US20060070329A1 - Modular wall paneling system, wall panels, and method of installation - Google Patents

Modular wall paneling system, wall panels, and method of installation Download PDF

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Publication number
US20060070329A1
US20060070329A1 US10/944,561 US94456104A US2006070329A1 US 20060070329 A1 US20060070329 A1 US 20060070329A1 US 94456104 A US94456104 A US 94456104A US 2006070329 A1 US2006070329 A1 US 2006070329A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
wall
corner
adapted
trim piece
mounting rail
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Abandoned
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US10/944,561
Inventor
James Schiltz
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Schiltz James R
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Priority to US10/944,561 priority Critical patent/US20060070329A1/en
Publication of US20060070329A1 publication Critical patent/US20060070329A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B44DECORATIVE ARTS
    • B44CPRODUCING DECORATIVE EFFECTS; MOSAICS; TARSIA WORK; PAPERHANGING
    • B44C5/00Processes for producing special ornamental bodies
    • B44C5/04Ornamental plaques, e.g. decorative panels, decorative veneers
    • B44C5/0461Ornamental plaques, e.g. decorative panels, decorative veneers used as wall coverings
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F13/00Coverings or linings, e.g. for walls or ceilings
    • E04F13/07Coverings or linings, e.g. for walls or ceilings composed of covering or lining elements; Sub-structures therefor; Fastening means therefor
    • E04F13/08Coverings or linings, e.g. for walls or ceilings composed of covering or lining elements; Sub-structures therefor; Fastening means therefor composed of a plurality of similar covering or lining elements
    • E04F13/18Coverings or linings, e.g. for walls or ceilings composed of covering or lining elements; Sub-structures therefor; Fastening means therefor composed of a plurality of similar covering or lining elements of organic plastics with or without reinforcements or filling materials or with an outer layer of organic plastics with or without reinforcements or filling materials; plastic tiles
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F19/00Other details of constructional parts for finishing work on buildings
    • E04F19/02Borders; Finishing strips, e.g. beadings; Light coves
    • E04F19/06Borders; Finishing strips, e.g. beadings; Light coves specially designed for securing panels or masking the edges of wall- or floor-covering elements
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F19/00Other details of constructional parts for finishing work on buildings
    • E04F19/02Borders; Finishing strips, e.g. beadings; Light coves
    • E04F19/06Borders; Finishing strips, e.g. beadings; Light coves specially designed for securing panels or masking the edges of wall- or floor-covering elements
    • E04F19/062Borders; Finishing strips, e.g. beadings; Light coves specially designed for securing panels or masking the edges of wall- or floor-covering elements used between similar elements
    • E04F19/064Borders; Finishing strips, e.g. beadings; Light coves specially designed for securing panels or masking the edges of wall- or floor-covering elements used between similar elements in corners
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F19/00Other details of constructional parts for finishing work on buildings
    • E04F19/02Borders; Finishing strips, e.g. beadings; Light coves
    • E04F19/022Borders; Finishing strips, e.g. beadings; Light coves for use at vertical intersections of walls
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F19/00Other details of constructional parts for finishing work on buildings
    • E04F19/02Borders; Finishing strips, e.g. beadings; Light coves
    • E04F19/026Borders; Finishing strips, e.g. beadings; Light coves specially adapted for cushioning impacts
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F19/00Other details of constructional parts for finishing work on buildings
    • E04F19/02Borders; Finishing strips, e.g. beadings; Light coves
    • E04F19/04Borders; Finishing strips, e.g. beadings; Light coves for use between floor or ceiling and wall, e.g. skirtings
    • E04F19/049Plinths specially adapted for joining wall coverings to floor surfaces
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F19/00Other details of constructional parts for finishing work on buildings
    • E04F19/02Borders; Finishing strips, e.g. beadings; Light coves
    • E04F19/04Borders; Finishing strips, e.g. beadings; Light coves for use between floor or ceiling and wall, e.g. skirtings
    • E04F19/0495Plinths fixed around wall openings or around corners of walls

Abstract

A modular wall paneling system and installation method for wainscoting and other wall covering applications includes a plurality of rectangular wall panels each having a decorative front surface and a convex rear surface which provides line contact with the wall. A plurality of elongate upper and lower mounting rails are respectively affixed horizontally along the wall end-to-end at chair rail height and directly above the base board. Respective bottom edges of the wall panels fit into an upwardly open channel formed by the lower mounting rails and a top edge thereof snap-fits to the upper mounting rails. A plurality of elongate wall trim pieces snap-fit over the upper mounting rails to provide a finished look. The upper and lower mounting rails retain the top and bottom edges of the wall panels against the wall with a slight amount of interference which slightly warps the wall panels to provide a snug rattle-free against the wall along the contact line. The wall paneling system may additionally include corner mounting rails, corner trim pieces, and corner caps to finish inside and outside corners of a room. A version of the wall paneling system is provided for whiteboard and other applications.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • The present invention relates generally to the field of wall paneling for application to one or more walls of a room to provide a decorative look and to protect the walls. More specifically the present invention relates to a modular wall paneling system and installation method for wainscoting and other wall covering applications. The wall paneling system is of a type which includes a plurality of rectangular wall panels each having a decorative front surface and a rear surface. A plurality of elongate upper and lower mounting rails each include a base adapted to be affixed horizontally along the walls end-to-end respectively at chair rail height and directly above the base board trim pieces. Top and bottom edges of the wall panels are respectively retained to the upper and lower mounting rails by attachment devices thereof which retain the wall panels to the walls. A plurality of elongate wall trim pieces attach over the upper mounting rails to provide a finished look. The wall paneling system may additionally include corner mounting rails, corner trim pieces, and corner caps to finish inside and outside corners of a room.
  • 2. Description of the Prior Art
  • Traditional wall paneling systems include a plurality of wall panels made of a solid sheet of wood formed by gluing together and planing a plurality of individual wood boards to form panel sheets. The panel sheets are often stained and lightly waxed to enhance the appearance of the wood and form the finished wall panels. Alternatively, the panel sheets may be painted. The wall panels may further be milled with vertical grooves to simulate a plurality of individual wood planks and to hide joints between adjacent wall panels, or the joints may be covered by vertical stiles. The wall panels are nailed to the walls of a room or optionally glued thereto using conventional adhesives designed for that purpose in order to eliminate the nail holes. The wall panels may be of full height extending upwardly from the base board trim piece to a ceiling or crown molding trim piece. Alternatively, the wall panels may be of partial height extending from the base board trim pieces to a height of about three to five feet and terminating at a horizontal wall trim piece or chair rail for classical wainscoting. The chair rail is typically stained or painted to complement the paneling. While such wood wall panels look nice, they are expensive to produce due to the cost of the solid wood used in the construction thereof Additionally, skilled labor is required to make the wood boards into panel sheets, cutting the panel sheets to finished size, routing, sanding, staining, and waxing which further increasing the finished cost thereof Installation is typically done by a skilled carpenter due to the amount of cutting, fitting to the walls, and finishing required.
  • More recently designed wall panels are made from conventional plywood sheets covered by a thin hardwood veneer to lower the cost of the wall panels. This allows lower quality wood to be used in the construction of the plywood sheets which is covered by the thin hardwood veneer of high quality wood. While these wall panels are much less expensive to manufacture than the solid sheet type wall panels, installation by a skilled carpenter is still typically required.
  • There have been various wall paneling systems developed and patented in attempts to lower the cost of wall paneling systems and decrease the skill required for installation thereof. For example, a raised panel paneling system is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,736,559 issued on Apr. 12, 1988 to Young. The paneling system includes a plurality of paneling sheets securable to a substrate such as walls with respective side edges of adjacent sheets forming permissible gaps of from zero (i.e. paneling sheets abutting) to a predetermined maximum gap to minimize the amount of cutting needed to fit the paneling sheets to the walls. A chair rail is affixed to the walls over the paneling sheets to divide the paneling sheets into respective top and bottom. A plurality of stiles are affixed to the walls respectively covering the gaps between the adjacent paneling sheets. A plurality of base board trim pieces are affixed to the walls covering respective bottoms of the paneling sheets and a plurality of ceiling trim pieces are affixed to the walls covering respective tops of the paneling sheets. A plurality of moldings are affixed to the walls covering respective intersections of the chair rails and the stiles and joints which are mitered to provide a finished look for the paneling system. While the paneling system of Young may be easier to install due to less cutting of the wall panels being required, it still requires a relatively high skill level to install and is relatively costly to manufacture.
  • Traditional wall panels have further drawbacks, including limitation in available shapes and styles, lack of changeability of the wall panels without ruining the underlying walls upon removal. This is particularly problematic when the wall panels are affixed to the walls using adhesives and the edges are caulked to provide a more finished look at time of installation thereof These wall panels further typically require special tools for installation such as saws and saw guides due to the exact cuts which must be made to the wall panels to fit around doors, windows, electrical outlets, and the like. The wood construction of the wall panels is not environmentally friendly and is susceptible to mold and mildew damage particularly in wet environments. The wall panels are not readily cleanable due to the rough wood surface finish thereof and they are not durable, requiring periodic maintenance such as application of protective waxes or oils, repainting, re-caulking, and the like to maintain them.
  • Therefore, there is a continuing need for a modular wall paneling system which solves the problems with the traditional wall paneling systems and which provides additional benefits and features.
  • It is thus an object of the present invention to provide a modular wall paneling system which is of low cost to manufacture and easy to install.
  • It is another object of the present invention to provide a modular wall paneling system which is available in a wide variety of shapes and styles which may be mixed and matched at initial installation, which requires no adhesives or caulking of the edges of the wall panels and the trim pieces, and which may be changed without ruining the underlying walls.
  • It is a still further object of the present invention to provide a modular wall paneling system in which no special tools are needed for installation and which requires no exact cuts for the wall panels to fit around doors, windows, electrical outlets, and the like.
  • It is another object of the present invention to provide a modular wall paneling system which is more environmentally friendly by not using wood products and capable of using recycled or biodegradable plastic.
  • It is another object of the present invention to provide a modular wall paneling system which can be removed and reinstalled in another dwelling if so needed such as for apartment dwellers and other residents of rental property.
  • It is a still further object of the present invention to provide a modular wall paneling system in which mounting thereof does minimal damage to the walls and other building structure.
  • It is still another object of the present invention to provide such a modular wall paneling system in which virtually no preparation of the walls such as removal of the existing base molding rim pieces and ceiling trim pieces is required.
  • It is yet another object of the present invention to provide such a modular wall paneling system in which the wall panels may be easily interchanged following installation to change the entire look of the room.
  • It is still another object of the present invention to provide such a modular wall paneling system which is designed to be flexible enough to accommodate any size and shape of room including non-square corners and wavy or otherwise irregular walls.
  • It is yet another object of the present invention to provide such a modular wall paneling system which may be installed over virtually any type of wall including drywall, brick, concrete block, and previously installed paneling.
