(19)
(11)EP 3 682 777 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
22.07.2020 Bulletin 2020/30

(21)Application number: 20151813.1

(22)Date of filing:  14.01.2020
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
A47K 3/30(2006.01)
E06B 3/00(2006.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
KH MA MD TN

(30)Priority: 18.01.2019 GB 201900730
22.01.2019 GB 201900877

(71)Applicant: Coram UK Holding Limited
Ilton, Somerset TA19 9EA (GB)

(72)Inventor:
  • CRANSTON, Clare
    Ilton Somerset TA19 9EA (GB)

(74)Representative: Bryers LLP 
7 Gay Street
Bath, Bath and North East Somerset BA1 2PH
Bath, Bath and North East Somerset BA1 2PH (GB)

  


(54)SHOWER ENCLOSURES


(57) In an example there is provided a mounting structure for use in a shower enclosure, the mounting structure comprising a first portion comprising a back plate and an arm depending from the back plate, the arm comprising a channel on an inner face thereof to receive a fixing for attaching a frame portion of the enclosure to the mounting structure.




Description

TECHNICAL FIELD



[0001] The present invention relates generally to construction of shower enclosures, in particular, mounting structures and frame structures used to aide construction of shower enclosures.

BACKGROUND



[0002] The present invention relates to mounting structures and frame portions for use in shower enclosures. Specifically, the mounting structures are adapted to be fitted to a surface such as a wall. Frame portions are attached to the mounting structures. The frame portions are arranged to receive the panels of the shower enclosure. The mounting structures allow the frame portions and panels to be fitted from outside of the shower enclosure. In particular, the frame portions can be fitted without standing within the showering area of the shower enclosure.

SUMMARY



[0003] According to a first aspect of the present invention there is provided a mounting structure for use in a shower enclosure. The mounting structure comprising: a first portion comprising a back plate; an arm depending from the back plate, the arm comprising a channel on an inner face thereof to receive a fixing for attaching a frame portion of the enclosure to the mounting structure.

[0004] The mounting structure may further comprise a seal at the distal end of the arm such that the channel is disposed between the seal and the back plate.

[0005] In some embodiments the seal is maintained, by way of interference fit, in a cavity defined in the distal end of the arm.

[0006] In some embodiments a portion of the seal protrudes from the mounting structure, whereby, in use, to engage with the frame portion so as to prevent ingress of water past the seal.

[0007] The mounting structure may further comprise a recess on an outer face of the back plate to receive a seal.

[0008] In some embodiments the channel is so profiled as to define a screw thread on an inner surface thereof.

[0009] In some embodiments the channel is so profiled as to define a rough portion on an inner surface thereof.

[0010] In some embodiments the channel is so profiled as to define a receptacle for a locking mechanism.

[0011] The mounting structure may further comprise a receiving portion defined by the back plate and the arm to receive the frame portion.

[0012] The mounting structure may further comprise a protuberance depending from the back plate to receive a cover strip.

[0013] According to a second aspect of the present invention there is provided a frame portion for use with the mounting structure, the frame portion comprising: an elongate body portion defining a channel along a first wall thereof and provided within the body to receive, in use, a panel for the shower enclosure; and a first opening within a second wall, adjacent to the first wall, to receive a fixing to secure the frame portion to the mounting structure.

[0014] The frame portion may further comprise a second opening in a third wall, opposite the second wall, and adjacent to the first wall, the second opening so positioned as to define a pathway to the first opening through the third wall.

[0015] In some embodiments the channel further comprises a fixing structure running parallel to the channel to receive a fixing for an end cap.

[0016] According to a third aspect of the present invention a kit of parts, comprising: a mounting structure comprising a first portion comprising a back plate, and an arm depending from the back plate, the arm comprising a channel on an inner face thereof to receive a fixing and; a frame portion comprising a generally rectangular cross-section elongate body portion defining a channel along a first wall thereof and provided within the body to receive, in use, a panel for a shower enclosure, and a first opening within a second wall, adjacent to the first wall, to receive as fixing to secure the frame portion to the mounting structure.

[0017] The kit of parts may further comprise a cover strip for fixing to a protuberance depending from the back plate of the mounting structure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



[0018] Embodiments will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1 shows a mounting structure according to the present invention.

Figure 2 shows a view of a section of a shower enclosure, according to the present invention.

Figure 3 shows a second view of a section of a shower enclosure, according to the present invention.

Figure 4 shows a view of a shower enclosure, according to the present invention.

Figure 5 shows a view of a section of a mounting structure of a shower enclosure, according to the present invention.

