Title:
Flexible-Wet-Floor Drain Having Tiling Adaptor
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A flexible-wet-floor waste for engagement with flexible waterproof floor covering material, comprises a waste body, a waste-water inlet (28) for the passage of waste water into the waste body, a waste-water outlet for connection of the waste body to a drain, means (30, 32) for engaging flexible waterproof floor covering material with the waste, and a tiling adaptor (10). The tiling adaptor (10) includes an adaptor body (12) having an upper surface (18) with a perimeter edge (24) for lying flush or substantially flush with an upper surface of adjacent or abutting tiles, an aperture (14) formed in the adaptor body (12) for liquid communication with the waste-water inlet (28), and means (32, 38, 42) for directly or indirectly engaging the body (12) of the tiling adaptor (10) with the waste body. A single kind of waste can thus be used with both tiles and flexible waterproof floor covering material.



Inventors:
Luxton, Mark Ian (Bristish Isles, GB)
Application Number:
12/065716
Publication Date:
08/14/2008
Filing Date:
06/23/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
210/163
International Classes:
E03F5/00; E03F5/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
COZART, JERMIE E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Fleit Gibbons Gutman Bongini & Bianco PL (21355 EAST DIXIE HIGHWAY, SUITE 115, MIAMI, FL, 33180, US)
Claims:
1. 1-16. (canceled)

17. A flexible-wet-floor waste which is engagable with flexible waterproof floor covering material, the flexible-wet-floor waste comprising a waste body, a waste-water inlet through which waste water can pass into the waste body, a waste-water outlet by which the waste body is connectable to a drain, floor covering material engaging means for engaging flexible waterproof floor covering material with the waste, and a tiling adaptor including an adaptor body having an upper surface with a perimeter edge which can lie flush or substantially flush with an upper surface of adjacent or abutting tiles, an aperture formed in the adaptor body which is liquidly communicable with the waste-water inlet, and adaptor engaging means for directly or indirectly engaging the body of the tiling adaptor with the waste body, wherein the adaptor engaging means is or is included as part of the flexible waterproof floor covering material engaging means.

18. A flexible-wet-floor waste as claimed in claim 17, wherein the adaptor engaging means includes a clamp element for clamping the tiling adaptor to the waste body.

19. A flexible-wet-floor waste as claimed in claim 18, wherein the aperture of the tiling adaptor includes a stepped bore defining a clamping surface for receiving the clamp element.

20. A flexible-wet-floor waste as claimed in claim 17, wherein the adaptor engaging means includes one or more screw-threaded fastening devices for directly or indirectly fastening the adaptor to the waste body.

21. A flexible-wet-floor waste as claimed in claim 17, wherein the upper surface of the adaptor body slopes downwardly from the perimeter edge to the aperture.

22. A flexible-wet-floor waste as claimed in claim 17, further comprising a flange which extends from a lower perimeter edge of the adaptor body.

23. A flexible-wet-floor waste as claimed in claim 22, wherein the flange is discontinuous.

24. A method of installing a flexible-wet-floor waste as claimed in claim 17, the method comprising the steps of: a) providing the waste body of the flexible-wet-floor waste in a shower area; b) positioning the tiling adaptor on the waste body; and c) securing the tiling adaptor to the waste body via the adaptor engaging means.

25. A method as claimed in claim 24, wherein the flexible-wet-floor waste includes a clamp element which can clamp flexible waterproof floor covering material to the waste body, the tiling adaptor being secured to the waste body in step (c) by the clamp element.

26. A method as claimed in claim 24, wherein, in step (a), the flexible-wet-floor waste is provided in or on a wet floor former.

27. A method as claimed in claim 24, further comprising a step (d), subsequent to step (c), of tiling the area surrounding the tiling adaptor so that a perimeter edge of an upper surface of the tiling adaptor lies flush or substantially flush with adjacent or abutting tiles.

