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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
4th July 2014


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

International News

KBBG buying group's first Annual Members' Meeting hosted by Nobilia

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The first annual members' meeting for the Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group, the UK arm of DER KREIS buying group, was hosted this month by Nobilia.

The steel revolutions: new Alnoinox!

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Alno, a leading German kitchen manufacturer, has revolutionised the luxury market with the launch of a new steel kitchens range. The Alnoinox steel kitchen has a sleek and elegant design, perfect for creating a contemporary space, inspired by the industrial trend.

British Ceramic Tile introduces its new on-trend Feature Floors range

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For floors with the wow factor look no further than British Ceramic Tile's new Feature Floors collection.

A night of celebration as The European Water Label wins its 4th award!

At the Water Efficiency Awards awards on Monday, the Bathroom Manufacturers Association, which administers The Water Label Company, won its fourth award.

Kelly Hoppen collection number six...

KH ZERO 6 is the latest addition to leading designer Kelly Hoppen, MBE's brassware collection for Crosswater. Known for her signature cool, contemporary look, the renowned interior designer has created another beautifully minimalist range that combines linear designs with gentle curves. It was launched on June 1st 2014.

One in five businesses don't know if their website is optimised for mobile use

A third of UK based businesses are yet to develop their website to work on mobile devices, whilst a further fifth simply 'don't know' whether their website is mobile ready or not.

According to a new report, released this month by a catalogue marketing specialist, 34% of UK businesses haven't taken the necessary steps to ensure their website is suitable for mobile devices. Whilst an additional 17% admit to not knowing if their website is optimised for smartphone or tablet use.

Breakthrough thinking for Bathroom & Kitchen Conference 2014

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Industry watchers might be wondering why a stand-up comedian who is an obsessive Twitter fan, and a Visiting Professor at Brighton University, have been booked as speakers at the Bathroom & Kitchen Business Conference 2014 in October.

Classic Capri from Just Taps Plus is a smart choice

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Featuring minimalist, capstan style control handles, the Capri range from Just Taps Plus is a smart choice for either traditional or modern bathrooms.

Prize winner adds 'wow factor' with Trend

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Marian Davison was recently selected as the lucky winner of a Your Home competition to receive £1,500 worth of Trend bathroom products, which she says has given the smallest room in her house the biggest 'wow-factor.'

New copper finish from Mereway

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Copper is the must have metallic in the home this season and the Gloss Copper finish from Mereway Kitchens is proving to be the hottest new finish from this season's latest Cucina Colore collection.

The mineral finish is one of three robust acrylic doors available in a rich Copper; bold Bronze and a shimmering Pearl Basalt.

In keeping with the Cucina Colore ethos of mixing colour and texture for dramatic effect, all three work well when teamed with a wood grain finish to add interest and individuality to kitchen designs.

Badea - new compact and colourful bathroom storage solutions

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Badea by Bauformat is designed to provide retailers with access to a high quality and stylish range of bathroom furniture, washbasins and mirrors. Bauformat is delighted to showcase its latest range of bathroom storage solutions, ideal for compact bathroom spaces in neutral and vibrant tones.

The Badea collection consists of six distinctive modern and contemporary ranges with a multitude of finishes, styles, colours and configurations options. New additions in 2014 to the 'Gaste' and 'Sky Colour' ranges - perfect for cloakrooms and en-suites - are really exciting.

Ben de Lisi keeps it pure and simple

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Iconic American fashion and interiors designer, Ben de Lisi's brand new 'Pure' and 'Simple' sanitaryware and furniture collections are available to buy at Abacus Manufacturing Group via www.ben-de-lisi.com

'Simple' (pictured) is an elegant range of bold, contemporary sanitaryware that offers effortless chic and streamlined design with Nano Tech easy clean coating and a choice of products that includes a wall hung basin, back to wall and wall hung WCs and wall hung bidet.

New colours for Bauhaus Solo

Compact in size and clever in its use of space and proportions, Solo is perfect for both smaller bathrooms and cloakrooms. Designed by Bauhaus, Solo is a useful basin and furniture unit combination which is now available in two smart new glossy colours. Quartz, a soft grey and Azure, a gentle blue join the existing Graphite, Calico and White options, bringing the colour choice to five.