Figure 6 shows a view of a mounting structure and cover according to the present invention.


DESCRIPTION



[0019] Example embodiments are described below in sufficient detail to enable those of ordinary skill in the art to embody and implement the systems and processes herein described. It is important to understand that embodiments can be provided in many alternate forms and should not be construed as limited to the examples set forth herein.

[0020] Accordingly, while embodiments can be modified in various ways and take on various alternative forms, specific embodiments thereof are shown in the drawings and described in detail below as examples. There is no intent to limit to the particular forms disclosed. On the contrary, all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the scope of the appended claims should be included. Elements of the example embodiments are consistently denoted by the same reference numerals throughout the drawings and detailed description where appropriate.

[0021] The terminology used herein to describe embodiments is not intended to limit the scope. The articles "a," "an," and "the" are singular in that they have a single referent, however the use of the singular form in the present document should not preclude the presence of more than one referent. In other words, elements referred to in the singular can number one or more, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. It will be further understood that the terms "comprises," "comprising," "includes," and/or "including," when used herein, specify the presence of stated features, items, steps, operations, elements, and/or components, but do not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, items, steps, operations, elements, components, and/or groups thereof.

[0022] Unless otherwise defined, all terms (including technical and scientific terms) used herein are to be interpreted as is customary in the art. It will be further understood that terms in common usage should also be interpreted as is customary in the relevant art and not in an idealized or overly formal sense unless expressly so defined herein.

[0023] The methods and systems described herein relate to a mounting structure for a showering enclosure.

[0024] In the context of the present disclosure a showering enclosure may comprise one or more shower panels and frame portions to which the panels are attached. A showering enclosure is constructed by mounting the panels in the frame portions to form the shower enclosure. Such panels may, for example, be made of glass, plastic or any other suitable material. The frame portions are attached to mounting structures. The mounting structures may be fixed to a wall, for example.

[0025] In certain shower enclosures, frame portions for receiving the shower panels of the enclosure are attached to the mounting structure using fixings such as screws. The fixings are inserted from within the showering area of the enclosure during the assembly of the shower enclosure. Unfortunately, during the assembly stage, it may be necessary to stand in the shower tray to attach the frame portions to the mounting structures. In these shower enclosures the sockets for receiving fixings to attach the frame portion are facing outward with respect to the enclosure. The purpose of the enclosure is to restrict the ingress of water during operation of the shower and often, fixings are attached from the inside of the enclosure since this reduces water ingress when the shower is being operated.

[0026] According to methods and systems described herein, a mounting structure is provided for the frame portions such that the shower enclosure may be assembled from outside of the enclosure without the need for standing in the showering area during installation. In particular the methods and systems described herein are such that the shower enclosure can be assembled without causing damage to the shower tray.

[0027] The mounting structures described herein comprise a channel to receive a fixing from outside the enclosure to mount a frame portion. The mounting structures described herein are such that no water can pass through the frame portions and mounting structures. In particular, during the construction process the shower enclosure is sealed at critical points to prevent ingress of water when the shower is in operation.

[0028] For example, a seal may be provided as necessary between the gap around the mounting structures and the wall to which the mounting structure is fixed. The mounting structure described herein may comprise a recess to receive the seal at the point at which the structure is attached to the wall.

[0029] Figure 1 shows a simplified schematic diagram of a mounting structure 100 for use in a shower enclosure according to an example. Figure 1 shows a cross-sectional top view of the mounting structure 100. The mounting structure 100 shown in Figure 1 may be fixed to a wall. The mounting structure 100 can be made of any suitable material which is durable and able to support fixings such as screws. For example, the mounting structure 100 may be metal. Preferably the material is also resistant to water damage.

[0030] The mounting structure 100 comprises a first portion 110. The first portion 110 comprises a back plate 120. In some examples, the first portion 110 and the back plate 120 can be separate elements that are connected together. The back plate 120 allows the mounting structure 100 to be attached to a wall. The mounting structure also comprise an arm 130. The arm 130 depends from the back plate 120. In some examples, the arm 130 depending from the back plate 120 means that the arm is attached to the back plate 120 to form a single entity. In other cases, the arm 130 is attached to the back plate 120 as a separate entity. In Figure 1 the back plate 120 and arm 130 are joined in such a way that the mounting structure 100 approximately forms an "L" shape.

[0031] According to examples described herein, the arm 130 comprises a channel 140 on an inner face of the arm 130. The channel 140 is arranged to receive a fixing for attaching a frame portion of the shower enclosure to the mounting structure 100. In the example of a mounting structure 100 shown in Figure 1 the channel comprises a thread to receive a screw-type fitting, where the thread runs through the arm 130.

