invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings a bathroom 10, generally, is shown in which the plumbing fixtures including a water closet I2, vanity l4, lavatory I6, and bathtub 18 are enclosed and supported on a floor 20. A substantially continuous floor mounted peripheral track 22, generally, is providedwhich includes a longitudinally extending upwardly open channel 24 (see FIGS. 3 and 13). A plurality of substantially planar wall panels which serve as the walls for the room include left and right-hand end wall panels 26 and 28, back wall panels 30 and 32, and front wall panels 34 and 36. The bottom edge of each panel is adapted to be positioned in relation to the peripheral track means 22, by means of a longitudinally extending projection such as 38 which is adapted and arranged to be matingly received by the channel 24 in the floor track 22. Means described hereinafter are provided to lock the projection 38 to the track 22.

Each of the panels is generally rectangularly shaped with a relatively narrow edge and at least one rectangular face of each panel is finished to provide a decorative effect. In one suggested form this face may be fabricated of a preformed fiberglass/polyester mixture skinlike surface layer 40 and the decorative side of each panel includes a sub-portion or recess such as 42 or 44 which is indented relative to the remainder of the side to provide shoulders such as 46 and 48 for the mounting of decorative or utilitarian accessories such as towel bars or medicine cabinets. Each panel has two upright or abutment edges which extend transverse to the bottom edge of that panel. The edges of adjacent panels are of the same size and may afford substantial aligned relation between the upright edges of each pair of adjacent panels. The two end wall panels 26 and 28 have their upright abutment edges, such as 50 and 52 on panel 26, located in a plane substantially parallel to the finished rectangular face 54. The panels forming the front and back walls such as 30 and 32 have their abutment edges 56, 58, 60 and 62, substantially perpendicular to the rectangular faces 64 and 66. Tumbuckle means as described hereinafter interlock the panels in an aligned relation so as to position adjacent panels with respect to each other.

Each panel includes a unitary strengthening frame 68 as shown in FIG. 15. The frame includes sheet metal top and bottom plates 70 and 72, and a plurality of vertical channel-like metal framing members 74, 76, 78 and 80, which extend vertically for about full height of the panel and which are spot welded at their ends to the front and back over-hanging flange of the top and bottom plates 70 and 72. The abutment edges are formed by the end framing members 74 and 80.

The premolded skin 40 is cemented to the frame 68 by means of a polyurethane cement or by a subsequently applied layer of polyurethane foam 82. In addition to providing securement for the skin 40 to the frame 68, the foam layer also provides a sound absorption or dissipating means which reduces sound transmission through the panel. One difference between the side and end wall panel frames is that rather than having a channel-like member forming a side abutment edge such as 56, a box section framing member forms a forwardly spaced end abutment edge such as 50.

With panels constructed as described herein other wall finishing surfaces can be secured to the back side thereof. For example, a fire wall 84 which is fabricated in the standard manner using spaced wall-board sections may be nailed to the back surface of the end panel 28 at the respective box sections and channels. This permits construction of fire wall in accordance with local building codes. Decorative surfaces may also be applied to the back of these panels such as a single thick wallboard section 86 or wall paneling which is secured to the panels 34 and 36. The top and bottom plates and 72 are each provided with longitudinallyextending rib-like projections 88 and 38 respectively.

The rib-like projection 38 as seen in FIGS. 3 and 13 includes a downwardly and rearwardly sloping back wall 90 which is arranged to abut a downwardly and rearwardly sloping channel back wall 92. This sloping wall may be characterized as a re-entrant surface forming an acute angle with the bottom surface of the channel 24. The panel is held in the peripheral track by means of a plurality of set screws 94 which threadably engage the front wall 96 of the channel and abut the front wall 98 of the rib 38 so as to urge and hold the mating surfaces 90 and 92 in locking relation. Carpetengaging box section means 100 and rib-like feet means 102 are provided integral with said track 22 as described in the above-identified United States Patent Application.

