KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
14th December 2012


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

International News

Croydex goes global with Shanghai store opening

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With more than 90 years' experience of supplying bathroom fittings and accessories, Croydex has now gone global with the opening of a flagship store in China.

Expo Build China 2013 - gateway to China's building & decoration market

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China is the world's largest producer and consumer of building materials, as well as representing a new market for those who engage in sustainable building. The USD$1,700 billion construction market is forecast to grow at an 8.5% CAGR, or RMB 30 trillion, by 2020. The retrofitting market is expected to increase by more than 1,000%.

British Ceramic Tile supports UK's biggest skills and careers event, The Skills Show

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As one of the leading tile manufacturers and suppliers in the UK, it was only natural that British Ceramic Tile step in to help the tiling competition at The Skills Show, held at the NEC Birmingham earlier this month.

New Elite - chromed enclosures from Simpsons are now available

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Previewed 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.

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

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

Prisma brings new perspective for Mereway Kitchens

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Introducing 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.

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.

Welcome to the


Further to last week's leader, in which I extolled the virtues of great customer service, I must recommend the staff a B&Q Leatherhead (and B&Q everywhere, from my experience) for their bend-over-backward helpfulness when I called in last week to buy loft insulation. They didn't make me feel stupid at my inability to work out how much I needed but instead appeared impressed by the product knowledge I'd gained via the Internet and they backed my choice, which filled me with confidence. They made sure I had everything I needed before offering to take my purchases out to the car.

See - I said happy customers will recommend stores and products and here I am sharing my good experiences with almost 8,500 KBzine readers!

Sadly I can't do the same for the surveyors employed by SIG to determine my needs for the Government's offer of free loft and cavity wall insulation... Having ascertained that my home was suitable, the installation was booked in. As agreed, I emptied my attic - no mean feat I have to say - and cleared the furniture, fixtures and fittings from one wall of my sunroom (which is an exterior wall of the house). I also dragged all my many enormous, heavy shrub pots to the other side of the patio, so the installers had a clear working area.

When the installers arrived, I learned that my attic did not qualify for the scheme as more than a third has been converted and that I wouldn't have been able to return my belongings to it for storage anyway (as discussed with the surveyors) without first raising the joists, as the insulation is too thick for the loftboards to go back down. Then I learned that the cavity wall insulation couldn't go ahead, as despite the surveyors having said that the installers could put their ladders on a bridging system to access the area above the sunroom, scaffolding was needed instead.

So, a lot of time and effort for nothing and one very unhappy customer (well - not even a customer as it turned out) who doesn't have nice things to say about the company...

FB.jpgI gather that these surveyors (and others like them for different companies and industries) are generally paid on the leads they provide, so they take little care over whether the work can actually go ahead.  If you're involved in the installation side of the KBB industry, is this something you encounter too? If you have a story to share I can promise complete confidentiality...

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



Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Commercial tile trends for 2013

Thousands of people across the country will stand in their kitchen this month, possibly cooking a Christmas feast for their family, and they will resolve to upgrade their kitchen as part of a New Year's resolution. Home improvements are a very popular resolution for many people to make, and with the kitchen one of the most frequently used rooms in any home, it's important for it to be both stylish and functional. This guide examines the trends which are taking over the kitchen world right now, and are set to be huge in 2013.

The 'revamp'...

At home with Lamont

* Lamont-Collection.jpgLamont, from Hafele, is an exclusive collection of solid pewter handles and fittings consisting of an 18 piece ensemble. It has been designed to complement the home with co-ordinating window, door and cabinet hardware.

Made from genuine pewter in the UK exclusively for Hafele, this understated, robust and classic collection has been designed to maximise versatility through mixing and matching of handles. Hafele chose Pewter as the material for its debut range of branded hardware because of the inherent benefits to the customer. 

Soapbox: Census lessons for bathroom industry

Yvonne Orgill, Chief Executive of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association, writes...

The latest report from the 2011 Census makes fascinating reading and gives the bathroom industry food for thought.

The Office for National Statistics released its second set of findings from the 2011 census for England and Wales and amongst the raft of information (including the utterly useless fact that people still like Star Wars enough to put their religion down as "Jedi") the change in the population and its living arrangements may help bathroom manufacturers with their portfolio planning.

