Title:
Self-Supporting Shower Floor Element Comprising A Film For Sealing The Floor And Walls
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The aim of the invention is to provide a shower floor element and a shower floor construction, which permit an extremely simple, cost-effective production, in particular in situ and/or a more reliable sealing system in relation to prior art. To achieve this, a waterproof film is applied to the upper face of a support element consisting of a hard expanded plastic with a relatively high density of approximately 100 g per cubic decimetre or more and is sealed to said support element. This enables the pre-fabrication of a shower floor element, so that during the installation in situ a tile covering or other covering can be directly applied to the film. If a suitable material is selected, said film can also be welded to the support element. Preferred connection methods are bonding or welding. Depending on the material, a shrinking or deep drawing process can also optionally be used, or a negative pressure can be produced between the film and the support element, causing the two materials to adhere to one another.



Inventors:
Dieter, Preissing (Reichenbach, DE)
Dieter, Nuckel (Sundern, DE)
Application Number:
11/816495
Publication Date:
07/10/2008
Filing Date:
02/17/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K3/40
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BAKER, LORI LYNN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
OSTROLENK FABER LLP (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:
1. A shower floor element comprising a two-dimensional support element of rigid foam, further comprising a water-impermeable film is applied to the upper side of the support element, in particular to the rigid foam.

2. The shower floor element as claimed in claim 1, wherein the film is adhesively attached to the upper side of the support element over the full surface area.

3. The shower floor element as claimed in claim 1, wherein the film is welded to the upper side of the support element.

4. The shower floor element as claimed in claim 1, wherein the film is thermoformed and welded onto the upper side of the support element without any folds.

5. The shower floor element as claimed in claim 1, wherein the film is connected in a waterproof manner to a drain flange part in the shower floor element.

6. The shower floor element as claimed in claim 1, wherein the film has a lateral overhang beyond the outer edges of the upper side of the support element (that is so extensive that in the installed state of the shower floor element it forms a floor/wall transition.

7. The shower floor element as claimed in claim 1, wherein the film has a lateral overhang beyond the outer edges of the upper side of the support element that is so extensive that in the installed state of the shower floor element it forms a shower floor/room floor transition.

8. The shower floor element as claimed in claim 6, characterized in that the bearing surfaces of the lateral overhang are coated with a layer of adhesive in a self-adhesive manner.

9. The shower floor element as claimed in claim 1, wherein the film is formed such that it is rough on one or both sides and/or laminated or provided on one or both sides with an adhesive layer, in particular of a fiber-like and/or nonwoven-like material.

10. The shower floor element as claimed in claim 1, wherein the support element (is formed in one piece and/or in the form of a panel.

11. The shower floor element as claimed in claim 1, further comprising the rigid foam is formed to withstand such loads as to allow it to support a covering of tiles without any reinforcement or supporting layer.

12. The shower floor element as claimed in claim 1, wherein the rigid foam has a density of at least approximately 0.09 kg/dm3, in particular at least 0.1 kg/dm3.

13. The shower floor element as claimed in claim 1, wherein it has a ready-to-use floor surface (9).

14. A shower floor construction with a covering of tiles, which cover over a shower floor element comprising a support element of rigid foam, characterized in that the shower floor element is formed as claimed in claim 1 and/or in that the support element exclusively forms the supporting layer for the tiles, or no supporting layer is arranged between the supporting element and the tiles.

15. The shower floor construction as claimed in claim 14, wherein the film forms the only sealing layer between the support element (and the rigid foam on the tiles.

16. The shower floor construction as claimed in claim 14, wherein the tiles are adhesively bonded directly to the film by means of a tile adhesive.

17. The shower floor construction as claimed in claim 14, wherein arranged between the support element and a laterally adjoining substructure is a sealing compound, in particular a sealing compound that cures rapidly and/or with the exclusion of air, which is covered over by the covering.

18. The shower floor as claimed in claim 14, wherein the support element is adhesively bonded onto a substructure.

19. The shower floor construction as claimed in claim 14, wherein the support element rests on a supporting frame with height-adjustable mounting feet, a rigid foam part being used as the support element, in which recesses for receiving fastening means of the mounting feet are provided.

Description:

PRIOR ART

The invention relates to a shower floor element according to the precharacterizing clause of claim 1 and to a shower floor construction according to the precharacterizing clause of claim 15.

A conventional shower floor construction is known from DE 101 31 338 A 1. A support element of rigid foam is coated in situ with a layer of mortar and a sealing compound. After curing, a tile covering or the like can be laid over that. This is very time-consuming. Furthermore, reliable sealing is not always ensured.

The present invention is based on the object of providing a shower floor element and a shower floor construction which permit very simple, low-cost production, in particular in situ, and/or reliable sealing in comparison with the prior art.

The above object is achieved by a shower floor element as claimed in claim 1 or a shower floor construction as claimed in claim 14. Advantageous developments are the subject of the subclaims.

