KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
17th February 2012
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The US National Kitchen & Bath Association has released the Kitchen & Bath Market Report for the fourth quarter. Although results convey a slight drop-off from third quarter in number of remodels and budgets, showroom visits held steady from a year ago and with marked increases from 2009 and 2010, optimism for the first quarter of 2012 remains high.
Karonia, the provider of Mistral genuine 25mm solid surface worktops, will be unveiling its significantly extended range. On display will be a number of exciting new colourways for the versatile enhanced acrylic worksurface.
NSF International, an independent global organisation that writes public health standards and certifies products for food, water and consumer goods, now offers Green Squared Certification for sustainable ceramic tiles, glass tiles and installation materials.
Welcome to the
As someone who strongly believes that everyone should be trained to do their job - not only so they can do it efficiently, professionally and to the required standards, but also to give those tasked with simpler work the recognition they deserve and a pride in what they do - I was surprised to learn this week that there isn't a formal qualification in the domestic refrigeration market!
Surely a nationally recognised qualification route for this group of engineers is vital from both a commercial perspective and from one of safety and environment. Manufacturers will end up with better qualified engineers servicing and maintaining their equipment, which will result in fewer returns, fewer spares being used and equipment having a better chance of being repaired rather than scrapped. Good for the planet then too!
Well done then to Amica, Liebherr and the Whitegoods Trade Association for doing what was needed to support the creation of a new City & Guilds qualification, which is being launched at a conference in the Midlands on Wednesday.
You can read about it below and if you'd like to attend the conference, the contact details are included.
If you feel that there's another area that desperately requires a City & Guilds or other qualification, I'd love to have your thoughts on it...
This Week's News
Amica, Liebherr and the Whitegoods Trade Association are lending support and financial sponsorship to the process of creating A Qualification Route for Domestic Refrigeration Service Engineers.
Since its inception, the Whitegoods Trade Association has been concerned by the lack of formal qualification in the domestic refrigeration market. With this in mind the WTA approached Lynton Perry, a City & Guilds assessor, with a view to making a nationally recognized qualification available to those working within this industry. With the support of both Amica & Liebherr, the idea has now become reality.
More than 350 National Kitchen & Bath Association member designers took part in the 2012 NKBA Design Trends Survey in the US to cite the materials, product types and styles that they've incorporated into their kitchen and bath designs over the final three months of 2011. While broad trends won't be evident in every local market, the following are 10 overall trends for kitchens and baths across the United States and Canada.
Drawers, doors and lifting systems - a study into the real usage of kitchens
FIRA Project Manager, Sue Calver, will be presenting the findings of a study into the real usage of kitchens at 11.00 on 5th March at kbb 2012, at Birmingham's NEC.
The FIRA funded study for Blum has looked into how real-life kitchens are used and the impact this has on the design, manufacture and installation of furniture fittings.
UK lighting manufacturer, Astro, will present a selection of its latest designs at KBB Birmingham. Astro tells us it offers the largest range of IP44 rated products anywhere in the world, together with a wide choice of contemporary wall lights, pendants and down lights, with an extensive use of LED designs throughout the ranges - so a visit to this stand is a must for anyone wishing to stay up-to-date with what's available when it comes to lighting solutions.
Laufen's stand will be packed to the brim with new products and extensions to some of its most popular existing lines. Just one of the new products on show at the NEC will be several new offerings to the Swiss manufacturer's Laufen pro collection, being introduced to reflect the very latest trends in contemporary bathroom design. New round washbasins and smoothly contoured WCs will be on show, reflecting the trend for shapes and curves that create the feeling of luxury in the bathroom.
Michelin-star chef Josh Eggleton is delighted to be joining appliance and kitchen supplier Caple at this year's show. Josh, who runs The Pony & Trap country restaurant in Chew Magna, near Bristol where Caple is based, will demonstrate his outstanding ability to produce simple, yet superb, food, with the help of a number of high-quality cooking appliances supplied by Caple at this year's show.
You cannot fail to miss Josh on Caple's stand this year as Caple is occupying two stands, which take up an impressive 200sq m. This space will include a high-quality kitchen display where Josh will be demonstrating his culinary expertise, designated meeting areas and a dedicated Caple library containing a selection of informative product brochures. That's not all as Caple is also showcasing more than 130 new products, which provide a fantastic cross-section of Caple's extensive portfolio. These include a whole host of intelligent appliances, such as a multifunctional oven, free-standing, large capacity refrigeration, built-in wine cabinets, stylish sinks, such as glass and steel versions, plus ultra-chic black and steel taps.
Over 400 new handles have been carefully selected to enhance and complement all types of furniture to ensure there is a solution to suit all design styles. From modern chic to timeless classics, each has been individually chosen ensuring the needs and wants of customers have been met, categorising them into five groups:
The NTG has announced two new design courses for 2012. They will be delivered in a collaboration between EQ Software, the NTG (National Training Group) and the Bathroom Manufacturers Association's Bathroom Academy. These two day courses are aimed at professional kitchen or bathroom designers as well as new entrants into the kbb market.
Brita research has found that 53% of the UK population have expressed some disatisfaction with their tap water. With water qualities throughout the UK differing from region to region, a tap that combines the easy accessibility of drinkable water with a taste many consumers have come to love, plus a choice to now prolong the life of the filter, can only provide greater options for consumers in their kitchen tap requirements.
British kitchen manufacturer Belling is hoping to raise at least £10,000 for pioneering stem cell charity, Anthony Nolan, after naming it Charity of the Year as part of its centenary celebrations.
Anthony Nolan was unveiled as Belling's Charity of the Year after winning a staff and public vote against five other national charities. The charity beat off competition from Barnardo's, Shelter, Help for Heroes, Marie Cure Cancer Care and Trussell Trust Foodbanks, receiving almost 3,000 votes from the public and Belling staff in the three-week long poll.
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The Forum of Private Business has urged the Government to simplify the entire apprenticeship system to make it more business-friendly and appealing to industry leaders.
The tragic baby deaths in Belfast's Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital have shocked us all and investigations into how and where this killer bug, pseudomonas, thrived, need to be carried out quickly and accurately.
The Society of British Interior Designers is offering the finalists in the design categories of the kbbreview Awards the opportunity to become an honorary member for a year, usually worth more than £300.
A multi award-winning kitchen, dining and housewares supplier with a 160-year history has opted for a high-tech solution to boost already impressive availability targets.
The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has just announced a new Corporate Member, Keller Kitchens.
Longstanding cabinet manufacturer Ultima Furniture Systems has today announced that it is taking over the Matchmaker Kitchen brand.
The University of Salford Retrofit 2012 conference concluded yesterday with a detailed focus on the challenges of the large-scale behaviour change needed in the UK if the Government is to achieve its carbon reduction targets.
In preparation for what is set to be another busy year for brassware manufacturer Vado, the company has produced a range of 2012 catalogues tailored to the specific requirements of its customers, namely: