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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
7th August 2015


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

International News

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

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Heavy 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.

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

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In 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...

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

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



It will be interesting to see how the incoming Sunday Trading will pan out, won’t it?

As consumers, those few extra hours in which we’ll be able to do our shopping could prove useful. But what will it do to the nation’s shopkeepers?

On one hand people are saying that the new laws may – and particularly with news that the longer hours’ opening may not be extended to out-of-town superstores - bring people out onto the High Street and allow those that work long hours during the week, as well as perhaps Saturdays, time to shop – bringing a boost to local outlets and dissuading customers from Internet shopping. On the other, people are saying it will undermine society, denying families that one day together which Sundays can provide – well – as they did before shops were allowed to open for six hours on a Sunday, anyway!

In my weekend estate agency job I work alternate Sundays. I love it. The office is quiet, clients are relaxed and I get all the leads! But try and get a full-timer to cover is difficult. People who enjoy Sundays at home don’t want to give them up. Also, with just six hours’ trading, it doesn’t take up the whole day and allows me to enjoy some leisure time too.

Would I be happy to work extended hours? No I wouldn’t.

One thing I’m seeing more of is that couples are unable to view properties together, because of the odd working hours of one or other of them. One might view on a Saturday and if they like what they see, their partner may visit late one evening. Sometimes the first time they view together, is when they arrive to measure up!

I believe extended Sunday openings is likely to exacerbate these problems, and that we’ll spend less time with our families and find it harder to set times and dates for get-togethers. I can see people becoming more isolated.

The changes may create some jobs but I feel people will be asked to work for longer, to cover the extended hours – and of course their own shopping timeslots will be diminished as a result. But will the changes raise the estimated £1.4bn for economy if they go ahead, or will they just enable shoppers to stagger their shopping times to suit their daily lives?

I’m just not sure. What do you think?



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Joint venture for design experts

* Scott.jpgThe Society of British and International Design (SBID) will be teaming up with The International Interior Design Association (IIDA) in their first ever joint programme at Downtown Design, Dubai UAE.

The collaborative programme will feature an in-depth, expert commentary presentation on worldwide trends showcased in the internationally recognised award-winning projects celebrated by both associations namely; the SBID International Design Awards and the IIDA Global Excellence Awards.

Abode launches the very cool and contemporary Cyclo Collection

* Abode-Cyclo.jpgAbode is constantly looking to innovate with exciting new designs and fresh ideas and as a result, is delighted to present Cyclo... A cool, contemporary range of bathroom brassware which is bursting with personality.

A contemporary styled range, suitable for both round and square bathroom interiors, Cyclo is offered in a full chrome finish - or for something completely different, a very 'in vogue' contrasting black handle option. Black and chrome together creates a real interior designer feel and allows colour to be brought into the bathroom in a subtle manner.

IdealPro teams up with CIPHE to promote membership benefits

* danny-ciph.jpgIdealPRO, the free installer loyalty programme by Armitage Shanks and Ideal Standard, has announced a new partnership with the Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineering (CIPHE) - the professional and voluntary body for the UK plumbing and heating industry.

The new partnership aims to promote the benefits of CIPHE membership amongst the 2,500 IdealPRO members and raise awareness of the work and role of the professional body for plumbing and heating engineering.

WC additions maximise on style, comfort and hygiene in the bathroom

* Roca-The-Gap-Comfort.jpgResponding to the changing demands of modern bathroom design head on, Roca has extended two of its best-selling sanitaryware ranges to include new WCs - the Nexo wall-hung rimless and The Gap comfort height WC.

Maximising on hygiene and ease of cleaning in the bathroom, the popular Nexo WC from Roca is now available in a wall-hung, rimless design. Compatible with all Roca Duplo concealed cisterns, this rimless WC operates with an ECO flush of 4.5/3 litres, helping to reduce water consumption while always delivering a powerful performance. With the pan mounted securely to the installation system behind the wall, the cistern is neatly concealed for a seamless finish.

Significant growth for Max-Top

* Stephen-Moss_Max-Top.jpgWorktop specialist Max-Top is expanding its business by launching Max-Top Quartz Scotland. Max-Top Quartz Scotland will be the sole distributor of all Max-Top surfaces throughout Scotland and will soon be launching regional training courses to demonstrate the preparation and installation of the unique surfaces.

Stephen Moss, managing director of Max-Top, explains: "Early signs have been very encouraging, with Max-Top surfaces being very popular within the Glasgow region, making this the perfect time to establish an official presence in Scotland!"

