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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
31st July 2015


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

International News

Abode's new Cento bathroom taps have bold, sharp styling

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Presenting Cento, with its bold, sharp styling, designed to suit those design conscious consumers who desire a more geometric look... Cento is just one of the new ranges available from Abode and is a perfect match to Abode's geometric designs of showering options, allowing the design of a completely unified bathroom style.

Effortless retro style with the new Forest

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Evocative of olive groves and the Tuscan landscape, Forest is the gorgeous new tone from Lustrolite which will have your kitchen or bathroom swinging in the '60s like Twiggy and Babycham.

New York Fashion Week 2015 was awash with this retro hue*, and it couldn't be easier to introduce the colour into your home.

Retailers and merchants: on your marks...

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In 2013 it was announced by the European Commission that all bathroom products covered by Harmonised European Standards are to have the CE mark attached to the product or its packaging.

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

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Yet 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.

Blanco cooker hood makes a bold statement

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The 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.

New products bring a design classic bang up to date

Ensuring 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.

Introducing SensioSound: an LED Bluetooth speaker light

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Add 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.

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

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With 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.

Designer radiator brand Bisque introduce the elegant and simple Trubi

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With 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.

Welcome to the



If you’ve just been confused, as I was, by last week’s KBzine arriving in your inbox, please accept our apologies. And of course if you’re one of our advertisers or work for a company that’s opted for the ‘enhanced treatment’ of your news, please remember the extra coverage you’ve had next time you’re allocating your budgets!

The reason you received that extra issue is that John and I produce two e-zines each week as well as ‘official dailies’ for some exhibitions and with several months since our last break, at Christmas, we’re getting a bit tired! I’m running late with my copy and John pressed the ‘send’ button by accident…

It’s prompted me to say that our much needed break is coming up. Our last issue will be broadcast on 14th August so if you have any news you’d like to share with our readers between then and our first post-break issue on 4th September, do please send it across as soon as you can, preferably in the form of a Word document with images attached in jpg, bmp or png format.

Enjoy your weekend!



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Stronger together: GDHA and Britannia form range division

* Chris-Honer.jpgGlen Dimplex Home Appliances and Britannia Living have announced the launch of a unified range cooking division to be headed by Britannia managing director, Chris Honer.

GDHA acquired the Britannia Living business in 2013 and has successfully returned the brand to profitability. With a significant share of the range cooking sector, the integrated division, to be known as Glen Dimplex Home Appliances: Range Cooking, will provide customers with a single point of contact and access to an expanded product range encompassing the Stoves, Belling, New World and Britannia brands. The new division will also retain the exclusive UK distribution rights to Bertazzoni and designer cooker hood brand, Best.

Bid Management... or bid mismanagement?

* Andy-Monteith.jpgAlthough this article is aimed primarily at companies that handle large construction projects, the lessons it brings apply to anyone providing building and refurbishment services.

Here, Andy Monteith, Baker Tilly's head of construction, asks you to consider whether you're adept at bid management, or guilty of bid mismanagement. And if it's the latter, he has some tips for you.

Abacus Manufacturing Group provides durable and sleek solutions for department store washrooms

* Abacus-washroom.jpgHeavy use meant that both the male and female public toilets within York's Browns department store were in urgent need of refurbishment. Bathroom expert, Abacus Manufacturing Group, was asked to provide a durable and functional solution while creating modern facilities that would remain fresh and clean for years despite the high footfall.

The Abacus team worked with Browns, a long-established family business, to create designs and selected the most appropriate products from the innovative Abacus ranges.

100+ attend national conference helping specialist contractors get better deal

* Barry-Ashmore.jpgIf you've made a profit of £1 then you made more money than Balfour Beatty, Vinci and a number of other main contractors did last year! That was one of the messages delivered to over 100 specialist contractors at their exclusive 'Win Work-Get Paid-Make Money' Conference in Nottingham this month.

Several industry experts provided advice about how to overcome the payment problems that are still widespread in the industry, and how to 'get paid' was one of the key topics for discussion.

Independent Hotel Show announces a large increase in exhibitors and visitor registrations for 2015

* Hansgrohe-exhibit.jpgThe Independent Hotel Show has seen a 20% increase in exhibitor bookings and a 25% increase in visitor registrations for 2015 compared with the same stage last year.

Now in its fourth year, the show, which takes place at Olympia West on 20th and 21st October, brings together a diverse selection of premium exhibitors from across the hotel supply chain and as well as the exhibition, promises two days packed full of inspirational speakers, industry insight and topical debate.