One aspect of the present invention is that a water-impermeable film is adhesively bonded onto the upper side of a support element of rigid foam and in this way a shower floor element can be prefabricated, so that, during the installation in situ, a tile covering can be applied directly to the film. If a suitable material is chosen, this film can also be welded to the support element. Adhesive bonding or welding are preferred connection methods. Depending on the material, a shrink-fitting or thermoforming operation may, if applicable, also be additionally performed or a negative pressure established between the film and the support element, so that the two materials adhere to each other.

In a particularly preferred way, the film in this case has a lateral overhang beyond the outer edges of the upper side of the support element that is so extensive that in the installed state it forms a shower floor/wall transition and shower floor/room floor transition as a generous sealing surface. This has the specific advantage that these transitions are formed in a particularly simple and at the same time reliably sealed way. This makes it possible to dispense with the sealing strips that are otherwise customarily to be additionally sealed in and are technically likely to be more troublesome, which saves installation effort and material costs.

The lateral overhang of the film therefore forms an uninterrupted, reliable sealing surface at the transitions to the wall, or to the walls in the case of a corner arrangement, and to the floor of the room. The material of the sealing film is preferably chosen such that, in the course of customary everyday stress and strain, it can also be subjected to tensile loading without tearing. In addition, as a redundant sealing measure to be provided on site, a further sealing film may be applied to the first sealing film in a manner overlapping the sealing film overhang of the shower floor element, in order to make the seals with respect to the floor of the room and with respect to the wall even more reliable.

The bearing surfaces of the lateral overhang intended for bearing against the wall or against the floor of the room are preferably coated with a layer of adhesive in a self-adhesive manner and provided with a peel-off film. This reduces the on-site installation effort.

A further aspect of the present invention is that the support element or the rigid foam can be produced in such a load-bearing manner that the support element is adequately stable and pressure-resistant, so that it is suitable for being provided directly with tiles, without the otherwise customary additional reinforcements which have to be additionally applied to the surface, for example in the form of glass fiber mats. Accordingly, a simple, low-cost construction which can be rapidly produced is obtained.

The support element can preferably be produced with an already incorporated gradient as a molded part, for example as a rigid EPS foam part. The support element is particularly stable if it is produced with a particularly high density, as is the case for example with EPS with a density of over 100 g per cubic decimeter.

It is also possible to use as a blank for the support element a planar panel, into which a suitable gradient profile is then milled, in order that the shower water can drain well. Such panels are commercially available, for example, from the company Diekhoff, 47441 Moers.

The support element may be mounted directly on a suitable substructure surface of the floor of the room or else on a supporting frame, which for its part is supported on a multiplicity of height-adjustable supporting feet. This provides a simplified sequence for the installation of the system, which can be carried out easily and quickly by sanitary engineers and tile layers.

The shower floor element according to the proposal may advantageously equally have a ready-to-use floor surface, for example of natural stone, artificial stone, tiles, acrylic, etc.

Further advantages, features, properties and aspects of the present invention emerge from the following description of a preferred embodiment on the basis of the drawing, in which:

FIG. 1 shows a schematic section of a shower floor construction according to the proposal with a shower floor element according to the proposal;

FIG. 2 shows a schematic section of a film of the shower floor element, and

FIG. 3 shows a schematic section of the shower floor element with a continuous film with an overhang for the wall transition to the adjoining wall,

FIG. 4 shows a schematic plan view of a supporting frame with mounting feet for the shower floor element,

FIG. 5 shows a partial view of the transition between the film and a drain flange part according to a preferred embodiment.

In the figures, the same designations are used for the same or similar parts, corresponding properties and advantages being achieved even when a description is not repeated for reasons of simplification.

FIG. 1 shows in a schematic section a shower floor construction 1 according to the proposal with a shower floor element 2 according to the proposal.

The shower floor element 2 has a two-dimensional support element 3 of a rigid foam, in particular in the form of a panel. The support element 3 is preferably several centimeters thick, in particular approximately 4 to 6 cm. The support element 3 is preferably formed in one piece. In particular, the support element 3 consists exclusively of the rigid foam.

The shower floor element 2 or the support element 3 has, for example, an at least substantially rectangular, square or circular shape.

The shower floor element 2 also has a water-impermeable film 4, which is adhesively attached to the rigid foam or the upper side of the support element 3, in particular directly and/or over the full surface area. Indicated in FIG. 1 is an adhesive 5, with which the film 4 is adhesively attached onto the support element 3.

The shower floor element 2 comprising the support element 3 and the film 4 may be correspondingly prefabricated and then installed in situ, as schematically represented in FIG. 1, but not to scale. For example, it is merely for reasons of illustration that the thickness of the adhesive 5 is shown to be very great. In fact, the film 4 is preferably adhesively attached or laminated onto the upper side of the support element 3 with a layer of adhesive that is as thin as possible, or is connected to it in a comparable way, for example welded. Alternative fastening methods have already been discussed above.

The schematic section according to FIG. 2, likewise not to scale, illustrates a preferred construction of the film 4. The film 4 is preferably formed such that it is rough on one or both sides. The film 4, impermeable to water and in particular also to water vapor, is, in particular, provided or laminated as need be on one or both sides with an adhesive layer 6 of a preferably fiber-like and/or nonwoven-like material.

