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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
30th June 2020


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International News

Design considerations for a post Covid-19 world

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If you’re looking beyond lockdown and pondering how the interiors and design of our homes are going to change as a result of the Coronavirus crisis, then you’ve already probably considered the impact hygiene is going to have on how we interact with everyday items in our home.

Shower in style: the new 8mm shower enclosure range from Crosswater

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Crosswater is introducing a collection of 8mm shower enclosures into its premium bathroom range. The striking collection encompasses shower screen solutions, fittings and accessories, all designed to give customers the ultimate showering experience.

Undermount sinks - Blanco explains all you need to know

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Here, John Robinson of Blanco UK explains all that the retailer or installer needs to know about undermount sinks…

Brandt Design launches online 'Design Tool' for its customers

Brandt Design, specialist retailer in the design and installation of residential and commercial lifestyle interiors, bring its showrooms to you with the launch of a new commercial Design Tool.

Over the moon with new shower tray

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It's hard to believe that the great and the good of the KBB world was attending the KBB Show at the NEC just a couple of short months ago. Now, of course, the world is a different place and we're looking forward to the time when we can meet our sector colleagues again.

Choice and flexibility is key for Keller

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One of the many benefits of specifying and designing a kitchen from Keller is the vast choice and flexibility within the portfolios. With a pedigree spanning 85 years, the company knows that individuality in the kitchen design is just as important as quality. This is why Keller prioritises both to create reliable, durable and beautiful kitchen schemes.

Indesit’s new compact fridge freezer boasts 245 litre capacity

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Indesit’s new, frost free, combination fridge freezer (IBNF 55181 W UK) boasts an 'A+' energy rating, a generous 245 litre capacity and a narrow 540 mm width - ideal for modern, compact kitchens.

VitrA identifies seven bathroom trends for 2020

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Now entering our second month of lockdown, we're having plenty of time to mull over ourhome improvements ideas, ready for when we can finally put our plans into action. With the bathroom being on the hit list for many, VitrA has identified seven emerging trends.

A splash of colour in the bathroom from Not Only White and Hi-Macs

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Designed with hotel bathrooms in mind, the new bathroom accessory collection, Stages, which can be made in a wide range of Hi-Macs colours, is the ideal display for small soap and shampoo bottles and other accoutrements provided by hotel chains.

Trio of top design awards puts new Bora X Pure on a winning streak

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Intuitive operating panel, extremely easy filter change, elegant design and simple cleaning: with these and its other product highlights, Bora X Pure has scooped three top design awards before it has even officially been placed on the market.

Prima+ Taps into new kitchen style

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Prima, the exclusive own-brand appliance label from distributor PJH, has introduced a new collection of kitchen taps under its premium, Prima+ range. Included is a design-led coloured range of single lever swan neck pull-out mixer spray taps - available in white, grey, gun metal and black.

Hotpoint integrated fridge recommended by Trusted Reviews

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The Hotpoint Day 1 integrated fridge (HS1801AA.1) has scored four stars by Trusted Reviews and has been awarded the highly sought-after 'Recommended' accolade.

Karonia introduces The Unique Collection

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Marking 10 years since the launch of the innovative Mistral range of 25mm solid surface worktops, solid surface specialist Karonia’s KBB2020 preview of The Unique Collection - a series of marble-inspired worksurfaces – has attracted a lot of interest and some excellent feedback.

Ripples teams up with Sam Lander to offer a collection like no other!

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Ripples has teamed up with Sam Lander on a collection of hand-crafted basins and each one is unique.

NEW Smart shower products catapault Aqualisa out to the front of the smart shower market

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The recent launch of the new Aqualisa Smart Quartz Collection of showers shows that Aqualisa is firmly in the driving seat for innovative shower technology in the UK.

BC Designs relaunches the Magnus bath

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The latest statement bath from BC Designs, the Magnus bath, embodies an original design based on timeless and traditional fireclay models.

Welcome to the


It all started with an article a reader of KBzine's sister publication, Cleanzine, sent me... A scientist appeared to suggest that we should leave the toilet lid up when flushing, to avoid the need for others to touch it. I couldn't believe what I was reading! With traces of Covid-19 having been found in the faeces of deceased people, I would have expected a scientist to be sharing that the force created by flushing will cause potentially virus-carrying droplets to settle all over the bathroom. You should always shut the lid!

It led me to muse over when our public toilets might open again and how we're going to keep them safe for everyone to use. Chatting to the British Toilet Association's Ray Martin, I learnt that he's campaigning for important changes to be made to public toilet provision to promote confidence and prevent the spread of Coronavirus. These will be costly but I agree something needs to be done urgently, since safe, hygienic public toilets are a basic human right.

