Title:
Substructure element for placement beneath a shower base element
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention relates to a substructure element (8) for placement beneath a shower base element (2), wherein the substructure element (8) and shower base element (2) are provided with a drainage opening (3) for installing a drain pan (4), and the substructure element (8), which occupies the entire volume between the underside of the shower base element (2) and the mounting substrate, comprises at least one panel (7; 9) made of foamed plastic material, which is provided with an opening that is adapted to the peripheral design of at least one drain pan and is provided with a structured lumen that extends through the thickness of the substructure element and adjoins the opening.



Inventors:
Wedi, Stephan (Emsdetten, DE)
Application Number:
13/024375
Publication Date:
08/18/2011
Filing Date:
02/10/2011
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K3/00
View Patent Images:
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20070056092Swirl sink and method of useMarch, 2007Prather
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Other References:
Wedi building solutions 2008
DoItYourself.com Forum
Primary Examiner:
SKUBINNA, CHRISTINE J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
The Law Office of Michael E. Kondoudis (4222 Fortuna Center Plaza, Suite 802, Dumfries, VA, 22025, US)
Claims:
1. A substructure element (8) for placement beneath a shower base element (2), wherein the substructure element (8) and shower base element (2) are each provided with a drainage opening (3) for installing a drain pan (4), and the substructure element (8), which occupies the entire volume between the underside of the shower base element (2) and the mounting substrate (10), comprises at least one panel (7; 9) made of foamed plastic material, which is provided with an opening (3′; 3″) that is adapted to the peripheral design of at least one drain pan and is provided with a structured lumen (30) that extends through the thickness of the substructure element and adjoins the opening (3′; 3″).

2. The substructure element according to claim 1, characterized in that the element comprises at least two substantially congruent panels (7; 9), each of which is provided with openings (3′; 3″) that are adapted to the peripheral design of drain pans (4), and are provided with a divided, structured lumen (30′; 30″) that extends through the thickness of the substructure element (8) and fits to the opening (3′; 3″), wherein, in the installed state, the contours and openings of the panels (7; 9) of the substructure element (8) and of the shower base element (2) coincide with each other.

3. The substructure element according to claim 2, characterized in that the at least two panels (7, 9) have different construction heights.

4. The substructure element according to claim 3, characterized in that, when at least two panels are present that have different construction heights, the height of the first panel (9) is 60±5 mm and the height of the second panel (7) is 30±5 mm.

5. The substructure element according to claim 4, characterized in that the total height of the panels does not exceed 90 mm.

6. The substructure element according to claim 2, characterized in that, in the installed state, the lumen (30″) of the first panel (9) accommodates the outer contour of a drain pain, so that it can serve as a sole substructure element.

7. The substructure element according to claim 6, characterized in that the thicknesses of the panels are selected to be 40 mm, 30 mm, and 20 mm when three panels (7; 9) are present.

8. The substructure element according to claim 1, characterized in that the foamed plastic material selected for the substructure element is expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) or extruded polystyrene foam (XPS).

9. The substructure element according to claim 1, characterized in that the foamed plastic material selected for the substructure element is polyurethane foam.

10. A substructure element according to claim 1, characterized in that at least two separate openings (3; 23′+23″) and corresponding lumina for drain pans are introduced into the substructure element (8), which in the installed state coincide with drainage openings of different shower base elements and are compatible with the respective drain pans.

11. A set of components for producing a shower base that can be tiled, comprising a shower base element, a substructure element, which includes at least two panels (7; 9) according to claim 2, and a drain pan to be positively fitted into the lumen.

12. A substructure element according to claim 6, characterized in that at least two separate openings (3; 23′+23″) and corresponding lumina for drain pans are introduced into the substructure element (8), which in the installed state coincide with drainage openings of different shower base elements and are compatible with the respective drain pans.

Description:

The invention relates to a substructure element for placement beneath a shower base element, on which a covering layer is preferably to be applied, wherein the substructure element and shower base element are provided with a drainage opening for installing a drain pan.

Shower base elements in the present case shall be understood in particular as those that are installed in floor-level showers. Such shower base elements are sold, for example, under the “wedi Fundo” trade name (manufacturer: wedi GmbH, Emsdetten, Germany). A layer of tiles or a mosaic layer is applied to the shower base elements as a covering layer. In the case of square shower base elements, a drainage opening is provided in the center, which is to say in the center of gravity of the square, for installing a drain pan. Using an appropriate gradient, the waste water is conducted to this point and discharged through the drain pan. Other configurations are known, such as rectangular or round shower trays, which can be provided with appropriate substructure elements. The drainage openings can also be introduced in other positions, deviating from the area of the center of gravity of the shower base element.

