KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
16th March 2012


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Please note that you are viewing an archived issue of The KBzine.

International News

Award winning quality and design

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The award winning flush sliding door system: Eku Frontino 20, is now available from Hafele UK to allow flexible, design-led solutions to suit sideboards or wall cabinets in the kitchen, bathroom, living room or office.

Welcome to the



Welcome to Part Two of our KBB Birmingham 2012 show review.

No doubt when you've read it, you'll agree that there were some fantastic new products and schemes launched.

More next week...



Jan Hobbs


This Week's News


* Bushboard.jpg'Sensational surfaces for kitchens and bathrooms' said it all on the Bushboard stand as the company previewed its latest designs and innovations in laminates, solid surfacing and a new man-made stone brand.

Pando / The Lightworks

* Pando-1.jpg"That's an unusual light," remarked John. I agreed, until on closer examination I realised it was a cooker hood! And once we'd been drawn onto the stand we couldn't help notice that it was full of unusual cooker hoods and lights. Talk about statement pieces!

Our favourite cooker hood was the aptly named Cobra (pictured in the background below) as it looks as if it's a cobra drawn back and ready to strike.


* Rangemaster1.jpgThis year Rangemaster used the show to launch the Professional+ FX 100. The brand new contemporary design features Rangemaster's celebrated drop down doors for flexible and easy access to your dishes, paired with the sought-after 'continental' style twin cavity, already synonymous with the Rangemaster Professional and Classic Deluxe ranges.

Pegler Yorkshire

* Pegler.jpgPegler always does something special to attract visitors to its stand; last time it was a craftsman sculpting one of the company's range of taps from a block of ice; this year it was a shower falling in a pattern that showed images and the company's name spelled out against a coloured backdrop. The team told us it looked even bolder when the lights were off but we thought it was brilliant as it was!


* Bohle-Portavant-60.jpgThe exhibition attracted just the right kind of people for Bohle, the Manchester-based manufacturer and supplier of glass installation products. Alic McCabe, Sales Promotion Manager, said on the final day: "We've had a steady stream of visitors every day and unusually we even took orders on the stand for our new sliding glass door system, Portavant 60 (pictured above). For Bohle, KBB 2012 has been well worthwhile.


* Franke-Minerva.jpgFranke's stand was constantly busy and it was the last day before we were able to speak to Marketing Manager Jeanette Ward and Commercial Director David Houghton (pictured below) to discuss the many new sinks, taps and hoods on show. With the kitchen very much a fashion statement today, the company is consciously adapting designs to fit various materials in its product portfolio.

Schueller, presented by Inhouse

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Transform Communications' Ronnie Hannon and Sophie Langley invited us to sit down in one of the display kitchens and treated us to a much-needed cold drink before showing us around this and the rest of the kitchens on show... so - comfortable AND functional then!

A new launch - and seen for the first time in the UK - is the fantastic next125 kitchen NX902 in stone grey glass.

KBBNTG, KBSA, BMA and EQ Software launched CPD workshops

The Kitchen, Bedrooms, Bathrooms National Training Group; The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association; the Bathroom Manufacturers Association and EQ Software used the show to launch the new CPD (Continuous Professional Development) workshops. They are all clearly excited at the development of training programmes specifically for the kbb sectors, as they are not brand-specific activities - but offer the designers a total market view - which research has shown is what they are asking for.


* Roca2.jpgIt wasn't surprising perhaps, that Roca's stand was so busy, since it was showcasing the company's fantastic collection of new products for 2012.

Carron Phoenix

* Carron-Phoenix-Samoa-granite.jpgCarron Phoenix had an enormous stand, which Sales & Marketing Manager Neil Clark (pictured below) explained had been set up as six pavilions to make navigation easier for those visitors searching for a particular range or something in a particular price bracket. Clever that!

Austin Bathrooms

* Stonearth1.jpgCreating natural stone and wood furniture has been a huge success in the bathroom industry. So, keen to take its sleek bathrooms to the next level, Stonearth Interiors used the show to launch a sister brand, Austin Bathrooms.

