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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
27th March 2015


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

International News

Gorenje signs Sirius Buying Group as an official supplier

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Appliance manufacturer Gorenje has announced the appointment of Sirius Buying Group as an official UK supplier. As a result of this partnership, Sirius will be able give its members access to Gorenje's entire portfolio of products, including new lines added for 2015.

Manufacturing apprentice talks about learning safety and new skills, in unison

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The British Safety Council's priority is to raise young people's awareness of health and safety risks. A new video, Manufacturing risks: an apprentice's view, features Leila, a young apprentice engineer, walking a production line while she talks about risk and learning new skills.

Tradesmen call upon future government to increase availability of skilled workers through support for apprenticeships

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UK tradesmen, ahead of 2015 elections, are calling for Government support to increase the availability of skilled workers through the encouragement of apprenticeships, according to new research conducted by multi-channel retailer Screwfix.

Infrarad - the smart way to heat it up

Working in a different way to other forms of heating, infrared heating potentially consumes half the energy required to run conventional radiators so can heat a commercial or residential property for less than the cost of older, inefficient gas and oil boilers. Infrared heating also substantially cuts electricity bills where it replaces an electric boiler, electric convector heaters, storage heaters or electric space heaters.

A colourful future for classic kitchen design

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Contemporary-classic is without doubt the stand out trend for 2015 - the merging of classical and contemporary says schueller. From the muted colours of a more historic palette used across contemporary designs and finishes, to modern high gloss fronts on classical country style cabinets, it's all about creating options that suit both personal style and architectural surrounding.

Easy installation and stylish showering with Abacus Manufacturing Group's Vessini range

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Combining cutting edge design, innovation and quality, the Vessini range of shower controls from Abacus Manufacturing Group has been conceived to enhance the bathroom experience for the end user while proving an integrated solution that makes installation easy.

Vessini brassware embraces manual and thermostatic shower and diverter valves. These include standard fittings and those that work in combination with the Vessini universal Easi-Box system which provides the installer with a simple installation procedure.

BAL breaks new ground with launch of high spec training centre

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A state-of-the art £300,000 Innovation & Technology Centre (ITC) has been officially opened by the leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council Councillor Mohammad Pervez at Building Adhesives in Trentham.

Councillor Pervez opened the Centre alongside the company's managing director Peter Bell at a special launch event last Wednesday.

Victoria + Albert Baths launches its first ever collection of bathroom furniture

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Victoria + Albert Baths has now launched its first ever collection of bathroom furniture. Suitable for a range of interior schemes and styles, the collections signify Victoria + Albert's move into developing beautiful, practical bathroom furniture alongside elegant freestanding baths and basins.

Seven tips for better bathroom lighting, from 'across the pond'

Doug Walter, AIA, Senior Architect at Godden/Sudik Architects in Centennial, Colorado, US, contacted us a couple of weeks back saying: “I’ve been a subscriber to KBzine since the Schwarz's era, and enjoy very much the British take on the industry, so much so that I even flew over to attend Interbuild one year”.

Doug has 35 years’ experience in residential remodelling and custom homes and has won more than 120 awards for his kitchens, bathrooms, and other remodelling projects.

Methven set to turn showering on its head with launch of Aurajet technology

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Methven, the global designer and manufacturer of premium showers and tapware, has developed a pioneering new showering technology. Exclusively engineered for Methven's striking new Aio range, the patented Aurajet technology delivers superior spray, maximum warmth and offers an unparalleled showering experience.

Contemporary Partridge Grey finish for PWS' Milbourne range

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Hot on the heels of launching Milbourne Stone, PWS has introduced an ex-stock contemporary partridge grey finish to the range. This brings the number of stocked Milbourne colours to six, alongside alabaster, almond, chalk, sage and stone, with a further 18 colours on a paint-to-order basis.

New Glacier from Mistral - a cooler shade of white...

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Glacier, the solid white decor from the Mistral solid surface worktop range, has been re-engineered to create a crisper, purer, white effect.

Technology meets tradition with high level WC's from Burlington

If authentic period detail is a must, a traditional high level WC is the only option. The designers at Burlington Bathrooms are experts when it comes to nostalgia - combining yesteryear design with the finest in modern technology.

Abode's Edge tap... pushing the boundaries

In recent years the humble kitchen tap has received a massive transformation and now takes its rightful place in the home; no longer the simple piece of utilitarian and functional design. Abode kitchen taps are now high on the agenda in the design stakes using only the finest components, from the silky smooth valve cartridges to the anti-splash aerators at the end of the spout.

New iKBBI consumer protection insurance to launch

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As part of The Installation Standards Partnership (iSP) initiative, the Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers (iKBBI) is in the process of agreeing terms with a leading provider of consumer protection insurance to introduce a mandatory policy for retailers to ultimately protect their customers and installers in the event of a financial collapse.

