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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
31st January 2014


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Please note that you are viewing an archived issue of The KBzine.

International News

KBB Preview: Salice set to stand out from the crowd

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Stand 100, located in Row O

Salice will be exhibiting its range of furniture fittings for kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms at the KBB show. Visitors will be able to view a selection of the product range, including the Slider S20 two-door coplanar sliding system which is a popular choice with today's designers due to its combined features of reliability, aesthetic design and ergonomic advantages. Slider S20 is suitable for kitchen cabinets, sideboards and small wall cabinets, up to a weight of 20kg and offers versatile and easy installation.

KBB Preview: Pelipal to showcase 17 collections of stunning bathroom furniture

Stand number: D60

Following the unveiling of Pelipal to UK retailers at kbb 2012, Pelipal is reinforcing the brand, showcasing 17 collections of its stunning bathroom furniture at this year's show.

KBB Preview: Blanco's passion for perfection will be showcased at KBB 2014

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Stand numbers 100 & 100A

Blanco's passion for perfection is reflected in one of the UK's most comprehensive portfolios of high quality sinks, taps and extractor hoods.
With a German pedigree, Blanco is well known for design flair and high quality products which cover all market requirements from the builders' merchant to the prestigious kitchen boutique.

Seven ways to improve your business telephone skills

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In this article - the second in a series produced especially for KBzine readers, Catherine Emerson of Nseventeen, discusses six ways you can ensure you get the best from your business phone calls. Nseventeen is a consultancy that specialises in qualified and researched business appointment setting.

Global economy growing - but 'wellbeing' may be left behind

As the world marks the 80th birthday of Gross Domestic Product, a new Worldwatch Institute report examines its inadequacy as the sole metric for prosperity.

In 2012, Gross World Product increased to just over $83 trillion, a 4.85% increase over 2011. On the surface, this metric supports the argument that the worst of the global recession is in the past; however, the economy continues a pattern of slowing growth rates since 2010 and 2011, when GWP grew 6.35% and 5.67%, respectively. Moreover, closer inspection shows that growth is taking place mostly in emerging economies: the GDP of emerging economies is now roughly equal to that of all the advanced economies, write Worldwatch researchers in the Institute's latest Vital Signs Online trend.

British Ceramic Tile makes a statement with its new ceramic tile collection

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Feature walls have been a real favourite with consumers over the past few years with wallpapers and tiles being used creatively in the home to give real impact to walls. British Ceramic Tile's new Statement collection taps into this trend offering a new range of ceramic tiles that will instantly create a striking feature wall.

Available in black, white, cream and grey, the range features plain field tiles as well as a coordinating decor tile with classic damask pattern finished with a metallic lustre for added wow factor.

Iconic SMEG500 in red arrives in the UK

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Following the infamous collaboration between award-winning appliance manufacturer Smeg, Italian car manufacturer Fiat and prestigious designers Italia Independent, the SMEG500 refrigerator is now available to the UK market in a vibrant red shade in addition to green and white.

Personalise your storage

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Clever and well designed interior storage solutions are now getting the attention they deserve. Whether it's down to the rise of concealed kitchens and integrated living spaces, or a desire for a sense of control over the clutter and busyness of everyday life, storage solutions have never been so popular.

WaterAid steps up advocacy on behalf of 2.5 billion people without a toilet

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WaterAid has this week announced a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that puts the global sanitation crisis at the forefront of advocacy efforts aimed at improving the lives of millions of people living without toilets or sanitation in Ghana, India and Senegal.

KBB Preview: Carron Phoenix shows off new and flagship products at KBB 2014

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Stand H80a

Exhibiting alongside sister company Franke UK for the first time at KBB, Carron Phoenix will be demonstrating its credentials as a brand synonymous with exceptional quality and value for its target mid to lower end of the market.

Croydex and European Water Label commit to Marathon WaterAid Charity fundraising campaign

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Croydex has teamed up with the industry's Water Label to raise money for the global WaterAid charity.

Zanussi tumble dryer awarded Which? Best Buy

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Consumer champion Which? has featured AEG and Zanussi in its recently tested tumble dryers line up.

The Zanussi ZTH485 tumble dryer has been awarded the prestigious Which? Best Buy status after extensive testing with an overall test score of 66%.

Bathroom Sale Award Winners: doing the industry proud!

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The Award winning Bathroom Sale that was run by Bathroom Brands during October, saw over 700 retailers taking part in one of the most successful marketing initiatives the industry has ever seen.

