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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
19th December 2014


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

International News

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

Responding 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.

Chic and stylish towel warmers from Ben de Lisi

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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.

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.

Welcome to the


This is our last issue of KBzine prior to the holiday break and with it falling so close to Christmas this year, I’m dreading having to make my way through the High Street tomorrow to pick up my last minute bits and pieces for Christmas, together with fresh fruit and veg from the local market, as it’s not something I tend to do on the last Saturday before Christmas.

My family and close friends have avoided the pre-Christmas scrums for well over a decade, by making a pact that gifts are to be inexpensive or even home-made, which has turned out to be a real blessing. It’s kept our costs and stress levels down and has prevented the accumulation at home of unused gifts or the need to join the January returns queues. Having seen (via my computer screen) the violent scenes that erupted on Black Friday recently I shall be approaching the town with some trepidation tomorrow morning!

No doubt the industry is hoping that no-one else is like my circle and that shoppers will be treating their loved ones to smart new kitchen appliances and the like – or even the promise in the New Year of a new kitchen or bathroom! One of my contacts – a supply chain maximisation expert - has suggested that the best way to make the most of your showroom is to have customer ‘wants’ at the front of the showroom and customer ‘needs’ behind the counter wherever possible.  He says that the customer may come in for something they need, but walking through the showroom, they might fall in love with something they want. I hear those tills ringing as I write!

Another suggestion is to turn the salesroom into a video showroom, with two or three videos playing on different monitors.  Not only does this turn the showroom into an educational experience, but customers might decide to select something they see demonstrated in the video. Something worth bearing in mind perhaps?

I’ll keep my fingers crossed that this season is a healthy, joyful and prosperous one for you. We’ll be back on 9th January and in the meantime we wish you a wonderful Christmas and New Year.





Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Swan celebrates a stellar year

* Swan_Vintage.jpgAs 2014 draws to a close, one of Britain's longest established brands, Swan, is celebrating what has been an exciting and successful trading year.

Well known for developing the first heating element that could be immersed in water and producing good value small electrical appliances, Swan launched its Vintage Collection in 2013 and enjoyed a great first year, with sales doubling forecast.

Franke Water Systems raises valuable funds for Cancer charities

* Franke-top-of-mountain.jpgFranke Sissons' (aka Franke Water Systems) senior management team has successfully summited Mount Snowden to raise money for three important cancer charities including Chesterfield's own Ashgate Hospice.

The team shown here, (from right) Victoria Himsworth, Joanne Meadows, managing director Andy Dukelow, Mark Wilson and Andy Martin, also happen to have three nasty knee injuries between them - making the climb even more arduous.

Geberit AquaClean range enhanced with new enhancement sets

* GEBERIT-AquaClean4000.jpgEnabling consumers to raise the comfort levels in their bathroom and enjoy the wellness benefits a shower toilet offers without the need for a complete refit, Geberit has launched a range of enhancement sets to its market-leading AquaClean range.

Keeping installation simple and offering retailers the opportunity to upgrade sales of conventional WCs, the new sets feature a ceramic pan that is specifically designed for use with the Geberit AquaClean 4000, 5000 and 5000plus enhancement seats. Making upgrading to a shower toilet a simple process, with easy connection to the existing water and power supply, the enhancement sets are the perfect complement to the full Geberit AquaClean collection.

Wirquin staff support Cash for Kids

* Wirquin-Cash-for-Kids.jpgSanta's sleigh left Wirquin, the Doncaster-based sanitary equipment specialist, loaded with presents donated by staff for disadvantaged children in South Yorkshire.

The toys were dropped off at the local Asda supermarket and will be distributed by Santa's helpers, aka the Cash for Kids charity, to young people living in poverty to help make their Christmas morning that little bit brighter.

Blanco's story of quality will be showcased at LivingKitchen

* Blanco_LivingKitchen.jpgAs one of the world's leading manufacturers of sinks, mixer taps and waste systems, Blanco Germany will be showcasing its impressive portfolio at the LivingKitchen exhibition, being held in Cologne, Germany, from 19th - 25th January 2015.

Blanco is celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2015 and will be focusing on 'A Story of Quality' at the exhibition highlighting new products, innovative materials, outstanding design concepts along with the company's well established high quality products.

