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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
28th March 2014


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

International News

Blanco makes style statement at KBB

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John was particularly taken with this worktop - the latest addition to the Blanco Steelart line. Durinox is a new material designed for the exclusive custom-made worktop range.

Get into the groove...

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What better way to show the true potential and versatility of your range of solid surfaces than use them to build into your stand a concept kitchen and tables incorporating just about every angle, curve and groove you can think of?

That's exactly what Karonia did at kbb with its Mistral products & I have to admit that John and I were continually distracted from our conversation with the stand team because we kept discovering new configurations and saying to one another: "Have you seen this?" at which point we would both run our hands over it and ask: "How on earth did they do that?"

IDS: not just a pretty face

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International Decorative Surfaces,the UK's largest distributor of surfacing materials specialising in flooring, worktops, laminates, panel products and solid surfacing, is part of the Saint Gobain Group, recognised as Europe's leading organisation in building materials.

Just when you thought you knew it all...

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As I've so often said, one of the beauties of visiting a show in this industry is the ability it gives you to touch things. Come across a manufacturer of opening systems for cabinet furniture and what do you do? Open every cupboard and drawer that's within touching distance, then close it again!

AEG launches ProCombi SousVide Oven, bringing professional cooking techniques into the home

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AEG's ProCombi SousVide brings the precisely controlled cooking method of professional chefs to its multifunction steam oven to deliver melt-in-the-mouth flavoursome and nutritious food at home. The addition of the AEG vacuum-sealer drawer completes the sous vide system.

"Sous vide is a wonderfully versatile cooking technique, and AEG is proud to bring it into UK homes," explained Helen Casewell. "There is almost no limit to the range of dishes that can be enhanced using this method."

Pelipal's Solitaire 6005 and 7005: New for 2014 and highly covetable!

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Bringing out the 'girlie' in me was Pelipal's new Solitaire 7005, displayed in black with a fine glitter effect. I'd have picked it up and carried it home given the chance...

The asymmetrical basin in mineral marble is also available in a modern grey metallic and mineral marble white as well as the black - all enhanced with a fine glitter effect. The gently rounded curves of the vanity unit are echoed in the basins and the selection of handles. New LED lights can be incorporated beneath the wash basin for night-time ambience or be set above, below or included in the mirror - all carefully positioned to provide light without glare.

Carron Phoenix: so much to see and a history lesson too...

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There were so many fabulous products on the Carron Phoenix stand that we wondered how they managed to remember all the features and benefits but remember them they did! John and I loved this new design feature whereby the taps can be co-ordintated with the sink and we could see that we weren't the only ones.

Extractair - extractors which add that extra 'vibe'

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John's not much of a Michael Jackson fan and had it not been for the friendly faces and warm greetings provided by the team on the Extractair stand, he'd probably have moonwalked on by, but a change of tune soon captured us both.

The extractor hood, so often now a centrepiece of the kitchen in terms of positioning, function and striking design, has been taken into the entertainment business too. The one we were looking at was playing music...

kbb 2014 Innovations Awards

I mentioned innovation so perhaps I should kick off this review with a look at the Innovation Awards winners – announced at the show on Monday. With each and every exhibitor able to enter the awards (sponsored by Blum) by displaying an innovation tag on what they felt was their most innovative product, there was an abundance of products for the judges to consider. “This year the kbb exhibitors showcased more innovative products than ever, with each one providing a new and interesting solution,” they said.

We saw so many exciting innovations that we felt relieved not to have been charged with selecting the winners, who were:

Sensio - lighting up all those dark places...

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As a market leader of kitchen & bedroom lighting solutions and a company that's established a reputation for developing award-winning, innovative LED lighting solutions of the highest quality, it was only appropriate that Sensio had a strong presence at one of the most prominent trade shows in the industry. This enormous stand (at 105sq.m) showed off the company's lighting innovations a treat, allowing visitors to interact with and understand each concept. We certainly liked what we saw...

