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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
9th January 2015


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

International News

Swan celebrates a stellar year

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

Geberit AquaClean range enhanced with new enhancement sets

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Enabling 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.

Blanco's story of quality will be showcased at LivingKitchen

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As 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.

Hotel picks Max-Top for 5* quality

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Surface 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.

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.

Welcome to the


We hope the festive season was a good one for you and that – unlike us and most of the people we know, you weren’t laid up with a heavy cold or the flu!

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We received some lovely Christmas greetings prior to our break but if there were to be a prize for the most memorable, it would have to go to the “rogues, rascals, rakes, plus a few scoundrels and a couple of degenerate wretches” (their words, not ours!) from Blanco. We couldn’t resist sharing their greetings with you!

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Happy New Year to you and here’s to a healthy, happy and prosperous 12 months!





Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

KBSA report says 2014 business increased by 7%

The Kitchen, Bathroom & Bedroom Specialists Association says initial figures indicate that overall value sales from its members increased by 7% in the year ending December 31st 2014. This figure confirms anecdotal reports that were seen throughout the year, with members being extremely positive about sales.

The overall average value of projects was 20% higher than the 2010 average, widely regarded as mid-recession, and members have reported good growth in both volume and value since then.

Soapbox: Addressing skills gap and improving industry image will be key for construction in 2015

* Richard-Threlfall,.jpgRichard Threlfall, KPMG's Head of Infrastructure, Building & Construction, argues that in 2015 the construction industry will need to address the widening skills gap and take further steps to improve the image of the industry...

"Many in the industry are nervous about what the General Election will mean for construction, but I am confident we will not see a repeat of the mass cancellation of schemes that took place in 2010.

Save the date!

* BMA-Coference-2014.jpgOrganisers of the well-established Annual Bathroom and Kitchen Conference have declared the 2014 event the biggest and most successful yet with well over 240 delegates attending over the two days of activities.

They have now secured the same venue - the Crowne Plaza at Heythrop Park in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, for the 2015 event, which will be held from 12th - 13th October.

iKBBI expert panel strengthened

* Ian-Hayes.jpgAs a non-profit making organisation, the Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers relies heavily on support from the industry and those individuals who operate within it. Working with a cross section of the sector, including installers, retailers, supplier / distributors, manufacturers and the press, the iKBBI has built a vast network of contacts since its inception almost eight years ago.

Light up the life of a bathroom or kitchen with impressive new Abacus lighting portfolio

* Abacus-lighting.jpgAbacus Manufacturing Group has launched an impressive lighting portfolio to complement its ranges of bathroom and kitchen products. The LED lighting kits combine excellent performance levels with great aesthetic appeal while being extremely simple to install.

The downlight and lamp kit from Abacus Manufacturing Group is a cost-effective yet attractive solution for ceiling recessed lighting in both domestic and commercial installations. The 5W LED lamp incorporates the latest generation of chip-on-board (COB) technology which combines many LED chips in one module. This ensures higher light levels with a more uniform appearance, good levels of light dispersion, increased stability and reliability, improved heat management and a life of up to 30,000 hours.

Milestone for Nolte Kitchens in Russia

* Nolte-Kuechen-Flagship-store.jpgLess than a week after the opening of a studio in Tallinn, Estonia, a Nolte Kitchens flagship store was unveiled in Moscow.

Owner and Managing Director Rinata Safina welcomed more than 150 guests during the ceremony, including representatives of the trade and lifestyle press as well as renowned architects and designers.

Whirlpool's new 6th Sense induction oven can save 50% in time and energy

* BI-induction-oven-Whirlpool.jpgWhirlpool has announced the launch of a new multifunction 6th Sense induction oven, the AKZM 8790/IX. The new oven is at the forefront of cooking technology for faster cooking times and greater energy efficiency; it saves us up to 50% in time and energy.

A traditional oven is probably the one we are all used to, however the big difference between the two becomes immediately apparent in the way of an easy to use cooking experience that will save users personal time, money and energy. The wonder of induction technology, which is clean, fast and super-efficient, makes the whole cooking process a joy.

Abode supports the Barnsley foodbank charity over Christmas

* Abode-support-foodbank.jpgInstead of spending money on designing, printing and posting hundreds of Christmas cards, this year Abode used the money instead to support its local community; in particular, the Barnsley Food banks, of which there are currently seven within the city.

Just like everywhere else in the UK in recent years, South Yorkshire has been hit hard by the economic downturn. Now, with the new government welfare reforms, many lower income families and individuals alike, are struggling even more to meet the costs of day to day living, resulting in many not being able to afford to buy food.

Electrolux's Design Lab 2015 theme and upgraded prize fund announced

* Electrolux-design-lab.jpgElectrolux's popular global design competition, Design Lab, annually receives more than 1,700 submission forms from over 60 countries.

This year there is even more reason to join the competition, as the cash prizes have been doubled and the winner now receives as much as 10 000 € and a six-month paid internship at one of the global Electrolux design centres.

Kitchen refurb puts chef out front

* kitchen-refurb-grassington.jpgThe Grassington House Hotel kitchen is undergoing a massive £100k refurbishment during January, but far from closing, John Rudden and his team are turning the two week transition period into a new dining experience at the award-winning establishment.

From 7th January to Thursday 22nd, a 'pop-up' kitchen will be created in part of the dining room so that diners will be able to enjoy watching the masterchef and his team preparing their meals 'Chef's Table' style. John's masterclasses have always been held in the dining room with minimal equipment, but the Chef Out Front experience will feature a full-scale mini kitchen.

Introducing the complete outdoor kitchen: the latest cooking trend for your home

* Outdoor-kitchen.jpgCalifornia-based brand Lynx tells us it is delighted to introduce its range of beautiful, bespoke complete outdoor kitchens to the UK market; the ideal solution for outdoor entertaining.

The kitchen is the heart of home entertaining, and with the trend for outdoor living becoming increasingly popular, these outdoor kitchens are the ideal solution for welcoming friends and family to your home all year round.

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

Franke Water Systems raises valuable funds for Cancer charities

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Franke 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.

Wirquin staff support Cash for Kids

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Santa'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.

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.


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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