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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
17th July 2015


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

International News

Amica forecasts seismic shift to induction

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Amica home appliances in the UK and Ireland is anticipating a shift to induction hob top cooking and to meet demand has announced a new generation of feature packed, great value induction hobs to complement a refreshed product line-up of built-in and freestanding products.

Simon Freear, Country Manager for Amica says: "Induction cooking will be the energy of choice for future generations of appliance buyers now that prices are within easy reach. The high speed, ultra-safe operation, super easy to clean and ultimate energy efficiency all contribute to what is likely to be a seismic shift away from ceramic and electric-plate hobs.

Take a walk on the wild side

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Add a touch of nature to a kitchen or bathroom with this raw, untamed Safari shade from Lustrolite... Let Safari's woody grey-green tones transport you, or your clients, to the broad plains of Africa and make your home an adventure...

Lustrolite's glass effect acrylic wall panels are the perfect way to breathe life back into a kitchen and bathroom and a great way to incorporate current trends into a home. Lustrolite is available in nine amazing colours - Arctic, Glacier, Blue Atoll, Rouge, Mocha, Safari, Forest, Titan and Carbon - all of which can be used for both kitchen splashbacks and shower and bathroom walls.

Methven launches three new tapware ranges with 20-year guarantee

Methven - the global designer and manufacturer of premium showers and tapware - has extended its tapware offering with three contemporary ranges; Breeze, Indra and Cari. The new ranges are characterised by elegant lines and add further depth to Methven's current suite of tapware, all guaranteed for 20 years.

The three ranges each feature a mono basin mixer, a bath filler and a bath shower mixer. All bath shower mixers include a Maku shower handset, which incorporates Methven's patented Satinjet twin jet technology with over 300,000 droplets per second providing an immersive full body showering experience.

Let kitchen creativity flourish with the new feature-packed Haier 70 Series fridge-freezers

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Made up of premium-design, multi-door models, Haier's new 70 Series range of combi fridge-freezers is characterised by best-in-class performance in energy efficiency (A++) and low noise level (38dB), as well as excellent access via both the refrigerator door and ergonomic pull-out drawers.

The 70 Series fridge-freezers all feature an XXL capacity to provide the maximum amount of storage space, while the flexible MyZone compartment and a host of easy-to-use features encourage the creativity of users in their kitchen.

New recess shower solution for compact bathrooms

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UK shower enclosure manufacturer Aqata has launched a new recess option for the bathroom, increasing its line-up of luxury shower solutions for recessed spaces. The new Spectra SP462 Double Door Recess option features hinged inward opening doors allowing easy access to the shower.

It offers a simple yet practical solution for compact bathrooms, allowing maximum showering space outside the shower area whilst providing ample showering room inside.

Aging population needs 'future-proofed' bathrooms

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With approximately 3000 people turning 65 every day of the week in the UK, Ripples says it is seeing the demand for future proofing for stylish accessibility continuing for years to come. With recent medical advances and a greater awareness of how to live a healthier lifestyle, many people are not only living longer, but they are also living fuller lives.

New for 2015: Abode's Modo

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Abode has launched Modo, an eight piece range of beautifully designed, eco-friendly bathroom mixer taps for both basins and baths.

Cascading flows of water are the inspiration behind the Modo range and the spouts have been designed to be non-splash to ensure that water cascades evenly into the basin or bath. The design-led taps feature rectangular lines, contrasted against cylindrical forms and this luxury chrome tap collection looks stunning even when water isn't running.

Five modern natural stone baths for stunning Clearwater Portfolio

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Clearwater Baths, the stunning Natural Stone freestanding bath and basin collection from Bathroom Brands, has been fine-tuned, replacing models that were non-stone with a brand new range of Modern Natural Stone freestanding baths, in five new sleek and forward thinking models.

Natural Stone has proved so successful that the manufacturer has streamlined the range in favour of all natural stone. Natural Stone provides a rigid and strong bath of great elegance, without any need for ledges or surrounds. It is cleverly priced to offer not only great value for money but is also very competitive in this part of the market.

Whirlpool launches award-winning Supreme Care laundry range

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Whirlpool has launched a new, award-winning Supreme Care range of perfectly matching front loading washing machines and tumble dryers. The product's strongest asset is its exceptional performance level in noise, which claims the quietest spin cycle on the market, thanks to Whirlpool's revolutionary new ZenTechnology.

Hoover Wizard launches at London's Saatchi Gallery

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On Wednesday, London's Saatchi Gallery saw Hoover unveil the UK's first full family of WiFi enabled kitchen appliances, Hoover Wizard. The event attracted over 100 guests and journalists, who enjoyed presentations from the senior Hoover team, live demonstrations of the appliances, as well as a specially choreographed performance from robotic dance act 'The Dance Mob.'

