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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
21st February 2014


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

International News

Steel appeal from Just Taps Plus

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

Showering with a splash of colour and innovation from Vado

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Bathroom 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.

Abode Zeal 'on display' with Splinter Works Vessel Bath

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The 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.

Bushboard relaunches premium Omega laminate worktop range with a design upgrade

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Bushboard 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.

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.

Welcome to the


I came across an interesting article on the Web this week that had appeared in the Daily Mail. If you didn’t see it, the piece featured some of the very unusual work of San Francisco-based artist Clark Sorensen, who manufactures luxury urinals based on exotic flowers and plants. It apparently takes the 54 year old between three and eight months to shape each urinal out of clay before he bakes it twice in a 2,300-degree oven for two days. This final stage must be particularly taxing as the urinals can sometimes crack!

Clark’s fully functional works of art have been exhibited in galleries all over the world, where they have inspired consumers to spend between $6,000 and $20,000 just so they can have one at home or in their place of work.

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In his artist statement, he says: “Because most people think of a urinal as being ugly or dirty, it is the perfect object to beautify. My pieces echo the classic conflicts between masculine and feminine, good and evil, soiled and chaste.’

I’m not quite sure where this Venus Fly Trap urinal (which comes with an $11,500 price tag) comes into that mix, but I have to say it looks pretty scary! Thank goodness the spikes are made from silicone rubber.

You can see more of Clark’s beautiful works at: bathroom-humor and if something a little more down to earth suits your taste, don’t forget that the very latest bathroom, kitchen and bedroom equipment will shortly be on display for close examination at kbb 2014. If you haven’t registered yet, visit: www.kbb.co.uk

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





Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Brits expose brazen bathroom behaviour in cheeky poll from Splashdirect

* Regent-rolltop.jpgBath-loving Brits bring a new meaning to a night on the tiles. A poll of UK homes, led by bath and shower company Splashdirect, reveals the racy role our bathrooms play in our romantic relationships:

- Half of Brits have indulged in frisky bathroom behaviour at home
- Almost 40% have had a steamy session in a hotel bathroom
- One in 10 have snuck off to a friend's bathroom at a party for a bit of passion

Electrolux named Industry Leader in RobecoSAM annual rating

Electrolux has, for the third consecutive year, been ranked as Industry Leader Household Durables in RobecoSAM's Sustainability Yearbook, an annual rating of companies' sustainability performance.

The yearbook looks back at companies' sustainability performance in 2013 and ranks them as Gold, Silver or Bronze. The top performing company from each of 59 industries is named RobecoSAM Industry Leader. Electrolux received the highest rating of the 10 companies assessed within the Household Durables industry and consequently also the Gold Class award.

Soak away stress in a soaking tub

* BURLINGTON-BATH.jpgThere's nothing quite as pleasurable as a long lounge in a deep, comfortable bath - in fact doctors recommend a soak with candlelight and music as a stress buster and as a soothing treatment for anyone suffering from arthritis or joint injuries.

Soaking tubs from Burlington Bathrooms are custom made for a relaxing wallow. The latest baths to join the collection are the London round and rectangular models. London Round and London Rectangle both measure 1800mm long by 850mm wide and have an attractive deep rim. The baths can be used with floor or wall mounted fillers.

Wickes helps communities in need, build for tomorrow, with charity tool trade-in

DIY retailer and building trade supplier Wickes, part of the Travis Perkins Group, has this week launched a charity tool trade-in across its UK stores. TradeIn, which is running across all Wickes stores until March 25th, enables customers to recycle any tool in return for a discount.

The event, the first of its kind for the retailer, offers shoppers the opportunity to hand in their old tools for recycling in exchange for a 20% discount off any hand tool, hand power tool or hand power tool accessory in store. Buyers can even trade in a smaller tool in exchange for a discount on a big-ticket item.

Ingenious space saving with Aqua-Cabinets

* AQUACABINETS.jpgBritish bathrooms and cloakrooms are usually small - but that doesn't mean that there's no room for imaginative and inspiring design. Aqua-Cabinets has ingenious solutions that make the most of a limited floor area, giving every homeowner the chance to enjoy the benefits of modern bathroom design.