Bauformat launch a host of exciting new kitchen innovations that stand the test of time

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2014 is set to be a year of celebration for Bauformat, with the leading German kitchen manufacturer toasting its 40 years in the UK, a Golden 'M' award and the UK launch of its "Schnell" range at KBB Birmingham. Visitors to the show will also have a unique preview of its new retail showroom concept - Cube Fashion, a 'shop within a shop' that offers a completely new consumer shopping experience of Bauformat products.

Further eruptions expected as Designer Bathroom Concepts announces launch of full Etna Collection

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With its upcoming appearance as a finalist at this year's KBB Review Awards imminent, Designer Bathroom Concepts adds further ripples to the UK bathroom market with its introduction of the full Etna Collection.

Just as the Etna Bath has added a truly state-of-the-art twist on the freestanding bath, so too does the full Etna Collection. With a continuation of the elegant ripples we have seen on the Etna, the collection features freestanding basins, countertop basins and most strikingly, a round, freestanding version of the Etna Bath.

KBB 2014 preview: Bauformat launches new handleless collection

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Stand - O80

Renowned German kitchen manufacturer Bauformat is delighted to unveil at KBB2014 the UK launch of its new Linea Piantra handleless kitchen, the latest addition to its Burger brand.

Recently showcased at the company's in-house fair, Linea Piantra is a stylish addition to any retailer's portfolio and is competitively positioned to ensure an added value offering.

New electric shower range launched by MX

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MX Group has unveiled its new 'QI' electric shower range - a 'quick installation' range of electric showers that sets new standards for simple installation. Featuring eight entry points for water and electricity - these showers are amongst the simplest and most effective electric shower installation options in today's marketplace.

Ideal for new build or retrofit opportunities, these attractive showers are up to 30% slimmer than other units on the market. They're an ideal replacement product where an old shower has been removed or for shower replacement programmes for social and private landlords.

Burlington gets an angle on traditional design

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Available from March 1st, here's an ingenious idea from Burlington Bathrooms... Installing a traditional high level WC when access to the soil pipe is near a window can be a planning conundrum.

Positioning a WC too far from the soil pipe causes flushing problems so the rule is, the closer the better. By using an angled pipe, the pan itself can be placed on the window wall where the soil pipe is usually situated while the high level cistern is on an adjacent wall.

AEG and Zanussi receive Best Buys in latest Which? Hob Testing

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The AEG HK654200FB induction hob and the Zanussi ZGG66424XA gas hob have both received Which? Best Buy status after recent intensive testing.

The AEG hob scored an impressive 82% and Which? Said: "We were really impressed with this induction hob; it's quick, easy to use and has plenty of useful features. Not only does it cook brilliantly but it's very easy to clean when you've finished. In fact it's so good we didn't hesitate to make it a Best Buy.".

Welcome to the


KBB 2014 Review - Part 4

In our other life, John and I produce a weekly e-zine for the cleaning, hygiene and health & safety industry, which goes out to more than 100,000 readers in 148 countries around the world. Exhibitions are held in many different countries and as John and I produce ‘Dailies’ on behalf of the organisers of several of them, we get to walk around a lot of miles of exhibition halls filled with cleaning equipment!

It’s struck us over the years, the lengths to which some of the manufacturers will go, to ‘glam up’ their cleaning cloths, mop buckets, scrubbing machines and graffiti removal kits etc, to make them stand out from the crowd and make sure everyone remembers them after the event.

The KBB industry of course, doesn’t really need to go to such lengths as most of what’s on show is pretty glamorous anyway, but one stand stopped us in our tracks for its sheer ingenuity and I simply have to mention it in the Jewels from Spain item below…

Finally, we’ve just heard that Gorenje’s HomeCHEF built-in oven has won an International Red Dot Award, in the Product Design category  –  so our congratulations to Gorenje (www.gorenje.co.uk) too.





Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

KBB review: Franke - an abundance of everything...