[0032] In the example shown in in Figure 1, the mounting structure 100 is shown adjoined to a frame portion 150. The frame portion 150 in Figure 1 slots or locates into a portion of the mounting structure 100. In examples described herein the frame portion comprises an elongate body portion. In examples, the frame portion 150 has a generally rectangular cross section.

[0033] The frame portion 150 further comprises a channel 160 along a first wall. The channel 160 may be arranged to receive a panel such as a glass panel which forms the shower enclosure. In some cases the channel 160 is arranged to receive a further component on to which a panel may be fitted. In some cases the channel further comprises a fixing structure running parallel to the channel to receive a fixing for an end cap.

[0034] In some cases the frame portion 150 also comprises an opening in one or more walls, adjacent to the first wall, to receive a fixing to secure the frame portion 150 to the mounting structure 100. According to examples, the frame portion 150 may have slots to allow size and so-called "out of true" adjustments.

[0035] According to examples described herein, the mounting structure 100 comprises a seal 170 at the distal end of the arm 130 such that the channel 140 is disposed between the seal 170 and the back plate 120. The seal 170 is arranged to prevent water ingress from the shower enclosure when the shower is in operation. The seal 170 may be made of butyl plastic or similar.

[0036] According to examples, the seal 170 is maintained, by way of interference fit, in a cavity defined in the distal end of the arm 130. In some examples, the seal is mounted using an adhesive or other attaching means. In certain cases, a portion of the seal 170 protrudes from the mounting structure, such that in use, the portion engages with the frame portion 150 so as to prevent ingress of water past the seal 170. The portion of the seal 170 may protrude from the cavity defined at the distal end of the arm 130 when the seal 170 is maintained by way of an interface fit in a cavity. When the frame portion 150 is secured to the mounting structure 100 the seal 170 is compressed. This removes the need to apply silicon sealant between the frame portion 150 and mounting structure 100.

[0037] In some cases, the back plate 120 comprises a recess on an outer face of the first portion 110. This recess allows the back plate 120 to receive a seal. Once fitted with a seal this reduces the amount of water ingress between the back plate 120 and the wall to which the back plate 120 may be attached.

[0038] As described herein the mounting structure 100 comprises a channel 140. In some cases the channel 140 comprises a screw thread on an inner surface of the mounting channel 140. In other cases other examples of fittings may be used in the mounting structure 100. For example, in some cases, a locking mechanism such as of a cam-lock type may be used to fit a panel to the frame portion 150.

[0039] In examples described herein, the mounting structure 100 comprises a receiving portion to receive the frame portion 150. According to examples, the back plate 120 and arm 130 define the receiving portion. In other cases, an additional receiving portion is joined to the back plate 120 or the arm 130.

[0040] In Figure 1, the mounting structure 100 is further coupled to a cover 180. According to examples described herein the cover 180 is attached to the mounting structure 100 and a protuberance 190 depending from the back plate 120. The cover 180 acts to conceals all the fixings that make up the frame for the shower enclosure.

[0041] Figure 2 shows a simplified schematic diagram of a section of the frame of a shower enclosure according to an example. The showering enclosure includes a mounting structure 200 similar to the mounting structure 100 shown in Figure 1. In particular, similar to the mounting structure 100, the mounting structure 200 shown in Figure 2 comprises a first portion 210 including a back plate to attach the mounting structure 200 to a wall and an arm 220 depending from the back plate 210. The arm 220 includes a channel 230 on an inner face thereof to receive a fixing for attaching a frame portion.

[0042] In Figure 2 there is shown a frame portion 240 which is already attached to a panel 250 of the shower enclosure. The frame portion 240 is attached to the mounting structure 200 in the manner described previously in relation to Figure 1. The section of the shower enclosure shown in Figure 2 further comprises a cover strip 260 which is adapted to be fitted to the frame portion 240 and mounting structure 200 in the manner previously indicated. In particular, the cover strip 260 may be fitted to a protuberance depending from the back plate 210.

[0043] Figure 3 shows a simplified schematic diagram of the same section of the frame of a shower enclosure in a fully assembled state, according to an example. In particular Figure 3 shows the assembled mounting structure 200, with the frame portion 240, panel 250 and cover 260 assembled as they would be on a fully assembled shower enclosure.

