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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
2nd May 2014


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

International News

Kitemarked sinks still flying high

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Reiterating the importance it places on quality and longevity, 2014 sees Leisure Sinks highlighting its range of BSI Kitemarked sinks. Models from the Linear, Lexin and Contract ranges, all of which are produced at Leisure Sinks' factory in Long Eaton, Nottinghamshire, have all been recognised for their high specification and stainless steel construction. Not only is the company the largest manufacturer of domestic stainless steel sinks in the UK, it is also the only one to be awarded the BSI Kitemark.

Bauhaus goes platinum

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Created in Italy by master craftsmen, the Serene basin from Bauhaus introduces precious metal into the bathroom with a beautiful yet subtle exterior Platinum glaze.

Designer collections showcased by Crosswater

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Bathroom design pioneer Crosswater will be at this year's May Design Series, (London's Excel 18th -20th May) showing its latest designer collections that have hit the brassware market by storm in the past few months.

Distinctly Abode: the new Mikro Sink - beautifully simple...

Prior to KBB Birmingham, Abode launched a new addition to its stainless steel range of kitchen sinks - the MIKRO. The unparalleled simplicity of the clean lines and patterned drainer of this modern sink creates a unique contemporary design. When complemented with other stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, Mikro is an unobtrusive, yet stylish addition to the overall kitchen aesthetic.

What is infrared heating?

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We'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...

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

With 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.

Black Sapphire sparkles amongst three new GT colours

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Black 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.

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

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Yu 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.

Just Taps Plus adds basin mixers to Inox range

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Inox 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.

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.

Welcome to the


Something I’ve just read has had me shaking my head in despair…

Further down the page is an item on a newly published report that is calling on the Government to help the public replace their old, inefficient household appliances with more energy efficient ones. It argues that new appliances will enable people to potentially cut their energy bills by up to £75 a year – and collectively make an enormous difference to the nation’s electricity consumption.

The report - supported by The Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances, puts forward details of several schemes that have been successful in other countries.

I figured that the best way of funding such a scheme in the UK would be to cut VAT on these products and I know that the KBB industry has been campaigning for this for some years. However, I also know that the Government doesn’t really have the money – a point made clear in a press release I’ve just received from the TaxPayers’ Alliance, which seeks to remind readers that although the politicians keep telling us that the deficit (the money the Government spends that exceeds our income) is reducing, our national debt is actually increasing.  Indeed the TPA has relaunched its National Debt Clock, which shows the frightening rate at which this is happening. It’s currently £4,344 a second, or £375 million a day.

No chance of a VAT reduction despite a very good cause then…

Then I read that the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills has pledged £250,000 of OUR money to help finance British bands that want to play at international festivals! As someone who spends most of her free time and any spare money at such events in the UK, I’d rather our bands stay in this country so I have a greater chance of seeing them perform – but I realise that’s a bit selfish on my part. Over to the TPA, which says:

"Politicians talk about the need to make savings, so why on earth are they frittering away our cash like this? The Beatles and the Rolling Stones broke America because they made great music, not because taxpayers subsidised them. I’m not really sure how One Direction managed it, but at least taxpayers didn’t have to cough up…"

I couldn’t agree more!





Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Government must 'Help to Build', before Help to Buy, says property businessman

Property maintenance guru, Will Davies, has criticised the Government for not taking the 'Get Britain Building' fund seriously.

Will, who is the managing director of property maintenance firm, aspect.co.uk, says that the Coalition's general treatment towards the construction industry is 'embarrassing'. His comments come after it has been revealed that the £570 million 'Get Britain Building' scheme has only build 715 houses since its launch in November 2011. An initiative created by former housing minister Grant Shapps, its intention was to provide 16,000 homes in three years.

Tradespeople spend a working week away from home each month

* TABLE.jpgBritish tradespeople are spending on average a working week (around five nights) away from home each month, according to new research1by Direct Line for Business (DL4B). Builders are most likely to spend a night away from home, stopping out on average nine nights per month.

The research also reveals that tradespeople are travelling on average 355 miles a month to get to jobs the length and breadth of the country; the equivalent of travelling to New York and back every year.

New expressions shower tray range launched by MX... Hidden waste system adds to stylish looks

* Expression-Quad-tray.jpgUK's renowned shower tray manufacturer, MX Group, has launched its latest shower tray range into the marketplace. The 'Expressions' range has been designed to provide the maximum showering area, incorporating a discreet, hidden waste system, yet the trays drain via a standard shower waste.

The level waste design incorporates a standard waste outlet and allows easy access to clean, maintain and service without the need for an expensive gully waste system.

Second bathroom collection from Ben De Lisi now available

* Ben-de-Lisi.jpg"The bathroom is one of the most important rooms in the home as one starts and ends the day there" - Ben De Lisi, March 2014.

Iconic American fashion and interior designer Ben de Lisi has launched his second exclusive bathroom collection available from Abacus Manufacturing Group via www.ben-de-lisi.com. The renowned fashion, interiors and homewares guru shows off his new collection in a beautiful 110-page brochure which highlights his design prowess in detail.

Getting the right Mann for the job: BMA announces conference host

* BMA-speaker-lady.jpgThe Bathroom Manufacturers Association, organiser of the Bathroom & Kitchen Business Conference 2014, has announced the host for the day-long event.

