KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
16th March 2018


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International News

Karonia - keeping the customers satisfied

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When 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.

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

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With 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

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A 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.

Blanco UK - simply buzzing!

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It 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.

InSinkErator: exciting new launches

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InSinkErator 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.

Bushboard: simply booming!

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The 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.

Nuance panels boast a core that's 100% impervious to water so there's never any danger of warping or leaking, which means they're perfect for walls around baths, basins, inside shower enclosures or to create wet rooms. And as there's no need for trims, they present a sleek, seam-free look that's especially effective in smaller bathrooms.

T: 01933 232 242
W: www.bushboard.co.uk

Delivering excellence: J P Distribution

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J 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.

Founded in 1980, the company puts much of its success down to its principle of 'on time in full deliveries' (it boasts an average accuracy of 99.6%) - plus the fact that over the years, it has added more and more manufacturers' products to its portfolio, meaning it now offers what it believes is one of the most comprehensive 'one stop shops' available.

Laufen showcases latest bathroom collections, including premium showertoilet

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Swiss bathroom specialist Laufen showcased its latest bathroom collections alongside Roca, in the special blacked-out suite that we've come to expect from the manufacturer.

Whitebirk's luxury fireclay sinks: handmade in Britain since the 1800s

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We were stopped in our tracks by a display of Butler-style and circular sinks in a variety of unusual colours and as we tried to decide whether we preferred pale pink or baby blue, Whitebirk Sink Co's Peter McVinnie, Steve Allen and Jon Wilson told us they were pleased they had displayed the sinks as many Show visitors who hadn't planned to visit the stand, had stopped because of the sinks, to find out more.

Dallmer showcase stylish new drainage solutions

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Hoping to repeat the success of its previous appearance at the venue, Dallmer showcased 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.

Welcome to the



Welcome to the second part of KBzine's KBB 2018 exhibition review, which includes more of our pictures of and reports on the new products and displays that caught our eye as we toured the show floor and spoke with some of the exhibitors and fellow visitors.

There really was so much to see and as we've gone through our notes and pictures, we've realised that we covered more ground than we'd originally thought, so we've decided that if we're to do everyone justice, we really need to continue this review into the next issue, which will be broadcast on Friday, together with some non-show news.

Happy reading - and if you're struggling to commute in this latest 'Beast from the East' (which somehow seems to us to be so much colder than the last one was), do stay safe...




Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Cosentino's biggest stand ever featured exclusive VIP lounge to showcase new launches

* Sensa_by_Cosentino.jpgCosentino Group, renowned globally for its production and distribution of innovative surfaces for architecture and design, hosted its biggest stand to date at KBB Birmingham, with an impressive 170sq.m set including an exclusive VIP lounge from which it launched striking new shades for its Silestone Eternal quartz surface range as well as showcasing exotic new quartzites for its Sensa by Cosentino protected natural stone collection.

Visitors were also treated to a preview of new concrete inspired designs for the Spanish multinational's Silestone quartz and versatile Dekton ultra-compact surfaces.

Keeping up to date with new ideas and technology

* Keeping-up-to-date.jpgWe got chatting to Daniel Paul, managing director of One Off Kitchens (l) visiting the show with tiler Spencer Tainton, director, Sun Ceramics. Based close to Swansea in Wales but covering a wide area with their work, they said they were at the Show to look at the latest trends and to ensure they keep up to date with new technology. Seeing everything 'under one roof' proved useful.

From kitchen to living space in seamless fashion with Masterclass

* Masterclass1.jpgWith kitchen design being a lifestyle choice, Masterclass Kitchens presented two varied concepts at the show; one catering to a thoroughly modern lifestyle and the other with something a little more classic in mind.

The display made a real impression on stand visitors and if you weren't able to make it onto the stand, here's a link to a short video that will give you a flavor of the gorgeous displays you missed and the reactions of those enjoying them:

Hafele UK, Vauth-Sagel, Grass: Three-way partnership to cater for life's changing needs

* Hafele_Katie-Holloway.jpgHafele UK's Katie Holloway (pictured with some of the POS material) told us that the stand was based on the theme 'Thinking ahead', that since modern life is providing us all with more challenges - from shrinking living space, the rapid development of technology and the ever-changing needs of the family unit, we need to build furniture so that each element is perfect for the way we live now and the way we will live in years to come.

Uform reflects on successful first attendance at KBB

* Uform-stand.jpgAs Uform celebrates a momentous year with a brand refresh and its 25th year in business, no one could envisage the level of enthusiasm and excitement that its first official attendance at KBB Birmingham would bring to the kitchen industry.

