Title:
Two-piece vanity top
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The two-piece vanity top includes a granite top piece having a sink opening. A sink member having a flange is joined to an undersurface of the granite top piece to align with the sink opening. The sink flange thus extends along the undersurface of the top piece. A plurality of clamping assemblies are bonded to the undersurface of the top-piece without penetrating the top-piece and without threading any fasteners into the granite surface. Each of the clamping assemblies includes an adjustable clamping member that is engageable with the sink flange to force the sink flange against the undersurface of the top-piece.



Inventors:
Stone, Norman (Harrison, NY, US)
Application Number:
10/641819
Publication Date:
03/18/2004
Filing Date:
08/15/2003
Assignee:
Vertex Stone and Chinaware Limited (Hong Kong, CN)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E03C1/33; (IPC1-7): A47K1/00; E03C1/33
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PHILLIPS, CHARLES E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RODMAN RODMAN (WHITE PLAINS, NY, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A vanity top comprising, a) a granite top piece having a sink opening with a peripheral edge, said top piece including a top surface and an undersurface, b) a sink member having a water receiving bowl with a top portion and a sink flange that extends outwardly from the top portion and away from the water receiving bowl, said sink member being joined to the undersurface of said top piece such that said sink flange extends outwardly beyond the peripheral edge of the sink opening in said top piece along the undersurface of said top piece, said sink flange having an outer edge, an upper surface and a lower surface, and c) means for joining said sink member to the undersurface of said top piece such that the water receiving bowl aligns with the sink opening in said top piece, said joining means including a plurality of clamping assemblies located at selected positions around the top portion of said sink member, said clamping assemblies being bonded to the undersurface of said top piece without penetrating the top piece, and said clamping assemblies are spaced from the outer edge of said sink flange such that each said clamping assembly is engagable with the lower surface of said sink flange to force said sink flange against the undersurface of said top piece, whereby said sink member is held against and joined to the undersurface of said top piece.

2. The vanity top as claimed in claim 1 wherein the clamping assembly includes an adjustable clip member and means for moving the adjustable clip member against the lower surface of said sink flange, to forcibly engage said sink flange, said clamping assembly being positioned on the undersurface of said top piece such that said clip member overlays the lower surface of said sink flange whereby movement of said adjustable clip member against the lower surface of said sink flange enables said clip member to exert a force against said sink flange that clamps said sink flange against the undersurface of said top piece.

3. The vanity top as claimed in claim 2 wherein the clamping assembly further includes a stem portion engagable with the clip member.

4. The vanity top as claimed in claim 3 wherein the stem portion is threaded and the means for moving the clip member against the lower surface of the sink flange include a threaded nut member movable on the stem portion toward the lower surface of said sink flange to urge the clip member against the lower surface of said sink flange.

5. The vanity top as claimed in claim 3 wherein the stem portion includes a base section that is bonded to the undersurface of said top piece, proximate the outer edge of said sink flange, to permit said clip member, when engaged with said stem portion, to overlie the lower surface of said flange.

6. The vanity top as claimed in claim 4 wherein the stem portion includes a base section that is bonded to the undersurface of said top piece, proximate the outer edge of said sink flange to permit said clip member, when engaged with said stem portion, to overlie the lower surface of said sink flange.

7. The vanity top as claimed in claim 1 wherein the clamping assembly includes a stem portion having a base section bonded to the undersurface of said top piece, and a clip member is engageable with the stem portion, said base section being positioned on the undersurface of said top piece proximate the outer edge of said sink flange to permit said clip member, when engaged with said stem portion, to overlie the lower surface of said sink flange.

8. The vanity top as claimed in claim 7 wherein the stem portion is threaded and a nut member is threaded on the stem portion, the clip member being positioned between the nut member and the base section such that movement of the nut member on the stem portion toward the lower surface of said sink flange, urges the clip member against the lower surface of the sink flange.

9. The vanity top as claimed in claim 2 wherein the adjustable clip member includes a stepped offset portion that overlies the lower surface of said sink flange.

10. The vanity top as claimed in claim 9 wherein the clamping assembly includes a base section bonded to the undersurface of said top piece and the sink flange has a first height or thickness, and the stepped offset portion has a height that is less than the sink flange thickness to enable the adjustable clip member to form an angle with the base section when the clip member is in a tightened condition against the sink flange.