Perfect Fit - a new bespoke kitchen concept from Schmidt, custom made to suit individual space

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When it comes to kitchens, no two rooms are alike. With architectural features to work around, awkward areas to negotiate and narrow gaps to fill, it's essential to maximise the space and incorporate as much storage as possible to create a clean, clutter-free kitchen that's as functional as it is fabulous.

Welcome to the



I was always taught to look after other peopleís things with as much care as I would my own and I would like to think that my behaviour is the norm. Give someone a company vehicle to drive though and the situation changes. Iím sure Iím not the only one who believes they can spot a company car driver at 50 paces and nor am I the only one whoíd be reluctant to buy a second hand car that has previously seen use as a company car! What is it about company car drivers?

My sentiments have been backed up by the release of the results of a new survey, courtesy of Venson Automotive Solutions (www.venson.com). While I can identify with the 58% of company car drivers that think it's their employer's responsibility to get the car serviced at the appropriate times, I'm at odds to understand the thinking behind the general lack of regular maintenance checks that should be a matter of course for all drivers.

When asked if they undertake vehicle maintenance, only 52% of company car drivers are likely to top up water coolants and only 53% will check oil levels. Slightly better (but still not good enough) 66% check their tyre pressures and inflate their tyres if necessary. What's really concerning is that 28% will ignore dashboard warning lights!

The survey also found that 17.5% wouldn't report minor damage to their employer and I find this the most worrying trait as I feel it's a betrayal of trust not to do so. If you're responsible for someone else's property and it gets damaged, surely you'd report it? If I found that an employee of mine had deliberately withheld this type of information I'd be wondering how far I could trust them and how honest they were being in all other aspects of our working relationship - such as expenses claims!

Venson's Gil Kelly, advises that to keep fleet costs down, managers communicate regularly with their drivers about service and maintenance responsibilities and perhaps use daily/weekly/monthly (depending upon vehicle usage) vehicle checks to spot issues early on, using ongoing driver training to ensure employees are driving safely - which in turn will reduce accidental damage - and implementing a fleet policy that recharges fees back to drivers if incidents aren't reported; all of which are good ideas.



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Aga Rangemaster sold to US kitchen products specialist Middleby for £129.2m

* Aga-pic.jpgYet another iconic British brand is to come under to US ownership, with Aga Rangemaster being sold to US commercial foodservice, food processing and residential kitchen equipment giant the Middleby Corporation for £129.2m.

However with Middleby promising to keep production in the UK, hundreds of jobs are likely to be saved at the company, which employs around 2,500 people worldwide.

Blanco cooker hood makes a bold statement

* BLANCO-Gutmann-Arte.jpgThe inspiring Gutmann Arte hood from Blanco Germany makes a dramatic addition to contemporary kitchen design. This powerful extractor combines a futuristic design with advanced technology for unrivalled performance.

iKBBI unveils new major sponsor

* IKBBI-Currys.jpgThe Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers has today unveiled Currys PC World as its latest sponsor, adding to an impressive portfolio of Great British and international brands supporting the aims and objectives of the government sanctioned organisation.

The three-year-deal will deliver significant benefit to iKBBI members, including dedicated business advisors in store and on the phone, together with access to a huge range competitively priced white goods.

New products bring a design classic bang up to date

* LAUFEN_ILBAGNOALESSI_One_01.jpgEnsuring it continues to cater for the demands of modern bathroom design while remaining true to its classical routes, the iconic IlBagnoAlessi One collection from Laufen has been expanded for 2014.

May Design Series cancelled

UBM has announced the closure of the May Design Series, saying it will instead concentrate its KBB and design sector efforts on the highly popular kbb Birmingham and kbb London, Sleep, Decorex and Ecobuild events.

"We've decided to cancel May Design Series and put our efforts into our niche market events as our exhibitors and visitors have informed us they want a more curated experience," said the press statement.

Introducing SensioSound: an LED Bluetooth speaker light

* Sensio-Sound.jpgAdd this dual-purpose, under-cabinet light with Bluetooth speaker to your next kitchen refurbishment to add cool yet practical (and surprisingly inexpensive) technology and tidiness to your own or your client's sociable kitchen space.

The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association announces designer awards shortlists

Following a meeting of the judges for the 2015 KBSA Designer Awards, the finalists have been named for all categories as follows:

* Kitchen Designer of the Year under £25,000 - sponsored by Omega
* Joanna Geddes - Kitchens By J S Geddes
* Michael Taplin - Elements Kitchens
* Emma Campbell - Edinburgh Kitchen Company (EKCO)
* Diane Berry - Diane Berry Kitchens

Comprehensive and affordable shower floors: Kaldewei now offers solutions for every project

* Kaldewei_48_Scona.jpgWith the expansion of Scona, Kaldewei has grown its shower programme to include almost any size requirement, installation type and the lowest price point than ever before for modern, low level showering. Scona and Superplan, especially, offer outstanding designs and are stars of affordability within the Kaldewei portfolio.