The peripheral floor track 22, generally, forms a corner as shown in FIG. 9 in which the track 22a is an end wall track and the track 22b is a side wall track. A combination square and mitered comer is formed in which the carpet-engaging sections 100a and 100b are mitered at 45 to provide a continuous carpet-engaging section and the channel sections 24a and 24b are square cut in that the channel section 24b is cut directly rearwardly from the mitered cut and the channel section 24a continues in the same direction. This arrangement permits the end wall bottom rib-like projection to engage the full length of the track while not interfering with the engagement of the side wall panels and its floor track.

The panels are held in abutting and aligned relation by means of top and bottom turnbuckle members 104 and 106 and a top U-shaped cap arrangement 108. The upper projections 88a and 88b of panels 30 and 32 respectively include an upwardly and rearwardly sloping back wall 110. When two wall sections are brought into abutting relation as shown in FIG. 6, the rib-like members 88a and 88b are in alignment and the cap 108 forms a bridge or solid connection which holds both the panels in substantially planar alignment.

In order to hold the panels in abutting relation one end of each of the turnbuckle arms 112 and 114 extend through slots I16 and 118 in the cap 108 and into armreceiving apertures I20 and 122 which are provided in the respective ribs 88a and 88b. The other end of each of the arms is threaded for engagement with an internally threaded turn-buckle sleeve 124. The arms are provided with threads of the opposite hand and the sleeve is threaded such that by rotating the sleeve 124 in one direction the arms 112 and 114 can be drawn toward one another which draws the panels into abutting relation. Similar slots and apertures can be provided both in the front, top, or back of the rib-like projections and the alignment cap member. Thus, depending upon the space permitted and how access is achieved, the panels may be secured from a plurality of different positions.

The connection between an end panel such as 26 and side panel such as 30 is shown in FIG. 14 where the arms of turnbuckle 126 engages the arm-receiving apertures in the top of each of the respective rib-like sections 88a and 88c. The bottom rib-like projections 38 are also provided with arm-receiving apertures and the turnbuckle 106 shown in FIG. 12 extends through slots provided in the front wall of the peripheral track so as to permit the arms of the turnbuckle 106 to engage the arm-receiving apertures and draw the bottom edges of the panel into abutting relation.

The ceiling panel 128 is slightly smaller than the inner dimensions of the bathroom which permits the ceiling to be installed after the room has been erected by means of ceiling hangers such as 130. The hanger 130 is shaped to matingly engage the top projection 88b, and it extends forwardly of the face of the panel,

downwardly therefrom, and has a forwardly projecting flange which is adapted to be positioned in a recess 132 in the peripheral edge of the ceiling. The downwardly extending hanger portion is positioned against the periphe'ry of the ceiling 128 and an extruded, resilient gasket member 134 inserted between the hanger and the front face of the panel. This gasket provides a moisture-proof seal, hides the hanger, and attractively finishes the ceiling joint. The gasket 134 is generally L- shaped in cross-section with the long leg 136 having a plurality of sawtooth-like ridges on both sides thereof, and the. short leg 138 having a slot or groove 140 for covering the head of a screw or bolt 142 by which the ceiling is secured to the hanger. The end of the short leg 138 is curved so as to mate with the recess 132. After the ceiling has been secured to the hanger, the gasket is positioned as shown in FIG. 4 and pushed upwardly into the gap between the ceiling and the wall panel. The sawtooth ridges of the long leg flex hold the gasket in position between the ceiling and the panel as seen in FIG. 3.

The ceiling panel itself may be flat, but in the preferred embodiment, the'ceiling is provided with a laterally extending dished section 142 in which a lighting fixture can beinstalled. The recessed section is positioned between the ends of the ceiling so as to provide most efiicient lighting which in this case is offset from the center of the ceiling. In the event that other lighting fixtures are to be used, the recessed section can be used as a chase through which various conduits, ductwork, and the like, can pass. In one embodiment the ceiling .panel isa one and one-half inch thick premolded fiberglass/polyester, panel and since the loads on the ceiling are generally small, the panel need not be reinforced with a frame. I

The plumbing fixtures are installed and the bathtube is mounted on a special bathtub footing 144 which includes a plurality of floor-engaging feet 146 and a carpet-receiving section 148. The carpet-receiving section 148 aligns with the sections 100 so as to provide a substantially continuous carpetengaging section about the room. The peripheral edges of the bathtub which engage the walls 32 and 28 are provided with an extruded cove molding 150 which is cemented to the finished face of the adjacent panel and bathtub flange.