  • It is yet another object of the present invention to provide such a modular wall paneling system in which installation time is quicker than traditional wall finishing by paneling or painting.
  • It is a still further object of the present invention to provide a modular wall paneling system in which the wall panels are impact resistant and durable for use in highly abused rooms such as garages, children's rooms, offices, mud rooms, and foyers.
  • It is yet another object of the present invention to provide such a modular wall paneling system which is mold and mildew resistant for use in bathrooms and other wet areas.
  • It is finally an object of the present invention to provide such a modular wall paneling system which does not require painting and requires only minima cleaning so as to be virtually maintenance free.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention accomplishes the above-stated objectives, as well as others, as may be determined by a fair reading and interpretation of the entire specification.
  • A modular wall paneling system for application to at least one wall of a room, modular wall panels, and a method of installing the modular wall paneling system are provided.
  • The modular wall paneling system comprises at least one wall panel comprising a generally flat member of at least limited flexibility having a front surface, an opposing rear surface, and a peripheral edge. At least one elongate upper mounting rail is included having a base adapted to be affixed along the wall and a top panel attachment device adapted to retain the peripheral edge of the wall panel to the wall. At least one elongate lower mounting rail is included having a base adapted to be affixed along the wall and a bottom panel attachment device adapted to support the wall panel and retain the peripheral edge to the wall.
  • The wall paneling system preferably additionally comprises at least one elongate wall trim piece adapted to conceal one of the mounting rails. The wall trim piece includes an outer member and a first half of a wall trim piece attachment device adapted to connect the outer member to the mounting rails. At least one of the mounting rails includes a second half of the wall trim piece attachment device adapted to snap-fit to the first half thereof to retain the wall trim piece to the mounting rail.
  • For use in wainscoting applications at the corners of rooms, the wall paneling system includes a corner mounting rail having a base adapted to be affixed to at least one of two intersecting wails along a corner of the room and a first half of a corner trim piece attachment device. A corner trim piece includes a base adapted to disposed along the corner in an abutting and/or overlapping relationship to adjacent wall panels to conceal respective side edges thereof and to conceal the corner mounting rail. A second half of the corner trim piece attachment device extends rearwardly from the base adapted to snap-fit to the first half thereof The corner trim piece attachment device is adapted to connect the corner trim piece to the corner mounting rail. A multi-planar corner cap includes a body having an angled rear surface adapted to be disposed along the intersecting walls at the corner disposed at an angle corresponding to the intersecting walls. The body is of mating configuration adapted to conceal respective adjoining ends of the upper mounting rail, the corner mounting rail, and the corner trim piece. A cap attachment device is adapted to attach the body to at least one of the upper mounting rail, the corner mounting rail, and the corner trim piece.
  • For use in whiteboard applications on a single wall, the wall paneling system includes at least one planar corner cap which includes a body having a rear surface with an outer portion adapted to be disposed along the wall and an inner portion adapted to be disposed along the wall panel. The body is of mating configuration adapted to conceal respective adjoining ends of respective pairs of the mounting rails and wall trim pieces at an intersection area thereof A cap attachment device is adapted to attach the body to at least one of the mounting rail and the wall trim piece at the intersection area. The wall panels have an erasable front surface adapted for erasable writing thereon.
  • The modular wall panels comprise a generally flat member of at least limited flexibility having a front surface, an opposing rear surface, and a peripheral edge. The rear surface is of a rearwardly convex shape in the configuration of a curved planar surface adapted for engaging the wall by creating unbroken line contact therewith, a plurality of parallel ribs which create broken line contact with the wall, or other curved configurations which provide line contact with the wall. The wall panel is adapted to be retained against the wall at opposite portions of the peripheral edge such that there is a slight amount of interference with the wall so the wall panel bows slightly outwardly at a middle area thereof to take out any gap between the wall and the wall panel.
  • A preferred wall panel is of a rectangular shape with the peripheral edge comprising a top edge, a bottom edge, and a pair of side edges. The wall panel includes one or more additional features such as a panel edge joining device wherein the peripheral edge includes respective interlockable halves of the panel edge joining device to allow adjoining wall panels to interconnect, a panel edge hiding device wherein the peripheral edge includes respective indent halves of the panel edge hiding device which form a full indent at adjoining wall panels to provide a finished look therebetween, or an erasable front surface adapted for erasable writing thereon.
  • The method of installing a modular wall paneling system comprises the steps of: 1) providing at least one wall panel of at least limited flexibility having a front surface, an opposing rear surface, and a peripheral edge, the rear surface being of a rearwardly convex shape of a configuration which provides line contact with the wall; and 2) restraining opposite portions of the peripheral edge of the wall panel against the wall in an upright position such that there is a slight amount of interference with the wall so the wall panel bows slightly outwardly at a middle area thereof to take out any gap between the wall and the wall panel.
  • A preferred method additionally comprises the steps of: 1) providing at least one elongate upper mounting rail having a base adapted to be affixed along the wall and an attachment device adapted to retain the peripheral edge of the wall panel to the wall; 2) providing at least one elongate lower mounting rail having a base adapted to be affixed along the wall and an attachment device to support the wall panel and retain the peripheral edge to the wall; 3) securing the lower mounting rail to the wall; and 4) securing the upper mounting rail to the wall at a measured distance above the lower mounting rails for the particular height of the wall panels to snap-fit to the trim mounting rails. The wall panel provided is of a rectangular shape with the peripheral edge comprising a top edge, a bottom edge, and a pair of side edges. The step of restraining the wall panel against the wall includes engaging the bottom edge of the wall panel with the lower mounting rail and pivoting the top edge into engagement with the upper mounting rail. The attachment device of the upper mounting rail provided comprises an elongate locking clip which extends from the base thereof adapted to resiliently snap-fit to the top edge of the wall panel. The attachment device of the lower mounting rail provided comprises an elongate L-shaped member which extends outwardly from the base thereof to form an elongate channel defining a pocket therebetween to receive the peripheral edge of the wall panel. The engaging the bottom edge of the wall panel with the lower mounting rail comprises inserting the bottom edge of the wall panel into the pocket of the lower mounting rail. The pivoting the top edge into engagement with the upper mounting rail includes pushing the top edge past the locking clip which deflects slightly to allow passing thereunder to lock the top edge in place.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Various other objects, advantages, and features of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following discussion taken in conjunction with the following drawings, in which:
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first preferred embodiment modular wall paneling system of the present invention in the form of a wainscoting, shown as fully installed in a room along three walls at an inside corner and an outside corner, above a floor and base molding of the room, and around a window, and with a plurality of interlocking wall panels, lower mounting rails, wall trim pieces, a horizontal wall trim piece, an inside corner trim piece, a multi-planar inside corner cap, an outside corner trim piece, and a multi-planar outside corner cap thereof being visible.
  • FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the first modular wall paneling system shown as partially installed in the room along the walls, with a plurality of upper and lower mounting rails, an inside corner mounting rail, and an outside corner mounting rail thereof visible.
  • FIG. 3 is a fragmentary lateral vertical cross-sectional view of the modular wall paneling system as mounted to one wall above the base molding trim piece to an enlarged scale taken on the line 3-3 of FIG. 1 showing one wall panel removably retained between the upper and lower mounting rails, and the horizontal wall trim piece attached to the upper mounting rail.
  • FIG. 4 is a fragmentary longitudinal horizontal cross-sectional view of the wall panels mounted to one wall interconnected by a panel joining device thereof to a further enlarged scale taken on the line 4-4 of FIG. 1 showing a tongue of the panel joining device integral with a side edge of one wall panel and a groove of the panel joining device integral with a side edge of an adjoining wall panel.
  • FIG. 5 is a fragmentary longitudinal horizontal cross-sectional view of the modular wall paneling system mounted to the walls at the inside corner of the room to the enlarged scale taken on the line 5-5 of FIG. 1 showing the inside corner mounting rail attached to two walls, a pair of the wall panels, and the inside corner trim piece covering an inside corner gap between the wall panels.
  • FIG. 6 is a fragmentary top plan view of the modular wall paneling system mounted to the walls at the inside corner of the room to the enlarged scale taken on the line 6-6 of FIG. 1 showing the pair of the wall panels and the multi-planar inside corner cap covering the inside corner gap between the wall panels.
  • FIG. 7 is a fragmentary longitudinal horizontal cross-sectional view of the modular wall paneling system mounted to the walls at the outside corner of the room to the enlarged scale taken on the line 7-7 of FIG. 1 showing the outside corner mounting rail attached to two walls, a pair of the wall panels, and the outside corner trim piece covering an outside corner gap between the wall panels.
  • FIG. 8 is a fragmentary top plan view of the modular wall paneling system mounted to the walls at the outside corner of the room to the enlarged scale taken on the line 8-8 of FIG. 1 showing the pair of the modular wall panels and the multi-planar outside corner cap covering the outside corner gap between the wall panels.
  • FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a second preferred embodiment modular wall paneling system of the present invention in the form of a whiteboard shown as fully installed in a room centrally on a wall above a floor and a base molding of the room, and with a pair of interlocking whiteboard wall panels, a peripheral wall trim piece system comprised of a pair of horizontal wall trim pieces and a pair of vertical wall trim pieces, and a plurality of planar corner caps thereof visible.
  • FIG. 10 is a fragmentary lateral vertical cross-sectional view of the modular wall paneling system mounted on the wall to an enlarged scale taken on the line 10-10 of FIG. 9 showing one whiteboard wall panel removably retained to a horizontal mounting rail of a peripheral trim mounting rail system thereof and one horizontal wall trim piece attached to the horizontal mounting rail.
  • FIG. 11 is a fragmentary lateral vertical cross-sectional view of the modular wall paneling system mounted on the wall to a slightly lesser enlarged scale taken on the line 11-11 of FIG. 9 showing one whiteboard wall panel removably retained between the horizontal mounting rails and the horizontal wall trim pieces attached thereto.
  • FIG. 12 is a fragmentary lateral vertical cross-sectional view of the modular wall paneling system mounted on the wall to the slightly lesser enlarged scale taken on the line 12-12 of FIG. 9 showing one whiteboard wall panel removably retained between the horizontal mounting rails and two of the planar corner caps attached thereto.
  • FIG. 13 is a rear elevational view of one planar corner cap to the enlarged scale showing a body of a mating configuration to adjoining of the horizontal and vertical wall trim pieces which snap-fits to pairs of the horizontal and vertical mounting rails.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • As required, detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein, however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention which may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed structure.
  • Reference is now made to the drawings, wherein like characteristics and features of the present invention shown in the various FIGURES are designated by the same reference numerals.
