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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
14th February 2014


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

International News

Ascent, by Vado

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Design and innovation, coupled with an astute understanding of the domestic and global bathroom brassware markets, have been crucial to Vado's phenomenal success over recent years. Integral to this is the company's product development programme which has recently developed the Ascent range of basin, bath and shower mixers.

Sourcing timber for furniture?

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Is your company able to show where its timber is sourced? European legislation and a growing requirement for sustainability accreditations are making the traceability of your timber supply chain of increasingly high importance.

Distinctly Abode: the new Mikro sink

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Prior to KBB Birmingham, Abode has launched a new addition to its stainless steel range of kitchen sinks - the Mikro. The unparalled simplicity of the clean lines and patterned drainer of this modern sink create a sleek, contemporary design. When complemented by other stainless steel appliances within the kitchen, Mikro is an unobtrusive, yet stylish addition to the overall kitchen aesthetic.

Mike Pro brings designer style to commercial bathrooms

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A sleek, unassuming yet sophisticated design with appeal to the architect, interior designer, specifier and residential developer, and offered in a choice of two finishes and with many technological advanced features, the new Mike Pro range from Crosswater is an ideal choice for hotels, public buildings and luxury homes.

KBB Preview: Exploring the true potential of Mistral

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Stand: M100

Visitors to the Karonia stand can expect to be stunned by the ground-breaking displays of Mistral 25mm solid surfacing and by three new additions to the range. The stand has been specifically designed to explore the true potential of Mistral and fuel the imagination of visitors.

KBB Preview: Selling made easier with ArtiCad - new versions launch at Show

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Stand number: M80

CAD software specialist for the KBB sector, ArtiCAD, will be seeking to wow visitors at this year's KBB show with the latest versions of all four of the company's core technologies - ArtiCAD-Pro, BathCAD, MyRoomPlan and MyRoomFinish - being featured. The four products have all been designed specifically and solely for the KBB industry with the aim of making it easier and faster for ArtiCAD clients to sell their products and services.

Holistic showering with Rio Revive

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You 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.

New for 2014: the Solo Mirror from Ripples

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Presenting 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

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This 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...

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Leisure 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

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Families 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.

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.

Welcome to the


We Brits are renowned for talking about the weather but it seems that our current flooding issues are making the news around the world.  I'm lucky just to be suffering from a leaky roof, but living only a few miles from flooded areas around the rivers Thames, Mole and Wey, I must confess that I draw back my curtains each morning with some trepidation, worried that the floodwaters will have finally made it to my doorstep. 

Needless to say, my thoughts are with the families and businesses that haven't been so lucky and my praises go to everyone who’s waded in (literally!) to help them – and particularly those of who say they’ve have gone without any rest at all, for 48 hours or more. That’s the British Bulldog spirit for you!

Of course, once everything’s been cleaned up, decontaminated and dried out, all the flooded kitchens and appliances will need to be replaced - which is good news for our industry however far in the future that will be. It’s a longer process than is generally realised. 

In the meantime though, life can’t be easy for delivery drivers and tradespeople who are having to brave the high winds, rain and the inevitable diversions around floodwaters and fallen trees and I hope that those awaiting their arrival are understanding of the difficult circumstances under which they are forced to go about their work.

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





Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Late payments concerns for tradespeople in construction sector

A survey recently compiled and published by the Construction Products association has revealed that in the fourth quarter of 2013, an amazing 76% of companies within the construction industry had reported that payments received had drifted to between 30 and 60 days.

Late payments severely affect company cashflow and therefore if you are a builder, carpenter, painter and decorator, plumber or similar, it's critical to be both professional and organised with raising and chasing invoices. www.yourtradebase.com handles all these tasks and more by professionalising quotations and invoices and creating and utilising 'remind me' functions to ensure that work completed by tradespeople, isn't forgotten.

Steel appeal from Just Taps Plus

* Just-Taps-single-lever.jpgJust Taps Plus has introduced a superbly engineered, Italian-made stainless steel range to the top end of the British bathroom market - Inox.

Stainless steel is very popular with interior designers and architects and is often specified for swish, modern homes. Brushed stainless steel is the perfect material for manufacturing sleek, contemporary taps. The surface is non-porous, can't be damaged by household cleaners or abrasive pads and is very easy to clean. The smooth, non-porous surface means that grime and germs can't linger. Accidental minor scratches can be buffed out and the material is totally corrosion resistant, guaranteeing a long life and trouble free performance. It is also completely recyclable and is lead free, delivering totally clean, safe water.

Showering with a splash of colour and innovation from Vado

* Vado-Vogue-red.jpgBathroom retailers keen to capitalise upon consumer demand for premium technology and high end style need look no further than Vado's exclusive new collection of electric showers which are designed to add more than a splash of colour to the bathroom.

Developed with independent retailers and their customers in mind, Vado's latest ranges of luxury showers are perfect for creating an eye catching showroom display, whilst the colour palettes available offer something to suit all tastes and interior schemes.

Abode Zeal 'on display' with Splinter Works Vessel Bath

* Abode-Zeal.jpgThe architecturally tall, innovatively designed, Abode Zeal floor-standing bath filler with shower handset has been chosen to accompany the stunning Splinter Works 'Vessel' hammock style bath, on display at the Ideaworks London Experience Centre in Great Portland Street, London for the Carbon Fibre exhibition from January 28th to March 20th.

