KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
7th June 2013


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

International News

Ellis Furniture expands Cambourne kitchen range

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In response to the success of its Cambourne kitchen range, Ellis Furniture has added the striking Natural Oak finish to this versatile collection, which was launched in September 2012 in sophisticated Sage, cool, modern Chalk, classic Cream and pretty Almond.

Methven extends Kaha Satinjet range with latest award-winning technology

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Methven - the global designer and manufacturer of premium showers and tapware - has revamped and extended its award-winning range of Kaha Satinjet showers in the UK and Europe.

Geberit continues to make a splash to support retail partners

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Renowned innovator in sanitary technology, Geberit, is supporting the launch of its new shower toilet, Geberit AquaClean Sela, with a heavyweight consumer marketing campaign throughout 2013.

Gorenje once again named Slovenia's most trusted brand

Gorenje has received The Reader's Digest Trusted Brand award in the category of home appliances in Slovenia for the seventh year in a row.

Vertix by Vado

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Vado's recently introduced Vertix collection includes stylish vertical thermostatic shower valves specifically designed to give a sleeker profile than equivalent horizontal exposed shower valves. A compact, easy to fit shower valve, its distinctive vertical fitting creates a streamlined, minimalist effect on the wall.

Steel introduces new gas hob collection

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Gas hobs add drama and flair to cooking, which is ideal for when entertaining at home, and is the fuel of choice for the hobby chef. Steel's new Genesi collection of built-in gas hobs is available in three sizes to suit a range of kitchen styles, with both four and five burner models on offer.

Dimplex launches compact corner towel rail

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Dimplex has introduced a new electric Compact Corner towel rail, perfect for utilising the corner space in a bathroom or wet room. The CPTC Compact Corner towel rail can be mounted at any height to suit other fittings and adds a touch of luxury to any bathroom.

Electrolux Hosts 2013 Cannes Film Festival Opening Gala Dinner

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The Cannes Film Festival opening gala dinner was held within the Electrolux Agora Pavilion for the third consecutive year. Guests, including Leonardo DiCaprio and Nicole Kidman were treated to a five course meal all cooked on Electrolux professional appliances.

Kick back and cool down with the new InSinkErator under-sink chiller

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InSinkErator presents the perfect companion to its steaming hot water taps; a compact Under-Sink Chiller that provides perfectly chilled and filtered water at the touch of a lever.

Ultra-low profile shower tray meets growing demand for 25mm profile shower trays

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With the growing popularity of wet-room and walk in showers there has been a rapidly increasing demand for a lower profile tray; to ensure these trends are met Simpsons has introduced an ultra-low 25mm shower tray range called Slab.

Chinese developer seeks innovations for £20m flagship building in new £6bn eco-city

The Building Research Establishment is working with Franshion Properties (China), one of China's leading state owned developers, to give businesses an opportunity to showcase their most innovative and sustainable technologies in a new eco-city in China.

Dare to imagine...

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One organisation counting down the days to kbbLDN is Karonia, provider of the Mistral range of solid surfacing. The company tells us it will be using the show, which starts in just nine days, to build on its presence at previous shows and further demonstrate the versatile nature of this 25mm enhanced acrylic material.

Abode 'Debuts' striking new bathroom taps

Another new Abode range makes its debut... The Debut range, created especially for the UK market, forms part of a new range of bathroom brassware products from Abode.

Maytag introduces new 10Kg capacity washing machine

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Maytag has added a new 10kg capacity freestanding washing machine to its range.

Welcome to the


Regular readers of KBzine will be well aware of the issues I’ve had with people from the building trade over recent years, in as much as just about everyone I’ve called in to do work – either at my house or at my elderly mother’s, has proved that they’re not actually up to the job.

I’ve often wished for someone like my father, who could turn his hand to anything, think ‘outside the box (I hate that phrase but in this particular case, it really does describe what I’m trying to say!) to overcome challenges or carry out projects with little experience in the type of work involved and produce excellent, long-lasting results, the ‘old school’ way. The trouble is, that those with that type of work ethic, experience and background in basic DIY skills, are all around retirement age or beyond. Why can’t any of the younger people with whom I have dealings, compare?

I love the idea being mooted by the Italian labour minister, to introduce a scheme designed to combine a phased retirement for older, experienced workers with the mentoring of younger workers. The ‘staffetta’ as it’s been dubbed (which means, literally, ‘relay race’) would enable a person nearing retirement age to work reduced hours at proportionally reduced pay, while the balance of his/her job would be performed by a younger worker who is serving an apprenticeship, who will command less pay as a result. The older employee’s social contributions, would be subsidised by the Government, out of the money saved by the employer having to pay the apprentice less than the experienced worker would earn.

Although the scheme is designed to reduce youth unemployment, I can’t help but feel that the skills and knowledge transferred from the older worker to the younger one during changeover periods, could make it just the type of thing we need in my neck of the woods to replenish the diminished supply of competent and trustworthy builders!





Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Judges selected for KBSA Designer Awards

The KBSA has announced a new line-up of judges for the 2013 KBSA Designer Awards. Judges have been selected for their breadth of experience in the industry, covering everything from design skills through to retailing, customer service and understanding of the industry's specific needs.

The judges are:

And the kbb LDN 2013 Innovation Awards Winners were...

* kbb-LDN-Judges-Choice.jpgThe industry came together to celebrate the most innovative products in the KBB sector for the kbb LDN Innovation Awards 2013, sponsored by Blum UK.

Karonia Store relaunched

* The-new-Karonia-Store.jpgKaronia Store, the online shop for all solid surface tooling and accessories, has been relaunched.

