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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
29th August 2014


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

International News

Add a sparkle to your shower with Dynamo

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New for August 2014, what could be more relaxing than showering under an invigorating spray of sparkling water with light dancing off the drops as they fall? Crosswater has made the dream come true with Dynamo, an innovative new shower head that incorporates LED lighting to illuminate your shower.

Luxurious Hands and Faces from Ben De Lisi

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"My bathroom is a place where you just want to languish for ages" - Ben De Lisi. Iconic American fashion and interiors designer, Ben de Lisi, has designed a range of 'Hands and Faces' washbasins which are available to buy from Abacus Manufacturing Group via www.ben-de-lisi.com

The ceramic models comprise contemporary washbasins which are designed with functionality in mind. They are available in round, square, flat and rectangular configurations - something for every luxurious bathroom design scheme. Alongside the seven ceramic options, there are four beautiful basins in the Stone collection. Handcrafted from natural stone, these pieces epitomise luxurious bathing.

Burger unveils new kitchen styles - available for quick delivery

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Bauformat has unveiled 32 new door additions to its Burger brand 'modern' kitchen range, which now offers 170 door choices.

Competitively priced, Cora and the new Cindy range (pictured) are available as part of the 'Schnell' quick delivery solution within 10 to 15 working days.

Franke adds hi-tech entry-level Orion Tectonite sinks to its Pro-Value range

Franke's new Orion Tectonite synthetic inset sinks are the latest contemporary designs to be introduced into the best-selling Pro-Value range, designed to offer exceptional quality and style at prices within most budgets.

New Space Tower larder kit exclusively from LDL

The latest product innovation from LDL, Space Tower is a unique, easy to install Blum drawer kit for larder units. The first such product on the market, Space Tower can now be ordered and installed quickly and easily without the need for specialist tools.

Create a clutter-free kitchen with Caple's new WMI2003 integrated washing machine

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Caple's new fully integrated WMI2003 A++ energy-rated washing machine helps create a streamlined, clutter-free look in the kitchen since it is hidden away behind a cupboard door.

A rated for washing and B rated for spin efficiency and with a 1200rpm spin speed, a maximum sound level of 57dB for washing and 75db for spinning, it features a 15 minutes fast wash plus a wool, delicate and underwear wash and seven further programmes.

T: 0117 938 1900
W: www.caple.co.uk

Whirlpool's funky Max microwaves add real zing!

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Whirlpool Max cool and funky microwave ovens are stylish, highly practical and functional and are available in stunning sunny, summer colours, Zesty Orange and Vivacious Green. The latest addition to the range is a refreshing and shining Full White.

Elegant new Athena from Just Taps Plus offers so many options

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As 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.

KBSA announces Designer Awards shortlists

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Following a meeting of the judges for the 2014 KBSA Designer Awards, the finalists have been named for all categories. 

Successful year for Amica

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In 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.

Max-Top set to revolutionise UK kitchen worktops

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Kitchen 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.

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

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Today, 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.

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

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A lack of understanding by the bathroom industry of what causes condensation is leading to mould growth and rot in bathrooms.

How to go from toddler to teenager in online marketing

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

Welcome to the


There can’t be many KBzine readers still unfamiliar with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge but if you’ve missed it, look out for the coverage in this week’s news. Now I may be about to make myself really unpopular but while I know this challenge has created a lot of fun (mainly for those doing the throwing!) and has also raised money for charity, I’m wondering how many others in the industry have, like me, wrestled with their consciences when facing the challenge, because of the huge volumes of water and amount of electricity being wasted.

I’m normally one that will muck in to promote any good cause (indeed I threw myself out of a small plane some years back to help raise funds for an industry association/charity affiliated to a magazine I was working on) but this current challenge just doesn’t rest easy on my shoulders I’m afraid.

After all, how can I keep writing about our need to conserve water and how can I support WaterAid and champion the great work the Bathroom Manufacturers Association is doing to promote water conservation, then go against all that by perpetuating this widening cycle of wasting water?

For it’s not just about a small bucket of ice anymore; the buckets have got bigger and bigger… My brave friend Marco, was actually washed away along with his pallet by the force and volume of the huge vat of iced water thrown over him this week. It made me wonder just how much water has been wasted in total during this challenge.

Anyway, I will be donating, I will join in the fun by finding a way to make myself suffer (perhaps I’ll give up chocolate for a month and add the money saved to my donation), but I not going to be wasting any water.

Do you see where I’m coming from or am I being a grumpy grouse? Adverse comments will be taken firmly on the chin!





Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

University addresses construction industry skills shortage

* BCU-School.jpgA shortage of problem-solving skills in the construction industry is preventing professionals from advancing within their careers, prompting a new initiative between Birmingham City University and Mott MacDonald.

