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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
12th June 2015


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

International News

Alno AG completes the next step of its repositioning

Last Saturday, Alno AG took the next step in its repositioning and sold its subsidiary Impuls Kuchen GmbH (Brilon) to Steinhoff Furniture Holding GmbH (Austria). The change of ownership is scheduled to take place at the end of June 2015, subject to antitrust approval.

Choose Arctic White for uber-cool kitchens and bathrooms

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White signifies safety, purity, and cleanliness; it is considered the colour of perfection by psychologists and designers alike. So introduce Lustrolite in Arctic for a super sparkling kitchen or bathroom.

Lustrolite acrylic panels can be used for shower walls, bath panels, splashbacks - anywhere you lust after a stunning surface. Other fashionable colours in the range are Glacier, Blue Atoll, Rouge, Mocha, Safari, Forest, Titan and Carbon; they come in seven sizes. Prices start from £127.20.

Blanco offers new kitchen storage solutions

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The Blanco Select waste system provides the perfect way to organise a busy kitchen. The versatile drawers and bins are designed to make the most of the space under the sink. They are perfect for storing anything from kitchen waste to cleaning products to keep worktops clear and tidy.

The Select range is now being expanded to include four new models including the Blanco Select XL 60/3 Orga, which has three individual buckets and a convenient organiser drawer.

Wall cabinets - Blum covers all options

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With the introduction of the Aventos HK-XS lift stay systems for wall cabinets, Blum has now addressed the requirements of all furniture manufacturers - and retailers can display a product that immediately enthuses their customers.

The wide design of wall cabinets has been driven by market trends and is increasing year on year. The Aventos lift stay system is unmatched in terms of ease of use due to various features, and now covers all types and sizes of wall unit.

So it's Chao from Abode

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Chao is one of eight new ranges of beautiful chrome bathroom taps for 2015 from Abode. With a subtle, yet beautiful form, Chao is a modern classic in the making with an organic style, featuring striking curves.

The Chao basin mixer creates a designer-style statement to any bathroom with its sweeping body design and single lever control for effortless single handed control and can be easily teamed with both conventional basins, as a deck mounted tap installation option, as well as at the side with deck mounted basins.

A long-term contract from Leisure Sinks

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Leisure Sinks, the UK's biggest manufacturer of domestic stainless steel sinks, is renowned for its wide product offering. One of the most popular ranges in its portfolio is the Contract, a sit-on sink which is available in a variety of bowl and drainer configurations - including two BSI Kitemark approved designs.

There are five models available (LC42, LC105, LN105, LC106 and LN106), each made from 18/10 stainless steel. All sinks have two 31mm tap holes suitable for pillar or deck mixer taps, as well as a satin bowl and bright drainer. Plus, all Contract sinks boast a 10-year warranty.

Cape Cod brings a touch of nature into the bathroom

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Cape 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.

Simplicity sells for Gorenje

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Gorenje 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

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British 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

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Grohe 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.

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

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Most 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. 

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

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Tom 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.

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.

Welcome to the



I’ve recently returned from an overseas exhibition, during which I chatted to the man whose responsibility it is to oversee his company’s stand build-ups and breakdowns, as well as the loading of the equipment into a trailer for transportation to another exhibition in another city or country, where he meets it to oversee the unloading and check that everything is still intact. To say he looked exhausted is an understatement!

John Austen and I regularly chat to the sales staff who man such stands and most admit that the different cities – however exciting they might be to the rest of us – seem to blur into one another. They confess that the thought of a day’s sightseeing, when they are permanently tired, isn’t one they relish. Other industry colleagues who have to travel a lot for work agree that while it may seem glamorous to anyone on the outside, the reality of ‘living out of a suitcase’ is actually quite different.

A press release that arrived this week which revealed that business travellers have a tendency to add extra ‘personal’ days onto their trips so they can combine business with pleasure without the extra costs, and that many will attempt to stay in a better hotel than they would for personal trips, didn’t surprise me as much as the authors perhaps thought it would in terms of the concept, although it did in terms of ‘where on earth do they find the energy to enjoy a day or two’s holiday after a week at a show?’.

And while the report doesn’t mention first class train travel, I can’t help feeling that few of us – with the extortionate costs involved – will pay for an upgrade out of our own pockets so we can avail ourselves of the added luxury of first class travel on our nation’s railways.

I hope managers won’t start cracking down on what many may see as a valid return for nights spent away from home. Speaking as someone who knows how tiring business travel can be, I’d venture that it’s a fully justified and earned add-on. And if it’s not cost the company any extra money, what’s the harm in it?



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Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

KBSA announces support for Watchdog investigations

* Anne-Robinson.jpgThe Kitchen, Bathroom & Bedroom Specialists Association has announced that it wholeheartedly supports the current investigation by BBC Watchdog into practices available from some retailers who sell kitchens (and bathrooms).

The standards operated by KBSA independent specialists should be the minimum acceptable level across the industry to ensure consumers do not get 'ripped off' with unprofessional and incomplete quotes, shoddy workmanship, poor customer relations and non-existent after sales support, which seem to be so prevalent in some of today's sellers.

