US 3783456 A
The outer side rim of a tub or a shower has a rib along the outer, upper margin forming an abutment and water seal for a closure such as a weighted curtain or sliding shower doors. In the case of sliding shower doors, further guidance for the doors is provided by an upstanding abutment interposed between the doors and by a pair of U-shaped guide members, each attached to one door and extending under the other door to guidingly bear on the opposite side of the other door. The rim is sloped to drain inwardly.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Doan [ 1 Jan. 8, 1974 BATHING FACILITY [.76] Inventor: Troy L. Doan, 2090 Alta Vista Dr.,
: Vista, Calif. 92083 221 Filed: Feb. 14, 1912 21 Appl. No.: 226,135
[52 user ..4/149- 511 int. Cl. ..A47k 3/14,A47k3/22 5a FieldofSearch ..4/l45l56,173
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,774,973 12/1956' Aarnio 3,246,345 4/1966 Thomas 3,021,576 2/1962 Conroy 1,807,107 5/1931 Starnbergh 2,748,908 6/1956 Jacobson et a1. -4/l54 X Bruno 4/149 Taubman 4/149 Primary Examiner-J-lenry K. Artis [5 7] ABSTRACT I The outer side rim of a tub or a shower has a rib along the outer, upper margin forming an abutment and water seal for a closure such as a weighted curtain or sliding shower doors.- In the case of sliding shower doors, further guidance for the doors is provided by an upstanding abutment interposed between the doors and by a pair of U-shaped guide members, each attached to one door and extending under the other door to guidingly bear on the opposite side of the other door. The rim is sloped to drain inwardly.
9 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures PATENTEDJAH 8 I974 SHEET 2 OF 3 PATENTEUJAN 8 [s14 SHEEI 30F 3 BATHING FACILITY BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION AND OBJECTIVES My invention relates to closures such as curtains or sliding doors for tubs or showers in general, and more particularly, to means on the tub or shower rim for water sealing, abutment and/or guidance of the lower edge of the closure.
A common type of closure for a bathing facility is a pair of sliding doors supported by roller means from an upper rail. Usually the lower edge of the doors will be received in track means on the tub or shower rim having-the general form of a double channel. This track means forms a water seal and also has the function of guiding the doors to the extent they need at least some guidance to keep from swinging. The double channel is usually formed of aluminum. Difficulties with this structure include the following:
. l. The track structure is very difficult to clean, and a bathing facility is usually regularly cleaned as a part of housekeeping, so the choice is between inadequate cleaning or excessive expenditures of time. Even with diligent effort and considerable time, the track is difficult to clean to the standard of the rest of the bathing facility.
2. The track has a shape to collect water, dirt, and soap. Drain holes provided in such tracks do not completely drain water and other materials, and may become clogged. Aluminum corrosion can result under these conditions.
3. The track is uncomfortable to sit upon, such as in the bathing of young children.
4. The track is not a particularly economical construction and is not attractive, i.e., it has little in common with the appearance of the rim on which it is mounted.
As explained below, my invention can have application to other closures besides sliding doors, such as accordian doors or shower curtains, and the above observations more or less apply to accordian doors. In the case of a shower curtain not having an abutment and water sealing means, the desirability of the same will be apparent in the discussion below.
The objectives of my invention include: (a) to solve the problems discussed above, (b) to provide an improved abutment, water seal and/or guide for such closures, including a water seal at each and as well as at the lower edge of such closure, and (c) to provide such structure of improved appearance, reduced cost, and ready cleansing.
My invention will be best understood, together with additional advantages and objectives thereof, from the following description, read with reference to the drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is an elevational view of the front of a bathing facility closed by sliding doors and forming a specific embodiment of my invention.
FIG. 2 is an enlarged view, partly in section, taken on line 2-2 of FIG. 1. For simplicity of illustration, the door section is shown as solid although it normally would have a plastic or glass panel framed in metal.
FIG. 3 is an enlarged isometric view of the pin shown in FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged isometric view of the guide member shown in FIG. 2.
FIG. 5 is an enlarged, fragmentary elevational view of generally the same area as viewed in FIG. 2 but taken from inside of the bathing facility, looking outwardly (from the right in FIG. 2).
FIG. 6 is an enlarged view, partly in section, taken on line 6-6 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 7 is a view, similar to FIG. 2, partly in section, of a modified construction.
FIG. 8 is an end view of the rib viewed in FIG. 7.
FIG. 9 is a view of the use of my rib construction with a weighted curtain.