Saniflo supports National Apprentice competition

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Saniflo has a long history of supporting plumbing students. From working with colleges throughout the UK to providing on-line training modules on its website, the company is committed to investing in the plumbers of the future.

Welcome to the


* fire.jpgThe good news is that my house didn’t burn down yesterday; the fact that it could so easily have done means that I’m determined to draw attention to the need for us all to do the ‘Tick Tock Test’ this weekend…

My Facebook status probably says it best: “Just had a lucky escape... although it's only March & a rainy day, sunshine had reached my mirror - some six feet away from the window - & the beam had set light to this canvas box. Lucky Melissa Hobbs & I were home to investigate & prevent house from burning down. Watch where you put your mirrors peeps & don’t be fooled by the March sun!”

Comments from friends have taught me that it was the magnifying side of the mirror, facing the sun, which put us in danger. I’m well aware from writing about them that bathroom mirrors and cabinets often have magnifying sides so do please be careful about how you angle them when you leave the room – even if it doesn’t appear to be that sunny.

And although my smoke alarm is working fine, it hadn’t gone off before I discovered the smouldering canvas box. Mel puts this down to the strong smell of aftershave we were discussing in the downstairs hallway which kept us in that part of the house and thus closer to the source of the problem and more able to discover it before it could really do any damage. She’s convinced it was her father, who sadly left these parts (or so we had thought!) some eight years ago, come back to warn us. Whatever it was that tipped us off that something odd was happening, we’re grateful that it’s just a canvas box that was burnt and that John Austen’s not writing this leader in my place…

…Which brings me back to the ‘Tick Tock Test’. If you live in the UK you will be putting your clocks forward on Saturday night. As you’re doing it, make a point of testing all your smoke alarms and if they’re not working properly, resolve to replace them or fit new batteries, first thing Sunday. And while you’re at it, check where you and your family are keeping your mirrors.




Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Home repairs left undone by over 65s through fear of finding good tradesmen

Anxiety surrounding finding trustworthy tradespeople is leaving older people across the country struggling with home repairs. New research released by TrustMark, the Government endorsed find-a-tradesperson scheme, has revealed that almost a quarter (23%) of 65+ year olds don’t know where to find information and are not confident when it comes to choosing a tradesman to carry out work in their homes.

As a result one in five older people are leaving household jobs and repairs or attempting to carry out work themselves. 

Angular and artistic: the new Tratto from MHS Radiators

* MHS-Tratto_1.jpgMHS Radiators has added the modern and elegant Tratto to its collection of radiators and towel rails.

This graceful and flowing heat emitter makes an immediate and striking impression, thanks to its vibrant and fluid three-dimensional design. Utilising seductive curves and stunning optional LED side strips, the Tratto creates a warming halo effect, becoming the centrepiece of a modern bathroom.

Forget bonus culture and use behavioural science to boost employee motivation, says new CIPD report

Reward specialists and HR professionals could significantly increase employee motivation with a better understanding of the science behind the impact of pay and reward on employee behaviour. That's according to new research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, the professional body for HR and people development.

The report, 'Show me the money! The Behavioural Science of Reward', discusses how money may not be the straightforward workplace motivator we expect, and highlights how alternative approaches to reward may be more effective in increasing employees' intrinsic motivation to succeed.

Striking new thermostatic showering from Burlington

* Burlington-Stour.jpgThis month has seen leading traditional sanitaryware brand Burlington further extend its reach in to the showering market. A brand new range of thermostatically-controlled, 10 year guaranteed TMV2 showers is now available from the classically styled brand to further increase the portfolio of products.

Aptly named after famous British rivers the Trent, Spey, Tay, Eden, Stour, Severn and Avon; the new Burlington Traditional Showers combine period styling with modern know-how that comes complete with TMV2 approved valves for added safety, an 11mm bore on hoses (the standard is 8mm), internal filters to remove impurities and a non-return valve.

One in three trade businesses delivers poor customer service over the phone

* David-Joseph.jpgThe quality of customer service in the UK is being undermined by an over-reliance on websites and emails according to new research by alldayPA.
The survey, which questioned 1,000 members of the public, found that many businesses - including trade businesses (e.g. plumbers, builders, etc.) are losing the art of conversation, offering poor service to customers over the phone.

While we are happy to use online shopping when it suits our needs, most of us (70%) want to be able to speak to someone directly when it comes to making a complaint or trying to resolve a problem.

Leisure Sinks meets the university challenge

* Leisure-Sinks.jpgFifteen Linear LR1160DB stainless steel double bowl sinks from Leisure Sinks have been installed as part of a refurbishment of the Moor Lane Halls development, Preston. The 99-bedroom apartment block has 15 communal kitchens, each shared by up to seven students.