As indicated in FIG. 1, the shower floor element 2 or the support element 3 preferably has a drain opening 7 for a schematically indicated drain 8 or the like. In particular, the upper side of the support element 3 is inclined at least in certain regions toward the drain opening 7.

The film 4 preferably protrudes into the drain opening 7 and in this region is preferably cut into, for example in a cross-shaped manner, in order to permit sealing with respect to the drain 8 or further components (not represented) of the drain 8, in a way not represented any more specifically in FIG. 1. With regard to this sealing, the drain opening 7 may also be formed if need be in a stepped manner.

As an alternative embodiment, improved in relation to that shown in FIG. 1, the sealing film 4 may also be adhesively bonded or welded in a waterproof manner to the horizontal flange part 8a of the drain part 8 from FIG. 1—as schematically shown as a partial view in FIG. 5. The inner rim of the opening then provided in the film 4 is represented by designation 4a. This provides a reliable seal with respect to the drain part and further simplification of the system during construction, since the drain part does not have to be sealed in separately.

The rigid foam is preferably formed to withstand such loads as to allow it to support a covering 9 of tiles 10, as indicated in FIG. 1, without any reinforcement or supporting layer. For this purpose, the rigid foam preferably has a density of at least 100 g per cubic decimeter, but at least approximately 90 g per cubic decimeter.

In the case of the example represented, the support element 3 correspondingly exclusively forms the supporting layer for the tiles 10. Therefore, no supporting layer is arranged between the support element 3 and the tiles 10, as otherwise customary in the prior art, for example with glass fiber mats. The factory production of the shower floor element is correspondingly made significantly easier, and thereby less expensive.

The tiles 10 are adhesively bonded, preferably directly, to the film 4 or its adhesive layer 6 by means of a tile adhesive 11—in the region of the shower floor element 2.

On account of the preferred floor-level installation, the tile covering 9 can continue preferably on the same level. The tiles 10 are therefore adhesively attached for example onto a laterally adjoining substructure 12, as indicated in FIG. 1. However, other structural arrangements are also possible here.

The shower element 2 or the support element 3 is preferably adhesively bonded itself onto the substructure 12 or into a corresponding recess or depression of the substructure 12.

Arranged if need be between the support element 3 and the laterally adjoining substructure 12 is a sealing compound 13, in particular a sealing compound that cures rapidly and/or with the exclusion of air, which is covered over by the covering 9 or the tiles 10.

According to a second exemplary embodiment and FIG. 3, measures going beyond the first exemplary embodiment are realized as follows: the shower floor element 2 is constructed in principle as described above. However, the film 4 has a lateral overhang 32 of approximately 3 cm beyond the outer edge of the upper side of the shower floor element 2. The overhang may also be longer.

In the installation situation, when the shower floor element 2 is to be installed adjoining the wall 30 of the room, the overhang 32 can be folded upward and adhesively bonded directly to the wall, as shown in FIG. 3 (layers of adhesive not shown in FIG. 3). Subsequently, the shower floor and the wall region can be tiled,—if applicable after applying a further, redundant sealing film or liquid seal—in most cases a gap remaining in the floor-wall transition. With the continuous film, this provides the advantage that complete, continuous sealing is performed over the floor-wall transition and the gap, which ensures increased immunity from sealing problems in the critical edge region of the transition. This obviates the need to provide additional sealing strips under the edge, as proposed in the prior art.

The support element 3 consists of a rigid foam of very high density with at least 100 g per cubic decimeter. This provides further increased mechanical stability and indentation resistance of the shower floor, even allowing a wheelchair to be moved onto the shower floor without any risk of the wheels leaving impressions behind.

Furthermore, as a modification of the first exemplary embodiment, a base frame 34 of rail-like flat plates 38 is provided, on which the support element 3 rests, with height-adjustable standing feet 36 being provided in order to equalize irregularities in the level of the floor. The standing feet 36 include a flat foot part of metal and a screw bolt as the height-adjustable part, which reaches with its external thread through a matching threaded bore in the frame—realized for example by sliding blocks with internal thread. In order that an extremely low installation height remains feasible, recesses are provided in the support element 3 for the rails 38, and if applicable for the screw bolts of the standing feet 36. These recesses have the further function of fixing the shower floor element 2 to the frame 34 to prevent lateral slipping.

According to FIG. 4, the base frame 34 preferably follows the outer contour of the support element 3, that is to say forms an outer frame with this contour, and has struts inside, in the example four struts, which cross over and transfer the main load of the person taking a shower to the floor substructure. The threaded bores are preferably provided close to the inner crossing points and to the edges in sufficient number that the standing feet can be mounted in sufficient number, see the circles in FIG. 4. The drain flange passes through the central opening of the grid formed in this way.

The shower floor element 2 according to the proposal can be installed and tiled over in particular within one working day by a tile layer or other user. This produces an outstandingly sealed and, in particular, also load-bearing shower floor construction 1 in a simple and low-cost way.