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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
24th October 2014


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

International News

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

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

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

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Geberit 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.

Ben de Lisi for beautiful bathing

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"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.

'Furniture design is our forte', says Utopia

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

Geberit announces offer to acquire bathroom ceramics giant, Sanitec

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Geberit has this week announced a tender offer to acquire Sanitec, the Scandinavian-based bathroom ceramics specialist.

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

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Franke 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.

Welcome to the


The KBB industry’s commitment to manufacturing products that reduce water consumption took on greater importance for me today when I was asked whether I’d willingly drink water that had been recycled from toilet waste.

The question came from a friend who’d heard that plans which could see treated sewage water introduced into London's drinking water supply to eke it out, have been backed by 69% of those that responded to a survey, out of the 5,000 people asked.

I have two things to say to that: “Who the heck did they ask!” and: “How many people responded?”

I gather Thames Water launched the consultation with a view to finding the best way of serving the rapidly growing population in London and the Thames Valley, which estimates predict could, in the not too distant future, reach 10 million.

One of the options mooted was the use of recycled waste water. If this scheme were to be put in place, the waste from toilets would be recycled back into the River Thames, drawn out and retreated to make it safe to be streamed into the mains supply.

Although the company says it has no definite plans to implement the scheme and that if it does go ahead, it won’t be for at least another 10 years, I understand that a test plant has already been commissioned in Enfield, north London.

OK, so I often complain about the cloudy, chalky water we have in Epsom and the awful limescale we have to deal with, which means we get through a kettle every 18 months despite filling it from a filter jug, but I know where I’d rather be living right now!

Other, more palatable options that appealed to respondents were the installation of water meters in homes and businesses and a redistribution system, whereby water is transported from areas where it’s plentiful, into other parts of the country that are experiencing shortages – both of which make a lot of sense.

Thames Water warns that unless action is taken, there could be a water deficit of around 125 million litres per day by next year, so something clearly needs to be done quickly.

Dealing with leaks more rapidly would, of course, be a good place to start…

Finally, please accept my apologies for the odd symbols that appeared in the Schueller story last week, which were caused by a corrupted umlaut. Happily, Schueller's furniture itself is a great deal more consistent and comes without any nasty surprises! You can read the symbol-free story here: http://thekbzine.com/pages/8400/brand_designs_for_schueller/






Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

New safety initiative launching next month

On 4th November 2014, AMDEA, the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances, will be hosting a reception to introduce stakeholders to 'Register my appliance', the new industry safety initiative aimed at encouraging the public to register their appliances.

There are at least 100 million large appliances in use in UK homes. In some cases the average lifespan is over a decade. In the rare instances that a fault appears in a particular batch, a simple in-home fix can normally banish the risk. Yet, unlike cars, there is little traceability and the challenge facing manufacturers is identifying owners to send in a qualified technician.

A Ben de Lisi bathroom mirror - a reflection of design

* BDL-Mirrors.jpg'The bathroom is pure in line and simple in detail, hard-working and never overstated' - Ben De Lisi

New bathroom mirrors from the iconic American fashion and interiors designer, Ben de Lisi, are now available to buy at Abacus Manufacturing Group via www.ben-de-lisi.com The mirrors, with discreet gloss white framing, come in three sizes with lighting on the right, left or both.

Big Energy Vision will boost market for energy saving home improvements, says Trustmark

A new long-term campaign to empower UK households to take control of rising energy bills was launched yesterday with support from TrustMark, the Government endorsed quality mark for tradesmen.

Leaders of influential businesses and charities including TrustMark met in London to share their vision to help householders to 'use less, waste less and pay less' for their energy. Together they will communicate clear, simple and consistent messages about the things people can do to control their bills, which includes a wide range of energy saving home improvements and maintenance jobs that can be done by local, reputable tradespeople.

Top five tips for selecting your worktop

* Max-Top-Quartz-Lifestyle2.jpgExpert comment provided by Stephen Moss, managing director of Max-Top UK

When it comes to choosing materials for a kitchen, worktops are a key consideration. Modern consumers expect high quality surfaces that look great, are hard-wearing and complete the look of their kitchen.