Simple, stylish designs and precision engineering is what were told Austin products are all about. The company's innovative range ticks every box, thanks to its MarbleTech material. The basins and baths crafted with it are stone rich, seamlessly solid and warm to the touch.


* Croydex.jpgCroydex has brought a splash of colour to its bathroom cabinets and accessories offering, with a range of coloured steel cabinets which enables homeowners to add a splash of brightness to the any-sized bathroom. And the display certainly stopped visitors in their tracks!

The KBzine Archive Search

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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

Winners of the KBB Review Awards 2012 announced at dazzling ceremony

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The winners of the kbbreview Awards 2012 were revealed at an exquisite and much-anticipated ceremony a little after the Show closed its doors on Monday. The awards, hosted by Taylist Media's kbbreview magazine, recognised the very best in the kitchen and bathroom industry, with categories ranging from design to business.

Drawers, doors and lifting systems - a study into the real usage of kitchens

FIRA Project Manager, Sue Calver, presented the findings of a study into the real usage of kitchens at kbb 2012 on Monday.

BMA and B&Q team up at Show to help industry 'talk clearly' to consumers

The Bathroom Manufacturers Association and DIY retailer B&Q have announced following KBB Birmingham that they are to collaborate on a new piece of research into how the industry should communicate with consumers about saving water.

Growth of construction sector activity accelerates to 11-month high

* Stronger expansion of new business supports rise in output 

* Employment falls, but only marginally

* Business confidence reaches a nine-month high 

February data signalled a solid rise in the UK construction sector output, extending the current sequence of growth to 14 months. The stronger expansion in activity was supported by a sharp rise in new work intakes. However, accelerated growth of both new business and output were insufficient to prevent a fall in employment. Meanwhile, a fourth successive improvement in confidence was indicated.

Management buyout for Waterfront Bathrooms

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The Directors and Management of New River Holdings, the company behind the long established bathroom distributor Robert Lee, have announced that they have recently helped finance a management buyout of the bathroom brand Waterfront Bathrooms, thus ensuring that this respected brand name remains alive and well within the industry.

Kitchen Retailer Exchange at Blum

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The Retail Services Division of Blum UK has launched a series of Kitchen Retailer Exchange events to be held for one day at the company's centrally located Milton Keynes facility.

InstallerLive and the HHIC join forces

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InstallerLive, the largest national event for installers of plumbing, heating and renewable technologies, has teamed up with the Heating & Hotwater Industry Council to bring a brand new feature area to the exhibition in 2012, the Boiler Workshop and Legislation Hub.

Major new TV series seeks Britain's most colourful and unconventional workplaces

BAFTA award winning documentary company Dragonfly Film and Television, maker of super hit shows The Hotel and One Born Every Minute is looking to produce a feel-good documentary series that profiles remarkable businesses to find out what working life is like in a 21st century British workplace.

Protection vital in volatile market, warns KBSA

The news that the Homeform Group will not pay out on any customer warranties or guarantees has prompted the national trade association for the kitchen bathroom and bedroom industry, the Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association, to warn consumers that it is still vital to buy from retailers that offer financial protection.

New standard for furniture hardware

The Furniture Industry Research Association has announced the publication of a new standard for furniture hardware: 'BS EN 15939: 2011 Hardware for furniture. Strength and loading capacity of wall attachment devices'.

BMA's delight in welcoming new member - Dietsche

Roman Dietsche Gmbh, the well-respected German bathroom products manufacturer, has become the latest recruit to the expanding Bathroom Manufacturers Association.

Ecobuild is just four weeks away

Ecobuild, the world's biggest event for sustainable design, construction and the built environment, opens in exactly a month and the organisers are promising:

KBSA welcomes back three members

Highlighting the value of belonging to a professional association, especially in a tough economic climate, the Kitchen Bathroom Specialists Association has announced the return of three previous members.


Tyldesley tiler named as leading professional

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David Stott, of Tyldesley-based Elite Tiling, has won the national 'Tiler of the Month' accolade from TilerWorld, the free web site for tilers and their customers. He was chosen for his tiling quality and high standards of customer service, shown by reviews posted on TilerWorld alongside customer ratings.

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