Title:
SHOWER FLOOR FORMERS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A former 1 is provided for creating a sloping profile for waste-water run off below a waterproof floor covering of a shower area. The former is made of a moulded plastics material, such as from material known as Bulk (or Dough) Moulding Compound or material known as Sheet Moulding Compound, and has sloping surfaces 3 converging to a predefined drainage hole 4 shaped to accept and retain a waste connection and which provides means for engagement of at least one clamping or retaining device for a waterproof floor covering, wherein the perimeter of the former surrounding the hole 4 has a stepped profile to provide at least one annular flange 8 outside the plane of the former within which fastening means are locatable.



Inventors:
Stimpson, Robert William (Douglas, GB)
Application Number:
12/579527
Publication Date:
04/21/2011
Filing Date:
10/15/2009
Assignee:
DLP LIMITED (Douglas, GB)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BAKER, LORI LYNN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Fleit Intellectual Property Law (21355 East Dixie Highway Suite 115, MIAMI, FL, 33180, US)
Claims:
1. A former for creating a sloping profile for waste-water run off below a waterproof floor covering of a shower area, wherein the former is made of a moulded plastics material and has sloping surfaces converging to a predefined drainage hole shaped to accept and retain a waste connection and which provides means for engagement of at least one clamping or retaining device for a waterproof floor covering, the perimeter of the former surrounding the drainage hole having a stepped profile to provide at least one annular flange outside the plane of the former within which fastening means are locatable.

2. A former as claimed in claim 1 wherein the former is provided with at least a double stepped profile to provide two annular flanges, the upper flange having preformed recesses or holes for location of the fastening means.

3. A wet floor shower waste comprising a former as claimed in claim 1 wherein the annular flange supports a flange extending around a pipe coupling for connection to a waste below the former.

4. A wet floor shower waste as claimed in claim 3 wherein the former is provided with at least a double stepped profile to provide two annular flanges, an upper flange having preformed recesses or holes, wherein a waterproof flexible floor covering is received between the former and a clamping element, the clamping element being supported on the upper flange and retained in place by means of fasteners provided in the preformed recesses or holes.

5. A wet floor shower waste comprising a former as claimed in claimed 1, the former surrounding the drainage hole having at least a double stepped profile to provide two annular flanges, an upper flange having preformed recesses or holes, wherein a tiling adaptor is supported by the upper flange of the former and retained in place by means of a clamping element secured by fastening means provided through the clamping element and tiling adaptor and received in the preformed recesses or holes of the flange, and wherein the other said annular flange supports a flange extending around a pipe coupling for connection to a waste below the former.

6. A wet floor shower waste as claimed in claim 5 wherein the tile adaptor comprises 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 engaging the body of the tiling adaptor with the wet floor waste.

7. A former as claimed in claim 1, wherein a plurality of holes or shaped recesses to accept fixings to hold the former in the required location are distributed around the periphery of said former.

8. A former as claimed in claim 1, wherein the lower surface of the former has a plurality of individual or crossed reinforcing ribs.

9. A kit of parts for a wet floor shower waste comprising a former as claimed in claim 1, a wet floor covering material, a clamping element and a pipe coupling for connection to a waste water outlet.

Description:

This invention relates to improvements in the construction of shaped floor formers placed below waterproof flooring materials to form a sloping surface within showering rooms often for the use by the disabled, the profile of which permits the collection of water from the floor of the shower into a waste collection trap or gully device for the shower area.

When providing shower access for disabled users in wheelchairs, the state of the art, established over many years, was to provide a sloping floor structure which is rigidly located below a waterproof membrane or surface coating glued or bonded to the underlying structure surface. Commercial products such as Altro™ have lead the UK market for such applications for many years, and commercial product literature has shown the application of such materials to a wide variety of flooring structures. The ideal shower for the disabled wheelchair-bound user is thus located within a room which provides a waterproof floor which slopes towards the waste drain, and presents no obstacles to hinder the wheelchair user from accessing the facility.

In the past, the slope of floors has been created by sections of plywood (see, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,140,789) jointed and laid onto a supporting wooden structure of timber joists. Past state of the art has also included woven glass fabric reinforced sheets (GB 2361637B)—where the strength of the structure has been obtained by using relatively expensive woven glass fibre fabric of two or more horizontal layers linked by an interwoven cross-layer within a resin matrix. Further examples of prior state of the art also include the flooring structure employed in modular or ‘pod’ showering and bathing modules used within the hotel, hostel and marine/offshore construction industries, where the purpose of the floor slope is water containment rather than disabled person accessibility.