28. A method of selectively installing a tiled floor surface or a flexible waterproof floor covering material on a shower area using a flexible-wet-floor waste as claimed in claim 17, the method comprising the steps of: a) locating the flexible-wet-floor waste in a shower area; b) selecting whether tiles or a flexible waterproof floor covering material will cover the area surrounding the flexible-wet-floor waste; and c) when tiles are selected, securing the tiling adaptor to the waste body of the flexible-wet-floor waste and then tiling the said surrounding area, or when the flexible waterproof floor covering material is selected, laying the flexible waterproof floor covering material over the said area and securing it to the waste body using the flexible waterproof floor covering engaging means, so that a single kind of waste can be used with both tiles and flexible waterproof floor covering material.

29. A method as claimed in claim 28, wherein, in step (a), a wet floor former is provided on the shower area and the flexible-wet-floor waste is located in or on the wet floor former.

30. A method as claimed in claim 28, wherein, in step (c), the tiling adaptor is secured to the waste body via a clamp element.

31. A tiling adaptor for use with a wet floor waste as claimed in claim 17, the tiling adaptor comprising a body having an in use upper surface with a perimeter edge which can lie flush or substantially flush with an in use upper surface of adjacent or abutting tiles, an aperture formed in the body for waste water to pass into the wet floor waste, and means for directly or indirectly engaging the body of the tiling adaptor with the wet floor waste.

Description:

The present invention relates to a tiling adaptor of or for use with a flexible-wet-floor waste, to a method of installing a waste having such a tiling adaptor, and to a method of selectively installing a tiled floor surface or a flexible waterproof floor covering material on a shower area using a wet floor waste having such a tiling adaptor.

Use of the term ‘wet floor waste’ herein throughout means a waste water unit for connection to a drain, into which waste water runoff from a shower enters, and to which flexible waterproof floor covering material, such as Altro®, can be connected or engaged.

Conventional wastes are supplied for use with only one specific kind of floor covering. When tiles are to be used, a waste must be selected which allows a flush finish to be achieved between the waste and the surrounding tiles. When a flexible waterproof floor covering material is to be used, then a waste must be specifically selected which permits engagement of the floor covering material with the waste. This results in parallel ranges of wastes being offered to suit the different situations. Consequently, manufacturing costs are increased, and the installer requires access to both ranges.

Furthermore, once the conventional waste has been installed, a different floor covering cannot then be decided upon without first changing the waste.

The present invention seeks to provide a universal tiling adaptor to solve the above-mentioned problems.

According to a first aspect of the invention, there is provided a flexible-wet-floor waste for engagement with flexible waterproof floor covering material, the flexible-wet-floor waste comprising a waste body, a waste-water inlet for the passage of waste water into the waste body, a waste-water outlet for connection of the waste body to a drain, means for engaging flexible waterproof floor covering material with the waste, and a tiling adaptor including an adaptor body having an upper surface with a perimeter edge for lying flush or substantially flush with an upper surface of adjacent or abutting tiles, an aperture formed in the adaptor body for liquid communication with the waste-water inlet, and means for directly or indirectly engaging the body of the tiling adaptor with the waste body.

Preferable and/or optional features of the first aspect of the invention are set forth in claims 2 to 8, inclusive.

According to a second aspect of the invention, there is provided a method of installing a flexible-wet-floor waste in accordance with the first aspect of the invention, the method comprising the steps of: a) providing the waste body of the flexible-wet-floor waste in a shower area; b) positioning the tiling adaptor on the waste body; and c) securing the tiling adaptor to the waste body via the adaptor engaging means.

Preferable and/or optional features of the second aspect of the invention are set forth in claims 10 to 12, inclusive.

According to a third aspect of the invention, there is provided a method of selectively installing a tiled floor surface or a flexible waterproof floor covering material on a shower area using a flexible-wet-floor waste in accordance with the first aspect of the invention, the method comprising the steps of: a) locating the flexible-wet-floor waste in a shower area; b) selecting whether tiles or a flexible waterproof floor covering material will cover the area surrounding the flexible-wet-floor waste; and c) when tiles are selected, securing the tiling adaptor to the waste body of the flexible-wet-floor waste and then tiling the said surrounding area, or when the flexible waterproof floor covering material is selected, laying the flexible waterproof floor covering material over the said area and securing it to the waste body using the flexible waterproof floor covering engaging means, so that a single kind of waste can be used with both tiles and flexible waterproof floor covering material.

Preferable and/or optional features of the third aspect of the invention are set forth in claims 14 and 15.