Juliet Mann, broadcast journalist, who has worked in newsrooms across the globe for CNN, Sky News, Reuters, CNBC, BBC and on radio for LBC97.3, has been appointed to host and facilitate the conference.

Call to support efficient appliance sales

A new report published today 'Promoting highly efficient electrical appliances' calls on the Government to help the public replace their old appliances and cut their energy bills by up to £75 a year.

The Institute for Public Policy Research estimates that facilitating the easier purchase of energy efficient appliances could save the nation the equivalent power generated by 1,500 wind turbines or the proposed Hinkley nuclear power plant.

Utopia launches 25th Anniversary lottery

To celebrate the company's founding in May 1989, Utopia Bathroom Group is inviting all its retailers to take part in a month-long lottery to win one of 25 luxury hampers.

For every order placed in May a lottery ticket will be issued and then 25 winning numbers will be drawn at random on Monday 9th June. Worth over £250 each, the hampers contain a fabulous assortment of edible goodies plus a voucher for a Red Letter 'experience' day.

Bringing basins into the digital age

* Crosswater.jpgRenowned for an ever-innovative approach to bathrooms, Crosswater has developed a range of digital basin mixers that combine cutting edge modern style and technology with intelligent practicality. Launched during April 2014, these striking taps are a natural extension of Crosswater Digital's multi-outlet water delivery system for showers and baths.

Simple controls that move at the touch of a finger and indicate temperature with a colour changing light, are the key feature. The controls can be deck or wall mounted, providing the perfect clutter-free solution for contemporary countertop or undermount basins.

Henley Tiles: Inspiration brought to life

* Henley-Tiles.jpgBalineum presents an exclusive range of ceramic tiles: the Henley collection.

Two years in the making, Henley's groundwork was laid when founder Sarah Watson decamped to Brussels for a long weekend of design trekking. She popped into the Horta Museum and was immediately smitten with an impressive display of tiles decorating the dining room.

"I loved the sheer expanse of it, the mix of full and half brick field tiles lining the walls and ceiling. It felt unique and I came away truly inspired by that," she says of the Art Nouveau installation.

Copper interest sparks new tap finish

* Rudge-Bilbrook-with-Elle-copper.jpgIt seems copper sinks are having a bit of a style moment. In recent months Brass and Traditional Sinks' range of copper sinks have been used in TV ads and photo shoots as well as on Sarah Beeny's 'Double Your House for Half the Money' TV series on Channel 4.

In response to increased interest, the company has launched a new tap finish to complement the sinks. The weathered brass finish has been developed specifically with copper in mind, so has a characterful rustic appearance without excessive shine. It is available on all of the company's own brand taps within the British-made Rudge 1901 series.

Harvey Jones focuses on flexibility with ArtiCAD online

* ArtiCAD-V19-Harvey-J.jpgCAD software for the KBB sector, ArtiCAD, has developed an online server-based version of its flagship product, ArtiCAD-Pro, to provide an extremely flexible and cost-effective means of deploying the software across an organisation.

Companies choosing this option can benefit from savings in both time and money for hardware maintenance, the ability to scale usage up or down as required and immediate centralised deployment of software updates and new catalogues.

Britannia grows team with key account manager

* Mike-Mitchell-Britannia-Living.jpgPremium kitchen appliance specialist Britannia Living has appointed Mike Mitchell as a key account manager.

With extensive experience in the KBB sector, Mike will take control of a number of high profile accounts at Britannia and will be maintaining a proactive relationship with clients and seeking out new business opportunities.

How much could 10 minutes cost you?

Van users have been asked how much they would spend, to save 10 minutes. "We all know that time is money," says Steve Clarke, group marketing manager for The Fuel Card Group, "but sometimes saving a few minutes is not worth the long term cost. Just ask anyone who has been caught employing an unlicensed driver..."

The courts have imposed fines in the high hundreds of pounds during recent weeks, but this leniency has typically been in reaction to a 'Guilty' plea and a lack of aggravating factors. An employer would have no grounds for optimism if an unlicensed driver were held responsible for an accident.

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 retrospective: The best of British design - New Design Britain at May Design Series

Celebrating over 10 years of discovering new design talent, plus a look ahead to what's next for this vital industry programme ...
The May Design Series, organised by UBM Live Built Environment, has announced that previous New Design Britain alumni will show a review of their winning products plus a selection of their new designs at this year's show in London.

Franke's More in Store 'Expert Series' kicks off in May with top designer showing retailers 'how to make the most of their showroom display'

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As part of Franke's More in Store campaign commitment to support its participating independent specialist retailers, the first 'Expert Series' event is to run at five UK venues during May and will cover all aspects of showroom design. 

Croydex marathon team begins WaterAid fundraising campaign

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Bathroom accessories specialist, Croydex, is celebrating marathon success this week - after its team of three runners completed the Brighton event for global charity, WaterAid.

Big Thinking Small Spaces - May Design Series represents industry trends

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This 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.

Deputy Prime Minister visits Glen Dimplex Home Appliances

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The 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.

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

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

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).


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.


New Furnipart catalogue available exclusively from LDL

LDL Components, the kitchen fittings specialist, is now showcasing the latest new products from leading Danish manufacturer Furnipart. With the new brochure for 2014 now available, LDL is offering free handle samples to customers to demonstrate the beautiful quality and finish of the contemporary design-led products. Customers can also visit the Furnipart virtual showroom to view the new styles in a realistic kitchen or bathroom setting.

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