KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
29th November 2013


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

International News

Are these the most unusual toilets in the world?

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.

Abode Aurora: lights indicate water temperature

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Abode creates both beautiful and practical taps that deliver elegance and innovation in equal measure - its kitchen mixertaps are created for customers who desire the perfect design, performance and quality in their homes - without an enormous price tag - and this latest offering has something extra special in terms of safety by indicating water temperature.

New space saving solution from Bauhaus

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Squeezing an extra designer wall-hung WC and furniture into the smallest space just became a lot easier thanks to the Ultra Slim hidden-in-the-wall WC support frame and cistern from Bauhaus.

Britton's stunning new one piece basin and pedestal extends Curve range

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Available and in stock now, this stunning, streamlined, single piece basin from Britton Bathrooms is a brand new addition to the Curve range of bathroom ware. The modern, vitreous china, freestanding basin and pedestal combination joins one of the most comprehensive ranges of sanitary ware.

Ceramic Style from Belling

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Renowned UK appliance manufacturer, Belling, has added to its collection of built-in hobs with the addition of 77cm ceramic hob with touch control.

IDS launches first range of kitchen taps from Grohe

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Surface materials distributor IDS has introduced its very first range of kitchen taps from renowned European brand Grohe. The new product line complements IDS's extensive worktop offer in laminate, solid surface, solid wood and quartz to its trade customers and provides them with an easy-purchase solution of quality branded taps.

Let there be light!

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For a limited period only while stocks last, leading distributor LDL Components is offering special promotional sets of LED lighting from its Linea range. Offering the ideal opportunity to upgrade to highly efficient LED energy saving lighting, the promotion focuses on the popular 24V LED downlights, available in square, round or triangular format.

GDHA invests in accessories market

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Popular 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.

Dudok brassware in new finishes rom Grange Design by Antonio Frattini

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

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.

Welcome to the


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…





Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

NHBC new home registrations continue to soar

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.

Hansgrohe takes the headache out of selecting the optimum shower experience

* Hansgrohe_ShowerSelect1.jpgAs 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.

KBBG applauds 'Small Business Saturday' initiative

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.

The Cook’s Kitchen, by Mark Wilkinson OBE, first to win Design Classic Award

* Wilkinson.jpgAt 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.

Ellis Furniture launches Reflection Gloss Maize

* Ellis-Reflection-Gloss-Maize.jpgContinuing this season's launch of new bathroom products, Ellis Furniture has launched Reflection Gloss Maize with the new centre wave worktop.
Featuring a 22mm lacquered handle-less door, Reflection is available across the entire fitted and modular cabinet offer. Shown here with reduced depth modular units and a glass centre wave worktop, the effect is simple, stylish and contemporary.

Six Golds in a row for Abode!

* AbodeTempeauBathShower.jpgAbode 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!

New online tool helps contractors work more safely and win more work

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.

A Mereway phenomenon... proudly 'Made in Britain'

* MEREWAY-screenshot.jpgOne 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 launches new Premier Centres

* Maytag-Gillmans.jpgMaytag, renowned for its superior quality appliances and American heritage, has launched a new retailing concept, Maytag Premier Centres.

Electrolux Supplier Awards 2013 winners announced

* Winner_Carel.jpgElectrolux held its first ever Supplier Awards event last week, celebrating its top direct material suppliers from around the world.

Visions in High Gloss in Red by Kitchen Door Workshop

* Kitchen-Door-Workshop-red.jpgThe 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.

Deserved promotion for Laura Weeks!

* Laura-Weeks.jpgAs 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.

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

Lustrolite brightens up the House Beautiful Awards

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Abacus Direct won the silver award for the best bathroom product at the October 2013 House Beautiful Awards. The awards ceremony was held at London's Science Museum.

Two new retail members join KBSA

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 named Top 100 Apprentice Employer

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.

Shabby kitchens and bathrooms are biggest bugbear for tenants

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 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.

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.

Soapbox: Doing nothing is not an option, so here is your invitation

Yvonne Orgill, Chief Executive of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association, argues the case for conserving our precious water resources and invites everyone to become involved...

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.

New RIBA-CPD on EUTR announced

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Experts have announced the launch of a new Continuous Professional Development seminar, approved by the Royal Institute of British Architects, which aims to help architects and designers to understand their obligations under the EU Timber Regulation.

InSinkErator applauds new WRAP research

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.

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