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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
5th December 2014


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

International News

VitrA unveils Memoria in the UK at Sleep

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When VitrA unveiled its Memoria range at this week's Sleep exhibition in London, the understated, sophisticated aesthetic, with its defining sleek, clean lines proved a winner for style conscious hotels wishing to wow discerning guests and bridge the gap between the bathroom and living spaces, to create a sophisticated setting for bathing and relaxing.

Grohe launches five new products at Sleep 2014

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Grohe, headline sponsor of Sleep. 2014, The Hotel Design Event, showcased five new innovative products at the event:

* The Grohe Powerbox - This infrared tap uses water pressure to power itself. Grohe's innovative technology uses the tap's own water flow to drive a turbine, concealed in a small box installed below the basin. This converts the energy from the flowing water into storable electrical energy which then powers the tap's infrared function.

British Ceramic Tile launches new retail brand

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British Ceramic Tile has launched a new retail brand in a move to drive increased sales through independent retailers.

Abode launches new three and four part heritage mixer tap collection

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Abode designers are continually seeking to create new designs for both modern and traditional homes and their latest two additions are the Astbury and Brompton three and four part mixers which will look equally at home in a modern house, country home or a refurbished older property.

A new way to light and heat a bathroom from Auratherm

A new combination of features in bathroom and bedroom heating is shaking up the KBB sector.

The new product, from Auratherm - part of established electric heating company, Ecolec, offers heat and light with remote controls, incorporating a four hour timer and an LED dimmer switch. The Auratherm vision of controlled heat and light in one electric product with a mirror is an intelligent way to save effort and energy.

Teka goes a 'Touch' digital with Gas-on-Glass

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Teka UK has added a luxurious Touch Control, Gas-on-Glass digital hob to its gas hobs collection, combining the latest in innovative technology with discerning good looks.

Available as a five burner, 90cm model or four burner, 60cm model, the hob presents the perfect cooking solution to those who prefer the controllability of gas married with the sleek aesthetics of crystal tempered glass - and of course a hi-tech touch control panel with digital settings.

Max-Top masters monochrome

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Kitchen worktop specialist Max-Top has seen sales of its monochrome Max-Top Quartz surfaces soar, revealing that they now account for over 70% of sales.

MX unveils new thermostatic mixer shower ranges

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Following hard on the heels of the recent launch of its new QI electric shower range and its new Expressions shower tray range with the hidden wastes, renowned bathroom and shower manufacturer MX Group has unveiled its latest offering to the bathroom sector - an impressive new range of thermostatic mixer shower valves offering its usual combination of incredible quality, great looking product, excellent warranties and keen pricing.

Re-thinking sanitation in support of World Toilet Day

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To mark World Toilet Day 2014 on Wednesday 19th November, Roca and We Are Water Foundation are hosting a special event at Roca London Gallery.

New Blum lift system available as a complete pack from LDL

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LDL is extending its popular range of Blum Aventos lift systems with the introduction of the new Aventos HK-XS entry model. To simplify ordering, all the components of the new system are offered as a complete pack and can be ordered using a single code, a unique feature of the LDL offer.

Vanities fair

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Timeless, grand luxury belle epoque styling, subtle colours and elegant soft curves make the new vanity units from the fabulous Arcade bathrooms the perfect choice for a new bathroom - or for providing an instant facelift by replacing an old basin and pedestal.

Welcome to the


The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement seems to have gone down rather well, doesn’t it? I wrote to my MP Chris Grayling early last year suggesting that the Government implement a Stamp Duty system like the one it’s just introduced. I’m so glad my ideas were implemented…

Yes - I am joking!

So often when showing people around properties during my weekend estate agency hobby-job, I’m aware that any which are a few thousand pounds or even £30,000 into the next tax bracket, will not sell if they sport dated, damaged or grubby kitchens and bathrooms, since potential buyers realise there won’t be enough money left to replace them with all the extra tax involved, and they’re simply not prepared to live with them the way they are. I reckon the changes – well at the lower to middle end of the market anyway where people generally have less money to throw around – will make an enormous difference to how quickly properties shift and of course the stamp duty savings can be spent replacing the kitchens and bathrooms, can’t they?

