KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
27th April 2012


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

International News

Brussels is to push for EU-wide minimum wage

Yesterday, the European Commission proposed the introduction of a minimum wage in countries such as Germany - which doesn't at present have one - and raise wages where they are considered too low, according to a draft seen by EurActiv.

Intelligent building technology from Hafele

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The Gira Radio Bus system is a flexible, intelligent system which allows you to control lighting, heating and security systems around commercial and domestic properties.

This clever system consists of receivers and wireless transmitters allowing it to be retro-fitted into existing buildings with minimum fuss. Signals are transmitted via radio to each individual receiver, perfect for installing onto glass, furniture or where a lack of cabling would normally prevent the fitting of controls - such as a kitchen island for example.

Gira Radio Bus is the perfect solution for any renovation and modernisation project.

T: 01788 548811
W: www.hafele.co.uk

Franke inspires customers with a new app

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Franke has designed a new iPad app so that customers can discover the complete UK product range of sinks, taps and cooker hoods at their fingertips, and be inspired when designing their perfect kitchen. The app allows customers to select from one of two main options: celebrity experience or product experience.

Ecobuild unites global sustainable built environment community with over 57,000 attendees


Ecobuild, the world's leading event for sustainable design, construction and the built environment, brought together more than 57,000 industry professionals last month at London's ExCeL.

NKBA announces the 2011/2012 Student Design Competition winners

The US National Kitchen & Bath Association has this week announced the 10 winners of the 2011/2012 NKBA Student Design Competition, which offers more than $10,000 in scholarships and prizes. The winners will be awarded at the NKBA Design Competition Awards event nextTuesday, April 24th at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) held at Chicago's McCormick Place This prominent industry event will also recognise the professional designers who created the best kitchens and baths of the past year. The event is an exclusive event available only to the press, top designers, and select industry insiders.

Mike Campbell writes about the opening of Sally UK Shower Equipment's UK Office

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"Zhongshan Sally Shower Equipment has been trading here in the UK now for over six years with some excellent OEM and Bathroom product distributors, our main customers being handled either directly through our international trade department or our European based trading agent", states Mike Campbell Managing Director of Sally UK.

The iKBBI is moving

After five years at its headquarters in Canary Wharf, London, The Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers is moving to new offices east of the capital.

Inta lobbies on behalf of the Water Label

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Anti-scald tap, shower and valve manufacturer Inta has received a commitment from Jeremy Lefroy, MP for Stafford, that he will support the Water Label within Parliament and lobby for bathroom products to be included in the Government's forthcoming Green Deal.

kbb Birmingham exceeded expectations and really delivered

A press release issued by the organisers of KBB Birmingham echoes what we've been saying ourselves; that the show was a great success, there was a real air of optimism from exhibitors and visitors alike and those that decided not to support it this year, definitely missed out.

Apex Interior Systems

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Despite having been manufacturing bespoke vinyl wrapped kitchen and bedroom doors, drawers, panelling and accessories for the past 17 years from its premises in Burscough, Lancashire, specialist supplier to independent installers, retailers and manufacturers, Apex Interior Systems, was exhibiting at KBB Birmingham for the first time!

Welcome to the

With figures released this week showing that our economy is not doing that well and local elections taking place in some areas next week, many of us have been paying closer attention to the various parties' manifestos - although as we know from past experience, the promises and subsequent delivery are often somewhat different!

Following the inclusion of UKIP's Nick Farage on this week's Question Time and the realisation that the party is finally being taken seriously by the establishment, I felt it was time to visit the party's website.

There was lots of interest to read but three items in the manifesto warrant mention here: the undertaking to cut council waiting lists by filling empty properties, a promise to cut VAT on the refurbishment of existing buildings and a commitment to reduce the red tape that is so damaging to our businesses. Add to this the pledge to provide free parking in London all day on Sundays (allowing potential customers the chance to park up virtually anywhere to browse any of the industry's showrooms they might come upon) and this could be good news for the KBB industry.

