KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
2nd March 2018


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

International News

Soundbathe in good company at KBB as Google enters hidden speaker market

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With KBB Birmingham around the corner, Techvision has announced that soundbathe will be making a 'discreet' appearance in Birmingham. Delivering hidden music, soundbathe transforms (almost) any surface into a high-quality Bluetooth speaker. It can turn baths, walls, splash-backs, cabinets and furniture into giant sensory-audio music systems.

KBB Birmingham 2018: Karonia to launch additions to Mistral worktop range - M100

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KBB Birmingham 2018 will see the launch of four exciting new additions to the Mistral worktop range, including two marble-inspired decors. The stand itself will put the brand's 'Inspire, Imagine, Create' ethos to the fore to demonstrate the benefits to retailers of having Mistral products in their portfolio and highlight the comprehensive support provided as they sell, design and install this luxurious 25mm solid surface worktop.

KBB Birmingham 2018: Rotpunkt to showcase new launches - N110

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German Kitchen furniture manufacturer Rotpunkt tells us it will be seizing this invaluable opportunity to launch a range of new products, sizes, materials and finishes with the philosophy of 'Inner Beauty', with the hope of inspiring and breathing new life and interest into 'what's behind the kitchen door' as well.

Sensor technology at its best with Blanco's Solenta-S tap

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Blanco UK has redefined sensor technology to make life in the kitchen easier. The Solenta-S tap has a manual or hands-free Start-Stop mode. With a near field sensor detection located in the hose arm, unwanted activation is prevented.

Utilising a professional design, the stainless steel product is elevated with a precise magnetic spray holder for user accessibility. Designed for convenience, the Solenta-S is available with the lever on either the left or right side making it a perfect match for user's preferences.

Roca goes above and beyond at KBB

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Roca, the world leader in creating imaginative, beautifully designed and sustainable bathroom solutions, will be unveiling innovative new designs at kbb Birmingham. At the show, which takes place from 4-7 March 2018 at the NEC in Birmingham, Roca will be launching its eagerly-awaited Beyond and Carmen collections as well as exhibiting the new Armani/Roca range.

Velvet Victoria sleigh bed will provide that bedroom glamour

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With grey still going strong and velvet and metallics both set to be big news in 2018, the Victoria sleigh bed from Hyder Living ticks all the trend boxes.

New Kinemagic model even more accessible

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The Kinedo range of cubicles from Saniflo has been extended with an extra model in the Kinemagic range.

The Kinemagic Serenity Plus is a high quality, all-in-one shower cubicle that has been designed to fit in exactly the same space as a standard bath and can be installed with the minimum fuss and hassle.

KBB 2018: Rehau's Rauvisio to take centre stage - M123

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Rehau will be showcasing its innovative and flexible Rauvisio surface materials and edge banding product range, which add a stylish and durable finish to any surface or furniture.

One of the products taking centre stage will be the Rauvisio Crystal Mirror. Technically known as polymeric glass, Crystal Mirror is one of the most advanced mirror materials in the world, and is a great alternative to mirrored glass.

It is aesthetically as beautiful as real glass yet has none of its limitations, opening up new and exciting opportunities in the design and production of kitchen, bathroom and bedroom furniture and surfaces.

Alongside Crystal Mirror, Rehau will also be introducing visitors to Rauvisio Wave, Karat polymer-stone and Mineral solid-surface ranges plus its new Crystal Decors portfolio.


British Ceramic Tile combines the old with new to advance its production techniques

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While some tile manufacturers threw out the old with the new, British Ceramic Tile chose to re-evaluate its production techniques fusing together two manufacturing processes to deliver product collections with the extra wow factor.

With sales of collections such as Luna and Ted Baker Geometric growing month on month, the company has plans to increase its product portfolio to include more ranges that offer this innovative production process which sees the latest in inkjet technology combined with rotocolour printing.

Bijoux accessories are perfectly formed

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Perfectly formed to complement small en suites and bathrooms short on space, the new 45cm towel rails from Vado have been elegantly fashioned to coordinate with bijoux sanitaryware to create the perfect finishing touch.

Not everyone wants a towel ring, or has the space for a standard 60cm rail. Recognising the shift in trend towards smaller, minimalist bathrooms, the new shorter rails have been developed to satisfy this market need.

Welcome to the



This is just what we need, isn't it? A country blanketed in snow, warnings of black ice everywhere, abandoned vehicles all over the place, trains welded to frozen tracks and no signs of improvement... All just a day or two before many of us plan to head to the NEC Birmingham for the start of the UK's biggest showcase for our sector - KBB 2018, which opens at 09:30 on Sunday!

