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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
20th February 2015


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

International News

The European Water Label: a force for good

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Designed to help all of us easily identify water-saving products, which, when installed and used correctly, use less water than other products, the European Water Label is having an enormous effect.

Abode Verla receives award nomination

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Abode tells us it is delighted that its Verla monobloc kitchen tap has been nominated for the 2015 Kbbreview Design Awards within the 'Kitchen Product Innovation of the Year' section.

Verla is an innovative new take on kitchen mixer tap styling with a 'V' shaped body design.

The smooth curved radii of the tap come together perfectly from the architecturally tall spout design, to the easy-to-operate style handles.

Choose a kitchen in any colour with new RAL options from Alno

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Alno can now offer almost unlimited colour options for the kitchen with its latest launch for 2015...

The German manufacturer now offers six different kitchen ranges that can be ordered in any RAL or NCS colour. With thousands of options available, this colour matching service provides guaranteed colour accuracy.

T: 0113 3315 100
W: www.alnokitchens.co.uk

Gone grey - Burbidge's contemporary classic Malmo in the shade of the decade

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With the grey heyday showing no sign of abating any time soon, Burbidge is delighted to introduce its best-selling Malmo kitchen in a gorgeous new Light Grey high-gloss finish.

Systemline S7 installed at prestigious showroom in London Design Centre - Victoria + Albert Baths

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New multi-room audio system Systemline S7 has been installed in a high-profile showroom at the Design Centre Chelsea Harbour.

Bespoke screens designed by SWA members are gracing the best bathrooms

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Exploiting the strength and slim proportions only steel can offer, bespoke internal glazed partitions, screens and shower enclosures are increasingly being designed and manufactured by Steel Window Association members for high-end commercial and residential projects.

A little Kitchen Magic will help spread some cheer...

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It's the same every year; you take down the decorations, pack up the tree and the tinsel and lock away the wrapping paper. The festivities are over, and in comparison to the previous couple of months; the house looks somewhat lacklustre.

Abode welcomes a further sink model to the successful Connekt family

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Stainless steel inset sinks are one of the most popular choices of sink within the home today as they offer flexibility in design and installation. With this in mind, Abode has launched yet another new model into its value for money Connekt Family.

ProApp delivers Geberit know-how straight to your Smartphone

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Tapping into a digital world, installers can now enjoy access to product details and installation instructions for Geberit products directly from their Smartphone, with the launch of the Geberit ProApp.

Kilrock combats household damp with launch of new Damp Clear moisture range

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Kilrock is extending its portfolio of problem-solving household products with the launch of new Damp Clear Moisture Trap - an effective and hassle-free solution for the removal of excessive moisture such as that which can be found in kitchens, utility rooms and bathrooms.

It's a fine life...

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Clean lines and a clever combination of a narrowing shape with curved pedestals have made Fine one of the most popular ranges in the Britton Bathrooms collection.

High impact basins from Arcade offer several design options

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A large basin presents a brilliant opportunity to make an impact in the bathroom and is an inspiring alternative to the traditional pedestal model.

New & innovative product for members unveiled

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The Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers is proud to unveil a co-developed innovative software solution for its members, allowing them to produce instant and professionally designed quotes, estimates, invoices and receipts for their customers.

Abode Tempeau: an installer's dream

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Raising awareness of the dangers of hot water in the home was the basis of a debate and press conference linked to the last BMA conference.

Buckinghamshire New University to provide FDA sponsorship of the 2015 KBSA Designer Awards

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The Kitchen, Bathroom & Bedroom Specialists Association has reported that it has reached agreement with Buckinghamshire New University for sponsorship of the 2015 KBSA Kitchen Concept Designer Award.

Total relaxation in a customised luxury bathroom - what Grohe Spa is all about

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As the hectic pace of our everyday lives puts strain on our bodies and minds, the Grohe Spa range offers a space of calm and relaxation for all age groups, from professionals with young families to older generations.

Welcome to the


There’s good news for the retail sector this week with the Office for National Statistics report showing that the sustained period of year-on-year growth we’ve been experiencing, is showing no sign of abating. Retail sales in January 2015 were estimated to have increased by 5.4% compared with January 2014 - the 22nd consecutive month of year-on-year growth and the longest period of sustained year-on-year growth since May 2008 when there were 31 periods of growth!

The underlying pattern in the rolling three-month on three-month movement in the quantity bought, showed continued growth for the 23rd consecutive month, increasing by 2.3%.

