KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
15th November 2013


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

International News

Fagorbrandt (France) places organisation under legal protection order - De Dietrich UK remains autonomous

On Wednesday 6th November, FagorBrandt (France) took the decision to place the French part of the Fagor Group under the protection of the French legal system. Consequently, it has filed an application for insolvency in the Nanterre Commercial Court. This decision, which legally separates the activities of FagorBrandt (France) from Fagor Electrodomesticos (Spain) should allow the French business to continue to trade whilst endeavouring to safeguard jobs, together with the interests of its suppliers and partners.

Stunning new extractor hood meets strategic demand for white-glass pack

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Amica, the Polish manufacturer of mid-market, built-in and freestanding appliances, has introduced a new, white glass and steel version of its popular OKC653SW vertical chimney extractor at the request of kitchen and electrical retailers for a complete white-glass package.

Second year for Crosswater at the Sleep Event

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On 20th and 21st November 2013, Crosswater will partner with the renowned international interior designer Kelly Hoppen MBE, in this year's Sleep Hotel - a showcase for the best in hotel bathroom design. Hosting Room 5 at the event, being held at London's Business Design Centre, they will display new brassware; the KH Zero collection - a result of an alliance between Crosswater and the designer.

Infrarad warms up energy debate

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Stylish, good looking and highly efficient space heating that consumes half the energy required to run conventional radiators is now available from a new UK company, Infrarad.

British Ceramic tile makes an impact with its new glass offer

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Bursting 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.

New family of taps are full of plus points

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With 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.

LDL introduces 'Bright, Shiny New Stars' from Furnipart

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LDL 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.

Ellis Furniture launches Hydra Chocolate Grey

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As 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.

Creating space and money

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Smith'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.

Carron Phoenix's Windsor tap is a classic little number

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The 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.

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.

Welcome to the


Although he hasn’t actually started work yet, I have great faith in the latest tradesman to investigate some urgent jobs in my money-pit of a house. It appears that the leaking cistern in my office bathroom can easily be replaced until I’ve saved up for and chosen a new cloakroom suite and furniture and that I don’t need to have the entire floor dug up and drainage altered so that a new loo can be fitted. It’s taken three months and three tradesmen to get to this stage… The first charged for a quick fix that turned out to be unsuccessful, told me to call if it didn’t work and was subsequently busy for the next three months so couldn’t return. The two loos that were left in my porch by the last project manager (no I hadn’t ordered or even chosen them and yes it was the same one that decided in my absence to paint the kitchen walls bright yellow) are now outside awaiting collection.

Ken – in whom I hold much faith, was incredulous over the dodgy repair job by the first tradesman and that the second – seeing the job was something of an emergency with a bowl collecting drips from under the cistern, had done nothing to help despite having taken my keys with a view to sorting it out while I was away in August! My description of the subsequent messing around and vacating of the office so various employees could assess the situation and then come and do the work (not to turn up on two occasions without letting me know) - not to mention having  to drag two heavy loos up two steps and into my understairs cupboard for storage… well it left him scratching his head in disbelief.

Ken said he’s being inundated with requests from homeowners keen to have new kitchens and bathrooms fitted prior to the festive celebrations - and that while this is generally the case, this year is looking exceptionally good.

This echoes the opinion of Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association representatives working at the recent Grand Designs Live exhibition, whose Ruth Ward reports that there was a lot of interest in bathroom and bedroom renovations, kitchen extensions, islands and bi-fold doors. She says it’s apparent that people are choosing to improve rather than move.

With the latest reports indicating that the UK is finally coming out of the doldrums, things are clearly looking good for the KBB industry!





Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Hoover acquires Baumatic UK

Hoover has announced that it has acquired Baumatic UK. Baumatic will be joining a successful portfolio of brands which are marketed by Hoover, including Candy and Rosières.

GDHA invests in accessories market

* Belling-Classic-110DF-Jalapeno.jpgPopular British cooking appliance manufacturer Glen Dimplex Home Appliances has demonstrated its investment in the accessories sector with the launch of a new range of glass splashbacks and hoods, specially designed to complement its existing range of freestanding, built-in and range cookers.

Homeowners looking to improve rather than move at this year's Grand Designs Live

Specialists from the Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association were on hand to dispense expert advice at this year's Grand Designs Live event, enjoying another very busy and very successful exhibition.

Dudok brassware in new finishes rom Grange Design by Antonio Frattini

* Grange-Design-Dudok-mono.jpgGrange Design presents brand new and exclusive finishes to the illustrious Dudok range of bathroom brassware by Antonio Frattini.

Bathroom Brands scoops two Gold Awards at Design Awards 2013

* Elite-Controller-Crosswater.jpgBathroom Brands has scooped two awards at this year's Design Awards...

The Innovation in Marketing Gold Award was presented to the company in recognition of its outstanding commitment to independent bathroom retailers with its groundbreaking £2m Bathroom Sale.

Mereway Kitchens strikes gold at House Beautiful Awards

* MEREWAY-Newark.jpgFor the second year running, leading British kitchen furniture manufacturer Mereway Kitchens has clinched a House Beautiful Award - this time striking Gold in the Best Value Kitchen category for its stunning 'Newark' kitchen.

Morpheus appoints Charu Gandhi as Head of Design

* Morpheus_Charu-Gandhi.jpgMorpheus has appointed Charu Ghandi as its new Head of Design to further spearhead the development of the company as an international design house.

New graphics from ArtiCad

* ArtiCAD-SPP.jpgLeading CAD software specialist for the KBB sector, ArtiCAD, announces the latest graphics available to users of the ArtiCAD-Pro software.

Help for Heroes Award for Mark Stephenson, CEO at PWS

* Help-for-Heroes-PWS.jpgMark Stephenson, CEO of PWS, has been awarded a 'Hero Award', by Help For Heroes, in recognition of his generous donation of four purpose-designed self-help kitchens to Phoenix House, the new Recovery Centre at Catterick and three smaller kitchens to the Endeavour Recovery Centre at HMS Drake in Plymouth. Mark has also committed to ongoing support of the charity, through regular vocational training visits to PWS from residents of the Catterick Recovery Centre.

Whirlpool's pyrolytic ovens make for an easier and happier festive season

* AKZM-657-Pyrolytic-Oven.jpgThe forthcoming festive season is a time to be enjoyed and we don't like to think about the inevitable chores that follow the celebrations. One of our least favourite tasks is cleaning the oven, so why not encourage your clients to dispense with this tiresome chore and save some valuable time money and a little money too?

Hoover helps Children in Need

* BBC-Pudsey.jpgDomestic appliance manufacturer Hoover has donated a Hoover Dynamic 10kg washing machine and matching tumble dryer to 'The Little Miracles' Project as part of BBC's charity 'Children in Need.'

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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

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