Production resumes as FagorBrandt reopens all French factories

FagorBrandt (France) has announced that all French production sites have reopened. This follows the announcement on November 8th that FagorBrandt (France) had legally separated its activities from Fagor Electrodomesticos (Spain).

New Year, New Kitchen?

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Electrolux, AEG and Zanussi have a range of appliances to help bring every kitchen into the New Year.

Vibrant Vessini - for the perfect bathroom

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The popular Vessini range by Abacus Direct, from which the designer, retailer or installer, can create the ultimate bathing solution, has been enhanced to answer the demand from today's designers, installers and housebuilders.

Industry experts to brief on impact of new EU Regulations on common refrigerants

Refrigerants used in millions of air conditioning and refrigeration systems across the UK and Europe are to be subject to strict new EU regulations. Those that are not up to date with the changes, might well benefit from a visit to the ACR Show 2014, which takes place at the NEC, from 11 to 13 February, 2014. At the show, industry experts will brief visitors on the changes and their practical consequences in a series of free seminars.

KBB Preview: Bushboard showcases its progressive approach to worksurfaces at KBB 2014

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Hall 18 Stand M90

Bushboard's approach to KBB will be to showcase brand new and existing products across its Encore solid surface, Omega and Prima laminate, and M-Stone quartz worksurface brands, as well as its strong commitment to retailers with installer training, POS and 360 customer service.

Welcome to the


Perhaps with all the flooding right now, it’s not the best time to try and enthuse readers on the features and benefits of a washing machine that cleans clothes with millions of tiny nylon polymer beads instead of water, but when one considers the chances of a hosepipe ban a few months hence, the article in the Daily Mail deserved further exploration.

The statement that: “If all UK households converted to the technology, it would save around seven million tonnes of water per week,” had me hooked.

The article argues that the beads have an inherent polarity that attracts stains –explaining that the process is similar to the one that causes white nylon garments to become dingy over time. Apparently, under humid conditions, the polymer changes and becomes absorbent, which means that dirt is not just attracted to the surface, it is actually absorbed into the centre, where it remains trapped.

In this particular application, the beads are added to the machine, along with a cup of water and a few drops of a special detergent. After the wash cycle is complete, the beads are spun out of the load through holes in the drum, into the sump pump where they are stored for later reuse.  They are said to be good for some 500 loads.

As well as requiring very little water and a fraction of the electricity used to run an ordinary washing machine, the process drastically reduces the amount of detergent needed to clean clothes. Clever, isn’t it?

It was only when I read the comments at the bottom of the online article, that a potential pitfall was brought to mind…

“Well, just how do they get the beads out of pockets?” said one.

“Little beads in pockets, rolling all over the floor and me slipping on them. Maybe all our pockets will need zippers next.”

I won’t go on…

The link to the article is below and I’d love your thoughts on whether or not this technology is likely to catch on:


Don't forget to 'like' our Facebook Page, or comment any of our Story Pages.





Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

In-toto Kitchens franchisee celebrates record sales

* In-toto-jane_simon_miller.jpgA husband and wife duo from Clitheroe celebrated the end of a busy 2013 with record sales. Simon and Jane Miller opened their second In-toto Kitchen Studio in May 2013 and evoked instant excitement from their local community with the stunning two-storey studio in Parson Lane, Clitheroe - known as In-toto Ribble Valley.

Already they are achieving success and in November 2013 they reported the second highest sales of all 47 In-toto Studios nationwide.

Holistic showering with Rio Revive

* Holistic-Rio-Revive-Crosswater.jpgYou may think you see colour, but did you know you also feel it? Light comes in many different wavelengths and frequencies that hit the retina, which then translates these invisible 'vibrations' as a different colour to your brain.

Early Greek, Egyptian and Chinese civilisations, recognising that little grows without light, theorised that the many colours that make up visible light had individual powers that influence emotions and systems of the body.

Wickes moves its support centre to Watford

Wickes is moving its Support Centre from Harrow to a new state-of the art facility at Vision House in Watford, bringing its team of 200 employees to the southwest Hertfordshire town. The move represents a high profile investment in the business community in Watford, which was named one of the top 100 UK towns for company growth last year, according to the local Chamber of Commerce.

The 200 people currently based at Wickes' Harrow office are moving eight miles down the road to the Watford site - close enough for almost all to relocate - at the end of January.

