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Title:
SINK AND METHOD OF INSTALLING SAME
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/019581
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
We propose a method of installing a sink (1) in a worktop cut-out (11a), comprising: a) providing a sink (1 ) with: at least one bowl (2) with a bottom wall (3) and a circumferential side wall (4); at least one outlet opening located in said bottom wall (3); a circumferential rim (5) located at an upper edge of said bowl (2) around an outside thereof, said rim (5) extending outwardly from said side wall (4) by an extent (E); a number of resilient clamping elements (6) arranged on the outside of said bowl (2) adjacent said rim (5), which clamping elements (6), in a free or uncompressed state thereof, extend outwardly beyond the extent (E) of said rim (5), and which clamping elements (6) are devised for providing, in a loaded or compressed state thereof, a clamping force outwardly from said side wall (4); b) making said worktop cut-out (11a), it being larger in dimension than an area circumscribed by said rim (5) but smaller than an envelope around said clamping elements (6) in their uncompressed state while defining a cut-out side wall (11b) extending essentially at right angles with respect to an upper surface (11d) and a lower surface of said worktop (11); c) placing said sink (1) in said cut-out (11a) so that said cut-out side wall (11b) is located opposite said rim (5), said sink (1) being centered within said cut-out (11a) by means of said clamping elements (6), which are compressed between said cut-out side wall (11b) and said sink (1).

Inventors:
BOMATTER, Christian W. (25 Rue Principale, WILLER, 68960, FR)
NEESER, Rolf (Hubelweg 2, 6260 Reidermoos, 6260, CH)
CAGLIARI, Alessandro (Via Modenese 2, PESCHIERA DEL GARDA, 37019, IT)
Application Number:
EP2017/067499
Publication Date:
February 01, 2018
Filing Date:
July 12, 2017
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
FRANKE TECHNOLOGY AND TRADEMARK LTD (Sonnenbergstrasse 9, 6052 Hergiswil, 6052, CH)
International Classes:
E03C1/33; A47K1/05; B25B5/10; B25B5/16; B25B27/14
Foreign References:
AT393075B1991-08-12
EP1772566A22007-04-11
US20050039254A12005-02-24
CA2622792A12009-09-27
EP2884013A12015-06-17
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NÜBOLD, Henrik et al. (Brommer & Partner Patentanwälte Partnerschaft mbBSiegfried-Kühn-Straße 4, Karlsruhe, 76135, DE)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1 . Sink (1 ), in particu lar kitchen sink, comprising:

at least one bowl (2) with a bottom wall (3) and a circumferential side wall (4);

at least one outlet opening (3a) located in said bottom wall (3);

a circu mferential rim (5) located at an upper edge of said bowl (2) around an outside thereof, said rim (5) extend ing outwardly from said side wall (4) by an extent (E);

a nu mber of resilient clamping elements (6) arranged on the outside of said bowl (2) adjacent said rim (5), wh ich clamping elements (6), in a free or uncompressed state thereof, extend outwardly beyond the extent (E) of said rim (5), and wh ich clamping elements (6) are devised for providing , in a loaded or compressed state thereof, a clamping force outwardly from said side wall (4).

2. Sink (1 ) according to claim 1 , wherein

a value of said extent (E) is comprised between 2.5 mm and 6 mm, preferably between 2.5 mm and 5 mm, and more preferably equals about 4 mm .

3. Sink (1 ) according to claim 1 , wherein

said rim (5) is configu red in solid material or is configured by outward and downward bend ing of the side wall (4) material.

4. Sink (1 ) according to claim 1 , wherein

said clamping elements (6) are compressible inward ly toward said side wall (4) to an extent that they do not extend outwardly beyond said extent (E) of said rim (5).

5. Sink (1 ) according to claim 1 , wherein

a clamping force per un it length of said side wall (4), as caused by said clamping elements (6) in said loaded or compressed state thereof, is essentially evenly d istributed around the sink (1 ), preferably by adapting a nu mber of the clamping elements (6) and/or by adapting a mutual spacing between individual clamping elements (6) and/or by adapting a clamping force of individual clamping elements (6).

