KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
22nd June 2012


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International News




KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002


We strongly recommend viewing KBzine full size in your web browser. Click our masthead above to visit our website version.


Q1 figures reflect second highest mark in two years

The US National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) has released the Kitchen & Bath Market Report for the first quarter. Results conveyed that showroom traffic, which is traditionally up and down from quarter to quarter, rose 8% in the first quarter of the year to 24 consumers visiting the average kitchen and bath showroom in March. While this remains 13% down from a year ago, Q1 of 2011 was a particularly standout quarter. This quarter's figure is the second-highest mark over the past two years.

Curves in all the right places...

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Hanex solid surfacing offers stand-out design flexibility for kitchens, nowhere better shown than this stunning 3m long elliptical island unit made entirely in S-008 N White. The bespoke unit was designed for a discerning kitchen client whose brief was to make a strong design statement, while combining true functionality.

Amica launches 8kg machine in new washing range

European appliances brand Amica has launched a brand new range of washing machines to the UK and Ireland. Amica's 2012-product line-up now offers a choice of eight washing machines, each A+ rated for energy efficiency with a raft of highly saleable features and load capacities from 5kg to 8kg to suit any household.

New brand launch: Live Life The Mereway

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A coffee is just a coffee, right?

An instant coffee is just that, instantly made and instantly forgotten, but a coffee that has had time, passion and effort lavished on it is a coffee to be savoured, enjoyed and never forgotten.

This is the philosophy behind the new Mereway Kitchens brand. There are kitchens and then there are Mereway kitchens. An ethos captured in the new strapline 'Live Life The Mereway'.

New fridge-freezers: fresher colours, fresher ingredients

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Glossy red, chocolate brown, lime green and ebony black stainless steel fridge freezers from Electrolux are designed to give any kitchen a lift. While the others are painted, the ebony black model gets its colour from a clever finishing process, which facilitates a true colour stainless steel.

Zesty Zurich for fabulous drinking water

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Franke has updated its Pro-Value portfolio with the innovative new two lever FilterFlow Zurich model, for filtered water at an affordable premium.

EQ launches new 2D Planner for eStore

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KBB business management systems and eCommerce solutions provider EQ Software, introduces MyRoomPlan - an exciting brand new 2D Planning Tool. This product will enhance EQ's already successful eStore product and is available exclusively as an additional sales & marketing element for furniture and bathrooms.

Concealed dual flow heads come in two styles

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Cifial's new Dual Flow Concealed Heads come in a square or rectangular option. These spectacular shower heads have two water inlets, one to feed the waterfall function, the other for the rain spray. This enables the user to have the choice of just the waterfall, or the rain spray, or for a more vigorous shower have both options on at the same time.

EU Policymakers weigh options for water pricing

Putting a price on water is essential to encourage savings but EU policymakers are cautious not to spark a social backlash with a one-size-fits-all solution. "Pay more if you use more" is, however, a model which could work, the MEP in charge of water issues told EurActiv.

Urban Life from Hafele

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Offering the latest fresh and striking handle designs, the Urban collection from Hafele includes a series of knobs, bar, inset and D handles formed from such materials as wood, wood and metal combinations, plastic, leather and acrylic.

This variety of contemporary designs incorporates elements of soft curves and straight lines bringing natural and man-made materials into the home.

Welcome to the


Yesterday was the longest day of the year in the UK yet those of us living here would never have thought so; it started off grey and dreary and remained that way. Today has been worse and it's chilly and windy, so I'm pleased that we've been able to include some news this week to 'warm the cockles of your heart', as the saying goes!

Before using that phrase in KBZine I thought I ought to check that I had it right, bearing in mind I'd never seen it written anywhere. Initially my interpretation that it meant 'delighting your innermost feelings' was backed up by wikianswers.com, but the site went on to argue that Kachels (pronounced cockles) are tiles covering stoves and fireplaces (kachelovens) that radiate heat and that the expression is a corruption of the phrase, 'May it warm the kachels of your hearth'. The site goes on to explain that a kacheloven is fuel efficient and radiates heat long after the fire is out, which is all rather clever as it brings me nicely back to the point that I was making in the first place - the acknowledgement by so many firms that we need to become more efficient!

In this week's issue alone, we have B & V developing systems that allow manufacturers to use process water more sustainably (the company has delivered what is thought to be the first zero carbon non-consumptive river intake and return loop in Europe), an encouraging report on the technologies used in low/zero carbon homes - and Ellis Furniture celebrating the clocking up of 236 years' service by five employees! This long service is testament to the company's commitment to providing apprenticeships and when you compare the money spent on thoroughly training the team with the costs of dealing with a potentially high staff turnover and the possibility of the manufacture of second-rate furniture by less than expert staff, it throws things into a different light, doesn't it, so this is really another example of efficiency and sustainability.




Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

The Furniture Ombudsman at the annual Trading Standards Conference

The Furniture Ombudsman will again be present at the national Trading Standards Institute Conference, which this year will be held in Manchester from 26th - 28th June. The annual conference brings together hundreds of local and central government professionals who have an interest in Trading Standards and consumer affairs in the UK.

Jablite's technical team tightens focus on key customers

In what is seen by many as a daring move, insulation solutions provider Jablite has taken the decision to close its technical information line.

"We have a talented and dedicated of technical advisors and they are leading our innovations process," explains Steve Broadhurst, Technical Manager, Jablite.

Glitz & Glam!

* Hafele-Disco.jpgThe collective group of Glitz & Glam, available from Hafele UK, includes Disco, Glitter and Crystal handles, bringing sparkling sophistication to British bathroom and bedroom design.