New for 2014: the Solo Mirror from Ripples

* Ripples-zaro.jpgPresenting an organic shape with a built in energy saving LED Light panel... The Solo mirror can be placed exactly how you want it, vertically, horizontally or at an angle - at a height that best suits your client's needs.

Freestanding bath is perfect for smaller spaces

* Freestanding-Nouveau-Clearwater.jpgThis stunning Nouveau Petite freestanding Modern bath from Clearwater Baths is the latest to join what is arguably the most comprehensive range of high quality, freestanding baths on the market.

Leisure Sinks: stainless in Seattle...

* Leisure-Sinks-Seattle.jpgLeisure Sinks' popular range of high quality, stainless steel sinks includes the cost effective and fully reversible Seattle. Available in either single or one and a half bowl options, these robust sinks are constructed from 0.7 gauge high grade 18/10 stainless steel and manufactured in the UK.

Make a Nest with VitrA's family-friendly bathroom range

* Make-a-nest-VitrA.jpgFamilies need practical, affordable and functional bathrooms, but VitrA believes that they can be beautiful and sophisticated too and its new Nest range is set to prove just that.

VitrA set the renowned Finnish studio Pentagon Design on the mission to create an all encompassing bathroom range that would provide solutions for typical family needs.

Methven extends bar shower range

* METHVEN-Waipori-bar-shower.jpgGlobal designer and manufacturer of premium showers and tapware, Methven UK, has extended its Waipori collection to include a Cool to Touch Bar shower.

Following the success of the Maku Cool to Touch bar shower, which launched in 2013 and became Methven's bestselling shower, Methven has added this bar shower to its Waipori collection, complementing the existing range of showerheads, handsets and tapware.

Alex has designs on a positive future in new consultant role at BagnoDesign

* ALEX-KEAPPOCK.jpgBagnoDesign has bolstered its design team in London, with the appointment of Alex Keappock to the role of Project Design Consultant.

Based at the company's A&D Centre in Clerkwenwell, Alex will offer consultation and support to architects and designers, as well as developing new relationships within the design community in order to initiate sales of BagnoDesign products through specification and contract work.

KBB Preview: Abode will 'wow' all stand visitors

* Abode-Bliss-Tempeau.jpgStand 191 in Hall 19

Abode is not a company to sit back and expect visitors to seek it out... "We have invested heavily on our creatively designed stand this year to 'wow' all who come to see us," says a spokesperson. "You cannot miss it as it stands proud, in front of you, as you enter Hall 19.

"To match the originality of the stand our designers have been working hard to produce new product creations for both kitchens and bathrooms. In all, over 50 new products will be previewed to take the show, by storm. Over 100 new bathroom products, many of which will be on display, will be showcased to the Birmingham audience for the first time, and are already available."

KBB Preview: Nolte fine tunes handleless kitchens

* Nolte-handleless.jpgHall 18, Stand N90

The trend to go as minimalist as possible has been around for some years, but wanting to eliminate potential pitfalls right from the start, German manufacturer Nolte Küchen took some time to come out with what it says is 'the real thing' when it comes to handleless furniture. Now MatrixArt - a major innovation for 2014 - is 100% handle-free by incorporating the trim into the carcase.

KBB Preview: Brand new Leicht kitchen designs on display

* Leicht-KBB-Preview.jpgHall 18, Stand N120

Leicht kitchens will be showcasing its latest 2014 designs over three displays on its 60 sq.m stand. These include the 2014 handleless Synthia-C/Ceres-C, which will be shown in the new slightly textured, antique oak colour combined with new Alpine grey and an arctic white island. The concentration of colour and material is designed to provide a calm, stylish look.

The Classic-FS combined with Topos will also be displayed. This kitchen, in a lacquered white and oak Topos veneer, has a large island and tall wall units with pocket doors.

KBB Preview: KBSA uses show as launchpad for partnership with Dulux design service

* KBSA_Marianne-Shillingford.jpgStand No. I135

The KBSA and the Dulux Design Service will launch an innovative partnership between KBSA retailers and interior designers at KBB that will provide consumers with a comprehensive design service. The collaboration, which links KBSA retailers and Dulux interior designers across the UK, will offer opportunities for Dulux interior designers to access the KBSA network of independent retailers for their customers.

"This is a very exciting development for KBSA retailers, providing them with new opportunities to increase their customer base," says KBSA marketing director Ruth Ward.