  • First Preferred Embodiment
  • Referring to FIGS. 1-8, a first embodiment modular wall paneling system 20 for application to at least one wall of a room, preferably in the form of wainscoting is disclosed. The wall paneling system 20 is shown as installed in a room 23 along a pair of walls 26 and 29 at an inside corner 32 of an angle “A” of ninety degrees above a floor 34 and a base molding 35, around window molding 36 of a window 37, and abutting door molding 38 of a doorway 39 surrounding a door 40. A “modular wall paneling system” for purposes of this application is understood to include not only wainscoting installations, but also other applications including but not limited to whiteboards, dry erase boards, chalkboards, cork boards, modular shelving, clothing racks, coat hooks, hat racks, photo or artwork frames, padded upholstered panels and picture or other artwork frames, and the like.
  • As best shown in FIG. 3, the modular wall paneling system 20 includes a plurality of generally flat members in the form of modular wall panels 41 each being of at least limited flexibility and preferably being semi-rigid, elongate upper mounting rails 44, elongate lower mounting rails 47, and elongate wall trim pieces 50 commonly referred to as a chair trim rails.
  • The wall panels 41 are preferably of the rectangular shape shown of a height “H”, though other shapes may be used which have flat sides such as triangles, octagons, and the like which allow attachment to the upper and lower mounting rails 44 and 47. The wall panels 41 are adapted for application to the walls 26 and 29 of the room 23, each including a front panel 53 with a front surface 56, an opposing rear surface 59 of a rearwardly convex shape formed by a plurality of parallel ribs 62 which create broken line contact with the walls 26 and 29 at respective collinear contact lines 63, and a peripheral edge 64 comprising a top edge 65, a bottom edge 68, a side edge 71, and a side edge 74. The ribs 62 stiffen the wall panels 41 for durability and create essentially point contact at the contact lines 63 with the walls 26 and 29. The wall panels 41 are adapted to be retained against respective of the walls 26 and 29 by the upper mounting rail 44 and the lower mounting rail 47 at opposite portions of the peripheral edge 64 comprising the top edge 65 and bottom edge 68 such that there is a slight amount of interference with respective of the walls 26 and 29. This causes the wall panels 41 to bow slightly outwardly at respective middle areas 80 thereof between the top and bottom edges 65 and 68 to take out any potential gap between the walls 26 and 29 and the wall panel 41 if the walls 26 and 29 are uneven. This allows the wall panels 41 to stay tight against the walls 26 and 29 and not rattle upon contact therewith or other situations such as when a door (not shown) is shut. Alternatively, the rear surface 59 may be of other rearwardly convex configurations which provide line contact with the walls 26 and 29. These include a curved planar rear surface 81 (FIG. 4 dotted lines) adapted for engaging the wall by creating unbroken line contact therewith or other curved configurations which provide limited contact with the walls 26 and 29.
  • As best shown in FIG. 4, the wall panel 41 preferably includes a first additional feature in the form of a panel edge joining device 83 in which the side edges 71 and 74 are of mutually interlocking design, each having respective interlockable halves of the panel edge joining device 83 to allow adjoining wall panels 41 to interconnect. The edge joining device 83 comprises of a tongue 86 integral with side edge 71 and a groove 89 integral with side edge 74. The tongue 86 and groove 89 preferably extend the length of the side edges 71 and 74 to ensure that the wall panels 41 are flush with each other from top edge 65 to bottom edge 68 even if the walls 26 and 29 are uneven such as by being wavy. The tongue 86 is mounted to the groove 89 by sliding downwardly thereinto. Alternatively, tongue 86 may be designed to snap-fit into groove 89 by pressing edgewise thereinto to slightly deflect side edge 74. The wall panels 41 may form a waterproof joint if so desired by being a tight fit or using an adhesive or sealant therebetween. The tongue 86 and groove 89 are rounded to provide easy sliding together and removal without using tools and without damaging the wall panels 41. Likewise, the components of wall paneling system 20 are rounded as needed so assembly and disassembly is done without damaging any component.
  • The wall panel 41 preferably includes a second additional feature in the form of a panel edge hiding device 90 wherein the side edges 71 and 74 include respective indent halves 92 and 95 of the panel edge hiding device 90. The indent halves 92 and 95 are each of quarter-round cross-section which form a full indent 98 of half-round cross-section at adjoining wall panels 41 to provide a finished look therebetween and to control any possible gap (not shown) between the wall panels 41 where the side edges 71 and 74 do not fit together exactly flush.
  • As best shown in FIG. 3, the upper mounting rail 44 includes a flat base 101 adapted to be affixed along respective of the walls 26 and 29 by having a plurality of holes 104 therethrough for receiving a plurality of wall attachment devices comprising screws 107. Other such attachment devices such as nails may be used to attach upper mounting rail 44 to the walls 26 and 29. A first half 108 of a wall trim piece attachment device 109 comprising a first locking clip 110 of S-shaped cross-section includes a curved base portion 113 which extends initially parallel with base 101 then outwardly, a primary retaining portion 116 of C-shaped cross-section is adapted to engage the wall trim piece 50, and an end retaining portion 119 of C-shaped cross-section. The first half 108 of the wall trim piece attachment device 109 further comprises a second locking clip 122 of T-shaped cross-section which extends from the base 101 thereof including a base leg 125 which extends perpendicularly from base 101 and a cross leg 128 which terminates at a bulbous end 131 adapted to engage the wall trim piece 50. The upper mounting rail 44 includes a top panel attachment device 132 comprising a wedge end 134 of cross leg 128 of second locking clip 122 adapted to resiliently engage the top edge 65 of the wall panel 41 to retain the top edge 65 to the walls 26 and 29.
  • The lower mounting rail 47 is of J-shaped cross-section having a flat base 137 adapted to be affixed along the walls 26 and 29 having a plurality of holes 138 therethrough for receiving a plurality of the screws 107 to attach lower mounting rail 47 to the walls 26 and 29. The lower mounting rail 47 further includes a bottom panel attachment device 139 comprised of an L-shaped member 140 which extends outwardly from the base 137 thereof adapted to support the wall panel 41 and retain the bottom edge 68 to the walls 26 and 29. The L-shaped member 140 comprises a short leg 143 which extends perpendicularly from base 137 and a long leg 146 which extends parallel to walls 26 and 29. The base 137 and L-shaped member 140 form an elongate channel 147 defining a pocket 149 therebetween to receive the bottom edge 68 of the wall panel 41.
  • The wall trim piece 50 is adapted to conceal the upper mounting rails 44 and includes a substantially hollow outer member 152 of a partial flat C-shaped cross-sectional shape. Alternatively, an outer member 153 (dotted lines) of partial rounded C-shape may be used or of other cross-sectional shapes. The outer member 152 includes a base leg 155 which extends parallel to the walls 26 and 29, a long leg 158 dependent therefrom which terminates at an outside edge 161 of outer member 152 adapted to engage the walls 26 and 29, and a short leg 164 dependent therefrom which terminates at an inside edge 167 of outer member 152 adapted to engage the wall panel 41. A second half 168 of the wall trim piece attachment device 109 adapted to connect the outer member 152 to the upper mounting rails 44 comprises a first locking member 170 which extends inwardly from the outer member 152 perpendicularly from short leg 164 having a bulbous end 173 adapted to resiliently connect to the first half 108 of the wall trim piece attachment device 109. The second half 168 further comprises a second locking member 176 which extends inwardly from the outer member 152 in a curved manner from base leg 155 having a bulbous end 179 adapted to resiliently connect to the first half 108 of the wall trim piece attachment device 109. The wall trim pieces 50 snap-fit to the upper mounting rails 44 by positioning slightly thereabove and pushing downwardly and rearwardly. The bulbous end 173 of first locking member 170 engages the end retaining portion 119 to deflect the first locking clip 110 outwardly to seat in the primary retaining portion 116. The bulbous end 179 of second locking member 176 engages the bulbous end 131 to deflect the second locking clip 122 downwardly to seat therebelow.
  • As best shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, the wall paneling system 20 further includes an inside corner mounting rail 182, an inside corner trim piece 185, and a multi-planar inside corner cap 188 to finish the inside corner 32.
  • The inside corner mounting rail 182 includes a base 191 of L-shaped cross-section adapted to be affixed to at least one of two intersecting walls 26 and 29 along the inside corner 32 of the room 23. The inside corner mounting rail comprises a pair of perpendicular legs 194 and 197 connected together edgewise at the angle “A” of the intersecting walls 26 and 29 at the inside corner 32. Respective pluralities of holes 200 and 203 extend therethrough for receiving a plurality of the screws 107 to attach inside corner mounting rail 182 to the walls 26 and 29. The legs 194 and 197 have respective rear surfaces 205 and 206 adapted respectively to engage the intersecting walls 26 and 29 at the inside corner 32. The inside corner mounting rail 182 further includes a first half 207 of a corner trim piece attachment device 208 disposed centrally thereon extending forwardly therefrom adapted to connect the inside corner trim piece 185 to the inside corner mounting rail 182. The first half 207 of the corner trim piece attachment device 208 comprises a pair of opposing first and second locking clips 209 and 210 of S-shaped cross-section which extend from the base 191. The first and second locking clips 209 and 210 include respective oppositely outwardly curved base portions 212 and 215 which extend from respective of the legs 194 and 197, and respective opposing inwardly curved retaining portions 218 and 221 adapted to resiliently engage the inside corner trim piece 185.
  • The inside corner trim piece 185 includes a base 224 of a curved L-shaped cross-section adapted to be disposed along the inside corner 32 in overlapping relationship to adjacent wall panels 41 to conceal respective of the side edges 71 and 74 thereof and to conceal the inside corner mounting rail 182. Alternatively, base 224 may be disposed in an abutting or in both an abutting and overlapping relationship therewith. The base 224 comprises a pair of legs 227 and 230 which have respective rear surfaces 234 and 235 adapted respectively to engage the front surface 56 of adjacent of the wall panels 41 at the inside corner 32. The legs 227 and 230 are interconnected by a concave curved middle portion 233 disposed at an angle slightly greater than the angle “A” of the intersecting walls 26 and 29. The inside corner trim piece 185 is designed to be at least somewhat flexible to ensure a tight fit against the wall panels 41 at inside corner 32 even if the walls 26 and 29 are not exactly perpendicular either in an obtuse or acute direction. A second half 236 of the corner trim piece attachment device 207 is disposed centrally thereon extending rearwardly from the base 224 adapted to snap-fit to the first half 207 thereof. The second half 236 of the corner trim piece attachment device 207 comprises a center member 237 of mushroom-shaped cross-section which extends rearwardly from the middle portion 233. Center member 237 has an inwardly curved stem 239 and a rounded head 242 adapted to snap-fit to between the first and second locking clips 209 and 210 of first half 207 of corner trim piece attachment device 208 by pressing perpendicularly thereinto. Alternatively, the inside corner trim piece 185 may mounted to the inside corner mounting rail 182 by sliding the center member 237 thereof downwardly between the first and second locking clips 209 and 210 of first half 207 of corner trim piece attachment device 208.
