KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
1st November 2013


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

International News

2014 snapshot - a year of design inspiration where there are no rules, says Uber's Bob Gonzalez

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Here, Bob Gonzalez, of Uber, reveals the trends that will be emerging in our nation's kitchens next year:


2014 will herald more colour while still respecting the grey, earthy tones which have proved so popular in 2013. Exciting vibrant colours, such as petrol blues and ruby reds, will bring personality into the kitchen. Used alone or mixed with neutral cream or grey tones for islands or a one-wall line, colourful units will be seen everywhere, for every budget.

Ellis Furniture launches curved worktop

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In response to growing demand for hotel-style bathrooms, Ellis Furniture has launched a new, one-piece 50mm Hi-Macs curved worktop as part of this season's ongoing product launch.

Abacus offers ultimate in cutting edge design in linear drains for superb wet rooms

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Building on the success of Elements' original linear drain comes the recently-launched 600mm linear drain offering the ultimate in cutting edge design. In two cover options - brushed stainless steel or tileable to match the wet room floor - they have been designed and developed specifically for the UK market.

Leisure Sinks goes with the Aquaflow!

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The Aquanomic Aquaflow (TAF1CM/-AN) kitchen mixer tap from Leisure Sinks has been designed as an economical way of complying with the latest Building Regulations and the Code for Sustainable Homes. Manufactured from robustly engineered chrome brass, the tap is 175mm high and capable of operating at pressures up to 4.0 bar.

Way forward for forests and woodland is announced

At an event in the House of Lords on Tuesday, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson received the first report from Grown in Britain, an initiative created six months ago with a mission to kick start a sustainable future for the UKs forests and woodland.

Sheer style and Elegance from Abacus Direct

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The Elegance range is a collection of towel warmers and radiators that offers something for every bathroom design. With traditional models alongside Ben de Lisi's designer range, there is a choice of finishes, sizes and designs.

Zapper launches Scan-to-Pay to help SMEs who suffer from late payments

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Zapper's new Scan-to-Pay service help reconcile the £36.4bn currently owed to six out of 10 UK SMEs in late payments. The service makes invoice payments as quick and easy as taking a photograph.

Bushboard ups the design ante with the relaunch its Nuance bathroom surfaces

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Bushboard is relaunching in early November its Nuance range of bathroom surfacing, which offers waterproof panels, worksurfaces and upstands in laminate and solid surfacing.

New Whirlpool fridge freezer prolongs life of fruit and vegetables

Food waste has become a very serious issue in recent times. Far too much good food is consigned to the rubbish bin through laziness or because our cooling appliances are not sufficiently equipped to keep fresh food in pristine condition.

Minimum projection, maximum storage opportunities with new Debba furniture range

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With storage solutions being key to achieving a streamlined, relaxing ambience in the bathroom, Roca has extended its popular Debba collection to include a comprehensive range of furniture options.

Welcome to the


Certain members of the press have picked up on the news that the European Commission is to adopt criteria on delivering an Ecolabel to toilets and urinals and have used it to slate the EU, grouping it with such daft decisions as specifying the maximum curve of a cucumber or the fiasco over ‘deadly’ oil jugs and dipping bowls on restaurant tables. They are saying the exercise is a waste of taxpayers’ money.

Now regular readers of my leaders will be aware of my hatred of the expensive interference of the EU in areas of our daily lives in which it really has no business becoming involved, but in this case I am in support of the initiative and if the press wants our support in withdrawing from the EU it needs to be reasonable and it needs to get its facts right.

The Ecolabel initiative is not new legislation – it simply offers a unified way of showing consumers and professional buyers just which companies are genuinely producing sustainable products and which are merely taking their seats on the green bandwagon. It’s something individual companies will request – not another EU demand.

None of the articles I’ve read have mentioned the thinking behind this particular Ecolabel – the fact that our water reserves are seriously depleted and that any toilets and urinals carrying the Ecolabel will be helping to redress the situation by reducing the amount of water needed to flush away our waste.

None of them have admitted that if our toilets and urinals waste less water and perhaps use grey water rather than drinking water, it will save us money on our water bills and keep our food costs down – as food manufacture requires a lot of water!

A reader commenting on one such article has suggested that with even just 10% of toilets and urinals carrying the Ecolabel, there could potentially be an average of 105 million m³/year annual water savings in Europe. Maths was never my strong point but I understand that if you translate this into costs, it offers savings in water costs of Euros 298.2 million/year or savings in water plus sewage costs of Euros 388.5 million/year.

That’s an awful lot of money which, perhaps, even the EU could put to good use…





Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Leisure Sinks announces its 80th anniversary competition winners

* Leisure-Sinks-Jonathan-Horner-1st.jpgLeisure Sinks has announced that Jonathan Horner has won the company's 80th anniversary Big Plug Competition, which required entrants to submit photos of sink plugs in unusual, water-based locations.

Soapbox: Plug the Energy Drain!

* WaterLabel.jpgYvonne Orgill, Chief Executive of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association, writes...

They got a roasting yesterday and our energy suppliers are under a lot of scrutiny. Quite right too. Energy bills are on everyone's mind and we are all looking at ways to keep our costs down.

British Ceramic tile makes an impact with its new glass offer

* Splashback-Pashmina-RT.jpgBursting with a kaleidoscope of colours, contemporary decors and on trend designs, British Ceramic Tile's extended collection of glass products is set to make a big impact.