Sink (1 ) according to claim 1 , wherein

said clamping elements (6) comprise at least one spring element which is hook-shaped in cross section with a first leg (6a) extend ing essentially parallel to said side wall (4) and preferably downward ly from said rim (5), a second leg (6b) extend ing outwardly from said first leg (6a) and from said side wall (4), and a th ird leg (6c) extend ing outwardly from said second leg (6b) and from said side wall (4) as well as parallel to said first leg (6a), in said free or uncompressed state of said clamping elements (6), said third leg (6c) at least partially overlapping with said first leg (6a).

Sink (1 ) according to claim 1 , wherein

a free end portion (6d ) of said th ird leg (6c) is further angled outward ly from said side wall (4).

Workplace comprising a sin k (1 ), in particu lar kitchen sink, said sin k comprising:

at least one bowl (2) with a bottom wall (3) and a circumferential side wall (4);

at least one outlet opening (3a) located in said bottom wall (3);

a circu mferential rim (5) located at an upper edge of said bowl (2) around an outside thereof, said rim (5) extend ing outwardly from said side wall (4) by an extent (E);

a nu mber of resilient clamping elements (6) arranged on the outside of said bowl (2) adjacent said rim (5), wh ich clamping elements (6), in a free or uncompressed state thereof, extend outwardly beyond the extent (E) of said rim (5), and wh ich clamping elements (6) are devised for providing , in a loaded or compressed state thereof, a clamping force outwardly from said side wall (4);

and a worktop (1 1 ), said worktop (1 1 ) having a cut-out (1 1 a) therein , in which said sin k (1 ) is installed , said cut-out (1 1 a) defin ing a cut-out side wall (1 1 b) extending essentially at right angles with respect to an upper su rface (1 1 d) and a lower su rface of said worktop (1 1 ), wherein said cutout side wall (1 1 b) is located opposite said rim (5), and wherein said sink (1 ) is centered with in said cut-out (1 1 a) by means of said clamping ele- merits (6), wh ich are compressed between said cut-out side wall (1 1 b) and said sin k (1 ).

9. Workplace according to claim 8, wherein

a d istance or gap between said rim (5) and said cut-out side wall (1 1 b) is essentially uniform around said sink.

1 0. Workplace according to claim 8, wherein

an adhesive sealing joint is located around said rim (5) between said sin k (1 ) and said cut-out side wall (1 1 b), preferably a silicone joint or the like.

1 1 . Workplace according to claim 8, wherein

an upper face of said rim (5) is essentially coplanar with said upper worktop su rface (1 1 d ).

12. Method of installing a sin k (1 ) in a worktop cut-out (1 1 a), comprising:

a) providing a sink (1 ) with :

at least one bowl (2) with a bottom wall (3) and a circumferential side wall (4);

at least one outlet opening (3a) located in said bottom wall (3);

a circu mferential rim (5) located at an upper edge of said bowl (2) around an outside thereof, said rim (5) extend ing outwardly from said side wall (4) by an extent (E);

a nu mber of resilient clamping elements (6) arranged on the outside of said bowl (2) adjacent said rim (5), wh ich clamping elements (6), in a free or uncompressed state thereof, extend outwardly beyond the extent (E) of said rim (5), and wh ich clamping elements (6) are devised for providing , in a loaded or compressed state thereof, a clamping force outwardly from said side wall (4);

b) making said worktop cut-out (1 1 a), it being larger in dimension than an area circu mscribed by said rim (5) but smaller than an envelope around said clamping elements (6) in their uncompressed state while defin ing a cut-out side wall (1 1 b) extending essentially at right angles with respect to an upper and lower su rface (1 1 d ) of said worktop (1 1 );

c) placing said sin k (1 ) in said cut-out (1 1 a) so that said cut-out side wall (1 1 b) is located opposite said rim (5), said sink (1 ) being centered within said cut-out (11a) by means of said clamping elements (6), which are compressed between said cut-out side wall (11b) and said sink (1).

13. Method according to claim 12, comprising

placing said sink (1 ) in said cut-out (11a) from above said worktop (11), beginning with a bottom part of said sink (1) opposite said rim (5).

14. Method according to claim 12, comprising

placing said sink (1 ) in said cut-out (11a) until an upper face of said rim (5) is essentially coplanar with said upper surface (11 d) of said worktop (11).

