KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
29th November 2013
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To coincide with World Toilet Day on Tuesday of this week, Better Bathrooms compiled a list of what the staff feel are the 10 most unusual loos around the world and as well as being unusual they're all currently completely free of charge to use. At 15,190 feet above sea level, Saint-Gervaise-Les-Bains on Mont Blanc has specially designed toilets for use in extreme conditions. These 'dry' toilets are waterless and chemical-free, instead utilising a worm-composting system to deal with the waste.
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.
The weather in the UK has turned chilly and people are succumbing to the seasonal colds that spread rapidly through the workforce. It’s rare for me to become unwell so I shouldn’t grumble at having been laid up this week with a heavy cold and what feel like broken ribs from all the sneezing (don’t laugh – it may be coming your way soon!) Being unable to breathe properly means that any sleep is fitful and being overly-tired, achy and stuffed up with cold isn’t conducive to a cheerful disposition…
It’s easy to feel down at this time of year anyway. It’s generally cold, wet and dull and those that work don’t see much daylight. Overheated trains are crammed with commuters dressed for the outside, while traffic jams seem endless. Folk are hidden by umbrellas or have their heads down, braced against the weather, so there’s little eye contact and few friendly greetings. And although we’re told the economy is improving, we’re worried about our finances, potential job losses and the inevitable strikes disrupting our already difficult days. All this adds to the general feeling of gloom.
I'm sure I’m not the only one wishing I lived somewhere hot – or even up in the mountains which despite the snow can offer real warmth and bright sunshine. Indeed I was planning my escape when a press release came in, with a link to Mereway’s latest short video – ‘Proudly Made in Britain’. Aaahhh… distraction! To YouTube then…
It wasn’t long before I was feeling emotional. I realised that somehow instead of being slumped (the ribs!) in my chair, I’d pulled myself up into a more regal position – almost out of respect for what I was seeing and hearing. I’ve never been much of a Beatles fan but I was in the crowd lined up at Heathrow watching the Concorde fleet coming in for the last time and yes even writing about it I’m teary eyed at what we achieved and have subsequently lost. A promotional video for the manufacturer? Or a promotional video for Britain? Whatever you decide, I challenge you to watch it and not feel, as I did, that those of us in the UK are actually living in a pretty wonderful place and have something of which we should be very proud…
This Week's News
New home registration statistics for the UK, released today by NHBC, show that the number of new homes being registered continues to improve on last year's figures with an overall 24% increase for the rolling quarter August to October compared to the same period in 2012.
As part of the innovative Select programme from Hansgrohe, the new ShowerSelect concealed thermostat sets make selecting and turning the different functions on and off both intuitive and pleasing: with the simple push of a button. Each person taking a shower is assured the exact same, comfortable experience every time. There are no complex electronics, just a reliable mechanical control that is also easy to install in conjunction with the tried and tested iBox from Hansgrohe.
The Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group, a subsidiary of the kitchen & bathroom buying group in Europe, DER KREIS, supports the UK's first 'Small Business Saturday' that takes place on 7th December 2013.
At a glittering awards ceremony in London recently, furniture by designer Mark Wilkinson OBE became the first furniture for the kitchen to be recognised as a Design Classic, in its own right.
Continuing this season's launch of new bathroom products, Ellis Furniture has launched Reflection Gloss Maize with the new centre wave worktop.
Abode won another Gold Award at the Designer K&B Magazine's 10th anniversary Awards. The Gold Award presented to Paul Illingworth, Design Manager of Abode at the recent Awards lunch, makes it six Golds in a row for Abode!
A new online tool has launched with a promise to slash the cost of producing risk assessments and method statements by as much as 90% and relieve the headache of compliance. Hands HQ makes health & safety documentation easy and is suitable for the millions of contractors and peripheral industry businesses that are required by law to complete risk assessments and method statements as part of their daily routine.
One of Britain's best loved kitchen manufacturers, Mereway, has pulled out the stops once again to create an audio visual delight for the kitchen industry; a stirring and patriotic film memorably showcasing British heritage and manufacturing.
The focus of the film is home grown craftsmanship and innovation that's synonymous with both the Mereway brand and particularly its English Revival kitchens.
Maytag, renowned for its superior quality appliances and American heritage, has launched a new retailing concept, Maytag Premier Centres.
Electrolux held its first ever Supplier Awards event last week, celebrating its top direct material suppliers from around the world.
The Kitchen Door Workshop, hopes to provide those in the trade with a little welcome relief this year in the pre-Christmas rush with its fast turnaround times and quick and fuss free installations.
As yet another example of how Crosswater promotes from within, Laura Weeks has been promoted from the Sales Office to the new role of Marketing Communications Officer for the Crosswater Group.
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In the last month, the Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has welcomed on board two new retail members - Dream Bedroom & Kitchen Designs and Hurford & Tebbutt.
Topps Tiles has been recognised for excellence in businesses that employ apprentices after being named as one of the country's Top 100 Apprentice Employers 2013, by the National Apprenticeship Service in partnership with City & Guilds.
A survey of the private rental market, by popular shower and tapware brand Methven, has revealed that poor quality fixtures and fittings are the biggest rental bugbear for tenants - and can cause them to leave their properties early.
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.
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.
Whether you're a cynic or a supporter, whether you like it or not, labelling for water-using products is here to stay. And that's a fact so you'd better get used to it.
Latest estimates suggest that Europe is heading towards a drought and it will run dry in 2050.
Food waste disposal expert InSinkErator, has this week expressed its support of new research from the Waste & Resources Action Programme, indicating a reduction in household food waste.