The value of Internet sales decreased by 0.2% in January 2015 compared with December 2014 and accounted for 11.6% of all retail sales in January 2015. Online sales increased by 12.0% compared with January 2014. 

All this spending has perhaps impacted on the employment figures, which show that the employment rate is enjoying a record high with record numbers of 16-24 year olds in work too.

According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, though, much needs to be done to address skills shortages and utilisation and we are warned that, if we are to improve overall UK productivity and pay, we must look at what British businesses are doing to develop and use their people’s skills.

Apparently almost half of the UK workforce has seen either a pay freeze or a pay cut (3% pay cut, 39% pay freeze) in the 12 months to December 2014. In contrast, a similar proportion (40%) have received a pay increase of 2% or more, while less than a fifth (18%) fall in the middle ground of people who have received a pay increase in the 0.1-1.99% corridor.

It appears from the report that the difference between companies that can afford to give a decent pay rise and those that are continuing to freeze pay, lies partly in the quality of leadership and management and level of workforce investment. There is evidence that organisations which have more sophisticated product market strategies, are more likely to have adopted better personnel management strategies, characterised by greater investment in the workforce.

Food for thought perhaps?





Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Five-star cleanliness, comfort and luxury from Geberit at the Chedi Andermatt Hotel

* Geberit_Chedi.jpgShower toilets offer guests the chance to experience spa-like cleanliness and give hoteliers the opportunity to raise the comfort levels above their five-star status. That is why Geberit AquaClean 8000plus was the natural choice for the bathrooms in the luxurious Chedi Andermatt Hotel located in the beautiful Swiss Alps.

With luxury and comfort being at the heart of the hotel's design, the bathrooms feature high quality fittings throughout, with large bathtubs, natural stone floors with underfloor heating and separate rain showers. Completing the spa-like luxury for guests are Geberit's top-of-the range shower toilets, fitted in each of the hotel's 106 rooms and suites.

Taking steps against workplace slips

* HSE-grip.jpgSlips and trips continue to be the biggest cause of workplace injuries, so it is really important that footwear being offered to your workforce offers them the right level of slip resistance.

The Health & Safety Laboratory has launched a new footwear rating scheme called 'GRIP.' GRIP provides free information to health & safety managers so that they can make informed, evidence based decisions before purchasing resistance footwear.

The Health & Safety Executive's new white paper 'Get a GRIP' explains how the scheme works and where you can get further information about which footwear has been rated.

To request your copy:

E: [email protected] quoting GRIPWPHSE.
W: www.hsl.gov.uk

Build loyalty by letting your customers know about this offer...

* Swan.jpgFrom now until the 31st March 2015, one of the longest established British brands, Swan, is offering a lucky first time buyer the chance to win a range of small and large kitchen appliances from the successful Vintage Collection. What better way to be remembered for providing an 'added value' service than having one of your customers win the prize?

Keep kitchen drawers tidy with Leicht's new Q-box

* Leicht-anim.gifAny good cook will tell you how important it is to have all one's ingredients and utensils close at hand so that cooking is quick and easy. Renowned for its German kitchen design, Leicht has developed an independent organisation system for drawers called Q-Box.

The ultimate storage solution, Q-Box stores herbs, spices, utensils, sugars, flours and all the everyday paraphenalia of cooking in an easy-to-use solution with different inserts for different uses. For condiments there are jars, for wine there is a special rack, for foil a holder, while for utensils and knives there is an insert or block that keeps them neatly in their place.

Britannia expands portfolio with splashbacks

* Britannia-Q-Line.jpgBritannia Living has announce new splashbacks to complement its premium kitchen appliance range.

Catergorised by stainless steel, glass and decorative steel, the new splashbacks are available in a variety of configurations from 90 - 120cm, complementary of Britannia's range cooker specifications.

A wetroom with a twist...

* ROMAN-Flipper-panel.jpgRenowned shower designer and manufacturer, Roman, has launched the optimum moving wetroom product, to present a sleek and stylish design; with increased water integrity; suitable for everyone in the family.

For a more enclosed wetroom experience, Roman's Embrace Wetroom Panel with Flipper Panel is the perfect solution. It presents a stylish wetroom but with the added reassurance of increased water integrity.

Blanco Sona Silgranit sinks are available in classic and contemporary colours to suit any kitchen scheme

* Blanco-sona.jpgWhether it's for a complete kitchen update or a quick fix makeover, a new sink can transform the look of a kitchen. As one of the largest manufacturers of Silgranit, ceramic and stainless steel sinks, Blanco Germany understands how functionality, practicality and aesthetic design are equally important.