15. Method according to claim 12, comprising:

prior to step c), placing a bead (8) of an adhesive sealing material around said rim (5), preferably a silicone material or the like, so that, during step c), an adhesive sealing joint is formed around said rim (5) between said sink (1 ) and said cut-out side wall (11b), preferably a silicone joint or the like.

16. Method according to claim 12, comprising:

prior to step c), providing said sink (1) with a removable installation device (9), said installation device (9) comprising at least one installing jig (9a) placed on an upper face of said rim (5) and extending coplanar with said upper face of said rim (5) while extending, at least locally (9c), beyond said rim (5) outwardly from said sink (1), then performing step c) until said installing jig (9a) comes into contact with said upper worktop surface (11d), and then removing said installation device (9).

17. Method according to claim 12, comprising:

prior to step c), providing said worktop (11 ) on its upper surface (11 d), adjacent a contour of said cut-out (11a), with a removable protective cover (11c), in particular tape, and removing said protective cover (11 c) after completion of step c).

18. Device (9) for installing a sink (1 ) in a worktop cut-out (11a), said sink (1 ) comprising:

at least one bowl (2) with a bottom wall (3) and a circumferential side wall (4);

at least one outlet opening (3a) located in said bottom wall (3);

a circu mferential rim (5) located at an upper edge of said bowl (2) around an outside thereof;

said device (9) comprising at least one installing jig (9a) for placing on an upper face of said rim (5) and extend ing coplanar with said upper face of said rim (5) wh ile extend ing, at least locally (9c), beyond said rim (5) outward ly from said sink (1 ), and a jig counterpart (9b) for removably fixing said installing jig (9a) to said sink (1 ).

1 9. Device (9) according to claim 1 8, wherein

said counterpart (9b) is to be located at said outlet open ing (3a) on an outside of said bowl (2), wherein preferably said counterpart (9b) is devised as a plate-like element, a planar d imension of wh ich is bigger than a clear open ing of said outlet open ing (3a).

20. Device (9) according to claim 1 8, comprising

a connecting means (1 0), in particu lar screw means, for detachably connecting said installing jig (9a) and said counterpart (9b), wherein preferably said connecting means (1 0) comprise an abutment means (1 0a) wh ich defines a maximu m d istance of said installing jig (9a) and said counterpart (9b).

Description:
Sink and method of installing same

Description

The present application relates to a sink, in particular a kitchen sink, according to claim 1.

According to a further aspect, the application relates to a (kitchen) workplace according to claim 8 comprising a sink and a worktop, said worktop having a cut-out therein, in which said sink is installed.

Furthermore, according to another aspect thereof, the application relates to a method of installing a sink in a worktop cut-out according to claim 12.

Finally, according to yet another aspect, the application relates to a device for installing a sink in a worktop cut-out according to claim 18.

Today, different installation methods are used for installing sinks, in particular kitchen sinks, in a built-in kitchen.

Using the undermount method, the sink has outwardly directed flanges along its side walls, which flanges are fixed to the lower surface of a worktop by means of brackets or the like. Accordingly, with the undermount method, the sink has to be installed from below the worktop which may be cumbersome and difficult.

So-called inset or slimtop sinks present an edge portion around the sink bowl, which edge portion is intended to be placed on top of the upper worktop surface when installing the sink. The sink in question further presents clamps which are - on one side - attached to said edge portion, whereas the other extremity of said clamps is brought into contact with the lower worktop surface. Then, by means of screws comprised in said clamps, the sink is fixed to the worktop. Again, the main installation work has to be done from below the worktop, which can be cumbersome and difficult. Furthermore, said clamps can present a rather intricate design. So-called flush mount sin ks d iffer from the above-mentioned inset or slim top sinks in that said edge portion of the sink is not located on top of the upper worktop surface, but is located in a shallow circu mferential recess around a worktop cut-out. In th is way, the sin k does not protrude from the upper worktop su rface, wh ich can be appreciated for reasons of design and hygene. Flush- mount sin ks are fixed to the worktop by means of clamps, much like inset or slim top sinks.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a new sin k and a corresponding installation method , which present a unique integration of the sink with the worktop, wh ile facilitating the installation work. Fu rthermore, a cut-out section of the worktop shall be protected , wh ich is not easily possible with the above- mentioned cu rrent installation methods.