The range of colours, styles and finishes can be a little overwhelming, so it is worth being aware of the top five considerations for consumers that are choosing a kitchen worktop.

KBBG launches exclusive membership offers

The Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group, part of DER KREIS, Europe's leading kitchen and bathroom buying group, has secured two major exclusive offers for its members. Britannia Living, supplier of the premium Britannia and Bertazzoni appliance ranges as well as Best cooker hoods - and Jetstone, the Hertfordshire-based specialist in stone worktops, have exclusive offers available to members until 31st December 2014.

Britannia is offering all KBBG members an exclusive display deal across its full product offer. Chris Honer, managing director, Britannia Living explains: "We are very pleased to be working in conjunction with the KBBG and supporting its members with this offer. We support and protect independent kitchen specialists with a robust margin protection scheme and we are proud to be differe

Burlington in bloom: decorated sanitaryware is coming back!

* Burlington-basin.jpgBurlington Bathrooms has launched a decorated floral English Garden range into its Burlington Brand.

Pattern is nothing new - Victorian and Edwardian sanitary ware was often covered in a riot of colour, with flowers a firm favourite. The UK enjoyed a brief love affair with decoration on traditional designs in the 80s, and then all white became the enduring key trend.

British Safety Council offers free stress advice to businesses

* British-Safety-Council-guide.jpgWith stress costing the UK economy £6.5bn, it is undeniable that this is one of the biggest health related priorities facing businesses. The British Safety Council is lending its voice to this important issue, as well asking workplaces to give due attention to occupational health overall.

"Businesses managing risks in their workplace are increasingly seeing occupational health as a priority," says Alex Botha, chief executive of the British Safety Council. "A number of factors are contributing - a workforce that is ageing, the changing shape of our economy to one that is more service orientated, the pressures on government and the NHS with the fact that people are living with illness and disease for longer.

Hafele expands Essential architectural ironmongery range

* hafele-handle.jpgHafele UK, has refreshed its range of architectural ironmongery, to ensure it is offering merchants, distributors and trade professionals, high quality products at the best possible price.

As a trusted name in architectural ironmongery and hardware, the company has searched the globe to find the best product at the best prices for its trade customers and the newly presented range of Essential ironmongery offers a selection of improved, new and exclusive products, all of which are competitively priced.

1909 & Metris training is a huge hit with PWS customers

* pws-TRAINING.jpgPWS tells us it is delighted with the positive feedback from its recent 1909 and Metris training sessions - so much so that plans are now underway to develop a regular programme of training for PWS customers, with a schedule that starts in January 2015.

Recent training has included four dedicated on-site seminars at PWS's Design Centre as well as six highly successful roadshow events in Birmingham, Camberley, Oxford and Scotland. All sessions were well attended, with an average of 20 delegates per day, including designers, fitters and company owners. Numbers were kept manageable in order to effectively demonstrate product to the audience.

On screen debut for latest Burbidge sales tool

* Ben-Burbridge.jpgFollowing its successful Premium Partner day, kitchen manufacturer Burbidge has unveiled another retailer sales tool to bring the Burbidge woodworking heritage story to life.

The 'Burbidge Story' is an engaging three minute video fronted by managing director Ben Burbidge. It features interviews from production, factory and marketing managers, along with the many long-standing employees still on the factory floor. The video has been launched to showcase to retailers how the Burbidge core values of producing well-designed, well-made and long-lasting kitchens - borne out of its 140 years+ heritage - extend to today's commitment to investing in modern manufacturing processes and responding to consumer's contemporary needs.

Remember with Utopia

* UTOPIA-POPPIES.jpgWe've all been deeply moved by the sight of hundreds of thousands of ceramic poppies surrounding the Tower of London, one for each of the 888,246 British lives lost in the First World War.

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

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.

Screwfix insight backs up FMB's research

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Commenting 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.

BMA announces new logo and visual brand identity

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The 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.

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!


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.


Wirquin in your pocket

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Wirquin has launched a new pocket guide for customers to quickly identify the innovative products they need on the job.

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