KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
9th March 2018


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International News

KBB 2018: Full steam ahead for Steamist - B50

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Steamist, which supplies bespoke, luxury steam rooms, showers and saunas to the residential and commercial sectors, will be demonstrating its steam shower in the Total Sense Steam Cabin to potential specifiers and installers.

Visitors will also get the chance to look at the ShowerSense, which enables the user to employ up to three separate outlets. Then the luxury extras include the ChromaSense Lighting option which lets the bather switch between six colour enhancements of blue, green, pink, red, yellow and purple, as well as white.

KBB 2018: Dallmer showcase stylish new drainage solutions - G75

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Hoping to repeat the success of its previous appearance at the venue, Dallmer will be showcasing its industry-leading floor drain solutions.

The commercial and top end residential manufacturer's stand will provide specifiers and installers - as well as other customers, with the chance to view its renowned DallFlex and recently revamped CeraLine series of products.

KBB 2018: Back to nature with new Ceralsio and Quartz colours for CRL Stone - F85

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Marking the first time CRL Stone has exhibited in its own right at KBB, Stand F85 will have a distinctive natural feel, as the company launches a range of new colours into its CRL Quartz and Ceralsio collections. Visitors will be amongst the first to see 11 new colours in the manufacturer's popular Ceralsio ceramic and CRL Quartz ranges, all influenced by striking natural materials including marble and granite.

Maxtop Quartz strikes agreement with Irish distributor

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Maxtop Quartz has struck a deal with Cookstown Panel Centre (CPC) in Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland. Established more than 30 years ago, CPC supplies quality products to the kitchen trade across the whole of Ireland - everything from Blum hinges to Egger MFC, along with a portfolio of surfaces which Maxtop Quartz's Black Onyx Sparkle, Diamond White, Pewter Grey and Warm Grey surfaces now joins.

For a traditional kitchen with a modern twist, the Nebraska range from Schmidt has it all

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As our kitchen spaces become ever more multifunctional, it's important to choose a style that suits your needs and lifestyle on many levels. It not only has to keep its good looks for years to come but it also has to deliver in terms of design with a layout packed with practical features.

When you want the perfect blend of classic and contemporary styling, the Nebraska collection from Schmidt Kitchens offers the best of both worlds.

Soundbathe in good company at KBB as Google enters hidden speaker market

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With KBB Birmingham around the corner, Techvision has announced that soundbathe will be making a 'discreet' appearance in Birmingham. Delivering hidden music, soundbathe transforms (almost) any surface into a high-quality Bluetooth speaker. It can turn baths, walls, splash-backs, cabinets and furniture into giant sensory-audio music systems.

KBB Birmingham 2018: Karonia to launch additions to Mistral worktop range - M100

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KBB Birmingham 2018 will see the launch of four exciting new additions to the Mistral worktop range, including two marble-inspired decors. The stand itself will put the brand's 'Inspire, Imagine, Create' ethos to the fore to demonstrate the benefits to retailers of having Mistral products in their portfolio and highlight the comprehensive support provided as they sell, design and install this luxurious 25mm solid surface worktop.

KBB Birmingham 2018: Rotpunkt to showcase new launches - N110

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German Kitchen furniture manufacturer Rotpunkt tells us it will be seizing this invaluable opportunity to launch a range of new products, sizes, materials and finishes with the philosophy of 'Inner Beauty', with the hope of inspiring and breathing new life and interest into 'what's behind the kitchen door' as well.

Sensor technology at its best with Blanco's Solenta-S tap

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Blanco UK has redefined sensor technology to make life in the kitchen easier. The Solenta-S tap has a manual or hands-free Start-Stop mode. With a near field sensor detection located in the hose arm, unwanted activation is prevented.

Utilising a professional design, the stainless steel product is elevated with a precise magnetic spray holder for user accessibility. Designed for convenience, the Solenta-S is available with the lever on either the left or right side making it a perfect match for user's preferences.

Roca goes above and beyond at KBB

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Roca, the world leader in creating imaginative, beautifully designed and sustainable bathroom solutions, will be unveiling innovative new designs at kbb Birmingham. At the show, which takes place from 4-7 March 2018 at the NEC in Birmingham, Roca will be launching its eagerly-awaited Beyond and Carmen collections as well as exhibiting the new Armani/Roca range.

Velvet Victoria sleigh bed will provide that bedroom glamour

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With grey still going strong and velvet and metallics both set to be big news in 2018, the Victoria sleigh bed from Hyder Living ticks all the trend boxes.

Welcome to the



Am I the only one that struggles to find the business cards I know I should have, when I'm tying everything up following an exhibition? I try to be careful but get so caught up in the conversation, that I'm never consistent with where in my bag I put people's cards and I sometimes find myself trying to give out cards that aren't mine at all, but which I've been given by someone I've met previously. Mostly we notice in time but I've reached the conclusion that I was so excited about getting around to see all the exhibits at last week's KBB Birmingham, that someone I spoke with is wondering when exactly they met the gentleman from Wilsonart (whose name - along with his card - escapes me) who I just happened to accost on the bus, since he was carrying Wilsonart brochures!

