Title:
Shower pan drain assembly system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An integrated shower base designed for improving the drainage of a tile shower is disclosed. The shower pan may be custom fabricated and molded with a depression surrounding a drainage opening for receiving a one piece floor drain. The pan and floor drain are welded together to prevent leaking. The floor drain contains weep holes so that water that seeps through the mortar on the shower floor and into the shower pan can drain properly without leaking. The floor drain also contains a reservoir for holding water that drains through the regular shower drain and also for water that seeps through the shower floor. A mortar guard is placed over the weep holes to prevent the holes from becoming clogged. A drainage mat is placed over the shower pan to help water seepage flow to the floor drain.



Inventors:
Michael, Boris (BLUE POINT, NY, US)
Application Number:
12/229509
Publication Date:
02/25/2010
Filing Date:
08/22/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
4/679, 29/592
International Classes:
A47K3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CRANE, LAUREN ASHLEY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Thomas A. O'Rourke (Bodner & O'Rourke, LLP 425 Broadhollow Road, Ste 120, Melville, NY, 11747, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A method for making a shower pan comprising providing a sheet of a sheet metal having a length and a width; fabricating said sheet of sheet metal into a shower pan, said shower pan having at least a base area and one or more sidewalls extending upwardly from said base; providing an opening in said sheet metal for receiving a drain; welding said drain to said sheet metal to form a unitary shower pan.

2. The method according to claim 1 wherein said sheet metal is stainless steel.

3. The method according to claim 2 wherein said weld is a tig weld.

4. The method according to claim 3 wherein said shower pan has a recessed area in said base around said opening such that when said drain is positioned in said opening a top surface of said drain is in generally the same plane as the top surface of an area of said base around said opening.

5. The method according to claim 4 wherein said floor drain is comprised of a unitary structure having a flange surrounding a top surface of said drain, said top surface having a reservoir thereunder and a drain pipe extending from said reservoir.

6. The method according to claim 5 wherein said drain has a plurality of weep holes in said top surface.

7. The method according to claim 6 wherein said drain has a top surface with a flange extending horizontally therefrom, a sidewall extending from an underside of said top surface, said sidewall having a first end and a second end, said first end being connected to the underside of said top surface, said second end being connected to a base of said reservoir said base of said reservoir having a drain pipe extending therefrom.

8. The method according to claim 7 wherein said top surface of said drain has an opening therein, said opening having a sidewall extending into said reservoir.

9. The method according to claim 8 wherein said sidewall of said opening is threaded.

10. A unitary shower pan and drain comprising a drain, said drain having a top surface with a flange extending horizontally therefrom, a sidewall extending from an underside of said top surface, said sidewall having a first end and a second end, said first end being connected to the underside of said top surface, said second end being connected to a base of said reservoir said base of said reservoir having a drain pipe extending therefrom; a shower pan, said shower pan fabricated from a sheet of sheet metal having a length and a width, said shower pan having a base and one or more sidewalls extending upwardly from said base, said base having an opening therein and a recessed area surrounding said opening said drain being received in said recessed area, said drain having been welded to said base such that a top surface of said drain is in generally the same plane as the top surface of the base of said shower pan adjacent to said recessed area in said base.

11. The unitary shower pan and drain according to claim 10 wherein said sheet metal is stainless steel.

12. The unitary shower pan and drain according to claim 11 wherein said weld is a tig weld.

13. The unitary shower pan and drain according to claim 12 wherein said drain has a plurality of weep holes in said top surface.

14. The unitary shower pan and drain according to claim 13 wherein said top surface of said drain has an opening therein said opening having a sidewall extending into said reservoir.

15. The unitary shower pan and drain according to claim 14 wherein said sidewall of said opening is threaded.

16. A one-piece drain comprising a top surface, said top surface having a flange extending horizontally therefrom, said top surface of said drain having an orifice therein; a reservoir, said reservoir having a sidewall extending from an underside of said top surface, said sidewall having a first end and a second end, said first end being connected to the underside of said top surface, said second end being connected to the base of said reservoir, said base having an orifice therein; a drain pipe, said drain pipe having a sidewall extending from the base of the reservoir surrounding said orifice in said base.

