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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
16th October 2015


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

International News

IFA success for AmicaIn and new double ovens

The original concept of AmicaIn was introduced at IFA 2014 by Amica and following a further year of investment and research, officially launched at this year's international IFA exhibition last month.

New acrylic bath range is big on user comfort

Ideal for compact bathrooms and with water-saving in mind, Roca has launched Malaga, a bathtub available in seven different versions for flexibility of design.

Cosentino launches 25th anniversary colour for Silestone: Acqua Fraccaroli

The 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

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Lakes 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.

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.

Welcome to the



A study into tradespeople’s websites has found that many companies may be missing out on new business opportunities through failing to make the most of their websites.

The results feature below and while I’m not party to the websites studied, I have to say that I wasn’t surprised by the news as I spend a great deal of time navigating my way through various websites every day, searching for contact details, images I can use and other information, and I often find myself thinking; “Now why have they done that?” or “Why haven’t they included this?” and the like – and that’s not just with tradespeople’s websites but those of some big international companies too.

I often wonder whether there’s a gap in the market for people whose sole job would be to navigate their way through companies’ websites, pointing out flaws and features that are cumbersome, while making suggestions on any much-needed improvements. One of my bugbears for example is when the only imagery some companies offer is a video – which busy people will not have time to watch (and especially so when it takes longer than it should to buffer). Another issue I regularly encounter is where the web designers have tried to be a little too clever and have over-complicated things to the extent that users have to try and fathom out how to get to where they want to be, or keep being taken back to the same page despite trying different links. It should all be so easy but so often it’s not.

As a journalist, I find it particularly frustrating to come across beautifully written and illustrated case studies that haven’t been sent out as press releases. Many potential customers will not plan to visit your website so if you’ve gone to the trouble of producing case studies for your site, you really should send them out to those like me who may decide to share them with the world – and thus entice new customers into your virtual showroom.

Your website, to those who aren’t local to your business, is your shop window… your showroom… your place to look after your visitors. Can your customers find their way about easily and uncover everything they need? Will they always find the answers to their questions or will they leave your ‘store’ and look elsewhere instead?

Worth checking perhaps?



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Crossrail skills vacuum creating 'competence chasm' in other parts of UK

* Crossrail-map.jpgCrossrail's hunger for skilled workers has drawn in top talent from hundreds of miles away to take up engineering and construction jobs, adding to skills shortages in other parts of the UK, according to new analysis from specialist recruiter Randstad CPE.

Not only is Crossrail an international talent magnet, it is also exerts a potent force felt across the UK. More than a quarter (28.3%) of those starting Crossrail-connected work in the London area are originally from areas more than 30 miles away from the new railway line - in the analysis of over 40,000 individual construction and engineering placements across the UK, including more than 150 different Crossrail-related job-titles.

Abode designer hits the D-list!

* Paul-Illingworth_Abode.jpgPaul Illingworth, design manager at Abode, has been selected as one of 20 industry designers who, Designer Kitchen & Bathroom magazine feels, 'the industry should know about'.

The D-List comprises designers from some of the most innovative and inventive bathroom and kitchen companies. Martin Smith, editor of the magazine states: "What all 20 D-Listers have in common is that their work inspires and encourages others to continue to raise the bar in innovative design in kitchens and bathrooms, constantly suggesting new ways of utilising clever design to tackle problems old and new".

One third of employers say more staff are going into work despite being ill

* presenteeism.jpgNearly a third of employers have reported an increase in people coming to work while they are ill, according to the annual Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development / Simplyhealth Absence Management Survey.

The survey of nearly 600 employers finds that 31% have seen an increase in so-called 'presenteeism' in the last 12 months. It also shows that presenteeism is more likely to have increased where there is a culture in which working long hours is seen to be the norm, and where operational demands take precedence over employee wellbeing.

Merlyn unveil new Source collection to join installer-friendly Ionic range

* Ionic_Source_2DR_Quad_HR.jpgMerlyn Showering is launching a new collection of enclosures, called Source, to join its 'installer-friendly' Ionic range. Ionic is a brand of stylish, easy fit shower enclosures specifically designed for plumbers and installers.

The new Ionic Source collection comprises six stunning models; a sliding a pivot Door, a bifold (all in a recess or with side panel), a corner door and 2-door symmetrical and offset quadrants. All of the new Source models benefit from a highly specified list of features including 6mm glass (apart from the bifold model which is 4mm), easy fit frames, magnetic closing and a practical 1850mm height.

UK Construction Week building nicely...

* construction-week.jpgFeaturing nine shows under one roof, the UK's biggest construction event in decades arrived with a bang last week - as more than 85,000 visitors and over 1,000 exhibitors flocked to UK Construction Week at the Birmingham NEC.

Organised by Media 10, the inaugural six-day event spanned five halls of the exhibition centre and attracted visitors from across the entire spectrum of construction - from high-end architects, interior designers and infrastructure engineers, to self-builders and home renovators.