The object is ach ieved by means of a sink accord ing to claim 1 , in particular kitchen sink, comprising : at least one bowl with a bottom wall and a circumferential side wall; at least one outlet open ing located in said bottom wall; a circu mferential rim located at an upper edge of said bowl around an outside thereof, said rim extend ing outwardly from said side wall by an extent; a number of resilient clamping elements arranged on the outside of said bowl adjacent said rim, which clamping elements, in a free or uncompressed state thereof, extend outward ly beyond the extent of said rim, and which clamping elements are devised for provid ing, in a loaded or compressed state thereof, a clamping force outward ly from said side wall.

According to another aspect of the invention , the object is ach ieved by means of a workplace according to claim 8, said workplace comprising a sin k, in particu lar kitchen sink, said sin k comprising: at least one bowl with a bottom wall and a circu mferential side wall; at least one outlet open ing located in said bottom wall; a circu mferential rim located at an upper edge of said bowl around an outside thereof, said rim extend ing outward ly from said side wall by an extent; a number of resilient clamping elements arranged on the outside of said bowl adjacent said rim , wh ich clamping elements, in a free or uncompressed state thereof, extend outward ly beyond the extent of said rim, and wh ich clamping elements are devised for providing , in a loaded or compressed state thereof, a clamping force outwardly from said side wall ; and a worktop, said worktop having a cut-out therein , in which said sin k is installed , said cut-out defin ing a cut-out side wall extending essentially at right angles with respect to an upper and lower su rface of said worktop, wherein said cut-out side wall is located opposite said rim , and wherein said sink is centered within said cut-out by means of said clamping elements, wh ich are compressed between said cut-out side wall and said sin k.

According to a further aspect of the invention , the object is also ach ieved by means of a method of installing a sin k in a worktop cut-out accord ing to claim 12, said method comprising a) provid ing a sink with : at least one bowl with a bottom wall and a circu mferential side wall; at least one outlet opening located in said bottom wall ; a circu mferential rim located at an upper edge of said bowl around an outside thereof, said rim extending outwardly from said side wall by an extent; a number of resilient clamping elements arranged on the outside of said bowl adjacent said rim, which clamping elements, in a free or uncompressed state thereof, extend outward ly beyond the extent of said rim, and which clamping elements are devised for provid ing, in a loaded or compressed state thereof, a clamping force outwardly from said side wall ; b) making said worktop cut-out, it being larger in dimension than an area circu mscribed by said rim but smaller than an envelope around said clamping elements in their uncompressed state while defin ing a cut-out side wall extend ing essentially at right angles with respect to an upper and lower surface of said worktop; c) placing said sin k in said cut-out so that said cut-out side wall is located opposite said rim, said sink being centered within said cut-out by means of said clamping elements, wh ich are compressed between said cut-out side wall and said sink.

According to yet a further aspect of the present invention , the object is achieved by means of a device for installing a sin k in a worktop cut-out according to claim 1 8, said sink comprising at least one bowl with a bottom wall and a circu mferential side wall; at least one outlet open ing located in said bottom wall; a circu mferential rim located at an upper edge of said bowl around an outside thereof; said device comprising at least one installing jig for placing on an upper face of said rim and extend ing coplanar with said upper face of said rim while extending, at least locally, beyond said rim outwardly from said sink, and a jig counterpart for removably fixing said installing jig to said sin k. Owing to its unique rim design , the sink according to the present invention is capable of breaking cu rrent installation rules. Preferably, the rim extends across the worktop cut-out section , thus potentially protecting the latter, and an upper edge of said rim is coplanar with the upper worktop su rface, when installed .

I n this way, a side wall of the worktop cut-out can be protected and does not require to be polished or otherwise treated prior to installing the sink, wh ich can greatly reduce installation costs.

Preferably, the sink rim is floating in the worktop cut-out, i.e. does not come into contact with a side wall of said cut-out. A correspond ing gap can be sealed by using any su itable sealant, e.g. a silicone sealant.

I nstallation of the sin k accord ing to the present invention can be executed by push ing the sink in the worktop cut-out from above the worktop, preferable by using a su itable installation device according to one aspect of the present invention .

The sink can be kept in its final position with in the worktop cut-out by means of the resilient clamping elements arranged on the outside of the sink bowl (so- called fastfix clips) in combination with the adhesive action of said sealant (e.g . silicone).