  • The multi-planar inside corner cap 188 is labeled as such due to it's angled configuration to engage both of walls 26 and 29. The inside corner cap 188 includes a body 245 of a mating configuration to adjoining of the upper mounting rails 44, the wall trim pieces 50, the inside corner mounting rail 182, and the inside corner trim pieces 185 and is adapted to conceal respective adjoining cut ends thereof Body 245 has a curved right angle front surface 248, a bent right angle rear surface 251 disposed at the angle “A” of the intersecting walls 26 and 29 at the inside corner 32, a curved L-shaped top surface 254, a curved L-shaped bottom surface 257 adapted to engage the inside corner mounting rail 182 and the inside corner trim piece 185, and respective rectangular side surfaces 260 and 263 adapted to engage adjoining of the upper mounting rails 44 and the wall trim pieces 50. The inside corner cap 188 further includes a cap attachment device 264 adapted to attach the body 245 to at least one of the upper mounting rail 44, the wall trim piece 50, the inside corner mounting rail 182, and the inside corner trim piece 185. The cap attachment device 264 is of a plug type comprising a pair of bottom plugs 266 and 267 integral with body 245 which extend downwardly from body 245 at bottom surface 257. The bottom plugs 266 and 267 are adapted to closely fit within corresponding open areas 275 and 278 of the wall paneling system 20 defined by the adjoining inside corner mounting rail 182 and inside corner trim piece 185 to retain the inside corner cap 188 thereto. The cap attachment device 264 further comprises a pair of side plugs 284 and 287 integral with body 245 which extend outwardly from body 245 at respective of side surfaces 260 and 263. The side plugs 284 and 287 are adapted to closely fit within a corresponding open area 290 of the wall paneling system 20 defined by adjoining pairs of the upper mounting rails 44 and the wall trim pieces 50 to retain the inside corner cap 188 thereto. Alternatively to the plug type cap attachment device 264, a snap-fit type (see below) may be used wherein the body 245 is formed in a partially or completely hollow configuration.
  • As best shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, the wall paneling system 20 further includes an outside corner mounting rail 293, an outside corner trim piece 296, and a multi-planar outside corner cap 299 to finish an outside corner 302 of an angle “Al” of two-hundred-seventy degrees formed by respective walls 26 and 305.
  • The outside corner mounting rail 293 includes a base 311 of L-shaped cross-section adapted to be affixed to at least one of two intersecting walls 26 and 305 along the outside corner 302 of the room 23. The outside corner mounting rail comprises of a pair of perpendicular legs 314 and 317 connected together edgewise at the angle “Al” of the intersecting walls 26 and 305 at the outside corner 302. Legs 314 and 317 have respective pluralities of holes 320 and 323 therethrough for receiving a plurality of the screws 107 to attach outside corner mounting rail 293 to the walls 26 and 305. The legs 314 and 317 of the outside corner mounting rail 293 have respective rear surfaces 324 and 325 adapted respectively to engage the intersecting walls 26 and 305 at the outside corner 302. A first half 326 of a corner trim piece attachment device 327 comprising a pair of opposing first and second locking clips 328 and 329 of elongate S-shaped cross-section is disposed centrally thereof extending forwardly therefrom. The first half 326 includes respective oppositely outwardly curved base portions 332 and 335 which extend from respective of the legs 314 and 317, and respective opposing inwardly curved retaining portions 338 and 341 adapted resiliently to engage the outside corner trim piece 296.
  • The outside corner trim piece 296 includes a base 344 of a curved L-shaped cross-section adapted to be disposed along the outside corner 302 in overlapping relationship to adjacent wall panels 41 to conceal respective of the side edges 71 and 74 thereof and to conceal the outside corner mounting rail 293. Alternatively, base 344 may be disposed in an abutting or both abutting and overlapping relationship therewith. The base 344 comprises a pair of legs 347 and 350 interconnected by a convex curved middle portion 353. Legs 347 and 350 terminate at respective rearwardly curved ends 354 and 355 having respective rear surfaces 358 and 361 adapted to engage the front surface 56 of adjacent of the wall panels 41 at the outside corner 302. The legs 347 and 350 are disposed at an angle slightly greater than the angle “A1” of the intersecting walls 26 and 305 at the outside corner 302. The outside corner trim piece 296 is designed to be flexible to ensure a tight fit against the wall panels 41 at outside corner 302 even if the walls 26 and 305 are not exactly perpendicular either in an obtuse or acute direction. A second half 362 of the corner trim piece attachment device 327 is disposed centrally thereon extending rearwardly from the base 344 adapted to snap-fit to the first half 326 thereof. The second half 362 of the corner trim piece attachment device 327 comprises a pair of opposed center arms 363 and 365 which extend rearwardly from the middle portion 353 adapted to snap-fit to between the first and second locking clips 328 and 329 of first half 326 of corner trim piece attachment device 327 by pressing perpendicularly thereinto. Alternatively, the outside corner trim piece 296 may mounted to the outside corner mounting rail 293 by sliding the center arms 363 and 365 thereof downwardly between the first and second locking clips 328 and 329 of first half 326 of corner trim piece attachment device 327.
  • The multi-planar outside corner cap 299 is labeled as such due to it's angled configuration to engage both of walls 26 and 305. Outside corner cap 299 includes a body 368 of a mating configuration to adjoining of the upper mounting rails 44, the wall trim pieces 50, the outside corner mounting rail 293, and the outside corner trim pieces 296 and is being adapted to conceal respective adjoining cut ends thereof Body 368 has a curved right angle front surface 371, a bent right angle rear surface 374 disposed at the angle “A1” of the intersecting walls 26 and 305, and a curved L-shaped top surface 377. A curved L-shaped bottom surface 380 is adapted to engage the outside corner mounting rail 293 and the outside corner trim piece 296. Respective rectangular side surfaces 383 and 386 are adapted to engage adjoining of the upper mounting rails 44 and the wall trim pieces 50. The outside corner cap 299 further includes a cap attachment device 390 adapted to attach the body 368 to at least one of the upper mounting rail 44, the wall trim piece 50, the outside corner mounting rail 293, and the outside corner trim piece 296. The cap attachment device 390 is of the plug type comprising a pair of bottom plugs 395 and 398 integral with body 368 which extend downwardly from body 368 at bottom surface 380. The bottom plugs 395 and 398 are adapted to closely fit within corresponding open areas 401 and 404 of the wall paneling system 20 defined by the adjoining outside corner mounting rail 293 and outside corner trim piece 296 to retain the outside corner cap 299 thereto. The cap attachment device 390 further comprises a pair of side plugs 407 and 410 integral with body 368 which extend outwardly from body 368 at respective of side surfaces 383 and 386. Side plugs 407 and 410 are adapted to closely fit within the corresponding open areas 290 of the wall paneling system 20 defined by adjoining pairs of the upper mounting rails 44 and the wall trim pieces 50 to retain the outside corner cap 299 thereto. Alternatively to the plug type cap attachment device 390, a snap-fit type (see below) may be used wherein the body 368 is formed in a partially or completely hollow configuration.
  • The modular wall panels 41, upper mounting rails 44, lower mounting rails 47, wall trim pieces 50, inside corner mounting rails 182, inside corner trim pieces 185, inside corner caps 188, outside corner mounting rails 293, outside corner trim pieces 296, and outside corner caps 299 are preferably made from a plastic polymer material such as high impact polystyrene, polypropylene, high density polyethylene, or other suitable material having a suitable combination of impact resistance, cost, flexibility, scratch resistance, and molding characteristics. These materials, as well as other suitable aluminum, steel, or other metal, or other suitable materials, have a suitable combination of impact resistance, cost, limited flexibility, scratch resistance, and molding characteristics. The upper mounting rails 44, wall trim pieces 50, inside corner mounting rails 182, inside corner trim pieces 185, outside corner mounting rails 293, and outside corner trim pieces 296 are preferably made using a plastic or metal extrusion process due to the ability of such extrusion processes to make complex linear shapes at low cost. The wall panels 41, inside corner caps 188, and outside corner caps 299 are preferably injection molded from plastic polymer material. Secondary processes such as in-mold decorating, painting, anodizing, hydro-coloring, and the like may be used on all to achieve the desired colors and decoration thereon.
  • The modular wall paneling system 20, particularly the visible component parts such as the wall panels 41, wall trim pieces 50, inside corner trim pieces 185, inside corner caps 188, outside corner trim pieces 296, and outside corner caps 299 may be of a common genre such as a common functional design as in standard routed molding designs, an artistic design, or a theme. The common genre may be applied thereto using a process such as molding, printing, embossing, applying a decorative papering such as wall paper, or other conventional process. Examples include simulated wood, murals, a diamond plate pattern, a white beadboard, picture frame molding, faux brick, faux rock, camouflage, and upholstered padded panels for soundproofing or as soft walls for children's rooms or nurseries. Examples of licensed cartoon and other characters, corporate logos, and trademarks include such as Mickey Mouse, Dora the Explorer, Harley-Davidson, Ferrari, Spongebob Squarepants, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Winnie the Pooh, Barbie, Disney princesses, Bob the Builder, NASCAR, All sports teams, Movie themes, TV shows, and the like.
  • The modular wall paneling system 20 is installed by cutting to length and mounting the lower mounting rails 47 to respective of the walls 26, 29, and 305 just above the base molding 35 using the screws 107. The lower mounting rails 47 are mounted to the walls 26, 29, and 305 so as to just touch at the inside and outside corners 32 and 302. The upper mounting rails 44 are then cut to length and mounted to respective of the walls 26, 29, and 305 using the screws 107 at a measured height “H1” above the lower mounting rails 47 for the particular height “H” of the wall panels 41 to snap-fit to the upper mounting rails 44. The upper mounting rails 44 are mounted to respective of the walls 26, 29, and 305 spaced from the inside and outside corners 32 and 302 a distance “S” to allow room for the inside and outside corner caps 188 and 299. The inside and outside corner mounting rails 182 and 293 are then cut to length and respectively mounted to the walls 26, 29, and 305 at corners 32 and 302 using the screws 107. The corner mounting rails 182 and 293 are of a height “H2” which is the same as the distance to the bottom of the wall trim pieces 50 when installed which allows room for the inside and outside corner caps 188 and 299.
  • One or more of the wall panels 41, typically the endmost of panels 41, may be vertically cut to fit the particular walls 26, 29, and 305 so as to have respective of the side edges 71 and 74 spaced from adjacent of the walls 26, 29, and 305 at the distance “S” from the inside and outside corners 32 and 302. This is later covered by respective of the inside and outside corner trim pieces 185 and 296. The endmost of panels 41 are typically cut so that they roughly meet the end edge of the associated upper mounting rail 44. The cut doesn't have to be perfect or precise, as the corner caps 188 and 299 will cover the cuts.