I'm one of the lucky ones who can swan up and enjoy the show once all the hard work's been done... Yes, it's tough on the feet, covering what seems like endless miles to get around all the stands, but that's nothing compared to the efforts that have gone into building the stands and ensuring the exhibits are in place. Those involved deserve a pat on the back this year since the logistics involved will have been so much more complicated because of the weather. I can imagine the exhaustion felt at the end of each day under normal circumstances, but when that's added to, perhaps, being told that the stand's centerpiece is in an overturned lorry on the motorway and having to make last minute changes to plug the gap, or being stuck for hours a freezing vehicle, unable to make it back to the hotel for a much-needed hot shower, it must be soul destroying!

This weather causes enormous headaches for our industry, doesn't it, with customers waiting excitedly at home for deliveries and getting nasty when things have been delayed - as if they could do any better! Sometimes deliveries will arrive on time but the fitters are stranded somewhere or have been called out to an emergency.

In cases like this, communication is key. It's so easy to email and apologise for the delay, or 'phone and discuss a new estimated time/date - I don't know why more companies don't take the trouble. Although this week you're less likely to be accused of forcing someone to take an unnecessary day off work, timely communication breeds goodwill, instills trust and encourages repeat business.

If you're coming to the show, do drive safely (did you see the M62 pile-up video? It's worth a look as it explains so much more than any expert will about clever behavior in bad conditions or following an accident)! Having had my appetite whetted by the fabulous images and descriptions in the press releases I've been sent, I'm looking forward to seeing it all in reality and I'm hoping to see you there too!



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Blanco appoints new regional sales manager for Northern Ireland

* Blanco-NI-Darren-McCrellis.jpgBlanco UK has appointed Darren McCrellis (pictured right) as regional sales manager for Northern Ireland. He has replaced Joe Cleland (pictured left) who was Blanco's previous regional sales manager in Northern Ireland for over 12 years.

Darren has joined Blanco from Potter Cowan in Belfast where he was showroom manager. Prior to that, he was sales and design consultant with Orrlee Kitchens for 10 years.

KBB 2018: Full steam ahead for Steamist - B50

* Steamist1.jpgSteamist, which supplies bespoke, luxury steam rooms, showers and saunas to the residential and commercial sectors, will be demonstrating its steam shower in the Total Sense Steam Cabin to potential specifiers and installers.

Visitors will also get the chance to look at the ShowerSense, which enables the user to employ up to three separate outlets. Then the luxury extras include the ChromaSense Lighting option which lets the bather switch between six colour enhancements of blue, green, pink, red, yellow and purple, as well as white.

Brand announcement - Arcade to become part of the Burlington Bathrooms Collection

* Brand-Announcement.jpgThe Bathroom Brands group is set to reveal a series of exciting innovations and advancements for each of the individual brands, including the brand merge of the distinctive Arcade collection with Burlington Bathrooms, at KBB Birmingham next week.

In a year of exceptional development for the Bathroom Brands Group, the two level, 350sq.m stand will introduce a new phase for Arcade, with the exceptional craftsmanship of the brassware and ceramic ranges retained as part of The Arcade Collection from Burlington.

KBB 2018: Dallmer showcase stylish new drainage solutions - G75

* Dallmer-Cera.jpgHoping to repeat the success of its previous appearance at the venue, Dallmer will be showcasing its industry-leading floor drain solutions.

The commercial and top end residential manufacturer's stand will provide specifiers and installers - as well as other customers, with the chance to view its renowned DallFlex and recently revamped CeraLine series of products.

Your country needs you!

The Kitchen Bathroom & Bedroom Specialists Association tells us it's been contacted by the Building Engineering Services Association regarding raising awareness of the so-called 'Aldous Bill'. The Bill seeks to amend the Construction Act to ensure retention monies are held in secure third-party deposit schemes, leading to a much better built environment and supply chain.

The KBSA says it is happy to add its name to the list of supporters of the Bill, which currently boasts 53 supporting bodies covering many different areas of the industry and over 100 MPs. Please find attached some items that may be of use:

KBB 2018: Back to nature with new Ceralsio and Quartz colours for CRL Stone - F85

* CRL-KBB-1.jpgMarking the first time CRL Stone has exhibited in its own right at KBB, Stand F85 will have a distinctive natural feel, as the company launches a range of new colours into its CRL Quartz and Ceralsio collections. Visitors will be amongst the first to see 11 new colours in the manufacturer's popular Ceralsio ceramic and CRL Quartz ranges, all influenced by striking natural materials including marble and granite.

The new additions, launched due to customer demand, bring the total number of colours available from CRL Stone to 70 and all of them will be on display at the Show.

British Ceramic Tile looks at trends influencing interior spaces and surfaces in 2018

* BCT-Trends-MAIN-PIC.jpgThe trends for 2018 are a tale of two stories according to British Ceramic Tile's in-house design team. On one side, you have faded grandeur; interiors that have aged over time, revealing an inner beauty. Surfaces are worn and distressed, revealing layers of visual interest for a textural, natural look within an organic colour palette.

