Title:
Bottom element for a shower
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A bottom element for a shower for collecting and draining the water is designed as flat, horizontal stone plate made in one piece, particularly to be built as a smooth continuation into an adjacent floor area. This stone plate has depressions, particularly grooves in the surface, starting out from the border of the stone plate leading towards a drain, e.g. towards a vertical bore traversing the stone plate. These depressions or grooves can be inclined towards the drain.



Inventors:
Hasenkopf, Christina (Hollabrunn, AT)
Application Number:
09/839689
Publication Date:
12/20/2001
Filing Date:
04/20/2001
Assignee:
HASENKOPF CHRISTINA
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K3/40; (IPC1-7): A47K3/28
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ELOSHWAY, CHARLES R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KF ROSS PC (311 E York St, Savannah, GA, 31401-3814, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A floor element for collecting and conducting away water in a shower, comprising a one-piece, planar, horizontal stone slab formed with a drain and, in an upper surface of said slab, with a multiplicity of recesses leading to said drain for conducting water thereto.

2. The floor element for collecting and conducting away water in a shower as defined in claim 1 wherein said slab is disposed flush with adjacent flooring.

3. The floor element for collecting and conducting away water in a shower as defined in claim 2 wherein said recesses are guide grooves.

4. The floor element for collecting and conducting away water in a shower as defined in claim 3 wherein said grooves increase in depth from a periphery of said slab toward said drain.

5. The floor element for collecting and conducting away water in a shower as defined in claim 4 wherein said drain is disposed substantially centrally of the slab and said grooves extend radially of said drain.

6. The floor element for collecting and conducting away water in a shower as defined in claim 5 wherein said slab is of rectangular outline.

7. The floor element for collecting and conducting away water in a shower as defined in claim 6 wherein said slab is a square.

8. The floor element for collecting and conducting away water in a shower as defined in claim 4 wherein slab is formed at said surface with a peripheral groove extending all around a perimeter of said slab, said guide grooves extending from said perimeter groove to said drain.

9. The floor element for collecting and conducting away water in a shower as defined in claim 4 wherein the grooves have a width of 2 to 10 mm and a depth of about 5 to 10 mm.

10. The floor element for collecting and conducting away water in a shower as defined in claim 3 wherein said recesses are spiral grooves extending from a periphery of said slab to said drain.

11. The floor element for collecting and conducting away water in a shower as defined in claim 10 wherein radial guide grooves are provided in said surface between turns of said spiral grooves.

12. The floor element for collecting and conducting away water in a shower as defined in claim 3 wherein the recesses are of a decorative pattern connected to said drain.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The invention relates to a bottom element for a shower for collecting and draining off water.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Shower tubs and shower sub-pans are known which are made of enamelled steel sheet or of plastic material. In most cases these shower tubs or shower sub-pans are raised with respect to the bathroom floor. Prefabricated walls or shower doors separate the area from the rest of the bathroom.

[0003] It is much more suitable not to provide a permanent separation of the areas, and particularly to continue the floor also in the shower area, so that this area can be accessed without difficulty as long as the shower is not in operation—for instance to open or close a window in the shower area or in order to hang up laundry in this area. From these facts it can be concluded that a continuation of the floor into the shower area is practical. For this purpose, underneath the floor covering an insulating layer (plastic foil or lead foil) is provided, which is sealingly connected to the drain.

[0004] It is known from U.S. Pat. No. 6,014,780 to cover the bottom area of a shower with tile-like stone plates and to incline the surface towards the wall like a school desk. On the wall there is a slot through which the water drains off over the entire width of the bottom area.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

[0005] It is the principal object of the present invention to provided an improved base element for a shower which does not require assembly of the floor thereof from a multiplicity of pieces and which nevertheless serves effectively as a decorative member and to guide the water to the drain.

[0006] Another object of the invention is to provide a bottom element for a shower which is inexpensive to manufacture and which has significant advantages over prior art elements.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] These objects and others which will become apparent hereinafter are attained, in accordance with the invention, in a floor element for collecting and conducting away water in a shower which comprises a one-piece, planar horizontal stone slab formed with a drain and, in an upper surface of the slab, with a multiplicity of recesses, preferably grooves, leading to the drain for conducting water thereto.

[0008] Advantageously, the slab is disposed flush with adjacent flooring and the grooves increase in depth from a periphery of the slab toward the drain which can be located centrally of the slab. The grooves can extend radially of the drain or spirally with respect thereto and the slab can be of rectangular, preferably square outline, a peripheral groove around the perimeter of the slab can be connected to the grooves running toward the drain. The grooves can have a width of 2-10 mm and depths of 5-10 mm.

[0009] The invention therefore uses as a shower plate a bottom element for a shower, which can be built into the bathroom floor, or the floor of an adjacent surface with an essentially stepless or flush transition. Such a bottom element is characterized in that it is designed as a flat, horizontal stone plate made in one piece, basically built into an adjacent floor, having surface depressions, particularly grooves ending in a drain. It is suitable to have the depth of the grooves increases from the border of the stone plate towards the drain. A horizontal floor continues horizontally also in the shower area and only the grooves, which are arranged at approximately 10 mm from each other, serve for the drainage of the water.

[0010] The manufacture of such a shower plate is simple, since it is sufficient to grind grooves into for instance a polished stone plate with the approximate size of 90×90 cm and 4 cm thick.

[0011] For this purpose a linear guide can be provided for a grinding wheel, the stone plate being positioned at a slight inclination with respect to the same, when the grooves have to be inclined towards the drain. The width of the grooves can also decrease towards the drain. In this way, with correspondingly narrow grooves, a capillary effect can be achieved, which causes the water to move towards the drain even when the groove bottom is horizontal. This principle can also be applied additionally to inclined grooves.

