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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
23rd May 2014


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

International News

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

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As 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.

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

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For 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.

Top five tips to capitalise on cooker hoods

Comments 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.

Linear thinking from Leisure Sinks

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Practical 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.

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

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Drawing 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

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Premium 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.

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

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Hull-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.

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.

Welcome to the


Regular readers of KBzine may recall me mentioning that a recent issue was produced while John and I were attending a cleaning & hygiene exhibition at the Amsterdam Rai. It’s an enormous show, with almost 800 exhibitors taking up several halls’ worth of space – and although (as happens at these shows) we only got around to visiting a small percentage of them, it soon became obvious that the swing towards having sustainability as a key factor in the design and manufacture of new products is akin to the swing we’re seeing towards UKIP in the election results being announced as I write…

It started off as a trickle a few years back, the trickle slowly became a stream and the stream has now become a real surge!

Learning last week that the Bathroom Manufacturers Association has secured the services of Dick Strawbridge MBE for the forthcoming Bathroom and Kitchen Business Conference (Tuesday 7 October), shows that this industry too, is taking seriously the need to embrace sustainability. If you’re familiar with Dick from his popular BBC2 series on sustainable living and eco-technology – ‘It's not easy being green’, you’ll know we’re going to be in for a treat.

Sustainability expert Dick, a retired Lieutenant Colonel and man of many interests, is an energetic and versatile presenter and motivational speaker, who is not afraid to speak his mind and tell things as they are. He will be telling us how he sees the current bathroom and kitchen industry, its products, their sustainability and the way they are marketed (and should be marketed) to both professionals and the consumer.  

Says the BMA’s chief executive Yvonne Orgill: “This year’s conference is, once again, stretching boundaries and looking for fresh ideas and inspiration from people who are not usually connected with our industry. Today’s consumer is becoming more aware of sustainability issues and the bathroom and kitchen industry has to respond to this with more attractive and engaging marketing and sales communications.”

Yvonne tells us that the conference speakers will concentrate on the theme: ‘Marketing the future’, to encourage delegates from both the bathroom and kitchen industry to look beyond their office desks and outside their normal comfort zones. “Fresh and youthful thinking will dominate,” she promises. “New ideas and stretching boundaries will be pinned firmly to the agenda.”

We should be in for a good one…

If you want to learn more about the conference, visit: www.bathroom-association.org





Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

iKBBI co-develops industry training for life-saving asbestos awareness

* ikbbi-asbestos.jpgThe Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers has announced a new training initiative for its members relating to life saving asbestos awareness specifically for kitchen, bedroom and bathroom installers.

Deva introduces award-winning Satinjet to bestselling bath shower mixer

* Deva-Thermostatic.jpgDeva, part of the Methven UK Group, has introduced award winning Satinjet technology to its bestselling thermostatic pillar mounted bath shower mixer.

The Deva thermostatic bath shower mixer has a TMV2 approved body with ceramic disc technology for ease of use. The product is supplied with a shower rail, two metre hose and Methven's Kiri Satinjet handset with a nine litre per minute flow limiter.

Atoll brings linear high fashion to bathrooms

* Crosswater-Atoll.jpgSmart, contemporary Atoll is the latest high fashion look from Crosswater.

Featuring a straight geometric spout and a slim, one touch control lever, the Atoll range can be operated with just a gentle lift or push. As well as being a great choice for new bathroom installations, Atoll can be a quick fix for updating a tired bathroom that is past its best.

Franke teams up with 'Great British Bake Off' winner Frances Quinn to support Marie Curie 'Blooming Great Tea Party' events with its More in Store retailers

Frances-Quinn.jpgAs part of its More in Store campaign, Franke has partnered with Great British Bake Off Winner, Frances Quinn, to help its independent specialist retailers to host local charity events, to raise funds for the Marie Curie Cancer Care's 'Blooming Great Tea Party', between 20th and 29th June.

New MD for MX

* Mike-Phillips-MX-MD.jpgMike Phillips has been appointed as the new Managing Director of Marleton Cross, which trades as the MX Group from its headquarters in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire. MX Group is a growing influence in the bathroom sector, as a leading shower tray manufacturer in the UK, and a major player in the electric and thermostatic shower, shower accessories, and shower enclosures business.

Mike brings a broad range of business skills and experience to MX - most recently in the food logistics sector.

Fixers applaud BAL Rapid-Mat cost savings

* BAL-Rapid-Mat.jpgTilers nationwide are leaving feedback on new BAL Rapid-Mat at www.see-it-for-yourself.com and are unanimous in their praise for the tiling market leader's latest innovation. They are singling out the ease and speed of use, but are especially pleased with the amount of adhesive saved when using BAL Rapid-Mat.

In-toto celebrates 22% increase in 2013 kitchen sales

* Steve-Saunders-intoto.jpgIn-toto kitchens has just announced its annual sales figures for 2013 and is celebrating a 22% increase on the previous year.

Founded over 30 years ago, in-toto is now a well-established kitchen brand in the UK with nearly 50 Design Studios nationwide. 

Family-friendly: the new washer dryer from Amica

* AMICA-WASHER-DRYER.jpgAmica, one of Europe's fastest growing freestanding and built-in appliance manufacturers, has launched a new washer dryer. Designed to make life easier for families, Amica's AWDS914DJ washer dryer will wash a hefty 9Kg load and dry 6Kg.

Latest member, Vado, boosts BMF P&H Sector

* Vado-member.jpgThe Builders Merchants Federation's Plumbing & Heating Sector is rapidly gaining momentum and attracting more specialists to join the Federation. The BMF's latest new member, Vado, is one of the country's best-known manufacturers of taps, showers, accessories and fittings.

Industry leading guarantee announced by the Kitchen Door Workshop

* Kitchen-Door-Workshop-Trends.jpgThe Kitchen Door Workshop has promised since the launch of its Trends and Visions replacement doors, that these two collections would be dispatched in seven working days or less. To back up this statement, the company has now said that it will give the doors for free in the eventuality that this claim is not met.

Geberit AquaClean answers BBC's DIY SOS call for help

* diy-sos.jpgGeberit was able to help a lady struck down by a debilitating illness enjoy greater independence and dignity when using the bathroom, when it answered a call from the BBC's DIY SOS.

Since suffering a brain infection four years ago which left her unable to walk and talk, June Finlay had been sleeping on a hospital bed in the kitchen with no access to washing or toilet facilities. Totally dependent on husband John to help her take care of even the most basic of her needs, June was naturally delighted that Geberit was only too happy to help change the couple's lives for the better.

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

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..."


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.

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