KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
2nd August 2013


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International News

New Rapport taps from Abode are bang up to date!

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The Rapport collection of chrome finish taps, created especially for the UK market, forms part of a new range of bathroom brassware products from Abode, incorporating single lever, dual lever and wall mounted basin models as well as deck mounted bath mixers and shower mixers and concealed wall mounted thermostatic valves.

It's all in the detail with British Ceramic Tile's new Character collection

Following on from the launch of British Ceramic Tile's new Cookhouse Character collection, the company has unveiled its wide range of coordinating decor tiles.

New Evoline range from LDL available from stock

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The award-winning Evoline range is primarily known for bringing stylish power solutions to inaccessible places such as kitchen islands, overhead cabinets, breakfast bars and confined spaces. The discreetly integrated power, data and multimedia sockets enhance the potential of any kitchen design and also avoid the necessity to channel through walls.

Vertical Platinum hood from Amica raises the bar on performance and style

Amica has launched a stunning new extractor hood, set to raise the style and performance bar, as consumers search for increasingly functional-design in the kitchen.

Vessel designer hammock styled suspended bath really has the 'wow' factor

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They say a picture speaks a thousand words and this is most definitely the case with the Vessel bath. A truly awe-inspiring piece of craftsmanship, this designer bath is a must-have within any luxury bathroom, both as a work of art and an indulgent place of relaxation.

If you're wondering whether to visit 100% Design...

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This Showerwall installation should be enough to ensure that the date's in your diary!

Showerstyling by Showerwall is a brand new, custom-printed bathroom laminate being launched at 100% Design, stand K140, on 18th September. It will offer designers and specifiers the option of bespoke, digital printed wall panelling to give a bathroom a signature design, while also guaranteeing easy installation and maintenance.

New, deeper, ergonomic natural stone baths offer deep relaxation

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Bradley Wiggins and Andy Murray are advocates of an ice-bath after hard training, races and matches. Mirroring this, running and cycling, tennis and football are some of the UK's favourite pastimes. So, will these sporty consumers be hunting down a bath with multi-purposes in mind?

What price recovery?

In a month when the EU welcomed another member state and the way was opened for another EU country - Latvia - to join the eurozone, we might well be lulled into assuming that neither the EU dream nor the single currency are discredited after all and that things are looking up. Indeed, the OECD's composite leading indicator for the eurozone has now been at, or above, the long-term average trend line for the last three months in a row and GDP projections even for the current year are being revised upwards.

Franke launches its first downdraft hood

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Responding directly to retailer demand, Franke has introduced a brand new downdraft hood in chic stainless steel and black glass, the first of its kind in the Franke range and boosting the company's portfolio of styles to cater for a range of kitchen designs. The product is part of Franke's 2013 range update and became available to retailers at the end of May.

LDL extends range of Wesco waste solutions

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LDL Components has extended its range of Wesco built-in kitchen waste solutions with the introduction of the new Pullboy Premium, an 'all-in-one' bin with its own soft close runner system. The sturdy bin, which has an overall capacity of 41 litres divided into 17, 11, eight and five litre compartments, has an integrated frame in powdercoated, zinc plated metal with inset cup handles to facilitate removal. The inner bins have double handles that can also be used to fix the bin liner.

New ovens deliver intelligent style and intelligent service

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Amica has been growing steadily in the UK, building on a reputation for intelligent style, innovation and build quality along with the reassurance of its very own first rate customer service. It is with this backdrop that Amica rolls out another collection of stylish cooking appliances.

One for all with Glide II by Bauhaus

Versatile, practical and with a classical simplicity that will never date, Glide II from Bauhaus is the furniture collection that meets every bathroom need.

Thinner's a winner in worktops

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Agglomerate is the fancy-sounding name Granite Transformations applies to its kitchen worktop and bathroom surfaces. It's beautiful, tough, durable and much thinner than other materials like granite, marble, engineered stone or solid synthetics, but equals or exceeds them in technical performance terms.

New little wonders from Crosswater...

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There's now a really big choice of compact basins for cloakrooms, small bathrooms and even twin bowl set ups - but many consumers never stop to think that to look its best, a small basin needs a tap that is in perfect proportion. There's a Mini-basin mixer from Crosswater to suit all tastes and basin styles; whilst smaller than its full size counterpart appeal maybe even bigger!

