KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
18th January 2013


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

International News

Can't see the wood for the trees?

On 3rd March 2013, a new EU Timber Regulation, which will affect the entire furniture supply chain, comes into force.

Imperial Bathrooms unveils stunning new range of floor tiles

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The quintessential British bathroom manufacturer, Imperial Bathrooms, continues its major ongoing new product programme with the launch of three stunning additions to its already acclaimed floor tile collections.

The state of water in 2013

In 2003, the General Accounting Office in the United States issued a report warning that the US was entering a new era of water scarcity. The report projected that by 2013 at least 36 states could face water shortages. However, the report was incorrect. By 2008, five years earlier than projected, at least 36 states were already dealing with periodic, if not chronic, water shortages with California, New Mexico, and Arizona at the top of the list.

Rearo expands top selling Selkie Range into the kitchen for 2013

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Rearo, Scotland's top-notch provider of laminated and solid surface materials, has launched a completely new look to its Selkie Board range.

Whirlpool right on trend for the Spring with its new Max microwave colours

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With two new stunning additions to its Max range of uniquely designed microwave ovens, Whirlpool has proved again that it is right on the money in the fashion stakes.

Quiet oven to come to UK

The Red Dot Best of The Best oven, Zen, from Amica, will be available from 1st January 2013. Amica Zen, pictured here, is an environmentally sound, technically advanced oven conceived for those who are searching for tranquillity and simplicity in their homes. The Zen is the antithesis of overwhelming technology. No illumination, alarms, ringtones or buzzing timers - nothing to attack the senses.

New innovative extractor hoods from Blanco by Gutmann are show stoppers

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Show-stopping cooker hoods are increasingly in demand, featuring the ever-developing technology in this area. All Blanco by Gutmann hoods are handcrafted to the highest standards and all offer the highest levels of air movement and a host of innovative but practical features.

The bathroom cabinet - much more than storage

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Gone are the days when the bathroom cabinet was purchased down at the local hardware store when you realised that you'd forgotten where to store your shampoo and deodorant. In those days a plain white plastic box often with sliding glass doors was all that was available.

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

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Lamont, 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. 

European Bathrooms agrees to settlement from Qualitex Supplies

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The 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:

Handles for handleless kitchens

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

Welcome to the


Britain has seen three major High Street chains go into administration this week: Jessops (for many years The High Street's camera specialist), Blockbuster (the long-time leader in home video/DVD rental) and HMV (the last remaining dedicated music outlet). And of course there was Comet not that many weeks back.

As well as the recession, people are blaming the companies' failures on the growing use of the Internet for personal shopping and for Jessops this is particularly sad as its staff have shared their expertise with customers interested in finding out about a camera's attributes, they've demonstrated how the camera works and allowed the customer to 'have a play around with it' before seeing the customer go off to, no doubt, search for and buy the camera online, to save money.

Perhaps if the marketing people had been a bit more switched on they'd have found a way of using the superior service offered in-store to the company's advantage - perhaps even by charging for it and then offering discount vouchers to be put towards purchases made at the store. I don't know if the company had an Internet-based mail order business but if it did, it wasn't publicised enough. Jessops' demise needs to be taken as a warning to other companies like it, to find a way to work with the Internet rather than ignore it in the hope that it won't take too much business away.

And in case you're wondering why I've explained what the three companies do (when here in Britain we should all know) it's because John Austen tells me that we now have something approaching global readership and 120,000 page views, as this screen-grab shows.


Although this image depicts the locations of just the most recent 200 readers it does serve to illustrate how widely read KBzine is.

FB.jpgThe wonders of the Internet, eh?

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




Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

US remodelling recovery underway and picking up steam

All signs point to a strong rebound for home improvement activity in 2013, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released yesterday by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

Svelte - the next slim thing

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A groundbreaking range of lever-operation brassware joins the popular line-up specially created for British bathrooms by Crosswater.

Svelte, is Crosswater's latest comprehensive range of solid brass basin, bath and showering products. The sleek design of the tap spout delivers a thin blade of water, which is easily controlled by the single, equally slim control lever.

UK business needs smarter spending strategies for growth

Industry report finds lack of awareness at board level of spending habits and inefficient supply chains holding back businesses.

Interiors UK starts on Sunday

* Nina-Campbell.jpgInteriors UK 2013 is shaping up to be bigger and better than ever before, offering retailers, designers and architects a vast selection of products from over 600 of the leading international interiors manufacturers. The event takes place at the NEC Birmingham from 20th to 23rd January.

Roman recalculates Infinity

* Roman-Infinity-tray.jpgUK shower manufacturer and designer, Roman, has reduced the price of its design-led Infinity shower trays and its Colossus Roman Stone trays - making them comparable to many standard shower trays available and even more attractive for customers.