Current art employed by the applicant (GB2401341) comprises a glass fibre reinforced plastics (referred to hereinafter as GRP) structure comprising gel coat backed by random chopped strand mat glass fibre reinforcement with plywood timber sections bonded into the lower surface with additional random chopped strand mat, the entire material combination being moulded with a thermosetting resin to create a rigid load carrying and water proof shower floor former structure. The former is formed to create a sloping profile for waste-water run off below a waterproof floor covering of a shower area, with the sloping surfaces of the former converging on a hole shaped to accept a waste connection and a connection for a waterproof floor covering. The components of the shower waste and the wet floor covering then have to be connected to the shower floor former to form the finished article.

The present invention aims to provide an improved shower floor former to aid installation of the product.

Accordingly, a first aspect of the present invention provides a former for creating a sloping profile for waste-water run off below a waterproof floor covering of a shower area, wherein the former is made of a moulded plastics material and has sloping surfaces converging to a predefined drainage hole shaped to accept and retain a waste connection and which provides means for engagement of at least one clamping or retaining device for a waterproof floor covering, wherein the perimeter of the former surrounding the drainage hole has a stepped profile to provide at least one annular flange outside the plane of the former within which fastening means are locatable.

The annular flange is able to support a flange extending around a pipe coupling that may be connected to the waste below the former. Preferably, the former is provided with at least a double stepped profile to provide two annular flanges, the upper flange having preformed recesses or holes. A waterproof flexible floor covering may be received between the former and a clamping element, the clamping element being supported on the upper flange and retained in place by means of suitable fasteners received in the preformed recesses or holes. Suitable fasteners include, for example, threaded inserts.

A former having a stepped profile surrounding the waste drainage hole according to the present invention can also be adapted for use with tiles by means of a tiling adaptor wherein the tiling adaptor comprises 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 engaging the body of the tiling adaptor with the wet floor waste. The tiling adaptor is supported by the upper flange of the former and retained in place by means of a clamping element. Fastening means are provided through the clamping element and tiling adaptor and are received in the preformed recesses or holes of the flange.

According to a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a wet floor shower waste comprising a former according to the first aspect of the present invention connected to a shower waste and provided with a wet floor covering, such as a flexible waterproof floor covering or tiles. A third aspect of the present invention provides a kit of parts for forming a wet floor shower waste with a wet floor covering comprising a former according to the first aspect of the present invention, a wet floor covering material, a clamping element and a pipe coupling for connection to a waste water outlet.

The former is preferably manufactured from sheet moulding material, although any thermosetting or thermoplastic moulding process may be used, with single or double sided mould production methods.

The former is preferably comprised of a hot pressed glass fibre reinforced plastics material. The material of the former may comprise a thermosetting plastics resin matrix within which can be short glass fibre random strands in the case of Bulk Moulding Compound. One such compound is Hepworth Composites Bulk Moulding Compound Grade HEP-BMC107. Alternatively, the material may comprise a thermosetting plastics resin matrix within which are longer random chopped glass strand matting, formed into uncured sheets and known as Sheet Moulding Compound. One such compound is Hepworth Composites Sheet Moulding Compound Grade PG25-J162WH. The present invention permits the materials used in the former to be selected and blended or combined to create a material which when processed formed and cured into a solid material has preferred material properties which may include but are not limited exclusively to tensile strength and or impact resistance and or colour.

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

FIG. 1 is an isometric view from above of one embodiment of the present invention of a former which is rectangular when viewed in a plan view;

FIG. 2 is an isometric view from below of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged detail view of one half of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the circular drainage hole of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 that accepts a waste trap;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged detail plan view from above of the former shown in FIG. 1, attached to a waste trap and grid cover;

FIG. 6 a cross-sectional view of the circular drainage hole of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 attached to a waste trap and vinyl floor covering;

FIG. 7 shows the former of FIG. 1 provided with a tiling adaptor for use with a tiled floor covering; and

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of the circular drainage hole of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 attached to a waste trap and provided with a tiling adaptor.

Referring to FIGS. 1 to 6 of the accompanying drawings, one embodiment of a shower floor former according to the present invention is illustrated. The former comprises a formed square or rectangular solid body 1, having a level outer border edge 2 surrounding a plurality of sloping, curvedly truncated generally triangular facets 3 which meet at a common circular drainage hole 4 for connection to a waste drainage pipe. The perimeter border may be beneficially provided with a plurality of pre-formed fixing holes (not shown) allowing the former to be fastened down to the underlying floor structure with no additional modifications to the former.

