KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
13th December 2013


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

International News

Coram introduces shower tray collection for new Premier Range

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Premium British manufacturer of quality shower enclosures, showertrays and bathscreens, Coram Showers, introduces its collection of elite shower trays for its just launched Premier Range of enclosures.

Save time and money with Space-Plug

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Introducing Space-Plug, a revolutionary and ingeniously simple new way of securing kitchen base units to the wall, guaranteed to save time, effort and money. Space-Plug is a tough, adjustable spacer designed specifically for this purpose and now available from LDL.

New Elite mirrored doors and side panels from Simpsons Enclosures offer discreet showering

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Thanks to its mirrored doors and side panels, the new Elite Mirrored enclosure range from Simpsons provides the most discreet form of showering. Ideal for adding a feeling of extra space and light in all bathroom spaces, Elite Mirrored is also the perfect finish for modesty in a shared family bathroom or in Jack and Jill en suites.

Modern Homes wins KBSA Small Business Saturday promotion

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Congratulations to Tina Riley of Modern Homes, winner of the Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association 'Small Business Saturday' promotion.

Tina is a worthy winner as not only did she share details of the event she is running in the showroom on Saturday with the KBSA but her business was also profiled on the Small Business Saturday Facebook page www.facebook.com, which has 8,409 likes!

Astracast appoints Louise Craven to position of National Account Manager

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The exciting developments at Astracast have continued with a new addition to the team; Louise Craven.

Hansgrohe takes the headache out of selecting the optimum shower experience

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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.

Ellis Furniture launches Reflection Gloss Maize

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Continuing 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!

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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!

Electrolux Supplier Awards 2013 winners announced

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Electrolux 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

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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.

Deserved promotion for Laura Weeks!

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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.

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.

Welcome to the


With both my daughters going through senior school at the time Tony Blair was encouraging as many of our young people as possible to attend university, they ignored my advice to ‘get a trade’ and went down the further education route, both gaining excellent degrees in subjects about which they were passionate and aligned to industries which – according to the Government press releases during those years – were about to receive huge and ongoing injections of funding. Apart from one successfully completing a brief internment with a consultancy that was at the time making people redundant, neither has been able to get onto the career ladder in a field that has anything to do with the subjects in which they specialised.

Survey results released today reveal that more than a third of UK employers are now engaging with local schools and colleges, to provide crucial access routes into their organisations. The data also revealed that, despite the increase in the number of access routes, too few employers were receiving applications from people aged 16 - 24. Indeed just under a quarter of employers did not receive a single application from a young person over the last year.

Apparently another recent survey has revealed that large numbers of the UK’s young people are now wishing to become celebrities rather than pursue a meaningful career… I do hope that everyone in the KBB industry takes note of both surveys, starts engaging with our nation’s youth as early as possible in their lives and encourages as many individuals as they can to take up a useful trade so that we no longer have to put up with second rate jobs completed by overpaid and poorly skilled trades people!

And if you’ve already signed up to the scheme reported in this week’s news – or something similar – or if you work in partnership with any of your local educational establishments to attract the most capable candidates to your apprenticeship schemes, I’d love to hear about it.





Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Franke launches 'More in Store' campaign supporting independent specialist retailers

More in Store is the major new campaign being launched by Franke on January 1st and continues Franke's strategy to directly support its independent specialist retailers. 

The campaign follows on from the recent introduction of new sales and distribution policies designed to uphold the values of the Franke brand and protect retailers from unregulated internet trading by 'market free-riders.'

New countertop basins from Bauhaus are beautifully crafted

* Bauhas-Alice-Basin.jpgBauhaus bathroom furniture has added to its extensive collection of designer basins with the introduction of a new range of four beautifully crafted, cultured-mineral marble counter top designs.

Cultured mineral marble basins are produced from natural mineral and stone particles, polyester and resin bonding agents. Cast in exclusively designed Crosswater moulds, each basin is finished in a hardwearing, scratch resistant GelCoat, with a perfect white gloss finish. The uniformity of the surface is warm to the touch as it adopts the ambient room temperature.

