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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
17th October 2014


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The BlancoAttika sink... perfect for the design-focused kitchen

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Welcome to the


Life’s getting interesting, isn’t it? The inflation rate in the UK and the Eurozone is at its lowest level for five years and in the UK, we’ve just recorded the largest annual fall in unemployment on record, since such records began in 1972.  A survey just published by the British Retail Consortium reports that sales are at their weakest level in six years, yet a new study by the Federation of Master Builders claims that almost a third of UK homeowners are set to spend £6 billion between them on property upgrades over the next three years.

I wonder, perhaps, whether we’re staying away from the shops because we’re saving so hard to pay for these forthcoming upgrades?

With almost 40% of those planning to improve their homes, saying they will be major refurbishments such as new kitchens, bathrooms and extensions, this bodes very well for the KBB industry indeed, so I hope that everyone sticks to their plans.

The study, which you can learn more about below, also shows that when it comes to choosing a builder, one in four homeowners feel out of their depth. Don’t I just know about that! I now go through several websites making a shortlist - and whatever industry associations those on it are members of, if they’ve not got a good number of excellent reviews on CheckaTrade and the like, with a score of almost a perfect 10 and the price charged the same as the estimate given, I don’t bother to contact them. I’ve come unstuck too many times to be slaphappy in my choice.

Apparently, most people choose their builder on personal recommendations. I’ve come unstuck this way too, as of course a builder performing well on just one job, isn’t necessarily going to come up trumps every time, is he (or she)? And of course we all have different expectations (in my case, builders knowing what they’re doing is one of them!) ‘Safety in numbers’ has become my mantra and it’s paying off, although it does mean I have to wait longer to have the work done, as those I want to do it, seem to take more holidays than most! I suppose that figures though…





Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Homeowners set to spend £6BN on property upgrades

Nearly a third of UK home owners are looking to carry out work on their home in the next three years, with up to £6BN in projected works planned annually, according to a new study from the Federation of Master Builders.

Encouragingly, almost 40% of these are set to be major refurbishments, including new kitchens, new bathrooms and home extensions, while smaller works such as loft conversions and conservatories account for 38%. More than one in five home owners (22%) cited that the primary reason for their home improvements is being unable to buy a new home, and thus feeling compelled to upgrade their current space.

Retro's back! Indulge in the elegance of yesteryear with Retro Nouveau

* Retro-Nouveau.jpgOld meets new with the Retro Nouveau collection by BagnoDesign, the classically styled bathroom range designed for modern living.

With an olde worlde charm and sophisticated elegance, Retro Nouveau inspires creativity in the classically styled bathroom, with a range of washbasin and sanitaryware options, co-ordinating brassware in a depth of finishes, luxurious bath tubs and stylish accessories.

Screwfix insight backs up FMB's research

* Andrew-Livingston_Screwfix.jpgCommenting on yesterday's report from the Federation of Master Builders, which revealed that nearly a third of UK homeowners are set to spend £6 billion on property upgrades in the next three years, Andrew Livingston, CEO of Screwfix, said:

"Our insight from tradesmen echoes today's research by the Federation of Master Builders into the amount of work homeowners are planning to carry out on their home over the next three years.

Let there be light whatever the hour, with Geberit Monolith Plus

* Geb-Bathroom-A1.jpgGeberit has introduced a new addition to its best-selling Monolith sanitary module, with the Geberit Monolith Plus. Featuring the same sleek, elegant glass frontage as the original model, this latest addition not only conceals all plumbing worn neatly out of sight, but also integrates a wealth of technology to raise the comfort levels in the contemporary bathroom.

Available in a choice of white or black glass, the elegant sanitary module has a discreet and indirect ComfortLight, providing a warm glow behind the module, which is automatically activated as the user approaches. This makes it perfect for when using the bathroom at night, or for creating a calming ambience at bath-time.

Ben de Lisi for beautiful bathing

* BDL-Aria.jpg"The bathroom motivates you and energises you and, at night, it sends you off to bed: it has to be a haven of calm." - Ben De Lisi.

Encompassing a complete bathroom portfolio including sanitaryware, baths, bath and shower screens, towel warmers and accessories, Ben de Lisi's organically-designed collection will allow the designer to create the perfect room; while liaising with only one supplier.

BMA announces new logo and visual brand identity

* BMA-new-logo.jpgThe Bathroom Manufacturers Association tells us it is thrilled to reveal its new logo and new visual branding, which together with the recently launched new website, highlight the strategic focus to set new standards as a leading light in the bathroom industry.

"The release of the new logo and visual brand is a significant milestone and marks the start of a new era for the BMA, as it demonstrates our vision and ambition for the future," says Yvonne Orgill, chief executive.

'Furniture design is our forte', says Utopia

* Utopia1.jpgUtopia is celebrating 25 years at the forefront of the British bathroom industry with the launch of its fabulous new Bathroom Collection 2015.

"We are proud to be a British manufacturer investing heavily in new product development, new equipment and also recruiting additional staff," says Ian Hall, joint managing director. "This latest launch demonstrates yet again that furniture design is our forte and we look forward to driving the sector with these exciting new products."

Geberit announces offer to acquire bathroom ceramics giant, Sanitec

* Albert-M-Baehny_Geberit.jpgGeberit has this week announced a tender offer to acquire Sanitec, the Scandinavian-based bathroom ceramics specialist.

Sanitec enjoyed net sales of EUR 702 million in 2013 with an earnings before interest and taxes margin of 9.7%. The company has 6,200 employees worldwide, 18 production facilities and 24 sales units in Europe. Best known in the UK for Twyford, it practices a multi-brand strategy with 14 leading brands operating in Europe on a local basis.