Leisure Sinks to supply specialist plumbing and heating buying group PHG

* Linear-XS.jpgLeisure Sinks has signed an agreement with specialist plumbing and heating buying group PHG, which will allow the company's wide range of high quality sinks and taps to be supplied to a growing UK network of merchants.

Hippo signs three-year sponsorship deal with iKBBI

* hippo.jpgThe Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers has announced that Hippo has this week agreed a three year sponsorship deal, supporting the Institute and its objectives until 2016.

New Whirlpool fridge freezer provides extra width and quality

* WBA-4328-NFTS-ff.jpgWhirlpool has created the ideal food preservation centre for consumers in the form of its new freestanding WBA 4328 NFTS fridge freezer. Big and beautiful with plenty of storage space, this extra wide model with an 'A+' energy rating is a great energy and money saving proposition for the retailer and an excellent opportunity to sell up.

New Specification Manager for BCT

* Jamie_Barrett.jpgBritish Ceramic Tile has recruited Jamie Garrett as its new Specification Manager. Focusing on the South East and London, this new role will help the company continue to raise its profile across all areas of the specification market from architects and interior designers to house developers and builders.

Electrolux headlines Taste of Dublin 2013

* taste-of-Dublin.jpgElectrolux is delighted to be headline sponsor of Taste of Dublin, Ireland's most exciting food festival, taking place at the stunning grounds of Iveagh Gardens from 13th -16th June 2013.

Ireland's top chefs including Rachel Allen, Derry Clarke, Clodagh McKenna, Kevin Dundon, Nevin Maguire, Ross Lewis and Catherine Fulvio will be taking a leading role on the Electrolux Taste Theatre, giving visitors the chance to garner top hints and tips for the Summer season.

Vado success at NMBS 2013

Vado tells us it has been a proud supplier to National Merchant Buying Society members since 2008 and that visitors to Vado's stand at this year's exhibition were able to take up some fantastic 'spot buy deals' on some of the company's best-selling ranges. Members placing orders on the day were also given a 'golden ticket' which automatically entered them into a draw to win a Nexus 7 tablet. The lucky winner was Kingsley Bathrooms, whose representatives were thrilled at winning the prize.

Gorenje welcomes new National Sales Manager

* Stuart-Benson.jpgSlovenian manufacturer Gorenje, welcomes Stuart Benson to the company as the new National Sales Manager.

Mereway launches redesigned website

* Mereway-new-website.jpgMereway has announced the launch of its redesigned website, tailored for consumers seeking their perfect kitchen or bathroom and also for professionals in the KBB industry.

We have Mail: Swain retires from Franke

Hello Jan,

Further to your item last week: 'John Swain retires from Franke after 25 years' service', as someone who worked long ago for Petrate, the first Franke UK distributor, I was always under the impression that the sinks had been introduced into the UK by the owner, Brian King. The story, as I recall, was that Brian trundled around the country in an old Skoda, selling sinks from the back.

FIRA equipment and training for Philippines

* FLAMMABILITY-TESTING-DEMO.jpgFIRA experts have just completed training representatives from an organisation in the Philippines to carry out flammability testing for furniture.

FIRA's UK product testing facility, based at its headquarters in Stevenage, has been host to Victor Revilleza, Alvin F. Vardeleon and Edward Paul S. Marasigan from Forest Products Research & Development Institute, a research and development agency under the Department of Science & Technology in the Philippines.

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

Broadcaster Nina Hossain to host this year's Bathroom Business Conference.

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The Bathroom Manufacturers Association has secured the well-known journalist and broadcaster Nina Hossain to act as host and facilitator at the Bathroom Business Conference on 8th October 2013. Nina is a familiar face on our screens, presenting and anchoring television news on the main UK news channels.

New FIRA Gold scheme launched at kbb LDN

At kbb LDN a scheme which signifies excellence in kitchen, bedroom and bathroom installation services was launched to independent retailers and the name of the first company to be awarded the accreditation was announced.

Romex launches new module to manage risk to drivers

According to the Health & Safety Executive's 'Driving at Work' publication, the biggest cause of occupational fatality is driving on business. There are more than 20 people killed and a further 250 seriously injured every week.

New study shows that more night-time deliveries work better

A package of measures put in place by the logistics sector for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games that includes more night-time deliveries could, if adopted permanently, improve some of our traffic issues and bring environmental benefits too, while helping to make roads safer for cyclists and other vulnerable users.

Health & Safety experts make recommendations for ISO14001 revision

Leading experts in Environment from EEF, the manufacturers' organisation, and manufacturing companies across the UK met this week to make key recommendations to the revision of guidance to ISO14001, the widely used standard for Environmental Management Systems that customers use to differentiate between suppliers.

Geberit reaches new heights in the loo with the best view over London!

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Visitors caught short 750ft above London as they take in the views from the top of The Shard, the Capital's newest tourist attraction, will enjoy quality scenery inside and out when they visit the washrooms, as they feature Geberit's Sigma50 flush plate.


FIRA appoints new Furniture Technician Supervisor

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A new Supervisor has been appointed for FIRA Service Technicians, the renowned furniture care and repair specialist.

Personnel changes designed to expand Kitchens International

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Independent luxury kitchen retailer Kitchens International has appointed a new Showroom Manager for its Westfield Rd studio in Edinburgh.


Carron Phoenix launches brand new brochures for 2013

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For its 2013 product update, Carron Phoenix has revamped its brochure format. In place of one single brochure, now there are two which segment the company's product offer into the Essential and Elite ranges.

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