I think I'm going to invest in jackets with pockets, since my colleague John never seems to have a problem and I'm assuming follows the 'into the left pocket and out from the right' process or something similar.

It probably goes without saying that the show was, as usual, brilliant - and not only from a business point of view but because, when you think about it, we're all consumers too and I'm sure I'm not the only one now suffering from a severe bout of the 'I wants'. Indeed, there was so much which excited us about the show that the first part of our review has been held over from Friday, so we could get as much in as possible (and, I hasten to add, not because I couldn't find everyone's business cards)! Happy reading, and we'll be back on Friday with the second part of our review.




Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Winning awards for innovation...

* Winning-Virtual-Worlds.jpgVirtual Worlds, Multilines Caccaro, Wirquin and Villeroy & Boch were proudly displaying innovation awards on their stands, having impressed judges Andy Bishop, creative director of KBB Birmingham, Hayley Tarrington-Robson, creative director of Day-True, Matthew Walmsley, national sales & marketing director of Blum UK, Colin Wong, creative director of Development Direct and Ruth Bell, editor of Kitchens, Bedrooms & Bathrooms.

Virtual Worlds' 4D Theatre, is, according to the judges: "An effective way of challenging how the industry engages with the consumer. VR has a firm place in the future of the industry and there is room for a huge amount of growth within this market."

Karonia - keeping the customers satisfied

* Karonia-stand.jpgWhen we arrived at the Karonia stand, there was a huge group of visitors, which I soon discovered included a good number of kitchen fitters keen to learn about the benefits of the company's easy-to-fit worksurfaces and the famed 'no join' finish, and see the specially designed shaping tools in action.

Many were gathered around the section of the stand dedicated to Karonia's contracts/large projects division, which featured examples of how products can be used for student accommodation, city apartments, housing developments, hotels and schools.

Congratulations to KBSA for Award win!

* KBSA-win.jpgWhen we visited the Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association stand, membership manager Dawn Harlow told us how delighted everyone in the team was to have won the Special Achievement Award at the kbbreview Retail & Design Awards, for the significant contribution made to the KBB industry - and naturally she and Malcolm Scott, commercial director, Swift Electrical / KBSA corporate chair, wanted the Award in our picture!

The Award wasn't the only success of the week though, since they said the exhibition had proved really good, with significant interest shown in membership from a great many stand visitors, and bookings taken for the 2018 KBSA conference.

Abode makes a splash with raft of new kitchen and bathroom innovations

* ABODE-MAIN-Swich.jpgWith significant investment in research and development across its business, Abode is launching over 90 new products in 2018. From hot water taps and sinks, to kitchen taps and bathroom brassware, the new additions combine product innovation, style and function - as visitors to Abode's understandably very busy stand, will attest.

In the kitchen sink section visitors saw a major relaunch of the Abode sinks collection with a significant number of new ranges on show for the very first time. The company's designers and technical teams have been working hard capturing new ideas and shapes in ceramic, stainless steel and composite materials, and these were clearly proving popular with visitors.

'The Rock' by Colin Wong: demonstrating permanence and impermanence

* The-Rock-1.jpgA groundbreaking new concept from award winning kitchen designer Colin Wong, which explores the potential of permanence and impermanence in kitchen furniture and materials, involved Corian, Neolith, Formica and Cosentino fabricating, delivering and installing each in a series of 'Rocks'.

These attracted a lot of interest, as they were so different from what one would normally expect to see at the Show.

Pretty in pink!

* Masterclass-stand.jpgMelissa, KBzine's editorial assistant, fell in love with this pink kitchen... Part of a vibrant new colour palette, Vintage Rose is pastel-inspired yet bold enough to form a striking contrast to more neutral tones, and is the perfect partner to on-trend shades such as grey and white, and popular materials such as timber, stainless steel and stone.

With accent colours increasingly being seen in the modern kitchen, this unusual colour creates a welcoming, vibrant ambience while enabling designers to add a sense of character and personality to their kitchen designs.

Blanco UK - simply buzzing!

* Blanco-MAIN-PIC-KBB.jpgIt was hard to get a picture of the Blanco stand, it was so crowded (we had to come back towards the end of the day when the halls had cleared a bit!) But then of course there was a lot to see. We loved this display of the new pendant hoods, set over the new tap and sink collection. It looked so stylish - but which to choose? It was certainly proving a dilemma for the crowds that were there the first time we visited.

BMA 'incredibly busy'

* BMA-team-pic.jpgThe Bathroom Manufacturers Association's stand was incredibly busy throughout the show and when we caught up with the team on Tuesday evening we felt a little guilty for asking them to pose for our picture...

Bushboard: simply booming!

* Bushboard-general.jpgThe team on the Busboard stand was exceptionally busy and we really liked the display, which showcased the company's Nuance bathroom panels, the new Omega and Options worksurface collections and some exciting new solid surface developments.

InSinkErator: exciting new launches

* InSinkErator-4N1.jpgInSinkErator showcased a number of exciting new launches, including the 4N1 Touch instant filtered/non-filtered, steaming hot/cold water tap (more later, if I've confused you!), a new Food Waste Disposer that's being added to the Showroom Collection and a new Satin Black Finish steaming hot water tap.

