KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
20th July 2018
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Always pioneering the ethos that the key to any perfect, stylish bathroom is in the planning and structure, Abacus Bathrooms has developed the innovative Easi-Plan range of flushing and support systems. The Easi-Plan system allows bathroom designers and installers to create spacious schemes by maximising floor space whilst creating beautiful lines.
Simple wall-hung modern furniture in subtle wood shades, soft creams or soft graphite teamed with either a counter-top or vanity basin in an appealing shape or a super-size slab top with one or two bowls and complemented by wall-hung sanitaryware, a walk-in shower and a freestanding bath, are the essential base ingredients for design success.
Working in everything from contemporary loft spaces to more traditional cottage settings alike, the brand-new Somerset Natural Oak kitchen from Benchmarx Kitchens is ideal for those who love the finish of a solid wood kitchen but don't want to compromise on creating a modern, fresh look.
The new unit has gathered a total investment of 15 million euros in products and facilities and will employ 300 workers with an estimated annual production capacity of about 800,000 pieces.
The Vicus family consists of the twin lever, the bridge twin lever, the single lever spray. An additional key feature of the Vicus single lever is the pull-out spray from the hose which can be used to clean the extended work area.
Drawing inspiration from the real material, British Ceramic Tile's new Fibreglass range can instantly transform any room into a warm, inviting space. It imitates the sharp, woven fibres in an intriguing surface pattern, muted for a softer finish.
The superior Mumbai Slate porcelain collection from British Ceramic Tile provides a stunning floor covering, emulating the true beauty of Indian slate. Strong tonal variation and a matt, riven finish deliver an authentic interpretation, bringing the unmistakable raw, earthy qualities of slate indoors.
I've been in this industry for some years now, having - with John Austen - taken over the reins of KBzine from Richard and Debbie Schwarz, who launched it in 2001, without having any warning that I was likely to do so or any time to prepare. I was asked: "Are you up for it?" and when I said I was, readied our first issue for broadcast a few days later.
When a journalist starts writing for an industry about which they have little knowledge, there's a need to 'hit the ground running' and with this comes a fear of showing how little they know about the industry by asking the wrong question or being wowed by fabulous new technology that isn't actually new at all - or which may be new but has already been dismissed as useless by those that know better.
Of course, I've grown up with cookers, fridges (and later, freezers) and washing machines but in my early years laundry day involved a top loading twin-tub filled manually with a hose. Before hanging out the washing, my mother would run it through the mangle a couple of times, to squeeze out excess water. If you're too young to know what these things are, Google might enlighten you!
Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that from those basic appliances and a couple of kitchen cupboards (and a larder!) it's been fairly easy to keep abreast of developments.
Since joining this industry, I've absorbed news about technological developments we'll enjoy in the future, sometimes in awe but with a "Well I'll never be able to afford that" or "I don't have the room for one of those" disappointment and sometimes wondering who'd want to waste their money.
One appliance I've never used is a dishwasher - partly as I can daydream while washing up, and partly as I don't really have room. It's caused arguments at home so one day I daresay I'll find a way to keep the family happy and will probably regret not having done so earlier.
What got me thinking about all this is learning about William Livens today. This highly-decorated Royal Engineer, invented a powerful flamethrower, gas bombs and something I didn't know - in 1924 - an electric, front-loading dishwasher with a wire rack for crockery and a rotating sprayer to clean it. Although his prototype leaked and was discarded, his idea might just have improved the lives of millions...
This Week's News
Total Builders Merchant value sales were up 6.9% in May compared with May last year. Five categories did better, with Plumbing Heating & Electrical (11.9%) the top performer and Landscaping (+11.3%), Timber & Joinery Products (+8.2%) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (7.1%) also stronger. Heavy Building Materials, the largest category, grew more slowly (+5.1%) and only Workwear & Safetywear sold less (-5.3%).
