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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
19th June 2015


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

International News

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

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The 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.

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.

Welcome to the



At first read, the Which? Report, which revealed last week that faulty household appliances caused nearly 12,000 fires in a little over three years, was somewhat damning for our industry, wasn’t it?

That’s around 4,000 fires a year – almost 10 a day! It almost makes you want to return to cooking over an open fire and washing your clothes and bedding by hand and ditching the dishwasher for the kitchen sink, doesn’t it?

Read into it though and the picture changes… the figures weren’t just about faulty appliances but also covered those that had been incorrectly installed or improperly maintained. That sheds a completely different light on things, doesn’t it?

I installed my own washing machine several years ago (or thought I had) until the time I first used it and caused a flood. I suppose that had I not turned the water on, instead of a flood I might have had a fire to contend with. More recently, a builder friend connected all the electrical items in my kitchen – including the oven – to a string of three short extension leads. It was only when some failed and I called an electrician out, that we discovered just how dangerous my home had been. Neither of these situations had been down to the appliances; they were down to bad decisions and poor workmanship.

Then of course there are those who run their obviously failing appliances way beyond their safe lifespan, or perhaps buy them from a questionable supplier.

If you’ve yet to read the Which? Report, it revealed that washing machines (1,723, or 14% of fires), tumble dryers (1,456/12%) and dishwashers (1,324/11%) are the most likely items to cause fires. They are followed by cookers (1,080/9%), fridges/freezers (861/7%), central heating systems (606/5%), toasters/grills (495/4%), microwaves (427/4%), TVs (372/3%), washer dryers (225/2%) and irons (92/1%). The figures are based on government data and cover the period January 2011 to March 2014.

It’s been widely reported that only a third of people register their electrical appliances – which means that an awful lot are unlikely to be aware that their potentially faulty items have been recalled. I used to be one of them but changed tack when I joined this industry and discovered why we need to update our suppliers, not only when we buy, but also if we move house.



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Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

KBSA's CEO, Graham Ball, has retired

Graham-Ball-KBSA.jpgGraham Ball, The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association's CEO, has resigned from his position due to unforeseen family reasons after seven years of heading up the KBSA.

Tina Riley, KBSA National Chair said on Wednesday when the announcement was made: "It is with great sadness that we announce Graham's retirement, but I would like to take this opportunity of thanking Graham for all his hard work and tenacity.

Tonic II Range makes a splash for Ideal Standard at London's iconic OXO Tower

* IDS-Launch.jpgSome 200 delighted guests attended the launch of Ideal Standard's Tonic II with AquaBlade flush technology launch. The new collection was designed by award winning German design studio, Artefakt and comprises of ceramics, fittings, furniture and bathtubs.

BMA conference line-up is complete

* Jonty-Bloom.jpgWith the final four world-class speakers approved at the recent Bathroom Manufacturers Association Marketing Committee meeting, the BMA - the organiser of this year's Bathroom & Kitchen Industry Business Conference, has announced its complete line-up of speakers for the event on 13th October.

Jonty Bloom heads the final list. The well-known and well-respected broadcaster and business correspondent, heard regularly on the radio, Jonty will be speaking about Britain's business relationship with Europe, particularly in the light of the UK government's renegotiations. Bathrooms and kitchens will be affected no matter what happens in the future and Jonty will have much to say of relevance to our industry.

Mistral worksurfaces specified for new CDA showroom

* MISTRAL-Tongaro.jpgSolid surface specialist Karonia was selected by appliance brand CDA for a number of recent joint collaborations, including the new showroom at its Nottinghamshire headquarters.

Some questions answered as census reveals swing to renting began early this millennium?

* tenure-census-info.jpgIf you've been wondering why this millennium has seen a drop in numbers of buyers going for top end furniture, fittings and appliances, the latest 2011 census figures, released today, may have the answer.

The fact that the housing market stalled in recent years has been well documented - as has the increase in the number of career landlords or those using a rental property or two to fund their retirement income; but only for the past couple of years.

Get the look: metallic copper

* Dream-Doors.jpgKitchen replacement company, Dream Doors, is tapping into the fashion stylist and interior designer's ongoing love affair with all things copper with the launch of the new Ultragloss Copper Leaf doors.

Industry leaders uniting to discuss future of construction, address issues of skills shortages

Skills shortages, planning restrictions and the need for cultural change were the key topics arising from a high level debate attended by leading voices from around the industry, as UK Construction Week's expert advisory panel met for the first time recently.

New Utopia brochure designed to reduce carbon footprint

* Inspired-by-Utopia.jpgUtopia Furniture Group has introduced 'Inspired by Utopia', a new concise version of its 2015 bathroom brochure aimed at reducing the company's carbon footprint.

KBSA Designer Awards - entries up on last year

* DianeBerry-KBSADesignerYear.jpgFollowing the closing date for the KBSA 2015 Designer Awards, the association has confirmed that the number of entries received in all categories is up on last year. Shortlists are currently being discussed by the judging panel, and an announcement will be made shortly.

The largest entry was, unsurprisingly, for kitchens, between the two categories: Kitchens over £25k and Kitchens under £25k, but again there has been more interest this year in the Kitchen Concept Award where entrants work from a common brief and then submit entries as CAD drawings.

Welcome luxurious, sensual Rouge into your kitchen or bathroom and lead the catwalk!

* Rouge-Kitchen.jpgUse Lustrolite in Rouge to add a pop of colour to your home...

Abacus Manufacturing Group helps bathroom installers become waterproof professionals

* Abacus-installer-training.jpgAbacus Manufacturing Group recently held a dedicated training day for bathroom installers who want to fit perfect wetrooms and become waterproof professionals.

Double cavity cooking new for Amica

Matt-Black_Amica2.jpgAmica home appliances has launched a range of freestanding double ovens designed and manufactured by the company itself and very precisely for the UK and Irish markets.

"Amica's core-competence is engineering cooking appliances, developing technologies with real environmental advantage," says Simon Freear, Country Manager for the UK and Ireland.

Wall-hung made simple with Duplo from Roca

* Roca-Duplo.jpgEnabling the practical and aesthetic advantages of opting for wall-hung sanitaryware to be realised in any bathroom setting, the new Duplo installation systems from Roca offer a versatile, easy to fit solution for all situations.

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.

Search The KBzine:

News in Brief

Congratulations to in-toto Exeter; shortlisted in the British Franchise Association’s 2015 Awards – T: 01392 824888 … Hi-Macs adds three slender, top-mounted basins (squared, rectangular, circular) to its standard bathroom range – W: www.himacs.eu/en ... AEG and Zanussi washing machines win Which? Best Buy status - T: 08445 611611 … Magnet says its Astral Blue Integra kitchen is perfect for bringing Summer indoors - www.magnettrade.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

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.


Abode expands salesforce

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

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.


Amica launches new marketing suite

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Amica 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.

Karonia introduces Mistral Connect

Solid surface specialist Karonia is introducing Mistral Connect, a retailer partnership scheme, as a key part of the evolution of the Mistral brand.

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

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Electrolux 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.

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.

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