KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
12th December 2014
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"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.
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.
* 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.
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.
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.
News of the Treasury’s proposals that the Government instigate a taxpayer-funded programme of house building, to combat the housing crisis, struck me as something we’d heard before, but with a twist.
The last State-run mass house building programme was in the 1950s, mainly to replace the four million homes that had been destroyed during World War II and to continue the programme of moving Londoners out of crowded slum housing.
My parents were amongst thousands who moved into fabulous new houses on one of a number of ‘new town’ estates which were council owned and run, where they stayed until they’d saved enough money to place a deposit on a private home and apply for a mortgage. The system seemed to work very well until the Thatcher government decreed that those living in council accommodation could apply to buy their homes, at vastly below-market prices.
Thousands of tenants took advantage of the ‘Right to buy’ scheme over the years but it seems that little thought was put into what would happen if the population were to rise significantly.
Now we’re in trouble!
Under this latest scheme (which is already being trialled in Cambridgeshire) taxpayers will fund the construction of tens of thousands of homes, which will then be put up for sale on the open market.
The move is, I understand, borne out of frustration that the construction industry is not building enough housing to keep up with demand.
While, initially, I considered this to be an excellent idea – and great news for the KBB sector, I soon saw the problems… Living in a part of England that has very little land available and where ‘garden grabbing’ is rife, I know that the lack of land has been a major barrier to house building locally; but no doubt the Government will find a way to bypass planning laws and build on the Green Belt if it so wishes! In other parts of the country there’s an abundance of land but very little work available, so who would be able to afford to buy homes in those locations or be able to live in them if they need to work?
Is this yet another idea that’s not been thought through, I wonder?
This Week's News
The overall level of residential planning decisions granted in Great Britain has remained fairly stable over the last five years despite the economic uncertainty and relatively low levels of consumer confidence.
A steady improvement in the economy and housing market in 2013 had a positive impact for the overall home repair and refurbishment sector, which increased by around 2%. The more positive economic outlook also influenced the number of householder improvements granted by the planning authorities, with an upturn in 2013.
A new report on the UK shower market from MTW Research has uncovered inflation busting growth returning for some sectors for the first time since 2007, with sales set to strengthen in 2015.
Based on industry accounts data, the report forecasts that sales of showers will return to pre-recession levels by 2018, suggesting the weak trading environment of recent years has finally been consigned to the history books.
Adding warmth, character and personality to any style of kitchen, the new colours of Biscuit, Light Blue, Light Grey, Heritage Grey, Dust Grey and a Primed finish ready for painting on site, bring the total number of painted colours available from Masterclass to 15.
The Kitchen, Bathroom & Bedroom Specialists has announced that at its December Board meeting, Tina Riley, national chair designate, was confirmed as the national chair by a unanimous vote.
KBB at May Design Series, KBB Birmingham and the Bathroom Manufacturers Association have announced that £1,340 has been raised for WaterAid UK by the Bathroom Industry Golf Challenge, held a few weeks ago during the annual BMA conference.
Jon Johnston, Sales Director for the kbb events, Yvonne Orgil, Chief Executive of the BMA, and Darren Summerfield, Publisher at Hubert Burda Media presented the monies raised to WaterAid UK at the Ideal Standard headquarters in London recently.
The competition is set to run from 12th December for 12 days and followers on Festool's social media company pages will be invited to enter a prize draw where a different tool a day is up for grabs. Participants will be instructed on Facebook and Twitter to visit Festool's main website, where there will be a section to enter their details to go into the draw.
Looking after part of the southern area of the UK is Kayleigh Marshall, who joins Roca from Hire Station, where she was an account manager. Prior to that she was with Hewden, where she joined as part of a graduate training scheme.
Known for his work as a prolific fashion and interior designer, Ben de Lisi teamed up with Abacus Manufacturing Group back in 2005 to develop his own range of exclusive bathroom products. The latest portfolio includes the striking, contemporary styled Zola towel warmer which offers the ultimate in bathroom chic.
The new Zola has been conceived so the brushed stainless steel towel warmer contrasts with the polished stainless steel of the towel hanger. The eye catching Zola is available in 1800 x 290mm and 1800 x 500mm models offering 930 Watts/3170 BTU or 1443 Watts/4922 BTU respectively. Complementing the towel warmer is an equally stylish range of associated products including chrome and brushed TRVs.
Britannia Living has announced that its Wyre range cooker collection has been repositioned to support independent retailers. The Wyre, which is one of four range cooker collections from Britannia, is characterised by its solid doors and matte finish.
"As the market is becoming increasingly competitive it is more important than ever for us to show how we can support the independent retailers by providing them with products that they can sell with confidence," explains Michael Haigh, the company's marketing manager.
Cabinet makers of Ellis Furniture Patrick Madigan and Jake Sykes, both 18, have successfully completed their apprenticeship levels 1 and 2 in Wood Machining, which focused on the specialist machinery side of furniture making.
The pair will now become full-time employees at the design led company, as they work towards gaining their level 3, on which they will continue to undertake numerous projects which start with initial ideas and then fully develop into pieces of contemporary furniture.
The award-winning European Water Label will be making an appearance at the Big One - ISH Frankfurt, the world's biggest showcase for innovative bathroom design, and water and energy efficiency.
"We're really excited about exhibiting at ISH in 2015," says Yvonne Orgill, Director of The European Water Label. "The exhibition is the biggest bathroom show in Europe and together with our European partners CEIR (the European Association for the Taps & Valves Industry) and FECS, (the organisation that promotes the interests of the ceramic sanitaryware industry at European level) we will be showing why this voluntary product labelling scheme is so important for us all."
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