Welcome to the


I’m in desperate need of a new cloakroom suite as the one I have is leaking from the cistern that was supposedly repaired a few weeks back but which still leaks. My daughter – just back from university – is cross with me. “How is it that you can do the job that you do, yet we have to put up with a leaky loo?” she demands to know.

The answer is… (and if you’ve read my many grouses on the subject you’ll probably already have guessed) that I can’t find anyone reliable to do the work.

From the qualified plumber who didn’t quite manage to fix the leak but is too busy to come back just yet, to the two others who were supposed to visit yesterday and didn’t, (we finally caught up with one as he was driving back from the beach where he’d spent the day with his son!) plus all the plasterers, electricians and heating engineers who’ve not quite managed to do the simple jobs for which they’ve been paid good money… all bar one have let me down.

I must confess that a large part of me would rather put up with regularly emptying the drip bowl under the leaking cloakroom cistern than seek out someone who will actually be able to do the job!

The Government’s announcement last week that it is making headway in its move to shake up apprenticeship funding and make the apprenticeship scheme more affordable to more employers, has filled me with the hope that in a few years there may be large numbers of decent tradespeople out there, so that the problems I and so many other householders have, may seem less insurmountable as time goes on. If you missed the announcement you can read it here and I’d love to receive your thoughts on which of the options set out you think will work best.





Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

World's biggest construction project!! Thousands of jobs for Brits in one of the world's best cities

The Emigration Group is urging construction workers in the UK to consider emigrating to New Zealand, where the country's largest city, Auckland, is about to embark on a $10 billion infrastructure programme which will lead to thousands of new jobs for skilled Brits.

New Zealand has some major new projects planned including a second harbour crossing, a city rail link and two other highway projects for Auckland.

Milestones and a makeover for Hettich UK

* Hettich-Tim-Leedham.jpgThis has been a stand-out Summer for Hettich UK, with the 25th anniversary of its managing director and the kick-off on a £300,000 refurbishment of its Salford premises, both in the year in which its parent company marks its 125th anniversary.

Roman's 10 Out of 10

* Decem-hinged-door.jpgRenowned British shower designer and manufacturer, Roman, has announced the launch of a new range of designer shower enclosures, Decem. The range is a culmination of everything the manufacturer has learnt about showering over the last 28 years, to present an unrivalled collection, which also offers a series of design options.

Lakes Bathrooms expands globally

UK Shower enclosure specialist, Lakes Bathrooms, is expanding and seeking strategic relationships with wholesalers and distributors worldwide to act as trade partners for the supply of its Classic and Coastline Collections.  

British lighting designer receives Royal accolade

* Astro.jpgA British lighting designer and manufacturer received a Royal visit last week. Astro Lighting was presented with the Queen's Award for Enterprise in International Trade by Her Majesty the Queen's representative, The Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Lord Petre, on 24th July.

BAL expert judges Skillbuild tilers

* Skillbuild-tiler.jpgSkillbuild 2013, the UK's largest multi-trade competition for construction trainees and apprentices, is underway - and, as always, David Rowley has been invited to judge tilers. David is BAL's training centre manager and a longstanding Skillbuild judge. He has judged the wall and floor tiling category at the Skillbuild National Finals every year since 2005 and this is his fifth consecutive year of also judging the Regional Heats.

Changes in Bette's international sales management: managing partner Rolf Viegener retires

* Bette-Inter.jpgAfter 15 years with the steel/enamel specialist, Bette GmbH & Co, Rolf Viegener is handing over the responsibility for international sales and embarking on his well-earned retirement. His successor, 36-year-old Ladislao Santamaria, took over the helm on 1st June.

Electrolux expands professionally inspired freestanding cooker range

* EKG6121AOK-Gas-Electrolux.jpgElectrolux is launching a brand new, extensive range of freestanding cookers as part of its Inspiration collection. Electrolux has 90 years' professional expertise and is Europe's leading supplier to professional kitchens and laundries. Features and functions originally created for professional chefs have been adapted for consumers in the new Electrolux Inspiration range of freestanding cooker appliances.

