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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
2nd October 2015


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

International News

coBuilder UK helping companies create and distribute accurate data across construction industry

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The creation and use of data is about to become part of the day-to-day construction business in the UK. But how is the industry actually going to face the challenges, especially in the context of Building Information Modelling Level 2 becoming mandatory in the UK in April 1st 2016?

Keep clients mindful of home water use with Smart, wall-mounted device

Oasys helps households save water by providing meaningful information on their daily consumption, displayed on a friendly touch-screen console mounted anywhere in the home.

Sottini's new design-led collection defined by craft and creativity

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Sottini relaunched at 100% Design this week with a confident and elegant collection of new design-led bathroom products that are based on a foundation of quality and innovation.

First class surfaces for student halls

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Manchester student accommodation, Liberty Living at Sir Charles Groves Hall, has recently been refurbished to include Max-Top Quartz surfaces in all 78 flats.

Hi-Macs brings a splash of colour to the bathroom

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Attention to detail makes the difference between a design that is merely practical and a bit boring and one which is attractive and eye catching.

To furnish a bathroom, you need to take all possible aspects into consideration, including both the design and the functionality as well as the material used, since this will have a big impact on the final result.

The American Hardwood Export Council to present four projects at 100% Design

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The American Hardwood Export Council is to present four projects at 100% Design, as part of the London Design Festival 2015.

Latest LED lighting innovation from LDL

LDL's latest lighting innovation is the new Targa slimline LED light from lighting specialist Leyton.

Available now, the sleek 5mm light features chip-on-board (COB) technology and is both remarkably powerful and extremely efficient.

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

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As 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.

Bespoke bathroom screens designed by SWA members

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Exploiting 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

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British 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

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100% 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.

Welcome to the



The Government’s consultation on the proposed apprenticeship levy closed this week and it appears that industry is sceptical of the proposals, perceiving them as little more than a tax on business that will do little to raise the quality of apprenticeships and perhaps even have the opposite effect, with employers – keen to claim back the levy – devaluing the scheme by rebadging basic training as an apprenticeship.

Manufacturers’ organisation EEF, says members are already investing heavily in apprenticeships with three quarters of large and medium size companies and half of small companies planning to recruit in the next 12 months. It says that if the target is to create 600,000 starts per year towards the overall target of three million, 120,000 should be earmarked for engineering and manufacturing.

Employers fear the proposals will cause them to lose out financially as there is little evidence to suggest that one of the scheme’s main aims, “that employers offering apprenticeships will get back more than they put in,” will be met. On the assumption the levy is 0.5% of payroll, companies with over 250 employees would have to double the number of apprentices they recruit with one company saying to ensure they don’t lose out financially they would have to increase their intake from 16 to 112 a year.

Given the cost of a four year apprenticeship, companies only recruit and invest in apprenticeships when there is a clear business case for doing so and are unlikely to offer more than they need.

In its response EEF has made a number of sound recommendations for redesigning the scheme to address employers’ concerns. With the recent Lloyds Bank Building for Growth report revealing that a shortage of skilled workers such as plumbers, electricians, kitchen fitters, carpenters and bricklayers is thwarting efforts to beat the UK housing crisis, let’s hope the Government listens to the EEF’s suggestions and redesigns the scheme to ensure that it suits everyone’s needs - and fast.



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

New Year membership restructure for iKBBI

* Claire-Walters.jpgAs part of two major announcements due in October, The Institute for Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers will be unveiling a restructured accreditation offering, which will include five tiers of membership, following feedback from the industry.

Precise details of the restructure will be published within October's iKBBI Installer Magazine, due out on 21st October, followed by a communication to members shortly after.

Cosentino launches 25th anniversary colour for Silestone: Acqua Fraccaroli

* COSENTINO.jpgThe Cosentino Group has developed a new Silestone worksurface colour in collaboration with the renowned Brazilian interior design architect, Brunete Fraccaroli. 'Acqua Fraccaroli' commemorates Silestone's 25th anniversary; an exclusive limited edition colour which will launch simultaneously in London, New York, Vancouver, Sao Paulo, Sydney, Singapore, Tel Aviv, Milan, Brussels, Belgium and Barcelona Cosentino Centres, as well as at this week's 100% Design show in London.

Lakes Bathrooms launches in USA

* LAKES.jpgLakes Bathrooms has launched a new business in the United States. The shower enclosure and bathroom products manufacturer has joined forces with Ark Bathrooms to form Lakes Bathrooms LLC, a subsidiary of the UK parent.

Based in Chicago, Illinois, the company will initially serve the bathroom retailers in this Midwest city, with plans to expand across the USA in due course.

British Ceramic Tile appears at London Fashion Week

* BCT-LFW.jpgA leading UK tile manufacturer, British Ceramic Tile, has made its first appearance at the world famous London Fashion Week (LFW), an event that attracts famous faces and the most important people in the fashion industry from across the globe.

