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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
28th January 2021


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International News

Europe-wide campaign launched to promote The Unified Water Label #dontforgettheplug

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A new marketing campaign is to be rolled out across the UK and Europe to promote the Unified Water Label and increase market representation.

Ergonomic appliances that don't compromise looks are essential for aging population

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The design ideas behind Fisher & Paykel appliances are founded in ergonomics and intuition and the appliance brand strives to be the most human-centered in the world. According to the Office for National Statistics, by 2030 the global aging population will have grown by 12% to over one billion people aged 60 and above.

Contemporary bathroom solutions by Britton

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Showcasing modern styling and space-saving functionality, Britton brings a wide selection of innovative products to the forefront of bathroom design.

Saniflo launches grease traps

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Saniflo has launched three new grease traps - SanigreaseT24, SanigreaseT and SanigreaseS - for the hospitality sector, hospitals and other professional kitchens to help minimise the issue of fatbergs in the nation's sewers caused by fats, oils and grease (FOG) waste.

Intelligent cooking leads the way with Caple's new C990i induction hob

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Caple's new induction hob, the C990i, not only looks state-of-the-art with a TFT 7-inch touch screen but it features the innovative Caple Smart pan detection, which allows cooks to use the entire surface of the hob as it automatically detects up to six pans at once and even adapts to the pan size.

Haier launches a new 49-bottle Wine Cooler

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Haier has launched an elegant 49-bottle capacity, lockable wine cooler that features advanced technologies, premium design and a tailor-made experience.

Verona releases new statement tiles to bring new design potential to walls and floors

Designed to stimulate the senses, Lilypad is a new statement tile from Verona. Made from high quality glazed porcelain, this new collection is set to elevate interior surfaces with its modern hexagonal format and striking geometric pattern, bringing new design potential to walls and floors.

VitrA launches V-Care Prime: the latest innovation in smart WC technology designed by Arik Levy

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VitrA has launched V-Care Prime, the latest addition to its range of shower toilets. Designed by Arik Levy in collaboration with the VitrA's Design Studio and the Innovation team, this new shower toilet WC combines the functionality of a standard WC with the personal cleaning properties of a bidet and integrates the latest bathroom technology.

Utopia refreshes Halo range

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Utopia has refreshed its Halo range of contemporary wall mounted bathroom furniture with the addition of a beautiful new oak finish, an extended choice of basins and a number of co-ordinating ancillary items.

Pronorm maximises space to provide 10% more storage with new Proline128+ range

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Contemporary German kitchen furniture manufacturer Pronorm has introduced Proline128+, a new size of cabinetry that has been cleverly designed to offer 10% more internal storage without taking up any extra floor space.

Sleek new Sarenna is Marbled with style

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As the use of marble is making a comeback in the bathroom, Hudson Reed has addressed this trend and launched the new Sarenna Marble Bathroom Furniture range which features a luxurious marble-effect finish that perfectly mimics the noble look of this natural stone.

Russell Hobbs launches stylish Midnight Collection

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Russell Hobbs has launched the dark steel Midnight Collection - a premium large domestic appliance range featuring a multi-functional fan oven, microwave oven, induction hob and gas hobs, as well as a range of cooker hoods - all with a variety of sizing options to fit into any home.

Boiler and service upgrade makes this the best Pronteau yet

Faster, quieter and easier to install, the ProBoil.2X from Abode marks a new generation in intelligent hot water boilers.

Welcome to the


I attended an interesting online press event last week, during which the British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation announced Quooker as the latest brand to support the growing organisation, with a specific focus on accelerating plans for work on the KBB installation Apprenticeship initiative. Quooker's six-figure investment - the first instalment of a three-year package of support, will drive the Institute towards delivering the first phase of 'Operation Next-Gen' - the promotion of KBB Apprenticeship opportunities to the next generation - predominantly secondary school senior students. With the dearth of professional fitters the UK currently faces, it was just the news I wanted to hear.

Quooker (UK) managing director Stephen Johnson told us: "We've undergone some of the toughest trading conditions our industry has ever faced. We've seen first-hand how it's affected smaller independent retailers and how changing consumer habits have dramatically impacted sales. Brands are faced with two choices - shrivel up and remain inward focused, or work together, sharing expertise, resources and help the industry rebuild, recover and thrive." It's good to see that he's putting his resources into supporting the second choice...

