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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
25th July 2014


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

International News

British Ceramic Tile enhances its portfolio with a stunning new capsule collection of Mosaics

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This Summer sees the launch of British Ceramic Tile's new Mosaics collection. Designed to complement the company's existing portfolio of wall and floor tiles, this new capsule collection of Mosaics sees British Ceramic Tile continue on its journey to become a one-stop shop for all tiling needs.

Roman upgrades to ultimate 3D interactive CAD design software for retailers

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Roman has significantly upgraded its presence on Computer Aided Design, ensuring its entire range is accessible on the latest, 3D interactive platform - Virtual Worlds Professional from Logicom.

Britton Bathrooms makes life easier

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Sometimes just a simple, thoughtful touch can make all the difference. This is certainly the case with Britton Tall, a clever design to make life easier for taller people, the elderly, less able or anyone with back or knee problems.

Wall-hung sanitaryware "to grow six fold in the next two years"

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Good design and ingenuity are increasingly sought in the UK bathroom market and designers and consumers are now turning to solutions that have long been commonplace in European countries such as Germany and Austria.

A fine heritage: from the kitchen to the sink

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Leisure 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.

Welcome to the


I often carry information about workplace health & safety but rarely do I feature anything about that essential part of just about any business – driving. Those that have to drive as part of their job, whether as someone physically working on a contract who drives from job to job, delivery driver, the fitter that may have to unexpectedly find their way to the local plumbers merchant to replace a broken part, a maintenance technician or field salesperson and the like – each of them has an important part to play.

Those of us that drive no doubt do our best to do so without endangering ourselves, other road users or members of the public but as an employer, how much attention do you pay to making sure that your team members that spend time on the road on your behalf do so safely? Do you keep a check on them and make sure they’re aware of the dangers and taking sufficient breaks while on the road, or is it a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’?

Writing as someone who many years ago was reprimanded by my then managing director for having taken the decision not to drive from the South East to somewhere ‘up North’ in torrential rain when the windscreen wipers of my company car had stopped working, I wonder whether it could be the latter…

Remember, you have a duty of care to all your employees, whether they’re under your roof throughout the working day or not.

An item further down the page warns of the need for drivers to be aware of the blind spots, which contribute to thousands of accidents – some fatal - globally each year. Technology is available that provides drivers with a better view of what’s going on around them, but if that’s going to break the budget, the very least you can do is draw attention to safe driving behaviour and assure your employees that sensible driving is more important than, say, fitting more appointments or miles into the day than can safely be managed, or perhaps, an extra few £s worth of commission in the pay packet.





Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

KBSA members grow in confidence

* Graham-Ball.jpgRecent research with The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association retailers has shown that almost half of them improved their turnover in 2013 (47%) which almost mirrors to the same% the figure for 2012, and a similar number (46%) said that they had improved their profitability.

One out of three members also indicated that they would be increasing headcount during 2014 as the recovery gathers pace.

REC JobsOutlook: Jobs boom at risk from growing skills shortages

UK employers are twice as confident about the economy as they were this time last year and many intend to take on more staff in coming months. But this jobs boom could be at risk from growing skills shortages, according to July's JobsOutlook survey from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation), released yesterday.

Elegant new Athena from Just Taps Plus offers so many options

* Just-Taps-new.jpgAs well as a choice of 15 different fittings, the new Athena brassware range from Just Taps Plus offers the option of either a solid or a cut out lever handle.  Athena has well defined geometric edges and with so many options available it is easy to find a combination of fittings to suit any contemporary bathroom.

Wall mounted fillers have become increasingly popular and this range includes designs for use with both baths and surface mounted vessel basins.  The controls and spout are mounted on to a back plate that makes fitting easier.

KBSA announces Designer Awards shortlists

* Kbsa-Designer-Awards.jpgFollowing a meeting of the judges for the 2014 KBSA Designer Awards, the finalists have been named for all categories. 

The KBSA Designer of the Year, sponsored by Omega, will be chosen from the finalists. Judge Renee Mascari, owner of Mascari Design Solutions and CEO of the kbbNTG, says: “There was an amazing amount of real talent on display in this year’s entries, and those who made the shortlists can be rightly proud of their skills and expertise.”

Blind spot awareness training is crucial, warns IOSH

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health is urging businesses to educate their fleet managers and at-work drivers about the risks of failing to check blind spots before carrying out a manoeuvre.

