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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
29th May 2015


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

International News

New voluntary label offered by European Water Label, includes energy saving and technical icons

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A new voluntary label has been introduced by the European Water Label to include an energy saving indication and range of technical icons.

Exquisite finishing touches from Belle Epoque Arcade

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The comprehensive accessory collection from Arcade Bathrooms is beautifully crafted and wide-ranging.

Each piece is handcrafted with the brand's hardwearing nickel finish, and for the ceramic pieces each is made of the finest china.

Sygma launches collection of fully stainless steel Metro tiles, inspired by Paris Metro

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Sygma-Group has just launched a new collection of stainless steel 'Metro' tiles, taking aesthetics earthenware tiles of the Paris metro.

Introducing the newest addition to Jetstone's Ceramic collection: Emperador Grigio

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The unique practicality of ceramics and continuing development in palette is instrumental in the ever-growing popularity of ceramic as a new choice in decorative surfaces.

International retailers find growth in UK shopping centres

The latest British Consortium of Shopping Centres/Local Data Company vacancy monitor has found the number of shops in UK shopping centres trading as 'multiples' has increased in the last year, with the data showing a rise of 1.3% in the number of 'multiples' and a corresponding 1.3% drop in the number of independent shops.

Abode launches Vedo - the perfect finishing touch to a bathroom

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With its continued ongoing product development plans for bathrooms, Abode has launched a portfolio of eight new tap ranges for 2015 including Vedo - a five piece entry level range of beautifully designed, basin and bath taps that are truly affordable.

The indulgent organic forms used to create this very modern Vedo collection will provide bathrooms with a softer, gentler feel and add the perfect finishing touch to any bathroom decor.

Appliance retailers' awakening awareness of alternative brands' attributes affirmed at CIH Showcase

Simon Freear, Country Manager for Amica in the UK and Ireland, is confident about the freestanding and built-in appliance market following the company's huge success at the recent Euronics Showcase at Birmingham's NEC.

New Tech-Drawer from Mark Wilkinson Furniture

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Mark Wilkinson Furniture has launched a new Tech-Drawer to charge Internet-connected mobile devices. The design adds up to, four USB connection points into the body of a standard drawer (eight for a double drawer) and can also house standard three-pin plug points.

"Homeowners these days have a collection of devices to fill their family lives," says the manufacturer.

PWS gets smart with Kesseboehmer storage offer

PWS has put the spotlight on its Kesseboehmer product portfolio, strengthening the offer and making it more straightforward for manufacturers and retailers to specify and order.

Beautiful basins in natural stone will maintain their good looks for years to come

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Made from a hardwearing mix of minerals and resin, Clearwater's Natural Stone is the perfect material for the bathroom as it is easy to clean, can be made into sleek, contemporary shapes and maintains its good looks over many years.

Clearwater now offers modern and traditional basins to complement its impressive range of baths.

Viking finally in safe hands in the UK

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Top end American appliance brand Viking is now available from Middleby UK, the wholly owned subsidiary of The Middleby Corporation, Illinois, USA. Middleby UK is based near Wigan and has a long history of supplying the company's commercial catering brands Pitco, Middleby Marshall, Blodgett, Houno, Brema and Holman to name just a few.

Welcome to the


No doubt you’ve seen the news that’s been all over the tabloids, regarding what appears to be a reluctance amongst the French to shower more than once every few days. I’m not sure how old the study on which this story is based, actually is, as I recall having come across it before… Plus the press officers at the companies mentioned in the news aren’t able to shed any light on it. However, it did get me thinking…

Talk to anyone over the age of about 50 and they’ll tell you that they very rarely showered as a child/young adult and that other than a weekly bath – generally on a Sunday – a quick wash in the morning before school or college was enough to keep them clean and sweet smelling. I’m told that adults used to follow the same personal hygiene routine and that people generally only washed their hair once a week.

I’ve seen on social media that people are signing up to a monthly ‘switch-off’ protest day whereby they pledge not to use any gas or electricity; something that has been done weekly in the past with fuel purchases to protest against prices. I’m now wondering if there’s any mileage in extending this to include not showering (which you can’t really do anyway unless you use some gas or electricity).

