KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
5th July 2013


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

International News

Showering simplicity with Triton's T75

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Building on its established credentials as a leading UK manufacturer of electric showers, The Great British Shower Company, Triton, has brought the ultimate in showering simplicity to the market, with the introduction of T75 - a single control electric shower, which simply offers great looks at an affordable price.

Carron Phoenix launches its first boiling water tap with the Seraphina

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Carron 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.

Showerwall offer is enhanced with new tongue and groove option

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Showerwall, 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.

Whirlpool launches new range of chest freezers

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Whirlpool 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.

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.

Fresh - elegant new range from Schmidt

Fresh 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.

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.

Welcome to the


TrustMark, the national quality badge for reputable tradesmen in the domestic sector, has commissioned new research into public perceptions of tradesmen. At first glance it seems that most people have a good impression – 71% of respondents felt their overall experience was more positive than negative.  When given a list of good and bad adjectives to describe tradesmen, the five most frequently used words were ‘skilled’, ‘hardworking’, ‘professional’, ‘helpful’ and ‘trustworthy’.

However, almost a quarter say they have had a negative experience, and more than half felt their perception of tradesmen had become more negative because of the ‘cowboy builder’ TV programmes. Also:

  • One in five people would encourage friends or family to get a job in the sector only if there was more recognition of good quality and skilled tradesmen.
  • 43% agreed with the statement “Many tradesmen do a good job – there are some great firms out there”, but 50% of people also said they were not confident about the level of consumer protection available to them when they employ a tradesman to work on their homes.
  • Almost 94% would have more confidence and trust in tradesmen if they had undergone a full vetting and inspection process to ensure their work met an industry standard – exactly the safeguards which TrustMark provides. 

As regular readers of my leaders will be aware, I’ve had dreadful luck with the various tradesmen I’ve employed although I must admit that finally, the sixth plasterer I’ve used in four years, has come up trumps (well done Craig from www.chplastering1.com – it’s good to know that there are some competent people out there after all )! However, I’ve spent far longer living in what I often describe as a ‘falling down house’, simply because I’ve been so worn down by the dodgy workers I’ve had here to help me that I’ll put up with problems rather than be taken for a fool again. I gather that this is a common problem and that's not good for householders and it's not good for the industry either.

Naturally I’m delighted that the Government is finally doing something more substantial to change things, with this week’s launch of its Industrial Strategy for Construction, which recognises that the reputation of the domestic sector is important to the success of the construction industry overall and its ability to attract bright young people into jobs in the industry. I sincerely hope it works!






Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Government confirms its strong commitment to TrustMark in new Industrial Strategy

TrustMark, the national quality badge for reputable tradesmen in the domestic RMI (repair, maintenance and improvement) sector, has received a strong vote of confidence this week with the publication of the Government's Industrial Strategy for Construction.

New Blum Tandembox Antaro available from LDL

* BLum-Tandembox.jpgBlum's brand new Tandembox antaro modular drawer system is now available from LDL Components from stock.

The new, award-winning drawer profile, available in grey, silk white and stainless steel, has a contemporary rectangular gallery rail which can be combined with a number of colour co-ordinated design elements to create the required effect.

Bathroom retailers, merchants and manufacturers join forces to launch consumer water efficiency label

Leading DIY retailers, builders' merchants and manufacturers are to introduce a voluntary labelling scheme to help consumers identify the water efficiency of bathroom fittings such as taps, showers, WCs and baths.

Axor - Brand of choice for the Waldorf Astoria Berlin

* Hansgrohe-Axor-Waldorf-Astoria.jpgIn January, following a three-and-a-half year period of construction, the 'Zoofenster' skyscraper, which has been the subject of much discussion, finally opened its doors in Berlin... the international luxury hotel chain Waldorf Astoria moved into the 118 m high tower, prominently located between the Zoo Station and the Memorial Church.

New AMA report provides a major review of the UK Shower Market

* UK-shower-market.jpgThe latest AMA report on the state of the UK Shower Market concludes: "Forecasts indicate that the UK shower equipment market will stabilise in 2013 and return to modest growth from 2014, as consumer confidence and housebuilding levels gradually improve. By 2017, the overall market value is forecast to be £490 million at MSP, which would represent an increase of around 15% compared to the estimated market size in 2013, yet still be below the peak in 2008."

Abode forms new distribution partnership

* Abode-Maxim-sink.jpgAbode and Springhill, the renowned kitchen furniture company in Ireland, are working in unison to generate awareness of the wide range of design-led kitchen sinks and taps in the Irish marketplace.

CE compliance 'must be policed'

* franke-ce-compliance.jpgFranke Washroom Systems, also known as Franke Sissons, Chesterfield, is amongst the first manufacturers to conform to the latest round of CE compliance legislation.

MPs show support for iKBBI in 2013

* IKKBI_DAVID-CAMERON.jpgStephen Metcalf MP, pictured here with Prime Minister David Cameron, has pledged support of the Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom installers and vowed to represent member's interests at the highest level.

Mr Metcalf, MP for Basildon and Thurrock, is an active supporter of SME businesses and consumer protection.

British Ceramic Tile offers complete tiling solution with launch of 'Essentials' range

* BCT-Tile-essentials.jpgBritish Ceramic Tile is set to launch a new range to customers as it continues on its journey to become a one-stop shop for all tiling needs. .

Businesses fly-tipping reaching epidemic proportions

* fly-tipping.jpgBritain is at risk of being buried under a rash of fly-tipping, one of the UK's leading waste management companies says. According to businesswaste.co.uk , every single day there are scores of incidents where hazardous waste is dumped in streets, fields and residential waste bins across the UK as unscrupulous business criminals attempt to avoid fees and the landfill tax.

Leisure Sinks supports mandatory CE marking

Leisure-Sinks-CONTOUR.jpgLeisure Sinks has announced its support for the mandatory CE marking for kitchen sinks..

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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

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?"

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.

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.


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.

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