17. A one-piece drain according to claim 16 wherein said orifice in said top surface has a sidewall extending into said reservoir.

18. A one-piece drain according to claim 17 wherein said sidewall of said orifice in said top surface is threaded.

19. A one-piece drain according to claim 18 wherein said drain has a plurality of weep holes in said top surface.

20. A mortar guard to protect weep holes on a top surface of a drain, said mortar guard comprising a top surface, a bottom surface and at least one side wall extending from said top surface to said bottom surface.

21. The mortar according to claim 20 wherein said mortar guard is comprised of a filament nylon fiber so that water may pass through the surface of said mortar guard to said drain.

22. The mortar guard according to claim 21 wherein said fiber is a continuous filament nylon fiber.

23. The mortar guard according to claim 22 wherein said top surface has an orifice therein, said orifice extending from said top surface to said bottom surface.

24. A shower base comprising a floor drain, said floor drain having a top surface with a flange extending horizontally therefrom, a sidewall extending from an underside of said top surface, said sidewall having a first end and a second end, said first end being connected to the underside of said top surface, said second end being connected to a base of said reservoir said base of said reservoir having a drain pipe extending therefrom; a shower pan, said shower pan fabricated from a sheet of sheet metal having a length and a width, said shower pan having a base and one or more sidewalls extending upwardly from said base, said base having an opening therein and a recessed area surrounding said opening said floor drain being received in said recessed area, said floor drain having been welded to said base such that a top surface of said drain is in generally the same plane as the top surface of the base of said shower pan adjacent to said recessed area in said base; a mortar guard to protect weep holes on a top surface of a drain, said mortar guard comprising a top surface, a bottom surface and a side wall extending from said top surface to said bottom surface, said mortar guard comprising a nylon fiber material so water may pass through the surface of said mortar guard to said drain; a finish coat applied above the shower pan, floor drain and mortar guard, said finish coat having mortar.

25. The shower base according to claim 24 wherein said finish coat includes tile.

26. The shower base according to claim 25 wherein said finish coat includes stone.

27. A shower base according to claim 24 further comprising a drainage mat, said drainage mat being placed between the mortar and the shower pan, said drainage mat being able to support the weight of the finish coat and fabricated from a generally flat sheet of a plastic material, said drainage mat generally sized to fit the shower pan.

28. A drainage mat according to claim 27 wherein said drainage mat has a plurality of channels.

29. A shower base according to claim 27 further comprising a shower drain, said shower drain having a top surface, said top surface having an orifice, said top surface having one or more sidewalls surrounding said orifice, said sidewalls extending downward from the underside of said top surface, said top surface having sidewalls extending upward from said top surface, said top surface having two or more elevated surfaces, said elevated surfaces having one or more recesses for receiving a screw.

30. A shower base according to claim 29 further comprising a shower grate, said grate having a surface, said surface sized to fit in the top surface of said shower drain, said surface having first type and second type of orifice, said first type of orifice is sized for receiving a screw, said second type of orifices is sized for water permeability.

31. A shower grate according to claim 30 wherein the shape of said top surface of said shower grate is round.

32. A shower grate according to claim 30 wherein the shape of said top surface of said shower grate is square.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention is related to improving shower bases and to a drainage system for use with the base of a shower. While the shower is in use, water seeps through the floor of the shower, is collected in the shower pan and then funneled to the drain for removal. A drainage mat placed on top of the pan liner separating the liner from the mortar used for the tile or stone floors allows water to freely run off the pan liner and into the weep holes of the shower drain. A mortar guard prevents mortar from clogging the weep holes during the installation of the tile or stone.

2. Description of Related Art

One of the focal points of the home is the bathroom. Many homeowners install tile or stone showers to increase the overall aesthetic beauty of their homes by accentuating the bathroom over other rooms in the house. Tile or stone showers are not pre-made like plastic showers. This means a tile or stone shower can provide a countless number of design choices and combinations. Different design choices are based on factors such as individual preference on tile or stone design, color, shape and size. Tile and stone showers also permit additional features to be installed such as benches, windows, multiple shower heads and multiple drains.