Wall hung and back to wall WCs are growing in popularity and are perfect for smaller spaces as there's no bulky cistern occupying wall space. One of the problems with both styles has been the need for either a furniture unit or a false wall to conceal the cistern.

Fisher & Paykel joins KBSA

Appliance manufacturer Fisher & Paykel has become the latest corporate member of the Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialist Association, KBSA. Fisher & Paykel is the third new corporate member to be announced in the last three months. Prokitchen-EU and Interisoft Ltd both joined in December 2013.

Fisher & Paykel has been designing products since 1934 and is now a global company operating in 50 countries. Its product range includes the iconic DishDrawer as well as other built in and freestanding cooking appliances, fridges and freezers.

Back by popular demand: BMA's Annual Conference details announced

* bma.jpgThe Bathroom Manufacturers Association has announced the venue and date for the Bathroom and Kitchen Business Conference 2014.

"By popular demand, we are returning to Heythrop Park, Enstone, in Oxfordshire, to take advantage - once again, of the fabulous facilities at this specialist conference venue," says BMA Chief Executive Yvonne Orgill.

Whirlpool's Max microwave oven wins Which? Best Buy and Great Value award

* MAX-38.jpgWhirlpool's popular Max 38 microwave oven has been awarded a Best Buy and Great Value award by Which? Magazine for the best microwave with a grill under £150.

Assessing the Max's enduring appeal, the Which? review stated: "This retro-looking microwave has been around for a while, but it's still one of the best and is brilliant at defrosting and heating. The grill works well in combination with the microwave, browning the skin on a chicken brilliantly."

Charitable champions

Shower enclosure specialist Lakes Bathrooms has totalled up the charitable fundraising of its team for 2013 and announced that over £7,500 was donated thanks to the various endeavours of staff within the company.

With activities ranging from running the London Marathon to racing part of the Tour de France route, donations were not only financial, but also included computer equipment gifted by the company for Schools in Africa.

Moduleo creates new products ideal for statement kitchen and bathrooms

* Moduleo-Ocean-Slate-roomset.jpgLuxury vinyl flooring manufacturer Moduleo, has unveiled a collection of 16 new statement products to its Transform range, in-line with trend predictions for kitchens and bathrooms in 2014.

One of the hero products in the new range is Azuriet stone, which is set to prove particularly popular for kitchen and bathroom specialists.
David Bigland, MD of Moduleo UK and Eire explains: "Kitchens and bathrooms are the key rooms that will add value to any home, and as such statement flooring can make a real difference.

KBB Preview: Kitchen Door Workshop doubles the size of its stand

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Kbb Birmingham is just around the corner and Kitchen Door Workshop tells us that after an immensely successful year, it has decided to more than double the size of its stand for the event this time around.

The company first exhibited at kbb LDN in 2013 with a stand size of 15sqm and this year at Birmingham it will take on a stand double the size at 33sqm.

InSinkErator products are a real time saver for the Mistley Kitchen cookery school

* The-Mistley-Kitchen.jpgInSinkErator, a global leader and inventor of food waste disposers, and a major player in steaming hot water taps, has been chosen for use in Essex's renowned cookery school, The Mistley Kitchen.

The Mistley Kitchen is located in a Georgian town house in the picturesque village of Mistley, Essex. Established by American-born chef, Sherri Singleton, it has developed into a destination for keen cooks of all abilities.

Innovative BAL Rapid-Mat cuts project costs, saves time

* BAL Rapid-Mat.jpgContractors and tilers will reduce project costs and duration significantly with new BAL Rapid-Mat. The innovative uncoupling solution requires around 20% less adhesive than most cavity uncoupling mats, which need almost 'an extra layer of adhesive' to fill the surface cavities or dimples. The saving amounts to using 1.5 kg less adhesive per square metre, a major saving of 45 kg adhesive per 30 metre roll.

As well as spending less time mixing adhesive, with fewer interruptions to tiling, fixers can finish a project earlier because there is no waiting for adhesive to dry. Once BAL Rapid-Mat is laid, tiling can begin immediately.

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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

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.

Harvey Water Softeners receives Good Housekeeping Institute approval

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

IDS relocates to new HQ at the Parkhouse Interchange, Stoke

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Surface 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.

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

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F & 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.

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.


New Commercial Manager brings two decades of experience to role

Ben 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.

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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