A common construction of bathing facilities in residences is indicated in FIG. 1 in which a shower or tub is fitted against a back wall 10 end between two side (full or stub) walls 12. The bathing facility 14 is indicated as being a shower by the low inner wall 16 above floor 18, although it will be apparent that the discussion and illustration applies equally to a tub. Frequently at present, the tub or shower will be formed of fiberreinforced plastic, in a one-piece construction also extending part-way up back and side walls l0, l2, and in sectional views, FIGS. 2 and 6, plastic is indicated, although the invention would also be applicable to enameled cast iron or steel, i.e., the FIG. 7 structure indicates use on an existing iron or steel facility. 7
Because of various considerations, however, it is highly advantageous that the lower rib 20 on the bathing facility rim 22 and the upright ribs 24 on the bathing facility sidewalls 26 be formed, as shown, as an integral molding of the one-piece fiber-reinforced plastic bathing facility, i.e.: (a) previously the provision for sealing and guiding sliding shower doors or the like had the form on an added metal track (double channel), (b) an integral rib is more desirable aesthetically, (c) to sit upon as in bathing children, obviously the curved plastic rib would be more comfortable than a metal aluminum channel extrusion, (d) the cost comparison is favorable, i.e., another bend in the plastic molding versus an added metal extrusion that not only costs more but also must beinstalled with calking and this must be done carefully if leaks thereunder are to be prevented, (e) I provide a construction very easy to clean (readily completely cleaned as a part of other bathing facility cleansing) whereas the prior metal track is most difficult to even be given a partial cleansing, much less to equal the standard of cleansing of the remainder of the bathing facility, (f) my construction does not trap water, soap or dirt and drains relatively clean, whereas the prior channel construction does trap water, soap, and dirt and does not readily drain, and (g) my rib is preferably of same material as the shower or tub facility and has minimum deterioration, whereas the prior aluminum construction not only would corrode but such corrosion is promoted by water standing therein.
One purpose of rib 20 at the outer margin of rim 22 is to form a water seal so that water striking the closure (sliding doors, accordian door, shower curtains, etc.) and passing under the closure will be prevented by rib 20 from flowing or draining to the outside of the bathing facility and onto floor 18. Note, in FIG. 2, that rim 22 is given some slope (downwardly to the right as viewed) to promote draining. This function will be observed in the case of the sliding doors depicted in FIG. 2 and in the case of the shower curtain 30 depicted in FIG. 9. Note should be taken that this is a novel shower curtain arrangement. Usually shower curtains are draped inside the rim of a tub, and preferably would drape the inside of the rim of a shower, to prevent water reaching the bathroom floor. In this case, instead, the shower curtain is given proper length to be slightly below the upper edge of rib 20. Rib 20, then, not only serves the purpose of preventing water passing under the lower edge of curtain 30 from flowing or draining to the floor but also forms an abutment against curtain 30 blowing outwardly allowing water to pass directly past rib to reach the bathroom floor. For this to be workable, shower curtain 30 has a lower hem 32 which is weighted. A convenient form of weighting is depicted in which a chain 34 extends along the edge of the curtain inside the hem (and may be tacked in place).
FIG. 6 shows a rib 24 on the plastic sidewall 26 of the bathing facility. Sidewall 26 is normally flat unless contoured for decorative, non-functional purposes. Although rib 24 could have a cross-section similar to rib 20,. it is shown on this occasion as having a jamb-like shape, for purposes of appearances. In either case, the rib function at is achieved (abutment and water seal) even if incorporated into a sidewall construction having the appearance of a jamb. It will be apparent from the other discussion how rib 24 forms the water seal and abutment for the closure at the end, upright margins of the closure. FIG. 6 shows the usual installation of the plastic bathing facility sidewalls 26 in which a flange 36 is secured to studding and lapped by plasterboard 38, but this is a conventional expedient and is not part of the invention.
A common form of closure is a pair of sliding doors 40, 42 hung from an upper rail 44 by suitable and conventional roller and track means not forming a part of this invention. Doors 40, 42 lap slightly in the FIG. 1 closed positions, and of course, lap more as they are opened. The doors commonly have metal frames and translucent glass or plastic panels. Besides its water sealing function, the double-channel metal track, commonly used, has a guiding function for such doors.
Doors could be operative without guidance, but guides do prevent doors from swinging. One function of lower rib 20 is as an abutment preventing doors from swinging outwardly, with or without the other guidance means shown in FIGS. 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 of the drawings.
My guide means includes abutment or pin 50 (a pin being a form of abutment) and clips 60, which can be used separately but preferably in conjunction for a complete guidance function. Pin abutment 50 is upstanding from rim 22 and interposed between doors 40, 42. It will be observed that pin 50, if positioned centrally of the length of rim 22, will be in such relationship to doors 40, 42 as to provide an abutment limiting their swinging in directions towards the pin in all positions of the doors. Pin 50 can be formed of metal, plastic or other material. Pin is preferably slightly tapered upwardly to compensate for the slope of rim 22.
Pin 50 could be bonded in place, formed of plastic material integral with rim 22, etc., but the form of securing shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 can be incorporated in manufacture of new bathing facilities, or can be later installed during bathroom construction or as a replacement or addition to existing facilities, as the securing system includes the provision of an opening 52 in rim 22. This could be provided during bathing facility manufacture or may be later bored, but boring an opening in an enameled cast iron or steel facility would be difficult without chipping the enamel, although an opening can be bored in a plastic facility without problem. Pin 50 is shown as having a conventional form of threaded blind fastener 53 which can be inserted through opening 52 and has double-winged abutment means 54(the wings being normally spring-pressed apart) to be brought into abutment with the lower surface of the rim body as it is tightened.