11. A vanity top comprising, a) a granite top piece having a sink opening with a peripheral edge, said top piece including a top surface and an undersurface, b) a sink member having a water receiving bowl with a top portion and a sink flange that extends outwardly from the top portion and away from the water receiving bowl, said sink member being joined to the undersurface of said top piece such that said sink flange extends outwardly beyond the peripheral edge of the sink opening in said top piece along the undersurface of said top piece, said sink flange having an outer edge, an upper surface and a lower surface, and c) means for joining said sink member to the undersurface of said top piece such that the water receiving bowl aligns with the sink opening in said top piece, said joining means being bonded to the undersurface of said top piece proximate the outer edge of said sink flange without penetrating the top piece, and said joining means including at least two spaced clamping members engagable against the lower surface of said sink flange to force said sink flange against the undersurface of said top piece, whereby said sink member is clamped to the undersurface of said top piece.

12. The vanity top as claimed in claim 11 wherein the joining means includes a stem portion having a base section bonded to the undersurface of said top piece, proximate the outer edge of said sink flange, to permit said clamping member to overlie the lower surface of said sink flange.

13. The vanity top as claimed in claim 12 wherein the stem portion is threaded and a threaded nut member is movable on the stem portion toward the lower surface of said sink flange to urge the clamping member against the lower surface of said sink flange.

14. The vanity top as claimed in claim 12 wherein the sink flange has a first height or thickness, and the clamping members have a stepped offset portion with a height that is less than the sink flange thickness to enable the clamping members to form an angle with the base section when the clamping members are in a tightened condition against the sink flange.

15. A method of making a vanity top, comprising, a) forming a granite top piece with a sink opening having a peripheral edge, a top surface and an undersurface, b) providing a sink member having a water-receiving bowl and a top portion with a sink flange having an upper surface, a lower surface and an outer edge, c) positioning the sink member at the undersurface of the top piece such that the sink flange extends outwardly beyond the peripheral edge of the sink opening along the undersurface of the top piece, d) joining the sink member to the top piece by, (i) bonding a plurality of threaded stem pieces to the undersurface of the top piece in spaced arrangement around the top portion of the sink member such that a free end of the threaded stem pieces project away from the undersurface of the top piece, and are a selected distance from the outer edge of the sink flange and do not penetrate the top piece, (ii) providing each stem piece with an elongated clamping member that fits onto the stem piece via an opening in the clamping member, (iii) arranging the clamping member while on the stem piece, to overlie the lower surface of the sink flange, (iv) threading a nut onto the stem piece for tightening against the clamping member to force the clamping member against the lower surface of the sink flange to thereby clamp the sink flange against the undersurface of the top piece and secure the sink to the top piece.

16. The method of claim 15 wherein the bonding step includes providing the stem piece with a base section, and bonding the base section to the undersurface of the top piece.

17. The method of claim 15 including forming the clamping member with a stepped portion to overlie the lower surface of the sink flange.

18. The method of claim 16 including forming the clamping member with a stepped portion having a height or offset that is less than the sink flange thickness to enable the clamping member to form an angle with the base section when the clamping member is in a tightened condition against the sink flange.

19. The method of claim 15 including providing the undersurface of the top piece with four stem pieces and flour clamping members.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates to bathroom or kitchen vanities and more particularly to a two-piece top for a vanity, including a granite top piece.

[0002] A bathroom or kitchen vanity usually includes a cabinet and a vanity top. Some vanity tops, known as two-piece vanity tops, include a countertop or top piece with a separate wash bowl or sink. The vanity top piece can be formed of plastic or other known waterproof or water resistant material, or a combination of non-waterproof and waterproof material such as wood having an outside layer of plastic material.

[0003] The vanity cabinet often has an interior storage space that is accessible by one or more door members. The cabinet can also include one or more drawers above, below, beside or inside the door members. The vanity cabinet in comparison with the two-piece vanity top can be formed of numerous different materials that need not be waterproof or water resistant. Because vanity cabinets can be formed of materials that need not be waterproof or water resistant they can generally have a more versatile appearance than the two-piece vanity top, and are constructed with more detailed and varied designs than the vanity top.

[0004] The present invention is intended to provide added design and appearance versatility to a two-piece vanity top by combining a separately formed wash bowl or sink with a top piece that is made of a stone material such as granite.

[0005] A granite top piece with a finished top surface is known to have an elegant, attractive appearance. A sink that is overmounted or supported on the finished granite surface can diminish the attractiveness of the granite top piece. Thus it would be beneficial to undermount the sink, or support the sink on an undersurface of the granite top piece, to enhance the elegant appearance of the finished granite top surface.