A response to my Leader arrived from renowned toilet expert Susan Cunningham, who served with me on the inaugural Council of the BTA more than 20 years ago. Susan had been emailed by a senior Minister, who revealed that Government advice for us to 'stay local' wasn't just down to the potential for us to encounter Coronavirus, but also because our public toilets largely remain closed thanks to the current required level of cleaning and the difficulty of ensuring social distancing!

Further support comes today from the Bathroom Manufacturers Association, which has welcomed a letter from Ministers to local councils, calling for more public toilets to be opened. Its chief executive Tom Reynolds, said: "It's time for Local and National Government to consider investing in provision. Councils should consider the harm to public health and the local environment caused by people relieving themselves in public. Authorities should also consider the equality implications of those with particular health needs who need to use the toilet more often. In both cases, this is not to condone or tolerate irresponsible and illegal behaviour, but councils have a key role in helping prevent such problems. It's beneficial to public health to ensure proper access to toilets. Any other course of action could prevent people from going back to town centres or leisure venues, creating a brake on the national recovery."

And of course, fewer people in our town centres, has a detrimental impact on our industry and the economy in general, don't you think?


Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

BMA Elects John Robinson as president

* BMA-elects.jpgMembers 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.

The election took place during the Association's annual general meeting, which was held online for the first time due to COVID19. Jason Parker, managing director of Thomas Dudley becomes BMA's first vice-president and Jason Smith, chief commercial officer of Bristan becomes second vice-president.

Coaching support opportunities for redundant staff from Simon Acres Group

* Coaching.jpgKBB and merchant services provider Simon Acres Group (SAGL) has urged people who have recently lost their jobs to contact the company for immediate recruitment support. 

Simon Acres, director at SAGL (pictured here with colleague Ray Isted) says:

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

* Increased-Hygiene_Blanco.jpgBlanco 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.The Solenta-S tap features a hands-free or manual Start-Stop mode. With a near field sensor detection located in the hose arm, unwanted activation is prevented.

BA is the latest company to join the BiKBBI

The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI) is delighted to welcome BA, a major manufacturer of kitchens, bedrooms, doors and accessories, as its newest Corporate Sponsor. BA joins a growing number of high-profile manufacturers who have backed the Institute in recent months to support the drive for greater skills training and professional standards in the industry.

Good headset hygiene helps make kitchen and bathroom showrooms COVID safe

* Headset-hygiene.jpgProviding 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.

With virtual reality headsets being simple to wipe clean after every use, Virtual Worlds retailers are able to put their customers' minds at rest, enabling them to enjoy an immersive design experience in a safe environment as possible.

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

* Ribera-Aqua-roomset1.jpgVerona has extended its popular Patterned Tiles collection introducing two new ceramic tile designs, which are guaranteed to deliver character and charm to any home. As homeowners continue to look for new ways to decorate their interior spaces to reflect their individual style and tastes, Verona has updated its collection with a series of new patterns and on trend colourways.

Design that moves: the next125 trolley

* Design-that-moves.jpgThe new next125 trolley offers timelessly elegant design, in combination with multifunctionality and mobility. Whether used as a flexible storage space and working surface in the kitchen, as a side table in a cosy gathering of guests or as an elegant bar, the furniture adapts to many different housing situations and individual requirements. It thus offers an aesthetic and intelligent answer to a modern lifestyle: a stylish statement which goes far beyond the purely functional aspect.

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

* LochAnna-100000th.jpgThe 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. Now, however, the company is back to business and even celebrated its 100,000th delivery which was shipped to Cotswold Kitchen & Bathroom Solutions from its Bolton headquarters in June.

Make a house a home with Königstone’s Monaco

* Make-a-house-a-home.jpgKönigstone, renowned for durable, high-quality worktops, has added a new colour to the popular Königquartz portfolio: Monaco. The pale grey shade incorporates a marble-like effect with a natural-looking grain to create a unique and stylish surface. As quartz is one of the toughest natural substances in the world, it is a great material for a kitchen or bathroom worktop.

BC Designs and Bayswater Bathrooms to support retailers with a price freeze

* BC-PRICE-FREEZE.jpgBath maker, BC Designs, and traditional brand Bayswater Bathrooms has taken the decision to support bathroom retailers during Covid-19 with a price freeze across the whole product portfolio. Lasting until at least Autumn 2020, the price freeze will ensure retailers are able to maximise profit margins at a time of uncertainty across the UK economy.