ArtiCAD celebrates 20 years in KBB industry with 20 year old clients

* ArtiCAD-20th.jpgPopular CAD software specialist for the KBB sector, ArtiCAD, is celebrating 20 years in the KBB industry. Founded in 1992 by Richard Turner, an IT entrepreneur from Hull with a special interest in the kitchen retail sector, the company has grown to become a major force in the industry both in the UK and overseas.

European Bathrooms agrees to settlement from Qualitex Supplies

* Formosa-room-set.jpgThe Patents County Court proceedings for infringement of design right issued by European Bathroom against Qualitex Supplies in October have now been settled. The terms of the settlement are confidential, but the parties have agreed to the following statement being made available to the public:

Fagor Spoutnik microwave showcased on Channel 5's 'All New Gadget Show'

* Fagor-Spoutnik.jpgHighlighting its 21st Century design, and "throwing out the rulebook to create something different" in microwaves, the Fagor Spoutnik was featured on the 'All New Gadget Show - Christmas Special' on Channel 5, on Monday 3rd December (repeated Saturday 8th December).

Handles for handleless kitchens

* Edge-range-Furnipart-LDL.jpgLDL Components is delighted to unveil Edge, the brand new collection of contemporary, design-led handles from popular Danish manufacturer, Furnipart.

The Furniture Ombudsman releases new Annual Review

The Furniture Ombudsman, the Stevenage-based organisation which helps to raise standards and specialises in providing Alternative Dispute Resolution solutions for consumers and retailers in the furniture and home improvement industry, has published its annual review for 2012.

Bigger hoods for wider hobs -Slender 900 is a hit with contract market

* Carron-Phoenix-slender-hood.jpgLaunched at KBB earlier this year, the Slender 900 chimney hood is proving a major product hit for the contract market as part of Carron Phoenix's commercially geared offer of sinks, taps, waste sorter bins and cooker hoods.

Very keenly priced, the Slender 900 follows the formula for successful contract kitchens: great design on a budget. The model offers a versatile chimney style design, good levels of extraction performance and is made from top quality stainless steel. There are three speed settings, an efficient metal cassette filter and a 28w halogen bulb illuminates the cooking area. In common with the other two cooker hoods in the range - the Slender 600 chimney and the Unity integrated option - it comes with a two year parts and labour guarantee.

Quirky vintage style with PWS' rubberwood

* quirky.jpgPWS' rubberwood worktops were the perfect choice for the Oil Can Cafe, part of West Yorkshire's newest vintage Emporium near Holmfirth.

Over 18 metres of rubberwood were specified for the countertops of this unique servery. The light timber creates a distinctive contrast to the brightly coloured oil cans and the overall look is quirky and fun and very much suits the 50s-themed cafe.

Belling puts independents on the road

* Dream-Wheels-winners.jpgIndependent retailer Direct Kitchens and SS Audio will be driving home for Christmas after each winning a £22k, fully branded Ford Transit van from Belling.

Popular cooking appliance brand Belling, launched its Dream Wheels competition in April, as part of its year of Centenary celebrations, offering Euronics members and retailers buying Belling products through kitchen specialist distributors, the chance to win one of two commercial vehicles.

Property maintenance chief urges us to plan ahead for non-emergency refurbishments

While tracking the number of shopping days until Christmas, people also should track the number of remodelling days until the relatives arrive, says the managing director of one of the UK's largest property management firms.

Pegler Yorkshire goes social to increase global brand awareness

* Pegler-social-hub.jpgPegler Yorkshire, the renowned manufacturer of high quality flow control products, is expanding its marketing activities to include more digital and social media as part of its ongoing efforts to raise awareness of its popular brands at home and overseas.

Roman receives praise for its waste management initiatives

* Roman_Compactor.jpgUK Shower Manufacturer, Roman, has been praised by its waste management company, for its successful and continual improvement which has seen the amount of waste recycled by the company, reach a staggering 93%.

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

Roman to the rescue

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UK shower manufacturer, Roman, has once again been called upon by home rescue show, Cowboy Builders, to help out two families in need, and renovate their bathrooms.

Zero Waste Scotland and Tigh Grian to develop 'Resource Efficient House'

A partnership between Zero Waste Scotland and Tigh Grian will see the design, build and eventually de-construction of an affordable family home which showcases the principles of resource efficiency and aims to change the future of homebuilding in Scotland.

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.


Abode expands marketing expertise

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Helen Clark has joined Abode Home Products, the ever-expanding and successful, design-led kitchen and bathroom products company.


Ellis Furniture launches industry leading iPad App

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Demonstrating 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.

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