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

Kitchen & Bathroom Worktops Market Report - UK 2014-2018 Analysis, now available

The value of the total kitchen worktop market is estimated to have declined from a high of £200m in 2007 to £170m in 2011, increasing modestly to £173m in 2012 and again to £177m in 2013.

Key issues that have influenced the UK domestic kitchen furniture and worktop market in recent years include:-

* The blurring of distinction between the kitchen and dining room, with less formality in the home and a move towards open plan living.
* An emphasis on aesthetics and stylish designs, with contemporary styling, clean lines, sleek, minimalist looks and solid flooring becoming a major theme in the home.

Signs of recovery for UK furniture industry

Information from a publication released at the end of 2013 hints at a small recovery for furniture manufacturing in the UK, but this improvement is overshadowed by poor export performance and China gaining a massive foothold of our import market.

KBB PREVIEW: Schüller and next 125 promise to be a main attraction at kbb 2014

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Stand number: M105

As one of Germany's leading kitchen manufacturers, Schüller will be a main attraction at kbb 2014. With its two brands - schüller.C collection and next125 - Schüller will be demonstrating its commitment and investment in the UK market by exhibiting exciting new 2014 additions for the first time. kbb 2014 is the perfect opportunity for Schüller to showcase why it has 'Probably the best kitchens in the world' and for next125 to demonstrate its ethos of 'Design in harmony with nature and price'.

Utopia announces 2014 training programme

Utopia Bathroom Group has announced that it will be running monthly training days throughout 2014. Previous sessions have been very well received with retailers finding the days extremely helpful, both for briefing new staff members and also for updating existing personnel.

KBB Preview: Sensio Lighting back for a fourth time

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Hall 20, Stand number L85

Sensio will be exhibiting at kbb Birmingham for the fourth time this year. As a market leader of kitchen and bedroom lighting solutions and a company that has established a reputation for developing award-winning, innovative LED lighting solutions of the highest quality, it's only appropriate that the company has a strong presence at the event - one of the most prominent trade shows in the industry.

Bathroom company launches apprenticeship scheme to help young people build their careers

As David Cameron puts emphasis on the value of apprenticeships in bridging the skills gap to get young people into their first jobs, Better Bathrooms is launching an apprenticeship scheme aimed at local young people. The scheme will run across the business with opportunities in Accounts, IT, Design and Administration.

Time to down tools?

Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) is continuing to plague employees across a wide range of industries, who regularly use vibrating equipment for long periods, despite there being plenty of precautions to reduce the risks according to workplace equipment supplier Slingsby.

British Ceramic Tile teams up with Empty Homes to bring properties back to life

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Renowned tile manufacturer and distributor, British Ceramic Tile, has teamed up with independent charity Empty Homes, to breathe new life into uninhabitable houses throughout the UK.

£8 million technology boost for UK high streets

A brand new, £8m initiative, designed to re-invigorate UK high streets, has been announced by Science & Universities Minister, David Willetts, today.

Last chance to apply for £150,000 high street challenge prize

Towns and city centres have until Friday 31st January to apply for the Revive & Thrive Challenge which aims to bring people and businesses together to breathe new life into their high street.

The countdown to kbb Birmingham 2014 begins…

More than 200 premier brands will be setting up home at the NEC Birmingham, from 2nd – 5th March, to show off their wares at the industry’s eagerly-anticipated event - kbb Birmingham 2014.

The show’s organiser, UBM Live Built Environment, promises that a multitude of key brands from the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom arena will be joining a whole host of well-established international, component and appliance companies such as Laufen, Blum, Sensio and British Ceramic Tiles – and that the line up will include many familiar favourites, plus new brands to the show, such as Samat, Terrence Ball Kitchens and RotPunkt Kitchens. There will also be a packed seminar programme, which is being sponsored by Formica.

KBB Preview: Franke puts retailers centre stage at KBB 2014 with its More in Store campaign

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Hall 19, Stand H80

More in Store is the big business message on the Franke stand at KBB, where the company is re-affirming its support for its specialist showroom retailers with a major campaign initiative, together with a strong new product line-up.


Work experience that led to a Roman career

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UK shower designer and manufacturer, Roman, has welcomed a new addition to its Marketing team. Laura Knox joins Roman's Marketing team as Marketing Executive.

Julia Bunney promoted to UK Sales Director at Poggenpohl UK

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Poggenpohl UK has announced the promotion of the incumbent UK Dealer Manager, Julia Bunney, to the role of UK Sales Director.

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