KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
25th November 2011
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With the US National Kitchen & Bath Association reporting a 42% increase in showroom visits and double-digit increases in remodel sales volume for kitchens (36%) and baths (85%) over one year ago, more homeowners will need the Kitchens and Baths planning guides on HGTVRemodels.com. In its quarterly Market Index Report released last week, the NKBA also found a 69% increase in revenue among kitchen and bath dealers since the third quarter 2010.
The National Kitchen & Bath Association released the results of the US Kitchen & Bath Market Report for the third quarter, reflecting a rise in showroom traffic and an increase in kitchen remodels from one year ago. Although the number of bathroom remodels declined from the second quarter, results show a significant increase over the bathroom sales of a year ago.
The Furniture Industry Research Association's Hong Kong furniture testing facility, FIRA-CMA Testing Services, is celebrating after achieving accreditation to the International Standard ISO 17025 from the Hong Kong Laboratory Accreditation Scheme for Physical and Mechanical Testing.
The iF Product Design Awards are amongst the most prestigious design awards in the world. This year, Electrolux has won a total of nine of the iF awards for its AEG Neue Kollektion products. The winning appliances were selected by an international jury who sifted through 2,923 entries from 48 countries. The winning appliances were assessed on the level of innovation, functionality, quality and ecological compatibility.
With recent conversations and news highlighting water conditions, it's natural that Americans seek the highest in water quality in their homes. Today, the Kenmore brand is offering a comprehensive, household approach to water solutions that together, make water at home cleaner and better tasting while extending the life of the home's appliances.
Blum UK Marketing Director, David Sanders, says that "functional cabinets" are the way to go: "We buy a refrigerator or an oven for a specific purpose, so why shouldn't every kitchen cabinet have a specific storage purpose," he asks.
The efforts of British furniture manufacturers to become greener are to be recognised by a new annual award from the industry's Livery company, the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers.
As a measure of success, the UK is beyond its target to meet the carbon emissions set out in the Kyoto protocol, according to a new publication by the NHBC Foundation.
Welcome to the
It's hard to believe that it's Winter, isn't it? Well certainly from where I'm sitting anyway, and when I ventured into my garden yesterday I noticed that several of the trees and shrubs are in bud and that some of my tubs and baskets are still in flower!
Of course when we're spoiled like this it's easy to forget that we actually need some unpleasant weather to kill off the nasty bugs that survive the season when it's mild and come back to annoy us in larger volumes and sizes as a result - and of course there are our water supplies to worry about too, aren't there?
This week the Environment Agency has warned that unless we cut our water consumption over the coming months, we'll suffer a drought crisis next Summer as parts of the UK have had some of the lowest rainfall this year since records began. And it's not just the UK... Continental Europe is also experiencing conditions that are far milder than normal.
I generally feel quite smug when I hear this kind of news as I work in an industry that's working hard to cut the amount of water and energy we consumers use as we go about our daily lives.
I'm ashamed to say though that I'm one of the 65% of people in the UK that doesn't own a dishwasher. Since joining the industry I've learned that they cut the amount of water used in washing up, rather than use more (as I'd always believed). Having examined the latest Whirlpool appliance on a visit to the company's showrooms a couple of weeks back (see the story below) and learned that it uses a paltry six litres of water to get the family's dishes, pots and pans sparkling clean, I've decided that this is something I need to change quickly if I want to be sure of 'doing my bit'!
This Week's News
Aqualux was delighted to be approached for the second time to supply an Organic Walk-In shower surround to the Channel Five television programme, Cowboy Builders, for use in a stylish refurbishment project. The show provides makeovers to families whose homes have been ruined due to the incompetency of unqualified or incapable builders.
A pioneer in the design of waterproof and in-wall televisions (perfect for that pampered bathing experience!) Aquavision has made some major changes to its business.
Whirlpool, the world's number one manufacturer of major home appliances, has held a series of events around the world to commemorate the company's 100 years. Whirlpool UK celebrated with several events throughout the year including an Employee Day, a Family Day and a classic tea party on the date of the company's 100th anniversary, 11th November 2011.
The Hafele engineered system is offered in 12V, 24V and 350mA, with each component colour coded to the correct system to ensure mix-ups do not occur as the driver selected can only be used with the lights for the same system.
Located in Rheda-Wiedenbrueck, Germany, Westag & Getalit AG is a leading European manufacturer of wood based and synthetic products, which services the UK market via a sales office in Watford and a stock holding depot in Doncaster/Thorne. It prides itself on the great service it offers, but things are going to get even better...