In an emotional event that reviewed challenges faced by the industry and organisation over the last year, BiKBBI discussed its plans to open 10 new Centres of Excellence across England, ready for the delivery of KBB Fitted Interior Apprenticeships from September. The National rollout will follow the recent successful pilot in the South East. CEO Damian Walters gave a heartfelt thanks to his team, members, retail partners and corporate sponsors, saying: "Without them, we wouldn't be in a position to support the industry as we are. No one else will fix the issue of building a future workforce on this scale and I call upon other brands to follow Quooker's lead - we need more brands to get behind our efforts."

The momentum's growing - and as Chris Parry, director of operations at BiKBBI's 'Protected', confirmed, there has been "impressive and diverse retailer uptake" and the scheme's protection of "tens of thousands of pounds of consumer and installer money during BETA testing."

Exciting times at BiKBBI then... some much needed change now in full swing and the entire industry ready to benefit. With news that we've lost a multitude of fitters as a result of both Brexit and Covid - and knowing that without worthy replacements, our industry will struggle even more, this latest initiative hasn't come a moment too soon.


Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Roca and Royo sign alliance to create a world leader in bathroom furniture

* Roca-Royo-alliance.jpgRoca Group has signed the acquisition of a 75% stake in Royo Group, a European leader in the field of bathroom furniture. Roca has purchased 62% of the company from the American fund HIG and the Royo family will continue to hold 25% of the firm’s capital.

Public loos - 'A national embarrassment' claims BMA

* PUBLIC-LOOS.jpgWith the public making more use of the great outdoors during the pandemic, focus on public spaces and amenities has never been greater.

The Bathroom Manufacturers Association chaired a roundtable discussion recently on the provision of public toilets and what needs to change across the UK.

VitrA publishes fourth Design Update: The Wellness Issue

* MAIN-PIC-VitrA-Design-Update.jpgVitrA Bathrooms has published its fourth Design Update magazine. Focusing on Wellness, VitrA invited a number of high-profile designers and architects to contribute to this increasingly influential design-led publication.

KBSA kicks off 2021 with seven new signings

* KBSA_Matthew-Tracey-Bond.jpgThe Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has got off to a flying start in 2021, having already signed up seven new retail members throughout the UK. They are:

• Aspire Trade Kitchens, Glasgow
• Bauen Design, Glasgow
• St. Neots Interiors, Cambridgeshire
• Alexander (with two showrooms in Worthing and Horsham)
• Vesta Space, West Midlands
• Kitchen Culture, Kent
• Alon Interiors, Kent (with three showrooms, two under the Alon Interiors brand and one under Swans of Gravesend)

UWLA urges KBB retailers to realise benefits of Unified Water Label

* UWLA-urges.jpgYvonne Orgill, managing director at the The Unified Water Label Association (UWLA) is urging KBB retailers to realise the benefits of promoting to consumers, bathroom products that carry the Unified Water Label.

Showerwall introduces new trade brochure and training videos

* Showerwall-Brochure.jpgShowerwall, the bathroom wall panelling brand, has produced a new trade brochure and two online training videos to help installers understand the features and benefits of the company’s acrylic and HPL panels and how easy they are to fit.

Formica Group joins Articad Supplier Partnership Programme

* FORMICA-ARTICAD.jpgFormica Group has joined the ArtiCAD Supplier Partnership Programme, which means that its worktop collections for the residential market - Formica Prima, Axiom by Formica Group and Aria - are now available as comprehensive graphics catalogues within the ArtiCAD-Pro software.

‘Hang tough' with new ceiling frames by Rotpunkt

* Ceiling-Frames_Rotpunkt.jpgRotpunkt, carbon-neutral manufacturer of quality German Kitchen furniture, allows you to elevate your design ideas in 2021 with a range of new ergonomic living solutions, which embody the latest trend for hybrid kitchen design where strong architectural detail and an urban colour palette set the tone.

Verona relocates its distribution centre to Doncaster

* MAIN-PIC_Verona_Warehouse.jpgVerona has relocated its distribution centre to Doncaster, creating a hub that will service the whole of the UK more efficiently. A renowned tile distributor that specialises in supplying market-leading ceramic, porcelain and natural stone tiles to national and independent customers from its head office in Leeds, Verona moved its distribution operation to a new state of the art warehouse facility in Thorne, to support the business in distributing stock to customers throughout the UK.

