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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
12th December 2014


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

International News

What materials work well in a wet room?

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Ian 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.

Instant style with Elite's new Anthracite

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Those 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

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The 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.

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.

Welcome to the


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?





Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Home extension planning applications estimated at 400,000

* housing-report-graph.jpgThe 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.

Shower market builds head of steam for 2015

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.

New palette of painted colours adds an individual touch to the hub of the home

Sherborne-Biscuit2.jpgResponding to the trend for painted finishes in the kitchen, Masterclass Kitchens has introduced five new natural tones to its range of painted colours.

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.

KBSA confirms Tina Riley as national chair

* tina-riley.jpgThe 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 industry raises £1340 for WaterAid

* Wateraid-presentation.jpgKBB 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.

A very merry 12 Tools of Christmas from Festool

* Festool.jpgAs a thank you, Festool is offering its customers and fans a chance to win thousands of pounds worth of Festool tools in this festive period with a special Social Media competition.

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.

Four new faces join Roca Group sales team

* Kayleigh-etc.jpgPopular bathroom brands Roca and Laufen have strengthened their UK sales team with four key appointments.

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.

Chic and stylish towel warmers from Ben de Lisi

* BDL-towel-warmer.jpgKnown 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 supports independent retailers

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.

Elis Furniture awards further apprentices

Director Richard Ellis awards apprentice Patrick Madigan with his voucher (1)_142.jpgCabinet 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.

Water Label appears at the Big One

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."

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

KBBG welcomes Chalon kitchen furniture brand on board

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The 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.

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).

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

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Utopia on tour!

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

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