More than a third of UK employers bridging gap between education and work

More than a third (35%) of employers are now engaging with local schools and colleges, according to a survey of more than 1,000 UK employers, conducted by the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development.

Saniflo and Barwoods strike deal

Saniflo - UK manufacturer of pumps, macerators, shower cubicles and inclusively designed sanitaryware - struck a deal to supply Barwood Products with the Saniflo Kineduo, Sanimatic and Sanidoor from the Sanilife range. Barwood Products - a leading manufacturer and distributor of inclusive bathroom products - will sell the three Sanilife products under the Barwood brand throughout the UK.

Sir Stirling Moss's bathroom is a star In silver and white

* STIRLING-MOSS_bathroom.jpgSir Stirling Moss OBE is often described as the greatest competitor never to win the Formula 1 world title and is widely regarded as the greatest all-round racing driver of all time.

His high tech house in London's Mayfair is almost as celebrated; the bomb damaged plot having been acquired by Sir Stirling for just £5,000 in 1961 and transformed into a stylish five-storey structure full of computerised and robotised gadgets, including a remote-operated bathtub, automated dumbwaiters and a one-of-a-kind carbon fibre lift made by the Williams F1 team. At 84, Sir Stirling still lives in the same townhouse, currently estimated to be worth at least £10 million.

Water waste of money! Complacency over water saving is wasting thousands of litres - and hundreds of pounds

* Jacob-Tomkins_Waterwise.jpgDaily bath time is now a pastime as busy cost-conscious Brits shower instead - but expensive bad habits significantly reducing associated savings.

* 73% of people leave showers running for an average of 1 minute 45 seconds before getting in, wasting up to 60 litres of water before every shower
* 83% of people admit they have no idea how much water they use personally on an average day and estimates are less than a third of the actual amount

Luna cabinets offer a flexible bathroom storage solution

* Luna.jpgHelping to maximise storage potential in the bathroom, Roca has launched Luna, a new range of mirrored cabinets.

Offering total flexibility and infinite design possibilities, the Luna cabinets can be combined in a whole host of ways to suit the space available and to cater for individual storage requirements.

Abode splashes out in John Lewis

* Abode-Debut-bath-shower-mixer.jpgJohn Lewis, the well known high street department store, recently chose Abode to supply the group with a host of design-led bathroom taps and showers for its new, in-store bathroom departments. The group's programme of new bathroom studio openings is going extremely well with its flagship store in Oxford Street, London, being the latest to make its debut.

PWS injects new colour palette to Metris collection

* Contour_Curve_chalk-blue.jpgPWS has introduced an extensive line-up of new design options to its contemporary Metris collection. In response to the demand for personalisation in the kitchen Metris has launched a 15-strong colour palette in matt, high gloss and textured finishes.

Bushboard appoints National Training Manager

* Bushboard_Steve-Ball.jpgSteve Ball has been appointed as the National Training Manager at Bushboard. Bushboard has created this new position in its management team to strategically develop the sales and growth of its premium brands of installer-ready worksurfaces in M-Stone quartz and Encore solid surface.

Mereway Kitchens commends more employees for 20 years' service

* MEREWAY-20s.jpgFamily owned, Birmingham kitchen and bathroom furniture manufacturer Mereway Kitchens, recently commended a further four employees for 20 years of service with the company.

In 1993, employees Lynda Blue, John Bourne, Ian Hickman and Martin Suffolk joined Mereway and now 20 years later celebrated their long service at a presentation event with Managing Directors Bob and Richard Norris. In recognition of their loyalty, integrity and commitment, each received a personal gift to mark the occasion.

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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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Publishing Director
Tel: +44 (0)1580 755 863
Mobile: 07766 707 888
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NHBC new home registrations continue to soar

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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

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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.

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

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