Perrin & Rowe innovates with Goddard Littlefair, at hotel design event, Sleep 2015


British luxury kitchen and bathroom brassware manufacturer, Perrin & Rowe, has announced its participation in the hotel design event, Sleep 2015, taking place at the Business Design Centre in London from 24th through 25th November.

Operating with a heightened level of inspired sophistication, Perrin & Rowe, from Stand G41, will provide a highly interactive hotel bathroom experience brought to life through its collaboration with Goddard Littlefair. A London-based, luxury interior design house, Goddard Littlefair was established in 2012 and specialises in high-end hotel, hospitality, spa and residential projects, for clients including Corinthia, Hilton and Starwood Hotels, ESPA and Berkeley Homes.

Tradespeople are failing to make the most of their websites

* ironmongorery-direct.jpgA large majority of tradespeople are not getting the most out of their websites, and could be missing out on possible new business opportunities, according to a new study.

IronmongeryDirect, the online and mail order supplier of ironmongery products to the trade, analysed the websites of 240 trade companies from across the UK, including those of builders, joiners, shop fitters and construction firms.

Two new ranges and a fresh strategy see Coram stride ahead

* Coram-1.jpgUK showering solutions brand Coram Showers, known for its quality, durability and ease of installation, is launching two new product ranges and a stunning updated brochure. Not a brand to rest on its laurels, its latest product offerings include two inventive new ranges which serve to confirm the company's reputation as a frontrunner in the UK shower enclosure industry.

The Optima range of high-quality shower enclosures offer a luxurious finish, packed with features across a wide range of designs and sizes. Core features include 6mm toughened 'Stay Clean' safety glass as standard, the option of chrome or white frames as well as plain, satin or modesty glass.

Bella Bathrooms announces new range of Tavistock Bathrooms

* tavistock.jpgBella Bathrooms has announced that it is now an approved retailer of Tavistock Bathroom products. The new range contains everything you need to create your perfect bathroom and with a wide range of products available, there is something to suit every style and every home.

The company says it differentiates itself from the competition by only offering bathroom products that are ofhigh quality. The company's mantra is 'if we wouldn't have it in our own home, then we don't sell it'. Every bathroom will give the customer a well-designed, quality bathroom without the designer price tag. As you would expect from Bella Bathrooms, the Tavistock Bathroom range continues in this tradition.

New Keys II mild steel towel warmer joins Vogue (UK)'s Contemporary Collection

* New-KEYS-II.jpgFollowing the 2015 Brochure launch from British heating designer and manufacturer Vogue (UK), the company has introduced the new Keys II mild steel towel warmer with a polished chrome mirror finish - part of its Contemporary Collection.

The Keys II towel warmer is ideal for central heating systems, as well as dual fuel or sealed electric versions and is available in 1080mm to 1840mm heights, with a width of 500mm and depth of 132.5mm.

Krieder Parisian kitchens delight at 100% Design

* Krieder-Parisian.jpgLuxury interiors company, Krieder, exhibited its daring new Parisian kitchen range at 100% Design exhibition, showcasing its exciting use of avant-garde materials and finishes. Its innovative and brave use of metallic and concrete finishes instantly captivated visitors to the show with its understated glamour. This unique blend of finishes is typical for Krieder - a company versed in bringing together interesting solutions for bespoke projects.

Shimmering in the light, the kitchen featured an alluring wall of sleek, handleless tall units with a mottled gold metallic finish. This special finish was produced by creating a base layer with a bronze lacquer which is sprayed with a gold metallic finish and distressed by hand with a steeple effect, followed by three layers of high gloss lacquer.

Masterclass from Gerald in successfully reaching a 25-year milestone

* Jones_Lakin.jpgMarking a quarter of a century of continuous service, the managing director of Sigma 3 and Masterclass Kitchens, Gerald Jones, enjoyed a day of celebrations with colleagues at the company's head office in Wales.

In recognition of his 25 years with the UK kitchen manufacturer, Gerald was presented with a few of his favourite things, including a case of 25 Belgian beers with matching glasses and a Mont Blanc pen and pencil set.

The KBzine Archive Search

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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

Money isn't everything for 75% of tradespeople

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Bonuses often involve sizeable investment by UK employers, but new research has found that the majority of workers in the trade sector are not motivated by lump sums.

New Year membership restructure for iKBBI

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As 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.

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.

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.


Burbidge bolsters Bathroom Division with new recruit

Burbidge has boosted its new division, The Bathroom Furniture Co. by Burbidge, with the appointment of a new area sales manager.

Dream Doors appoints new director of franchising

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Kitchen 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.

Paul Pickering promoted to channel manager

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Hoover 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.

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.


Abode's best sellers get even better... exclusive Autumn promotion

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Retailers eagerly awaiting the next exclusive Abode Autumn sink and tap promotion can now entice their customers to buy and install before the busy Christmas period. This new promotion runs from 1st October through to end of December 2015 and all details are outlined on a promotional flyer.

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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