To filter, or not to filter?

The 4N1 Touch, InSinkErator's most technologically advanced taps to date, is a new collection of taps that offer instant, filtered steaming hot water and instant filtered cold water, as well as regular hot and cold water, from the same combined fixture. The range forms part of the InSinkErator Showroom Collection.

Delivering excellence: J P Distribution

* JP-Distribution.jpgJ P Distribution, which delivers products from many well-known brands to more than 2,500 retailers throughout England, Wales and Scotland, said its stand had attracted a lot of interest and that the team had been busy throughout the show.

The KBzine Archive Search

We keep an extensive archive of news stories and product information that have featured in past issues of The KBzine. If you would like to run a search of the The KBzine web site using the search tool below please just go ahead by entering in the name of the person, product or company or any other key words that you are looking for.

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How to contact us at The KBzine:
Jan Hobbs
Publishing Editor
Tel: +44 (0)1372 811 307 
Mobile: 07980 288 373

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John Austen
Publishing Director
Tel: +44 (0)1580 755 863
Mobile: 07766 707 888
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Recent News

Your country needs you!

The Kitchen Bathroom & Bedroom Specialists Association tells us it's been contacted by the Building Engineering Services Association regarding raising awareness of the so-called 'Aldous Bill'. The Bill seeks to amend the Construction Act to ensure retention monies are held in secure third-party deposit schemes, leading to a much better built environment and supply chain.

British Ceramic Tile looks at trends influencing interior spaces and surfaces in 2018

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The trends for 2018 are a tale of two stories according to British Ceramic Tile's in-house design team. On one side, you have faded grandeur; interiors that have aged over time, revealing an inner beauty. Surfaces are worn and distressed, revealing layers of visual interest for a textural, natural look within an organic colour palette.

Strong Q4 builders merchants' sales complete another year of growth

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The latest data released in the BMF's Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) confirms total Q4 2017 sales were up +6.3% on Q4 2016, delivering stronger growth for the quarter than the running average, which in turn helped to push the annual growth numbers. Overall, merchant sales in 2017 finished 4.8% ahead of 2016 by value.

KBB Birmingham 2018: BiKBBI confirms its programme - T125

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British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation has confirmed its programme for KBB Birmingham 2018 - a series of talks at its mini auditorium that is focused on a wide variety of installation related topics.

Sunday 4th March:

Stoves relaunches Community Kitchens Competition

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A competition, by British cooking brand Stoves, offering community kitchen projects, charities and organisations the chance to win kitchen appliances to support their work, has reopened for entries.

Bertazzoni joins forces with several distributors

Bertazzoni is set to realise its distribution potential, having partnered with several companies across the UK. Gardiner Distribution, KA Distribution, KTS (Kitchen Trade Suppliers), MCD, Sinks & Things and Swift Electrical will be supporting the Italian-headquartered kitchen appliance manufacturer in achieving greater reach to kitchen specialists and independent retailers.

British Ceramic Tile inspires local students with creative project

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British Ceramic Tile has shown its support for young designers at Plymouth College of Art once again, setting a creative brief to inspire second year students.

Croydex partners new national campaign to Love The Home You Live In

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Croydex is continuing its mission to makeover Britain's bathrooms by becoming an official partner for the newly launched National Home Improvement Week. The nationwide campaign, which runs from 12th to 18th March 2018, offers advice and inspiration to help people make the most of their living space.

Training success at Abode

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Abode sales office administrators Ellie McCall (left) and Abbie Wilkinson (right) have qualified at NVQ Level 3 in Customer Service.

Soapbox: What lessons can we learn from Carillion's collapse?

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Peer-to-peer business lending specialist ArchOver CEO Angus Dent outlines the lessons to be learned from Carillion's demise, and the steps smaller businesses should take to ensure they won't be hurt by future failures.

Top inclusive design award for VitrA and Sheffield Hallam University

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VitrA UK, one of Europe's leading bathroom manufacturers and part of the international Eczacibasi Group, has been recognised by the UK Over 50's Housing Award, for its considerable efforts to address the needs of our ageing population.

Overall growth forecast in the UK floor and wall tiles market at 7% until 2021

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Subject as it is to the influences of consumer and business spending levels, construction output and underlying economic trends, the wall and floor tiles market delivered a strong performance between 2014 and 2017 with overall growth of 8%.

KBB 2018: Bathroom Brands Group set to impress - Stand H20 E95

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Bathroom Brands tells us that 2018 is set to be a groundbreaking period of development for the Group, with KBB acting as a starting whistle for the year ahead.


Blanco appoints new regional sales manager for Northern Ireland

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Blanco UK has appointed Darren McCrellis (pictured right) as regional sales manager for Northern Ireland. He has replaced Joe Cleland (pictured left) who was Blanco's previous regional sales manager in Northern Ireland for over 12 years.

Darren has joined Blanco from Potter Cowan in Belfast where he was showroom manager. Prior to that, he was sales and design consultant with Orrlee Kitchens for 10 years.

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