As a final resu lt, the installed sink can present a flush mount-like rim in terms of align ment with the worktop upper su rface, wh ile greatly facilitating the requ ired installation work.

Owing to the mentioned installation method , the rim of the sink accord ing to the present invention can be much th inner than standard in the market, e.g. 4 mm vs. 1 5 through 30 mm, wh ich can be seen as advantageous in terms of esthetics. Thus, in a preferred embodiment of the sink accord ing to the present invention , a value of the extent by wh ich the sink rim extends outward ly from the sink side wall is comprised between 2.5 mm and 6 mm, preferably between 2.5 mm and 5 mm, and more preferably equals about 4 mm, as mentioned . I n another embod iment of the sink accord ing to the present invention , said rim can be configu red in solid material or can be configured by outward and downward bending of the side wall material used for production of the sin k.

I n yet another embod iment of the sink accord ing to the present invention , said clamping elements are compressible inward ly towards said side wall to an extent that they do not extend outward ly beyond said extent of the rim. In this way, an easy installation of the sink in a worktop cut-out from above the worktop is made possible.

According to yet another embodiment of the sink accord ing to the present invention , a clamping force per unit length of the side wall, as caused by said clamping elements in said loaded or compressed state thereof, is essentially evenly d istributed around the sink, preferably by adapting a nu mber of the clamping elements and/or by adapting a mutual spacing between ind ividual clamping elements and/or by adapting the clamping force of ind ividual clamping elements. In th is way, it can be easily made possible to self-center the sink du ring insertion in the worktop cut-out by means of said clamping elements. This can help to ach ieve a un iform gap around the sink, which is advantageous in terms of sealing said gap as well as in terms of esthetics.

According to a further embod iment of the sink accord ing to the present invention , ind ividual clamping elements comprise at least one spring element, which is hook-shaped in cross- section , with a first leg extending essentially parallel to said side wall and preferably downward ly from said rim , a second leg extending outwardly from said first leg and from said side wall, and a th ird leg extend ing outwardly from said second leg and from said side wall as well as parallel to said first leg, in said free or uncompressed state of the clamping elements, said th ird leg at least partially overlapping with said first leg. Th is can further help to facilitate installing the sin k from above the worktop, wh ile ensu ring a reliable clamping action for hold ing the sin k within the worktop cut-out du ring installation and prior to effectiveness of an add itional adhesive material used for fixing the sink in the worktop cut-out. I n order to further enhance the clamping effect, according to a preferred further embodiment of the sin k according to the present invention , a free end portion of said third leg is further angled outward ly from said side wall .

For easy installation and for ach ieving an esthetical effect, the sidewall of the sink can have an essentially flat configuration . Fu rthermore, the sink as such can have an overall rectangular shape, when seen from above, preferably with rounded corners.

I n a preferred further embod iment of the workplace accord ing to the present invention , a d istance between said rim and said worktop cut-out side wall can be essentially uniform around said sink for achieving a superior esthetical effect. Th is has already been mentioned above and can be ach ieved by means of adapting the clamping force per unit length of the sink side wall, as detailed above.

I n yet another embod iment of the workplace according to the present invention , an adhesive sealing joint is located around said rim between said sink and said cut-out side wall, preferably a silicone joint or the like. While filling the gap between the floating rim and the cut-out side wall , said joint can be devised to durably hold the sin k in place within the worktop cut-out, in combination with a clamping action of the clamping elements. Accordingly, a main effect of the clamping elements can be to center the sin k du ring installation thereof and to hold it in place until the adhesive sealant has set (or cured ).

According to yet another embodiment of the workplace according to the present invention , an upper face or upper edge of said rim can be essentially coplanar with the upper worktop surface, thus achieving a superior esthetical and hygen- ical effect.

As already mentioned before, an embodiment of the inventive method can comprise placing the sink in the worktop cut-out from above the worktop, beginning with a bottom part of the sin k, wh ich bottom part is located opposite said rim. Th is may greatly facilitate installation of the sink, in particu lar in comparison with cu rrent undermount methods. I n yet another embod iment of the method accord ing to the invention , said method may comprise placing the sin k in the worktop cut-out and lowering it therein until an upper face of said rim is essentially coplanar with the upper surface of the work top.