Hotel picks Max-Top for 5* quality

* Max-Top-Quartz_Alexander-House.jpgSurface specialist Max-Top is thrilled to announce that the Alexander Hotel group has begun to install Max-Top Quartz surfaces in number of its luxury hotels throughout the UK. The 5* Alexander House Hotel and Utopia Spa in Sussex is the first to receive the product, that has been installed in a number of its stylish en suite bathrooms.

"We are delighted that Max-Top Quartz has been chosen for the esteemed Alexander House Hotel," says Stephen Moss, managing director of Max-Top. "The group is very prestigious and focuses heavily on providing stylish, luxurious surroundings to its customers, so it is a great stamp of approval for Max-Top Quartz!"

British Ceramic Tile brings the outdoors in with its new high definition (HD) slate collection

* BCT-Slate.jpgBritish Ceramic Tile's new high definition (HD) slate collection effortlessly fuses together the real look of slate with the added benefits of a ceramic tile.

Launched to tap into the current design movement for organic materials and textures that typify the modern utility trend that has swept through our homes, HD slate is easy to install, hard-wearing, waterproof and requires no special sealing or maintenance unlike natural stone.

KBSA warns consumers to beware the false sale!

The Kitchen, Bathroom & Bedroom Specialists Association has issued a warning to consumers to research any purchase of a kitchen, bathroom and bedroom thoroughly before they buy - particularly in the months of January, February and March - when many retailers are involved in 'sale' activities.

It is a well-established fact that pricing can be somewhat 'variable' due to existing legislation, and the Association suggests that consumer get at least two competitive quotes to ensure they do get real value for money.

MySpa - New luxury portable and overflow spa pools

* Glass-1989_MySpa.jpgItalian wellbeing specialist Glass 1989 has launched a new range of luxury spa pools - MySpa. This new collection features both portable and overflow spas designed to create the ultimate oasis of wellbeing and relaxation.

First showcased at the Cersaie exhibition in Bologna this year, the new MySpa range is suitable for both domestic and professional applications.
Glass's new portable spas are extremely versatile and easy to install and operate without the need for specialist plumbing systems or dedicated technical compartments.

Sustainability Award winner calls for entries

* Biomass-Facility-Premiere.jpgThe winner of the 2014 Sustainability Award is urging other companies to enter the competition in 2015. Earlier this year, kitchen and furniture manufacturer Premiere Furniture had its efforts towards sustainable working recognised when it won the prestigious award organised by The Furniture Makers' Company, the furnishing industry's charity.

The Award is based on the foundation provided by the Furniture Industry Sustainability Programme, FISP, administered by FIRA, with a rigorous audit of members' activities. All FISP Full Members which manufacture in Great Britain are eligible to apply.

Forward thinking green initiatives have an eye on the future

* Lumina.jpgAs the New Year begins, Wales-based kitchen manufacturer Sigma 3 (which manufactures the Masterclass Kitchen brand of furniture) is looking to the future, with the introduction of new green initiatives. These initiatives are designed to ensure the company continues to drive down its carbon footprint, even as production of its high quality kitchens increases.

As part of a business-wide sustainability programme introduced eight years ago, the team at Sigma 3 are encouraged to reduce waste, improve efficiency and make cost savings, helping the company to accelerate its 96% recycling rate to 100% by the end of 2015.

Ring in the New Year with the finest style and convenience from InSinkErator

* InSinkErator-Evolution200.jpgHome improvement is a New Year's resolution that features highly on many homeowners' lists, and, as the hub of the home, the kitchen often takes priority.

InSinkErator, is in the ideal position to revolutionise the kitchen of 2015, and allow consumers to complement the latest trends without the substantial expense of a complete refit.

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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

Home extension planning applications estimated at 400,000

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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.

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.

KBB industry raises £1340 for WaterAid

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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.

Elis Furniture awards further apprentices

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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.

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.

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).

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

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A £19 million investment in a stunning new UK headquarters, incorporating one of Europe's largest bathroom showrooms, has been designed with flair, imagination and the capability to accommodate future growth. This marks yet another stage in the success story of Bathroom Brands and Crosswater Holdings.

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.


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

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UK kitchen frontals and accessories manufacturer, Burbidge, has appointed a new area sales manager for its south west region.


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.

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