A common misconception about tiled showers is that they are waterproof. In fact, tiled showers are not completely water proof, only water repellent. A shower lined with tile or stone requires mortar and grout to hold the tile or stone in place. Both the shower pan and the tile floor must be pitched toward the shower drain allowing the water to exit the shower pan by way of the drain. While the tile is water repellant, the mortar and grout are not. When the shower is in use, the tile or stone deflects a majority of the water that it comes in contact with. However, the mortar and the grout absorb and retain water until the water finds its way to the weepage holes of the drain. If too much water is absorbed, the mortar can eventually saturate and water will start to seep through the mortar. If nothing is placed beneath the mortar, water that seeps through will eventually damage the surrounding structure. If water becomes trapped between the shower and the surrounding structure, the damp and moist air becomes the perfect breeding ground for mold. The water seepage can also lead to cracks in the mortar causing larger shower leaks and faster mold infestation that can damage the surrounding walls and the bathroom floor.

Conventional shower drainage systems consisting of a shower pan and drain are installed to remedy these problems. The shower pan acts as a base to the shower preventing the problem of water damage and mold buildup on the shower floor by collecting and draining water that seeps through the floor of a shower. This is achieved by having a shower pan with a sloped or graded surface that directs water seepage to openings in the neck or collar of the shower drain also known as weep holes. The head of the drain rests monolithically with the tiles above the shower pan and is the major source for water drainage. The neck of the drain extends downward from the head of the drain through the mortar and then through an opening cut into of the shower pan. Traditionally the shower pan was made on site from a sheet of lead that was cut and bent to fit the opening for the shower. An orifice was cut in the lead sheet to fit the drain. The problem with previous shower pan designs using lead sheeting is that lead does not have an extensively useful lifespan compared to the lifespan of a typical home. The life of a lead shower pan averages 20 years, after which the lead will have oxidized to the point that it is nonexistent in places. An alternative to a lead pan has been a pan formed from a heavy gauge chloraloy sheet. Chloraloy shower pans promote the growth of mildew and mold and require the use of glue for all seams including where the pan meets the drain.

Numerous problems exist in the conventional design. The first problem is that the weep holes which allow water seepage to drain may be become restricted during installation when mortar is permitted to clog the holes. If the holes become restricted by the mortar, an excess buildup of water could occur underneath the tiles. When installing shower pans, it is common for contractors to remedy this problem by placing pea gravel over and around the weep holes to protect them from getting clogged during the tile installation. While in theory this technique prevents the weep holes from getting clogged it restricts the water flow to the weep holes.

The second problem with conventional drainage systems is the joint between the lead pan and the drain is subject to leaking. The drain is a conventional drainage system with a chloraloy or lead pan which connects to the shower pan in a multitude of different methods. In one method, the drain is attached to the pan by the use of a compression fitting that is incorporated into the drain. This method requires glue or caulk to completely seal this connection. Since the drain is connected to the plumbing, any leaking at the point of contact due to gaps or eventual failure of this connection will leak into the surrounding structure causing severe damage to the surrounding structure. Another method when a lead or chloraloy pan is used includes gluing the neck of the drain to the edge of the shower pan hole and then caulking at the point of contact. This method is prone to leaking after the passage of time when the caulking wears out. Since mortar and tile are placed on top of the shower pan, it is expensive to check whether the caulking is still preventing leaks or has worn out. A third method attempts to prevent leaking by using a two piece drain known as a double seepage drain. This drain places one piece of the drain below the shower and another piece above. The two pieces are pressed together with the shower pan placed between the pieces. A drain flange and collar are used to connect the two pieces. Since leaking may occur at the location where the drain flange and collar are attached, contractors generally caulk this area. Therefore, it is possible for the double seepage drain to leak if the caulk wears out and water seeps through the flange and collar.