Roman's Infinity tray range and Roman Stone tray range are both manufactured in Roman's on-site UK solid surface manufacturing facility. Breakthroughs in volume have seen the manufacturer now reducing pricing on these products.

Out of the Woods: Adventures of 12 Hardwood Chairs

The American Hardwood Export Council will showcase Out of the Woods: Adventures of 12 Hardwood Chairs at the Stockholm Furniture Fair from 5th - 9th February 2013. The project is a collaboration between Product Design students from the Royal College of Art in London, British Furniture maker Benchmark and the American Hardwood Export Council that began over 12 months ago, culminating in an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum for the London Design Festival 2012.

New brochure details stunning 'Creative Bathroom Solutions'

* Bagno-brochure-FC.jpgShowcasing its beautiful collection of design-led products from the bathroom in all their full-colour glory, Bagno Design has launched a new brochure.
Now available in the UK, the Bagno Design product portfolio covers every aspect of the bathroom, from the tub to the taps and everything in between, enabling homeowners to create beautifully luxurious, hotel-inspired spaces.

Bluetooth in the bathroom - the latest 'Smart Mirrors' from HiB

* Pulse-with-phone.jpgWe now live in an age where every room in the home contributes towards our lifestyles and wellbeing. The bathroom is no exception - it's no longer a utilitarian and mono-functional area but rather one of private time, a place in which you can luxuriate and relax in a very personal way.

Methven's new 'Aroha' tapware collection boasts distinctive exotic design

* Methven-tap.jpgGlobal designer and manufacturer of premium showers and tapware, Methven UK, has launched a stunning new tapware collection reminiscent of an exotic Bird of Paradise flower.

Transform a home kitchen into a chef's paradise

* Nick_Nairn_Cook_School.jpgWith 'eating in' as the new 'eating out' increasingly many people are becoming budding master chefs. But without the right kitchen and appliances to cook on our culinary creations can turn out a disaster.

Inta, manufacturer of heating, plumbing and showering products, has launched a new extensive range of WRAS-approved pressure reducing valves (PRVs).

* Inta-valves.jpgThe collection, which features a wide variety of sizes, has been specifically designed for both domestic and commercial applications. With static and dynamic pressure control, the range is designed to reduce fluid pressures and maintain the desired level, preventing damage to system components located downstream of the PRV.

DIY accolade for CornerTape's SiliconeXP - two in one sealant adhesive award win

* corner-tape-award.jpgCornerTape's SiliconeXP, the Xtreme Performance two-in-one waterproof sealant and super strong adhesive, has been crowned Decorating Product of the Year in the DIY Week Awards 2012.

F & P Wholesale gets bigger and better in Bedford

FP-Wholesale.jpgAs part of an ongoing strategy to offer excellent customer service and a wide range of products on a 'one tomorrow' basis, F & P Wholesale is relocating its Bedford Distribution Centre.

Online plumbing supplier provides medical/ healthcare markets with medical taps and sinks

One of the UK's largest online suppliers to the plumbing industry has extended its market reach into the professional medical industry by providing high quality, medical standard taps and sinks to a range of organisations including the National Health Service, GP surgeries, veterinary centres, laboratories and dental practices.

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

Lewisham merchant has a 'Year of Beer' on Inta

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Lewisham-based builders' merchant H E Olby is raising a toast this Christmas, after winning anti-scald bathroom manufacturer Inta's popular Year of Beer competition.

KBSA welcomes more new members

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The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has announced two new retail members to its ever-growing ranks in the shape of PMH Interiors of Newcastle upon Tyne and Goddard's Interiors, Essex.

Burbidge kitchens expands business by taking on the Woodfit brand

UK kitchen frontals and accessories manufacturer Burbidge, has announced that it has taken on the name and product range of Woodfit - a distributor of hardware components for the furniture industry - after the business went into administration.

Crosswater invests in its delivery fleet: clear signs of success reflected in further £250k transport investment

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Crosswater Holdings, which comprises Crosswater bathroom taps and showers, Simpsons wet room and enclosures and Bauhaus bathroom furniture, has increased its fully-owned and operated delivery fleet to 25 purpose-built and environmentally friendly delivery vehicles. The company has added a further 10 brand new Mercedes Sprinter vans and five new DAF LF 45 7.5 ton trucks to the liveried 'It's all about you' Crosswater fleet to underpin its reputation for timely, complete deliveries.

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.

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

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Popular 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.

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

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Highlighting 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).

Belling puts independents on the road

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


A retailer opportunity to receive a free display thermostatic valve!

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Abode, one of the UK's largest bathroom tap, shower and valve manufacturers, is offering retailers an opportunity to receive a display concealed thermostatic shower valve, free of charge.

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