Disco brings back the long awaited restyle of mirrored mosaics to the bathroom, available in a 60mm knob and a 204mm pull handle the zinc alloy, polished chrome finish bounces light around the room creating a more spacious feel.

NHBC Foundation examines the technologies used in low and zero carbon homes

House builders are increasingly incorporating low and zero carbon (LZC) technologies into new homes as part of their approach to achieving the on-site performance requirements expected from the Government's target for all new homes to be zero carbon from 2016. But which technologies are being installed, and what do the occupiers of these homes feel about them?

Rangemaster stars alongside Marco Pierre White in Channel 5's Kitchen Wars

* Rangemaster-Kw_Sharjo.jpgThis June sees a new A-list partnership unveiled as Rangemaster, Britain's popular range cooker brand, stars alongside Marco Pierre White in Channel 5's new series 'Marco Pierre White's Kitchen Wars'.

Utopia bathroom graphics now available in ArtiCAD-Pro

CAD software specialist for the KBB sector, ArtiCAD, has announced that the full range of Utopia Bathroom Group's products is now available as a comprehensive graphics catalogue within ArtiCAD-Pro. With the inclusion of this new library from one of the UK's leading bathroom manufacturers, designers using ArtiCAD-Pro can select the specific items they require and incorporate them within their design.

Maytag improves iconic Trilogy fridge freezer with internal water dispenser

* Maytag-Trilogy-FF.jpgMaytag, the premium appliance manufacturer renowned for its quality and reliability, has enhanced the fully cladded Trilogy M3lW20CBG8 fridge freezer by adding an internal water dispenser.

Maytag's super premium Trilogy fridge freezer is now available with an internal water dispenser, ready with chilled, filtered water at the touch of a button, perfect for the home entertainer.

B & V Water Treatment calls for action after WWF report

* B_V-Water-Treatment.jpgThree recent reports highlighting the global economic damage which will be caused by unsustainable water consumption have prompted a call by leading water treatment and water saving engineering company B & V for organisations to reduce their water footprint.

Ellis Furniture commends loyalty of long serving employees

* T-Ellis_Hughes_R-Ellis.jpgEllis Furniture, the Huddersfield-based manufacturer of kitchen and bathroom furniture, is commending the loyalty of its long serving members of staff, as five employees - who have dedicated their careers to Ellis Furniture - have notched up a staggering combined 236 years service to the family-owned furniture manufacturer.

MBE for specialist tiling contractor

* Bob-Howard_MBE.jpgRobert Howard, managing director of Wilson & Wylie Contracts, was awarded the MBE in the Queen's Jubilee Honours List announced last week, in recognition of his services to the British wall and floor tile industry.

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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 KBzine founded by Richard & Debbie Schwarz


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Recent News

Bosch and Methven back UK Water Efficiency Awards 2012

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Domestic appliance manufacturer Bosch and global designer and manufacturer of premium showers and tapware, Methven UK, have joined forces to back the UK Water Efficiency Awards 2012.

British Ceramic Tile joins 'Great British' celebrations this Summer unveiling plans for change

This summer there's no better time to celebrate being the best of British and to commemorate this momentous occasion, British Ceramic Tile has announced a series of key changes as the company implements its ambitious plan to become a one-stop super shop for all tile, stone and glass products.

Total support for specifiers

Anyone needing to specify tiling can do so with complete confidence, thanks to the total support offered free by BAL. The popular name in professional tile adhesives and grouts, renowned for setting standards in tiler training, makes its expertise freely available to specifiers.

Figures show public sector house building still low, but private sector making progress

Figures released today by NHBC have shown public sector registrations to build new homes in the UK are still below last year's figures.

An opportunity for the industry to get involved with transforming neglected London dock into 'creative hub'?

Thames Water has donated 2.5 acres of property in a bid to help a new property-focused crowdfunding website raise thousands of pounds to transform a neglected London dock into a creative hub ahead of the Olympics.

Annual Bathroom Conference: booking now

Bookings are now being taken for the Annual Bathroom Conference, which is taking place on 9th October at Heythrop Park in Oxfordshire and is open to everyone in the KBB Industry.

The Bathroom Manufacturers Association's Yvonne Orgill tells us that places are filling up - so do book soon to make sure you don't miss on this popular event, which promises to be even better than last year

Dimplex launches online guide to green energy

We knew Dimplex was an expert in electric heating, but what we didn't know is that it is also a market leader in renewable energy solutions, with what the company says is the widest range of heat pumps available in the UK. Now the company is sharing its expertise with the launch of a handy new website to guide everyone through all the green heating and hot water options that are available.


Andrew Bentley joins Ambiance Bain as UK National Sales Manager

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Andrew Bentley has joined Ambiance Bain as UK National Sales Manager, reporting to the Sales & Marketing Director, Nygel G. McCormac. He replaces Nicola Tomlinson, who will return in an alternative senior sales & marketing role next year, following her maternity leave.


Franke develops useful 'Trade Area' for retailers

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In response to feedback from retailers, Franke has developed a new 'Trade Area' on the company's website - specially designed for Franke trade customers.

Franke is the leading global manufacturer of sinks for domestic use and has a 100-year heritage so retailers can be assured that, in specifying a Franke sink, they will be giving customers the best quality, best design and the reassurance of a 50-year guarantee.


All you need is Essential from Carron Phoenix

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Carron Phoenix has relaunched its popular Essential Collection and renamed it the Essential Value Sink & Tap Pack Range with an overhauled product profile and a clearly designed new eight page brochure. 

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