Welcome to the


My daughter Melissa broke the third and final drawer on our fridge-freezer a couple of days back and as I berated her for trying to open it from the middle using one hand - thus putting too much pressure on the plastic, (rather than using one hand at each front corner of the drawer) she berated me for keep overfilling the thing.

It all ended in a draw but created some useful discussion in the meantime:

Why do manufacturers make freezer doors from such easily breakable plastic?

The second part of the useful discussion revolved around the apparent lack of very tall fridge-freezers - ones that almost reach the ceiling:
Why isn't there an abundance of these appliances on the market?

I'm sure I'm not alone in being unable to fit everything I want to in my own freezer and I'll bet I'm one of many thousands with cracked or broken freezer drawers.

Two alternatives are buying an American style fridge-freezer or having a second fridge-freezer somewhere in the home. I for one don't have the space for a wider appliance and nor do I have room for a second one. I do, however, have plenty of empty space on top of mine - which currently I have to regularly clean! I could so put that space to better use by having it filled with a few more freezer drawers and beneath them, a larger, more user-friendly and far easier to clean fridge!

How about it? 





Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Positive market prospects for kitchen and bathroom distributors

* AMA-graph.jpgIn a new report on the supply chain for kitchen and bathroom products in the UK, AMA Research estimates that the distributor market was worth £840m, at distributors selling prices, at the end of 2013.

Overall, conditions in UK kitchen and bathroom markets have remained difficult over the last five years, with low levels of housebuilding - and a difficult housing market generally - significantly affecting these sectors, particularly bathrooms. However, housebuilding levels increased in 2013 supporting modest value growth and the kitchen and bathroom distributors' market was estimated to be worth £840 million at distributors' selling prices at the end of 2013.

Sheer Elegance from Abacus Manufacturing

Elegance-Rad.jpgElegance is a collection of towel warmers and radiators for all bathroom designs. With traditional models alongside Ben de Lisi's designer range, there is a choice of finishes, sizes and designs.

Available from specialist manufacturer and distributor of bathroom products, Abacus Manufacturing Group, there is also a wide range of other collections to complement these stylish designs.

Design Council completes line up for Bathroom & Kitchen Conference

* Design-Council.jpg"We have to find ways to make bathrooms and kitchens, for those with particular needs, more aspirational," says Mat Hunter, Chief Design Officer at the Design Council. "We know that support for health and wellbeing is an opportunity of increasing size, especially as the number of older consumers grows disproportionately, but we also know that marketing such products and services is challenging."

Water Label praised by Minister

* water-label-praised.jpgAt the recent AGM of the Keele-based Bathroom Manufacturers Association, a packed house of over 60 members heard a speech from Dan Rogerson MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for water, forestry, rural affairs and resource management. He praised the work of the association and in particular its development of the European Water Label.

A fine heritage: from the kitchen to the sink

* Leisure-Sinks-1958-advert.jpgLeisure Sinks is renowned for its range of stainless steel kitchen sinks and taps, but its origins are steeped in history, with a distinguished background in manufacturing.

In fact, the Nottingham-based company has actually been manufacturing stainless steel sinks since 1933, beginning mass production in 1935 prior to being appointed official contractors to the Ministry of Works after the Second World War. By 1949, Leisure's factory was soon at full capacity producing 10,000 units per week and supplying 1,200 building and plumbing merchants throughout the UK and Northern Ireland.

Kbsa agrees CITB sponsorship for Training Award 2014

* CITB.jpgThe Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has announced a new sponsorship agreement with the Construction Industry Training Board for a Kbsa Apprentice of the Year Award in the 2014 Awards - which now also include a Customer Service Award as well as the established Designer Awards.

We have Mail: apprenticeships

Stephen Lukacs, a construction site manager from Kent, writes about the problems our apprenticeships scheme faces:

Dear Jan,

I write in response to the comment piece from Travis Perkins in a recent KBzine, entitled: 'How increasing the number of apprenticeships in the building trade could solve more than one problem.'

My view is that developers do not take on apprentices on site as all the works are subcontracted out, which is the norm.