What do you think?



Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

New homes figures reveal continuing public/private sector divide

Figures released today by NHBC have shown the gap between private and public sector registrations to build new homes in the UK continues to widen, with social housing showing a 54% decrease for March 2012, compared to March last year (2,460 - 5,330).

TTA Awards: a night to remember

* winner-most-innovative-tile-installation.jpgLast Saturday, the Birmingham Hilton Hotel hosted the 14th annual TTA Awards, honouring the very best of the wall and floor tile industry, and celebrating excellence throughout the past year.

10 kitchen and bath trends and treatments to inspire

The National Kitchen & Bath Association reveals the prevailing trends seen in the 2012 NKBA Design Competition

Out of the nearly 500 designs submitted to the 2012 NKBA Design Competition, rose some presiding themes. Fixtures, finishes, materials, colour palettes, technology, shapes, focal points and overall geometry are a few among the complex considerations that talented creative-thinkers factor into their plans when generating a room design. Be inspired and enjoy examples of ten trends and treatments to inspire!

Rangemaster and Articad: design online for the world renowned range cookers

* Articad_Rangemaster.jpgCAD software specialist for the KBB sector, ArtiCAD, has announced that Rangemaster has chosen its new online design tool  - MyRoomFinish - to help consumers select which model and colour of range cooker would most suit their kitchen.

FIRA members WCFM Sustainability Award success

* Hugh_Garforth-Bles.jpgThe Furniture Industry Research Association's is pleased to congratulate its member, Orangebox, on receiving The Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers Sustainability Award for 2012.

Crosswater Holdings joins BMA

* BMA-Crosswater.jpgCrosswater Holdings, with its rapidly expanding Crosswater, Simpsons, and Bauhaus bathroom brands, has joined the Bathroom Manufacturers Association.

LDL launches new, large capacity Wesco waste system

* LDL-WESCO-Pullboy.jpgLDL Components has extended its range of waste solutions with the introduction of the new 84 litre capacity Pullboy Z waste system from leading German manufacturer Wesco. This new addition to the popular Pullboy Z range is divided into 2 x 42 litre bins and can also be used with a full extension storage tray that sits above giving easy access to sponges, cloths, dishwasher tablets, etc.

Markey Group unveils £1.1m biomass facility

* Markey-biomass-facility.jpgGloucester-based Markey Group demonstrated its red hot green credentials last week by holding an environmental awareness event to mark the official launch of its innovative, new £1.1 million biomass facility. The environmentally-friendly state-of-the art burner runs on wood waste generated by Premiere Kitchens - a subsidiary of Markey Group.

Maytag launches new tumble dryer with a A-50% energy efficiency

* Maytag-Heat-Pump-Tumble-Dryer.jpgThe new Maytag condenser tumble dryer, MTD09HPWH, achieves an eco-friendly energy rating of A-50% through innovative heat pump technology.

Designed and engineered to perform exceptionally well, every detail of the drying process has been carefully assessed and improved to save our natural resources. Its ultra-efficiency is attained using compressed refrigerant gas, which is circulated around a closed circuit and passed through a heat exchanger where the gas is condensed, releasing the heat rapidly and efficiently. This highly effective system equates to exceptional energy savings, making the Maytag tumble dryer 50% more efficient than an A-energy rated dryer.

Luxury bed-maker wins Queen's Award for Excellence

* Vi-Spring_wins_Queen___'s_Award_for_Excellence.jpgDevon-based Vi-Spring, renowned the world over for its handmade luxury beds, has been awarded the prestigious Queen's Award for Excellence. The British bed-maker has been recognised for producing bespoke beds of the highest quality, resulting in substantial growth in overseas sales. HM The Queen marked Vi-Spring's success in her birthday honours on 21st April 2012.

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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Symphony's Spring Promotion shows support for retailers

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UK fitted furniture manufacturer Symphony, is continuing to show its support to retailers with a major spring price promotion.

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