While there were a number of changes announced that will be good for this industry – such as the abolition of National Insurance contributions for employers taking on new apprentices, and the fuel duty freeze, I believe the stamp duty changes will have the most impact on our industry.

As you’re reading this, John Austen and I will be mingling with a few hundred fellow guests at the annual Loo of the Year Awards. Although this event celebrates the best of this nation’s ‘away from home’ loos, it’s not just about WCs and local authority-run public toilets in parks and town centres, but also about complete washrooms in hotels, restaurants, pubs, clubs, shopping malls and – yes – even showrooms. The British Toilet Association, which organises the awards, is open to new members be they corporate or individual and many of them will be your customers or potential customers. The awards themselves need sponsors. I can vouch for the fact that members and sponsors benefit from excellent ongoing global publicity, while the networking opportunities are tremendous. If you’d like to know more, do get in touch with me or email [email protected]





Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

What materials work well in a wet room?

* Abacus-elements-wet-room.jpgIan Pattison, managing director of Abacus Manufacturing Group, shares his expertise...

"Practicalities are key to a wet room - a waterproof foam material, such as Abacus Elements, is ideal, as when sealed, it makes the room completely waterproof. This is the same technology that is used in steam rooms - which are essentially the ultimate wet rooms.

In terms of finish, tiles are recommended for the floor; either large tiles or mosaic which are more slip-resistant. Tiles or glass can be used for the walls, or products such as Lustrolite - a glass-looking acrylic which can be cut and worked on site. The use of LED lighting can also enhance the aesthetics of a wet room."

KBBG welcomes Chalon kitchen furniture brand on board

* chalon.jpgThe Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group (KBBG), part of Der Kreis, has gained the support of an illustrious new member in the Somerset-based kitchen furniture brand, Chalon.

Established by the Chalon family in 1978 as an antique restoration business, Chalon has since expanded and diversified to gain an impressive global reputation from its headquarters in Hambridge. The company has showrooms in Chelsea, Harrogate, St. Albans and Manchester, with a further showroom recently opened in Bristol.

Smeg's bespoke fridge auctions for £2,600 to support Action Medical Research

* FRIDGE_charity.jpgLast week, Smeg supported its national charity of choice, Action Medical Research, at the children's charity's Champions of CycleSport Black Tie Dinner, held at the Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park, by donating a cycling-themed iconic FAB28 fridge for auction.

The unique fridge, which sold for £2,600 (nearly three times the usual cost of a FAB28 fridge) was created by artist and keen cyclist Richard Mitchelson, who has worked with the show's media partner - cycling magazine Rouleur - since 2009. Since then he's used art to document famous races and cyclists in his own bold style.

Instant style with Elite's new Anthracite

* Elite-Anthracite.jpgThose miracle makeovers where changing just a couple of things makes all the difference can motivate and inspire any homeowner.

Elite bathroom furniture from Bauhaus is one of those magic ranges that will lift a bathroom or cloakroom from functional to fabulous - at a very reasonable price.

Nolte Kitchens opens flagship store in Tallinn

* Tallinn_Nolte_Store.jpgThe opening ceremony of the first flagship store for Nolte Kitchens in Estonia took place last month, in the heart of the capital city of Tallinn.

Six kitchens are showcased in the extensive sales area of around 200 sq.m. They represent the current product range with important innovations for 2015, such as the new carcase height Matrix 900 and the matt lacquer concept with 16 colours and colour pairings for individual designs within four front ranges.

Burbidge finds perfect fit with new area sales manager for South West

* Will-Bolt.jpgUK kitchen frontals and accessories manufacturer, Burbidge, has appointed a new area sales manager for its south west region.

Making for a perfect fit with the Burbidge brand, Will Bolt has established expertise in the kitchen industry, having begun his career working at his family's' kitchen company before occupying a senior sales role for the UK woodwork machinery business, Ney.

'Festive fall' tips released by the Ladder Association

* Are-you-in-there-Santa.jpgIndustry body the Ladder Association is helping keep people safe over the Christmas period as part of its annual Ladder Exchange scheme, which gives people the chance to trade in old, dangerous ladders for discounted new ones.