New for 2015 is the Blanco Sona range of Silgranit sinks, available in three sizes to suit every kitchen. The 5S, 6S and XL6S offer everything from compact solutions to super-sized designs for larger households.

Convert your Macdee Wirquin products into a Rugby World Cup Final package

* Wirquin_A4-Folder.jpgMacdee Wirquin is offering the chance to convert its plumbing products into Rugby World Cup Final tickets.

The VIP package includes a pair of Rugby World Cup final tickets, accommodation, return match day travel, merchandise vouchers and a Canterbury England World Cup 2015 jersey.

Miele announces the winners of its Grand Designs Live, London 2015 Stand Competition

Miele has announced the winners of its coveted competition, where independent kitchen retailers had the chance of winning a 30sq.m stand at Grand Designs Live, London 2015 worth over £16,000.

To enter, studios had to design a kitchen for either less than £20,000 with five Miele appliances, less than £30,000 to include seven Miele appliances or less than £60,000 with 10 Miele appliances, including MTouch. Kitchen values had to include VAT, installation and appliances and the kitchens themselves had to reflect the budget of the category entered and were judged on style, innovation and how the appliances had been incorporated, as well as a 500-word document about the design.

Abode launches new sink & tap brochure for 2015

AbodeSInks_Brochure_142.jpgAbode's new 2015 kitchen sink and tap brochure is now out in the marketplace in independent retail outlets and available for download online via Abode's website: www.abode.eu.

The brochure shows the full portfolio of the company's exclusive products for this year including all of the new sinks and taps launched during the last few months, all fully illustrated and priced.

Bathroom Brands announces two new regional managers to its support growing UK business with Britton, Burlington, Clearwater and Arcade brands.

* Natalie-Clayton.jpgNatalie Clayton joins Bathroom Brands as a new regional manager for Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, South, East and West Yorkshire and some of North Yorkshire.

Natalie brings with her a wealth of experience having previously worked in the industry for both Bisque Radiators and Zehnder.

British Ceramic Tile, has promoted Mark Rigby to the position of national account manager

* Mark_Rigby.jpgReporting directly to global sales director, Neil Anderton, Mark is tasked with driving forward key national accounts, with a focus on developing new customer focused ranges and concepts as well as driving existing business.

"This new role looks set to be a fantastic challenge," enthuses Mark. "I will be fully immersed in all aspects of the account from buying and supply chain, through to customer service and logistics. It's a great step forward for me personally.

The KBzine Archive Search

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News in Brief

Congratulations to Ripples Bathrooms – just awarded ‘Best Of Houzz’ for Design -  [email protected] ... Caple’s new WC177 wine cabinet has a massive 89 Bordeaux (750ml) bottle capacity – T: 0117 938 1900 … The GroheBlue kitchen tap has been awarded the KitchenInnovation consumer award by the LifeCare Initiative - www.grohe.co.uk... See Hafele UK’s improved and expanded Essential Ironmongery range at www.hafele.co.uk

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

Amica opens first strategic showroom in UK

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Europe's fastest growing kitchen and home appliance brand, Amica, has opened the first in a series of planned solus Amica showrooms in the UK.
Amica's first solus showroom opened during January 2015 within the head office building of one of its partner distributors, Portway.

Do it right and you can build the perfect wetroom

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writes Ian Pattison, Managing Director, Abacus Manufacturing Group

"There is one thing that must rank before all others with any shower or wetroom installation - it must be leak free.

Deciding how this is achieved should come at the earliest stage of planning and design. Of course, the waterproofing properties of any product cannot be considered in isolation; aesthetics and ergonomics are also key factors in the decision-making process, along with practical thoughts about how the work will be executed on site.

Some like it hot... (but women like it hotter)

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If men and women lived separately, men would pay a whopping £425 less* than women on heating their homes, new national research has revealed. The research also exposed the fact that there is a battle of the sexes going on in UK homes: Thermostat wars - where women like it hot, but most men want to cool it down.

May Design Series returns for 2015

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2015 will see the first full-scale edition of UBM's comprehensive interiors event, May Design Series, which brings together five distinct districts:


Astracast has appointed Lisa Vallance to the position of regional development manager for Yorkshire & the North East.

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Lisa has over 16 years of experience in the industry including trade merchant, specification and retail roles. She has worked with many of the big names in the market including Kohler, Mira, Twyford Bathrooms and Jacuzzi UK.

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