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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
13th November 2015


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

International News

Linear kitchens become the design for 2016

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Trending in kitchen design for 2016 is a very sleek, linear look with handleless cabinetry and a few hi-tech appliances that make cooking, entertaining and living easier and more enjoyable, according to designers from independent kitchen retailer, Kitchens International.

Burbidge's commitment to craftsmanship is commended with Manufacturing Guild Mark

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Renowned kitchen manufacturer, Burbidge, has been awarded the prestigious Manufacturing Guild Mark (MGM) following over 40 years' work designing and developing truly innovative and exceptionally crafted premium kitchens.

Britannia breezes into retro refrigeration

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Britannia has announced the launch of a new retro-style cooling range, Breeze.

The collection - available now, features three A+ rated models in a variety of configurations: 70/30 fridge freezer split, top mount fridge freezer and standalone fridge, in up to three colours, including Gloss Black, Vanilla and Chilli Red.

Recycled leather creates warm effect

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EcoDomo recycled leathers can be used as leather veneers (for doors, cabinet inserts, table tops, counter tops, etc); tiles and planks (for floors and walls) and as wall panels to impart a feeling of warmth to your project.

LDL to stock Blum Servo-Drive flex

LDL Components is now offering the new Blum Servo-Drive flex intelligent, electrical opening system for handleless, integrated refrigerators, freezers and dishwashers from stock.

Roper Rhodes extends Hampton furniture range with two new units

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Roper Rhodes has taken its popular Hampton furniture range to greater heights with the addition of two new units. Joining the classically styled range, which comes in a variety of sizes and timeless finishes, is a statement 700mm basin unit and a neat and petite cloakroom unit.

Lustrolite helps householders stay calm and collected

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Relaxing at home after a long day is something that we all look forward to. So why not make your own 'me-time' - or that of your client or customer - even more worthwhile by using colours in the home that enhance feelings of calm?

Abode launches the ISO bathroom taps collection

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Iso is just one of the eight new tap ranges launched by Abode this year. The Iso collection features a stylish and detailed channelled tap head design, inset handle and contrasting curved spout - a prominent design with sharp edges to suit the most contemporary of bathroom settings.

Abode adds new thermostatic showers to its stunning portfolio

Visit the company's stand at any exhibition and you can see that Abode is at the forefront of design, engineering excellence and advanced technology in the bathroom shower market. Its designers continue to add new creations to the range, expanding its offering to the marketplace with products that co-ordinate perfectly with Abode's complete collection of bathroom brassware and showering portfolios - as these two latest thermostatic showers testify.

Hotspot House: the functional app

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The Bathroom Manufacturers Association has been working with the Children's Burns Trust to create a fun and educational app to warn children of the dangers of hot water in the home.

Blanco Sona Silgranit sinks in classic and contemporary colours suit any kitchen scheme

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Whether it's for a complete kitchen update or a quick fix makeover, a new sink can transform the look of a kitchen. As one of the largest manufacturers of Silgranit, ceramic and stainless steel sinks, Blanco Germany understands how functionality, practicality and aesthetic design are equally important...

A cosy bath counteracts Winter chills

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As the cold nights draw closer and the days get shorter, seeking sanctuary in a luxurious bath - such as the Toulouse, pictured - is one of the simplest ways to warm up in Winter. Be it a cosy log cabin in the mountains, a contemporary bathroom in the city or a cottage in the country, Victoria + Albert Baths has a range of luxury tubs to escape to this winter, in modern and traditional styles.

Welcome to the


I chuckled when I received a press release this week, about a survey on the habits of ‘white van man’. Apparently, tradesmen are shaking off their boozy reputation and contrary to common stereotypes, are now more likely to be found in the gym (or even a slimming club!) than the pub.

If you’re a regular reader of KBzine you’ll be aware that I watch the many tradespeople who’ve worked at my house in recent years, very closely indeed – but it’s not to check out their builders’ bottoms or ogle their bulging biceps, it’s to see if they’re capable of doing the job I’m paying them to do.

The latest fiasco follows the fitting – in two stages, of a new carpet in the attic bedroom. We needed a replacement earlier than we might have done because the first roofer hadn’t replaced the leaking valleys – causing the original carpet to be ruined by a combination of rainwater and falling plaster.

We’d had the room replastered and repainted. The carpet fitters (one of whom is the shop manager) met the painter on their way in so I would have thought they’d have taken care getting the carpet roll up to the room, knowing that the paint had only just dried.

But no. They badly dirtied three walls which we ended up having to repaint in their entirety, as the scrapes wouldn't clean off and our attempts at patching up were obvious.

The second set of fitters scraped two walls so we are having to repaint them a second time. We had mentioned when they arrived that their predecessors had forced us to redecorate so you’d think they'd have been extra careful. They exacerbated things by not confessing and trying to clean up themselves, leaving dinner plate-sized shiny marks with the black scuffs still showing in the centre – I was not happy!

Their excuse? The stairs were quite steep! And when I mentioned that the diminutive fitter of the original carpet had managed alone without mishap, they retorted that his carpet was thinner!

I’m about to buy a bathroom. I should have had it done 18 months ago but have been put off by potential problems with the fitting. Am I alone I wonder, or are our nation’s tradespeople – however pretty they might now be, stalling KBB sales because of their incompetence?