Just as the Zeal range has been created for people who want the perfect blend of design, performance and sheer quality, so has the Vessel hammock bath.

Bushboard relaunches premium Omega laminate worktop range with a design upgrade

* Bushboard-Omega-Tobacco.jpgBushboard is relaunching its premium Omega 40mm laminate worktop range at the end of February and it will be on full show at the KBB exhibition. The range upgrade is a fashion-forward mix of popular stones, trendy woodgrains and practical splashbacks in modish colours and a linear texture that keeps laminate on the button for today's kitchens.

There are 16 new designs available for worksurfaces and upstands, plus a further eight new designs for splashbacks only. Omega will also include the world-class Sanitised anti-bacterial protection on all of its products, the first UK worktop range to offer this benefit.

Harvey Water Softeners receives Good Housekeeping Institute approval

* Harvey.jpgHarvey Water Softeners has become the first water softener manufacturer to receive the official stamp of approval from the Good Housekeeping Institute.

The GHI is renowned for testing products from vacuum cleaners to irons and saucepans to washing machines in the four key areas: performance, ease of use, design and instructions.

It's not just delivery; it's Abacus delivery

* Abacus-delivery.jpgYou can always rely on attention to detail when working with bathroom distributor, designer and manufacturer, Abacus Direct.

The company is known for thinking of everything to make life easier for the retailer and installer. One example is the glass panel delivery service. Abacus Direct now offers the option to deliver heavy glass to the consumer's room of choice which literally takes the load from the retailer in terms of labour and attendance on site.

IDS relocates to new HQ at the Parkhouse Interchange, Stoke

* IDS-Parkhouse-Stoke.jpgSurface materials specialist IDS has recently moved its head office and regional distribution branch to a brand new and purpose built, 65,000 sq ft site at the Parkhouse Interchange, Stoke.

Situated just 1.4 miles away from the old premises, the new site is excellently positioned on the main A34 road serving Stoke, in a superior and more prominent location, giving customers improved access and enhancing the company's levels of service, stockholding and product availability.

New Commercial Manager brings two decades of experience to role

* BEN-VIGGARS.jpgBen Viggars, one of the bathroom industry's renowned career experts has joined one of the country's fastest growing bathroom businesses as its Commercial Manager.

Ben, who has worked for the biggest names in UK bathrooms over the last 20 years, said "Working with Patrick Riley and the growing team at Bathroom Brands is exhilarating. The company has shown itself to be progressive and committed to working with independents and I relish the chance to put my sales & marketing expertise to great use. This is period of real change and excitement I am delighted to be part of it."

F & P Wholesale fundraising efforts result in £37K donation to Whizz-Kidz

* F-P-Wholesale-fundraising.jpgF & P Wholesale, a distributor of heating, plumbing and bathroom products to independent builders' merchants, has raised thousands of pounds for national wheelchair charity Whizz-Kidz following two years of fundraising.

Throughout 2012 and 2013, the distributor organised a series of exciting events designed to involve everyone within the business in fundraising activity - from employees through to customers and suppliers - resulting in a phenomenal final total of £37,000.

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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
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Tel: +44 (0)1580 755 863
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Recent News

Internet Plumbing & Heating Market Report - UK 2014-2018 Analysis

AMA's latest industry report: 'Internet Plumbing & Heating Market Report - UK 2014-2018 Analysis', is now available.

iKBBI delighted to announce new consumer focused sponsorship deal

Insight Retail Group (IRG), owner of consumer price comparison websites Kitchen-compare.com, KitchenCompareTrade.com, Bathroomcompare.com and Bedroom-compare.com was unveiled today as the latest sponsor of The Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers.

George Osborne pays a visit to Triton, the Great British shower company

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On 16th January the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne visited Triton - The Great British shower company in Nuneaton.

Mistoria Group hopes to 'clean up' with new business Mistoria Spotless

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Manchester based property investment company, the Mistoria Group, has announced the addition of yet another business to its portfolio. Mistoria Spotless will deliver a number of different elements, including house clearance, a 'builders clean' and a 'sparkle clean' service and is the newest arm to the company, bringing the number of divisions operating under the Mistoria Group brand to nine.

Roman sponsored kit brings success

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British shower manufacturer and designer, Roman, is the proud shirt sponsor of the Barnard Castle under 11s Rugby team. The manufacturer is sponsoring the under 11s Rugby team throughout its 16 matches of the season.

KBB Preview: Ideal Standard to throw a spotlight on new exclusive products at KBB 2014

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Stand E60

After confirming its return to the show, Ideal Standard has unveiled its initial plans for KBB 2014. Highlights include hosting a press conference and Designer Day on the stand, as well as the launch of a selection of products exclusively for the retail sector.

In-toto Kitchens franchisee celebrates record sales

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A 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.

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.

KBB Preview: Abode will 'wow' all stand visitors

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Stand 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.

KBB Preview: Nolte fine tunes handleless kitchens

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Hall 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

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Hall 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.

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

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Stand 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.

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.


Utopia announces marketing department expansion

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Utopia Bathroom Group has announced the appointment of Victoria Wells as Marketing Assistant and the promotion of its existing marketing personnel.

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

BagnoDesign has bolstered its design team in London, with the appointment of Alex Keappock to the role of Project Design Consultant.

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