[0044] Figure 4 is a simplified schematic diagram showing a section of an assembled shower enclosure according to an example. Figure 4 shows a clip 410 which is inserted between a mounting screw 420 and the mounting structure in to which the mounting screw 420 is inserted. According to examples described herein, the clip 410 is a moulded plastic clip. The clip 410 is arranged to from part of a mechanism which holds the cover 180 shown in Figure 1 in place.

[0045] Figure 5 is a simplified schematic diagram showing a further section of an assembled shower enclosure according to an example. Figure 5 shows a mounting structure 510 similar to mounting structures 100 and 200 shown in Figures 1 - 3. In the example shown in Figure 5, the mounting structure 510 comprises a slot 520. The slot 520 acts to allow side-to-side adjustment during the assembly of the shower enclosure.

[0046] Figure 6 is a simplified schematic diagram showing a cross-sectional top view of a mounting structure 610 according to an example. In Figure 6, a first highlighted portion shows a clip 620, similar to the clip 410 shown in Figure 4. The clip 620 is inserted between a mounting screw 630 and mounting structure 610. In Figure 6 there is shown a cover strip 640. The cover strip 640 interacts with the mounting structure 610 and clip 620 to lock the cover strip 640 into place.

[0047] The apparatus described herein facilitate the installation of a shower enclosure in a manner which protects the shower tray during the assembly phase of the enclosure. The methods described herein are simple and allow easy installation from outside of the enclosure. This is achieved by providing a channel on an inner face of the arm of a mounting structure to receive a fixing for attaching a frame portion of the enclosure to the mounting structure. Moreover, the methods and apparatus described herein seal the shower enclosure against water ingress when the shower is in operation.

[0048] The present inventions can be embodied in other specific apparatus and/or methods. The described embodiments are to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive. In particular, the scope of the invention is indicated by the appended claims rather than by the description and figures herein. All changes that come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope.


Claims

1. A mounting structure for use in a shower enclosure, the mounting structure comprising:

a first portion comprising a back plate;

an arm depending from the back plate, the arm comprising a channel on an inner face thereof to receive a fixing for attaching a frame portion of the enclosure to the mounting structure.


 
2. A mounting structure as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a seal at the distal end of the arm such that the channel is disposed between the seal and the back plate.
 
3. A mounting structure as claimed in claim 2, wherein the seal is maintained, by way of interference fit, in a cavity defined in the distal end of the arm.
 
4. A mounting structure as claimed in claim 3, wherein a portion of the seal protrudes from the mounting structure, whereby, in use, to engage with the frame portion so as to prevent ingress of water past the seal.
 
5. A mounting structure as claimed in any preceding claim, further comprising a recess on an outer face of the back plate to receive a seal.
 
6. A mounting structure as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the channel is so profiled as to define a screw thread on an inner surface thereof.
 
7. A mounting structure as claimed in any of claims 1 to 5, wherein the channel is so profiled as to define a rough portion on an inner surface thereof.
 
8. A mounting structure as claimed in any of claims 1 to 5, wherein the channel is so profiled as to define a receptacle for a locking mechanism.
 
9. A mounting structure as claimed in any preceding claim, further comprising a receiving portion defined by the back plate and the arm to receive the frame portion.
 
10. A mounting structure as claimed in any preceding claim, further comprising a protuberance depending from the back plate to receive a cover strip.
 
11. A frame portion for use with the mounting structure as claimed in claim 1, the frame portion comprising:

an elongate body portion defining a channel along a first wall thereof and provided within the body to receive, in use, a panel for the shower enclosure; and

a first opening within a second wall, adjacent to the first wall, to receive a fixing to secure the frame portion to the mounting structure.


 
12. A frame portion as claimed in claim 11, further comprising a second opening in a third wall, opposite the second wall, and adjacent to the first wall, the second opening so positioned as to define a pathway to the first opening through the third wall.
 
13. A frame portion as claimed in claim 11 or 12, wherein the channel further comprises a fixing structure running parallel to the channel to receive a fixing for an end cap.
 
14. A kit of parts, comprising:

a mounting structure comprising a first portion comprising a back plate, and an arm depending from the back plate, the arm comprising a channel on an inner face thereof to receive a fixing and;

a frame portion comprising a generally rectangular cross-section elongate body portion defining a channel along a first wall thereof and provided within the body to receive, in use, a panel for a shower enclosure, and a first opening within a second wall, adjacent to the first wall, to receive as fixing to secure the frame portion to the mounting structure.


 
15. The kit of parts as claimed in claim 14, further comprising:
a cover strip for fixing to a protuberance depending from the back plate of the mounting structure.
 




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