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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
11th September 2015


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

International News

Quadra from MHS Radiators provides practical perfection

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MHS Radiators has introduced the visually stunning Quadra to its inspirational collection of designer towel rails.

An opulent combination of form and function, Quadra encompasses a rigid structure to provide practical storage space and shelves for towels, as well as impressive levels of heat for the bathroom.

Abode Marino: a striking contemporary design

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Abode has launched a portfolio of eight new tap ranges including Marino, a collection of beautifully designed basin and bath taps.

The Marino family has a striking contemporary design suitable for all bathroom styles with its distinctive long lever handle making one-handed operation effortless. The tall, square shaped design of Marino products with radiused edges will give all bathrooms an interior design look and feel.

Introducing BAL Tank-it - the ultimate waterproofing system for all applications

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Suitable for internal or external waterproofing, BAL Tank-it is the new, ultimate tanking system formulated with innovative technology from the UK's market-leader in tiling solutions. Highly polymer-modified, the two-part, rapid-setting product provides complete protection and can be tiled after only 90 minutes - and, since no priming is required, it produces significant time and cost savings on key installations for tilers and contractors.

Microwave oven market expected to reach $25.4 Billion by 2020

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According to a new report: 'World Microwave Oven-Market Opportunities and Forecasts, 2014 - 2020', the global microwave oven market is expected to generate revenue of $25.4 billion by 2020, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 6.07% during the forecast period, 2015 - 2020.

Amica appoints Origo as distributor for Ireland

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Amica household appliances has announced that Dublin based Origo, a leading consumer appliance distributor for Ireland, is to distribute the Amica brand in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Into the fold - new showerwall from Merlyn

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Stepping into Merlyn's showerwall fold is the new 8 Series Folding Showerwall. The ingenious folding mechanism allows you to fold the shower wall back so that it's horizontally flush against the wall - perfect for smaller bathrooms.

New Combi-Steam oven combines microwave speed with conventional heat and steam

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The engineers at V-Zug have launched an oven which combines the speed of a microwave with conventional heat and steam.

Phoenix Bathrooms added to EQ software package

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Phoenix Bathrooms' products are now available on the EQ Software system, thus providing all EQ users with the ability to access the full range of Phoenix bathroom and heating products in digital format via the software package.

Joint venture for design experts

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The 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.

Abode launches the very cool and contemporary Cyclo Collection

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Abode 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.

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

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Responding 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.

Smeg reveals new Burghley range cooker specifically for independents

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Smeg 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.

Leisure Sinks spa filter tap keeps water crystal clear

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Proving 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.

Turning bathroom design inside out

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The 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

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CAD software specialist for the KBB sector, ArtiCAD, has announced the availability of a comprehensive catalogue of limited mobility graphics.

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

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With 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.

Welcome to the



I still haven’t quite got my head around the EU Court Judgment, which has decreed that the time taken by those who have to leave from home, to travel to the first client of the day and the time taken travelling home after leaving the final client of the day, should be taken into consideration when calculating the number of hours worked each day.

I suppose that for a salesperson who often has to drive for several hours to get to that 09:00 appointment, or finishes his or her final appointment at gone 18:00 and is a couple of hundred miles from home, it will make an enormous difference to the ‘working’ day, but with mortgages to pay, sales figures to achieve and jobs to worry about, who in their right mind is going to rock the boat by, perhaps, insisting on taking time off in lieu because they’re really doing a 90 hour week rather than the contracted 40 hours?

Then of course there are the delivery drivers and service engineers, who are already under the cosh in terms of meeting deadlines. Does the new ruling mean that we as customers will have to wait longer for goods we’ve ordered or for repairs to be carried out? And will we end up paying extra for goods and services to cover the fact that less time will be spent delivering them or for the extra hours those involved will now effectively be working? Will companies have to take on extra staff to cover?

www.curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2015-09/cp150099en.pdf has the details and if you have any views on how this will affect our industry of your business, I’d love to hear them.