Designed and made in the UK using the finest quality British glass, the newly relaunched Impact Glass collection offers an extensive portfolio of wall tiles, splashbacks and accessories, all created to provide maximum impact when it comes to creating kitchen or bathroom design schemes.

Bushboard's Encore worksurfaces have starring role on Channel 4's 'Double your House for Half the Money'

* Sarah-Beeny.jpgBushboard's Encore solid surface had a starring role recently in an episode of 'Double Your House for Half the Money' featuring Sarah Beeny on Channel 4.

New family of taps are full of plus points

* Laufen-Twinplus.jpgWith brassware a crucial element of any bathroom design, Laufen has introduced a new family of taps, designed by Andreas Dimitriadis (Platinumdesign), each with its own distinctive style.

With their graceful design, the new cityplus taps are sleek and contemporary, with a pure, flat design and horizontal proportions that make them perfect for urban living.

British Safety Council welcomes drop in fatal and major injuries in GB workplaces

The British Safety Council welcomed the improvements in Great Britain's health & safety performance published by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) yesterday in its annual statistics report.

LDL introduces 'Bright, Shiny New Stars' from Furnipart

* Rio-from-LDL-Furnipart.jpgLDL Components is delighted to unveil the new 2013 collection of contemporary, design-led handles from Furnipart, the leading Danish manufacturer. Available exclusively through LDL, the new range continues the 'The Star on Your Furniture' theme and is entitled Bright, Shiny New Stars. According to Furnipart, the focus is on long, slim aluminium handles elegantly integrated into the full length of the front of the door or drawer and on simple handles or knobs for furniture.

The new collection features 18 stunning designs in a variety of materials including brushed nickel, polished chrome and wood.

We have Mail: personal safety

Ed: This reader wrote in response to my recent leader, in which I confessed to what many others might consider a regular disregard of my personal safety, in order to 'get the job done'. I felt I ought to allow him to remain anonymous as he's still working in the industry and I didn't want to cause him any problems! I've seen this particular practice so often myself...

Jan, Regarding your recent leader, all I can say is, yes me too, I do things like that, I will not be ruled, I think, foolishly.

Anyway I have done a load of daft things during my time, working in distribution as a Transport Manager for a well known electrical retailer. Time and again the warehousemen would, when removing palletised goods from the racking bays, say 40 or 50 feet high, if they bumped the racking beam above and knocked one side out, I would get the call to fix.

Ellis Furniture launches Hydra Chocolate Grey

* Ellis-Hydra-choc-grey.jpgAs part of this season's launch of new bathroom products from Ellis Furniture, the popular Hydra range has welcomed the addition of two new door finishes: Chocolate Grey and Cirrus, both of which offer a warm and welcoming finish to any bathroom.

SBID's Vanessa Brady, wins Women in the City Award for Built Environment

* Vanessa-SBID.jpgVanessa Brady, President of the Society of British & International Design, won the Built Environment Category for the 2013 Women in the City Woman of Achievement Award (endorsed by RIBA and WiBSE), announced at the celebration evening hosted by Bryan Cave, last Thursday.

Creating space and money

* Smiths-before-and-after.jpgSmith's Environmental Products has a great solution for kitchens with limited wall space, Space Saver. Fitting neatly into the plinth of a kitchen unit, Space Saver eliminates the need for conventional radiators, as the before and after pics show.

This neat appliance has great benefits for retailers:

Rob Hassell becomes Astracast's Business Development Director

* Astracast-Rob-Hassell.jpgAs part of Astracast's expansion plans, the company has appointed Rob Hassell to the position of Business Development Director.

Carron Phoenix's Windsor tap is a classic little number

* Carron-Phoenix-Windsor-tap.jpgThe new Windsor tap from Carron Phoenix is bang on the continued trend for heritage styling, combining a traditional swan neck spout with quarter-turn lever handles with crisp white ceramic effect casings.

Sensio welcomes its first Product Developer, Graduate Darcey Wood

Sensio- Darcey Wood.jpgFollowing the launch of its in-house dedicated Product Design & Development Department, Sensio is excited to introduce its first designer, Leeds University graduate Darcey Wood, who began working for the company in September.

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

Soapbox: What impact are large capacity models having on the washing machine market?

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Steve Macdonald, Trade Marketing Director of Freestanding Division Hoover Candy UK, shares his point of view...

Ladder Exchange focuses on training; number trained jumps 40%

Following September's focus on equipment inspection, the 2013 Ladder Exchange has moved into its second month, emphasising the importance of training for ladder users during a record breaking year for ladder training - which has seen the number of users trained, leap 40%.

Axiom by Formica Group proud to support the Made in Britain campaign

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Formica Group is proud to manufacture its popular and widely-used range of kitchen worktops, splashbacks and upstands at its bonding facility in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham and to this effect, Axiom by Formica Group has announced that from September 2013, all of its marketing literature will incorporate the 'Made in Britain' logo.

'BIM' impact on contract and kitchen furniture sectors to be explained at industry event

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A Government backed construction industry initiative, set to impact on the contract furniture sector, will be explained at a furniture industry event next month.

Trustmark welcomes tougher sentencing for rogue traders

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Proposals on tougher sentencing for rogue traders who defraud and bribe the public have been welcomed by TrustMark, the Government endorsed quality mark for reputable tradesmen.

Major milestone reached by BMA

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During a surprise interlude at this week's Bathroom Business Conference, Nina Hossain, broadcaster and journalist and host for the event, announced to the 180 plus attendees that the award winning Bathroom Manfacturers Association had reached a major milestone in its long and well-respected history. The 100th member brand had been signed up that very morning.

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