KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
2nd October 2015
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To furnish a bathroom, you need to take all possible aspects into consideration, including both the design and the functionality as well as the material used, since this will have a big impact on the final result.
Available now, the sleek 5mm light features chip-on-board (COB) technology and is both remarkably powerful and extremely efficient.
Especially prevalent in high-end commercial and residential projects, steel is the favourite today due to the visual, innate solidity of the material; without being overpowering, steel creates a look no other material can replicate due to the slenderness and robustness of the steel sections.
Since the 1991 launch of its first contemporary, Japanese-style deep soaking tub - the Imersa, the company has been steadily introducing new and improved designs.
Lustrolite acrylic high gloss wall panelling is proving exceptionally popular with designers and retailers who want to add pizzazz to kitchens and bathrooms - or, indeed, any room.
The Government’s consultation on the proposed apprenticeship levy closed this week and it appears that industry is sceptical of the proposals, perceiving them as little more than a tax on business that will do little to raise the quality of apprenticeships and perhaps even have the opposite effect, with employers – keen to claim back the levy – devaluing the scheme by rebadging basic training as an apprenticeship.
Manufacturers’ organisation EEF, says members are already investing heavily in apprenticeships with three quarters of large and medium size companies and half of small companies planning to recruit in the next 12 months. It says that if the target is to create 600,000 starts per year towards the overall target of three million, 120,000 should be earmarked for engineering and manufacturing.
Employers fear the proposals will cause them to lose out financially as there is little evidence to suggest that one of the scheme’s main aims, “that employers offering apprenticeships will get back more than they put in,” will be met. On the assumption the levy is 0.5% of payroll, companies with over 250 employees would have to double the number of apprentices they recruit with one company saying to ensure they don’t lose out financially they would have to increase their intake from 16 to 112 a year.
Given the cost of a four year apprenticeship, companies only recruit and invest in apprenticeships when there is a clear business case for doing so and are unlikely to offer more than they need.
In its response EEF has made a number of sound recommendations for redesigning the scheme to address employers’ concerns. With the recent Lloyds Bank Building for Growth report revealing that a shortage of skilled workers such as plumbers, electricians, kitchen fitters, carpenters and bricklayers is thwarting efforts to beat the UK housing crisis, let’s hope the Government listens to the EEF’s suggestions and redesigns the scheme to ensure that it suits everyone’s needs - and fast.
This Week's News
As part of two major announcements due in October, The Institute for Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers will be unveiling a restructured accreditation offering, which will include five tiers of membership, following feedback from the industry.
Precise details of the restructure will be published within October's iKBBI Installer Magazine, due out on 21st October, followed by a communication to members shortly after.
The Cosentino Group has developed a new Silestone worksurface colour in collaboration with the renowned Brazilian interior design architect, Brunete Fraccaroli. 'Acqua Fraccaroli' commemorates Silestone's 25th anniversary; an exclusive limited edition colour which will launch simultaneously in London, New York, Vancouver, Sao Paulo, Sydney, Singapore, Tel Aviv, Milan, Brussels, Belgium and Barcelona Cosentino Centres, as well as at this week's 100% Design show in London.
Lakes Bathrooms has launched a new business in the United States. The shower enclosure and bathroom products manufacturer has joined forces with Ark Bathrooms to form Lakes Bathrooms LLC, a subsidiary of the UK parent.
Based in Chicago, Illinois, the company will initially serve the bathroom retailers in this Midwest city, with plans to expand across the USA in due course.
A leading UK tile manufacturer, British Ceramic Tile, has made its first appearance at the world famous London Fashion Week (LFW), an event that attracts famous faces and the most important people in the fashion industry from across the globe.
The company that designs and manufactures its market leading tile collections here in Britain has supplied tiles to the HIX Cafe in a move to communicate its design credential to fashion influencers attending the event. The pop-up restaurant of Brewer Street Car Park by Mark Hix is situated in the Designer Showrooms space designed by David Collins Studio.
Tanto is a simple, elegant and easy to operate tap range designed and created especially for the UK market, giving a clean, slick and contemporary look to all bathroom styles. Tanto has a cylindrical body with pencil slim handles giving a strong yet versatile design.
As one of the UK's leading specialist suppliers of architectural glass elements and associated fittings, D R Services enables clients to combine practicality with elegance in the creation of internal glazed walls incorporating multiple doors and other features.
As the new consumer legislation comes into force yesterday, TrustMark, the only Government-endorsed scheme for all trades in and around the home, announced a new 'primary authority' partnership with Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards to provide assured advice for its Scheme Operators and TrustMark registered firms.
Being introduced for the 2016 range of Leicht kitchens, the new Bondi finish - with its ultra-matt, fine smooth surface, has a particularly soft, pleasant touch and is eminently suitable for 21st century modern living as it is resistant to fingerprints.
Landau has added the Handles Display Board to its growing selection of display options, designed to make it easier for retailers to show customers how their perfect kitchen can look.
Employees working in construction have taken more time off work due to serious injuries sustained on the job than almost any other industry. Some 38% of construction workers recently surveyed had taken time off work because of a major injury while doing their job, compared to an average of just 19%. The only industry to rank higher is transport at 47%.
In fact 30% of construction workers have been off work for a month or more. The biggest impact of taking time off work was loss of income for 62% of those surveyed admitting to this fear. Some 28% were concerned that they wouldn't be able to pay the bills if off work for a month or more. Despite this, only one in six workers have any financial protection insurance.
Kitchen makeover franchise firm Dream Doors has announced the appointment of Bill Owen as the company's new director of franchising. Bill is a well-known and respected figure in the franchise world, and has been recruited to help the UK's largest kitchen facelift retailer through a period of unprecedented growth.
No stranger to both the kitchen industry and franchising, Bill is the founder of Snack in the Box which, after launching in 1994, grew to become a network of more than 100 franchisees before the business was sold in 2009.
Previously working as key account manager for Baumatic, Paul has been with the company for five years.
In his new role Paul will concentrate on maximising opportunities within the CIH and Sirius buying groups at head office level and supporting the newly centralised built-in sales team with individual accounts in the independent electrical sector.
Every single member of staff without exception brought in home-baked goodies and invited their family and friends as well as personnel from neighbouring local businesses based at Bath Business Park.
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The Customer Service Award for 2015 was won by retailer member Denmore Kitchens and Bathroom Studio of Aberdeen, member for 21 years, while the runner-up was Diane Berry of Diane Berry Kitchens - a member for six years.
"The kitchen concept category delivered the very best in terms of creative design and aspiration, high lighting the skills required from kitchen designers to deliver designs for living spaces, not just kitchens.
"Congratulations to the winners, those shortlisted and the young designers for having the courage to enter!"
The winners are:
Whirlpool Corporation, which had made an eleventh hour bid to buy iconic British brand Aga Rangemaster, has withdrawn, leaving US commercial foodservice, food processing and residential kitchen equipment giant the Middleby Corporation to go ahead with the bid it made in July.