[0006] However, it is also well known that granite, while very durable and attractive, is also a very hard material. It is thus difficult to use threaded fasteners with granite because such fasteners do not thread easily or securely into granite. If threaded fasteners are provided in drilled holes in the granite there is a risk of fracturing the granite. Since fasteners threaded into the undersurface of a granite top piece can fracture the granite if overtightened and cannot provide adequate securement if insufficiently tightened there is very little margin for tightening error.

[0007] Also, if a plural number of fasteners are inserted in the undersurface of a granite top piece to secure an undermounted sink such fasteners must support the weight of the sink plus the weight of any water in the sink, a risky proposition. While screw-in attachment systems for undermounted sinks may be acceptable with a wooden countertop, as shown in U.S. Pat. No. 1,276,719 to Campbell and U.S. Pat. No. 2,080,573 to Madsen such screw-in systems for undermounted sinks in granite are not always steadfast.

[0008] It is thus desirable to provide a relatively risk free securement system for a two-piece vanity top including a granite top piece wherein a sink can be undermounted with firmness and stability to the undersurface of the granite top.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] In the accompanying drawings,

[0010] FIG. 1 is a bottom view of a granite top piece for a two-piece vanity top, prior to the installation of a sink and any plumbing attachments;

[0011] FIG. 2 is a bottom plan view, in schematic form, of the granite top-piece, after a sink has been installed to the bottom surface or undersurface of the granite top piece to form the two-piece vanity top;

[0012] FIG. 3 is an elevational upside down exploded view thereof, partly shown in section, before securement of the sink to the undersurface of the granite top piece; and,

[0013] FIG. 4 is an elevational view thereof, right side up, after the sink has been secured to the undersurface of the granite top piece.

[0014] Corresponding reference numbers indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views of the drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0015] Referring to the drawings, a two-piece vanity top incorporating one embodiment of the invention is generally indicated by the reference number 10 in FIGS. 2-4. The two-piece vanity top 10 includes a washbowl or sink member 12, and a granite top piece 14. As used herein the term “two-piece vanity top” will refer to the combined sink member 12 and the granite top piece 14, without any plumbing. The sink member 12 is formed separately from the granite top piece 14 and is made of a suitable known material such as porcelain, plastic or any other suitable vitreous waterproof material, and is joined to the bottom surface or undersurface 16 of the granite top piece 14.

[0016] The granite top piece 14 also includes a top surface 18 (FIGS. 3 and 4) and a sink opening 20 with a peripheral edge 26. The granite top surface 18 has a fine, smooth finish, which emphasizes the attractive color and grain characteristics of the granite material. The granite undersurface 16 need not be polished or finished.

[0017] The sink member 12 has a water-receiving bowl 28 (FIGS. 3 and 4) with a top portion 30 and a sink flange 32 that extends outwardly from the top portion 30 and away from the water-receiving bowl 28. As most clearly shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the water-receiving bowl 28 is aligned with the sink opening 20 when the sink member 12 is joined to the granite top piece 14.

[0018] In assembling the sink member 12 to the granite top piece 14, use of a worktable 34 (FIG. 3) with a soft surface, such as provided by a piece of carpet material or corrugated cardboard 36, can facilitate such assembly. The top piece 14 is positioned on the soft surface 36 with the granite undersurface 16 facing upwards.

[0019] The sink member 14 is placed in an upside-down position, as shown in FIG. 3, onto the undersurface 16 of the granite top piece 14 such that the water receiving bowl 28 and the sink opening 20 are aligned. The sink flange 32 of the sink member 12 will thus extend beyond the peripheral edge 26 of the sink opening 20 as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4.

[0020] When the sink member 12 is aligned with the sink opening 20, as shown in FIG. 3, a guideline 42 (FIG. 1) is drawn around the periphery of the sink flange 32 on the undersurface 16 of the granite top piece 14, using a crayon (not shown) or any other suitable marking implement. The guideline 42 serves as a border for the application of a bead 44 (FIGS. 1 and 3) of a suitable known sink flange sealer such as silicone. After the guideline 42 (FIG. 1) is drawn on the undersurface 16 of the granite top piece 14 the sink member 12 is temporarily removed from the granite top piece 14, as shown in FIG. 1.

