KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
14th January 2011
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The US National Kitchen & Bath Association has announced the election results for the 2011 NKBA Executive Committee, which will be led by 2011 President David Alderman, CMKBD of Chesapeake, Virginia. The 2010 Vice President Alan Zielinski, CKD of Niles, Illinois will become President-Elect, while 2010 NKBA Secretary John Morgan of Glyndon, Maryland has been elected Vice President. Mark L. Karas, CMKBD will serve as Immediate Past President.
UK Intellectual Property Minister Baroness Wilcox has welcomed new arrangements for filing patents in Europe which will cut costs for businesses.
A new brochure, focusing entirely on Blanco's extensive range of taps, is being launched this month by Blanco UK. As well as the stylish chrome and brushed steel taps for which the company is well known, the brochure also includes the latest selection of the coloured styles which are currently capturing the consumer imagination.
Tile Depot, the independent tile and stone retailer with 15 stores in London and the South East, has held the cost of home improvements with 2011 tiles and tiling products at 2010 pre-VAT hike prices until the end of its Winter sale.
In an era where hobs are aplenty but often indistinguishable in terms of design and performance, the importance of staying one step ahead is paramount as budgets are being continually squeezed.
Welcome to the
As someone who's just bought my first ever set of bathroom scales in the sales (not just any old scales, but a digital set that analyses the amount of fat, muscle and water I'm carrying!) it was interesting to see that sales of these items are rocketing - see the report in this week's news, below.
I'm clearly not the only one to be saying, "Enough"!
That I was able to buy a British set (maximum weight 125Kg) as opposed to a US set, which can handle the real heavyweights (up to 180Kg) was of some comfort, but then perhaps if I hadn't bought them when I did, I might at some stage have needed the more substantial version. Here's hoping it never comes to that.
But where to put them? I daresay it won't be long before some clever manufacturer finds a way to integrate bathroom scales into the bathroom furniture itself, nicely hidden but ready to be revealed at the touch of a button or a voice command... Of course this will be particularly useful for those that need the higher capacity scales, as they won't have to share their naughty secret with other bathroom users...
I'm back on my favourite subject of innovation again, aren't I? Indeed it wasn't long after I'd finished writing about it in last week's leader, which had got me thinking about some of the incredible innovation I've come across during my short time in this industry, that I discovered that my microwave has broken.
Lack of time has meant that I've not been able to go and buy a new one and my goodness - have we suffered!
I've never owned a dishwasher and actually rather enjoy 'doing the dishes' (it allows me time to think) and I've also gone without a fridge freezer and an oven for a while in the past - on more than one occasion. I even managed for many weeks without a kitchen as the manufacturer had sold part of it and I had to wait for more units to be made, only then to be let down by the installer. Of course once the installer had cleared his backlog of work, we discovered that further units had been sold from the collection I'd already paid for so once again I had to wait for more to be made.
But the microwave... I knew it was useful but I had no idea just how much we've come to rely on it. How on earth did I cope before I had my first one, back in December 1986?
Yes - it might seem 'old hat' to many of those in this industry but having had to be without one for a week I've decided that the humble microwave - even in its most basic form - gets my vote for being the kitchen innovation of my lifetime.
Guess where I'm going at the weekend?
This Week's News
Methven (formerly known as Deva), the global supplier of showers and tapware with headquarters in New Zealand and offices in Australia and in the UK, is gearing up for a busy start to the New Year with preparations for EcoBuild and ISH. Stands at both shows will feature working displays and the company will unveil its collection of luxury, designer showers and tapware for the UK and European markets.
At EcoBuild - ExCel, London from 1st through 3rd March, stand S251 - Methven will showcase an array of innovative water and energy saving products with Satinjet twin jet technology, which delivers a superior performing shower with just nine litres of water a minute, demonstrating there is no need to compromise on luxury design or performance to be green in the bathroom. Visitors to the stand will see the award winning Satinjet Kiri and Tahi collections and the new Satinjet Kaha collection, plus more.
In the wake of the worst downturn in recent history, the US home improvement industry is poised for growth, according to a major report released yesterday by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.
'A New Decade of Growth for Remodeling', is the sixth and latest report in the 'Improving America's Housing' series, published by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center.
A fantastically useful application has been designed specifically for retailers and designers of Uber kitchens.
High gloss finishes and natural wood effects are two of the key trends of the moment for the contemporary bathroom and Shades has successfully combined the two with the introduction of its stunning Napoli furniture collection, available in a choice of oak or walnut.
Site insurance provider Self-Build Zone has today welcomed the Government's recent policy announcement that it is to cut red tape and boost demand in the UK self-build sector.
Housing Minister Grant Shapps called on the country's aspiring self-builders to make a housebuilding revolution their New Year's resolution. Self-builders are already Britain's largest housebuilder and account for one-fifth of Britain's new homes each year, but for far too long the aspirations of ordinary people to build their own home have been thwarted by barriers and red tape. The Government says that barriers which stand in people's way will be torn down - including a complex and bureaucratic planning system, regulatory burdens, and lack of access to land and finance.
