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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
11th April 2014


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

International News

Bang on trend with colour in the bathroom this Spring

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With colour being incorporated more and more into modern bathroom design, Swiss manufacturer Laufen is bang on trend with its furniture offering, with many of its ranges available in hues in line with this season's 'must-have' Pantone colours.

Shower for the freshest thinking

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Have you experienced new ideas, fresh thinking and improved creativity as a result of your daily shower? A new survey conducted on behalf of Hansgrohe shows that 72% of the globe has so you're not alone; in fact, 14% of people have showers with the only reason being to generate new ideas.

Perfectionism in corner cabinets from Vauth-Sagel - plus much more!

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Providing maximum possible storage space for all those things that need to be stored in kitchen cabinets today is an important topic in modern kitchen design - from cookware all the way through to groceries.

Burbidge takes the tactile approach with Isala

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In keeping with consumer demand, Burbidge is expanding its contemporary offer with the introduction of the new Isala tactile timber effect kitchen, offering the ultimate in urban minimalism.

Ideal Standard unveils a new look for The Bath Room

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Ideal Standard has reopened its resource centre, The Bath Room, after a major refit. The new look showroom will see the company's latest ranges take centre stage and enhances the Bath Room's visitor experience.

Abode's new Verla kitchen mixer tap is a smooth operator

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The innovative Abode Verla is a new take on kitchen mixer tap styling with a unique 'V' shaped body design. Verla's smooth curved radii comes together perfectly - from the architecturally tall spout design, to the easy-to-operate minimalist paddle style handles which epitomise cutting edge design and style... Pure design, distinctly stylish and certainly a tap to stand out from the crowd! The new Verla is available in both chrome and brushed nickel finishes from June this year.

'Jewels' from Spain!

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As 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!

Showering made easy with new Elite easy access from Simpsons

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Simpsons 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.

Pinova makes its spring debut

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Crown 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.

Kitchens the Crosswater way

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

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

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

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...

Welcome to the


It’s many months since I last received information about Electrolux’s ‘Vacs from the Sea’ initiative, whereby the company manufactured a striking range of vacuum cleaners from plastic waste that had been floating around in the sea. This pollution really worries me and as a keen recycler, I loved the idea of what Electrolux was doing to highlight the problems our oceans – and all that live in it – face, while showing what can be achieved in terms of product design using recycled materials. I was naturally disappointed that I appeared to have exhausted all my options when it came to covering the initiative in my KBzine musings…

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I’m delighted to see then, that 19-year-old Boyan Slat has taken up the ‘ocean clean-up’ baton, with his network of floating booms and processing platforms that can be dispatched to garbage patches around the world to salvage the waste. Instead of moving through the ocean, the anchored ‘arrays’, as they are known, span the radius of the patch, acting as a giant funnel. The angle of the booms forces plastic in the direction of the platforms, where it is separated from plankton, filtered, and stored for recycling.

Boyan first started developing the concept while at school, fine-tuning it over the years and going on to found The Ocean Cleanup Foundation, a non-profit organisation which is responsible for the development of his proposed technologies. His ingenious solution could potentially save hundreds of thousands of aquatic animals annually and reduce pollutants (including PCB and DDT) from building up in the food chain. It could also save millions per year, both in clean-up costs, lost tourism and damage to marine vessels.

It’s estimated that the clean-up process will take about five years.

You can learn more here and no doubt learn more about the possibility of sponsoring this wonderful initiative.





Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Big Thinking Small Spaces - May Design Series represents industry trends

* big_thinking.jpgThis year, Kitchen + Bathroom at May Design Series, will play host to a new and brilliant concept: 'Big Thinking Small Spaces' - a dedicated area to space-saving bathroom trends, demonstrating to visitors that even with smaller, more demanding spaces, you can easily meet customer desire for beautiful design.

The feature will be edited by Grahame Morrison - a regular on the Kitchen & Bathroom scene with over 25 year's industry experience, Grahame is the ideal candidate to bring together the market leaders in iconic bathroom design. Brands on display at the show pioneering the way in the space-saving design are Roman, Ideal Standard, Duravit, Kaldewei, RAK, Laufen, Roca, VitrA, Crosswater and Aquacabinets.

Deputy Prime Minister visits Glen Dimplex Home Appliances

* Glen-Dimplex-Clegg.jpgThe Deputy Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP, visited the UK manufacturing headquarters of Glen Dimplex Home Appliances yesterday, as it was revealed the business is to receive a £3m Regional Growth Fund investment - the largest sum to be awarded to a North West business.

The Regional Growth Fund is a £3.2 billion fund to help companies throughout England to create jobs between now and the mid-2020s. The RGF supports projects and programmes that are using private sector investment to create economic growth and sustainable employment. It is a competitive fund and has a minimum bid threshold of £1 million.

What is infrared heating?

* Infrared-heating.jpgWe've run items on infrared heating in KBzine before, but were never quite sure how it all worked. In this article, Peter Ferguson from Infrarad, explains all...

Infrared heating is the heat that we all enjoy from the sun. The best way to understand how this works is on a cold morning when the clouds clear and the sun comes out and you instantly feel the heat and warmth of the sun. So do the solid objects around us; we all pick up this heat and radiate it back and the air temperature rises.