"It's vital that companies ensure their workers are fully aware of their responsibilities to act in a safe and shrewd manner every time they get behind the wheel," warns IOSH senior policy & technical adviser Phil Bates.

Successful year for Amica

* Amica07748rrd.jpgIn 2013, Amica Group grew its sales revenue to PLN 1.656 billion representing an increase of 6% on year-to-year sales. The main increase in revenue was recorded in the home market of Poland, here in the UK, in Germany and in the markets of southern Europe.

During 2013, the Group began selling its ranges of built-in and freestanding appliances in new markets such as Belarus, France, Greece and Cyprus.

Max-Top set to revolutionise UK kitchen worktops

* Max-Top.jpgKitchen worktop specialist Max-Top is thrilled to announce that it is launching the revolutionary Max-Top Quartz work surface - one of Europe's leading modular quartz products - to the UK market.

With a patented interior honeycomb structure meaning surfaces are lightweight and provide the appearance and strength of solid quartz, the product has none of the drawbacks of traditional solid stone, offers 100% moisture protection and comes with a 25 year guarantee.

A very modern brassware range, steeped in 160 years of history

* LAUFEN-Curveplus.jpgToday, brassware plays an integral part of a bathroom's design, but for one Swiss manufacturer, producing taps that combine form with function has been integral to its business for 160 years.

Similor AG, manufacturer of Laufen brand brassware, has a history that dates back to 1846 - a time when few Swiss homes had running water, let alone a bathroom. It was in that year that Henri Jean Charles Kugler opened a small foundry to produce brass products, oil and petroleum lamps, before officially establishing the Kugler company eight years later, in 1854.

Soapbox: Wall-hung sanitaryware offers perfect solution to bathroom condensation, says Abacus

* Abacus-soapbox.jpgA lack of understanding by the bathroom industry of what causes condensation is leading to mould growth and rot in bathrooms.

One reason for these problems is due to condensation on toilet cisterns and water pipes. This is particularly prevalent in cold weather when the water entering the cistern is at a much lower temperature than the bathroom which often has a warm, moist atmosphere due to showering and bathing.

Gorenje appliances make ethical best buy

* Gorenje-IonGeneration.jpgGorenje, which offers a broad collection of appliances that are up to A+++ rated, has scooped three Best Buy recommendations from leading environmental advice provider Ethical Consumer, for its fridge-freezers, microwaves and washing machines.

How to go from toddler to teenager in online marketing

* Elliot-Adams.jpgElliot Adams, communications manager at Yelp, explains the best way small businesses can use their online profile to attract and maintain customers.

Creating a full website may not always be right for every business, but maximising social media and review sites really goes a long way in building online awareness. A business with an effective online presence is far more likely to get customers through the door.

Abode donates showers and brassware to The Foundation of Goodness

* Abode-Donation.jpgThe Foundation of Goodness is a charity set up 15 years ago after the devastating Tsunami to provide essential services to the lives of rural communities in Sri Lanka. Its mission is to empower the less privileged rural communities so that they may have equal opportunities to excel in life and one of its key objectives is to ensure that every family has access to appropriate services including sanitation, electricity and clean water.

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

Why less will always mean more for the successful independent kitchen specialist

Bill Miller, Managing Director of The Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group, is urging independent kitchen specialists to appreciate the value of the adage, 'less means more' when updating their kitchen displays.

Small business of the year award for Modern Homes

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Leamington Spa based Modern Homes has won a local business award - the Small Business of the Year - in the Touch FM's Pride of Warwick Awards.

Positive market prospects for kitchen and bathroom distributors

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In 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.

Design Council completes line up for Bathroom & Kitchen Conference

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"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

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At 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.

Kbsa agrees CITB sponsorship for Training Award 2014

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The 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.

BAL: holding everything together in airport expansion project

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Major 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.

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

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British 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.


British Ceramic Tile reveals its new global sales director

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British Ceramic Tile, has named Neil Anderton as its new global sales director. Formerly UK sales director, Neil will assume a strategic global sales role, driving forward the company's ambitious growth strategy domestically and overseas.

Recruitment news at Holloways of Ludlow

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Award-winning kitchen designer and cabinet makers, Holloways of Ludlow have announced the appointment of David Barnsdale as Workshop CAD Technician.

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