KBzine: your kitchen and bathroom industry news - first
19th December 2014
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Adding warmth, character and personality to any style of kitchen, the new colours of Biscuit, Light Blue, Light Grey, Heritage Grey, Dust Grey and a Primed finish ready for painting on site, bring the total number of painted colours available from Masterclass to 15.
"Practicalities are key to a wet room - a waterproof foam material, such as Abacus Elements, is ideal, as when sealed, it makes the room completely waterproof. This is the same technology that is used in steam rooms - which are essentially the ultimate wet rooms.
Elite bathroom furniture from Bauhaus is one of those magic ranges that will lift a bathroom or cloakroom from functional to fabulous - at a very reasonable price.
To tap into this trend and strengthen its portfolio of floor tiles even further, British Ceramic Tile has launched Fabulous Floors; a high-end range of specially-selected Italian and Spanish porcelain.
* The Grohe Powerbox - This infrared tap uses water pressure to power itself. Grohe's innovative technology uses the tap's own water flow to drive a turbine, concealed in a small box installed below the basin. This converts the energy from the flowing water into storable electrical energy which then powers the tap's infrared function.
The new product, from Auratherm - part of established electric heating company, Ecolec, offers heat and light with remote controls, incorporating a four hour timer and an LED dimmer switch. The Auratherm vision of controlled heat and light in one electric product with a mirror is an intelligent way to save effort and energy.
Available as a five burner, 90cm model or four burner, 60cm model, the hob presents the perfect cooking solution to those who prefer the controllability of gas married with the sleek aesthetics of crystal tempered glass - and of course a hi-tech touch control panel with digital settings.
This is our last issue of KBzine prior to the holiday break and with it falling so close to Christmas this year, I’m dreading having to make my way through the High Street tomorrow to pick up my last minute bits and pieces for Christmas, together with fresh fruit and veg from the local market, as it’s not something I tend to do on the last Saturday before Christmas.
My family and close friends have avoided the pre-Christmas scrums for well over a decade, by making a pact that gifts are to be inexpensive or even home-made, which has turned out to be a real blessing. It’s kept our costs and stress levels down and has prevented the accumulation at home of unused gifts or the need to join the January returns queues. Having seen (via my computer screen) the violent scenes that erupted on Black Friday recently I shall be approaching the town with some trepidation tomorrow morning!
No doubt the industry is hoping that no-one else is like my circle and that shoppers will be treating their loved ones to smart new kitchen appliances and the like – or even the promise in the New Year of a new kitchen or bathroom! One of my contacts – a supply chain maximisation expert - has suggested that the best way to make the most of your showroom is to have customer ‘wants’ at the front of the showroom and customer ‘needs’ behind the counter wherever possible. He says that the customer may come in for something they need, but walking through the showroom, they might fall in love with something they want. I hear those tills ringing as I write!
Another suggestion is to turn the salesroom into a video showroom, with two or three videos playing on different monitors. Not only does this turn the showroom into an educational experience, but customers might decide to select something they see demonstrated in the video. Something worth bearing in mind perhaps?
I’ll keep my fingers crossed that this season is a healthy, joyful and prosperous one for you. We’ll be back on 9th January and in the meantime we wish you a wonderful Christmas and New Year.
This Week's News
Well known for developing the first heating element that could be immersed in water and producing good value small electrical appliances, Swan launched its Vintage Collection in 2013 and enjoyed a great first year, with sales doubling forecast.
Franke Sissons' (aka Franke Water Systems) senior management team has successfully summited Mount Snowden to raise money for three important cancer charities including Chesterfield's own Ashgate Hospice.
The team shown here, (from right) Victoria Himsworth, Joanne Meadows, managing director Andy Dukelow, Mark Wilson and Andy Martin, also happen to have three nasty knee injuries between them - making the climb even more arduous.
Enabling consumers to raise the comfort levels in their bathroom and enjoy the wellness benefits a shower toilet offers without the need for a complete refit, Geberit has launched a range of enhancement sets to its market-leading AquaClean range.