I know the industry is doing really well at manufacturing products and appliances that use less water without us as consumers being able to tell the difference, and while I wouldn’t recommend doing what the French are purported to be doing, just think how much water could be saved if we promoted the idea of not taking a shower just one day a week – or even one day a month if that’s more bearable!



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Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Space and light: key trends for 2015

Modern British living is about embracing space and light, reveals new research commissioned by Direct Line Home Insurance, which identifies the latest building and renovation trends. Researchers surveyed builders and tradesmen directly, to understand the latest trends in property works and redesign to identify the changing face of Britons' homes.

Nearly half (47%) of builders reported extensions as being the most popular trend for home improvements. With the average difference in asking price between a two and three bedroom home in London of £157,202, while the average bedroom extension cost is £35,000, it is no wonder people want to expand and add value to their properties.

KBSA announces keynote speakers for 2015 National Meeting

* Jonathon-Winchester.jpgThe Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has announced the name of one of its keynote speakers at the 2015 National Meeting and Networking Dinner being held at The Welcombe Hotel, Stratford Upon Avon, on 16th September 2015.

Jonathan Winchester, founded Shopper Anonymous UK in 2006 and now runs the UK's largest feedback organisation.

Cape Cod brings a touch of nature into the bathroom

* Duravit_Cape_Cod_room.jpgCape Cod, located in New England on the east coast of the US, possesses a memorable flair. This region, famed for its long sandy beaches, crystal clear water and untamed nature was the inspiration for Philippe Starck.

With his new Cape Cod bathroom range, the French designer has reinvented the bathroom, removing the barriers between nature and the indoors. Nature becomes a permanent part of the bathroom, a place for rejuvenation and refreshment with aesthetically appealing materials and forms.

Major milestone for British manufacturing as Triton turns 40 and appoints new MD

* David-Tutton_Triton.jpgTriton is celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year and following 17 years of consistent growth under the leadership of its present managing director, Lorna Fellowes, the company has announced the appointment of business development director, David Tutton, to the position of managing director, from July onwards.

Simplicity sells for Gorenje

* Gorenje-Simplicity.jpgGorenje has revealed that sales of its Simplicity Collection of stylish appliances in black and white, which operate intuitively through one single dial, have reached an all-time high.

"Consumers are seeking stylish, technologically advanced gadgets in every area of their lives," comments Stuart Benson, national sales manager for Gorenje UK.

British Ceramic Tile collaborates with Ted Baker to launch no ordinary designer tile range

* BCT_Ted_Geotile-1.jpgBritish Ceramic Tile has partnered with global lifestyle brand Ted Baker to launch a brand new collection of tiles, Ted Baker Residence.

A fashion forward selection of wall and floor tiles, the range blends British Ceramic Tile's unique manufacturing heritage with Ted's eye for detail and appreciation for a tile with style.

Grohe launches complete cubic brassware range

* GROHE-Cube.jpgGrohe has unveiled its new complete stylish cubic solution for the bathroom, offering sleek geometric designs for bath mixers, showers, thermostats and accessories.

Included is the Grohtherm Cube thermostat, which features precision-engineered Turbostat technology to deliver a safe and enjoyable showering experience.

PWS makes senior operations' appointments

* pws_operations_appointments.jpgAs part of PWS' strategy for significant growth, over the course of the next few years, the company has announced two senior appointments. Kevin Gay has been promoted to operations director and Andrew Buckingham to IT manager.

Kevin is responsible for all aspects of IT and logistics. With over 500 orders dispatched from PWS each day, slick operations are critical to the smooth running of the business.

Max value for retailers with Max-Top

* Max-Top-Quartz-installation.jpgWorktop specialist Max-Top has announced the launch of a new initiative that will offer UK kitchen and bathroom retailers free Max-TopQuartz displays. The company is so confident with the quality of its product and market demand that it will be footing the bill for display units up and down the country.

"Max-Top is completely unique in its offering; it looks fantastic, is incredibly hard-wearing, whilst being so light-weight it only takes one person to install it," says Stephen Moss, managing director of Max-Top.

Gaia's Devimat: the perfect finishing touch for wet rooms

* DEVImat.jpgMost installers recommend the use of underfloor heating (UFH) in wet rooms and Gaia's Devimat system is perfectly suited to this application.

Not only does UFH create a warm, comfortable surface to walk on, it is also a more efficient way to heat a room than traditional wall-hung radiators. 

