KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
25th January 2013


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

International 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.

Roman recalculates Infinity

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UK 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.

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.

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

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We 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

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Global 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.

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

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The 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.

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.

Welcome to the


British Prime Minister David Cameron has finally made his long-awaited speech about Britain's position in the EU and - perhaps surprisingly, he seems to have won a lot of people over.

Reading the comments made by those working for the EU machine prior to the speech, it was clearly felt that we Brits had joined a 'club' and were asking for the rules to be changed, or saying we only wanted to observe some of them whilst ignoring others. We were thought to be ridiculous in our demands (and no doubt still are, by some!)

Many of us believe though that what we signed up to has now changed beyond all recognition and it's not just the Brits I'm talking about either - it's millions of citizens from other parts of the EU who feel we've been duped by our politicians who are no longer listening to us. We all want free trade; we want to work together to improve everyone's lot and to look after the planet; we want to take part in joint projects, to pool our resources, to learn from and teach one another and we want peace. Also, we want to be able to eat, have shelter, to heat our homes when it's cold and be in a position to pay our bills. Most of us want to be able to work for a living.

Speaking to friends and colleagues in the EU, I can see we all feel that the project isn't working properly and that it's detrimental to our way of life. Our freedoms are being eroded, there's the continuous tremendous and shameful waste of money (it just isn't being spent wisely in far too many cases) and we seem to have lost any control of the situation we're in and the direction in which we're travelling. And many of us are not in a position to eat, have shelter, to heat our homes when it's cold, to work and to be in a position to pay our bills - and it's not all down to the global recession either!

We Brits were accused by many of the EU elite of being 'Little Englanders'. This sentiment was echoed by a handful of non-British Europeans commenting on some of the industry forums I've read, but generally, there was solid support from people all over the EU who also feel that the EU needs to make some profound changes if it is to succeed - and by succeed I also mean making all the citizens of the EU delighted to be a part of it. It was often a case of "Good luck. Pave the way for us."

Many EU citizens are hoping that David Cameron finally doing something about the concerns of the British public will lead others to question the way the EU is going about things and in turn call for  those essential changes. We've never been Little Englanders looking after ourselves and nothing has changed - we're doing this for the good of Europeans everywhere.

The global KBB industry works very well together and KBzine, with what has become global readership, is in an ideal position to share people's views on the EU question. We'd be delighted to receive any comments on what I've said here or on our Facebook page (even if you disagree!), whether you are part of the EU or are on the outside looking in and considering the impact David Cameron's speech will eventually have on you. Do please let us know how you feel because this is something that affects us all.

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Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Happy New Year for NewBuy!

New figures released by the Home Builders Federation reveal a significant increase in the number of reservations being made through the Government backed NewBuy scheme.

The reservation rate in the first three weeks of 2013 is running at the highest levels since the scheme was launched last March. Well over 100 people have reserved a new home each week, continuing the upward trajectory in the take up of the schemes. In total 3000 people have now reserved a new home using the scheme.

Ellis Furniture wins award for supporting youngsters

Ellis-Furniture-apprentices.jpgPopular designer and manufacturer of furniture, Ellis Furniture, has won an award for its work in supporting young people with career choices. Awarded by the Almondbury Aspiration Project from Huddersfield, the accolade recognises Ellis Furniture's ongoing contribution to helping local youngsters identify opportunities in furniture design and manufacturing.

I-Radium becomes part of the Glass wellness portfolio

* Glass_i-Radium_morphosis.jpgItalian manufacturer Glass Idromassaggio has joined forces with heating specialist, I-Radium, to offer interior heating solutions that combine classic living materials such as wood, with innovative infrared technology.

Atag appliances installed in new luxury cookery school

* Cookery-School.jpgAtag, the Dutch company famous for its technologically advanced exclusive built-in kitchen appliances exclusively available to the kitchen specialist, has supplied a selection of its premium products to a brand new cookery school that has recently opened at the luxury hotel Lucknam Park.

Distinctly Abode: new taps and brochure for 2013

* Abode-2013-kitchen-tap-brochure.jpg"Good kitchen tap design is not just about problem solving. It's about creating a beautiful and practical object that can stand out in your home but also integrate invisibly within your kitchen. It needs to deliver the right mixture of simplicity, elegance and innovation in equal measure. Despite knowing this, I cannot resist adding something personal to all my designs." Paul Illingworth - Abode Designer

Trustmark builds its board

* Emma-Clancy_NICEIC.jpgTrustMark, the Government endorsed quality mark for tradesmen, today announces two new Board directors - Emma Clancy (pictured) of Ascertiva Group and Lucy Hastings of Age UK - both bringing extensive industry and consumer experience to the governance and Board of TrustMark.

It's all going on at Trend Interiors!

* Mereway-Handleless-Black-Gloss.jpgNew finishes, New lighting, New handles! It's all going on at Trend Interiors. To mark the success since the company's launch at KBB last year, Trend has unveiled even more new products and a brand new brochure packed with superb new kitchens to entice and inspire.

Big fine hits care home after disabled man scalded

* Inta_Stuart-Gizzi.jpgA Cornish care home blasted as "criminally negligent" for scalding a vulnerable disabled resident could have easily prevented the accident occurring at all, according to anti-scald expert Inta.

John Lewis signs up for Bathroom Academy Design Course

* John-Lewis_BMA.jpgJohn Lewis, the department store chain, has enrolled 24 of its partners to the Bathroom Manufacturers Association's Bathroom Academy and Principles of Bathroom Design.

John Lewis confirmed in May 2011 that it was to start selling fitted bathrooms for the first time. The roll-out began at its Milton Keynes branch and further stores are due to launch in 2013.

Lee Robinson joins Care in Bathing

* Lee-Robinson.jpgSpecialist bathing manufacturer Care in Bathing has strengthened its senior management team with Lee Robinson (pictured) as its new Group Product Manager.

Aiming high for 2013!

* FIRA-chutes.jpgThe Furniture Makers and FIRA will be taking to the skies - two miles high for their first skydive!

Staff and members from both FIRA and the Furniture Makers' Charity have committed to take part in this exciting experience, with the aim of raising as much money as possible for the only charity supporting the furnishing industry - the Furniture Makers (incorporating the Furnishing Industry Trust).

British Ceramic Tile lands nationwide contract with Bathstore

* Bathstore-tile-display.jpgRenowned tile manufacturer and distributor, British Ceramic Tile, has landed a significant new contract with the UK's bathroom expert, Bathstore, becoming the sole tile supplier to the company's 169 stores.

Anti-Fog Mirror leaves a clear reflection

* Anti-Fog Mirror.jpgEnjoying a hot shower or bath can have its drawbacks;not being able to see through the steam on the bathroom mirror, is one of them. Croydex has come up with a simple solution to this age-old problem with its Anti-Fog Mirror.

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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News in Brief

Grahyam Hayden has announced that the WEBS training centre in Nottingham will be hosting his one day Sales & Customer Care course for the KBB industry on Tuesday 26th March.

This one day course has been attended by 1,100 delegates from the industry and has helped them understand the sales process, successfully put it into practise, and convert more leads into profitable sales.

There is a special delegate offer of £100 if you book your place by Friday 22nd February. Bookings received after this date, subject to availability, will be £150.

Full details of the course are available and bookings can be made via:

E: grahamhayden31@yahoo.co.uk
W: www.grahamhaydentraining.com

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

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.

Transform a home kitchen into a chef's paradise

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With '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.

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.


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.


New brochure details stunning 'Creative Bathroom Solutions'

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Showcasing 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.

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