  • The wall panels 41 are mounted to the upper mounting rails 44 and lower mounting rails 47 by inserting the bottom edge 68 thereof into pocket 149 of lower mounting rail 47 and rotating the top edge 65 towards respective of the walls 26, 29, and 305. The top edge 65 is pushed against the wedge end 134 of the second locking clip 122 of upper mounting rail 44 which deflects slightly to allow passing thereunder to lock top edge 65 in place. This snap-fit feature of upper mounting rails 44 easily and securely retains the wall panels 41 in an upright position against the walls 26, 29, and 305. The wall panels 41 are preferably retained against respective of the walls 26, 29, and 305 by the upper mounting rail 44 and the lower mounting rail 47 such that there is a slight amount of interference with respective of walls 26, 29, and 305 so the wall panels 41 bow slightly outwardly at the middle area 80 between the top and bottom edges 65 and 68. This is done to take out any potential gap between respective of walls 26, 29, and 305 and the wall panels 41 if the walls 26, 29, and 305 are uneven so the wall panels 41 stay tight against respective of the walls 26, 29, and 305 and not rattle upon contact therewith or when a door (not shown) is shut. The indent halves 92 and 95 of the adjoining wall panels 41 form the full indent 98 to provide a finished look.
  • After the wall panels 41 are mounted, the inside and outside corner trim pieces 185 and 296 are cut to length and mounted to respective of the inside and outside corner mounting rails 182 and 293 as described above. The corner trim pieces 185 and 296 are of the height “H2” which is the same as the inside and outside corner mounting rails 182 and 293 which allows room for the inside and outside corner caps 188 and 299. Respective of legs 227 and 230, and 347 and 350 of the inside and outside corner trim pieces 185 and 296 overlap the wall panels 41 to provide a finished look.
  • After the inside and outside corner trim pieces 185 and 296 are mounted, the wall trim pieces 50 are mounted by snap-fitting to the upper mounting rails 44 as described above. The inside and outside corner caps 188 and 299 are installed next. The inside corner caps 188 are installed by inserting the bottom plugs 266 and 267 into the open areas 275 and 278 of wall paneling system 20, and inserting the side plugs 284 and 287 thereof into the open areas 290 of wall paneling system 20. Each corner cap 188 abuts respective of the wall trim pieces 50 to provide a finished look and to concealing the cut ends of the upper mounting rails 44, the wall trim pieces 50, the inside corner mounting rails 182, and the inside corner trim pieces 185. The outside corner caps 299 are installed by inserting the bottom plugs 395 and 398 thereof into the open areas 401 and 404 of wall paneling system 20, and inserting the side plugs 407 and 410 thereof into the open areas 290 of wall paneling system 20. Each corner cap 299 abuts respective of the wall trim pieces 50 to provide a finished look and to concealing the cut ends of the upper mounting rails 44, the wall trim pieces 50, the outside corner mounting rails 293, and the outside corner trim pieces 296.
  • The modular wall paneling system 20 solves the problem of obtaining a finished look such as obtaining an exact cut for the endmost of wall panels 41 since the inside and outside corner trim pieces 185 and 296 cover the cut edges thereof. The finished look is further obtained by the cut ends of the upper mounting rails 44, the wall trim pieces 50, the inside and outside corner mounting rails 182 and 293, and the inside and outside corner trim pieces 185 and 296 being covered by the inside and outside corner caps 188 and 299.
  • Second Preferred Embodiment
  • Referring to FIGS. 10-13, a second embodiment modular wall paneling system 413 for application to a wall of a room, preferably in the form of a whiteboard, is disclosed. The wall paneling system 413 is shown as installed in a room 416 along a wall 419, adjacent a wall 422 and an inside corner 425 thereof, above a floor 428 and base molding trim pieces 431. This illustrates how the modular wall paneling system of the present invention is not isolated only to wainscoting type installations. Exemplary modular wall panels that may be used here include whiteboard, chalkboard, corkboard, modular shelving panels, clothing hooks and racks, padded upholstered panels and picture or other artwork frames.
  • The wall paneling system 413 includes a plurality of generally flat members in the form of modular whiteboard wall panels 434 each of at least limited flexibility and preferably being semi-rigid, a peripheral trim mounting rail system 437 comprised of a pair of elongate horizontal mounting rails 440 and a pair of elongate vertical mounting rails 443, a peripheral wall trim piece system 446 comprised of a pair of elongate horizontal wall trim pieces 449 and a pair of elongate vertical wall trim pieces 452, and a plurality of planar corner caps 455.
  • The whiteboard wall panels 434 are preferably of a rectangular shape, though other shapes may be used which have flat sides such as triangles, octagons, and the like which allow attachment to the horizontal and vertical mounting rails 440 and 443. The whiteboard wall panels 434 are of similar construction to wall panels 41 adapted for application to the wall 419 of the room 416 including a front panel 458 with a front surface 461 and an opposing rear surface 467 of a rearwardly convex shape formed by a plurality of parallel ribs 470 which create broken line contact with the wall 419 at respective collinear contact lines 471. The wall panels 434 include a peripheral edge 472 comprising a top edge 473, a bottom edge 476, a side edge 479, and a side edge 482. The ribs 470 stiffen the whiteboard wall panels 434 for durability and create essentially point contact at the contact lines 471 with the wall 419. The whiteboard wall panels 434 are adapted to be retained against the wall 419 by the trim mounting rail system 437 at opposite portions of the peripheral edge 472 comprising the top edge 473 and bottom edge 476 such that there is a slight amount of interference with the wall 419. The wall panels 434 bow slightly outwardly at a middle area 488 between the top and bottom edges 473 and 476 to take out any potential gap between the wall 419 and the wall panels 434 if the wall 419 is uneven so the wall panels 434 stay tight against the wall 419 and not rattle upon contact therewith or other situations such as when a door (not shown) is shut. Alternatively, the rear surface 467 may be of other rearwardly convex configurations which provide line contact with the wall 419. These include a curved planar surface 491 adapted for engaging the wall by creating unbroken line contact therewith or other curved configurations which provide limited contact with the wall 419.
  • The whiteboard wall panels 434 include a first additional feature in the form of erasable ink receiving layer 492 disposed over the front surface 461 such as used on conventional whiteboards adapted for erasable writing thereon.
  • The whiteboard wall panels 434 preferably include a second additional feature in the form of a panel edge joining device 493 wherein the side edges 479 and 482 are of mutually interlocking design. Side edges 479 and 482 have respective interlockable halves of the panel edge joining device 493 comprised of a tongue (not shown) integral with side edge 479 and a groove (not shown) integral with side edge 482 to allow adjoining wall panels 434 to interconnect. The tongue and groove preferably extend the length of the side edges 479 and 482 to ensure that the whiteboard wall panels 434 are flush with each other from top edge 473 to bottom edge 476 even if the wall 419 is uneven such as by being wavy. The tongue and groove are rounded to provide easy sliding together and removal without using tools and without damaging the wall panels 434. The tongue may mounted to the groove by sliding downwardly thereinto. Alternatively, the tongue may be designed to snap-fit into groove by pressing edgewise thereinto to slightly deflect side edge 482. The panels 434 may form a waterproof joint if so desired by being a tight fit or using an adhesive or sealant therebetween. The tongue and groove are rounded to provide easy sliding together and removal without using tools and without damaging the wall panels 434. Likewise, the components of wall paneling system 413 are rounded as needed so assembly and disassembly is done without damaging any component.
  • The whiteboard wall panels 434 preferably includes a third additional feature in the form of a panel edge hiding device 498 wherein the side edges 479 and 482 include respective indent halves 501 and 504 of the panel edge hiding device 498. The indent halves 501 and 504 are each of quarter-round cross-section which form a full indent 506 of half-round cross-section at adjoining whiteboard wall panels 434 to provide a finished look therebetween and to control any possible gap (not shown) between the whiteboard wall panels 434 where the side edges 479 and 482 do not fit together exactly flush.
  • The horizontal and vertical mounting rails 440 and 443 of the peripheral trim mounting rail system 437 are of the same cross-sectional configuration, being cut to differing lengths from a generic mounting rail 509. The generic mounting rail 509 is of similar construction to upper mounting rail 44 but of a shorter height “H3” than a height “H4” thereof The generic mounting rail 509 includes a flat base 512 adapted to be affixed along the wall 419 having a plurality of holes 515 therethrough for receiving a plurality of the screws 107 to attach generic mounting rail 509 to the wall 419. A first half 516 of a wall trim piece attachment device 517 comprises a first locking clip 518 of S-shaped cross-section includes a curved base portion 521 which extends initially parallel with base 512 then outwardly, a primary retaining portion 524 of C-shaped cross-section adapted to engage the horizontal and vertical wall trim pieces 449 and 452 of peripheral wall trim piece system 446, and an end retaining portion 527 of C-shaped cross-section. The first half 516 of a wall trim piece attachment device 517 further comprises a second locking clip 530 of T-shaped cross-section which extends from the base 512 thereof including a base leg 533 which extends perpendicularly from base 512 and a cross leg 536 which terminates at a bulbous end 539 adapted to engage the horizontal and vertical wall trim pieces 449 and 452. The generic mounting rail 509 includes a top panel attachment device 540 comprising a wedge end 542 of cross leg 536 of second locking clip 530 adapted to resiliently engage the top edge 473 of the whiteboard wall panel 434 to retain the top edge 473 to the wall 419.
  • The horizontal and vertical wall trim pieces 449 and 452 of the peripheral wall trim piece system 446 are of the same cross-sectional configuration, being cut to differing lengths from a generic wall trim piece 545. The generic wall trim piece 545 is of similar construction to wall trim piece 50 but of a shorter height “H5” than the height “H6” thereof. The generic wall trim piece 545 is adapted to conceal the horizontal and vertical mounting rails 440 and 443 and includes a substantially hollow outer member 548 of a partial flat C-shaped cross-sectional shape. Alternatively, an outer member 549 (dotted lines) of partial rounded C-shape may be used or of other cross-sectional shapes. The outer member 548 includes a base leg 551 which extends parallel to the wall 419, a long leg 554 dependent therefrom which terminates at an outside edge 557 of outer member 548 adapted to engage the wall 419, and a short leg 560 dependent therefrom which terminates at an inside edge 563 of outer member 548 adapted to engage the wall panel 434. A second half 564 of the wall trim piece attachment device 517 adapted to connect the outer member 548 to the horizontal and vertical mounting rails 440 and 443 comprises a first locking member 566 which extends inwardly from the outer member 548 perpendicularly from short leg 560 having a bulbous end 569 adapted to resiliently connect to the first half 516 of the wall trim piece attachment device 517. The second half 564 further comprises a second locking member 572 which extends inwardly from the outer member 548 in a curved manner from base leg 551 having a bulbous end 575 adapted to resiliently connect to the first half 516 of the wall trim piece attachment device 517. The generic wall trim pieces 545 snap-fit to the horizontal and vertical trim mounting rails 440 and 443 by positioning slightly forwardly and outwardly therefrom and pushing inwardly and rearwardly such that the bulbous end 569 of first locking member 566 engages the end retaining portion 527 to deflect the first locking clip 518 outwardly to seat in the primary retaining portion 524. The bulbous end 575 of second locking clip 572 engages the bulbous end 539 to deflect the second locking clip 530 to seat therebehind.