Lustrolite continues to impress kitchen installers with its sleek finish and ease of installation

* LUSTROLITE.jpgWith over 30 years' experience of selling and installing kitchens, Tim Naisbett of Distinctive Interiors, in Essex, has seen many new products. When he discovered Lustrolite he was so impressed that he installed the high gloss acrylic wall panels as the splash-backs to two of his showroom displays. His clients were equally enthusiastic and one couple quickly chose Titan Grey Lustrolite panels to complement their new kitchen.

Debbie and Robert Lawrence-Smyth travelled the 90 miles from their home in Bromley, Kent, to visit the Colchester-based Distinctive Interiors. Tim Naisbett helped them design a kitchen for the new extension to the 1930s house they were renovating and the Lustrolite panels, from Abacus Direct, provided the perfect splashback for the contemporary look of the stone coloure

Better Bathrooms set for a quacking good time at the Manchester Duck Race!

* better-bathrooms.jpgManchester is set to get quacking again with a day of family fun at the Manchester Duck Race at Spinningfields on Good Friday (April 18th).

There is a whole host of activity set to take place across the estate, to entertain the thousands of families that come down to watch their rubber ducks race along the Spinningfields stretch of the River Irwell. At the heart of the action will be a massive 6m x 6m inflatable duck, which has been sponsored by Better Bathrooms.

Black Sapphire sparkles amongst three new GT colours

* Granite-Transformations1.jpgBlack worktops are by far the most popular with UK customers of global kitchen and bathroom makeover experts, Granite Transformations. So the inclusion of Black Sapphire amongst three brand new worktop materials should go down well with homeowners, looking for the distinguished look of a diamond-polished solid black surface, which goes with most styles of kitchen, rustic or modern, and any choice of cabinet door.

New Black Sapphire takes the rich, deep, stylish appeal of black and highlights this with fragments of deep blue and mirror fleck. The second colour Royal Beige adopts another popular theme of neutral tones, adding a shimmer of beige, quartz, grey, silver flecks and mother of pearl. While the third newcomer, Pietra Serena, elegantly fades to grey, with a contemporary landscape of p

IDS exclusively distributes nifty new Yu Seal solution for sealing upstands, splashbacks and tiles.

* Yu-Seal_IDS.jpgYu Seal is a brand new rubber upstand solution, exclusively distributed by IDS, offering installers an easy installation, highly water resistant and long lasting finish to fitting and sealing upstands, splashbacks and tiles in place in kitchens, as an alternative to silicone.

Upstands are commonly fitted in place using silicone, which can be messy to use and breaks down over time - becoming unhygienic, unsightly and requiring replacement. With Yu-Seal, installers can forget about return trips to site for reapplication too because Yu Seal provides a continuous seal which is uniform and smart in appearance, while also being hygienic over the long term.

Safety first with LDL

* kitchen-fire.jpgWith over half of all domestic fires starting in the kitchen, LDL Components' latest promotion features two sets of fire safety equipment for the home and offers retailers the perfect giveaway for customers on the sale or installation of a new kitchen.

The Home & Leisure Fire Safety Pack, available at the special promotional price of £17.95 plus VAT, comprises a powder fire extinguisher, (suitable for wood, paper, textile, liquid and electrical fires) and a 1m square fire blanket for cooking oil fires.

Just Taps Plus adds basin mixers to Inox range

* Just-taps.jpgInox basin mixers are the latest additions to the popular Inox range from Just Taps Plus. Made from stainless steel, the mixers have a tubular design theme featuring a gently curved spout. The breadth of choice within the range means there's an Inox tap to suit every installation with deck mounted models for standard basins, a tall version for use with vessel basins and a selection of wall fillers.

Wall fillers are perfect for a minimalist modern bathroom as pipework is hidden away inside the walls - all that can be seen is the tap spout and controls.
Unlike many stainless steel ranges, Inox is a complete collection with waste kits and traps, showers and accessories.

Two additions to ECF sales team will fit in nicely

* David-Starling.jpgLeicestershire-based furniture manufacturer and distributor East Coast Fittings (ECF) has made two additions to its sales team.

David Starling has joined as Territory Sales Manager for the West, South and East Yorkshire counties. Having previously worked for Crestwood UK and Uber Doors, David brings with him a wealth of customer knowledge which will help him and ECF build positively on their reputation as a quality manufacturer and distributor to the trade.

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

Today's tradesman is well qualified and happy in his (or her) work

Research carried out by AXA Business Insurance, one of the largest insurers of the UK's tradesmen, reveals that a formal education to degree level as well as professional qualifications are common place among today's tradesmen while the proportion of females working in trades looks to be growing.
The poll, carried out among hundreds of the UK's tradesmen showed that:

UK government relaunches Trustmark

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TrustMark, the Government-backed quality mark for reputable tradesmen, was relaunched yesterday by Consumer Minister Jenny Willott with new improved standards of consumer protection under a renewed master licence from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

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

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'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.

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.


KBSA unveils new consumer strategy

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The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has announced a new consumer focused strategy that aims to raise awareness of the association and drive more traffic to retail members.


Karonia introduces inspirational new brochure

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

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