KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
17th March 2017
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While many in this industry have been enjoying themselves out at ISH this week, John Austen and I have been at a cleaning show at ExCel in London's Docklands.
The KBB sector was never far from our hearts and minds however, particularly so since all the wonderful things this industry produces, need to be cleaned - and bearing in mind we're talking about areas where we're most vulnerable to picking up germs, i.e. the kitchen, bathroom or bedroom, they need to be cleaned properly.
As you might imagine then, it was with much interest that we struck up a conversation with the head honcho at the Domestic Cleaning Alliance, who approached us specifically to grumble about the way some of the goods manufactured by this industry, are made, since their design and/or construction, make/s the job of cleaning them, almost impossible.
I often grumble about how difficult it is to clean my kitchen and its appliances properly (same with the bathroom) because of their design, but I'd not been aware prior to my conversation with the DCA's director Stephen Munton that some items I enjoy writing about are actually prone to breaking... so much so, in fact, that when preparing contracts, many Alliance members include a clause saying they won't be held responsible if certain types of loo flushing systems break.
Many also specify that they cannot rinse down a shower properly after cleaning, if all there is in the bath or shower is a fixed shower head. Logic tells you that you need to be able to hold a shower head in order to direct it around the area you've cleaned, if you're to remove all the cleaning solution and muck.
Stephen revealed that so often, his members are faced with just a fixed shower head and thus can't provide a proper clean. Why are some of us not telling consumers that, if they're buying shower equipment with a fixed head, they should perhaps purchase something that also incorporates a hand-held shower, because of cleaning issues? After all, most good manufacturers produce these. And just think of the extra profits!
And regarding loo flushes and other items that regularly break long before their guarantee runs out, why aren't we doing something to stop this happening? Or is it just that disappointed consumers don't bother to complain that their 'new' fittings have broken? I'd love to know...
This Week's News
The Government has made the right decision to row back on its plan to hike up National Insurance Contributions for the self-employed, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) said yesterday.
"At a time when we need to do everything we can to ensure economic stability, this would have been a destabilising tax increase which would have hit large numbers of tradespeople on quite modest incomes," said Brian Berry, FMB chief executive. "That would have felt very unfair and would have been in danger of undermining the entrepreneurial spirit Britain will need to rely on as we approach the economic uncertainty of Brexit.
Five-star acrylic sheet supplier The Plastic People, a company that creates kitchen splashbacks to add a stylish touch to a cooking area, has delved into what the UK's kitchen culture looks like today.
From the items bought for the kitchen to the country's cooking habits, there's so much to discover from the research below:
Aquavision has announced its new Tailored Collection - off-the-shelf MirrorVision+ televisions from the Bespoke Range. An invisible television in a perfectly reflective mirror, it will be highly desirable to designers, architects and home owners. The developers at Aquavision have taken the three most popular sizes of MirrorVision+ glass from the Bespoke range that have been requested over the last three years and made them available in this collection.
The global homes and buildings industry is expected to reach $1,150.75 billion in 2017, with technologies such as Internet of Things, Big Data, data analytics, and the cloud playing a vital role, reveals Frost & Sullivan's Homes & Buildings team in a newly released report.
The industry is undergoing an intense evolution and accelerated growth. Transformational technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, data analytics and the cloud, are propelling double-digit growth and market expansion in connected homes and light-emitting diode (LED) lighting sectors.
The Waterwise UK Water Efficiency Product Awards recognise products and technology which contribute to water efficiency that benefit the economy, society and environment.
Following a successful 2016, Benchmarx, the trade-only supplier of high quality kitchens, is continuing its impressive expansion plans at it heads towards its next milestone branch opening. Having grown from just one branch in Croydon in 2006, the company will now be celebrating the opening of its 180th branch.
The 60-year-old is a regular customer at CTD's Dundee branch and started tiling 40 years ago after completing a four-year tiling apprenticeship.
Saniflo - inventor of the macerator with more than 60 years' experience and the number one in the UK macerator market - is launching a raft of new products featuring new technological advancements for the domestic and commercial plumbing sectors, a new product catalogue available now and an extended warranty for domestic products. The hassle-free, plug and play range is designed to be the best on the market featuring ease of installation and maintenance with new and improved noise and vibration reduction.
Compatible with most sinks, the WDUs are easy to fit and their premium specification includes antibacterial protection for odour control in addition to sound insulation for quiet operation.
Smeg has launched the latest addition to its range cooker collection; the stunning Portofino. Smeg's freshest design yet, the Portofino will come in eight colour-pop finishes: sunshine yellow, olive green, deep red, burnt orange, classic stainless steel, anthracite, black and white.
Each represents the bright shades of towns and villages along the Italian Riviera and offers a fantastic way of introducing colour in the kitchen.
As FFC continues its year-on-year double digit growth, managing director Paul Jenkinson says it's the people behind the company that make it a success. Passionate people means commitment to service and innovative products:
Andrew brings three decades of experience to his role with the award-winning bathroom accessories specialist having held similar positions at Rak Ceramics, Phoenix Whirlpools and Uptrend Distribution. He will be responsible for strengthening relationships with national trade accounts, independent merchants and showrooms across South Wales and the West Country.
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Newly appointed chair of the KBSA, Richard Hibbert, said: "It is good to see that the Chancellor has listened to the business community on business rates. The £435 million promised will provide much needed relief in the short-term.
T-Levels must match A-Levels if we are to ensure that technical education has 'parity of esteem' with the more academic route, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).
This guide tells you how to avoid the top 10 reasons that lorries and other heavy goods vehicles fail the IVA inspection, with clear illustrations on the correct and incorrect way of doing things.
The average British worker spends as many as 120 hours per year using their smartphone in the workplace, and those working in construction are among the worst culprits, with more than three quarters (78%) of construction workers admiting to using their smartphones during working hours.