  • The planar corner caps 455 are labeled as such due to it's non-angled configuration to engage one walls 419. Corner caps 455 include a hollow body 578 of partial C-shaped cross-section of a mating configuration to adjoining of the horizontal and vertical mounting rails 440 and 443, and the horizontal and vertical wall trim pieces 449 and 452 adapted to conceal the cut ends thereof Body 578 has a curved L-shaped front surface 579, a curve L-shaped rear surface 580 comprised of an outer portion 581 adapted to engage the wall 419 and an inner portion 582 is adapted to engage the whiteboard wall panels 434, a bent right angle outer surface 583, and a bent right angle inner surface 584. Respective U-shaped side and bottom surfaces 585 and 586 are adapted to respectively engage the horizontal mounting rail 440 and the horizontal wall trim piece 449, and the vertical mounting rail 443 and the vertical wall trim piece 452 at an intersection area 587 thereof. Body 578 comprises a front wall 588 having the front surface 579 which extends parallel to the wall 419, an outside wall 589 having the outer surface 583 rearwardly dependent from front wall 588 terminating at a rear edge 590 which comprises the outer portion 581 of rear surface 580, and an inside wall 591 having the inner surface 584 rearwardly dependent from front wall 588 terminating at a rear edge 593 comprising the inner portion 582 of rear surface 580.
  • The planar corner caps 455 further include a cap attachment device in the form of another second half 596 of the wall trim piece attachment device 517 adapted to attach the body 578 to the horizontal and vertical mounting rails 440 and 443 at the intersection area 587. The second half 596 comprises a first locking member 602 which extends inwardly from the body 578 perpendicularly from outside wall 584 having a bulbous end 605 adapted to resiliently connect to the first half 516 of the wall trim piece attachment device 517. The second half 596 further comprises a second locking member 608 which extends inwardly from the body 578 in a curved manner from front wall 588 having a bulbous end 611 adapted to resiliently connect to the first half 516 of the wall trim piece attachment device 517. The corner caps 455 snap-fit to the horizontal and vertical mounting rails 440 and 443 by positioning slightly outwardly therefrom and pushing inwardly and rearwardly such that the bulbous end 605 of first locking member 602 engages the end retaining portion 527 to deflect the first locking clip 518 outwardly to seat in the primary retaining portion 524. The bulbous end 611 of second locking member 608 engages the bulbous end 539 to deflect the second locking clip 530 to seat therebehind. The use of end retaining portion 527 to receive the bulbous end 605 rather than the primary retaining portion 524 allows the corner caps 455 to snap-fit to the adjoining perpendicularly disposed horizontal and vertical wall trim pieces 449 and 452 more easily while firmly retaining thereto. Alternatively to the snap-fit type corner attachment device or alternate second half 596, a plug type (see above) may be used.
  • The whiteboard wall panels 434, horizontal mounting rails 440, vertical mounting rails 443, horizontal wall trim pieces 449, vertical wall trim pieces 452, and planar corner caps 455 are preferably made from a plastic polymer material such as high impact polystyrene, polypropylene, high density polyethylene, or other suitable material having a suitable combination of impact resistance, cost, flexibility, scratch resistance, and molding characteristics. These materials, as well as other suitable aluminum, steel, or other metal, or other suitable materials, have a suitable combination of impact resistance, cost, limited flexibility, scratch resistance, and molding characteristics. The horizontal and vertical mounting rails 440 and 443, and horizontal and vertical wall trim pieces 449 and 452 are preferably made using a plastic or metal extrusion process due to the ability of such extrusion processes to make complex linear shapes at low cost. The whiteboard wall panels 434 and planar corner caps 455 are preferably injection molded from plastic polymer material. Secondary processes such as in-mold decorating, painting, anodizing, hydro-coloring, and the like may be used on all to achieve the desired colors and decorations.
  • The modular wall paneling system 413 may be of various artistic designs or themes as described above for modular wall paneling system 20 wherein the whiteboard wall panels 434, and the horizontal and vertical wall trim pieces 449 and 452 are molded, printed, embossed, or otherwise adapted for such artistic design or theme. The whiteboard wall panels 434 preferably have any artistic design or theme is printed thereon rather than molded or embossed so the ink receiving layer 492 remains flat for writing and erasing thereon.
  • The modular wall paneling system 413 is installed by cutting to length and mounting the horizontal and vertical mounting rails 440 and 443 to the wall 419 centrally thereon using the screws 107 so as to just touch together. The horizontal mounting rails 440 are mounted such that the horizontal wall trim pieces 449 of the peripheral wall trim piece system 446 are at a vertical spacing “DV” such that the top and bottom edges 473 and 476 of the whiteboard wall panels 434 snap-fit between the wedge ends 542 of the horizontal mounting rails 440. The vertical mounting rails 443 are mounted such that the vertical wall trim pieces 452 of the peripheral wall trim piece system 446 are at a horizontal spacing “DH” such that respective side edges 479 and 482 of the wall panels 434 just clear the wedge ends 542 of the vertical mounting rails 443 to allow slight outward bowing of the wall panels 434 between the horizontal mounting rails 440 as described above without interference to the bowing from the vertical mounting rails 443. The horizontal and vertical mounting rails 440 and 443, and the horizontal and vertical wall trim pieces 449 and 452 are spaced at a distance “S2” from each other to allow assembly of the corner caps 455 thereto.
  • One or more of the whiteboard wall panels 434, typically the endmost of whiteboard wall panels 434, may be vertically cut to fit the particular size of modular wall paneling system 413 desired. The endmost of whiteboard wall panels 434 are typically cut so that they roughly meet the cut ends of the associated horizontal mounting rail 440. The cut doesn't have to be perfect or precise, as the corner caps 455 covers the cut ends.
  • The wall panels 434 snap-fit to the horizontal mounting rails 440 by inserting the bottom edge 476 thereof under the wedge end 542 of the second locking clip 530 of the lowermost of horizontal mounting rails 440 and rotating the top edge 473 towards the wall 419. The top edge 473 is pushed against the wedge end 542 of the second locking clip 530 of the uppermost of horizontal mounting rails 440 which deflects slightly to allow passing thereunder to lock top edge 473 in place. This snap-fit feature of the mounting rails 440 easily and securely retains the whiteboard wall panels 434 in an upright position against the wall 419. The whiteboard wall panels 434 fit between the wedge end 542 of the second locking member 530 of the vertical mounting rails 443 without deflecting due to the larger spacing “DH”. This allows the whiteboard wall panels 434 to preferably be retained against the wall 419 by the horizontal mounting rails 440 such that there is a slight amount of interference with the wall 419 so the wall panels 434 bow slightly outwardly at the middle area 488 between the top and bottom edges 473 and 476. This is done to take out any possible gap between the wall 419 and the whiteboard wall panels 434 if the wall 419 is uneven so the whiteboard wall panels 434 stay tight against the wall 419 and not rattle upon contact therewith or when a door (not shown) is shut. The indent halves 500 and 503 of the adjoining wall panels 434 form the full indent 506 to provide a finished look, or may be omitted if desired to provide easier writing thereon. Alternatively, the vertical mount rails 443 may be spaced closer together to allow all of the horizontal and vertical mounting rails 440 and 443 to grip the wall panels 434 by bowing the whiteboard wall panels 434 in two planes.
  • After the wall panels 434 are mounted, the horizontal and vertical wall trim pieces 449 and 452 are cut to length and mounted by snap-fitting to respective of the horizontal and vertical mounting rails 440 and 443 as described above. The corner caps 455 are installed next by snap-fitting to respective of the horizontal and vertical mounting rails 440 and 443 as described above. Each corner cap 455 abuts respective of the horizontal and vertical wall trim pieces 449 and 452 to provide a finished look and to concealing the cut ends of the horizontal and vertical mounting rails 440 and 443, and the horizontal and vertical wall trim pieces 449 and 452.
  • The modular wall paneling system 413 solves the problem of obtaining a finished look such as obtaining an exact cut for the endmost of wall panels 434 since the vertical wall trim pieces 452 cover the cut edges thereof. The finished look is further obtained by the cut ends of the horizontal and vertical mounting rails 440 and 443, and the horizontal and vertical wall trim pieces 449 and 452 being covered by the corner caps 455.
  • A method of the present invention of installing a modular wall paneling system for application to at least one wall of a room, comprises the steps of: 1) providing at least one wall panel of at least limited flexibility having a front surface, an opposing rear surface, and a peripheral edge, the rear surface being of a rearwardly convex shape of a configuration which provides line contact with the wall; and 2) restraining opposite portions of the peripheral edge of the wall panel against the wall in an upright position such that there is a slight amount of interference with the wall so the wall panel bows slightly outwardly at a middle area thereof to take out any gap between the wall and the wall panel.
  • The method may additionally comprise the steps of: 4) providing at least one elongate upper mounting rail having a base adapted to be affixed along the wall and an attachment device adapted to retain the peripheral edge of the wall panel to the wall; 5) providing at least one elongate lower mounting rail having a base adapted to be affixed along the wall and an attachment device to support the wall panel and retain the peripheral edge to the wall; 6) securing the lower mounting rail to the wall; and 7) securing the upper mounting rail to the wall at a measured distance above the lower mounting rails for the particular height of the wall panels to snap-fit to the trim mounting rails.
  • The method may be conducted wherein the wall panel provided is of a rectangular shape with the peripheral edge comprising a top edge, a bottom edge, and a pair of side edges, and wherein the step of restraining the wall panel against the wall includes engaging the bottom edge of the wall panel with the lower mounting rail and pivoting the top edge into engagement with the upper mounting rail. The attachment device of the upper mounting rail provided may comprise an elongate locking clip which extends from the base thereof adapted to resiliently snap-fit to the top edge of the wall panel. The attachment device of the lower mounting rail provided may comprise an elongate L-shaped member which extends outwardly from the base thereof to form an elongate channel defining a pocket therebetween to receive the peripheral edge of the wall panel. The engaging the bottom edge of the wall panel with the lower mounting rail may comprise inserting the bottom edge of the wall panel into the pocket of the lower mounting rail. The pivoting the top edge into engagement with the upper mounting rail may include pushing the top edge past the locking clip which deflects slightly to allow passing thereunder to lock the top edge in place.