Starting next month, the University and the global engineering, management and development consultants are pioneering a new approach to develop the 'softer skills' considered to be in short supply across the construction industry.

Tantalising tiles from Abacus

* CARACALLA1.jpgStunning aesthetics coupled with technical excellence is Abacus Manufacturing Group's hallmark. And the exciting, comprehensive range of Designer tiles allows the designer or installer to complete the perfect bathroom.

Pictured here are examples of porcelain stoneware which recreates the best of natural marble and limestones. The tiles are extremely hardwearing and do not require sealing or maintenance - unlike natural marbles and travertine. Suitable for almost any application, there is a large portfolio of sizes, colours and finishes.

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

* RussellE.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 & bathroom installers.

Working with the Hertfordshire based training provider Asbestos Training, the iKBBI has commissioned a bespoke online course specifically aimed at installers of kitchens & bathrooms.

Shower in classic style with Belgravia

* Belgravia_Exposed-Shower-valve-control.jpgThe new Belgravia exposed shower valve collection from Crosswater faithfully reproduces the style one might find in a luxury Victorian bathroom.

The difference is, this one not only combines authentic period detail, but it has all the benefits of modern, hardwearing chrome plating, efficient, responsive and safe thermostatic control, and top quality function that allows water to be turned on and off or diverted between outlets instantly every time.

Learn how to handle consumer law & understanding home improvement complaints

* fira-complaints-courses.jpgAn unforeseen problem occurs with the installation of your customer's new kitchen... your customer is without their cooking facilities - should you buy them a three-course meal in a restaurant or a take-away pizza? ...

This might seem like an obvious decision, but your customer may think otherwise.

Abode's Estimo... a tap of perfect proportions

* Abode-Estimo-tap.jpgAbode previewed a number of new designs of contemporary style kitchen mixer taps at KBB earlier this year which are now out in the marketplace nationwide.

For consumers who are looking for a clean lined contemporary style of mixer tap, Abode has just the solution with these stunning new ranges of kitchen mixer taps. The new contemporary introductions include five elegantly designed taps which are all available in chrome and brushed nickel and come complete with a non-splash aerator.

We have mail: The Ice Bucket Challenge!

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I hope you're well! We thought you might be interested to know that kbb and May Design Series Sales Director Jon Johnston took part in the Ice Bucket Challenge last week to raise money and awareness for ALS Association, which carries out research into the illness commonly referred to as Motor Neurone Disease or Lou Gherig's Disease.

Leisure Sinks - truly built to last...

* Leisure-Sinks-Victorian.jpgWhen Camberwell-based lawyer Berni Baker wanted to renovate the kitchen in his Victorian home in 2014, he opted to install an original 1953 metal Leisure kitchen and sink. Although the sink, taps and kitchen had been in storage for seven years, they are all now fully functional, having been moved from one property to another.

Franke's More in Store September 'Expert Series' offers retailers a social media session

* Franke_Anna-Woolliscroft.jpgThe next round of seminars provided by Franke as part of its More in Store campaign to support its participating independent specialist retailers, will focus on social media.

The seminars are free of charge and are being held around the country on Tuesday September 9th in Manchester, Wednesday 10th in the Midlands and Thursday 11th in London. Invitations and a newsletter have been sent to all More in Store members this week and further information can be found at www.moreinstore.co.uk, where members can book their place.

UK water saving plumbing products market growing rapidly

* Water_Saving_Products.jpgThe UK water saving plumbing products market is estimated at £164 million at Manufacturers Selling Prices (MSP) in 2013, according to a new report by AMA Research.

During the period 2009 - 2012, the market for water saving plumbing products was relatively flat - in line with the difficult economic situation at this time. However, since 2013 the market for water saving plumbing products has seen an increase, with demand picking up as the economy and new housebuilding levels improve. The core product sectors of the UK water saving plumbing products market are water efficient bathroom products (87%) and water recycling systems (13%).

KBSA National Meeting: final speakers confirmed

* Ben-Kench.jpgThe Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has announced three more speakers for its AGM & National meeting being held this year on 23rd September at The Welcombe Hotel in Stratford on Avon.

Confirmed as keynote speaker is small business growth specialist, Ben Kench - author of the acclaimed 'Selling for dummies' and someone who is rapidly gaining a reputation for delivering quite incredible results. The experienced showroom and interior designer Elaine Cowan, and Richard Flower, Director of Ashford Kitchens & Interiors will also be on the podium.

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

KBSA members grow in confidence

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Recent 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.


Infrared heating display deal for kitchen and bathroom retailers from Infrarad

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Infrarad offers designer space heating, which consumes half the energy required to run conventional radiators, to leading builders' and plumbers' merchants, and kitchen and bathroom retailers.

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