In another construction, each panel can be molded from a uniform moldable shape-sustaining material in which one surface forms the finished front face thereby eliminating the separate bonded surface layer of the previously described panel construction.

It will be appreciated that numerous changes and modifications can be made to the embodiment disclosed herein without departing from the spirit and scope of this invention.

What is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:

I. An improved modular bathroom construction comprising, in'combination, two rectangularly-shaped end wall panels and at least two rectangularly shaped side wall panels, each of which is pre-shaped and includes a molded portion that provides a surface that forms a finished front face for the panel, means for holding the panels in substantially aligned relation along adjacent edges integral with each of said panels, floor track means cooperating'with said panels to define an enclosed room in which plumbing fixtures, decorative and utilitarian accessories, and the like, may be installed to complete the construction of the bathroom, and each of said panels including top and bottom metal plate members and a plurality of elongated framing members, each joined at one end to said top plate and at the other end to said bottom plate, and embedded in the molded portion of the panel rearwardly of the tinished face.

2. A construction as in claim 1 wherein said bottom plate member includes a rib-like projection which extends along the bottom of said panel and is adapted to be received by mating means associated with said track means.

3. A construction as in claim 1 wherein said top plate member includes a rib-like projection which extends along the top edge of said panel.

4. A construction as in claim 3 wherein there is further provided a U-shaped clip member adapted to matingly engage and overlie the rib-like projections of adjacent panels for maintaining said panels in planar alignment.

5. A construction as in claim 4 wherein there is also provided double acting turnbuckle means which are adapted to engage means associated with the top riblike projections of adjacent panels and draw and maintain said panels into closely spaced relation.

6. A construction as in claim 5 wherein said turnbuckle means include a pair of turnbuckle arms and said engagement means include arm-receiving apertures each of which are adapted to receive one of said turnbuckle arms, said arms adapted to be drawn together and therby draw and hold said panels in closely spaced relation. 7

7. A construction as in claim 2 wherein the means a sociated with said track is a channel which defines front, back and bottom wall sections and said back wall slopes rearwardly from top to bottom so as to define a re-entrant surface and an acute angle between the back and bottom walls of said channel, and wherein the riblike projection for each bottom plate member includes a sloping back surface arranged to matingly abut the back wall of said channel.

8. A construction as in claim 7 wherein there is further provided adjustable lock means in association with said channel for locking the back surface of said riblike projections in abutting relation with the sloping reentrant wall of said channel.

9. A construction as in claim 1 wherein there is further provided ceiling panel means and hanger bracket means for supporting said ceiling means from said panels, said hanger means being securable at one end to the top plate member of each of said wall panel means and at the other end to said ceiling means, shaped, resilient gasket means also are provided which are arranged to fit between the periphery of said ceiling and said panel to seal the room and hide said hanger from sight within the room.

10. A construction as in claim 1 wherein said top and bottom plate members are welded to said channelshaped metal members so as to form said unitary frame. l II t i t

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3999344 *Aug 4, 1975Dec 28, 1976Jansen Wilhelmus Theodorus MarBuilding construction and wall panel for such construction
US4038796 *Dec 23, 1975Aug 2, 1977Eckel Industries, Inc.Wall panel assembly
US5159723 *Dec 23, 1991Nov 3, 1992Benedict Ray BBathtub
US7481030 *Oct 1, 2004Jan 27, 2009Grunst Kenneth DMethods and structures for sealing air gaps in a building
US20050055910 *Oct 1, 2004Mar 17, 2005Grunst Kenneth D.Methods and structures for sealing air gaps in a building
DE3305863A1 *Feb 19, 1983Sep 6, 1984Bantam Sanitaer GmbhMobile sanitary unit
EP0006429A1 *May 4, 1979Jan 9, 1980Hüppe Duscha GmbHPartition for a shower or bath division
U.S. Classification52/262, 52/34, 52/264
International ClassificationA47K4/00, E04B2/76
Cooperative ClassificationE04B2/76, A47K4/00
European ClassificationE04B2/76, A47K4/00