UK's biggest kitchen makeover retailer celebrates 40,000 kitchen installations

* Dream-Doors-40000-Troy.jpgDream Doors, the nationwide kitchen facelift specialist, is celebrating the sale of its 40,000th kitchen installation since it first began trading in 1999.

The landmark sale was made by Katie and Sean Hebdon, owners of the Dream Doors franchise in Chandlers Ford near Southampton. The sale was made to customers Mr and Mrs Bennion from Romsey who were presented with a hamper of luxury foods and drink to enjoy in their new kitchen.

Smeg reveals new Burghley range cooker specifically for independents

* Burghley.jpgSmeg has unveiled its most accessible range cooker yet, combining traditional design with modern convenience. Developed specially for independent retailers, the Burghley represents an attractive introduction to the Smeg brand for consumers.

A three-cavity dual fuel cooker and gas hob that marries stately design with state of the art technology to take pride of place in any inspirational kitchen, the Burghley is made in Italy, but conceived in Britain.

Leisure Sinks spa filter tap keeps water crystal clear

* Spa-filter-tap-from-Leisure.jpgProving popular with contractors and retailers alike, Leisure Sinks' Spa Filter tap (TSA1CM/BF) is a high quality, WRAS-approved dual lever tap. Boasting a smooth chrome finish, this stylish tap utilises a three-way dispenser system to provide crystal clear filtered water, as well as hot and mains cold water.

The Spa Filter tap has been specifically designed to remove limescale, chlorine, metals and other impurities from mains water. This helps keep water clean and tasting fresh, while it also prolongs the life of appliances, such as kettles and coffee machines, by reducing the risk of scale building up.

Turning bathroom design inside out

* Ripples-new.jpgThe BetteLUXE Shape is the latest addition to the Ripples portfolio. "We are seeing a huge trend for 'urban styling' when it comes to the bathroom and this new range fits in perfectly," says the company's Grazziella Pinto.

"Contemporary and cool, we absolutely love it!"

Limited mobility graphics now available in ArtiCad

* articad-limited-mobility.jpgCAD software specialist for the KBB sector, ArtiCAD, has announced the availability of a comprehensive catalogue of limited mobility graphics.

Showroom sales incentive offers chance to bag an all-expenses-paid trip to New York

* US-prize.jpgIdeal Standardhas introduced an online retailer sales incentive programme called IdealCLUB. Run from a dynamic online portal that rewards retailers in real time, the scheme has been designed to increase motivation and incentivise sales in showrooms through educating and engaging showroom staff, increasing product awareness and knowledge and encouraging brand loyalty.

A new communications role at the iKBBI

* Denise-iKKBI.jpgIt's a warm welcome from us to the Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers' new communications manager, Denise Mayell.

BAL Level Max - the new maximum performance, all-in-one leveller that's easy on the pocket!

* BAL_Level_Max.jpgWith innovative Fibre Strand Technology, bed depths up to 80mm in a single application and suitable for use over most bases including timber at 3mm, BAL Level Max levelling compound is the latest innovation from BAL.

Already received with great acclaim by tilers and flooring contractors, it combines the benefits of BAL's levelling expertise to provide users with a complete, all-in-one flooring product for preparing internal floor surfaces for the installation of tiles, natural stone, vinyl or soft furnishings.

PWS appoints new sales manager for East Anglia

* jamie-abbott.jpgJamie Abbott is the latest recruit to join PWS's national sales team. Jamie takes on the role of area sales manager for the East Anglia region, bringing with him over 15 years' experience in the kitchen industry.

National training manger focuses on Laufen brand

* Richard-Court.jpgThe Roca Group has made a key appointment with Richard Court, previously an area sales manager, now taking on the role of national training manger looking after the Laufen brand.

Richard will now take on responsibility for training internal and external Roca Group staff on the Laufen brand, training customers at the company's soon to be re-vamped training centre at Laufen Evesham and training customers in their own showrooms. He will also support the launch of new ranges within the Laufen brand.

The KBzine Archive Search

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News in Brief

In-toto Kitchens now supplies stylish Roux lifestyle sinks and taps, endorsed by chef Michel Roux Jnr. - T +44 (0)113 3315 101 ... Indesit’s new MyTime washing machine completes six of the most popular wash cycles in under an hour – T: 08000 921 922 … Whirlpool’s big capacity, easy-clean AMW 505 /IX  offers a host of features - www.whirlpoolcorp.com

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:


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

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Victoria + 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.

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.

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