"Extensive research has provided us with detailed insights into exactly what consumers want from a freestanding cooker," says Martin Wilson, Product Manager of Freestanding Appliances at Electrolux. "By building on this research, Electrolux has created the new Inspiration range of freestanding cookers to provide the best culinary experience possible for our customers."

Contino range from Leicht is new for 2013

* Leicht.jpgLeicht UK has introduced a new, highly affordable design into its wide array of contemporary kitchens, with the unveiling of the Contino range. This latest handless kitchen from the German kitchen expert, is now on display in the UK.

The Summer of love...From PJH

* BTL-front-cover-PJH.jpgThis Summer sees the launch of PJH Group's latest bathroom collection, 'Bathrooms to love', one of the largest collections ever, featuring a comprehensive selection of leading bathroom brands including own-brands, Moods, Wellness, Clearbrite, and introducing Eurostream and Flo?, as well as Triton, Merlyn and April.

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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

100% Design unveils its 2013 Kitchen & Bathroom Hall

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100% Design has further established itself as a September destination for the Kitchen & Bathroom industry, with brands including Dornbracht, Bulthaup, DuPont Corian, Mette and Keramag - and a seminal installation to explore design's role in the future of food production.

New course will help companies source sustainable timber

A new workshop for companies aiming to achieve FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) is being held on Thursday 15th August.

Survey reveals many Brits are confused by their washing machines

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A new study carried out by Indesit brand revealed that over 13% of Brits don't feel confident using a washing machine. And it's no surprise that 16 to 24-year-olds are the most reluctant to do their own laundry, with the most popular excuses including:

Employers urged to take extra care of young people starting Summer jobs

Workers are far more likely to be injured in workplace accidents during the first few months of a new job than at any other time says the British Safety Council. With the holiday season approaching, employers are urged to pay extra attention to the health & safety of young people hired for temporary, Summer work.

BMA AGM delegates learn how to avoid jail sentence for wrongly labelled toilets!

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A new European law now makes it possible for manufacturers of the humble loo to be sent to jail if they are found guilty of labelling their toilets incorrectly. The eyebrow-raising law came into force in July and it was just one of the topics discussed at the recent AGM and Council meeting of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association.

De Dietrich exclusively chosen by Cornflake to feature in the Smart App-artment

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A VIP event was held by Cornflake, the supplier of premium home automation systems, to launch the Smart App-artment - its new experiential retail showroom in central London.

Leisure sinks and taps installed at prestigious university

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A total of 45 Linear Compact stainless steel sinks and 216 Aquaflux Aquanomic taps from Leisure Sinks are being fitted at a series of newly constructed student accommodation blocks at the University of Oxford. The chrome-plated brass taps and fully reversible sinks will be installed in the kitchen areas in a number of halls of residence on campus.

Travis Perkins Group show support for Water Efficiency Label

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Travis Perkins Group, the UK's largest supplier of building materials, is supporting the introduction of a voluntary water efficiency label by working with the WRAP industry working party and pledging to include the mark on product packaging, branch displays and marketing materials..

Chocks away for furniture industry charity cycle challenge!

50 staff at two furniture industry organisations are hoping to raise funds for their local hospice by cycling 874 miles from Lands End to John O'Groats, but they won't be leaving the building!

'Betsy' the trusty Whirlpool fridge freezer retires after 43 years' service

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A 'workhorse' Whirlpool fridge freezer, the first major purchase of a newly married couple from Ipswich in 1970, has finally retired after 43 years of service.

The sturdy EVL13C, nicknamed 'Betsy' by Alan and Marilyn West, has been running non-stop since the couple bought her back in May 1970.


Mereway Kitchens strengthen internal and external sales & marketing team

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Mereway Kitchens has strengthened its internal and external sales & marketing team with three new appointments.

Robert Lee Distribution expands its sales team

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One of the UK's largest independent bathroom distributors has recruited two new members to its sales team.


New brochure for Sensio|Koch range

Following the partnership of two of the most influential brands in the furniture lighting industry in 2011, Sensio and Wilhelm Koch have released a new brochure displaying the latest products from the range.

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