Designed to fit in standard 600mm kitchen cabinets, Contour measures 950mm x 508mm overall and its bowl is 420mm x 400mm with a depth of 180mm. The sinks are completely reversible and the overflow is positioned centrally on the drainer side of the bowl, to make specification easy.
Neil leaves his position at furniture fittings giant Hettich, after a highly successful seven years. He joined in 2004 as Area Sales Manager, North-West, before promotion in 2006 lead to ultimate responsibility for all products, marketing and training in the UK.
Bauformat is launching its new Handle-less CUBE 130 range of kitchens alongside the new 2011 product development for both 'Bauformat' & 'Burger Kuechen', with 15 displays on show at the IMM Koln Furniture Fair, which starts next Tuesday and runs through to 23rd January.
"There are a few VIP tickets available for the preview day," says Bodie Kelay, Director at Euromobel UK. "Please contact the UK office if you'd like some."
If you can't make it to Cologne and would like more information on the many advantages of working with one of Germany's largest kitchen manufacturers:
T: 01922 698000
F: +44 1922 698001
Following a call last week by UCATT - the Union of Construction, Allied Trades & Technicians - for a government review of payroll companies in the construction sector, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation has emphasised the need to strike a balance between stopping false self-employment and ensuring that the UK construction industry retains its flexible workforce.
Under current regulations, self-employed workers must be registered with both Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs and the Construction Industry Scheme before any payment is processed. Construction companies work closely with HMRC to verify the status of every sub-contractor paid within the CIS.
Mereway's transport team recently attended a Basic First Aid training course as part of each driver's personal training programme; their 'Certificate of professional competence in HGV driving', with all 17 team members successfully passing the qualification.
The aim of the course was to equip the drivers with basic first aid knowledge required to assist effectively should they be the first on the scene at an incident - for example a traffic accident or an accident at work. The course teaches basic skills that can help save lives as the first few minutes before the emergency services arrive can make a real difference to someone in need of help, or indeed if the Mereway drivers themselves are injured.
The world bathroom scales market is being driven by the growing demand from health conscious consumers focused on maintaining good shape and increasing awareness that body fat percentage is a more precise and superior indicator of health in contrast to body weight. Further, favourable demographics such as rapidly growing population of aged people are poised to result in increased sales of bathroom scales.
The need as well as usage of bathroom scales is significantly growing among patients suffering from chronic congestive heart disease that need regular monitoring of their body fat. Exercisers and dieters also show special interest towards fat scale analysers that facilitate body fat measurement and differentiate between weight loss and fat loss.
Small businesses say Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs should get its own house in order following reports of poor service !
The Forum of Private Business is warning small firms to keep proper financial records or face fines of more than £3,000.
Electrolux has received an environmental award for its Vac from the Sea initiative, through which it has manufactured a range of vacuum cleaners from plastic debris collected from several of the world's seas.
The 'Keep Norway Clean' organisation's 'Gullklypa' is an annual prize awarded to a company or an organisation that has shown outstanding commitment to improving the local environment.
Brussels lacks a "clear vision or strategy" on consumer rights legislation, Ursula Pachl, deputy director-general of the European consumer group BEUC, told EurActiv in an interview this week.
"What's currently missing is a clear vision or strategy on how consumer legislation should evolve in the European Union," she said.
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News in Brief
Ideal Standard is to close its UK production site in Middlewich, as well as sites in Revin and Dole in France, due to worsening market conditions. The UK closure threatens some 250 jobs.
Famed designer Kelly Hoppen has launched her fabulous Limited Edition Collection at Waterfront Bathrooms. T: 01527 584244
Fagor has introduced a 60cm four burner gas-on-glass hob with black rotary controls, which sits beautifully in black stone or granite work surfaces. E: sales@Kenberne.co.uk
Italian cooker hood producer Falmec's new Noise Reduction System results in 25% less noise and an almost whisper-quiet extractor. E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Good news for the environment: The water polo arena being constructed for the London 2012 Olympic Games will be fitted with low-flow taps and showers and waterless urinals.
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Yesterday the Government invited organisations to register their interest in forming a technology and innovation centre focused on the area of high value manufacturing.
Electrolux Design Lab 2011 invites industrial design students and recent graduates of industrial design to compete for a six-month paid internship and prize money by submitting ideas that consider intelligent mobility within home appliances. The brief specifically seeks solutions that address how people prepare food, clean and do dishes both within and beyond the home.
2011 will see a surge in minimalist and luxury kitchen styles, according to solid surface distributor Staron UK.
With up to 20cm of additional snow forecast in parts of the UK today and the immediate weather outlook offering little respite, employers across the country are increasingly having to cope with a reduced workforce as staff struggle to get to work. The Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development's (CIPD) employee relations adviser, Mike Emmott, advises employers to be flexible with employees during bouts of adverse weather:
Bringing a huge amount of relevant experience and knowledge from a background in sales, Tracey will be responsible for retailers in the area, looking after the main distribution partners and building strategic relationships with key kitchen furniture retailers, in order to enhance Liebherr's reputation in this channel.
"I am really pleased to be joining such a well respected brand and I am looking forward to developing the area and increasing business," promises Tracey. "It's an exciting time for the Liebherr brand, with lots of technological innovations in the pipeline."
T: 08444 122 655