Grohe Rapid SLX installation system awarded Quiet Mark certification

* GROHE-Rapid-SLX.jpgIn 2016 Grohe’s Rapid SL flushing system became the first installation system in the bathroom industry to be awarded the sought-after Quiet Mark seal of approval. Now, the new and improved SLX system - designed to cater to the ever-increasing range of rimless toilets entering the market and the steady growth of shower toilets also infiltrating the sector - has been awarded the very same recognition.

A hint of mist

* Green-Mist.jpgAn optimistic and soothing hue, the new Elements Green Mist matte splashback by AluSplash offers a refreshing twist on the standard white kitchen.

A colour that will remind householders of the mist that settles across lush green meadows on fresh mornings, Green Mist revives kitchens, delivering a space perfect for cooking and dining.

Whirlpool UK supports food bank by donating appliances

* Whirlpool-microwave.jpgWhirlpool UK Appliances, the home of Hotpoint, Indesit, Whirlpool and KitchenAid brands, (which has just received the Top Employer award for the fourth consecutive year in the UK in The Top Employers Institute programme) has donated appliances to a food bank in Wales to support the vital work done by its staff and volunteers.

The KBzine Archive Search

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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

Busy month for BiKBBI

The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation has had an exceptional December, with a number of new signings….

Buildbase and The Range have become the latest high profile retailers to adopt the ProtectMyInstall.co.uk platform for their retail kitchen and bathroom operations - an installation service with a number of unique features to protect both installers and their customers.

Futurebuild postponed to March 2022

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Following consultation with key stakeholders, the organisers of Futurebuild 2021 have decided to postpone the event, which will now go ahead from 1st – 3rd March 2022 at ExCeL London, instead.

“Futurebuild 2022 will elevate innovation, showcasing the products, solutions and ideas that will deliver the transformational change needed to address climate change,” says Martin Hurn, event director.

Tim Spann from Keller Kitchens rounds up 2020 - and looks forward to 2021

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As one of Europe's leading kitchen manufacturers, Keller Kitchens, with an HQ in Holland, has enjoyed a remarkable year in the UK. We talk to Tim Spann about the challenges it brought; and how 2021 looks…

Lakes goes above and beyond to achieve Carbon Neutral Plus status

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Lakes, one of the UK's leading manufacturers of innovative showering spaces, has been awarded Carbon Neutral Plus certification for its UK operations in recognition of the company's continued commitment to reducing its impact on the environment.

The Used Kitchen Company launches lockdown initiative with KBSA

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The UK's used kitchen recycling ambassador, The Used Kitchen Company (TUKC), has joined forces with The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association to assist the high street and independent kitchen retailers facing up to the second national pandemic lockdown this year.

Viva the revolution!

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"The Government's 10-Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution is a call to arms for individuals and organisations to fight for the future of our planet - we must do whatever it takes to protect our world, and we must do it now."

Unified Water Label features in energy Saving Trust's Top 10 Campaign

The Unified Water Label has been included within the criteria of energy saving taps, by the Energy Saving Trust, in a new initiative designed to encourage consumers to replace their old appliances with new efficient ones.

BiKBBI welcomes Anthill as latest sponsor

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Continuing what has been a busy month for The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation, Anthill Software has been unveiled as the latest corporate sponsor, as the Government-sanctioned Institute continues to grow.

Insinkerator sees sales spike due to increased demand for kitchen hygiene

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Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent UK lockdown in March 2020, consumers' homes became their safe haven as well as their office, classroom and restaurant.

This has led to consumers re-evaluating their homes to ensure they meet a wider range of needs, including enhancing the kitchen to support the increase in home cooking and being more hygienic. As a result, InSinkErator has witnessed a spike in sales of its range of food waste disposers.


European Promotion for VitrA's Margaret Talbot

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Margaret Talbot, marketing manager for VitrA bathrooms in the UK, has been promoted to Regional Marketing Manager - Europe.

Matthew Wells joins Utopia

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Utopia Bathrooms has announced the appointment of Matthew Wells as business development executive for the South East region.

Foyne Jones appoints Paul Da Silva, as its new KBB development consultant

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Foyne Jones, executive search and talent acquisition service provider for the KBB, Builders Merchant & Construction Sales Industries, once again strengthens its core market with the appointment of Paul Da Silva, as its new KBB development consultant.

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