Keeping installation simple and offering retailers the opportunity to upgrade sales of conventional WCs, the new sets feature a ceramic pan that is specifically designed for use with the Geberit AquaClean 4000, 5000 and 5000plus enhancement seats. Making upgrading to a shower toilet a simple process, with easy connection to the existing water and power supply, the enhancement sets are the perfect complement to the full Geberit AquaClean collection.
The toys were dropped off at the local Asda supermarket and will be distributed by Santa's helpers, aka the Cash for Kids charity, to young people living in poverty to help make their Christmas morning that little bit brighter.
Picture shows: Tina Pashley, Finance, with gifts kindly donated by Wirquin staff for local children.
As one of the world's leading manufacturers of sinks, mixer taps and waste systems, Blanco Germany will be showcasing its impressive portfolio at the LivingKitchen exhibition, being held in Cologne, Germany, from 19th - 25th January 2015.
Blanco is celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2015 and will be focusing on 'A Story of Quality' at the exhibition highlighting new products, innovative materials, outstanding design concepts along with the company's well established high quality products.
Surface specialist Max-Top is thrilled to announce that the Alexander Hotel group has begun to install Max-Top Quartz surfaces in number of its luxury hotels throughout the UK. The 5* Alexander House Hotel and Utopia Spa in Sussex is the first to receive the product, that has been installed in a number of its stylish en suite bathrooms.
"We are delighted that Max-Top Quartz has been chosen for the esteemed Alexander House Hotel," says Stephen Moss, managing director of Max-Top. "The group is very prestigious and focuses heavily on providing stylish, luxurious surroundings to its customers, so it is a great stamp of approval for Max-Top Quartz!"
Launched to tap into the current design movement for organic materials and textures that typify the modern utility trend that has swept through our homes, HD slate is easy to install, hard-wearing, waterproof and requires no special sealing or maintenance unlike natural stone.
The Kitchen, Bathroom & Bedroom Specialists Association has issued a warning to consumers to research any purchase of a kitchen, bathroom and bedroom thoroughly before they buy - particularly in the months of January, February and March - when many retailers are involved in 'sale' activities.
It is a well-established fact that pricing can be somewhat 'variable' due to existing legislation, and the Association suggests that consumer get at least two competitive quotes to ensure they do get real value for money.
Italian wellbeing specialist Glass 1989 has launched a new range of luxury spa pools - MySpa. This new collection features both portable and overflow spas designed to create the ultimate oasis of wellbeing and relaxation.
First showcased at the Cersaie exhibition in Bologna this year, the new MySpa range is suitable for both domestic and professional applications.
The winner of the 2014 Sustainability Award is urging other companies to enter the competition in 2015. Earlier this year, kitchen and furniture manufacturer Premiere Furniture had its efforts towards sustainable working recognised when it won the prestigious award organised by The Furniture Makers' Company, the furnishing industry's charity.
The Award is based on the foundation provided by the Furniture Industry Sustainability Programme, FISP, administered by FIRA, with a rigorous audit of members' activities. All FISP Full Members which manufacture in Great Britain are eligible to apply.
As the New Year begins, Wales-based kitchen manufacturer Sigma 3 (which manufactures the Masterclass Kitchen brand of furniture) is looking to the future, with the introduction of new green initiatives. These initiatives are designed to ensure the company continues to drive down its carbon footprint, even as production of its high quality kitchens increases.
As part of a business-wide sustainability programme introduced eight years ago, the team at Sigma 3 are encouraged to reduce waste, improve efficiency and make cost savings, helping the company to accelerate its 96% recycling rate to 100% by the end of 2015.
InSinkErator, is in the ideal position to revolutionise the kitchen of 2015, and allow consumers to complement the latest trends without the substantial expense of a complete refit.
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A new report on the UK shower market from MTW Research has uncovered inflation busting growth returning for some sectors for the first time since 2007, with sales set to strengthen in 2015.
The award-winning European Water Label will be making an appearance at the Big One - ISH Frankfurt, the world's biggest showcase for innovative bathroom design, and water and energy efficiency.
Britannia Living has announced that its Wyre range cooker collection has been repositioned to support independent retailers. The Wyre, which is one of four range cooker collections from Britannia, is characterised by its solid doors and matte finish.