Noting the problems addressed herein, there is now a need for a shower drainage system that prevents leaks in the shower pan, clogging of the weep holes and thus, has a longer lifespan than convention shower pans. In an effort to overcome and eliminate the aforementioned problems, the present invention was conceived.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to make a shower pan from stainless steel, a material with a longer life span than lead.

It is also an object of the present invention to make a customizable shower pan that will fit a variety of openings.

It is another object of the present invention to prevent leaking between the shower pan and the drain.

It is another object of the invention to provide a shower pan system that includes a stainless steel shower pan that can be custom made to fit any size shower floor.

It is another object of the invention to provide a stainless steel shower pan and a stainless steel drain that are joined together in a manner that prevents leaks (Tig/Mig Welded).

It is still another object of the invention to prevent clogging of the weep holes.

It is still a further object of the invention to provide a shower drain system that includes a stainless steel shower pan and drain that may be fabricated to meet any size opening required for the shower pan.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

These and other objectives of the present invention are achieved by providing a shower drainage system that includes a stainless steel custom shower pan, integrated floor drain, shower drain, mortar guard, drainage mat and a drain grate. The shower pan and integrated floor drain provide multiple novel features over a conventional two piece lead shower pan and drain. The first novel feature is used out of stainless steel to create the shower pan instead of lead or chloraloy. The use of stainless steel for the shower pan provides many advantages over the conventional materials. Stainless steel is stronger, more durable, and less malleable than lead which leads to a longer lifespan for the shower pan yet it is still capable of being custom size. The second novel feature is the integration of the floor drain with the shower pan to create a water tight seal and prevent water from leaking. The shower pan in the present invention has an orifice for receiving a floor drain and also has a depression surrounding the orifice so that when the floor drain is placed in the orifice, the top surface of the floor drain sits planar to the top surface of the shower pan. The seam created by the two pieces is sealed by welding so that no leaking can occur. Conventional methods for creating water tight seals require compression fittings and caulking at the point of contact between the drain and the shower pan. As noted above, caulking degrades over time, causing leaks to form. Welding the drain and shower pan together provides a permanent superior seal than caulking and won't degrade over time. In the preferred embodiment, a Tig Welding is used to connect the two pieces and prevent leaking. Tig Welding produces high quality, clean welds and is ideal for making difficult welds (e.g. s-curves, or welds on round objects).

The integrated floor drain contains weep holes, a water reservoir, and a drain pipe. The water that seeps through the mortar flows from the shower pan, over the weld, to the floor drain. The floor drain's reservoir is partially enclosed by stainless steel. Openings known as weep holes are created in the partial enclosure. The weep holes allow the water to flow into the floor drain reservoir and then drain into the plumbing system. The floor drain's partial enclosure also has an opening in the center so that the floor drain can receive a shower drain. With the shower drain connected, water then drains from the floor of the tiles or stone through the shower drain, flowing into the floor drain reservoir. In the preferred embodiment, the top opening of the floor drain contains female threads while the neck of the shower drain contains male threads. The shower drain is secured into the floor drain by screwing the shower drain into the floor drain.

A mortar guard is placed over the weep holes and around the neck of the shower drain to prevent loose mortar during the initial tile or stone installation from clogging the holes. The mortar guard is generally shaped as a disk with an opening in the middle so that the mortar guard can fit around the threaded pipe of the shower drain. It will be made out of a suitable non porous material such as continuous filament nylon. The continuous filament nylon will be woven in a manner that allows the water to pass through the mortar guard without any restriction allowing any water that seeps through the mortar to pass through the mortar guard and into the weep holes. The mortar guard also provides ample support to place mortar and tile on top while still maintaining its shape and effectiveness.

A drainage mat is placed between the mortar and the shower pan so that water can freely run off the pan liner and into the weep holes. The drainage mat may be a generally flat sheet of a plastic material that is sized to fit the shower pan. It could also be may be generally planar or it may have a plurality of channels to assist in the runoff of the water. The drainage mat may be filled with sturdy material to structurally support the mortar, tile, or stone placed on top of the mat.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1. is a perspective view of the drainage system in its preferred embodiment.

