KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
23rd November 2012


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

International News

Energy efficiency projects in construction successful despite economic crisis

A change in strategy can result in project success in tough economic times, as a conference on renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in the construction industry has shown. Twenty-two coordinators for Concerto projects subsidised by the EU went to the Brussels conference to share their experiences.

The Irish Republic has been one of the countries most hard-hit by the financial crisis; "This has been a success during the deepest crisis Ireland has ever experienced," said Seamus Hoyne from the Limerick Institute of Technology in summarising his project experiences, and the results do indeed speak for themselves - 400 buildings renovated and 50 energy-efficient buildings built from scratch. 

EQ Software develops TradeZone Ordering Link for PWS

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EQ Software the, kbb specific business management and eCommerce solutions provider, has revolutionised the order process for the PWS TradeZone online ordering system.

Larger waterproof TVs for lucky bathers...

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Waterproof and in-wall television pioneer, Aquavision, has introduced two larger sizes to its Frameless range.

The competitively priced range was designed after consultation with developers, architects and specifiers and can be installed directly over the bath or within a shower enclosure.

Bushboard unleashes potential of quartz worksurfaces with pioneering M-Stone range

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Following its preview to the trade at KBB 2012, Bushboard is launching in mid-November its pioneering new M-Stone quartz worksurfaces which are supplied in blanks for easy installation direct on site.

Lakes Bathrooms reintroduces stone resin trays

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Shower specialist, Lakes Bathrooms, has reintroduced a range of stone resin trays to add further choice to complement its Classic and Coastline collections of enclosures. Last year the manufacturer changed to contemporary, lightweight, low profile tray ranges in Acrylic Capped Resin and Sheet Moulded Compound, but sustained demand for traditional trays has sparked the launch of a new stone resin range.

CRL launches 6K Hydrophobic Surface Protection System - it isn't like other glass coatings!

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CRL proudly brings to the market a new surface protection system specifically designed to protect both glass and stainless steel. 6K by CRL is a two-step surface protection treatment with a three year protection lifespan.

Whirlpool's Eco Monitor guarantees energy optimisation

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Whirlpool guarantees minimal resource use in its latest laundry products thanks to its new Eco Monitor feature.

Her name is Rio...

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Moods Bathrooms from the PJH Group has added the striking new RIO range of bathroom brassware to its growing portfolio.

Welcome to the


When I learned of the proposed changes to employment legislation, which will offer all employees the chance to work flexible hours, I shook my head in disbelief. Running a business is hard enough as it is and ensuring workplace continuity when employees are on holiday is tough at the best of times... attempting to cover for what may be longish-term, short-notice breaks is likely to induce a real headache and for some small businesses... well... it could actually break them. And what will happen to workplace camaraderie when several people want to be off at the same time?

I'm pleased that the Forum of Private Business is highlighting some of the potential pitfalls of this idea, (which I believe is actually another EU edict rather than Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg's baby - despite him being blamed for it in the press) in its plea to the Chancellor to do more to support small businesses in his upcoming Autumn Statement (see more below).

The Forum is making some good suggestions, such as stabilising fuel duty and capping business rates. I know the Government needs to find some money from somewhere, but escalating costs are preventing people from driving and are sending businesses to the wall - and if we're not working, we're not helping to top up the coffers, so where's the sense in that?

Now something I do see a lot of sense in - particularly when looking to buy or specify a big ticket item such as a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom or large appliance - is getting the advice of a real expert before making any decisions. The response I received from Philip Procter, of Clerkenwell-based West One Bathrooms, to my query in last week's leader about antimicrobial coatings, showed me that this is just the type of person I'd want to talk to before deciding how I'd part with my money. Not only did he give me the information I required, but he furnished me with links to the companies concerned so I could find out more (you can see his email, below). Well done Philip - you're doing the industry proud!FB.jpg

Comments of your own? Email us, or post on our FaceBook page.



Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

KBSA retailers offer vital protection in volatile market

The collapse of Comet is yet another stark reminder that the High Street remains a volatile place and that consumers should take all necessary precautions when making a major home purchase... so says the national trade association for the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom industry, the Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association.

The warning comes just a month after the bathroom brands, bathrooms4all and Victorian Bathrooms; part of bathroom retailer Traditional Contemporary Bathrooms, went into administration.

Geberit Monolith - new colourway, same innovative method of converting to wall-hung

* Geberit-Emco-monolith-umbra.jpgOffering a fast, simple way of converting floorstanding sanitaryware to the high end look of wall-hung, Geberit's Monolith module is now available in a new Umbra colourway. Perfect for adding a touch of warmth to any bathroom, the neutral, smokey brown hue of umbra ensures that the sanitary module will blend seamlessly into its environment.

New Fervour bath/shower mixer from Abode

* Abode-Fervour.jpgThe tall, square shaped contemporary range of Fervour taps with radiused edges are really unusual in design. New to the range is the deck mounted bath/shower mixer with lift up levers clearly marked with 'h and c'. The shower mixer has a pull up diverter to activate the shower head which is a separate entity which sits alongside the mixer.