When installing showers comprising a shower base element, a substructure, which generally is produced in the form of mortar packing, is built up on a mounting substrate, which shall be understood, for example, as a concrete floor, a thin floor pavement, or the like. In the case of foam-sheet shower base elements comprising circular cut-outs, the drain pan is inserted in the drainage opening beforehand, however the drainage opening is not exactly adapted to the outer contour of the drain pan, and thus the drain pan initially still has some play, even in the installed position (see the article “Barrierefreie Duschtassenelemente” (Barrier-free shower tray elements) from wediwelt, January 2000).

Packing, which initially comprises moist and deformable mortar or a cement-bound construction material mixture, is introduced beneath the positions of the shower base element. To this end, hollow spaces are left in keeping with the outer contours of the drain pan and drain. After placing the shower base element, supplementary packing is added to until the drain pan and drain are embedded therein in a manner that accommodates the shapes thereof. Even if the drain pan is rigidly fitted into the shower base element, as is the case with the “fundo system”, hollow spaces often remain in the packing, which lack filling stabilization.

The disadvantage is that, after the packing has hardened and the shower base element has been subjected to high loads, the region of the drain pan and of the drain system may loosen and develop leaks, if hollow spaces were left in the packing or have developed over time. If the supplementary packing in the region of the drain pan was not properly performed, there is a risk that, over time, the drain pan will recede and thus compromise the watertightness of the drain system.

An object of the invention is therefore to provide a substructure design that is adapted to common models of shower base elements, which ensures exact fitting, height adjustment, and lasting tightness from the start.

This aim is achieved by a configuration that is substantially characterized by a substructure element for placement beneath a shower base element, wherein the substructure element and shower base element are each provided with a drainage opening for installing a drain pan, and the substructure element, which occupies the entire volume between the underside of the shower base element and the mounting substrate, comprises at least one panel made of foamed plastic material, which is provided with an opening that is adapted to the peripheral design of at least one drain pan, and is provided with a structured lumen that extends through the thickness of the substructure element and adjoins the opening.

The substructure element thus performs the function of the packing, without requiring subsequent work involving supplementation or the like. The lumen, which is to say the inner contour of the opening, is adapted to the outer contour of one or two common drain pans. When using the appropriately adapted substructure elements in the construction of a shower, the manufacturer of the drain pans can safely assume that complications and complaints for the installation of the drain will be practically eliminated.

The substructure element preferably comprises two or more panels located on top of each other. In this way, it is possible to supply the building site with a set of two or more, which is to say n, panels and, depending on the construction height, to forego one or up to n−1 panels, for example the uppermost panel. The substructure element therefore comprises n substantially congruent panels, each of which is provided with openings that are adapted to the peripheral design of drain pans, and are provided with a divided, structured lumen that extends through the thickness of the substructure element and fits to the opening, wherein in the installed state, the contours and openings of the panels of the substructure element and of the shower base element coincide with each other.

When using a plurality of panels, the n panels preferably have different construction heights. It has been found to be advantageous from a technical perspective for the height of a first (bottom) panel to be 60±5 mm and the height of a second (top) panel to be 30±5, wherein a set total height of 90 mm, for example, should not be exceeded. The heights of the panels and the numbers thereof used may also vary in other embodiments of the substructure element, depending on the construction heights of the drain pans. These dimensions, which are provided by way of example, will be varied depending on the product and manufacturer.

A particular advantage is that, in the installed state, the lumen of the first panel accommodates the outer contour of the drain pan, for example, having a construction height of approximately 60 mm, so that it can serve as the sole substructure element. If three panels are selected, for example, having construction heights of 40+30+20 mm, construction height increments of 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, and 90 mm can be built up.

The foamed plastic material used for the substructure element is preferably expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) or extruded polystyrene foam (XPS). However, other substances from among various known foamable polymers, such as polyurethane foams, may also be suited for the panels.

A durable and long-lasting bond, for example using an adhesive, must be established between the flat sides of the substructure element and the underside of the shower base element, as well as with the upper side of the mounting substrate.

The field of application can be broadened if at least two separate openings and corresponding lumina for drain pans are introduced into the substructure element, which in the installed state each coincide with a drainage opening of different shower base elements and are compatible with the respective drain pans. One opening is preferably located at the center, and the other one eccentrically thereto.

The invention also relates to a set of components for producing a shower base that can be tiled, comprising a shower base element, a substructure element according to any one of the preceding claim characteristics, and a suitable drain system.

An embodiment of the invention will be described based on the following description of the figures with reference to the drawings.