Combined with an ultra low Kaldewei waste fitting and installation aid, they are easy to fit and achieve a luxurious, contemporary look either at low level or completely flush with the floor.

Designer radiator brand Bisque introduce the elegant and simple Trubi

* Trubi.jpgWith a modern, minimalist design, the Trubi radiator is the perfect heating solution for contemporary kitchens and bathrooms this Summer. Its slender, vertical tubes give the Trubi a light and subtle appearance, while it can be positioned either vertically or horizontally to suit the space available; tall models provide a practical solution for narrow wall spaces, while the low version fits effortlessly under windows.

New Noble by Barwick range a hit with retailers

* Cameo.jpgNoble, the furniture range from Bathroom Distributor Barwick, has been totally transformed resulting in what is pretty much an entirely new range. Noble, produced for Barwick by the highly respected manufacturer Utopia, now offers more choice, more colours, more units and now even more high quality features.

Uform introduces new smooth painted finish doors and accessories, offering quality, choice convenience

* Georgia-Painted-Dresser-in-Porcelain.jpgUform, a market leading supplier of kitchen doors and accessories in the UK and Ireland, has introduced two new smooth painted finish doors to its extensive Kitchen Stori collection in an array of 21 colours.

The introduction of the new product ranges from Uform follows findings of extensive market research, with painted furniture and kitchens in particular proving to be one of the top interior trends as of late as consumer demand soars for smooth painted and flawless matt finishes.

Smeg appoints new regional sales manager for the North West & West Midlands

* Smeg-Bleasdale.jpgSmeg, the premium Italian domestic appliance manufacturer, has announced the appointment of Richie Bleasdale as its new regional sales manager across the North West & West Midlands.

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

Perrin & Rowe’s new classically designed mini taps deliver 99 degrees C water instantly - 01708 526 361 … V-Zug’s latest brochure, featuring new branding, is now available - 0843 289 5759 … VitrA has unveiled a new bathroom furniture range for its Ecora Bathroom Collection - T: 01235 750 990 … SieMatic has new displays at the Nicholas Anthony showroom in Knightsbridge nicholas-anthony.co.uk / www.siematic.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

Has there ever been a better time to be an independent kitchen specialist?

asks Bill Miller, managing director of the Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group, the UK arm of Der Kreis buying group

ISO 9001 Quality Management System final draft standard published

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ISO 9001 has benefitted millions of organisations worldwide with users reporting increased growth and productivity and significantly higher customer satisfaction and retention.

KBSA announces further speaker for 2015 National Meeting

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The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has announced another keynote speaker for its 2015 National Meeting and Networking Dinner being held this year at The Welcombe Hotel, Stratford on Avon, on 16th September.

It's 'Armitage Thanks' as brand launches new charity initiative to celebrate 200 year anniversary

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In celebration of the 200th anniversary of Armitage Shanks, parent company Ideal Standard has launched a campaign to raise £200,000 for charity by the end of its bicentenary year, 2017.

Hoover Candy UK announces kitchen channel restructure… Merger of UK Built-in divisions for Hoover, Candy and Baumatic

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Hoover Candy UK has confirmed a new commercial structure for its UK Built-in divisions. The commercial teams for the Hoover, Candy and Baumatic brands have merged to become a centralised Built-in division based at the Hoover Candy Baumatic office in Reading, Berkshire.


Burbidge recruits experienced industry figure to head up the Bathroom Furniture Co.

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Burbidge has appointed Mark Bailey to head up its new bathroom division, The Bathroom Furniture Co. by Burbidge.


Introducing Utopia's all new website!

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Utopia Furniture Group says it is delighted to present its brand new website, which details the newly extended product portfolio in a bright, new, easy to navigate format at www.utopiagroup.com

Launched in early July and specifically designed to be user-friendly and very simple to follow, the website has an inviting home page introducing the extensive bathroom and bedroom collections, together with a host of other information, all presented in a logical and accessible format.

New website and brochure design for Tom Howley

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Tom Howley, designer of luxurious bespoke kitchens, has revealed its new look website - www.tomhowley.co.uk - and announced the launch of its new 100 page inspirational brochure. Both have been designed to inspire and excite, showcasing the company's stunning photography on a grand scale.

Distinctly promotional Abode kitchen taps for display

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Abode, one of the UK's largest kitchen sinks and taps plus bathroom brassware and shower manufacturers, is offering retailers a unique opportunity...

Baumatic teams with Virgin Wines to launch Summer Wine Storage promotion

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Baumatic has teamed up with Virgin Wines to launch a three-month summer gift with purchase promotion on wine storage appliances from its collection. Starting from next Wednesday, 1st July, purchasers of selected wine cabinets will receive a complimentary gift set of up to five bottles of wine, specially chosen by the expert sommeliers at Virgin Wines.


The MX Collection: catalogue now available! 'Shower Bible' for specifiers and installers...

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The MX Group's 'MX Collection' catalogue is hot off the press and creating a stir with specifiers and installers up and down the country.

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