The circular perimeter recess 4 of the former is provided with a stepped profile to provide a first flange or shoulder 8 having pre-formed holes or recesses 12 and a second flange 10 that surrounds the hole 4. The stepped profile extends beyond the plane of the former 1 and the flanges 8, 12 preferably lie in a substantially horizontal plane when the former is installed in the floor.

The former having a circular drainage hole with stepped profile aids installation of a wet floor covering 14 and waste trap (not shown) by allowing their direct connection to the former without the need for a waste adaptor. During installation, a threaded dip tube or drainage pipe coupling (not shown) passes through the aperture 18 for connection to a waste which may be trapped or non-trapped, pumped or gravity-fed. The upper end of such a tube may be provided with a mounting cap or feature with drainage apertures therethrough, the cap providing an annular flange clamp that engages on the faces 20 of the shoulder 10 of the stepped profile. A waterproof flexible floor covering 14 is then sandwiched between the former and a clamp element 24 which rests on the flange 8 and is fastened in place by screw-threaded fasteners 26, preferably being of brass or stainless steel, that are received within the preformed holes or recesses 12. A removable grid cover 30 is releasably fastened or located on the clamp element to provide a flush finish.

The fixing holes for attaching the former to the floor may be countersunk cylindrical holes for wood-screws, but may also be of another shape to accept another fastener or alternative fixing method. The fixing holes may additionally be shaped to accept covers or plugs which may be added to the upper surface as an alternative to the preferred embodiment which is to apply a flexible, curable filler material to the installed fixing upper surface.

Engraved or embossed textual and/or symbolic instructions may be formed into the upper surfaces of the former component 1, which can be easily seen by the installer. This permits rapid, safe and correct installation of the former with minimal reference to the installation instructions. Also engraved or embossed textual and/or symbolic instructions may be formed into the lower surfaces of the former component, which can also be easily seen by the installer prior to installation. This permits the application, by way of example, of company logos, safety and/or material recycling symbols, batch and/or date of manufacturing information, to be added to the surfaces of the former. Contact telephone numbers and internet addresses can be added in a similar manner.

An improved load distribution from the shower floor former onto the underlying floor structure may be provided by creating a multiplicity of individual or crossed reinforcing ribs 32 on the flat lower locating surface which transmit the loading of user and wheelchair through the shaped former structure 1 and into the underlying floor structure (not shown). The preferred manufacturing process allows a higher density of ribs per unit area of former than is possible with any other manufacturing process since the depth of the ribs may exceed the width, permitting them to be located in close proximity to each other. The ribs also prevent or even eliminate slippage during installation of the former by allowing the underside of the former to embed into soft sand and cement screed (also known as cement mud) whilst levelling the former.

The position of the drainage hole within the former is preferably offset from centre in two mutually perpendicular directions to aid avoidance of joints during its installation.

FIGS. 7 and 8 of the accompanying drawings illustrate how the former of the present invention may be used with tiles to provide a flush finish between the waste and surrounding tiles, thereby enabling a single type of former and waste to be used with different types of wet floor covering.

The former corresponds to that already described in relation to FIGS. 1 to 6 but is provided with a tiling adaptor 50 (for example, as described in the Applicant's co-pending Publication No. GB2429981) that supplies an in use upper edge for lying flush with an in use upper surface of adjacent or abutting tiles. The tiling adaptor which is usually formed from a moulded plastics material, comprises a square-shaped body, an aperture formed centrally in the body, and means for engaging the adaptor with the wet floor waste. The thickness of the body at the perimeter edges matches or substantially matches the thickness of tiles to be installed adjacent to or abutting the tiling adaptor. Instead of a flexible floor covering material being inserted between the clamping element 24 and the former 1, the tiling adaptor is provided resting on the shoulder 8 and retained in position by means of the clamping element which is fastened in position by inserts 26 provided through the element and adaptor, being received in the preformed recess 12. The inserts are longer than those provided in relation to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 to 6 in view of the greater thickness provided by the tiling adaptor.

It is thus possible to provide a single kind of wet floor former which can be used when installing either a tiled floor or flexible waterproof floor covering material with minimal effort and a reduced number of additional component parts.

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.





 
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