* Franke - Jeanette 2.jpg'Heaving' is a word I'd normally use to describe a busy pub or club, or perhaps the pitch at Wembley stadium during a rock concert, rather than an exhibition stand, but 'heaving' is the first word that came to mind when I started to write this piece about Franke's stand at KBB Birmingham.

Britannia Living at KBB

* Britannia-and-Bertazzoni.jpgVisitors to the Britannia Living stand had the opportunity to experience the Britannia, Bertazzoni and Best collections up close, with a variety of top product lines on display and a number of new collections in the spotlight.

The show proved to be a massive success for all of Britannia Living's brands, as the busy stand attracted interest from retailers and customers throughout the show.

Caple: Busy stand with lots of new goodies on show!

* Caple.jpgAward-winning appliance specialist Caple used the show to launch a selection of high performance appliances, which had been kept under wraps until then. The company's PR guru, Homestyle's Sarah Mills, quickly revealed all.

The revelations included the first launch to national retailers, of Caple's Sense Premium collection of white glass and stainless steel appliances - which looked really striking. We were also shown a selection of new appliance concepts, which had never been seen in the UK and which will form part of the Sense Premium collection for 2014.

'Jewels' from Spain!

spanish handles 2.jpgAs we walked towards the stand, we wondered what precious objects were on display in small glass cabinets on individual plinths, objects that perhaps needed to be kept safe from the hands of potential thieves – like priceless jewels perhaps. As we got closer, we realised they were handles… beautifully designed handles I have to admit, but displayed in a way that made them appear to be highly covetable.

What a brilliant idea, as our photo shows!

New report reviews developments in Builders & Plumbers Merchants' Market

A newly published AMA Research report into the builders and plumbers' merchants' market says that the sector is now dominated by four national organisations competing in a highly fragmented market, with many regional and local merchants. It also says that following a period of decline as a result of the general economic downturn and a fall in construction output, the market recovered in 2010 and maintained its value through to 2012.

It says that in 2013, growth in some key end-use sectors has created an increase in demand for merchants' products, leading to a value increase in the market during the year.

Showering made easy with new Elite easy access from Simpsons

* ELITE-walk-in.jpgSimpsons has launched a stylish new walk in, easy access enclosure in its luxury Elite range. Designed to make showering easy and safe for the whole family, it comes with a robust 8mm toughened glass screen and folding panel to afford easy in and out access.

It's also compatible with a range of 25mm low profile shower trays so it can be floor mounted with no step up - for a total integrated bathroom look. The shower trays come with a high flow waste which prevents any danger of overflow too, so everything is covered.

KWC Switzerland announces sales & distribution changes to its luxury kitchen tap brand for the UK market

KWC Switzerland has announced changes to the distribution of its luxury KWC kitchen tap brand that will come into effect from 1st April 2014.

The company has appointed the Sink Space to manage the sales & distribution of its kitchen tap offer, replacing KWC (UK). The brand will also continue to be available from Sterling Distribution.

Karonia introduces inspirational new brochure

2014-MISTRAL.jpgSolid surface specialist Karonia has introduced a new lifestyle brochure to present the features and benefits of the Fabulour Mistral range.

Introduced to coincide with the launch of three new effects in April 2014, the 20 page brochure explores the creative potential of this versatile 25mm solid surfacing through a series of inspirational, real-life installations.

Pinova makes its spring debut

* Pinova-Crown-Imperial.jpgCrown Imperial has unveiled its latest kitchen furniture design for Spring 2014 - Pinova. As a renowned British manufacturer and one of the leading names in kitchens, Crown Imperial is synonymous with high quality design and product innovation spanning over 60 years.

Sleek and ultra-modern, Pinova is a stunning new satin matt 'J' profile handleless kitchen collection, pictured here in a light grey painted satin matt finish and available in 19 different colours.

Kitchens the Crosswater way

* Crosswater-Tone-single-lever-mixer.jpgCrosswater is bringing its well-honed eye for bathroom style and quality to the kitchen with a brand new tap and sink range entitled Cucina.