According to a fourth aspect of the invention, there is provided a tiling adaptor for use with a wet floor waste as hereinbefore defined, the tiling adaptor comprising a body having an in use upper surface with a perimeter edge for lying flush or substantially flush with an in use upper surface of adjacent or abutting tiles, an aperture formed in the body for waste water to pass into the wet floor waste, and means for directly or indirectly engaging the body of the tiling adaptor with the wet floor waste.

The invention will now be more particularly described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view from above of a first embodiment of a tiling adaptor, in accordance with the first aspect of the invention;

FIG. 2 shows the tiling adaptor from below;

FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of part of a known wet floor waste as hereinbefore defined, located on a known wet floor former;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged view of the wet floor waste shown in FIG. 3, showing a clamp element in slightly spaced relationship;

FIG. 5 shows the tiling adaptor located on the wet floor waste shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 shows the tiling adaptor secured to the wet floor waste;

FIG. 7 is a reduced perspective view of the wet floor former, showing the tiling adaptor with conventional grid cover in place;

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view, taken along the line of symmetry, of the wet floor waste and tiling adaptor shown in FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 shows a perspective view from above of a second embodiment of a tiling adaptor, in accordance with the first aspect of the invention; and

FIG. 10 shows the second embodiment of the tiling adaptor from below.

Referring firstly to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown a tiling adaptor 10 which is, in this case, formed from, typically moulded, plastics, but which can be metal. The tiling adaptor 10 comprises a square-shaped body 12, an aperture 14 formed centrally in the body 12, and means for engaging the tiling adaptor 10 with a wet floor waste 16 as defined above.

It will be understood that the body 12 can be any shape to suit the requirements of an installation area. Furthermore, the aperture 14 can provided centrally in the body 12 or off-centre along one or two axes.

The body 12 includes an in use upper surface 18 and a lower surface 20 which, in this case, is reinforced with ribs 22. The upper surface 18 slopes downwardly from an upper perimeter edge 24 of the body 12 to the aperture 14, so to channel waste water into the aperture 14.

The thickness of the body 12 at the perimeter edges 24 matches or substantially matches the thickness of tiles to be installed adjacent to or abutting the tiling adaptor 10.

In this embodiment, the aperture 14 is defined by a circular stepped bore 26. The shape of the bore 26 corresponds to a shape of a waste water inlet 28 of the wet floor waste 16. To accept a non-circular grid cover, it is feasible that the opening 30 to the aperture 14 on the upper surface 18 of the body 12 can be non-circular, whereas the remaining portion of the bore 26 can then be shaped to locate in the wet floor waste 16.

The known flexible-wet-floor waste 16, used, by way of example, in this embodiment, is shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. The wet floor waste 16 can be trapped or non-trapped, pumped or non-pumped, and includes a waste body having the waste water inlet 28 and a waste-water outlet for connection to a drain. The waste water inlet 28 is stepped to define a shoulder 30 for seating an endless ring-like clamp element 32 (shown in FIG. 4). In normal use, an edge of flexible waterproof floor covering material, such as Altro®, is fed into the waste water inlet 28, and is clamped in place by the frusto-conical portion of the clamp element 32. The clamp element 32 is fastened via screw-threaded fasteners down onto the horizontal portion of the shoulder 30. The flexible waterproof floor covering material is not perforated by the screw-threaded fasteners, thus not resulting in the formation of leak path, and does not extend onto the horizontal portion of the shoulder 30.

The tiling adaptor 10 replaces the portion of the flexible waterproof floor covering material that is sandwiched between the frusto-conical portions of the shoulder 30 of the wet floor waste 16 and the clamp element 32. As such, the stepped bore 26 defines a first large diameter frusto-conical portion 34 which is a complementary fit with a frusto-conical exterior surface 36 of the clamp element 32, and a smaller diameter clamping portion 38 contiguously formed with the frusto-conical portion 34. The clamping portion 38 projects radially inwardly, and thus provides a shoulder 40 on which the clamp element 32 can be seated.

