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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
31st October 2020


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International News

Colour Mix from Schmidt: a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow

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Schmidt is now offering up to three different colours of materials on each cabinet, at no extra charge. Kitchen designers will be able to mix yellow and black for that bumble-bee look, or wood and white for a more subdued finish.

Embrace Scandi-styles and creativity with Keller's new kitchen

The new Pebble Beach model from Keller Kitchens embraces Scandinavian style with soft pebble tones and combines it with brighter contemporary trends to offer homeowners a chic, modern kitchen.

BC Designs strengthens bath collection with Chalice Minor bath

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BC Designs, which several weeks ago brought back 100% of its employees from furlough to support international expansion, has strengthened its freestanding bath offering with the launch of the Chalice Minor bath.

Small and sleek: Tiny Kitchen in next125 elegance

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The fact that next125 not only creates sophisticated kitchens combining design and function in spacious loft architectures, but also devises elegant and fully equipped kitchen designs on compact floor plans, speaks for its high degree of versatility and planning competence.

Traditional kitchen taps in fashion

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The kitchen has always been the heart of the home and the recent lockdown has seen people spending more and more time in this space; socialising in a family bubble, cooking, home schooling, crafting - the list goes on. People have had time to imagine their perfect kitchen and enquiries to retailers are strong.

Hotpoint launches new four door fridge freezer

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Hotpoint has introduced a freestanding, American-style, stainless steel fridge freezer, with four doors that open to reveal three compartments (fridge, freezer and convertible zone) offering smart, flexible storage. Technologies inside the appliance create the ideal storage conditions, helping to keep food and drinks fresh for longer.

Complement any kitchen with Saint Moritz in Quartz from Königstone

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Quartz is one of the hardest natural substances; its high quality durability makes it the perfect choice for worktop surfaces. The KönigQuartz range from high-grade surface manufacturer, Königstone, has been engineered with this in mind and the allure of its impressive range of colour options is designed to excite all kitchen design schemes.

Luxury steel framing defines Caple's new WF1550 freestanding wine cabinet

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Caple has created a new freestanding wine cabinet, the WF1550, with a thick stainless-steel frame for a more luxurious finish.

Utopia announces latest product launch

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Utopia Bathrooms has announced that its major product launch for Spring/Summer 2020 is now set to be unveiled.

Stunning black metal and crystal pendant supplies some serious wow factor

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Make a statement with this incredible pendant light made from muted metal and hundreds of coloured and plain crystals.

BC Designs highlights the virtues of copper in fighting Covid-19

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Leading bath maker, BC Designs, has a piece of advice for retailers as the industry starts to reopen… A little-known fact that few people are aware of is that copper is actually a super metal when it comes to killing germs.

Increased hygiene in the kitchen with Blanco's Solenta-S tap

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Blanco UK has redefined sensor technology to make life in the kitchen cleaner and easier. In these days of heightened awareness of the need for super clean environments in kitchens, demand for touchless products has soared.

Good headset hygiene helps make kitchen and bathroom showrooms COVID safe

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Providing peace of mind and reassurance to customers that the showroom experience is Covid-safe will be a huge part of helping restore consumer confidence in the weeks and months ahead.

Add pizazz to walls and floors with new Patterned Tiles from Verona

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Verona has extended its popular Patterned Tiles collection introducing two new ceramic tile designs, which are guaranteed to deliver character and charm to any home.

Design that moves: the next125 trolley

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The new next125 trolley offers timelessly elegant design, in combination with multifunctionality and mobility.

Triton introduces essential handwash units

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The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for more rigorous hygiene processes and frequent handwashing in the workplace, as well as in the home. 

New distribution deal adds Abode sinks & taps to PJH product

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PJH has agreed a distribution deal with Abode, one of the UK's leading designers and manufacturers of kitchen sinks and taps, and a brand renowned for its award-winning innovative product designs and outstanding product quality.

Welcome to the


John and I made the decision to temporarily reduce the frequency of KBzine - this industry's oldest e-zine - early on in the pandemic because it was clear that the sector was going to be badly hit by the measures being taken to keep the virus at bay. My normally overflowing mailbox became quite sparse and we started to receive large numbers of broadcast bounce-backs as more people became furloughed.

At the opposite end of the scale, work on Cleanzine - our e-zine which we started broadcasting when Richard and Debbie Schwarz launched KBzine as part of a joint portfolio - got silly. Cleaning became recognised, globally, as one of the most important industries in the world and we could have produced a bulging issue twice daily, as the sector waded in to produce extra supplies of PPE, sanitisers, foggers and the like and train cleaners in different disciplines to ensure that our facilities and people who had to go out to work, were as safe as possible. As a result, John and I didn't take our two-week annual break and I think it was this, together with a multitude of phone calls from cleaning industry colleagues throughout the day and sometimes at weekends, along with caring for my mother who has advanced dementia, which meant that KBzine was put on the back burner for longer than it should have been. It wasn't planned; it was more a case of running out of time each day and falling into my bed exhausted - but determined to produce an issue the following day. Best laid plans eh?