One of the largest at the show, the 256.5sq.m stand impressively showcased innovation at its finest with four brand new kitchen ranges, five new stained colours and six new paint to order colours on display.

Immense success for KBBG

* KBB-success-KBBG.jpgBill Miller, managing director of the Kitchen & Bathroom Buying Group, enjoyed immense success at the show: "KBB Birmingham was a superb opportunity for the KBBG and it was a pleasure to welcome many new faces as well as members and suppliers to our stand," he said.

"The exhibition provides the industry with an excellent platform of opportunity to see the very latest products and services as well as revive old contacts and make new ones."

Terry Design taken with Bauformat bright

* Terry-Design-Bauformat.jpgIt was hard to miss this sunny yellow Bauformat kitchen - it was absolutely stunning and like lots of the displays at KBB Birmingham this year was part of a striking two colour design; this one was set against rich dark worktops with streaks of gold.

John Hutchinson of Portadown, Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland, was admiring it too and we persuaded him to rest his legs and pose for our picture.

BMA signs up new member at successful KBB

* BMA-signs-at-KBB.jpgThe Bathroom Manufacturers Association has joined industry leaders in declaring KBB Birmingham 2018 a great success. BMA CEO Yvonne Orgill said that the show provided a superb opportunity for the BMA to network with members and promote its important messages to the industry.

"It was good to see so many quality brands support KBB 2018," she said. "The event provided us with a platform to remind and educate the industry about our two current campaigns, compliant products for the bathroom industry and the use of the European water label.

Abacus Bathrooms, Lustrolite and Elements display innovations at KBB 2018

* Lustrolite-lovely.jpgAbacus Bathrooms, renowned for technical prowess in bathroom design and product portfolios, highlighted innovation by showing the build and fitting of individual systems; all guaranteed to result in the perfect bathroom in terms of style and function.

The stand was packed when we arrived and Alex Phillips-Baker, head of operations, told us that it had been like this throughout the show, with visitors keen to see first-hand the company's products and learn from the stand team just why the products have a reputation for being so easy to install.

A quick peek at Peka...

* Quick-peek-at-Peka.jpgIt wasn't the largest stand at the show, but Peka stood out, thanks to the feeling of old-fashioned opulence that the display by this Swiss manufacturer of premium quality storage solutions and accessories evoked...

Not that there was anything old-fashioned about the exhibits - everything was of state-of-the-art design and the shelving and drawers moved smoothly and silently out of their units, as if they were fluid rather than solid.

Keller Kitchens - Dutch design showcased with new Trend Collection taking centre stage

* Keller1.jpgKeller Kitchens brought Dutch design to the show, demonstrating how its beautiful, continental styles make every house a home. From handleless contemporary designs to industrial looks, Keller provides the market with quality products of the highest standard. In the UK, the brand has been building its profile and reputation with leading independent kitchen specialists that are tuned into the company's quality and expertise.

New for KBB 2018 is the Keller Trend Collection which complements the established Comfort and Master Collections perfectly, while demonstrating how Keller is at the forefront of today's style innovations, answering designers' demands quickly.

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

Winning awards for innovation...

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Virtual 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.

Congratulations to KBSA for Award win!

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When 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!

Pretty in pink!

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Melissa, 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.

BMA 'incredibly busy'

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The 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...

Fantastic flexibility in refrigeration

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If there's anything that made us wish we had a larger kitchen it was this Caple fridge freezer (loved the gorgeous Graphite hue too!) which offers very clever flexibility in terms of use.

While the top half is always a fridge and the lower right hand compartment is always a freezer, the user can change the lower right hand compartment from fridge to freezer and back again, at the flick of a switch, to suit storage needs at the time.

Successful show for Mereway

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The Mereway Group stand was busy every day and produced one of the best results ever for the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom manufacturer. There was lots to see...

One of the displays that really impressed visitors was this beautifully-designed unit that enables those lucky people with large kitchens to hide away all the cleaning products, washing & drying equipment - and, if perhaps they're secret drinkers - the bar!

Cosy copper beautifully displayed

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Hurlingham Baths featured several displays which made us feel we were strolling past the windows of a smart store. There was lots of luxurious copper on display in the room sets.

The stand team told us that some of Hurlingham's beautiful slipper baths are available in an extended length of 2000mm for those that need a little extra leg room and that several new basins, a shower tray, basins and taps have been added to the copper range, together with mirrors with copper surrounds.

Full steam ahead for Steamist

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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.

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.

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.

Soundbathe in good company as Google enters hidden speaker market

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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.

There are no visible wires, it's waterproof, hidden and completely safe and hygienic, all simply controlled from your smartphone!


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.

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