Each month the Ladder Exchange focuses on one safety theme, and December's is all about the dangers unique to using a ladder around Christmas. On the Ladder Exchange website, a new Christmas section has been launched giving 'Five Festive Tips.'

British Ceramic Tile brings European style to floors with the launch of its new Fabulous collection

* BCT-Sublime-Truffle.jpgFloor tiles continue to be an emerging trend in the home. Patterned, plain, classic and contemporary; the choice of floor tile designs and materials continues to grow unabated.

To tap into this trend and strengthen its portfolio of floor tiles even further, British Ceramic Tile has launched Fabulous Floors; a high-end range of specially-selected Italian and Spanish porcelain.

Kickboard mounted mini vacuum cleaner makes short work of dust and debris

* sweepovac.jpgHafele UK has launched an exclusive new partnership with household appliance specialist Sweepovac, which will help the company launch its kicboard-mounted vacuum product into the UK market.

Sweepovac's quality compact vacuum has a self-contained, anti-bacterial vacuum bag and can be retrofitted into the plinth or kickboard of a kitchen - making it perfect for new kitchen developments and updates. Kitchen dust and debris is simply swept towards the vacuum, which sucks it up once the button is pressed with the foot.

Candy launches new Maxi oven

* Candy-FXP609-Maxi.jpgCandy has launched one of the largest-capacity ovens on the market - the 78 litre Maxi. The A rated model offers 45% more capacity than a traditional multifunction oven, whilst still fitting into a standard built-in housing unit.

"The Candy Maxi oven offers the consumer, more space, greater flexibility, added functionality and fantastic value for money," says Maurizio Severgnini, managing director of Candy's built-in division.

Franchise sales growth sparks search for more trained fitters

* Granite-Transformations.jpgGranite Transformations' retail network sales rose by a record 24.8% in the franchise's latest monthly figures, with a raft of recent showroom openings yet to impact on revenue, suggesting further growth to come.

This chimes in with official third-quarter returns that reveal the strongest growth in Britain's retail sales sector, since the pre-recession first quarter of 2008. Targeting affordable, hassle-free kitchen makeovers, with its innovative 'top that fits on top' worksurface concept, the company's business model has remained remarkably recession-proof, with several of its top franchise owners set to exceed £1 million in annual sales and the UK network as a whole recording positive growth.

Movember boys reveal themselves!

* Abode-Movember.jpgThe 'Movember' boys from Abode raised a hair raising £237 by growing their facial hair during November in aid of the Movember Foundation.

The Movember Foundation is the leading global organisation changing the face of men's health - as well as the faces of men in general - albeit temporarily.

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

UK retail property industry makes last ditch attempt at reform for ‘archaic’ business rates system

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The UK retail and property sectors are poised to hear whether the Chancellor will use his final chance to make meaningful reforms to the business rates burden in his Autumn Statement, according to the British Council of Shopping Centres (BCSC).

World-class base for a business with world-class ambitions...

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Mereway win Business Innovation category at The Midlands Family Business Awards 2014

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Mereway Kitchens has won the Business Innovation category at The Midlands Family Business Awards 2014, as well as being shortlisted for the Employer of the Year award.

Utopia on tour!

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Now completely refitted following the recent major product launch, Utopia's show van is about to embark on a nationwide tour.


Lakes Bathrooms launches new site for mobile web

Shower specialist Lakes Bathrooms has launched a new website with a fully responsive design to adapt to mobile and small screen formats.

Utopia proudly presents the 12 dogs of Christmas!

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Utopia is reprising its popular Facebook Christmas promotion with this year's festive competition focusing on The 12 Dogs of Christmas. Last year's promotion celebrated the fascinating fact that Utopia employed 12 Daves but for 2014 it is employees' dogs that will take centre stage.


Saniflo unveils new Kinedo brochure

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In response to a growing demand for shower cubicles, Saniflo has launched a new Kinedo brochure, which showcases the stunning new cubicle models with striking photography and also demonstrates the benefits of shower cubicles.

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