[0021] The bead 44 (FIG. 1) of silicone sealer is applied to the undersurface 16 of the top piece 14 partway between the guideline 42 and the peripheral edge 26 of the sink opening 20 in the manner shown in FIG. 1. The sink member 12 is then relocated in upside down position, as shown in FIG. 3, onto the undersurface 16 of the top piece 14 in the same relative orientation of the sink member 12 to the sink opening 20 that existed when the guideline 42 was drawn.

[0022] The sink flange 32 of the sink member 12 thus overlays the silicone bead 44. Pressure of the sink flange 32 against the bead 44 spreads the bead 44 (FIG. 4) between the sink flange 32 and the undersurface 16 to establish a leak tight seal between the undersurface 16 of the granite top piece 14 and the sink flange 32 of the sink member 12.

[0023] While the silicone bead 44 is curing, or after it has cured the sink member 12 is secured to the undersurface 16 of the top piece 14 using a clamping assembly 46 as shown in FIGS. 2-4.

[0024] Preferably four of the clamping assemblies 46 are provided at “corner” locations of the sink member 12, at positions such as 48, 50, 52 and 54 as shown in FIG. 1. The clamping assembly positions 48, 50, 52 and 54 are slightly outside the outer edge 62 of the sink flange 32 and approximately align with diagonals (not shown) of the granite top piece 14.

[0025] Each clamping assembly 46 (FIG. 3) includes a threaded stud or stem portion 64 having one end that is welded or otherwise joined to a base plate or base section 66. The base section 66 is preferably a perforated metal plate approximately one inch round or square. The clamping assembly 46 further includes a metal clip member or clamping member 68 with a slotted portion 70 (FIG. 2) to accommodate the stem portion 64. The slot 70 permits positional adjustability of the clip member 68 on the stem portion 64. The clip member 68 is formed with a stepped offset portion 72 (FIG. 3) for overlying the sink flange 32. A wing nut 74 is threaded onto a free end 82 of the stem portion 64.

[0026] The base section 66 of each clamping assembly 46 is adhered to the undersurface 16 of the top piece 14 with any suitable known high strength epoxy adhesive 84 at the clamping positions 48, 50, 52 and 54.

[0027] When the epoxy adhesive 84 between the base sections 66 and the undersurface 16 at the positions 48, 50, 52 and 54 has cured, wing nuts 74 can be threaded against the slotted portions 70 of the clip members 68 to force the stepped offset portion 72 against the sink flange 32 in the manner shown in FIG. 3.

[0028] It will be noted that the offset height of the stepped portion 72 is approximately one half the height or thickness of the sink flange 32. This height difference ensures that the clip member 68 does not fully bottom against the base section 66 when the wing nut 74 forces the clip member 68 against the sink flange 32. Under this arrangement the clip member 68, in a tightened condition against the sink flange 32, makes a slight angle 86 (FIG. 3) with respect to the base section 66. The angle 86 exists even when the clip member 68 is in a fully tightened condition.

[0029] Thus any movement of the wig nut 74 on the stem portion 64 against the clip member 68 will increase the force of the clip member 68 against the sink flange 32. Accurate torquing of the wing nut 74 can thus be accomplished to provide a predetermined force of the clip member 68 against the sink flange 32.

[0030] After the wing nuts 74 of each clamping assembly 46 have been tightened against the respective clip members 68 to secure the sink member 12 to the top piece 14 at the positions 48, 50, 52 and 54 the two-piece vanity top 10 can be turned right side up, as shown in FIG. 4 and joined to an appropriate vanity cabinet 88 (FIG. 4) in any suitable known manner.

[0031] Assembly of the granite top piece 14 and sink member 12 can be accomplished at a factory to enable the consumer to buy an assembled two-piece vanity top, or assembly of the two-piece vanity top can be performed by the consumer.

[0032] Although not shown, a backsplash and side splashes can be joined, if desired, to the top surface 18 of the top piece 14 in any suitable known manner. The backsplash and side splashes are preferably formed of the same granite material as the top piece 14.

[0033] Plumbing accessories including a faucet and drain pipe (not shown) are then installed on the two-piece vanity top in any suitable known manner.

[0034] The invention thus provides a novel securement system for a two-piece vanity top wherein a sink is undermounted to a granite top-piece, without threading fasteners into the granite undersurface. Such securement system makes it feasible to undermount the sink to the granite top piece and thereby enhance the attractive elegant appearance of the vanity top.

[0035] In view of the above, it will be seen that the several objects of the invention are achieved and other advantageous results attained.

[0036] As various changes can be made in the above constructions and methods without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.