I last wrote a KBzine leader on 1st September fully expecting to follow up with another on 1st October, which I just couldn't get around to finishing - despite having plenty to write about. John and I even discussed, just in passing, the possibility of giving up. I've absent-mindedly mulled it over but hadn't given it much thought because I've been so frazzled.

Well hey - I love this industry and John does too! So here we are; we're staying - and - while we're not yet going to revert to weekly broadcasts, we're not going to leave it quite as long before the next one.

So how are you doing? I know some in the sector are launching new products and ranges, but how are you finding business? What are you doing to overcome the problems the pandemic has put in your way? I really would like to know, so please do get in touch.


Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Trailblazer receives industry support

* BIKBBI-Trailblazer.jpgSeptember saw British Institute of KBB Installation CEO Damian Walters warn the industry to "act now to avoid a catastrophe" as he called upon the sector to unite on the subject of Apprenticeships.

VitrA meets Covid challenge

* VitrA-V-Care.jpgOxfordshire based VitrA Bathrooms is part of one of Turkey's most prominent industrial groups. Throughout the global pandemic, the Group's 13 production facilities have maintained supply of bathroom products for VitrA. VitrA has grown steadily in the UK for over 25 years thanks to enduring design and hygiene features and benefits that have always been core to the company's product development.

Lunar Loo Space Toilet: From the virtual Duravit lab straight into space!

* Luna-Loo.jpgDeveloping a toilet that can work in a weightless environment and on the moon, sounds like quite a tricky task! That is why NASA offered a $35,000 prize for the three best designs - for which they received 20,000 proposals from participants around the world.

Go Glam Chic with Keller

Keller-Go-Glam.jpgNew from Keller is the Glam Chic flexible design which oozes class and is reminiscent of a luxury hotel with sophisticated elements applied in a modern way for the home. Pictured is a design which encompasses the current trends for clever, subtle LED lighting, peninsulas, smoked glass, precious metals and dark woods.

BMA industry conference to focus on sustainability

* BMA-CONFERENCE-SUSTAINABILITY.jpgThe Bathroom Manufacturers Association Industry Conference has been rearranged to now take place on 8th June 2021, at Carden Park, Cheshire and focus on the topic of 'sustainability in the sector.'

Aqualisa brassware offering grows....

* Aqualisa-Main-pic.jpgFollowing hard on the heels of launching an extended brassware range - the warmly received Uptown collection - shower manufacturer Aqualisa has introduced two more ranges of brassware under the new Downtown and Central branding.

KBSA and Quooker consumer offer reaches 1.2 million readers

KBSA-promo.jpgThe Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association and corporate member Quooker have released a consumer insert as part of the KBSA's £250,000 support package for kitchen retailers, which will reach more than 1.2 million readers.

Königstone in conversation with Lima Kitchens

* Konigstone-Lima-Kitchens.jpgKönigstone is a go-to brand for fantastic worktop surfaces in quartz, granite, marble and semi-precious materials and the team rightly prides itself on great, successful relationships with customers and the resultant projects are testament to these. One such customer is Lima and Joanne Bull of Königstone and Elizabeth Pantling-Jones of Lima Kitchens had a conversation to understand exactly how they work together…

New finish added to Crosswater's Belgravia

* New-finish.jpgJust as the leaves take on a golden or reddish hue in Autumn, Crosswater's Belgravia collection now includes a stunning new finish. Perfect for adding an elegant touch to bathrooms, the new Unlacquered Brass finish offers a classic aesthetic with a nod to contemporary style, and joins two existing finishes - Chrome and Nickel - to complete this much-loved traditional range.

Utopia introduces new luxury soft touch finish

* Bella-Blush.jpgAs part of its major product launch for Summer 2020, Utopia has introduced a highly innovative new super matt, soft touch foil finish, available in four of the newly launched colours - Blush, Sea Green, Azure Blue and Storm Grey.

AKW's new bidet takes intimate care to the next level

* AKW-Bidet.jpgOne of the things most people take for granted and think little about is using the toilet. However, for some people, this seemingly simple procedure can become very challenging. That is why AKW, one of the UK's leading providers of accessibility solutions, has launched its new AKW Bidet.

Advertisement - Fabrication Partner Sought

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Leading worktop and surface specialist, Königstone, is seeking a new fabrication partner in the North West of UK to supplement the company's healthy growth and expansion.

