KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
5th December 2014
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* The Grohe Powerbox - This infrared tap uses water pressure to power itself. Grohe's innovative technology uses the tap's own water flow to drive a turbine, concealed in a small box installed below the basin. This converts the energy from the flowing water into storable electrical energy which then powers the tap's infrared function.
The new product, from Auratherm - part of established electric heating company, Ecolec, offers heat and light with remote controls, incorporating a four hour timer and an LED dimmer switch. The Auratherm vision of controlled heat and light in one electric product with a mirror is an intelligent way to save effort and energy.
Available as a five burner, 90cm model or four burner, 60cm model, the hob presents the perfect cooking solution to those who prefer the controllability of gas married with the sleek aesthetics of crystal tempered glass - and of course a hi-tech touch control panel with digital settings.
The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement seems to have gone down rather well, doesn’t it? I wrote to my MP Chris Grayling early last year suggesting that the Government implement a Stamp Duty system like the one it’s just introduced. I’m so glad my ideas were implemented…
Yes - I am joking!
So often when showing people around properties during my weekend estate agency hobby-job, I’m aware that any which are a few thousand pounds or even £30,000 into the next tax bracket, will not sell if they sport dated, damaged or grubby kitchens and bathrooms, since potential buyers realise there won’t be enough money left to replace them with all the extra tax involved, and they’re simply not prepared to live with them the way they are. I reckon the changes – well at the lower to middle end of the market anyway where people generally have less money to throw around – will make an enormous difference to how quickly properties shift and of course the stamp duty savings can be spent replacing the kitchens and bathrooms, can’t they?
While there were a number of changes announced that will be good for this industry – such as the abolition of National Insurance contributions for employers taking on new apprentices, and the fuel duty freeze, I believe the stamp duty changes will have the most impact on our industry.
As you’re reading this, John Austen and I will be mingling with a few hundred fellow guests at the annual Loo of the Year Awards. Although this event celebrates the best of this nation’s ‘away from home’ loos, it’s not just about WCs and local authority-run public toilets in parks and town centres, but also about complete washrooms in hotels, restaurants, pubs, clubs, shopping malls and – yes – even showrooms. The British Toilet Association, which organises the awards, is open to new members be they corporate or individual and many of them will be your customers or potential customers. The awards themselves need sponsors. I can vouch for the fact that members and sponsors benefit from excellent ongoing global publicity, while the networking opportunities are tremendous. If you’d like to know more, do get in touch with me or email firstname.lastname@example.org
This Week's News
"Practicalities are key to a wet room - a waterproof foam material, such as Abacus Elements, is ideal, as when sealed, it makes the room completely waterproof. This is the same technology that is used in steam rooms - which are essentially the ultimate wet rooms.
In terms of finish, tiles are recommended for the floor; either large tiles or mosaic which are more slip-resistant. Tiles or glass can be used for the walls, or products such as Lustrolite - a glass-looking acrylic which can be cut and worked on site. The use of LED lighting can also enhance the aesthetics of a wet room."
Established by the Chalon family in 1978 as an antique restoration business, Chalon has since expanded and diversified to gain an impressive global reputation from its headquarters in Hambridge. The company has showrooms in Chelsea, Harrogate, St. Albans and Manchester, with a further showroom recently opened in Bristol.
Last week, Smeg supported its national charity of choice, Action Medical Research, at the children's charity's Champions of CycleSport Black Tie Dinner, held at the Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park, by donating a cycling-themed iconic FAB28 fridge for auction.
The unique fridge, which sold for £2,600 (nearly three times the usual cost of a FAB28 fridge) was created by artist and keen cyclist Richard Mitchelson, who has worked with the show's media partner - cycling magazine Rouleur - since 2009. Since then he's used art to document famous races and cyclists in his own bold style.
Elite bathroom furniture from Bauhaus is one of those magic ranges that will lift a bathroom or cloakroom from functional to fabulous - at a very reasonable price.
Six kitchens are showcased in the extensive sales area of around 200 sq.m. They represent the current product range with important innovations for 2015, such as the new carcase height Matrix 900 and the matt lacquer concept with 16 colours and colour pairings for individual designs within four front ranges.
Making for a perfect fit with the Burbidge brand, Will Bolt has established expertise in the kitchen industry, having begun his career working at his family's' kitchen company before occupying a senior sales role for the UK woodwork machinery business, Ney.
Industry body the Ladder Association is helping keep people safe over the Christmas period as part of its annual Ladder Exchange scheme, which gives people the chance to trade in old, dangerous ladders for discounted new ones.
Each month the Ladder Exchange focuses on one safety theme, and December's is all about the dangers unique to using a ladder around Christmas. On the Ladder Exchange website, a new Christmas section has been launched giving 'Five Festive Tips.'
To tap into this trend and strengthen its portfolio of floor tiles even further, British Ceramic Tile has launched Fabulous Floors; a high-end range of specially-selected Italian and Spanish porcelain.
Sweepovac's quality compact vacuum has a self-contained, anti-bacterial vacuum bag and can be retrofitted into the plinth or kickboard of a kitchen - making it perfect for new kitchen developments and updates. Kitchen dust and debris is simply swept towards the vacuum, which sucks it up once the button is pressed with the foot.
Candy has launched one of the largest-capacity ovens on the market - the 78 litre Maxi. The A rated model offers 45% more capacity than a traditional multifunction oven, whilst still fitting into a standard built-in housing unit.
"The Candy Maxi oven offers the consumer, more space, greater flexibility, added functionality and fantastic value for money," says Maurizio Severgnini, managing director of Candy's built-in division.
Granite Transformations' retail network sales rose by a record 24.8% in the franchise's latest monthly figures, with a raft of recent showroom openings yet to impact on revenue, suggesting further growth to come.
This chimes in with official third-quarter returns that reveal the strongest growth in Britain's retail sales sector, since the pre-recession first quarter of 2008. Targeting affordable, hassle-free kitchen makeovers, with its innovative 'top that fits on top' worksurface concept, the company's business model has remained remarkably recession-proof, with several of its top franchise owners set to exceed £1 million in annual sales and the UK network as a whole recording positive growth.
The Movember Foundation is the leading global organisation changing the face of men's health - as well as the faces of men in general - albeit temporarily.
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