The clip means includes two U-shaped guide members 60. These can be formed from flat stock and has end flanges 62, 64. Each end flange 62 has an opening 63 and is secured by a screw or bolt 66 to one of the doors (one clip being secured to door 40 and the other clip being secured to door 42). Flange 64 has an abutment-guidance function to the door other than the door its flange 62 is secured to. In effect, clips 60 are oppositely directed. They are also positioned at opposite sides of pin 50. An examination of the drawings will show that if a clip is secured at the inner end of one door, its flange 64 will have a guidance function (against separation) in all positions the other door has. Together with pin 50, clips 60 provide complete guidance for the doors, which is further supplemented by rib 20. Note that the door guidance system does not present a cleaning problem, is effective, is inexpensive and readily installed, is unobtrusive (partly hidden) and does not detract from the appearance of the bathing facility, does not provide uncomfortable surfaces to sit upon, and can be incorporated into old or new bathing facilities. Clips 60 preferably have bends at 61. The bend 61 is preferably provided so that each guide member 60 will abut the bottom edge of the door to which it is secured (by screw 66 in opening 63 in flange 62), so as to be secured against turning, but will then bend downwardly to clear the lower edge of the other door (abutted by flange 64) so as to minimize interference with sliding.
To the extent sliding doors are fully guided by pin 50 and guide members 60, of course, rib 20 serves only as a water seal and not as an abutment, although this depends much on dimensions and tolerances, and the showing of the drawings is merely an illustration of the invention.
FIGS. 7 and 8 show a modified structure. A plastic or metal rib 70 is provided which can be installed on a new or existing bathing facility having a rim 22 without a rib. Rib 70 could be secured in various ways but is shown as having a bottom concavity to accommodate caulking which could be used to bond the rib in place and also to seal the underside of the rib. Rib 70 has the same function as rib 20 and rib 24 shown in the other drawings.
Presuming rib 70 were being installed on an enameled cast iron rim of a bathing facility, it would be especially convenient to provide a pin 50 (for use with sliding doors for the same purpose as explained above) without needing to bore an opening in rim 22. This can be conveniently and economically provided, as shown in FIG. 7, by using a clip (which could be formed of flat sheet stock) having a curved outer end 81 conforming to the upper surface of rib 70. A screw 82 can be used to secure clip 80 to rib 70. Pin 50 is secured to the inner end of clip 80 by a screw 84.
It will be understood from the foregoing how the structure shown and described meets the objectives of my invention, and the advantages thereof. Having thus described my invention, I do not wish to be understood as limiting myself to the exact details of construction shown. Instead I wish to cover those modifications which will occur to those skilled in the art after learning of my invention and which are properly within the scope of my invention.
1. The improvement in a bathing facility having an outer rim on one side and a pair of overlapping doors mounted above said rim comprising a single horizontal rib extending alongthe outer upper margin of said rim substantially above the remainder of the top of said rim, said rib forming an outer abutment for said doors and preventing water from flowing outwardly under said doors and past said rib means, the'remainder of the top of said rim being generally flat, and separately attachable guide means for said doors,
said guide means comprising first means mounted on said rim and extending upwardly between said doors, and second means mounted on said doors and extending between said doors at the lower margins thereof to prevent lateral separation of said doors beyond a predetermined spacing. 2. The combination according to. claim 1 wherein said first means includes a pin abutment upstanding from and positioned medially on said rim. 3. The combination according to claim 2 wherein said second means includes a U-shaped member attached to the underside of one of said doors within their overlapping positions. 4. The combination according to claim 3 wherein said U-shaped member includes a pair of upstanding flanges with a horizontal connecting portion extending between and below said doors in their overlapping areas, one of said flanges being attached to one of said doors and the other of said flanges being positioned in sliding abutment to the other of said doors. 5. The combination according to claim 4 wherein said second means includes two U-shaped members, one of said members being attached to one of said doors and the other of said members being attached to the other of said doors, whereby a U-shaped member is in sliding abutment to each door.. 6. The combination according to claim 1 wherein the remainder of the top of said rimis sloped downwardly toward said bathing facility. 7. The combination according to claim 1 wherein said rib is formed separately from said rim and is installed thereon, said rib having a cross-sectional shape with an upper convex portion and a lower concave portion. 8. The combination according to claim 7 comprising a clip positioned midway of said rib and extending transversely thereto, said clip having one end fitted to the upper surface of said rib and secured thereto and having its other end extending below said doors, said first means comprising a pin abutment secured to said clip and upstanding between said doors. 9. The combination according to claim 1 wherein said bathing facility is titted against a wall of a room and said room has two other walls adjoining the first-mentioned wall and said bathing facility being fitted therebetween with generally planar end portions extending at least part way up said other walls, each planar end portion being otherwise substantially flat but having a vertical rib formed thereon in a substantially the same vertical plane as said horizontal rib forming and abutments and water seals for said doors.