Prior to method step c), in yet another further embodiment of the inventive method , a bead of an adhesive sealing material can be placed around the rim, preferably a silicone material or the like, so that, during method step c), an adhesive sealing joint is formed around the rim between the sink and the cut-out side wall, preferably a silicone joint or the like. The joint can be effective to close the gap between the sink rim and the cut-out side wall, while protecting the latter from moistu re or the like. Furthermore, the adhesive sealing material will hold the sin k in place after cu ring or setting.

I n yet a further embod iment of the inventive method , prior to step c), the sin k can be provided with a removable installation device, said installation device comprising at least one installing jig placed on an upper face of the sin k rim and extending essentially coplanar with said upper face of said rim while extending , at least locally, beyond said rim outward ly from the sin k. Then method step c) can be performed until said installing jig comes into contact with said upper worktop surface. Afterwards, the installation device can be removed . In th is way, the above-described embodiment of the inventive method enables flush mount- like installation of the sink in an easy and reliable fashion .

For protecting the worktop su rface, in particular from said sealing material, prior to method step c), in a further embod iment of the inventive method , the worktop can be provided on its upper su rface, adjacent a contou r of the cut-out, with a removable protective cover, in particular a tape, wh ich protective cover can be removed after completion of step c).

A further embod iment of the installation device accord ing to the present invention comprises that the counterpart of said installing jig is to be located at the sink outlet open ing on an outside of the sink bowl. Therefore, said counterpart can be devised accord ingly. Preferably, said counterpart, in a further embod iment of the inventive device, can be devised as a plate-like element, a planar d imension of which is bigger than a clear opening of said outlet opening. In th is way, said counterpart can be placed over said outlet open ing without passing thereth rough .

I n a further embodiment of the device according to the present invention , the device comprises a connecting means for detachably connecting the installing jig and the counterpart. Preferably, said connecting means are devised as a screw means, so that detachably connecting said installing jig and said counterpart can be readily ach ieved without the use of any specialized tools or the like.

For detachably connecting said installing jig and said counterpart, according to a further embod iment thereof, the device according to the present invention may comprise correspond ing open ings in said installation jig and in said counterpart for passing th rough said connecting means.

If said connecting means are devised as a screw means, in yet another embodiment of the inventive device, at least said open ing in said counterpart can be devised as a th readed bore. Th is further facilitates detachably connecting said installation jig and said counterpart.

According to yet another preferred embod iment of the inventive device, said connecting means may comprise an abutment means, which defines a maximu m d istance of said installation jig and said counterpart, so that fixing the device on a sin k can be ach ieved in a secu re and reliable fashion .

Fu rther featu res and advantages of the present invention will now be described in connection with exemplary embod iments thereof with relation to the d rawings.

Figu re 1 is a perspective view of a sin k accord ing to the present invention , further illustrating the optional method step of placing a bead of an adhesive sealing material around the sink rim;

Figu res 2a th rough 2dshow the sink of Fig. 1 together with an installation device according to the present invention ; Figu re 3 shows a worktop with a cut-out, prior to installing

according to the present invention ;

Figu re 4 shows the worktop of Fig. 3 after applying a removable protective cover accord ing to a preferred method step;

Figu re 5 shows an intermed iate state du ring installation of the sin k according to Fig. 1 or Figs. 2a th rough 2d accord ing to the inventive method ;

Figu re 6 shows a detail from Fig. 5; and

Figu res 7a th rough 7dshow successive method steps for completing the sink installation process.

I n Fig. 1 , the sink accord ing to the present invention is denoted by means of reference nu meral 1 . Said sin k 1 can - without limitation - be devised as a kitchen sink. It comprises a bowl 2 with a bottom wall 3 and a circu mferential side wall 4. At least one outlet opening, wh ich cannot be seen in Fig. 1 , is located in said bottom wall 3 (cf. Fig. 2b). A circumferential rim 5 is located at an upper edge of said bowl 2 around an outside thereof, as can be readily seen from Fig. 1 . Said rim 5 extends outward ly from said side wall 4 by an extent (cf. e.g. Fig. 6). Fu rthermore, the sin k 1 comprises a nu mber of resilient clamping elements 6 arranged on the outside of said bowl 2 adjacent said rim 5. In Fig . 1 , said clamping elements 6 are shown in a free or uncompressed state, in which they extend outward ly beyond the extent of said rim 5 (refer to Figs. 5 and 6 for more details). The clamping elements 6 are devised for providing , in a loaded or compressed state thereof, a clamping force d irected outwardly from said side wall 4, for hold ing the sink in a correspond ing worktop cut-out, as will be explained in more detail below.

