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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
9th May 2014


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

International News

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

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UK'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.

Second bathroom collection from Ben De Lisi now available

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"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.

Bringing basins into the digital age

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Renowned 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.

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.

Welcome to the


John and I are currently on our regular trip to Amsterdam where we produce a daily newsletter from an enormous cleaning exhibition at the RAI. We walk miles, work long hours and consequently I've been somewhat out of touch with my KBB industry colleagues and what's been going on in the UK. When John asked me to email my leader across I thought: "What the heck am I going to write about?" An hour later I'm still no closer to finding anything entirely relevant, so what follows has only the most tenuous links to the KBB industry - although I hope it will get you thinking - and prompt some response.

I rather like staying away from home but hotel rooms are always a revelation and I'm often left wondering whether the designers actually try them out before going ahead with their plans. Things such as sockets being set too far away from mirrors/the bed so you can't use hair styling appliances while seeing what you're doing/use your laptop while in bed - or sockets set too close to the surface of the desk so you have to move the desk out to be able to plug the laptop in... you know what I mean, don't you? The absence of full length mirrors and decent lighting can also make it difficult to get ready in a rush (particularly when you're suffering from the effects of a late night) and sometimes I have to spend a while fathoming out how to get the shower to the right sort of temperature - or even sometimes working at all.

The thing I can't get my head around though is why all the freshly laundered towels are so darned sticky that you feel you need another shower after you've used them! What exactly are we wiping over our newly washed bodies? And why do hotels insist on giving us a clean towel every morning so there's no hope of avoiding the stickiness? I know some hotels only change towels you've deliberately left on the floor as a sign that you want them changed, but not nearly enough of them do.

Just think how much water is wasted each day, with towels in hotel rooms all over the world being changed unnecessarily! Why are we happy to condone this enormous waste of water? And as an industry that supplies these hotels with sanitary ware in the first place, aren't we in a great position to persuade them to consider only changing our towels when we indicate that we want them to? As I said at the top, I'd love your comments on this...





Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Bathroom Brands outlines wide-ranging plans to drive growth at 3-day internationally attended launch

Burlington-Brochure-Cover.jpgBritish and Irish bathroom retailers, international customers, partner-distributors and the media gathered at Brocket Hall this week to hear news of further significant investment in the bathroom market. Bathroom Brands is the fastest growing bathroom business in the country, so a three day launch at a British stately home was the perfect scene to announce more ground-breaking advances.

To support projected growth, a £20 million investment is being made including a stunning new UK head office facility. Alongside this vast infrastructure investment, Bathroom Brands announced total rebranding, significant marketing actions and a new flagship brand - Arcade.
The new strategy, which includes a comprehensive support package of products, innovative showroom display materials, inclusion in Vi

'Ditch the tiles: Use wall panelling for the wow factor in bathrooms and kitchens!' says Abacus...

blue-atoll-kitchen.jpgWith superb design the differentiating factor for kitchen and bathroom studios, the wall finish is growing in stature as an important consideration; after all, the wall is the largest part of a room.

No longer is traditional tiling always the natural choice. Instead, the market is moving towards panelling that creates a fresh, modern and luxurious look. Designers demand a wow product that sits well alongside the crisp lines of wall hung sanitaryware, induction hobs and stylish, uncluttered worktops.

Golf balls at the ready...

Golf.jpgBook now for the industry golf day, which is taking place on 6th October 2014 at Heythrop Park in Oxfordshire.
For those who are not familiar with the event, you can be one of 60 golfers playing in teams or as individuals - and a 110 year old trophy is up for grabs.

The golf will be followed by the prize ceremony and networking dinner.

Anyone working in the industry can take part, whatever your handicap. £5 of the £45 Green Fee will be donated to WaterAid.

That's amore!

* TAP.jpgAmore is Italian for love - and one can't fail to fall for this new tap range from Just Taps Plus.

Amore gives bathroom taps a brand new look with super slim flat top spouts and sleek single lever controls that move at the touch of a finger, thanks to the sophisticated ceramic disc cartridge inside each tap.

New premium range of larder fittings from LDL are in solid oak

* Maximising-LDL.jpgLDL Components, the kitchen fittings specialist, is launching a new range of solid oak fittings and accessories for 900mm or 1000mm larder and pantry units.

The full set of fittings and accessories creates the popular bespoke pantry look and includes door racks, useful rectangular storage boxes in sets of four, bottle racks which store four bottles, and sets of two wicker baskets - great for odd shaped items.

Accessibility bathroom features purpose-made HEWI solutions

* Whitstable50.jpgIn the coming decade, every second person will be more than 50 years old - and, by 2050, 10% of the population will be over 80 years of age, as average life expectancy increases.

This ageing population will create a need for housing interiors that are comfortable, convenient and accessible to those with mobility issues, who are keen to live as long as possible in their own homes.

Snowdonia Slateman is scene of next step in Croydex's fundraising campaign

* Fundraiser.jpgCroydex Export Sales Manager, Jason Newman is swapping marathon running for a triathlon challenge as the bathroom accessories specialist continues its fundraising campaign for WaterAid.

Jason - who was part of Croydex's Brighton Marathon team - is participating in the Slateman Triathlon on May 18th.

Nowhere left to hide for germs and bacteria - thanks to rim-free WC

* loo_rimless.jpgPreventing the build-up of germs and odour in the bathroom, Laufen has introduced a new rimless WC, featuring innovative flushing technology for increased levels of hygiene.

The new Pro rimless WC doesn't have a flushing rim, which means that there's one less place in the bathroom environment for dirt and smells to linger. Instead, the water reaches every part of the inner bowl and gives germs and bacteria no chance to get established.

The KBzine Archive Search

We keep an extensive archive of news stories and product information that have featured in past issues of The KBzine. If you would like to run a search of the The KBzine web site using the search tool below please just go ahead by entering in the name of the person, product or company or any other key words that you are looking for.

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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

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.

Tradespeople spend a working week away from home each month

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British 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.

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

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The Bathroom Manufacturers Association, organiser of the Bathroom & Kitchen Business Conference 2014, has announced the host for the day-long event.

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.

Henley Tiles: Inspiration brought to life

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Balineum 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.

Copper interest sparks new tap finish

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It 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.

Harvey Jones focuses on flexibility with ArtiCAD online

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CAD 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.

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..."

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).


Britannia grows team with key account manager

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Premium kitchen appliance specialist Britannia Living has appointed Mike Mitchell as a key account manager.


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.


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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