The company has now announced that it is enhancing the support given to its retailers using KBBConnect, the free online quoting and ordering system, by upgrading its membership of the KBBConnect Retailer Support Partnership.
Shower specialist Lakes Bathrooms has launched a new collection of lightweight, sheet moulded composite (SMC) shower trays. The new entry level range of trays is designed as a high volume, lower-cost option to traditional stone resin.
As a new manufacturing methodology in most of the bathroom market, yet well proven in other industries, SMC uses fibre reinforced polymers, moulded with heat and pressure. Quality is consistently high says Lakes Bathrooms and, thanks to the impregnated fibres, the resulting shower trays are strong and yet lightweight - every design weighing in at less than the 25kg one man lift target and around 50% lighter than stone resin counterparts.
Rayburn has launched its first ever electric cooker, which combines highly efficient and controllable technology with classic, iconic looks. Featuring an electric fan oven, conventional oven, grill and a choice of induction or ceramic hobs, the Rayburn Electric offers exceptionally efficient cooking at a competitive price. Plus, with no requirement for a flue, the new appliance allows greater flexibility in kitchen design and layout.
The new model is available with a choice of the latest induction or ceramic hobs with square or dome hinged lids. By utilising two 2.3kW burners, the induction hobs have excellent response times, are highly efficient and cool extremely quickly. They also automatically adjust to any pan size and only heat the pan when it is placed on the burner.
The recently launched Zehnder Fina has achieved "Best Product of 2011" in the Heating & Air Conditioning class of the Plus X Awards. Receiving awards in the four categories of 'Innovation', 'High Quality', 'Design' and 'Functionality', the minimalist designer radiator sets the standard for intelligent and comfortable heating.
Said to be the world's most prestigious innovation awards for technology, sport and lifestyle products, the Plus X Awards honour products that are both innovative and viable for the future, whilst also possessing at least one 'Plus X' factor to offer real brand quality. With more than 130 jury members from 32 countries, the judging process is extremely rigorous and the product features must directly benefit consumers.
Newly launched as part of the range revamps in September, there is a choice of two readymade and pre-finished components that offers increased design flexibility for casual dining and feature furniture.
Keep up with the catwalk trends this summer with the Couture collection of kitchens from Uber. You may have noticed that the new trend in Europe is all things matt. Uber's Couture collection embraces this new look beautifully so that retailers can offer something really different.
The Couture collection is stylish with handleless doors for a minimalist streamlined look. It is also versatile with nine different colours. For example, the Anthracite colour balances bold and stylish, yet warm and homely. Each couture kitchen is specially made to order and is hand finished in a silk lacquer which is gives a higher level of resistance to scratches and fingerprints. Eber can also mix and match gloss and matt finishes so customers can have a truly personal design.
T: 01384 638700
Alan Hughes is a new face on the Carron Phoenix sales team. Replacing Gordon Mitchell, he has been appointed as the new Area Sales Manager for Scotland and Ireland and with responsibility for retailers and distributors in these regions.
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News in Brief
KBSA retailers featured strongly amongst the winners at Neff's Masterpartner Excellence Awards. More next week... T: 01623 818808
Congratulations to AGA Rangemaster; named Manufacturing Company of the Year at Insider's inaugural 'Made in the Midlands' Awards. T: 0870 755 485
Milton Keynes-based Koncept Kitchens has joined the Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association as a retail member. E: email@example.com
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The Tile Association has come to the rescue of standards within the tiling industry by hosting the plenary meeting of the International Standards Organisation (ISO). In the world of Ceramic Tiles and Adhesives, it is this governing body that creates the standards to protect consumers and trade users.
Business Secretary Vince Cable has announced new measures to ensure more young people benefit from an apprenticeship, and to help employers gain the skilled workers they need to grow.
The bulletin reveals that:
A Birmingham handyman has been prosecuted after releasing asbestos fibres while refurbishing a kitchen at a flat in Solihull.
The Furniture Industry Research Association will be sharing the findings of a key furniture industry research project that has assessed the feasibility of providing the UK furniture industry with product carbon footprint benchmarks. The event, which is open to those within the furniture industry, will be held on Tuesday 6th December, at Birmingham Botanical Gardens, between 10.00 and 16.00.
The seasonally adjusted Markit/CIPS Construction Purchasing Managers' Index registered a five-month high of 53.9 in October, up from 50.1 in September.
The launch of the new design show 'W12 - Working with Design', will be an important national event for KBB designers , manufacturers and retailers alike.