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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
16th May 2014


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

International News

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

British 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.

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

With 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.

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.

Welcome to the


Although as a teen I used to attend many more football matches than the average girl, I no longer follow the sport, but I understand that Hull City is playing in tomorrow’s cup final for the first time in its history.

I know this as I received a press release about it this week, because a Hull-based sanitary ware manufacturer has produced a commemorative toilet seat featuring an image of Hull City manager Steve Bruce, which can only be seen when the seat is in upright position (see item below).

I mentioned in last week’s leader that John and I also produce an e-zine for the cleaning & hygiene industry. One of the issues faced by those responsible for maintaining washrooms is some men’s inability to aim properly – men who instead end up spraying the surrounding walls and floor as well as the loo seat itself. Indeed some manufacturers are incorporating designs into their products, to encourage users to try a bit harder to aim properly.

I fear that if Hull doesn’t take the cup back up north at the weekend, some poor cleaner is going to have his or her work cut out, cleaning around this particular toilet, as disappointed users decide to vent their full fury on Mr Bruce!





Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Homeowners desperately seek space solutions as stay-at-home children count soars

* Concealed-Folding-door.jpgAs more young adults chose to live at home with their parents, unable to get on the property ladder, IronmongeryDirect, the online and mail order supplier of ironmongery products to the trade, is seeing a significant rise in products designed to save space and offer storage solutions.

The number of 20 to 34 year-olds living with their parents has jumped by 669,000 in the last eight years according to the Office of National Statistics, to an astonishing 3.3 million people.

Abode Matrix SQ GR15 with Zucca tap: smooth lines and pure angles

* Abode-Matrix-Zucca-tap.jpgFor 2014 the Abode designers captured new ideas and shapes with both stainless steel and composite material to add seven new families of sinks to the Abode sink portfolio. The quality and design innovation of the new comprehensive collection opens up a wide range of benefits reflecting the same cutting edge design ethos as Abode's kitchen mixertaps.

Smooth lines and pure angles are the centrepiece of one family - the new Matrix SQ GR15. Each of the sinks is available in three colours in advanced acrylic materials - Black Metallic Granite, White Granite and the new Sable Granite. All offer a tough, durable and easy clean finish that will co-ordinate perfectly with any kitchen decor and are available in two installation scenarios - inset and under-mounted. This family of sinks is truly versat

Top five tips to capitalise on cooker hoods

Jacqui-Hoctor_397.jpgComments provided by Jacqui Hoctor, commercial manager at Best

Cooker hoods can often be overlooked by both consumers and kitchen retailers. However, choosing to stock stunning, stylish hoods can be both a business boost for kitchen specialists, and also invaluable for consumers who are looking for a complete kitchen solution.

Marc takes stock in new managerial role at BagnoDesign's European HQ

* Marc-Hince.jpgFollowing the opening of its new European headquarters in Leeds, BagnoDesign has appointed Marc Hince to the position of Warehouse and Logistics Manager.

In his new role, Marc will oversee the smooth running of the 20,000 square foot warehouse, ensuring goods are stored safely, processing orders, organising the dispatch and delivery of the company's wide portfolio of bathroom solutions, overseeing health and safety and managing a team of staff.

Linear thinking from Leisure Sinks

* Leisure-Sinks-Linear-LN950.jpgPractical and robust, the Linear range of sinks from Leisure Sinks is proving to be a hit throughout a number of market sectors, especially local authorities, housebuilders and developers.

There are currently 14 models in the range, two of which (the LN950 and LN950XS) have been awarded the coveted BSI Kitemark. Every Linear sink is made from high grade 18/10 stainless steel, with gauges ranging from 0.6 to 0.9. As with all Leisure Sinks, every stainless steel model is manufactured in the UK and benefits from a 10-year warranty as standard.

Hafele announces its 'must have' kitchen product predictions for Summer 2014

* VSA-Artline-larder-unit.jpgDrawing inspiration from its global experts and prominent international kitchen furniture trade shows, such as EuroCucina, design solutions expert Hafele UK has announced its predictions for the top kitchen products for 2014.

Grass Nova Pro Drawer System

Britannia Living launches recycling innovation Krushr

* Britannia-Living.jpgPremium kitchen appliance specialist Britannia Living has announced that it is bringing revolutionary new recycling compactor Krushr to the UK market. Krushr, which has joined the portfolio of Britannia Living brands, is launching in the UK following huge success in the USA and Europe.

Krushr recycling compactors compress plastic, waste paper, cans and cardboard together, with separate storage sections for glass and newspapers/magazines in the K600 model. The product utilises state-of-the-art technology to reduce the size of household waste by up to four times, fitting an impressive 200 litres worth of compressed waste into the central collection bin.

Andrew Strauss puts grassroots cricket on the front foot

* Strauss.jpgA major initiative to support grassroots cricket teams is back - this time with help from former England captain, Andrew Strauss OBE.

AEG is helping grassroots teams conquer the chore of kit provision and care for the third year running with the chance to win bespoke cricket whites and a top of the range washing machine, plus three training sessions with sporting heroes, including Andrew Strauss. To enter, teams must pitch the reasons why they should win to AEG via its Facebook tab that opened yesterday (Thursday 15 May).

Hull bathroom maker hopes for Cup Final flushed with success as it creates Steve Bruce Tigers toilet seat!

* Steve-Bruce-Tigers.jpgHull-based bathroom manufacturer, Ideal Standard, has created a commemorative tiger striped toilet seat featuring an image of Hull City manager Steve Bruce, in tribute to him leading the team to the FA Cup final for first time in club's history.

Hull faces Arsenal in the final at Wembley this weekend (Saturday 17 May) and the limited edition Tigers loo seat is emblazoned with Hull's famous amber and black stripes - the home kit club colours which earned them the nickname 'The Tigers'.

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

Golf balls at the ready...

Book 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.

Accessibility bathroom features purpose-made HEWI solutions

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In 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.

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

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

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.


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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