Business travellers routinely add days to work trips for personal travel

Four out of every 10 business travellers add extra days onto trips so they can enjoy personal travel without incurring the extra cost, new research has revealed.

Streamlined and elegant: the latest swan neck taps from Rangemaster

* Rangemaster_Taps_Aquatrend-mono.jpgThe latest additions to Rangemaster's tap range offer homeowners a swan neck design to suit all types of interiors.

The models were designed to complement the company's existing range, allowing consumers to choose a tap that suits their personal tastes and requirements. The recent additions include the Mini Pro, Belfast Monobloc, Vertex, Parma, Bari Single Lever Pull Out Spray, plus an expansion of the Aquatrend family.

National installation opportunities available now!

* iKBBI-fitter.jpgThe Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers has announced that it is working on behalf of a number of Installation Standards Partners, members and associates, in the recruitment of professional installers to fill immediate vacant positions across the UK.

iKBBI business development manager Lisa Dines said: "We are working with a number of retailers who are looking to actively recruit the self-employed services of professional installers right now. There are immediate vacancies in most parts of the UK and these retailers are keen to talk to experienced installers about the opportunities available."

Amica launches new marketing suite

* Amica-Brochure-Stack.jpgAmica is underscoring its commitment to UK appliance and kitchen retailers with a new suite of marketing materials including a brand new 96pp full colour printed brochure and matching brochure-app.

Simon Freear, country manager for the UK and Ireland explains: "The UK market is looking incredibly positive, and our experience is showing us that kitchen and built-in retailers are finally looking outside the old brands for something interesting and different. We've unveiled new products that reinforce considering us as a better alternative to brands that are being sold unselectively on the Internet.

Abode expands salesforce

* Rob-Wagg_Abode.jpgRob Wagg has joined the ever-expanding - and successful - Barnsley-based, Abode Home Products to further strengthen the sales and support team.

In his role as Area Sales Manager, Rob will be covering the South East and South West of England territories to support and develop existing retailers as well as increase Abode's presence of both modern and traditional designs of kitchen sinks and taps as well as bathroom brassware and showers.

Amica Home Appliances supports first open water swim event in Oxford

* Lock-to-Lock-Swim-Series.jpgAmica home appliances is kicking off a year-long programme of supporting grass roots sporting events with a sponsorship of Oxford's first open water swim event on the River Thames.

The 4Km Lock to Lock event on September 6th is the first of three river swims launched by local Oxford triathletes and businessmen Bob Gibson and Darrin Roles.

New sales director for Portway

* Sales-D.jpgPortway Domestic Appliances has announced the appointment of the very popular Jack White as sales director. Jack, 25, has worked his way up through the business since he joined as a warehouse assistant eight years ago.

Karonia introduces Mistral Connect

MISTRAL-Connect-Big-Pic.jpgSolid surface specialist Karonia is introducing Mistral Connect, a retailer partnership scheme, as a key part of the evolution of the Mistral brand.

In the five years since its launch at KBB 2010, retailers up and down the UK have enthusiastically embraced the Mistral concept and now Karonia wants to engage further with the retailer network.

Electrolux Group launches 'Simple Switch' campaign for new Premier Partners

* Bower-Willis.jpgElectrolux Group has this month launched the 'Simple Switch' campaign as part of its Premier Partner Programme. 'Simple Switch' is designed to support and guide independent kitchen studio businesses into a smooth and lucrative transition to the group brands; AEG, Electrolux and Zanussi, whilst guaranteeing a wide range of benefits and rewards.

The Electrolux Group's Premier Partner Programme has been exclusively designed to support the needs of its independent kitchen studio businesses.

Franke makes new Tree of Life for Ashgate Hospicecare

* Ashgate-tree-of-life.jpgThis stunning work of art has been created by Franke (known as Franke Sissons locally) to help Ashgate Hospicecare raise much-needed funds.

Franke is the local manufacturing company that produces high quality washroom and catering equipment in both stainless steel and other granite-type materials.

Sensational Summer offers from Barwood

Specialist supplier of products for inclusive bathrooms, Barwood Products, is running a price promotion on popular items in its range including the all-new, WRAS approved Avenida comfort height WC suite with soft close seat.

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

Shhhh... Whirlpool's unveiling the ‘quietest washing machine ever’ later this month … Pure Bathroom Collection’s new Fusion Poco furniture employs design tactics to create the illusion of space – T: 0845 634 4321 … We’re loving the industrial feel of Davenport’s new W9 kitchen range! - T: 0845 468 0025 … Worktop specialist Max-Top has unveiled social media pages at www.facebook.com/MaxTopQuartz and twitter.com/maxtopquartz

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

LDL - Designed for Life

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LDL Components, the renowned distributor of furniture fittings and accessories, is celebrating its 12th year in business with a major brand relaunch focusing on the key strengths of the company as it moves forward.

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.

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.


PWS makes senior operations' appointments

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As 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.

Utopia strengthens sales team

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As 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.

Aqata appoints new regional sales manager

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UK shower specialist Aqata has appointed Nick Boys to the position of regional sales Mmnager for the South West of England.

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.


Max value for retailers with Max-Top

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Worktop 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.


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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