British Ceramic Tile's head of design and product, Claire O'Brien, explains:

Strong Q4 builders merchants' sales complete another year of growth

* BMBI-Q4-report.jpgThe latest data released in the BMF's Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) confirms total Q4 2017 sales were up +6.3% on Q4 2016, delivering stronger growth for the quarter than the running average, which in turn helped to push the annual growth numbers. Overall, merchant sales in 2017 finished 4.8% ahead of 2016 by value.

Win a spa break for two at KBB 2018

* Win-spa-break-KBB.jpgAs Hafele brings its biggest stand to date to the UK's largest kitchen, bedroom and bathroom experience to next week's KBB, it's also sharing a big prize for a lucky winner: a luxurious spa break for two.

Maxtop Quartz strikes agreement with Irish distributor

* Maxtop-Quartz.jpgMaxtop Quartz has struck a deal with Cookstown Panel Centre (CPC) in Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland. Established more than 30 years ago, CPC supplies quality products to the kitchen trade across the whole of Ireland - everything from Blum hinges to Egger MFC, along with a portfolio of surfaces which Maxtop Quartz's Black Onyx Sparkle, Diamond White, Pewter Grey and Warm Grey surfaces now joins.

"We pride ourselves on supplying the highest quality and most comprehensive range of kitchen materials in the marketplace and Maxtop Quartz is no exception to this," explains Gerard Mallon, CPC managing director.

For a traditional kitchen with a modern twist, the Nebraska range from Schmidt has it all

* traditional-kitchen-modern-twist.jpgAs our kitchen spaces become ever more multifunctional, it's important to choose a style that suits your needs and lifestyle on many levels. It not only has to keep its good looks for years to come but it also has to deliver in terms of design with a layout packed with practical features.

When you want the perfect blend of classic and contemporary styling, the Nebraska collection from Schmidt Kitchens offers the best of both worlds.

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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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Tel: +44 (0)1580 755 863
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Recent News

KBB Birmingham 2018: BiKBBI confirms its programme - T125

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British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation has confirmed its programme for KBB Birmingham 2018 - a series of talks at its mini auditorium that is focused on a wide variety of installation related topics.

Sunday 4th March:

Stoves relaunches Community Kitchens Competition

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A competition, by British cooking brand Stoves, offering community kitchen projects, charities and organisations the chance to win kitchen appliances to support their work, has reopened for entries.

Bertazzoni joins forces with several distributors

Bertazzoni is set to realise its distribution potential, having partnered with several companies across the UK. Gardiner Distribution, KA Distribution, KTS (Kitchen Trade Suppliers), MCD, Sinks & Things and Swift Electrical will be supporting the Italian-headquartered kitchen appliance manufacturer in achieving greater reach to kitchen specialists and independent retailers.

British Ceramic Tile inspires local students with creative project

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British Ceramic Tile has shown its support for young designers at Plymouth College of Art once again, setting a creative brief to inspire second year students.

Croydex partners new national campaign to Love The Home You Live In

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Croydex is continuing its mission to makeover Britain's bathrooms by becoming an official partner for the newly launched National Home Improvement Week. The nationwide campaign, which runs from 12th to 18th March 2018, offers advice and inspiration to help people make the most of their living space.

Training success at Abode

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Abode sales office administrators Ellie McCall (left) and Abbie Wilkinson (right) have qualified at NVQ Level 3 in Customer Service.

Soapbox: What lessons can we learn from Carillion's collapse?

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Peer-to-peer business lending specialist ArchOver CEO Angus Dent outlines the lessons to be learned from Carillion's demise, and the steps smaller businesses should take to ensure they won't be hurt by future failures.

Top inclusive design award for VitrA and Sheffield Hallam University

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VitrA UK, one of Europe's leading bathroom manufacturers and part of the international Eczacibasi Group, has been recognised by the UK Over 50's Housing Award, for its considerable efforts to address the needs of our ageing population.

Overall growth forecast in the UK floor and wall tiles market at 7% until 2021

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Subject as it is to the influences of consumer and business spending levels, construction output and underlying economic trends, the wall and floor tiles market delivered a strong performance between 2014 and 2017 with overall growth of 8%.

KBB 2018: Bathroom Brands Group set to impress - Stand H20 E95

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Bathroom Brands tells us that 2018 is set to be a groundbreaking period of development for the Group, with KBB acting as a starting whistle for the year ahead.

KBB Birmingham 2018: Roper Rhodes returns with not one, but two stands - D55 & D60

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Following its successful return to KBB Birmingham two years ago, Roper Rhodes is exhibiting at this year's show with not one but two stands spanning an impressive 241sq.m.

Belling unveils winners of its first Cookery Club competition

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Leading cooking appliance manufacturer, Belling, has announced the winners of its first Cookery Club competition and presented them each with £2,000 worth of cooking appliances.


Blanco launches online spares website

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Blanco UK has launched a brand new website, www.blancotapspares.co.uk to provide aftersales care for customers and assist with buying spare parts for Blanco taps. Easy to navigate, the new website offers spare parts for all taps within the Blanco range and includes replacement parts such as levers, ceramic disc cartridges, O-rings, and spare spouts.

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