KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
21st June 2013


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

International News

Pebel Fragranite sink from Franke wins the Red Dot Design Award

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The Pebel sink range in Fragranite, launched by Franke in 2012, has scooped a Red Dot Design Award in the latest batch of winners recently announced.

Kirby Sebastian makes a big splash with bath collection

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Bathroom brand Kirby Sebastian (KS Bathrooms) has just launched two new freestanding baths, Palarmo and Sienna. The modern baths both feature simple yet elegant contemporary design that delivers both style and comfort.

ECF introduces the elegant Devon and Cornwall in-frame doors

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East Coast Fittings tells us it is delighted to introduce its stunning new range of painted timber doors presented in the classic in-frame style. Devon and Cornwall offer the perfect blend of the contemporary and the traditional, providing a timeless design whilst also being ideally suited to the demands of a modern kitchen environment.

New Whirlpool fridge freezer provides extra width and quality

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Whirlpool 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.

Electrolux headlines Taste of Dublin 2013

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Electrolux 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.

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.

Welcome to the


Some 15-odd years ago I got sucked into the American dream… no not the American dream you’re thinking of, but that very American idea of Network Marketing and the dream that it will reward recruits with enormous wealth (and, in this case, excellent health).

Well the various tablets didn’t cure my father’s cancer, give me boundless energy or improve the strength of my family’s nails and the shampoo and conditioner left our hair in knots – and when you consider it’s 21.30 and I’m still hard at work, it’s clear that I didn’t end up with enormously wealthy either, so all-in-all I reckon I was sold a bit of a bum steer (am I allowed to say that? Oh well...).

The only thing I can say I took away with me was the resolve never to do it again and the mantra that we are more likely to buy from people that we know, like and trust -which had been drummed into me from the beginning to encourage me to sell to my family, friends and neighbours.

I’m not in the type of business that needs a machine which wraps toilet rolls in plastic, but if I were, I know where I’d go for one! I’ve just had the pleasure of dealing with two employees from the US-based Paper Converting Machine Company, and their prompt and cheerful turnaround of my request for some words and an image in a format I could easily use for Cleanzine (the other e-zine John and I produce), left me with a smile on my face and the thought that if the rest of the staff are as friendly and efficient as they are, the products must be exceptional. Although I don’t know them that well, I like and trust them already and they reminded me that however good the product may be, without the right people on board there will always be something missing and customers may find somewhere else to spend their money…





Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

CE Marking comes to bathrooms

Yvonne Orgill, Chief Executive of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association and Chris Taylor Hamlin, Technical Director, ask: "Are you ready for changes to CE marking?"

Major changes in the labelling of bathroom products marketed throughout Europe take place on 1st July 2013 and some manufacturers and importers are likely to be caught napping. The changes are mandatory and non-compliance can ultimately lead to imprisonment for up to three months and/or a fine of up to £5,000 per incident.

Carron Phoenix launches its first boiling water tap with the Seraphina

* Carron-Phoenix-Seraphina.jpgCarron Phoenix has entered the growing boiling water tap market with the launch of its new Seraphina model in the universally popular swan neck style in a chrome finish. The tap was launched in May as part of the company's newly updated and repositioned Elite Range of sinks, taps and waste disposal products.

Electrolux Design Lab 20 semi-finalists revealed

A breathing wall that cleans the air, a hologram cooking appliance that prevents loneliness and a robotic cleaning appliance that runs on kinetic energy are just some of the innovative concepts chosen as semi-finalists of the Electrolux Design Lab 2013 competition.

Showerwall offer is enhanced with new tongue and groove option

* Showerwall-Moon-Dust.jpgShowerwall, one of the industry's best established brands of waterproof wallpanelling for the bathroom, has upgraded its product offer with a brand new tongue and groove (T&G) option.

The T&G option means that the Showerwall panels can be installed now with a simple v joint and sealed with silicone, as an alternative to using the standard extrusions with its square cut panel offer.

Whirlpool launches new range of chest freezers

* Whirlpool-Freezer.jpgWhirlpool has added three new chest freezers to its extensive cooling portfolio, with capacious storage space (ranging from 200 litres to over 400 litres) for excellent preservation of frozen foods.