The company that designs and manufactures its market leading tile collections here in Britain has supplied tiles to the HIX Cafe in a move to communicate its design credential to fashion influencers attending the event. The pop-up restaurant of Brewer Street Car Park by Mark Hix is situated in the Designer Showrooms space designed by David Collins Studio.

Abode Tanto - a timeless bathroom classic

* Abode_Tanto_basin_mono-mixer.jpgAbode introduces Tanto, a collection of timeless bathroom classic designs that will never go out of fashion.

Tanto is a simple, elegant and easy to operate tap range designed and created especially for the UK market, giving a clean, slick and contemporary look to all bathroom styles. Tanto has a cylindrical body with pencil slim handles giving a strong yet versatile design.

Maximise the glass look with D R Services

* DR-Services.jpgD R Services enables clients to combine practicality with elegance in the creation of internal glazed walls incorporating multiple doors and other features.

Trustmark assures advice to its firms through partnership with Bucks and Surrey Trading Standards

As the new consumer legislation comes into force yesterday, TrustMark, the only Government-endorsed scheme for all trades in and around the home, announced a new 'primary authority' partnership with Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards to provide assured advice for its Scheme Operators and TrustMark registered firms.

Ultra Matt is the new kitchen texture for 2016, says Leicht

* Leicht.jpgFarewell traditional matt kitchens, says Leicht, whose contemporary kitchen cabinetry is being launched in an ultra matt Bondi finish.

Being introduced for the 2016 range of Leicht kitchens, the new Bondi finish - with its ultra-matt, fine smooth surface, has a particularly soft, pleasant touch and is eminently suitable for 21st century modern living as it is resistant to fingerprints.

Landau unveils new Handles Display Board

* Handle-board.jpgRetailers can now order a Handles Display Board that showcases the stylish collection of handles available from kitchen manufacturer Landau Holdings.

Landau has added the Handles Display Board to its growing selection of display options, designed to make it easier for retailers to show customers how their perfect kitchen can look.

Construction workers' sick days revealed

Employees working in construction have taken more time off work due to serious injuries sustained on the job than almost any other industry. Some 38% of construction workers recently surveyed had taken time off work because of a major injury while doing their job, compared to an average of just 19%. The only industry to rank higher is transport at 47%.

In fact 30% of construction workers have been off work for a month or more. The biggest impact of taking time off work was loss of income for 62% of those surveyed admitting to this fear. Some 28% were concerned that they wouldn't be able to pay the bills if off work for a month or more. Despite this, only one in six workers have any financial protection insurance.

Dream Doors appoints new director of franchising

* bill_owen_dream_doors.jpgKitchen makeover franchise firm Dream Doors has announced the appointment of Bill Owen as the company's new director of franchising. Bill is a well-known and respected figure in the franchise world, and has been recruited to help the UK's largest kitchen facelift retailer through a period of unprecedented growth.

No stranger to both the kitchen industry and franchising, Bill is the founder of Snack in the Box which, after launching in 1994, grew to become a network of more than 100 franchisees before the business was sold in 2009.

Paul Pickering promoted to channel manager

* Paul-Pickering.jpgHoover Candy UK has announced the internal promotion of Paul Pickering to channel manager - electrical retail channel built-in MDA Division for Hoover, Candy and Baumatic brands.

LDL raises over £900 for Macmillan Cancer Support

* LDL-coffee.jpgEnthusiastic staff at LDL Components in Bath staged their own event last Friday as part of the World's Biggest Coffee Morning in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

Every single member of staff without exception brought in home-baked goodies and invited their family and friends as well as personnel from neighbouring local businesses based at Bath Business Park.

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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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Recent News

EWL pushes for incentives to replace old bathrooms with the latest water/ energy efficient products

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Yvonne Orgill, managing director of the European Water Labelling Scheme, argues the case for cash incentives that will persuade householders using dated products to swap to more efficient alternatives

Quooker dealers to cook with John Torode

Quooker, manufacturer of the 100-degree boiling water tap, is to reward a selection of its extensive dealer network by inviting them to an exclusive cookery class with celebrity chef John Torode.

KBSA proud to report another successful AGM & National Meeting

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The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has said that this year's AGM, National Meeting and Networking Dinner were even more successful than last year's events, with 120 delegates in attendance and more than 40 retailers and almost 50 corporates.


Gorenje promotes national sales manager

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Gorenje has promoted its national sales manager, Stuart Benson, to the role of sales director. Stuart boasts more than 25 years' experience within the appliance & kitchen industry, and joined the company in early 2013 as national sales manager for the UK & Ireland.

Indesit makes changes at the top

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Indesit has announced two structural staff changes within its marketing departments. Piero Pracchi, previously marketing director UK & Ireland, has been promoted to senior director, Brand & Digital Marketing [EMEA], in recognition of his UK success, while Fiona Hope has been appointed marketing director UK & Ireland.


Duo of promotions on Roca wall-hung installation systems

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With the Autumn months a popular time for sprucing up the bathroom in time for entertaining guests over the festive season, Roca is offering retailers and consumers a duo of promotions on some of its best-selling wall-hung WCs and installation systems.

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