This is following on from the success of Königstone's debut presence at KBB 2020 which generated much excitement from visitors to the show.

Königstone supplies an impressive range of supreme quality kitchen surfaces with both a natural stone and elegant Quartz range. Recent developments include the innovative new Königsink and breath-taking portfolio of semi-precious materials for use in unique kitchen features.

The KBzine Archive Search

We keep an extensive archive of news stories and product information that have featured in past issues of The KBzine. If you would like to run a search of the The KBzine web site using the search tool below please just go ahead by entering in the name of the person, product or company or any other key words that you are looking for.

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How to contact us at The KBzine:
Jan Hobbs
Publishing Editor
Email:[email protected]
Tel: +44 (0)1372 811 307 
Mobile: 07980 288 373





John Austen
Publishing Director
Email:[email protected]
Tel: +44 (0)1580 755 863
Mobile: 07766 707 888
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Recent News

BiKBBI and BMA cement international relationships

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The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation and the Bathroom Manufacturers Association have partnered with the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), the North American authority on all things residential kitchens and bathrooms, on its NKBA Global Connect Alliance Programme.

Vast majority of Brits have no idea how much water they use each day

This bank holiday as record numbers of people stayed at home, Water UK and water efficiency expert Waterwise joined forces to call for more to be done to educate the public about their water use.

Educational trust offers Bathroom Academy bursary

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The Potteries Mechanics Institute Trust Fund is offering a bursary for learners wishing to complete the Bathroom Academy's online courses. The bursary will fully cover the academy fees of up to 10 students.

Four new members join KBSA

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The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has welcomed four more new members in the last few weeks, continuing the rise in membership, with 12 new showrooms joining the Association in the last five months.

Screwfix to open 40 new stores this year, creating around 400 jobs

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Screwfix is to open 40 stores this year, creating around 400 new jobs in local communities. The new openings demonstrate continued growth of the business and a growing demand for convenience, despite the challenges of Covid-19.

A welcome statement and great picture from the BiKBBI!

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We're back!

Following the temporary closure of our head office operation in March, and in response to the national Coronavirus lockdown, we have managed to continue the delivery of our service remotely.

KBSA supports Covid-19 research project for kitchen and bathroom industry

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The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association is supporting a research project to assess and document the recovery of the kitchen and bathroom industry in terms of market demand and opportunities as lockdown restrictions are lifted.

Double win for RAK Ceramics at first virtual BKU Awards

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It may not have been possible to gather in numbers, but the team at RAK Ceramics certainly had much to celebrate at a socially distanced viewing of BKU Awards 2020, held online for the first time. The champagne was flying when RAK Ceramics was declared the winner of not one but two prestigious industry awards, namely Best Tiling Brand and Best Sanitaryware Brand.

Strong appetite for bathroom refurbishment, poll shows

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Nearly a third of UK adults are likely to undertake a partial or full bathroom refurbishment in the next 12 months, a poll has revealed.

Virtual workshop confirms opportunities for bathroom industry to benefit from renovation wave

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A virtual workshop hosted by the Unified Water Label and its Italian partners was a resounding success, with more than 70 visitors from across the UK and Europe attending to discuss the commercial benefits of the UWL.

The Used Kitchen Company sets another milestone in UK recycling

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The Used Kitchen Company, the pioneer of kitchen recycling and its champion since 2005, has taken its groundbreaking 'Kitchen Passports' eco-initiative to the next level, as it sets another milestone for UK recycling and waste control.

Whirlpool UK Appliances donates appliances to NHS hospitals and charities

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In an effort to support those working on the front line of the pandemic, Whirlpool UK donated appliances including washing machines, microwaves, dishwashers and refrigerators to several NHS hospitals across the UK.

BMA Elects John Robinson as president

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Members of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association have elected John Robinson as President for the next two years. John, who is business director of Ideal Standard, takes over from Roca's Alan Dodds.

LochAnna Kitchens celebrates 100,000th sale as it gets back to business

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The Coronavirus has adversely affected every part of the KBB industry, leaving every brand, manufacturer, dealer and installer, worried and wondering. Like most businesses, LochAnna Kitchens closed its doors at the end of March, not knowing when the business would reopen.


Whirlpool UK announces new appointments

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Whirlpool UK Appliances, parent company to Hotpoint, Indesit, Whirlpool and KitchenAid, announces the new appointment of Tim Buszka as head of brand and digital, UK & Ireland. Additionally, Kimberley Garner has been promoted to the new position of Hotpoint brand manager, while Charmaine Warner, Whirlpool brand manager, takes on the additional role of Indesit brand manager too.

© The KBzine 2020.
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