As best appreciated from FIG. 8, the engagement means of the tiling adaptor 10 comprises the clamping portion 38, which positively locates the tiling adaptor 10 on the wet floor waste 16, and a plurality of screw-threaded fasteners 42. The screw-threaded fasteners 42 are longer than typical fasteners used to secure the clamp element 32 to the shoulder 30 of the wet floor waste 16, in order to compensate for the increased thickness of the clamping portion 38 of the tiling adaptor 10. The clamping portion 38 does not obstruct mating holes 44 on the shoulder 30 of the wet floor waste 16. However, the clamping portion 38 can be formed with through-holes to allow passage of the screw-threaded fasteners 42.

In use and with reference to FIGS. 3 to 8, a wet floor former 46 is first laid over, or on a portion of, a shower area. The former 46 provides a suitable fall to a drainage opening 48.

The wet floor waste 16 is positioned in the drainage opening 48 of the former 46 (FIG. 3) and connected in the normal manner to drainage pipes (not shown).

When it is decided that the shower area will be tiled, instead of using flexible waterproof floor covering material, the tiling adaptor 10 is located in the waste water inlet 28 of the wet floor waste 16 (FIG. 5), and is secured in place by the clamp element 32 of the wet floor waste 16 and the longer screw-threaded fasteners 42 (FIG. 6).

Finally, a removable grid cover 50, provided with the wet floor waste 16, is releasably fastened or located on the clamp element 32 to provide a flush finish (FIG. 7).

Tiles (not shown) are then laid in the normal fashion over the remainder of the shower area. Due to the thickness of the tiling adaptor 10 at the upper perimeter edge 24, a flush finish is achieved with adjacent or abutting tiles.

Referring to FIGS. 9 and 10, a second embodiment of a tiling adaptor 110 is shown. This tiling adaptor 110 comprises a body 112, an aperture 114 formed centrally in the body 112, and means for engaging the tiling adaptor 110 with a wet floor waste 16 as defined above. This embodiment is thus similar to that of the first embodiment in every respect, except that it provides a smaller in use footprint.

In this case, the dimensions of an in use upper surface 118 of a body 112 of the tiling adaptor 110 are smaller than those of the first embodiment, for example being 150 mm square as opposed to 200 nm square for the first embodiment. However, to increase the structural rigidity of the tiling adaptor 110, a relatively thin plate-like radially extending, typically discontinuous, flange 152 is formed on the lower perimeter edge 154 of the body 112. The flange 152 is intended to be received beneath adjacent or abutting tiles, and is thus thin enough to achieve this.

Installation of this tiling adaptor 110 is the same as described above, with the adjacent or abutting tiles lying on the flange 152.

The tiling adaptors described above provide the option of inter-changeability during installation of a wet floor. For example, if a person has decided upon a flexible waterproof floor covering material, but then decides that tiles are preferable, the installer can make this change during installation of the former and wet floor waste. The reverse situation is also possible, whereby tiles can be exchanged for flexible waterproof floor covering material during installation.

The tiling adaptors also provide the option of changing the floor covering post-installation, without the necessity of also removing and reinstalling a new waste, as is presently the case.

It will be appreciated that the clamping portion of the tiling adaptors need not necessarily form part of the engagement means, and thus need not necessarily locate the tiling adaptor on the wet floor waste. It is envisaged that separate means for engaging the adaptor with the waste body can be utilised. For example, screw-threaded fasteners alone can locate and secure the tiling adaptor to the wet floor waste.

The screw-threaded fasteners can be dispensed with in favour of a clamp element with a threaded spigot that screw-threadingly engages with a mating thread formed in the wet floor waste. In this case, a clamping portion is required against which the clamp element can bear.

Alternatively, a twist and snap arrangement formed on the clamp element and the wet floor waste can be provided, in which case the engagement means requires the clamping portion.

The engagement means of the tiling adaptor can include a twist and snap arrangement for direct engagement with a mating arrangement on the wet floor waste, thus dispensing with the clamp element of the wet floor waste.

The former described above is optional, and the wet floor waste can be located directly on or in the shower area.

The tiling adaptor can be used with any type wet floor waste as defined above.

It is thus possible to provide a single kind of wet floor waste which can be used when installing either a tiled floor or flexible waterproof floor covering material. Consequently, only one range of waste need be offered, resulting in decreased manufacturing costs and simplified installation.

The embodiments described above are given by way of examples only, and modifications will be apparent to persons skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.