Referring now to Fig. 6, the above-mentioned extent, by which the rim 5 extends outwardly from said side wall 4, has been denoted by reference nu meral E. Furthermore, it can be easily gathered from Fig . 6 that the clamping element 6, in its unloaded state, does extend outwardly beyond the extent E of said rim 5. In a preferred embod iment, a value of said extent E can be comprised between 2.5 mm and 6 mm , preferably between 2.5 mm and 5 mm, and more preferably equals about 4 mm.

As can further be gathered from Fig. 6 , the clamping elements 6 can comprise at least one spring element wh ich is hook-shaped in cross section , with a first leg 6a extending essentially parallel to said side wall 4 and preferably downwardly from said rim 5, a second leg 6b extend ing outwardly from said first leg 6a and from said side wall 4, and a third leg 6c extend ing outward ly from second leg 6b and from said side wall 4 as well as parallel to said first leg 6a, in said free or uncompressed state of the clamping elements 6, as shown in Fig. 6. Fu rthermore, said th ird leg 6c at least partly overlaps with said first leg 6a. A free end portion of said third leg 6c is angled outwardly from said side wall 4, as shown at reference numeral 6d .

As can further be gathered from Fig. 6 , the rim 5 is configured in solid material for increased mechanical strength . Alternatively, it cou ld be configured by outward and downward bending of the side wall 4 material.

Fu rthermore, from Fig. 6 it can be gathered that the clamping elements 6 are compressible inward ly toward the side wall 4 to an extent that they do no longer extend outward ly beyond said extent E of the rim 5. This enables easy installation of the sink 1 from above a worktop, as will be explained in detail below.

Referring again to Fig. 1 , it can be seen that a clamping force per un it length of the side wall 4, as caused by said clamping elements 6 in their loaded or compressed state, is essentially even ly distributed around the sink, by adapting the nu mber of the clamping elements 6. Accord ing to the embodiment of Fig. 1 , all of the clamping elements 6 are essentially identical; however, more clamping elements have been placed along the longer side walls of the rectangu lar sink 1 , thus enabling centering of the sink 1 with in a worktop cut-out. I n th is context, the nu mber of clamping elements 6 at opposing side walls 4 of the sin k 1 should be identical, wh ich cannot be seen in Fig. 1 .

Fu rther accord ing to Fig . 1 , by means of a su itable device 7 , a bead 8 of an adhesive sealing material is placed around the rim 5, wh ich adhesive sealing ma- terial can be - without limitation - a silicone material. The effect of said bead 8 will be explained below. Preferably, said bead 8 is placed around the entire periphery of the rim 5 around the sink 1 , more preferably with a bead d iameter of approx. 7 mm.

Figs. 2a th rough 2d show the sin k 1 of Fig. 1 (without bead 8) and its interaction with a special installation device denoted by reference nu meral 9. The installation device 9 comprises and installing jig 9a and a so-called jig counterpart or counterpart 9b. The installing jig 9a can be best seen in Figs. 2a and 2c, whereas the counterpart 9b can be best seen in Figs. 2b and 2d . The installing jig 9a and its counterpart 9b can be made - for instance - in plastic or wood- composite material, without limitation . The installing jig 9a has a flat, sheet-like configu ration of overall rectangular shape with circumferentially protrud ing flaps 9c and grip open ings 9d , which are located in vicin ity of an edge portion of the installing jig 9a. Fu rther comprised are two connecting open ings 9e which are located near a center of the installing jig 9a. As can be seen from Fig. 2c, the installing jig 9a can be placed on top of the sink 1 , so that it rests on an upper edge or upper face of the rim, wh ile said flaps 9c protrude outwardly from the sink 1 with respect to the rim. Preferably, the location of each flap 9c corresponds to the location of a clamping element 6.

