KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
4th May 2012


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

International News

TTA Awards: a night to remember

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Last 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

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CAD 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.

LDL launches new, large capacity Wesco waste system

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LDL 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.

Luxury bed-maker wins Queen's Award for Excellence

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Devon-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.

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.

Welcome to the


Well, here comes another Bank Holiday and as well as further heavy rainfall and flooding, we’re being threatened with snow!

The good news for our industry of course is that it will keep everyone off the beaches and hopefully encourage them to browse some showrooms and spend lots of money on home improvements instead.

I need a new kitchen and bathroom but there is so much available that I love, I don’t quite know where to start when it comes to choosing what’s best for me and what will fit into the spaces I have… so much so that despite thinking, when producing my first KBzine nearly three years ago: “This job will make things much easier,” I’m still no further forward with the refurbishment. Indeed being party to so much that is new and exciting, has made making that choice so much harder for me!

As you may imagine, I’m going to be registering for the 2012 Architect in the House initiative, which raises money for charity by matching a local architect up with a confused householder for an hour’s consultation, in return for a donation to Shelter, the charity that supports the homeless.

It’s a great initiative for all concerned and you can read more about it below.

If you’re lucky enough to be having some time off this weekend, do enjoy it and I hope you manage to keep your feet dry…




Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Revealed: the biggest secret In the bathroom industry

Bathrooms-Group-Jersey.jpgBathroom Brands has just revealed that it is the biggest bathroom company that no one has heard of!

Bathroom Brands Group, in its current form, dates from 2011, when CEO Patrick Riley brought together the European Bathroom business and the Crosswater Group.  Last Wednesday, in Jersey, the Channel Islands., the Group - notably the third largest selling bathroom and shower products in the UK - unveiled its newly built head office and conference facilities at the marina in St Helier and announced a new member of the team.

Applications for ‘2012 Architect in the House’ initiative, now open

Property owners across the UK are being invited to sign up for the 2012 Architect in the House initiative, devised by housing charity Shelter and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and sponsored by insulation specialist Rockwool.

The popular UK-wide scheme provides the public with hour-long consultations with RIBA Chartered Architects who donate their time for free, in exchange for a £40 suggested donation to Shelter.

An open letter to Sir James Dyson

from Yvonne Orgill, Chief executive of the Water Label

1st May 2012 Dear Sir James,

I read with interest your piece in The Telegraph yesterday calling for innovative solutions for the home to reduce water consumption.

You are correct that there is a large amount of plumbing in our homes that is outdated and wasteful. An analysis we undertook on CLG/BRE data shows there are 1 million toilets in the UK which pre-date 1960, so use 13 litres or more of water per flush. Power showers from the 80s and 90s were incredibly wasteful, getting through 20 or even 30 litres of water per minute.

Ellis Furniture reports fantastic response to new Galaxy and Opal kitchen ranges

* Ellis-Furniture-Opal-Gloss-Maize.jpgEllis Furniture is reporting a fantastic response to the launch of the handle-less Opal and Galaxy kitchen ranges. Delivering the utmost in sleek minimalist kitchen design, both ranges have been incredibly well received by both retailers and consumers alike.

Galaxy, with its lustrous smooth silk finish brings sophistication to the kitchen space, whilst the eye catching Opal delivers a superb on-trend high gloss finish. Combined, the two ranges offer a total of 10 stunning finishes; from the darker tones of Anthracite, Aubergine and Mocha, and the lighter shades of Maize, Pebble and Platinum in the Galaxy range; to exquisite finishes in the Opal range, including atmospheric Gloss White, timeless Gloss Stone and Gloss Canvas, and the very latest on-trend Gloss Maize.

BMA's WEPLS 'Water Label' is adopted in Europe

TheWaterLabel.jpg1 Europe = 1 Label

A single Water Label for taps, shower valves and shower heads moves a step closer.

Trade Associations from a number of European countries representing the tap, shower valves and handsets industry, together with major European manufacturers, have completed the first phase in the development of a single Water Label for bathroom products.

Leading UK bathroom supplier enters Forum’s late payment Hall of Shame

A leading UK producer of bathroom products has been entered in to the Forum of Private Business’s late payment ‘Hall of Shame’ after it increased its payment times from 30 to 60 days.

It has also introduced an accumulation period for invoicing which can add up to another 30 days to the process – taking it to as much as 90 days for payments to suppliers to clear.

CCS passes £60 million in Q1 2012

Consumer Credit Solutions the home improvement market credit broker, achieved over £60 million of approved loans during the first quarter of 2012. The spectacular figure puts the business on track to achieve a quarter of a billion pounds of approved loans in 2012.

Previously CCS achieved its best ever trading quarter in Q4 2011, managing an approved lending figure of just over £51 million for homeowners. This coincided with its best ever October with £18.9 million of approved loans. In total the company managed over £200 million of approved loans during 2011.

Candour – a taste of things to come…

Abode-Candour.jpgThe Abode Candour range is a major new minimalist product line for the bathroom which is beautifully designed and manufactured from stainless steel.  The single lever basin and bidet taps have modern and stylish pencil slim levers and drop-head spouts.

The Abode designers have epitomised the luxury feel of the new Candour taps by creating a stylish floor mounted bath filler with shower handset, wall mounted basin and bath fillers, along with and elegant, easy-to-install thermostatic wall shower post.

Candour will be available from October 2012.

T:  01226 283434

F: 01226 282434

W: www.abode.eu

Tile Depot join TTA

Tile Depot has been confirmed as the newest member of The Tile Association. With TTA's membership rapidly expanding, companies operating within the wall and floor tile industry continue to see the importance of being a member of an organisation which promotes professionalism and technical standards in the tiling industry, as well as providing technical support to both members and their customers.

"Tile Depot is proud to be a member of the Tile Association, as its expert advice and support to the tile industry are invaluable," says Tile Depot's Managing Director Danny Steptoe.

Innovative price pledge coincides with new product book

Franke-Catalogue-2012.jpgFranke Washroom Systems’ 2012 sales catalogue is now available, and it coincides with the company’s introduction of the Franke Washrooms Systems Price Pledge.

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

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).

FIRA members WCFM Sustainability Award success

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The 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

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


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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