Previously the funding agency HCA (Homes & Community Agency) was given £17.5 billon for the†funding of affordable housing building projects. In that agreement there was a contractual requirement which stated that for every £1m given to developers, one apprentice position must be created.

BAL: holding everything together in airport expansion project

* Southend-Airport.jpgMajor tiling work at London Southend Airport is being completed with the exclusive use of BAL adhesives and grouts. The tiling is being carried out within a signification expansion project, which has included a new control tower, new railway station, extended runway and new departure terminal.

The tiling is being carried out by a team of eight skilled fixers from Elite Tiling of Chelmsford.

Vasco Beams aluminium radiator receives Red Dot Award for Product Design

* VASCO-Beams-rad.jpgThe Vasco Beams aluminium radiator is a winner of the Red Dot Award 2014; awarded for Product Design.

The 40 member panel of international experts discussed and evaluated 4,815 entries from 53 countries, but only the designs that impressed the jury with quality and innovative strength won an award. The Beams radiator from Vasco, part of the recently rebranded Vasco Group (formerly The Heating Company), was successful and received the Red Dot quality seal as its well deserved reward.

Astracast launches Linus sink

* Astracast-Linus.jpgSink and tap specialist Astracast has just launched the Linus sink to provide a contemporary, stylish and affordable design that's perfect for compact kitchens.

The Linus features a simple, modern and pleasing linear aesthetic with a great easy drain design, making it a great new staple model in Astracast's portfolio, a brilliant new addition to a retailer's offering and a trusty model for designers and specifiers.

British Ceramic Tile embarks on a major recruitment drive in response to increased demand

* BCT3.jpgBritish Ceramic Tile has this week announced a major local recruitment drive. The Devon-based tile manufacturer is adding 29 new full-time positions within its state-of- the-art factory as it expands its manufacturing capacity to cater for growing customer demand.

New key account manager joins InSinkErator

* Simon-Martin_InSinkErator.jpgSimon Martin has joined InSinkErator, the inventor and a global market leader of food waste disposers and major player in steaming hot water taps, as key account manager.

Simon spent 12 years with Porcelanosa and brings a wealth of industry and sales experience gained through key account management - and in particular a substantial knowledge of national house builders.

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

David Osborne appointed as new BMA President

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The Bathroom Manufacturers Association's Annual General Meeting took place this week at the Army and Navy Club in London. The Managing Director of Roman, David Osborne, was appointed as the new President, replacing previous President Steve Lee, of Methven.

Building Adhesives Ltd's business excellence recognised

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Building Adhesives Ltd have been recognised for business excellence by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) as part of the Manufacturing Excellence Awards (MX).

KBSA AGM & National Meeting - Date and venue confirmed - as well as some speakers

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The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has confirmed that the 2014 AGM, National Meeting and Networking Dinner will be held on Tuesday 23rd September 2014 at a new venue - The Welcombe Hotel, Stratford on Avon.


Methven announces appointment of new CEO

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Methven, the global designer and manufacturer of premium showers and tapware, has announced the appointment of Martin Walker as the new CEO of Methven UK, following the resignation of Steve Lee.


F & P Wholesale enjoys mobile bathroom showroom success

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The F & P Wholesale mobile bathroom showroom has now completed its tour of the UK, having made pit stops at F & P Wholesale's nine distribution centres nationwide - allowing customers to explore the new bathroom product collections first hand.


New Phoenix July 2014 Catalogue now available

The eagerly anticipated new Phoenix July 2014 catalogue is now available from Phoenix Inspirational Bathrooms.

Saniflo launches new trade brochure

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Available from the end of June, the new trade brochure from Saniflo is designed to make the lives of installers and vendors easier. For the first time, the, easy to use product catalogue features both the domestic and professional range - along with Saniaccess and Sanicondens - in one handy piece of literature.

Ellis Furniture unveils new 1891 kitchen collection and brochure

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One of the industry's leading designers and manufacturers of high quality kitchen and bathroom furniture, Ellis Furniture, is celebrating the launch of its striking, new flagship 1891 Collection of real wood, painted kitchen furniture and the accompanying, equally stunning 1891 kitchen brochure.

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