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United States Patent Application 20170138068
Kind Code A1
Wnukowski; Thomas May 18, 2017

TILE SUPPORT APPARATUS

Abstract

A tile support apparatus that includes: a central frame member; a left frame member; and a right frame member, wherein the left frame member and the right frame member movably attach to opposing ends of the central frame member, wherein each frame member includes a plurality of fastener receivers and spirit levels. The left frame member and the right frame member movably attach to opposing ends of the central frame member by using a hinge and are adapted to move independently move between an orthogonal orientation relative to the central frame member. The plurality of fastener receivers is adapted to enable the frame members to be fixed to a wall with a mechanical fastener. Further, the spirit levels are adapted to determine for each individual frame member whether an abutting surface is level.


Inventors: Wnukowski; Thomas; (Tinley Park, IL)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Wnukowski; Thomas

Tinley Park

IL

US
Family ID: 1000002294112
Appl. No.: 15/350892
Filed: November 14, 2016


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
62254643Nov 12, 2015

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: E04F 21/1877 20130101; E04F 21/1838 20130101
International Class: E04F 21/18 20060101 E04F021/18

Claims



1. A tile support apparatus comprising: a. a central frame member; b. a left frame member; and c. a right frame member, wherein the left frame member and the right frame member movably attach to opposing ends of the central frame member, wherein each frame member includes a plurality of fastener receivers and spirit levels.

2. The tile support apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the left frame member and the right frame member movably attach to opposing ends of the central frame member by using a hinge and are adapted to move independently move between an orthogonal orientation relative to the central frame member.

3. The tile support apparatus according to claim 1, where the plurality of fastener receivers is adapted to enable the frame members to be fixed to a wall with a mechanical fastener

4. The tile support apparatus according to claim 1, where the spirit levels are adapted to determine for each individual frame member whether an abutting surface is level.

5. The tile support apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising a pair of rigid handles extending from the central frame member adapted to provide a grasping surface.
Description



BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] Field of the Invention

[0002] This invention relates generally to tile installation implements and, more particularly, to a tile support device having fold out arms for use in placing the first row of tile on a vertical wall.

[0003] Description of the Prior Art

[0004] The challenges associated with installing tile on a vertical wall are well established. When installing rows of tile on a vertical surface, problems arise with both supporting tiles during the installation as well as ensuring tiles are properly aligned. With respect to support, many tile fitters (or other installers) often will install additional supports onto lower tiles as the work their way up the wall. This approach is cumbersome, however, because it requires a fitter to lay out tile one at a time. In terms of alignment, fitters commonly drill scraps of wood into a wall to assist in positioning tiles. Still, this technique remains susceptible to misalignments which are time consuming to correct. Thus, there remains a need for a tile support apparatus which can be selectively positioned against a vertical wall to support the first row of tiles on a vertical wall. It would be helpful if such a tile support apparatus provided a level surface on which tiles being installed could be placed. It would be additionally desirable for such a tile support apparatus to include orthogonal arms which allowed it to be deployed on three walls simultaneously.

[0005] The Applicant's invention described herein provides for a tile support apparatus adapted to provide a level, base support for tiles being installed on a vertical wall. The primary components in Applicant's tile support apparatus are an elongated frame, integrated levels, and fastener receivers. When in operation, the tile support apparatus enables more effective and efficient installation of the first row, and thus subsequent rows, of tile being installed on a vertical wall. As a result, many of the limitations imposed by prior art structures are removed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] A tile support apparatus that includes: a central frame member; a left frame member; and a right frame member, wherein the left frame member and the right frame member movably attach to opposing ends of the central frame member, wherein each frame member includes a plurality of fastener receivers and spirit levels. The left frame member and the right frame member movably attach to opposing ends of the central frame member by using a hinge and are adapted to move independently move between an orthogonal orientation relative to the central frame member. The plurality of fastener receivers is adapted to enable the frame members to be fixed to a wall with a mechanical fastener. Further, the spirit levels are adapted to determine for each individual frame member whether an abutting surface is level.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0007] FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a tile support apparatus built in accordance with the present invention in a three wall configuration.

[0008] FIG. 2 is a top plan view of a tile support apparatus built in accordance with the present invention in a one wall configuration.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0009] Referring now to the drawings and in particular FIGS. 1 and 2, a tile support apparatus 10 is shown having a central frame member 11, a left frame member 12, and a right frame member 13, with the left frame member 12 and the right frame member 13 movably attached to opposing ends of the central frame member 11. The central frame member 11, left frame member 12, and right frame member 13 each define elongated, planar bodies which are constructed of rigid material. In the preferred embodiment, the left frame member 12 and right frame member 13 are each attached to the central frame member 11 through a hinge 14, thereby allowing the left frame member 12 and right frame member 13 to each independently move between an orthogonal orientation relative to the central frame member 11 (illustrated in FIG. 1, with both in the orthogonal orientation), and an aligned orientation relative to the central frame member 11 (illustrated in FIG. 2, with both in the aligned orientation).

[0010] It is contemplated that both the left frame member 12 and right frame member 13 may be placed in the orthogonal orientation when it is desired to position the tile support apparatus 10 against three walls simultaneously (or when having one or both of the left frame member 12 and right frame member 13 would make the tile support apparatus 10 too long for a target wall). Similarly, positioning both the left frame member 12 and right frame member 13 in the aligned orientation would be desirable when to positioning the tile support apparatus 10 against a single long wall. It is additionally understood that moving either the left frame member 12 or right frame member 13 to the orthogonal orientation, with the other in the aligned orientation, may be advantageous in positioning the tile support apparatus against two walls simultaneously.

[0011] Each of the frame members 11, 12, 13, include a plurality of fastener receivers 15 and spirit levels 16. It is contemplated that when selectively positioning desired frame member 11, 12, 13 against a target wall (as in a vertical surface intended to receive a tile installation), the fastener receivers 15 allow the frame members 11, 12, 13 to be fixed to the wall with a conventional mechanical fastener (such as a screw or nail). In addition, the spirit levels 16 all a user to determine for each individual frame member 11, 12, 13 whether the surface on which the tile support apparatus 10 is level, and thus whether the tiles installed on the tile support apparatus 10 will be level.

[0012] Extending from the central frame member 11 are a pair of rigid handles 17. It is contemplated that the handles 17 provide a grasping surface that allows a user to grab and pull in order to remove the tile support apparatus 10 once the lower row of tiles that it is supporting are sufficiently set (and any fasteners in the fastener receivers 15 have been removed). It is contemplated that the handles 17 may be advantageously grasped with a mechanical tool, such as pliers.

[0013] The instant invention has been shown and described herein in what is considered to be the most practical and preferred embodiment. It is recognized, however, that departures may be made therefrom within the scope of the invention and that obvious modifications will occur to a person skilled in the art.

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