Finally, our congratulations go to the three teams from our industry who’ve all completed mammoth feats of endurance to raise money for charity recently. With two of the teams taking on the Three Peaks challenge, John quipped that it won’t be long before someone will install traffic lights up there! You can read all about their efforts below and please donate if you can.



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Whirlpool's 'Kitchen of the Future' wows IFA fair visitors

* whirlpool-future-kitchen.jpgAs mentioned in last week's leader, Whirlpool presented its entire brand portfolio, for the first time, at the international fair, IFA in Berlin, over the past several days.

Thanks to the group's enormous stand which took in 3,200sq.m, visitors - including the media and trade partners - experienced the vast offering and very distinctive complementary brands; KitchenAid, Bauknecht, Whirlpool, Hotpoint and Indesit.

Glasgow to build its future on sustainable foundations

* Glasgow-sustainable.jpgFigures released in early September by Markit have shown that the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) has risen to 57.3, up 0.2 on July's figures. While not as strong as the boom of 2014, where the industry was seeing returns of over 60 for much of the year, these figures represent a stable growth not seen in a decade.

Much of this sustained growth has been led by the rise in residential construction across the UK, something which is receiving significant support from government initiatives across the country.

Bespoke bathroom screens designed by SWA members

* Bathroom-screens.jpgExploiting the strength and slim proportions only steel can offer, bespoke internal glazed partitions, screens and shower enclosures, designed and manufactured by Steel Window Association members, are growing in popularity.

Especially prevalent in high-end commercial and residential projects, steel is the favourite today due to the visual, innate solidity of the material; without being overpowering, steel creates a look no other material can replicate due to the slenderness and robustness of the steel sections.

Cabuchon Bathforms launches 5th generation deep soaking tub - the Yasahiro

* yasahiro-deep-soaking-tub.jpgBritish bath manufacturer Cabuchon Bathforms has announced the launch of the Yasahiro, a modern take on the traditional Japanese Ofuro and a bath that draws upon more than 20 years' experience in deep soaking tub design.

Since the 1991 launch of its first contemporary, Japanese-style deep soaking tub - the Imersa, the company has been steadily introducing new and improved designs.

New Lustrolite colours at 100% Design - for stunning bathroom panelling and kitchen splashbacks

* Bathroom-Safari.jpg100% Design featured the Abacus Manufacturing Group stand where the latest stunning new Lustrolite colours were on display.

Lustrolite acrylic high gloss wall panelling is proving exceptionally popular with designers and retailers who want to add pizzazz to kitchens and bathrooms - or, indeed, any room.

Hayley McQueen to challenge Glasgow's trade skills

* Hayley-McQueen.jpgTV sports presenter and reporter, Hayley McQueen, is to put Glasgow's tradespeople to the test at Stax Trade Centres' upcoming store launch in Glasgow next Thursday (17th September) when Stax, which has been supplying the trade for over 30 years, will launch its first Glasgow store with a range of challenges designed to test the skills of the region's finest tradespeople.

David Hibbert, joint managing director at Stax Trade Centres, says: "We've had our sights set on a Glasgow store for some time and along with our existing Edinburgh offering we're confident the new store will allow us to cater for the whole of the Scottish market. We've invested heavily in the area and its local people to provide a wide range of quality and affordable products and services to trade customers."

Miele introduces 'Taste for Design' consultations

* miele-cooking.jpgMiele has launched interactive and inspiring 'Taste for Design' consultations, replacing the current 'Let's Do Lunch' programme. Developed for keen foodies planning a new kitchen or updating a current design, the consultations are designed to showcase the signature features of Miele appliances and are available for all kitchen studios and independent retailers to utilise with prospective customers.