  • Many modifications to the present invention are possible while staying within the same inventive concept. For example, the modular wall paneling system may be adapted for use on forty-five degree inside and outside corners, and corners of other angles. Various attachment devices may be used to attach the modular wall panels to the mounting rails other than the snap-fit type and/or directly to the walls such as patches of hook and loop fasteners commonly sold under the trade name Velcro™, magnets or magnetic strips, double-side adhesive tape, liquid adhesives, and snap-fit type pins or hooks. One or more of the various component parts of the wall paneling system may be molded together such as the wall trim pieces with the wall panels and the like. Other materials may be used besides pure polymer plastic materials such as wood, wood products, cement board, ceramic, and metals such as aluminum, stainless steel, and the like. Other exemplary materials include polymer composites such as a polymer with reinforcing fibers of glass, graphite, wood, flax or other such material. Yet other exemplary materials include a water resistant material such as pressed particle board which is wood particles impregnated with a resin that is subsequently covered with a waterproof surface layer such as paint, a sheet of polyethylene, polypropylene or polyvinyl chloride, or a thermosetting laminate. The wall panels may be attached together using other tongue and groove designs, pins (both for vertical and horizontal attachment), lap joints, C-type channel hooks, and the like. Other designs of ribs may be used which stiffens the wall panel and which function as described above. The ribs may be replaced by pins, suitably shaped spacers, foam or rubber blocks, and the like. The wall paneling system may extend from floor to ceiling by extending the height of the wall panels with or without using the horizontal wall trim pieces (chair rail) intermediate the floor and the ceiling. The wall paneling system may be available as kits designed to fit predetermined room sizes including wall lengths and heights, door frames, window frames, and the like. The wall panels may have the tongue and groove molded integrally therewith or separate pieces affixed thereto. The tongue and/or the groove may be coated or impregnated with an adhesive such as any commercially available two part micro-encapsulated epoxy which rupture and harden automatically upon assembly together or other adhesive, or a waterproofing material to assure no water passes therebetween. The component parts may be of different colors, designs, and the like which are mixed and matched as desired upon initial installation and which may be subsequently rearranged to change the look of a room.
  • The modular wall paneling system, wall panels, and method of the present invention solve all of the above-enumerated objectives. The system is of low cost to manufacture due to the plastic construction and easy to install due to the snapfit design thereof. The wall panels are available in a wide variety of shapes and styles which may be mixed and matched at initial installation and subsequently. The system requires no adhesives or caulking of the edges of the panels and the trim pieces due to the use of nails to affix the mounting rails to the walls and the covering of the cut edges which would normally require caulking. The snap-fit features allow changing of the wall panels and other snap-fit components without ruining the walls. The system requires no special tools for installation, only a hammer, tape measure, pencil, and saw to do only minimal cutting. The system is more environmentally friendly by using plastic rather than wood products to preserve the forests. The system may be made from recycled plastic or made to be biodegradable such as by adding starch or other ingredients to the plastic material. The plastic material used is inherently not susceptible to damage from mold and mildew in wet environments. The plastic material requires no painting or cleaning except occasional wiping with a damp cloth to remove dust. The entire wall paneling system can be removed and reinstalled in another dwelling if so needed by removing the nails which hid the mounting rails. The nails do minimal damage to the walls and no adhesives are used for installation which can cause substantial damage thereto. There is virtually no preparation required of the walls required, the system fitting around the existing base moldings and other trim pieces which need not be removed. The snap-fit features allow the wall panels to be easily interchanged to change the entire look of the room. The system accommodates any size and shape of room including non-square corners and wavy or otherwise irregular walls and may be installed over virtually any type of wall including drywall, brick, concrete block, and previously installed paneling by using appropriate fasteners other than conventional nails as appropriate, such as concrete nails, screws and anchors, and the like. The installation time is quicker than traditional wall finishing due to the use of nails for affixing the mounting rails to the walls and by requiring no subsequent finishing such as staining or painting. The plastic material is impact resistant and durable enough for use in highly abused rooms, and is ideal for bathrooms and other wet areas due to the inherent resistance of the plastic material to mold and mildew. The system is environmentally friendly by using no wood or wood products and capable of using recycled or biodegradable plastic.
  • While the invention has been described, disclosed, illustrated and shown in various terms or certain embodiments or modifications which it has assumed in practice, the scope of the invention is not intended to be, nor should it be deemed to be, limited thereby and such other modifications or embodiments as may be suggested by the teaching herein are particularly reversed especially as they fall within the breadth and scope of the claims here appended.

Claims (20)

1. A modular wall paneling system for application to at least one wall of a room, comprising:
at least one wall panel comprising a generally flat member of at least limited flexibility having a front surface, an opposing rear surface, and a peripheral edge;
at least one elongate upper mounting rail having a base adapted to be affixed along the wall and a top panel attachment device adapted to retain said peripheral edge of said wall panel to the wall; and
at least one elongate lower mounting rail having a base adapted to be affixed along the wall and a bottom panel attachment device adapted to support said wall panel and retain said peripheral edge to the wall.
2. The wall paneling system of claim 1, wherein the panel attachment device of at least one of the upper and lower mounting rails is of a configuration chosen from the group consisting of at least one locking clip which extends from the base thereof adapted to resiliently engage the peripheral edge of the wall panel, and an L-shaped member which extends outwardly from said base thereof to form an elongate channel defining a pocket therebetween to receive said peripheral edge of said wall panel.
3. The wall paneling system of claim 1, additionally comprising:
at least one elongate wall trim piece adapted to conceal one of the mounting rails which includes an outer member and a first half of a wall trim piece attachment device adapted to connect said outer member to said mounting rails; and
wherein at least one of the mounting rails includes a second half of said wall trim piece attachment device adapted to snap-fit to said first half thereof to retain said wall trim piece to said mounting rail.
4. The wall paneling system of claim 3, additionally comprising at least one planar corner cap which includes a body having a rear surface with an outer portion adapted to be disposed along the wall and an inner portion adapted to be disposed along the wall panel, said body being of mating configuration adapted to conceal respective adjoining ends of respective pairs of the mounting rails and wall trim pieces at an intersection area thereof, and further includes a cap attachment device adapted to attach said body to at least one of the mounting rail and the wall trim piece at said intersection area.
5. The wall paneling system of claim 4, wherein the corner attachment device is of a type chosen from the group consisting of a plug type comprising at least one plug which extends from the body adapted to closely fit within a corresponding open area of the wall paneling system defined by adjoining pairs of the mounting rails and the wall trim pieces to retain said planar corner cap thereto, and a snap-fit type wherein said body is formed in a substantially hollow configuration with said corner attachment device comprising at least one locking member which extends inwardly from said body adapted to resiliently connect to said mounting rails.
6. The wall paneling system of claim 3, wherein the outer member of the wall trim piece is formed in a substantially hollow configuration having an outside edge adapted to engage the wall and an inside edge adapted to engage the wall panel, and wherein the first half of the wall trim piece attachment device thereof comprises at least one locking member which extends from said outer member thereof adapted to resiliently connect to the mounting rails, and wherein said outer member is of a cross-sectional shape chosen from the group consisting of partial rounded C-shape and partial flat C-shape.
7. The wall paneling system of claim 1, additionally comprising:
a corner mounting rail having a base adapted to be affixed to at least one of two intersecting walls along a corner of the room and a first half of a corner trim piece attachment device;
a corner trim piece which includes a base adapted to disposed along the corner in a relationship to adjacent wall panels chosen from the group consisting of abutting, overlapping, and both abutting and overlapping to conceal respective side edges thereof and to conceal said corner mounting rail, and a second half of the corner trim piece attachment device which extends rearwardly from said base adapted to snap-fit to said first half thereof, said corner trim piece attachment device being adapted to connect said corner trim piece to said corner mounting rail; and
a multi-planar corner cap which includes a body having an angled rear surface adapted to be disposed along the intersecting walls at the corner disposed at an angle corresponding to the intersecting walls, said body being of mating configuration adapted to conceal respective adjoining ends of said upper mounting rail, said corner mounting rail, and said corner trim piece, and further includes a cap attachment device adapted to attach said body to at least one of said upper mounting rail, said corner mounting rail, and said corner trim piece.
8. The wall paneling system of claim 7, wherein the second half of the corner trim piece attachment device of the corner trim piece is chosen from the group consisting of a center member of mushroom shaped cross-section and a pair of opposed center arms, and the first half of said corner trim piece attachment device of the corner mounting rail is chosen from the group consisting of a single locking clip and a pair of opposing locking clips which extend from the base thereof adapted to resiliently engage said second half of said corner trim piece attachment device.
9. The wall paneling system of claim 7, wherein the bases of the corner mounting rail and the corner trim piece are of L-shaped cross-section comprised of respective pairs of legs connected together edgewise at an angle corresponding to the intersecting walls at the corner, said legs of said corner mounting rail and said corner trim piece each having a rear surface adapted respectively to engage the intersecting walls at the corner and to engage the front surface of adjacent of the wall panels at the corner, the first half of the corner trim piece attachment device of said corner rail being disposed centrally thereon extending forwardly therefrom and the second half of said corner trim piece attachment device of said corner trim piece being disposed centrally thereon extending rearwardly therefrom, and wherein the rear surface of the corner cap is disposed at angle corresponding to the intersecting walls at the corner.
10. The wall paneling system of claim 7, wherein the cap attachment device of the multi-planar corner cap is of a type chosen from the group consisting of a plug type comprising at least one plug which extends from said body adapted to closely fit within a corresponding open area of the wall paneling system defined by pairs of adjoining components chosen from the group consisting of the corner mounting rail and the corner trim piece and the upper mounting rail and a wall trim piece to retain said multi-planar corner cap thereto, and a snap-fit type wherein said body is formed in a substantially hollow configuration with said cap attachment device comprising at least one locking clip which extends from the body thereof adapted to resiliently engage a second half of said cap attachment device to snap-fit thereto.
11. The wall paneling system of claim 1, wherein all visible component parts including the wall panels are of a common genre chosen from the group consisting of a functional design, an artistic design, and a theme, and wherein said common genre is applied thereto using a process chosen from the group consisting of molding, printing, embossing, and applying a decorative papering.