Darren Allison, managing director at BC Designs and Bayswater Bathrooms says:

Triton introduces essential handwash units

* Triton-T30i.jpgThe Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for more rigorous hygiene processes and frequent handwashing in the workplace, as well as in the home. In response, the UK's renowned manufacturer of showers and water-heating solutions, Triton, has introduced two new handwash units - the T30i and T30iR - to provide an improved offering for commercial environments.

New distribution deal adds Abode sinks & taps to PJH product

* PJH-Abode-Lanza-Pro-Tap-Undermount-sink.jpgPJH 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.

Launching week commencing 6th July 2020, the deal will see Abode's entire collection (425 sku's) of sinks and taps added to PJH's comprehensive range of big-name branded appliances, sinks, tap and bathroom products.

Iris Bed features new Brera linen fabric from Button & Sprung

* The-Iris.jpgBe inspired to bring relaxed, beach house style into the bedroom this season with Button & Sprung's beautiful new upholstery option: the Brera Lino fabric from the Designer's Guild.

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

Winning employee 'hearts & minds' essential for safe return to work, advises Bureau Veritas

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As the UK Government unveils new guidelines for making workplaces 'Covid-secure', global health & safety expert Bureau Veritas is advising businesses that their safe return to work depends on their ability to "win the hearts & minds of employees" alongside creating clear policy, systems and processes with regular monitoring. The advice is, of course, useful wherever you may be in the world...

HSE reminder on water systems safety during lockdown

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The Health & Safety Executive has reminded building occupiers, businesses and other duty holders restarting operations after the shutdown to review their water systems' maintenance arrangements to avoid creating a public health hazard from waterborne bacteria such as legionella.

Utopia opens refurbished showroom and resumes manufacturing and deliveries

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Utopia Bathrooms tells us it is delighted to have resumed manufacturing and deliveries and that its spacious showroom - dramatically updated to showcase the new products and colours scheduled for imminent launch - is now open to visitors strictly by appointment only. In accordance with current guidelines, the company is implementing rigid safety and social distancing procedures to safeguard both staff and visitors.

KBBG launches NHS support initiative

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The Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group, has launched an initiative called 'Support our NHS'. In appreciation for the amazing work and sacrifice made by the NHS throughout the current crisis, the 'Support our NHS' initiative encourages KBBG members to offer a special 'thank you' discount to NHS workers on any purchase of kitchens, appliances and bathroom products.

Cameron Design House seeks volunteers to make face shields for the NHS

In response to the Coronavirus crisis, London-based bespoke lighting brand Cameron Design House has turned over production in its workshop to manufacture free protective face fields for the NHS and care workers.

Coronavirus... global pandemic: national challenge

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The national survey conducted by the National Home Improvement Council in the first week of the lockdown (26th March 2020 to 3rd April 2020) shows a significant risk to consumers alongside a need for clearer guidance on the stay at home restrictions.

HiB wins prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2020

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Leading bathroom supplier HiB has been honoured with a Queen's Award for Enterprise in the innovation category.

Bathroom furniture manufacturer Vanity Hall helps NHS Nightingale hospitals

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Midlands-based specialist in Corian fabrication, Vanity Hall tells us it was honoured to help CDUK manufacture basins for the Nightingale hospitals.

Family's lockdown kitchen emergency resolved by The Used Kitchen Company

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The Used Kitchen Company often has to wait quite a while to see the end result of its efforts to marry up a used or ex-showroom display kitchen with a new owner.

Shower-room pods account for 50% of the prefabricated pod market

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The bathroom and kitchen pods market experienced an 8% increase in value through 2019 and continues to offer significant growth potential as an offsite building solution, reports AMA Research.

Bette bath stars in radical BBC makeover

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It's not often that a white built-in bath takes centre stage in a home design TV programme. But when the interior designer is Robert Jamison and the bath is under bench seating in the living area, everything changes.

BMA CEO's expresses anger at faux outrage directed at industry

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Bathroom Manufacturers Association CEO Tom Reynolds has spoken out against faux criticism towards manufacturers and tradespeople.

Exclusive: Verona offers advice to help companies adapt during the current crisis

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It has been a turbulent few weeks, as the kitchen and bathroom industry and the whole of the UK goes through an unprecedented time. Businesses are switching strategies, and adapting to the new climate as seamlessly as they can.


Brandt Design welcomes new project designer

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Brandt Design, luxury interior design specialist with showrooms in Stevenage, Hatch End and Hampstead, continues to grow its expert project design team with a new appointment: Dionne O'Brien, project designer, is available at Brandt Design head office & stone fabrication centre in Stevenage, Hertfordshire.


Bayswater London W2 supports retailers with updated brochure and PR & marketing support

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Now in its third successful year, Bayswater London W2 bathroom brand continues to support its growing retailer base with a new brochure, point of sale and showroom displays.

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