Utopia strengthens sales team

* Andy-Purtill_Utopia.jpgAs part of its ongoing commitment to provide the best possible support for its customers, Utopia Furniture Group has announced the further restructuring and expansion of its sales team.

Alex Patterson rejoins the company in the newly created position of regional sales manager: Scotland & Ireland.

'Devine' handpainted pantry with custom made, dark oak interiors

* Tom-Howley_Chelsea.jpgTom Howley, luxury bespoke kitchen expert, is delighted to announce the addition of the new 'Devine' design to its Chelsea showroom. The hand-painted feature pantry, showcases a range of intelligent internal storage solutions and surpasses all aesthetic expectations.

The pantry includes beautifully crafted custom made dark oak interiors with multiple dovetailed drawers, while both cupboard doors are fitted out with extensive walnut racks for storing spices and herbs.

Aqata appoints new regional sales manager

* Aqata_Nick-Boys.jpgUK shower specialist Aqata has appointed Nick Boys to the position of regional sales Mmnager for the South West of England.

Nick joins the company as the latest member of an expanding and dedicated sales force; he will continue the strategy of forging strong working relationships within the retail sector and promoting sales of Aqata's luxury shower enclosure portfolio.

New channel director for in-toto Kitchens

* David-Houghton.jpgIn-toto Kitchens has appointed David Houghton as its new channel director to support the successful growth of the company. Following 18 years with Franke and Carron Phoenix as sales director, David will now assist in-toto in maintaining the highest levels of service, satisfaction and sales for its franchise business.

The KBzine Archive Search

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News in Brief

Steel Cucine has partnered with Le Creuset to design a collection of limited edition range cookers  - T: 01275 343 000 … The new ‘Bathroom Furniture Co. by Burbidge’ is attracting lots of attention, with 50 specialists already signed up as displaying dealers – E: [email protected] ...  Smeg’s freestanding range includes new energy-efficient washing machines and tumble dryers – E: [email protected] … Britannia Living is opening its second UK showroom in six months; this one’s in Chertsey, Surrey - T: 0844 463 9705 

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

KBB NTG launches series of industry learning guides

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The KBB National Training Group tells us it is delighted to announce the launch of a series of industry Learning Guides. The guides have been developed to form part of the Kitchen, Bedroom, Bathroom industry's Continuous Professional Development (CPD) as well as building together to form a foundation of learning - adding support to our industry's education programme.

Return to Rise Hall: This time the kitchens get it!

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Granite Transformations has returned once again to Rise Hall, the magnificent 19th century manor house restored by TV's Sarah Beeny and artist husband Graham Swift, and this time the kitchen makeover specialist has actually helped transform two kitchens, the Butler's Pantry and an ensuite installation in the hall managers' live-in quarters.

Ridgeons hires first apprentice

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Ridgeons, the independent timber and builders merchant in the East of England, has hired its first apprentice of the year, following a newly formed partnership with Cambridge Regional College.

BMA staff take Three Peaks Challenge to raise funds for charity

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Bathroom Manufacturers Association marketing manager Amy Kirk and technical director Christian Taylor-Hamlin will be taking part in the Three Peaks Challenge this August to raise funds for the BMA's chosen charity the Children's Burns Trust.


BAL strengthens specification support team

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Building Adhesives Ltd, the manufacturer of tile adhesives, grouts, sealants and ancillary products, has continued to strengthen its specification support team with the appointment of William McLachlan as business development manager.

Geberit appoints new product manager sanitary systems to its UK office

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Geberit has welcomed a new face to its team this month, with the appointment of Graham Aird to the role of product manager sanitary systems.

InSinkErator expands marketing team and initiatives, introducing new POS material

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As part of the largest team expansion of the company, InSinkErator has appointed two new members to its UK marketing team and introduced new point of sale materials, brochures and a dedicated website with online resources for retailers, to better support retailers with increased marketing materials and activity.

Abacus Manufacturing Group welcomes new area sales manager for North London

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Abacus Manufacturing Group has appointed Kerry White as the new area sales manager for North London.


Another exciting kitchen tap brochure from Abode

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The latest Abode kitchen tap brochure is now available and can be viewed on-line or downloaded or retailers can email for hard copies for their showrooms.

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