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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
10th April 2015


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

International News

Angular and artistic: the new Tratto from MHS Radiators

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

Striking new thermostatic showering from Burlington

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This 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.

Leisure Sinks meets the university challenge

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Fifteen 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.

Utopia extends Qube range with new floorstanding option

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

More than 160 new products unveiled by Croydex for 2015

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Quick-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.

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.

Welcome to the


I don’t know what it is about this time of year but as soon as the sun comes out and we’re able to throw open our doors and windows to let in some fresh air, we get that urge to declutter our homes and clean everything in sight. I wonder whether it may be to do with some deep-seated nesting instinct, as the compulsion can be so strong and we also seem to be granted the stamina to keep working hard at it for longer than we’d be able to at other times.

Of course what follows all that decluttering and cleaning is the ability to take a fresh look at our surroundings – and that’s when we notice that paint might need refreshing, or our kitchens and bathrooms are looking tired. Time to replace them perhaps?

I’ve been wondering whether all the talk of potential deflation is having an impact on our industry and whether people are waiting to see if prices will fall before splashing out. After all, many of us hold off making a purchase until the January sales, so a discount clearly does tempt people. I’m never sure though whether the majority end up deliberately spending less than they would normally have done, or whether they will stretch the budget as far as they can and buy a heavily discounted product or range that wouldn’t normally be affordable to them. Or does it fall somewhere between the two?

My family recently ate at a restaurant that was offering half price cocktails. I don’t generally drink cocktails but that night I did and between us we drank more than we normally do, spending more than we normally would. I also left a far larger tip than was necessary. We all had a good time, the restaurant’s turnover increased (as we weren’t the only ones indulging!) and the staff took more money home because I was grateful for the opportunity to try lots of cocktails and wanted to give something back – I hope I wasn’t the only one.

Is this how it works for retailers in the KBB sector I wonder?



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Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

iKBBI & TFO announce strategic collaboration

* ikbbi.jpgIn what will be the first of two exciting announcements over the next few weeks, The Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers announced this week a strategic collaboration with The Furniture Ombudsman - the independent and non-profit-making dispute resolution service dedicated to the furniture industry.

The initiative will include vital development work around definition of independent installation standards within the KBB sector, a key objective that sits firmly with the iKBBI, supported by its members and key organisations that operate within the industry.

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.

SBID International Design Awards 2015 now open

* SBID-Awards-2015.jpgThe SBID International Design Awards 2015 are now open for submissions. Since its inception in 2011, the SBID Awards has served to recognise, reward and celebrate all design excellence, from super luxury projects to innovative design and new talent on limited budgets.

Following the success of previous editions, this year's SBID Awards are designed to surpass the rest. The 2014 edition saw a 15% increase in entries than previous years from over 30 countries around the globe including the UK, Canada, Turkey, China, Russia, USA, Australia, UAE and more.

Blanco launches new CombiColour shade for Silgranit sinks

* Blanco-pearl-grey.jpgAs the interiors trend for all things grey continues, Blanco Germany, one of the largest manufacturers of granite sinks worldwide, has unveiled a brand new CombiColour shade for its Silgranit series - Pearl Grey. Sleek, sophisticated and contemporary, Pearl Grey is a muted mid-grey shade that complements the natural grain of wooden cabinetry as well as the high sheen finish of gloss lacquered units.

KBSA announces new social media campaign

* Kbsa-retweet-comp.jpgThe Kitchen, Bathroom & Bedroom Specialists Association has announced that its 2015 social media campaign will headline its Twitter (consumer) activity, and it that it has worked with corporate members Glen Dimplex Home Appliances, and Swift Electrical to offer a monthly prize for consumers who retweet.

The campaign is designed to increase awareness of the KBSA and drive traffic to the new KBSA website - which offers a host of helpful tips and hints when considering a new room project - as well as increase the number of followers on social media channels.

InSinkErator showcases the most colourful range in the market at the Ideal Home Show

* InSinkErator-Ideal-Home.jpgThe long-awaited Ideal Home Show opened up its doors to the public on 20th March, and InSinkErator made its mark with the most colourful line-up of steaming hot water taps available on the market, alongside the globally renowned range of food waste disposers.

The innovative and unique range of InSinkErator 3N1 steaming hot water taps made an anticipated public appearance on the stand.

Whirpool launches new Absolute design built-in and freestanding appliance range

* Absolute.jpgWhirlpool has launched a new and innovative Absolute design range of stylish built-in and freestanding appliances.

The combination provides a distinctive and matching profile across both product categories.

British Ceramic Tile predicts trends set to influence the tile world with Tile Trend Edit brochure launch

* BCT-Trend-Cover.jpgStatement marbles, eclectic geometrics and opulent metallics are just some of trends set to sweep the tile world this year, according to the design experts at British Ceramic Tile.

The company has outlined its key looks; predicting the colours, patterns and surface textures that are set to turn heads in interior design and become the key focus for newly developed ranges over the coming year. Packed full of inspirational design and trend predictions, the new Tile Trend Edit brochure has been created to showcase the latest looks and styles influencing our homes and the tile market.

Free installer events in the East of England to support green growth

* boiler-web.jpgSustainaBuild is offering a range of targeted, up-to-the-minute events and networking opportunities designed to equip small and medium sized installation businesses in the construction industry to grow and access new and existing markets.

In the midst of the recession, whilst the rest of the UK economy was virtually flat, the low carbon economy grew by up to 5%1. As this economy continues to recover and grow, development across a range of sectors is gathering pace.

Karonia director in 269ft charity abseil

* Andrew-Pickup-descending.jpgAndrew Pickup, Karonia director, abseiled 269ft down the CLV building in Leeds on Saturday 28th March along with two fellow band members from The Turnarounds in aid of the Stroke Association.

The band has been performing together since 2011 and memorably entertained the crowds at the KBB 2014 exhibitor party at the NEC. Saturday's abseil was the latest in a number of charity events staged by the band.

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

Victoria & Albert baths’ Amiata collection now holds the Red Dot Award for Product Design - www.vandabaths.com … For details of Electrolux’s new range of electric showers E: [email protected] … If you’re a Geordie Shore fan, look out for Gorenje’s iconic Retro fridges in the group’s house. Inspired? – T: 0208 247 3980 … in-toto Kitchens will be launching new colours in celebration of its 35th year of business, at Grand Designs Live at London’s ExCel (2nd – 10th May 2015) -  www.intoto.co.uk / www.granddesignslive.com

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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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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