Crosswater is well recognised for its expertise in the bathroom arena with a 20 year history of introducing groundbreaking, top quality products that combine cool European design with the tastes and needs of UK consumers. Perhaps not so well-known is that the business today was originally founded with kitchen taps - from the car boot of Crosswater's founder and Group Chairman Dave Hance.

Rearo launches UK's 'best priced' quality kitchen worktop

* Rearo3.jpgRearo, the popular supplier of laminated and solid surface materials, has just launched what it believes is the UK's most cost-affordable kitchen worktop.

Verve by Rearo arrived in stores on Monday and promises to offer budget conscious homeowners the ultimate in high quality, attractive worktops, which will immediately transform the look and feel of any kitchen.

Bathroom Academy continues its Principles

* JLP-york_branch.jpgThe build up to the opening of the next big John Lewis store has begun and the Bathroom Manufacturers Association has been appointed, once again, to provide the Partnership with more of its Principles of Bathroom Design training.

The huge new £15million store is set to open in York on 10th April and will feature a new fitted bathroom department. The store, which is part of the £90 million Vangarde development at Monks Cross, is John Lewis's first opening of 2014, and will be the chain's 41st shop.

Carron Phoenix launches April to September promotion of unmissable deals to retailers

* Carron-Phoenix-Samoa-50.jpgCarron Phoenix has launched a brand new six month promotion to retailers supporting them with 'unmissable deals' on some of their most popular product lines in sinks, taps and hoods and giving them a very competitive edge to generate sales and margins. The promotion runs from April 1st to September 30th.

The promotion, together with the company's highly popular Sink & Tap Value Packs, is designed to increase the brand's appeal to retailers as a trusted partner for product choice, quality and value.

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

A new take on the goldfish bowl...

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We couldn't help stopping to find out what happened to the goldfish when the chain was flushed...

Youth, Energy, Vitality, Ideas, Innovation...

These are the words Yvonne Orgill is using to describe the progress being made with the arrangements for the Bathroom & Kitchen Conference 2014.

"We're delighted with how the industry's long established conference is developing this year," enthuses Yvonne, CEO of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association, which organises the annual event.

KBB Review Awards 2014 winners announced at landmark 20th ceremony

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Winners of the kbbreview Awards 2014 were announced at a much anticipated ceremony, held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole on Tuesday. The occasion marked a landmark 20 years of the most prestigious awards event in the kitchen and bathroom industry, which are organised by kbbreview magazine.

A packed seminar programme hit the spot in more ways than one!

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Visitors were able to visit the seminar theatre for business advice and inspiration in a free, four-day, seminar programme.

It also gave the aching feet of those who attended, some much-needed respite!

Mobil Turi UK's kitchen: all the way from Italy

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As one of Italy's largest kitchen manufacturers, Mobil Turi was delighted to be showing at kbb Birmingham 2014, using the event to introduce its collection of Italian kitchens to the UK for the first time.

Tiler wins brand new van with BAL

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Professional tiler Mark Ellam has enjoyed the best possible start to 2014, as the lucky winner of a brand new van from BAL. Tilers using BAL Micromax2, BAL Max-Flex Fibre and BAL White Star plus and logging their purchases online, had earned free entries into the draw during 2013.

Mark's name was chosen randomly from thousands of entries, winning him a Ford Transit Connect, bearing the livery of his company, Imperial Tiling.

Setting fears aside, Kitchen Door Workshop retains 'Buy with Confidence' accreditation

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The online kitchen and bathroom replacement door specialist the Kitchen Door Workshop understands that many people can feel wary of buying online.

As such, it has applied and been accredited for the seventh year running for the Buy with Confidence East Sussex Scheme, once again reassuring cautious online shoppers that they are making a well researched choice.


Nicola brings wealth of industry experience to Bagno Brand Manager role

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Bagnodesign, manufacturer and supplier of design-led bathroom solutions, has strengthened its marketing and sales team in the UK and Europe with the appointment of Nicola Norris to the role of Brand Manager.

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