Ellis Furniture awards apprentices

* Ellis-Furniture-apprentices.jpgEllis Furniture is celebrating the recent success of two of its second year apprentices, Chris Mattimoe and Michael Holmes, by awarding each with Love2Shop vouchers. Chris received a distinction and Michael received a merit for their second year practical and project work, which focused on the specialist machinery side of furniture making.

What to consider when choosing a lifting and handling aid

There are a great number of factors to consider when choosing a lifting or handling aid, whether choosing to invest in it or simply selecting it to fulfil a certain job within a workplace. Choosing the right lifting and transportation aid for the job cannot only increase productivity and the volume of work which can be carried out, but it also fulfils an employer's safety obligations to the workforce. Employees have a higher level of protection from accident and injury when they select the right equipment, so ensuring everyone is informed enough to make these decisions is crucial.

F & P Wholesale Pro-fressshionals get their kit on for charity

Staff at F & P Wholesale, the UK distributor of heating, plumbing and bathroom products to the independent merchant sector, recently went head-to-head with plumbing and heating merchant, Williams and Co., in a charity football match.

Claim your free tickets to lively local show

* southern_free.jpgThere is only one week to go until Surrey's biggest self-build and renovation event opens its doors. Make sure don't miss out and claim your two complimentary tickets worth £24* today!

This year's show will be packed to the rafters with specialist suppliers, impartial experts and plenty of fresh ideas and practical guidance to help you turn your plans for your dream house - or those of your clients - into reality. From foundation to finish - and everything in between - you'll find it all at the show!

Work begins on BRE Refurbished House

Scottish building contractor Cruden Building & Renewals has started work last week on Refurbished House, one of 10 demonstration homes being built on the BRE Innovation Park @ Ravenscraig that will be used to shape future housing in the country. Using historical design information and traditional materials, the builders will recreate a full-scale 'four-in-a-block' typical Scottish apartment dwelling, of which there 265 thousand in the country and three million of a similar design in England.

Keyline pumps up the volume for prostate cancer UK with European Jukebox Rally

* Northfleet-Launch.jpgKeyline Builders Merchants, is set to embark on a music themed European adventure as it teams up with Prostate Cancer UK to drive across Europe in the Jukebox Rally.

Second day of strike action at VIP Polymers Huntingdon next week

VIP Polymers, which makes the rubber seals used in the waste and drainage industries, is facing mutiny at its St Peter's Road, Huntingdon facility, where some 50 GMB Union members are determined to take a second day of strike action next Wednesday in a dispute over cuts to pay and conditions of employment. This will take the form of a 24 hour stoppage, just like the first day on 3rd June.

Fresh - elegant new range from Schmidt

* SCHMIDT-FRESH.jpgFresh is an exciting new solution from Europe's leading kitchen manufacturer Schmidt, bringing a great new design with advantages to both retailers and consumers. Schmidt designers have analysed the difficult current market conditions and come up with some inspiring solutions while sticking to the guiding principle that Schmidt must always be an affordable brand.

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

FIRA awards at the House of Lords

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An event held by FIRA, the furniture industry's leading body, at the House of Lords last Friday, was a great success. Over 230 guests attended the prestigious annual event hosted by Lord Hoyle of Warrington which took place in the Cholmondley Room and on the terrace overlooking the Thames.

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...

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

Leisure Sinks to supply specialist plumbing and heating buying group PHG

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Leisure 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

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The 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.

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.

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.


Iain McKinlay leaves Hansgrohe UK

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Iain McKinlay, UK Managing Director of Hansgrohe, will leave at the end of June 2013. Being with the company for 24 years, Iain has been at the forefront of the development of the modern UK bathroom industry that we know today.


Methven launches innovative displays for merchants: Tippers first to have self-selection displays in store

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Methven, the global designer and manufacturer of premium showers and tapware, has joined forces with Midlands-based builders' merchant Tippers, to launch a new display concept for its Deva brand.

Karonia Store relaunched

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Karonia Store, the online shop for all solid surface tooling and accessories, has been relaunched.

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