Victoria + Albert Baths appoints general manager of MENAT, Caspian and India

* Ross-Jackson.jpgVictoria + Albert Baths, a British brand with a worldwide reputation for creating beautiful freestanding contemporary and traditional Quarrycast baths and basins, has announced the appointment of Ross Jackson as general manager of MENAT (Middle East, North Africa & Turkey), Caspian and India.

Ross brings over 15 years' experience in the industry, working with brands such as Kohler Mira in the UK, Kohler Middle East in the UAE and Delta Faucet Company in the MENA Region.

Schmidt combines classic and contemporary style with its new handless Arcos collection

* schmidt.jpgIn line with the ongoing trend for clean lines in the kitchen, Schmidt has introduced a handless range to the popular Arcos collection. Available in 16 matt colours, 12 wood effects and six high gloss finishes, this versatile range is the perfect choice for both traditional and modern schemes.

A pearl of an idea...

* Paua_blue.jpgGlass-inspiration Austria is now offering a lustrous Mother of Pearl finish, sandwiched between laminated safety glass, as an alternative to tiles and splashbacks.

BBC DIY SOS donation makes life a little easier for a growing family

* DIY-SOS.jpgFor children, gaining their independence when using the bathroom is an important part of growing up, which is why Geberit was keen to come to the aid of young twins Katie and Emilia Corns when the BBC DIY SOS team put out a call for help.

Supplying a Geberit AquaClean 8000plus Care to the latest Big Build project undertaken by the popular TV show, the manufacturer played a small part in making things easier for the Corns family, from Loughborough.

Improving resources for bathroom retailers: Duravit UK signs-up to EQ Software

* Martin-Carroll_Duravit.jpgThe Duravit catalogue, containing complete collections of living bathrooms, is now available in a digital format via EQ Software. With over 6,000 users worldwide, EQ Software now features what is believed to be the largest selection of product brochures for the KBB industry - making it a popular choice for UK bathroom retailers.

Duravit UK managing director, Martin Carroll, comments: "A very high number of bathroom retailers are now using EQ Software and the links it provides to visualisation systems like Compusoft and Virtual World.

Laufen and Ripples join forces for training days

* Laufen-Training-Day1.jpgLast week Laufen and Ripples joined forces for two Laufen training days. The idea came from Jamie Welch - regional sales manager for Laufen and Nicola Crow - sales manager of Ripples.

Franke sponsors specialist clothing for injured soldiers suffering gruelling Yukon kayaking expedition in Canadian Alaska

* SPcanoes.jpgFranke Sissons, Chesterfield, has sponsored the specialist clothing for four severely injured soldiers to kayak 465 miles down the Yukon River in Canadian Alaska, during September 2015, with the Pilgrim Bandits Charity.

Pilgrim Bandits' extreme expeditions are designed to push men and women from the Army, Navy, RAF, Police, Ambulance and Fire services to the absolute limit. For those having sustained horrendous injuries either in the line of duty or during the time of their service in some other capacity, these challenges rebuild confidence and self-esteem, by requiring participants to use a huge range of professional skills gained in service.

Two companies fined for safety failings

Two companies have been fined for dangerously installing and operating gas fired tumble driers at a student hall of residence, while not Gas Safe Registered.

York Magistrates' Court heard how in 2012, Direct Laundry Installations of Halifax, West Yorkshire, was contracted by Circuit Laundrette Services to install gas laundry equipment as part of a coin operated laundry, but was not at the time registered with Gas Safe Register. The installation was not completed correctly, as the flues were not in a safe position.

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

Growing demand for Max-Top worktops in Scotland has resulted in the launch of Max-Top Quartz Scotland - www.maxtopquartz.co.uk … Roman’s new Lumin8 Inward Folding Bath Screen provides easy access into the bath for showering and when cleaning - T: 01325 311318 … AEG’s A++, 13 place setting F666NI02VI0P ProClean dishwasher has won Which? Best Buy status - T: 08445 611611 … Larkfleet Homes is to fit 120 easy-install Saniflo Kinedo Horizon shower cubicles in an East Anglian development – T: 0208 842 0033

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

iKBBI unveils new major sponsor

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The 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.

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.

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:

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.


SieMatic appoints Kerry Furber as southern area sales manager

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German kitchen manufacturer, SieMatic, has appointed Kerry Furber to the position of southern area sales manager.

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

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Smeg, 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.


Points mean prizes with Geberit Rewards scheme for Geberit displaying retailers

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As a thank you to its displaying retailers for their loyalty, Geberit has launched a new Rewards scheme, with the opportunity to earn points and turn them into prizes simply by selling Geberit products. More than 170 retailers have already signed up to the scheme, with the manufacturer urging more customers to get on board and start collecting points towards their pick of hundreds of top treats.

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.


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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