Original and best - the T80Z Fast-Fit shower from Triton

* TRITON-T80Z.jpgTriton's T80Z Fast-Fit has continued to hold its own as the original and best replacement electric shower on the market. Providing installers with the ideal unit for shower replacements, the T80Z Fast-Fit has become Triton's best-selling product thanks to its array of retro fit credentials.

Triton's T80 range was first launched in 1978 and has been developed ever since to remain the number one for shower replacements.

Wirquin in your pocket

* wirquin-plumber-catalogue.jpgWirquin has launched a new pocket guide for customers to quickly identify the innovative products they need on the job.

Franke introduces two new Maris tap styles to complement its Maris sinks

* Franke-Maris-pull-out.jpgFranke has introduced two new Maris tap styles to complement its popular Maris sinks range, making it easy for retailers to offer an integrated sink and tap combination that simplifies decision-making for the consumer.

The Maris offers the popular U-shaped spout design that works with so many kitchen styles, and features a striking cylindrical body with upright paddle levers. Finished in sparkling chrome or sleek silksteel, the tap measures 319mm in height, has a spout reach of 197mm, and a slim overall width of 120mm.

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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

New survey reveals shocking failure of Government to address payment issues

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StreetwiseSubbie.com's latest survey of 216 specialist contractors reveals that the voluntary measures put forward by the Construction Leadership Council, and the promises of help from UK Government to 'help' specialist contractors in the construction industry are still suffering from payment abuse.
Lack of payment is destroying jobs and killing businesses and hampering economic growth.

KBSA announces National Chair Designate

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The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has announced that Tina Riley will take on the position of KBSA National Chair Designate, ahead of confirmation of her appointment at the next Board meeting.

British Ceramic Tile supports the next generation of designers

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British Ceramic Tile, has proudly sponsored the 'Live Design' project as part of The Flooring Show 2014.

New Design Britain Awards 2015 open for entries

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New Design Britain Awards organised by UBM Live Built Environment launched on Monday with a new set of initiatives to add to its already established awards programme. The first in the calendar is the opening of entries for the New Design Britain Awards 2015 to design graduates to apply until Friday 16th January 2015.

Refinery Showcases the Future of DIY Retail

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As part of its Store of The Future retail estate refresh programme, Homebase has unveiled the blueprint for its DIY store concept, designed by integrated brand communications agency Refinery.

Gruelling three-day charity challenge beats target

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he North Tees & Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust Charitable Fund to support a vital breast care unit, has received a whopping £8700 from laminate and solid surface worktop manufacturer, Wilsonart, following three-day cycle challenge.

Celebration marks quarter of a century

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When Portway started distributing freestanding and built-in appliances way back in 1989, a mid-range washing machine cost £400! That same machine would cost under £200 today!

KBSA AGM and National Meeting breaks records

The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has said that this year's AGM, National Meeting and Networking Dinner were their most successful since the start of the recession. Attended by over 40 retailers and almost 30 corporates, the event attracted almost 120 delegates.

KBSA announces 'Excellence Award' winners

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The Kitchen Bathroom & Bedroom Specialists Association has announced the winners of the 2014 'Excellence Awards', which were presented at their 2014 Networking Dinner at The Welcombe Hotel, Stratford on Avon, earlier this week.

Diane Berry Kitchens wins 2014 KBSA Designer Awards

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The KBSA has announced the winners of the 2014 KBSA Designer Awards. Retaining her title as overall designer of the year was Diane Berry of Diane Berry kitchens in Prestwich, Greater Manchester, with her also repeating last year's success as kitchen designer of the year.

Kitchen Concept winner announced in 2014 KBSA Designer Awards

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The Kitchen Bathroom & Bedroom Specialists Association has announced the winner of the 'Kitchen Concept Designer of the Year' in the 2014 KBSA Designer Awards as Karen MacArthur from Kitchens International in Edinburgh.

Denby Kitchens wins 2014 KBSA Designer Awards

The KBSA has announced the winners of the 2014 Kbsa Designer Awards, and the winner of the Bathroom Designer of the Year was Barry Lavin, Director of Denby Kitchen Company.

Young designer stars in KBSA Designer Awards

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The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has announced the winner of the Young Designer of the Year in the 2014 KBSA Designer Awards as Rebecca Reynolds from The Kitchen Showroom in Sudbury, Suffolk.

Supplier Awards winners anncounced

The now traditional Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association Supplier Awards were announced at the 2014 KBB Review Kitchen Conference this week, and again, KBSA members voted for those suppliers that they thought had excelled in their service to them in 2013/14.

Revealed: 'Rainfall Showers' and 'Standalone Baths' voted ultimate wish list features for luxury bathrooms

New research conducted by an online bathroom retailer in the UK has revealed the top desirable wish list bathroom features which create the most luxurious bathroom environments.

LDL Components scoops Entrepreneur Award

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LDL Components has won the 'Most Impressive Growth' category at the recent National Entrepreneur Awards 2014.


Franchise makes concessions to High Street trading conditions

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Trading conditions are still tough on the British High Street, with company failures already giving rise to over 1280 shop closures in 2014, although recent developments in 'omnichannel retailing', where consumers make purchasing decisions from different devices, using different apps in different locations, suggest that physical stores remain as important as ever.

Abode unveils inspirational new website

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Abode's new website is now live and brimming full of inspiration, stunning photography, product information and support, designed for the manufacturer's trade partners as well as end consumers.

One in four UK businesses think their marketing isn't performing

Almost a quarter (24%) of UK based businesses believe that their marketing isn't performing as it should be, with a third of these (33%) complaining that the difficulty of making an impact with the advertising they do, is the biggest barrier to success.

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