KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
30th November 2012


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

International News

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

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Offering 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

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The 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

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

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For 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.

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.

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.

Welcome to the


Very occasionally I come across an initiative that makes me sit back from my desk and say: "Now why didn't anyone think of that before!" That happened this morning when I received a release about the Skill Exchange - although this time I thought: "I really hope that works."

You can read all about it below, but what the story doesn't tell you, your imagination will.

I know something slightly similar happens in the building industry whereby tradespeople 'call in favours'... a plasterer may find a slight leak in one of the pipes coming from the boiler, but rather than down tools until the householder's had it sorted, he (or she) will call in a gas fitter friend who'll quickly deal with the problem free of charge. That gas fitter will in turn call in the plaster to deal with any imperfections left by a boiler change - again free of charge. The job gets done, the householder is happy and will recommend the service of the initial tradesperson to family, friends and neighbours for his or her troubleshooting capabilities and networking skills.

I've experienced it on more than one occasion and I know it works.

FB.jpgSkill Exchange UK is a similar concept but one that works officially via the Internet. I only hope it takes off and that those employees who are 'loaned out' will look upon temporarily working for a different employer as a way of boosting experience, enhancing skills, improving that CV and even making new friends!

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



Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Localised online skill exchanges - what a good idea!

Skill Exchange UK is seeking to drive employment, growth and competitiveness by promoting employer 'Skill Recycling', through localised online skill exchanges.

Launched this week, Skill Exchange UK is an independent, not for profit organisation developed with leading employers, ACAS and the TUC. It provides a simple but highly innovative service aimed at local employer 'skill recycling', an efficient and more sensible alternative to skill wastage, by facilitating local placements for underused staff into other firms that can benefit from the 'loan' of skilled staff at low cost.

Apprenticeships must be improved and focus on employers' needs, says review

The Government has 'warmly' welcomed the independent review of apprenticeships published on Tuesday, calls on the Government to improve the quality of apprenticeships and make them more focused on the needs of employers.

CIPD responds to Richard Review of Apprenticeships

Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development research amongst employers supports the conclusions of the Richard Review of Apprenticeships published earlier this week, that greater employer ownership of the apprenticeship system is needed to ensure apprenticeships continue to play a greater and more effective role in meeting the current and future skills needs of UK employers.

New Elite - chromed enclosures from Simpsons are now available

* ELITE.jpgPreviewed at this years' KBB in Birmingham, the Simpsons new range of Elite shower enclosures received unprecedented interest. The bright chromed enclosures are now available throughout the UK.

Installers' shocking lack of regs knowledge exposed by Inta

A survey undertaken by Inta has shown that two years after the introduction of the Part G building regulations, plumbers and installers are still confused by what they are actually required to do by law.

Methven launches new showering and tapware collection: design-led Waipori collection delivers indulgent showering while saving water

* Methven-waipori.jpgGlobal designer and manufacturer of premium showers and tapware, Methven UK, has launched a new collection which delivers optimum performance alongside key water-saving features.

The Waipori collection, which translates from Maori as 'Dark Water', includes showerheads, handsets and tapware and boasts a modern, sleek design in a stylish chrome finish.

Efficient household appliances key to cutting home energy demand

AMDEA, the UK trade association for manufacturers of domestic appliances, welcomes the Government's latest proposals to cut domestic electricity demand across the UK, but warns that substantial reductions will only be possible if policies include significant incentives to encourage the uptake of the latest generation of high efficiency domestic appliances.

Prisma brings new perspective for Mereway Kitchens

* Prisma- White-Gloss_Mereway.jpgIntroducing a fresh take on flat slab doors, new Prisma is the latest addition to Mereway Kitchens' Complete Kitchen Collection. Sleek and sophisticated, Prisma is a high gloss acrylic faced MFC door with duo edge in a cool aluminium tone and colour matched backs which exudes quality and class.

Trends for Spring 2013, as seen by Ripples

* ripples-trends-curly-drawer.jpgRipples' designers are seeing more emphasis on quality, timeless products, with individuality and more demand for bespoke. They say the look is textures, natural materials, wood finishes in either light or dark wood - outweighing the high gloss finishes that have been popular in recent years. At the heart of a domestic bathroom will be the thought of practicality in terms of use and keeping clean, but that doesn't have to sacrifice the feeling of sanctuary.

Ellis Furniture launches industry leading iPad App

* Ellis-Styler.jpgDemonstrating once again that it is at the forefront of the UK KBB sector, popular designer and manufacturer Ellis Furniture is about to radically change the way we approach bathroom design with the launch of a clever App developed for both iPad and web browsers that allows consumers, retailers, interior designers and architects to create a dream bathroom on screen.

HiB - master of mirror design

* Adelle-HiB.jpgTwo new LED back-lit mirror designs have been introduced by bathroom products supplier HiB.

Liberty and Adelle are both portrait format mirrors with low energy illumination activated by a discreet sensor switch. Both benefit from the all-important steam-free feature, which is becoming a 'must have' function of illuminated mirrors.

The lighting features on each mirror offer a choice of styles for the end user.

Property developer sentenced over Manchester gas explosion

* Aftermath.jpgA property development firm has been fined £100,000 following a major gas explosion that destroyed dozens of homes in South Manchester. PJ Livesey Group was prosecuted by the Health & Safety Executive following the blast at the Didsbury Gate development in December 2009.

Limescale removal technology heralded as a breakthrough

* ContraCalc.jpgHowever clean your bathroom fixtures may appear to be, if there's limescale they're not clean enough as the limescale will quickly build up and as well as being unsightly, it will attract bacteria, which will soon start to smell really bad.

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

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.

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.


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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