Overall sales in May were 11.4% higher than in April, helped by one extra trading day. Seasonal category, Landscaping (+29.0%) did best, with its third consecutive significant month-on-month increase. Heavy Building Materials improved 11.1% and 10 of the 12 categories sold more.
Ecora Infinit basin units are available in 60 and 90cm sizes with either two doors or one or two drawers. Vanity basins have a slim, narrow edge and a gently sloped bowl with a central waste. There is a roomy tap platform that will accommodate most brassware. Basin units are fitted with LED lighting.
The number of visitors attending The Homebuilding & Renovating Shows who are working on a live project is increasing year on year, according to new research from the event organiser Future. The last show of 2017 emphasised the quality and commitment of the show's audience with 80% of visitors undertaking a live project, significantly increasing the return on investment for exhibitors.
As a result, the organisers are now issuing a call for entry to those that are interesting in exhibiting at this year's events taking place in London's ExCeL between 21st and 23rd September and the Harrogate Convention Centre from 2nd to 4th November.
Tapping into the trend for raw materials and aged finishes, this new option combines the practical benefits of a ceramic tile with the same intrigue as rusted white metal. A stunning take on the timeworn look, Industrial White works wonderfully when offset against a polished concrete floor, distressed wood and weathered accessories.
Over 12 million tonnes of plastic enter the sea each year, which has a devastating impact on animals and the environment, and while many of us consciously try to limit the amount of plastic we use, we all end up with some plastic waste, which makes recycling at home a key priority.
Binopolis is arguably the leading specialist online bin retailer offering the most comprehensive collection of quality recycling bins on the market. Its products have been cleverly designed to help meet all recycling requirements and to fit kitchens of all sizes. With an incredible collection of in-cupboard and freestanding multi-compartment bins available, there are even space-saving models that will fit maximum recycling capacity into one unit to suit even the most compact kitchens.
Ultra-thin, super-slim whichever way you describe it the standout trend for 2018 with consumers is thin and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Texture, as well as slim dimensions, subtler colourways, and a break away from perpetual granite in favour of marbles and marble-esqs, are top predictions for 2018/19.
In the Arts & Crafts property, Chris was tasked with transforming a dark, dated guest bathroom into something fresh and welcoming for family and friends. Because of the property's listed building status, the brief was to work with existing architecture, creating a balance between cosy and contemporary whilst being sympathetic to the eaves and angled walls of the original building.
Having read the report, Lawrence Waterman, chairman of the British Safety Council, said:
"This increase in workplace deaths may be the first sign of the effect of years of budget austerity, although the government cuts to health & safety investment have been taking a while to impact on workers.
Amica UK has launched an impressive new range of 50cm & 60cm freestanding double cavity cookers. With hob choices from solid plate electric to fast induction or traditional gas, there is a style to suit every cook and every budget.
Slip-in freestanding cookers are still a popular choice in the UK market, both as a replacement for an older product and as an alternative to built-in - especially in the buy-to-let market as slip-in reduces installation costs when compared to built-in.
The event, which has now run for nine consecutive years, was the St George's Dragon Boat Challenge held at Lakeside, Doncaster in July. The team of 10 paddlers and one drummer from Wirquin competed in a 30-foot Dragon Boat and had to complete the 250m course twice.
The Freight Transport Association, the largest membership body in the UK logistics sector, has agreed to support a short-term government target of reducing carbon emissions from HGVs by 15%, announced on Monday in the Government's 'Road to Zero' report. The target will judge tailpipe emissions in 2025 against a 2015 baseline.
Commenting on the target, FTA's head of UK policy Christopher Snelling said: "All sectors of society need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions if we are to avoid the worst effects of climate change. HGVs and their operators have to play their part in this and significant steps have already been made by the industry to change its behaviours and impact on the environment.
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There's a packed programme in place and of course those wonderful networking opportunities that these events provide. And with the KBSA celebrating its 40th birthday in 2018, this year's gathering will be extra special with lots of new things planned!