12. The wall paneling system of claim 1, additionally comprising:
at least one each of said upper and one of said lower mounting rails;
at least one elongate wall trim piece adapted to conceal one of the mounting rails which includes an outer member and a first half of a wall trim piece attachment device adapted to connect said outer member to said mounting rails, said outer member being formed in a substantially hollow configuration of a cross-sectional shape chosen from the group consisting of partial rounded C-shape and partial flat C-shape having an outside edge adapted to engage the wall and an inside edge adapted to engage the wall panel, said first half of said wall trim piece attachment device comprising a first locking member which extends vertically within said outer member which terminates at a bulbous end and a second locking member which extends in a curved horizontal manner within said outer member which terminates at a bulbous end, each being adapted to resiliently snap-fit to a second half of said wall trim attachment device of at least one of said mounting rails to retain said wall trim piece to said mounting rail; and
wherein the wall panel is of a rectangular shape having a top edge, a bottom edge, and a pair of side edges with the rear surface thereof being of a rearwardly convex shape of a configuration chosen from the group consisting of a curved planar surface adapted for engaging the wall by creating unbroken line contact therewith, a plurality of parallel ribs which create broken line contact with the wall, and other curved configurations which provide line contact with the wall, said wall panel including at least one additional feature chosen from the group consisting of a panel edge joining device wherein the peripheral edge includes respective interlockable halves of said panel edge joining device to allow adjoining wall panels to interconnect, a panel edge hiding device wherein the peripheral edge includes respective indent halves of said panel edge hiding device which form a full indent at adjoining wall panels to provide a finished look therebetween, and an erasable front surface adapted for erasable writing thereon, wherein said second half of said wall trim attachment device comprises a first locking clip of S-shaped cross-section which includes a curved base portion which extends initially parallel with the base thereof then outwardly and a primary retaining portion of C-shaped cross-section adapted to resiliently engage said bulbous end of said first locking member of said wall trim piece, and a second locking clip of T-shaped cross-section including a base leg which extends perpendicularly from said base thereof and a cross leg which terminates at respective ends including a bulbous end adapted to engage said bulbous end of said second locking member of said wall trim piece to snap-fit thereto and a wedge end comprising the top panel attachment device of said upper mounting rail adapted to engage said top edge by snap-fitting thereto to retain said top edge of said wall panel to the wall, said base of said upper mounting rail having a plurality of holes therethrough for respectively receiving a plurality of attachment devices therethrough to affix said base along the wall, wherein the bottom panel attachment device of said lower mounting rail comprises an L-shaped member which extends outwardly from the base thereof to form an elongate channel defining a pocket therebetween to receive said peripheral edge of said wall panel to retain said bottom edge of said wall panel to the wall, said base of said lower mounting rail having a plurality of holes therethrough for respectively receiving a plurality of attachment devices therethrough to affix said base along the wall, and wherein said wall panel is retained against the wall at said top and bottom edges respectively by said upper and lower mounting rails such that there is a slight amount of interference with the wall so said wall panel bows slightly outwardly at a middle area thereof between said top and bottom edges to take out any gap between the wall and said wall panel.
13. The wall paneling system of claim 12, additionally comprising:
a corner mounting rail having a base adapted to be affixed to at least one of two intersecting walls along a corner of the room and a first half of a corner trim piece attachment device;
a corner trim piece which includes a base adapted to disposed along the corner in a relationship to adjacent wall panels chosen from the group consisting of abutting, overlapping, and both abutting and overlapping to conceal respective side edges thereof and to conceal said corner mounting rail, and a second half of the corner trim piece attachment device which extends rearwardly from said base adapted to snap-fit to said first half thereof, said corner trim piece attachment device being adapted to connect said corner trim piece to said corner mounting rail;
a multi-planar corner cap which includes a body having an angled rear surface adapted to be disposed along the intersecting walls at the corner disposed at an angle corresponding to the intersecting walls, said body being of mating configuration adapted to conceal respective adjoining ends of said upper mounting rail, said wall trim piece, said corner mounting rail, and said corner trim piece, and further includes a cap attachment device adapted to attach said body to at least one of said upper mounting rail, said wall trim piece, said corner mounting rail, and said corner trim piece; and
wherein said bases of said corner mounting rail and the corner trim piece are of L-shaped cross-section comprised of respective pairs of legs connected together edgewise at an angle corresponding to the intersecting walls at the corner, said legs of said corner mounting rail and said corner trim piece each having a rear surface adapted respectively to engage the intersecting walls at the corner and to engage the front surface of adjacent of the wall panels at the corner, said first half of said corner trim piece attachment device of said corner rail being disposed centrally thereon extending forwardly therefrom and said second half of said corner trim piece attachment device of said corner trim piece being disposed centrally thereon extending rearwardly therefrom, said rear surface of said corner cap being disposed at angle corresponding to the intersecting walls at the corner, said base of said corner mounting rail having a plurality of holes therethrough for respectively receiving a plurality of attachment devices therethrough to affix said base along the wall, wherein said second half of said corner trim piece attachment device of said corner trim piece is chosen from the group consisting of a center member of mushroom shaped cross-section and a pair of opposed center arms, and said first half of said corner trim piece attachment device of said corner mounting rail is chosen from the group consisting of a single locking clip and a pair of opposing locking clips which extend from said base thereof adapted to resiliently snap-fit to said second half of said corner trim piece attachment device, and wherein said cap attachment device of said multi-planar corner cap is of a type chosen from the group consisting of a plug type comprising at least one plug which extends from said body adapted to closely fit within a corresponding open area of the wall paneling system defined by pairs of adjoining components chosen from the group consisting of said corner mounting rail and said corner trim piece and said upper mounting rail and said wall trim piece to retain said multi-planar corner cap thereto, and a snap-fit type wherein said body is formed in a substantially hollow configuration with said cap attachment device comprising a first locking member which extends downwardly within said body which terminates at a bulbous end adapted to resiliently engage the primary retaining portion of the first locking clip of the second half of said wall trim attachment device to snap-fit thereto and a second locking member which extends horizontally within said body in a curved manner from said body which terminates at a bulbous end adapted to resiliently engage the bulbous end of the second locking clip of the upper mounting rail to snap-fit thereto.
14. The wall paneling system of claim 12, additionally comprising:
at least one planar corner cap which includes a body having a rear surface with an outer portion adapted to be disposed along the wall and an inner portion adapted to be disposed along the wall panel, said body being of mating configuration adapted to conceal respective adjoining ends of respective pairs of the mounting rails and wall trim pieces at an intersection area thereof, and further includes a cap attachment device adapted to attach said body to at least one of the mounting rail and the wall trim piece at said intersection area;
wherein the cap attachment device is of a type chosen from the group consisting of a plug type comprising at least one plug which extends from the body adapted to closely fit within a corresponding open area of the wall paneling system defined by adjoining pairs of the mounting rails and the wall trim pieces to retain said planar corner cap thereto, and a snap-fit type wherein said body is formed in a substantially hollow configuration with said cap attachment device comprising a first locking member which extends downwardly within said body which terminates at a bulbous end adapted to resiliently engage an end retaining portion of C-shaped cross-section of the first locking clip of the second half of said wall trim attachment device to snap-fit thereto and a second locking member which extends horizontally within said body in a curved manner from said body which terminates at a bulbous end adapted to resiliently engage the bulbous end of the second locking clip of the upper mounting rail to snap-fit thereto.
15. A modular wall panel for application to a wall of a room, comprising a generally flat member of at least limited flexibility having a front surface, an opposing rear surface, and a peripheral edge, said rear surface being of a rearwardly convex shape of a configuration chosen from the group consisting of a curved planar surface adapted for engaging the wall by creating unbroken line contact therewith, a plurality of parallel ribs which create broken line contact with the wall, and other curved configurations which provide line contact with the wall, said wall panel being adapted to be retained against the wall at opposite portions of said peripheral edge such that there is a slight amount of interference with the wall so said wall panel bows slightly outwardly at a middle area thereof to take out any gap between the wall and said wall panel.
16. The wall paneling system of claim 15, wherein the wall panel is of a rectangular shape with the peripheral edge comprising a top edge, a bottom edge, and a pair of side edges.
17. The wall paneling system of claim 15, wherein the wall panel includes at least one additional feature chosen from the group consisting of a panel edge joining device wherein the peripheral edge includes respective interlockable halves of said panel edge joining device to allow adjoining wall panels to interconnect, a panel edge hiding device wherein the peripheral edge includes respective indent halves of said panel edge hiding device which form a full indent at adjoining wall panels to provide a finished look therebetween, and an erasable front surface adapted for erasable writing thereon.
18. A method of installing a modular wall paneling system for application to at least one wall of a room, comprising the steps of:
providing at least one wall panel of at least limited flexibility having a front surface, an opposing rear surface, and a peripheral edge, the rear surface being of a rearwardly convex shape of a configuration which provides line contact with the wall; and
restraining opposite portions of the peripheral edge of the wall panel against the wall in an upright position such that there is a slight amount of interference with the wall so the wall panel bows slightly outwardly at a middle area thereof to take out any gap between the wall and the wall panel.
19. The method of claim 18, additionally comprising the steps of:
providing at least one elongate upper mounting rail having a base adapted to be affixed along the wall and an attachment device adapted to retain the peripheral edge of the wall panel to the wall;
providing at least one elongate lower mounting rail having a base adapted to be affixed along the wall and an attachment device to support the wall panel and retain the peripheral edge to the wall;
securing the lower mounting rail to the wall;
securing the upper mounting rail to the wall at a measured distance above the lower mounting rails for the particular height of the wall panels to snap-fit to the trim mounting rails; and
wherein the wall panel provided is of a rectangular shape with the peripheral edge comprising a top edge, a bottom edge, and a pair of side edges, and wherein the step of restraining the wall panel against the wall includes engaging the bottom edge of the wall panel with the lower mounting rail and pivoting the top edge into engagement with the upper mounting rail.
20. The method of claim 19, wherein the attachment device of the upper mounting rail provided comprises an elongate locking clip which extends from the base thereof adapted to resiliently snap-fit to the top edge of the wall panel, the attachment device of the lower mounting rail provided comprises an elongate L-shaped member which extends outwardly from the base thereof to form an elongate channel defining a pocket therebetween to receive the peripheral edge of the wall panel, and the and wherein the engaging the bottom edge of the wall panel with the lower mounting rail comprises inserting the bottom edge of the wall panel into the pocket of the lower mounting rail, and the pivoting the top edge into engagement with the upper mounting rail includes pushing the top edge past the locking clip which deflects slightly to allow passing thereunder to lock the top edge in place.
US10/944,561 2004-09-20 2004-09-20 Modular wall paneling system, wall panels, and method of installation Abandoned US20060070329A1 (en)

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US20070151180A1 (en) * 2005-12-02 2007-07-05 John Pace Trim components and methods for manufacturing same
US20120102861A1 (en) * 2006-01-13 2012-05-03 Martin Diamond Modular dwelling structure made from recycled tire materials, a kit for same and a method of assembling same
US20070261804A1 (en) * 2006-05-09 2007-11-15 Simpson Jeffery T Combined window covering and wall-mounted decorative item
US7987648B1 (en) 2008-02-28 2011-08-02 Jeffrey Ryan Modular wall panel system
US8776376B2 (en) * 2008-04-24 2014-07-15 Douglas Williams Method of forming paneled corners
US20120060349A1 (en) * 2008-04-24 2012-03-15 Douglas Williams Method of Forming Paneled Corners
US20110078974A1 (en) * 2009-05-12 2011-04-07 Daniel Paul Mitchell Nailess, glueless trim system
US10094102B2 (en) * 2011-04-07 2018-10-09 Duran Lee Blocker Modular interconnectable wall cell
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