FIG. 2. is a top view of the integrated floor drain.

FIG. 3. is a side view of the integrated floor drain.

FIG. 4. is a perspective view of the integrated floor drain.

FIG. 5. is an exploded side view of the integrated floor drain, mortar guard, and the shower drain.

FIG. 6. is an exploded view of the integrated floor drain, mortar guard, and the shower drain.

FIG. 7. is an exploded view of the preferred embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 8. is an exploded view of an alternate embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 9. is a top view of one design example of a round shower grate.

FIG. 10. is a top view of one design example of a round shower grate.

FIG. 11. is a top view of one design example of a square shower grate.

FIG. 12. is a top view of one design example of a square shower grate.

FIG. 13. is a top view of the square shower drain.

FIG. 14. is a side view of the square shower drain.

FIG. 15. is a perspective view of the square shower drain.

FIG. 16. is a top view of the round shower drain.

FIG. 17. is a side view of the round shower drain.

FIG. 18. is a perspective view of the round shower drain.

FIG. 19. is a top view of the mortar guard.

FIG. 20. is a perspective view of the mortar guard.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring initially to the present invention as presented in FIG. 1, the preferred embodiment is shown using cross sections of the different components. FIG. 1 displays the integrated floor drain 20 connected to the shower pan 1 with a mortar guard 50 and drainage mat 40 resting on top of the floor drain 20 and shower pan 1. The mortar 80 and tile or stone 81 is then applied as another layer resting on top of the mortar guard 50 and drainage mat 40. Tile 81, including but not limited to ceramic tile and stone 81, including but not limited to marble, granite or composite, is used in the preferred embodiment of the invention.

The integrated floor drain 20 is composed of two sections, the reservoir 21 and the drain pipe 22. The drain pipe 22, as depicted, is a cylindrical tube formed by a circular side wall with openings at both ends. One end connects to the plumbing system. At the other end, an edge extends outwardly from the drain pipe 22 forming a wider reservoir 21 to store water that seeps through the mortar. The preferred embodiment, and the design as depicted in FIG. 1, shows an edge of the integrated floor drain that extends perpendicular from the drain pipe 22 sidewall. This edge acts as the base of the reservoir 21. A side wall extends from the reservoir 21 base parallel to the drain pipe 22 side wall. The reservoir 21 may also be represented in multiple alternative embodiments.

A top surface, perpendicular to the sidewall forming the drain pipe 22, extends both externally 23 and internally 24 from the reservoir 21 sidewall. The external portion of the top surface 23 contacts the shower pan 1 and rests in the shower pan depression 3. The external top surface 23 and shower pan 1 are connected by welding 2 the two components together. One method for welding the two components together is a tig weld.

The internal top surface 24 extends internally from the reservoir 21 sidewall partially enclosing the reservoir 21 creating the reservoir cavity. A circular opening 27 is formed in the center of the internal top surface 24. This opening receives the shower drain neck 62. A sidewall 28 extends downward from the edge of the internal top surface as seen in FIG. 5. The sidewall 28 has female threads 25 while the shower drain neck 62 has male threads 61 so that the shower drain neck 62 can be screwed into the integrated floor drain 20.

Orifices known as weep holes 26 are placed in the internal top surface 24 directly over the reservoir. The weep holes 26 allow water that seeps through the mortar to drain into the reservoir 21. Water in the reservoir 21 is then directed to the drain pipe 22 for removal.

A suitable water porous material covers the weep holes to prevent mortar, tile or stone from becoming lodged in the weep holes. This covering is known as a mortar guard 50. In its preferred embodiment, the mortar guard 50 is cylindrical shaped with an orifice 51 in the center. The mortar guard orifice 51, as depicted in FIGS. 19-20, generally has the same cross section as the orifice 27 in the integrated floor drain 20. An equal or larger mortar guard orifice 51 cross section allows the shower drain head 63 to sit above the mortar guard 50 while the mortar guard 50 is fitted around the shower drain neck 62. The mortar guard 50 cross section is sized appropriately so that the guard completely covers the weep holes 26 in the integrated floor drain 20. The mortar guard 50 may be any suitable porous material that lets water flow through without being readily clogged by dirt or debris. Suitable material includes continuous filament nylon with an open weave. Open weave continuous filament nylon allows moisture to migrate freely to the weep holes. Since continuous filament nylon has a zero rate of absorption, any water that seeps through the mortar 80 can pass through the mortar guard 50 and into the weep holes 26. The mortar guard 50 also provides ample support to place mortar 80 and tile 81 on top while still maintaining its shape and effectiveness.