Saniflo appoints sales manager for Scotland

* Tom-King.jpgBringing extensive experience of the plumbing and heating sector, Tom King has joined the Saniflo team as area sales manager for the whole of the Scotland. He joins at an exciting time when the company is enjoying success through its portfolio of macerators and pumps, as well as its range of shower cubicles and assisted living products.

Scotland represents a great opportunity for Saniflo thanks to the high level of construction, refurbishment and renovation activity. With years of retail, manufacturing and distribution experience under his belt, latterly working as branch manager for Plumbase, Tom is well placed to capitalise on the opportunity. He says:

ABCD group members net £4000 for children's charity with endurance challenge

* BAL-FINAL.jpgFour members of the ABCD Tile Group (Association of British Ceramic Distributors) have raised more than £4,000 for a children's charity by completing an epic endurance race in the Lake District.

Stefan Firth, chief Executive of Yorkshire Tile Co, Nick Braybrooke, managing director of Ceramic Tiles, Julian Hase, managing director at Hampshire Tile Warehouse and David Brown, sales director at Tileflair, competed in the Race the Sun - Lake District 2015 for Action Medical Research for Children.

Kitchens International director retires

* Kitchens-Intl.jpgAfter 31 years in the industry, Kitchens International's director Sandy Park is retiring. As a stalwart member of the team and a huge influence on getting the company to where it is today as one of Scotland's - if not the UK's - leading independent kitchen designer/retailers, Sandy has been hugely influential in the growth and development of the company.

After spending four years working for small independents, in 1989 Sandy set up Elegant Homes, which in 2007, merged with Kitchens International. As administration and strategic projects director, Sandy was tasked with creating an infrastructure that would allow the company to grow over the ensuing years. His influence is apparent throughout every department of the company.

Three Peaks conquered!

* 3-peaks.jpgThe Three Peaks Challenge tests the limits of participant teams - ascending and descending the three mountains; Ben Nevis at 4,409ft, Scafell Pike at 3,206ft and Snowdon at 3,560ft.

Team members have to cope with changing clothes, eating, drinking and sleeping as they travel to their next destination by road. It is a physically and mentally demanding team event that tests everyone at different stages - but it can be done.

HiB takes charity commitment to new heights in Three Peaks challenge

* HiB-Three-Peaks.jpgThis weekend saw bathroom product manufacturer, HiB take its fundraising efforts to a whole new level - three in fact - as a dedicated team of 12 employees embarked on the UK's infamous 24-hour Three Peaks Challenge in aid of charity.

The gruelling Three Peaks Challenge sees participants summit three of the highest peaks in the UK; Snowdon (1085m), Scafell Pike (978m) and Ben Nevis (1344m) in just 24 hours.

Create instant memories with EcoDomo leathers and belt panels

* ecodomo-leather-art.jpgIf you have a client who's looking for something a little different in their kitchen or bathroom doors - or indeed their bedroom furniture, the EcoDomo doors may well have the answer...

The aptly-named Phoenix Collection is made from re-purposed belts. Each belt is carefully selected, cleaned and artfully laid-up to create a unique piece.TRIMTO]

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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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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Barwick appoints new managing director Gary Campbell

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Leading independent bathroom distributor Barwick tells us it is pleased to announce the appointment of Gary Campbell to the role of managing director.

Utopia promotes Chris Jones

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After six highly successful years as Utopia's business development manager for the Midlands region, Chris Jones has been promoted to the position of key accounts manager.

Kitchens International appoints two new showroom managers

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Independent kitchen designer and retailer Kitchens International has appointed two new managers for its designer showrooms. Helen Taylor becomes showroom manager for the Glasgow showroom and Donna Smith is manager for Perth.

A new communications role at the iKBBI

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

PWS appoints new sales manager for East Anglia

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Jamie 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

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The 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.


Victoria + Albert Baths launches International Design Awards competition

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Victoria + Albert Baths has announced its debut International Design Awards, in celebration of its upcoming 20th anniversary.

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

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Ideal 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.

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