[0012] Preferably the drain is placed centrally in the advantageously square stone plate and the depressions or recesses, particularly grooves, are arranged radially or like a star, towards the borders of the stone plate.

[0013] The usual drain fixtures can be used here. Naturally the drain can also be located in a corner area of the shower plate. In this case the grooves are longer and optionally deeper, respectively their gradient at the groove bottom is smaller. For the draining of the water groove gradients of 2% are considered sufficient. However onflowing water is also drained off when the grooves, respectively depressions, run horizontally towards the drain. This because the grooves or depressions do not go over the borders of the stone plate and because the onflowing water can run off only in one direction in the depressions, respectively grooves.

[0014] In order to prevent the flow of water or water gushes from running over the shower plate borders, it is advantageous to provide the stone plate with a peripheral groove running all around its borders, the depressions, particularly the guide grooves starting out from the peripheral groove and running, preferably at increased depth, towards the drain. The grooves can have a width from 2 to 10 mm and a depth between 5 and 10 mm. The narrower the groove, the stronger the capillary effect on the residual water. The arrangement of the grooves can be stellar.

[0015] Since besides water drainage, the grooves also insure additional safety against slipping for the person taking a shower, it is advantageous for the grooves are arranged spiral-like from the border towards the drain and when advantageously radial connections are provided between the spiral turns.

[0016] The visual effect thereof can be added to the mentioned technical effect of such a bottom grid. Such a visual effect occurs particularly then when ornamental designs, such as graphic characters or escutcheons (designs, personal logos) are worked into the surface of the stone plate by sand blasting or the like, whereby the depressions can form interconnected water channels leading towards the drain. The bottom of the depressions can be horizontal or inclined towards the drain. Since the shower plate is one-piece component ready to be used, a floor heating system, e.g. by means of electric cables, can be integrated into the stone plate. For this purpose recesses are provided on the bottom side of the stone plate.

[0017] The use of the shower plate of the invention primarily in bathroom areas has been described. However it has to be noted here that the shower plate can be also used very advantageously as a garden shower, e.g. within a lawn area. This prevents the moistening of the soil in the area of the shower. Shower sub-pans are out of place in a garden. This is where a one-piece stone plate in various natural shades is very appropriate for a garden. If no drain is available there, then in most cases it is sufficient to dig a ditch under the shower plate, to fill the same with stones and to set the shower plate of the invention on top of it, like a cover. Also on terraces, especially roof terraces, it is possible to replace four plates set in the gravel bed with a single shower plate. The surface for walking remains horizontal. Only the grooves form drainage channels running in the direction of the drain. The drain can be a cylindrical bore, the grooves ending approximately radially in the drain. The transition from the ornamental depressions to the drain can take place over a rounded area, so that the onflowing water flows mit increasing acceleration into the drain, thereby entraining any existing residual water amount into the drain.

[0018] Although the shower plate should be provided as a flat, horizontal plate with a smooth transition to the floor area, it is naturally possible to provided along its borders a raised frame as a spray protection. However this is not the actual goal of the invention. But even in this case the horizontal bottom surface of a such a shower bottom structure will present advantages over the normally used prefabricated shower tubs.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

[0019] The above and other objects, features, and advantages will become more readily apparent from the following description, reference being made to the accompanying drawing in which:

[0020] FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a bottom element of a shower;

[0021] FIG. 2 is a cross section taken along the line II-II thereof; and

[0022] FIGS. 3 and 4 are views similar to FIG. 1, showing other embodiments of the invention.

SPECIFIC DESCRIPTION

[0023] According to FIGS. 1 and 2, a bottom element for a shower consists of stone plate 1 made in one piece (e.g. of granite, marble or the like). The stone plate 1 is and remains completely level at its surface 2. It is built in horizontally. In order to make possible the drainage of the water, grooves 3 are ground into the plane surface 2 of the stone plate 1. These grooves 3 have a depth which increases starting from the border of the stone plate 1 towards the drain 4. Accordingly the groove bottom is inclined and guides the water to the drain 4. In the embodiment example, the latter is arranged centrally. However it can also be placed eccentrically. Further the stone plate can be rectangular or shaped like an oval or circle.

[0024] These grooves 3 are arranged radially in FIG. 2. In one quadrant of the illustration they are shown close to each other, and in another quadrant they are shown lying further apart, for the sake of drawing simplification. Naturally the grooves 3 can also have a different pattern, e.g. an arc of circle, respectively a sickle, towards the drain 4 or following a spiral. Thereby radial connections can be provided between the turns of the spiral. The standing surface for the person under the shower remains flat and horizontal and makes a smooth transition towards (is flush with) the adjacent floor area 5 (FIG. 1). Therefore the area of the stone plate 1 (“shower plate”) can be walked over without difficulty also when the shower is not used.

[0025] It should also be mentioned that the grooves 3 start out from a groove 6 surrounding the plate borders, which prevents water gushes from running over. In FIG. 1 also a strip 7 as a part of a raised frame is shown in broken lines, which in special cases can be provided as a tub-like border. The shower plate or stone slab 1 forming the bottom remains unchanged with respect to its level, horizontal surface (standing surface).

[0026] Further in FIG. 2 on the bottom side of the stone plate 1 recesses 9 are provided, in which heating coils, e.g. electric heating cables 10 of a floor heating system have been incorporated. The heating coils can be thermally connected to the stone plate 1 by means of a heat-conductive mass.

[0027] FIGS. 3 and 4 show a spiral groove arrangement 11 in which the turns of the spiral groove can be connected by radial grooves 12. In FIG. 4, decorative grooves or recesses forming letters or numerals oar other designs can be connected together to form the drain grooves as shown at 13.