Hoover Candy backs up latest research on consumers' energy efficiency views

Backing up the latest research on the purchasing power of consumers, Hoover Candy is reporting a surge in customers who say energy efficiency is crucial when it comes to buying kitchen appliances.

The Mintel Washers and Dryers Report 2012, published earlier this year, highlights an influx in the number of buyers concerned with the energy ratings of appliances, with 74% now saying an appliance with an energy rating of A+ is essential. This research strongly correlates with the experience Steve Macdonald, trade marketing director of Hoover Candy, has had of the market over the last 12 months.

Ellis Furniture expands bathroom range

* Ellis-Furniture-Cube-Dominica.jpgEllis Furniture is expanding its range of modular and fitted bathroom furniture this season with the addition of three new door colours across its entire range, including Cube, Cloakroom, Modular and Fitted furniture.

The modern Cube range has also now been married with the character and warmth of real timber in the form of Dominica American Walnut (pictured) featuring a solid timber frame and veneered centre panel. With a wide selection of unit sizes and combinations available - including base units, tall cabinets, countertop units and wall units - it is possible to create an individual look in any size and shape of bathroom.

Kitchen Magic now offers free fitting on all kitchen refurbishments

Kitchen Magic, one of the UK's first kitchen refurbishment specialists, has announced the launch of its free fitting service. The new offer reinforces the company's commitment to providing a great selection of high quality finishes for built-in kitchens whilst saving customers' time, money and effort.

Kitchen trends for 2013 veer towards splashes of bold colour and textures

* Callerton-Barbican-Walnut.jpgFor 2013 kitchens are taking on a fresher look with accents of colour, textured surfaces and clever designs accommodating the kitchen as a major living area, according to Kitchens International. As one of the top independent kitchen designers and retailers in the UK and based across Scotland, Kitchens International is seeing customers becoming bolder in their choices yet retaining style and quality.

We have Mail: antibacterial and other coatings

Hi KBzine,

In response to your question in last week's leader about who does what for antibacterial problems – the bathroom industry has done coatings for years, Duravit do Wonderglis and Villeroy & Boch do Ceramic plus – Bette have always done an extra polymer glaze – all this is designed to fill in the micropores and allow water/dirt etc to run off its surface and make it less susceptible to holding the water and grime that bacteria lives in.

Forum announces five-point plan for jobs and growth

The Forum of Private Business has written to the Chancellor ahead of next month's Autumn Statement to outline a five-point plan to help deliver jobs and growth for the UK economy. The Forum is urging Mr Osborne to concentrate on measures that will help the small business sector flourish by reducing business costs, boosting employment in the private sector and laying the foundations for sustainable positive economic growth.

Soapbox: Why we should all ignore GDP statistics

* robin-chater.jpgRecent press reports have suggested the European economy is plunging into a triple dip recessionary phase. But if we need to know how the economy is faring we should look more closely at the figures where some startling trends are evident, argues Robin Chater, the Secretary-General of the Federation of European Employers. 

Northern European regions the most innovative, reveals new study

Northern European regions are in the lead when it comes to innovation in Europe, reports EurActiv. But there is a considerable diversity in regional innovation performance - not only across European countries, but also within the member states, according to the newly published European Commission's Regional Innovation Scoreboard 2012. Unsurprisingly, the most innovative regions come from the most innovative countries in Europe.

£4.8 billion of unpaid work completed by British tradespeople every year

According to new research from Direct Line for Business (DL4B), seven in 10 British tradespeople work extra unpaid hours each week, which equates to around £4.8 billion in unpaid overtime every year.

Just one in four (26%) of workers claim they don't work any unpaid overtime in a typical week. On average, each tradesperson completes 5.29 hours of unpaid work a week, totalling 275 hours a year and equivalent to around £1,702 in wages (based on the minimum wage).

Further funding for employer ownership of training will help burst skills bubble

As the Skills Minister, Mathew Hancock, announces pledges a further £150m pot of funding to enable employers to create the training schemes they need to grow their companies, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development's chief executive highlights the need for skills and training to form an integral part of discussions about long term business planning.

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
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Recent News

Industry taskforce pushes forward on key Portas recommendation

The newly-formed, industry led, cross-sector taskforce has agreed to undertake a review of UK towns and cities to identify through empirical research the property-related barriers to the vitality and performance of town centres.

Construction weakness continues in October amid further fall in new work

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In figures released recently, October data highlighted another difficult month for the UK construction sector, with the latest Markit/CIPS UK Construction PMI survey showing a subdued trend in output levels alongside moderate reductions in new work and employment.


iKBBI has new staff member

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The Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom installers welcomed new staff member Jackie Wood to the team in October. Jackie takes responsibility for member compliance, focusing on the insurance, gas & electrical credentials of new applicants and current members.


British Ceramic Tile makes life look better for retailers with launch of 'HD Origin' marketing campaign

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British Ceramic Tile is making life look better for independent retailers with the creation of a new marketing campaign to support the launch of its new HD (High Definition) Origin collection.


Essential Value range from Carron Phoenix is outstandingly good value

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Carron Phoenix's Essential Value sink and tap range could better be described as the Outstanding Value Range because it offers savings of up to 20% on popular-selling products when sold as a pack with retail prices starting from as little as £115.

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