The figures in the drawings show in detail:

FIG. 1: a sectional view of a shower configuration comprising a drain;

FIG. 2: a top view of a substructure element according to the invention;

FIG. 3: a perspective sectional view according to section A-A of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4: an exploded perspective view of the elements of FIG. 3; and

FIG. 5: the top panel of the substructure element;

FIG. 6: the bottom panel of the substructure element.

FIG. 1 shows a schematic sectional view of a shower base configuration 1, which is square as viewed from above, but without tiling. The shower base configuration comprises a shower base element 2, which is composed of EPS or XPS foamed plastic material, and to which a water-proof coating is applied. Another layer is placed onto the shower base element 2, for example a tile layer (not shown), and is glued thereto. In the present case, the shower base element 2 has an integral design and comprises a gradient toward the center, where an opening 3 is incorporated, into which a drain pan 4 is inserted.

The drain pan 4 is concentrically provided with a siphon-inner-cylinder 5, which is used in the manner known per se as an odor trap. A horizontal waste water pipe 6 connects to the drain pan 4, the pipe being composed of a PVC plastic pipe, which is placed on a corresponding connector of the drain pan 4. The shape of the drain pan may vary and is shown only schematically here.

So as to avoid the conventional mortar structure beneath the shower base element 2, a substructure element 8 is used for placement beneath the shower base element 2, the element in the embodiment comprising two panels, which are disposed on top of each other and have different heights, these being a top panel 7 and a bottom panel 9. The profiles of the panels 7 and 9 are congruent with each other and match that of the shower base element 2 that rests thereon.

The top panel is approximately 30 mm thick, and the bottom panel is approximately 60 mm. In the present case, the materials used are XPS or EPS foamed materials, which have specific bulk densities of approximately 35 kg/m3 and 22.5 kg/m3, respectively. Depending on the load and embodiment, the bulk density may also vary.

FIG. 1 shows that the substructure element 8 takes up the entire volume between the underside of the shower base element 2 and a mounting substrate (not shown here). The opening of the subfloor element required for the drain pan 4 is located exactly beneath the corresponding opening 3 of the shower base element 2. In keeping with a common design of the drain pan 4, appropriate peripheral and lumen structures were selected for the openings in the panels 7 and 9.

As is further apparent from FIGS. 2 to 4, the insides of the central openings 3′ and 3″ of the top panel and bottom panel are configured in accordance with the expected design and recess depth of the drain pan 4.

According to the embodiment shown, the upper portion of the opening 3′ is first recessed in a circular manner. Two steps 11 and 12 are provided at a height of approximately ⅔, which serve as supports for a partial flange on the drain pan 4. The opening 3′ continues in a narrowed manner downward, so that the bowl of the drain pan 4, which is surrounded by a sealing ring, can be seated in the opening 3′ in a sealed fashion without additional mortar or adhesive compounds.

If both panels 7 and 9 are required in a substructure, they are glued to each other. It should be noted that the bottom panel 9 can also serve alone as the substructure element 8 for extremely shallow shower configurations. In this case, however, the end for the waste water must lead away downward.

The thicker bottom panel 9 is provided with the opening 3″, the cross-section of which corresponds approximately to what is referred to as a barrel line. Again, the profile and the configurations at the interiors are designed in keeping with the periphery of the lower region of drain pan 4. The aforementioned openings 3′ and 3″ are milled in or punched in. Such types of material working methods can also be combined with each other. The tools and work steps required for this are known per se.

If, as shown in FIG. 1, the waste water pipe 6 is to be horizontally connected, a slot 14 having the appropriate width is sawed or cut into the material of the bottom panel 9 at the building site.

As is further apparent from the figures, each panel is also provided with an additional bore 23′ or 23″. These bores 23′, 23″ can be used to install appropriate drain pan elements, which coincide with each other, outside of the center, when the panels 7 and 9 are congruently positioned, which receive and remove shower water. The opening 23′ has a circular cross-section and a wide initial opening, which converges in a truncated cone shape and transitions into a hollow cylinder. The opening 23″ is designed as a hollow cylinder over the entire height thereof. This makes it possible to produce shower a drain that is positioned differently from those customary in the sanitary field. The substructure element 8 can thus be used in a wide range of shower base elements to be installed.

So as to facilitate the work of the craftsman at the building site, it is also possible to offer a set of components to create a shower base that can be tiled, comprising a shower base element 2, a substructure element 8, which includes two panels 7 and 9, and a suitable drain system.

The proposed elements, and more particularly the substructure element, can be installed by a floor tiler and covered with tiles. In a simple and cost-effective manner, a shower base structure is attained, which can be installed quickly.





 
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