The shower pan 1 is custom designed, but in the preferred embodiment a stainless steel sheet with a top and bottom surface forms the base of the shower. The top surface is sloped from the edges of the sheet to an orifice 4 placed in the sheet. The orifice 4 receives the integrated floor drain 20. A depressed portion 3 is formed in the sheet surrounding the orifice 4 with an equal or smaller length than the external top surface 23 of the integrated floor drain 20. The external top surface 23 of the integrated floor drain 20 contacts the shower pan depression 3 and rests on top. A weld 2 seals the integrated floor drain 20 to the shower pan 1. As depicted in FIGS. 7 and 8, one or more sidewalls 5 extend vertically from the edges of the shower pan sheet to form a basin 6 for water that seeps through the mortar. The basin 6, sloped downward towards the integrated floor drain 20, directs the water to the weep holes 26 so that the water can be drained.

A drainage mat 40 is placed on top of the shower pan 1 and the integrated floor drain 20 with an orifice 43 to receive the mortar guard 50. The drainage mat 40 is placed between the mortar 80 and the shower pan 1 so that water can freely run off the pan liner and into the weep holes 26. The drainage mat 40 may be a generally flat sheet of a plastic material 42 that is sized to fit the shower pan 1. The drainage mat 40 may be generally planar or it may have a plurality of channels 41 to assist in runoff of the water. The drainage mat 40 may be filled with sturdy material to structurally support the mortar 80, tile or stone 81 placed on top of the mat 40.

The combination of the shower drain 1 with the mortar guard 50 and the integrated floor drain 20 is depicted in FIGS. 5 and 6. Water that collects on top of the tile or stone 81 is funneled to the shower drain 60. The water then travels through the shower drain neck 62 to the reservoir 21 in the integrated floor drain 20 before exiting through the drain pipe 22. The shower drain 60, which contains male threading 61 as depicted in FIGS. 14-15 and 17-18, is connected to the integrated floor drain 20 by screwing the shower drain neck 62 into the floor drain's internal top surface 24. The mortar guard 50, as depicted, has an orifice in the center with a cross section sized appropriately to receive the shower drain 60. In addition, the mortar guard's 50 total cross section is sized appropriately to cover the weep holes 26 in the integrated floor drain 20.

FIGS. 7 and 8 are two examples of the invention in an exploded view featuring a square grate 72 and shower drain 64 or round grate 73 and shower drain 65. FIGS. 13-18 depict the grates and drains with more detail. The shower grate 70 is placed on top of the head of the shower drain 63. The shower grate 70 contains orifices 74 allowing water from the shower to enter the drainage system. Many different designs are possible for the shower grate 70. FIGS. 9-12 depict four examples of shower grate 70 designs. In the figures, screw holes 71 are placed at the corners of the square grate 72 and at two points opposite each other on the round grate 73. Threaded screw holes 66 are placed on the shower drains 60 in relation to the location of the holes on the grates 70. The shower drain screw holes 66 are generally slightly elevated 67 above the surface level with the drain. Two examples of screw holes 66 are represented in the figures; however it is possible to place the screw holes 66 in any location in any number of different combinations. The screw holes 66 create space between the grate 70 and the shower drain 60 for water to collect before reaching the neck of the shower drain 62. Sidewalls 68 extend vertically from the edge of the shower drain head 63 so that the top of the grate 70, when resting in the head of the shower drain 63, reaches the same height as the sidewalls. This creates a flush surface for someone to stand on while using the shower. A screw 75 is inserted through the shower grate and screwed into the holes located on the shower drain.