As can be gathered from Fig. 2b, the square-shaped counterpart 9b is placed over an outlet open ing 3a of sin k bottom wall 3. In th is context, the overall dimensions of counterpart 9b are devised such that it completely covers said outlet open ing 3a, without passing thereth rough . Preferably, sink 1 has an edge contour 3b around said open ing 3b, wh ich contou r 3b corresponds to a shape of the counterpart 9b in form fitting manner.

As can further be seen from Fig . 2b, said counterpart 9b has a central open ing 9f wh ich can be devised as a th readed bore.

Fig. 2c illustrates how a screw means (connecting means) 1 0 can be inserted th rough open ing 9e for connecting the installing jig 9a and its counterpart 9b mutually and in connection with the sin k 1 (cf. Fig. 2d ). To th is end , the screw means 1 0 is screwed into threaded bore 9f of counterpart 9b. I n th is way, the installing jig 9a and its counterpart 9b are secu rely and removably attached to sink 1, as shown in Fig.2d. Sink 1 can then be manipulated by simply engaging grip openings 9d.

Fig.3 shows a worktop 11 having an essentially rectangular cut-out 11a, which cut-out 11a is intended to be fitted with a sink 1 as described above in connection with Figs. 1 and 2a through 2d as well as Fig.6. To this end, the cut-out 11a is made larger in dimension than an area circumscribed by said rim but smaller than an envelope around said clamping elements in their uncompressed state while defining a cut-out side wall 11b extending essentially at right angles with respect to an upper and lower surface of said worktop. Worktop 11 can be made of wood, metal, stone or any other suitable (composite) material. It should be noted that the side wall 11b of cut-out 11 a needs not to be polished or otherwise treated when installing sink 1 as described above by using an installation method according to the present invention.

According to Fig.4, worktop 11 has been provided, adjacent a contour of cut-out 11a, with a removable protective cover 11 c made from strips of a suitable tape material.

Referring now to Fig.5, sink 1 with installation device 9 and bead 8 (not shown; cf. Fig. 1) is inserted downwardly (arrow D) in the cut-out (cf. Fig.3, 4) of worktop 11. In this way, as shown in Fig.6, the clamping elements 6 are compressed by interaction with the cut-out side wall 11 b, thus generating a force for holding sink 1 within the cut-out 11a. Methodwise, sink 1 is pushed downwardly D until the flaps 9c of installing jig 9a make contact with an upper surface 11 d of worktop 11. Then, edge 5 of sink 1 is located within cut-out 11a opposite side wall 11 b, and sealing material of bead 8 is located between said side wall 11b and said rim 5 for sealing a gap therebetween and for durably holding the sink after setting or curing of the adhesive sealing material, while further protecting side wall 11b.

Fig.7a shows the state of the installation after said contact between installing jig 9a and worktop 11. An upper face or upper edge (not shown) of the sink rim is now coplanar with worktop upper surface 11 d. Then, according to Fig.7b, connecting means or screw 10 is removed from installation device 9, thus separating installing jig 9a and its counterpart 9b. As can be easily gathered from Fig.7b (cf. also Fig.5 and Fig.2c), connecting means 10 has an abutment 10a which comes into contact with installing jig 9a (cf. Fig 7a) for defining a maximum distance between connected installing jig 9a and counterpart 9b.

Then, according to Fig.7c, the installation device 9 is completely removed from sink 1 on worktop 11.

Finally, in the method step illustrated in Fig.7d, the protective cover 11 is removed, thus achieving a complete workplace according to an aspect of the present invention. In this context, it should be checked whether or not the gap between the sink bowl and the worktop is filled properly with the sealing material. If not, some adjustment could be made. The clamping elements will hold the sink in position until the sealing material has dried (set or cured).

With reference to Fig. 1, the sealing material (silicone) could be applied with a bead diameter of approximately 7 mm all around the sink rim.

With respect to Figs.2a through 2d, said screw means 10 can be devised with an M8 thread. The same holds for the threaded bore 9f of counterpart 9b.

Preferably, the dimensions of cut-out 10a according to Figs.3 and 4 should correspond to a sink bowl length +2 mm and to a sink bowl width +2 mm, respectively. However, any concrete dimensions will also depend on the respective dimensions of clamping elements 6 and rim 5 (extent E) according to Fig.6.

Accordingly, protective cover 11c according to Fig.4 could be applied with a respective width of 20 through 30 mm, without limitation.