Owned by student accommodation provider Sanctuary Students, Moor Lane Halls is located opposite the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) campus, a short distance from Preston City Centre.

Utopia extends Qube range with new floorstanding option

* The-new-Qube.jpgUtopia Furniture Group is extending the popular Qube range with the addition of floorstanding options, co-ordinating bath panels and full height toilet units.

Qube was launched last Spring as a range of contemporary modular bathroom furniture. Offering the quality construction and imaginative design for which Utopia is well known, the method of manufacture and handleless styling resulted in a very competitively priced range that has proved exceptionally popular.

Register my appliance supports Government smoke alarm campaign

Register my appliance, AMDEA's safety campaign, is supporting the Government 'Tick Tock Test', which is urging the public to test their smoke alarms when the clocks go forward over the weekend of 28th/29th March.

AMDEA (the UK trade association for manufacturers of large and small domestic appliances; representing over 85% of the domestic appliance industry and nearly 90% of white goods brands) recently launched its online safety initiative, with smoke alarms heading the website's general home safety tips.

Franke angry at lack of support for UK manufacturing

* Franke-angry.jpgFranke Sissons, which has been manufacturing for over 230 years, has headed a hard-hitting parliamentary discussion to outline the lack of surveillance for genuine CE Marking, required by UK law, on products fitted in commercial buildings.

Franke Sissons employs the majority of its staff from the Derbyshire area and says it could expand its business and create even more employment opportunities if mandatory proof of CE Marking at tender stage was instigated.

More than 160 new products unveiled by Croydex for 2015

* croydex-mirror.jpgQuick-fix Click 'N' Lock bathroom furniture, illuminated mirrors and rust free wire ware are among more than 160 new products featured in the latest catalogue from Croydex.

The bathroom accessories specialist has also added a range of new vanity units and beauty stations to its innovative Hang 'N' Lock collection for 2015.
"Consumers have become much more discerning, demanding high quality, long-lasting, affordable and reliable products but want to fix them with as little fuss as possible," says Jon Langford, Commercial Director at Croydex.

ArtiCAD on major recruitment drive to achieve significant growth

* Peter-Lewis.jpgCAD software specialist for the KBB industry, ArtiCAD, has announced a number of new appointments as part of the company's strategy for significant growth over the course of the next few years.

The ArtiCAD sales team is strengthened with the arrival of Lisa Hayes as regional sales manager for the West and South West. Rebecca Bolt joins as regional sales coordinator, whilst Katy Waller is the latest member of the company's Client Care team.

The KBzine Archive Search

We keep an extensive archive of news stories and product information that have featured in past issues of The KBzine. If you would like to run a search of the The KBzine web site using the search tool below please just go ahead by entering in the name of the person, product or company or any other key words that you are looking for.

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News in Brief

Miele is offering £75 cashback and free, 5-yr warranty on its WDA 110 washing machine - www.meile.co.uk … Bushboard Calacatta Marble wall panels and worktops took to the catwalk in London Fashion Week, at Osman Yousefzada’s show - help@bushboard.co.uk ... Which? April highlights AEG’s L75670WD Best Buy as a “a brilliant washer-dryer at a reasonable price" and commends Zanussi’s ZWF91283W washer - T: 08445 611611 … Roman’s new Bow Fronted Quadrant and One Door Quadrant simplify fitting a shower enclosure in a small bathroom - T: 01325 311318

How to contact us at The KBzine:
Jan Hobbs
Publishing Editor
Tel: +44 (0)1372 811 307 
Mobile: 07980 288 373





John Austen
Publishing Director
Tel: +44 (0)1580 755 863
Mobile: 07766 707 888
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New sales & design director for Alno Contracts

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Alno Contracts has announced the appointment of a new sales & design director based at its Sevenoaks office.

Key new senior appointment at ArtiCAD

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CAD software specialist for the KBB industry, ArtiCAD, has announced the appointment of Colin Seaton to the newly created role of national accounts manager. This appointment is a key element in the company's strategy for significant growth and development over the coming years.


Dream Doors an eight-time winner at Franchise Marketing Awards

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Kitchen makeover franchise, Dream Doors, has become an eight-time award winner in the Franchise Marketing Awards (FMAs), the national awards ceremony that recognises the franchise industry's most innovative and effective marketing campaigns.

Pick up a free framing system along with your know-how at Geberit installer training days

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Taking time out from a busy work schedule to take in some training can be tricky, but Geberit makes it worth an installer's while, not only with free training that ensures your skills and knowledge are up to scratch, but by giving each trainee a Geberit Duofix framing system and flush plate to practice their new-found skills on, worth over £250.


Gorenje makes a splash with new 'Colour' brochure

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Gorenje's new 'Colour' brochure highlights the varied selection of coloured appliances the company offers. Designed for retailers, it showcases the wide range of colour options available on selected Gorenje cooling, washing and drying products.

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