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Fixol Universal Drawer Kit available exclusively from LDL

* Fixol.jpgLDL is adding another exclusive product to its portfolio - the Universal Drawer Kit from Fixol, a quick and easy solution for sink units in particular to avoid plumbing kits.

Available exclusively in the UK from LDL Components from this coming Monday, 16th November, the kit can be used to modify any drawer with a 16mm MFC base and back so that obstacles such as soil pipes, sockets, waste disposal units and water purifiers can be accommodated.

Arcelik Group gains AA sustainability rating

Arcelik Group, one of the leading players in the global home appliances industry and parent company of Beko, has been awarded an AA rating in the MSCI (Morgan Stanley Capital International) Global Sustainability Index Series. This latest accolade reinforces the company's, 'Respects the Globe, Respected Globally' vision which focuses on delivering sustainable efficiency and excellence throughout all its business processes.

The company has obtained an 'above average' rating in the environmental categories of 'electronic waste', 'clean technologies' and the social issue of 'Supply Chain Labour Standards'. It has also been rated Green (G) in MSCI's ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) Impact Monitor1.

Bathing in design award glory

* wooden-bath.jpgWhen it comes to cork, few are as ingenious as Granorte and the manufacturer is continually pushing the boundaries of what is possible with this incredibly versatile and sustainable material.

Yet few would imagine that cork could be used as the material in a range of sanitary ware, but that is exactly what Granorte has done with NuSpa baths and basin units, recognised as a truly innovative concept at three international design awards.

HiB marks a new era of super stylish storage with Xenon

* Xenon60.jpgHiB is continuing to add to its ever-expanding product portfolio with the launch of a brand new LED bathroom cabinet collection, Xenon.

Signalling the next generation of sophisticated bathroom storage, Xenon comprises a sleek double-sided mirrored cabinet finished off with a luxury LED lighting trim. The result is an uber modern feel, guaranteed to make a boldly contemporary style statement in even the simplest of bathroom designs.

Buff builders bin the booze for burly biceps

* Buff-builder.jpgForget the pub - white van men are more likely to be found in the gym working out than drinking pints, according to a new survey.

A study of 1,000 tradespeople by IronmongeryDirect, the long-established online and mail order supplier of ironmongery products to the trade, found that a substantial 69% of tradesmen don't go to the pub that often, while 10% never go. Some 17% go once or twice a week but only 2% go most days and 2% every day.

It's panto time at Utopia!

* Utopia-panto.jpgOh, yes, it is! Once again, Utopia is preparing to launch its popular pre-Christmas promotion and this year it will have a fabulous pantomime-based theme.

It's now an annual tradition at Utopia to have a fun social media promotion based on The Twelve Days of Christmas in the days running up to the festive season. Previous years have seen the Twelve Daves and the Twelve Dogs of Christmas.

'Manual Handling for Assessors': HSL training course taking place in London next month

Taking place near Marble Arch, London, on 2nd December, the Government-run 'Manual Handling for Assessors' course will equip you with the knowledge to recognise, assess and reduce manual handling risks in your organisation.

It is suited to employers and employee representatives who intend to begin the process of manual handling risk assessment and control within their companies. It will also benefit those already involved in manual handling risk reduction who require more formal or in-depth training in this subject, including training in the use of specific manual handling assessment tools.

Insinkerator heats things up with the new Anthracite 3N1 steaming hot water tap

* INSINKERATOR-Anthracite.jpgInSinkErator, a major player in the steaming hot water tap market, has unveiled a stylish new finish to add to its popular range of 3N1 kitchen taps with filtered steaming hot, hot and cold water.

Following the launch of the Bright Orange, Natural Stone and Pearl White shades (pictured on story page), the new Anthracite finish is the latest addition to the range. Developed to co-ordinate with contemporary design trends, InSinkErator coloured taps offer a fashionable focal point to any kitchen.

Toto Washlet sales top 40 million units globally

* Toto-washlet.jpgToto, a plumbing industry leader with annual sales of some $5.1 billion, announced on Wednesday that it has achieved a major global milestone with its popular Washlet line of personal cleansing systems.

To date, the company has sold more than 40 million Washlets worldwide since their 1980 launch in Japan.

Uform announces appointment of new managing director

* Simon_Uform.jpgUform has announced the appointment of Simon Oliphant as its new managing director. Simon will be responsible for providing leadership of the company's fast growing operations and delivery of the company's five-year strategic plan and will report to the newly appointed chairman Eamon Donnelly.

New appointment at KBBG to support KBBG independent kitchen specialists

* Louisa-Cole_KBBG.jpgThe Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group (KBBG), part of the Der Kreis, dedicated to supporting independent kitchen specialists, has appointed Louisa Cole to the newly created position of office support executive.

Louisa joins the company from Barclays Bank, where she was a regional bank manager. Appointed to support KBBG independent kitchen specialist members, Louisa brings a wealth of business knowledge and experience to assist members.

British Ceramic Tile expands its marketing team with four new appointments

* BCT-appts.jpgBritish Ceramic Tile has expanded its marketing team with the appointment of four new positions all based at the Northern Sales & Marketing Hub.

PWS supports Help For Heroes veterans with Blood, Sweat & Gears

* PWS_BSG_team.jpgIn April 2016, Mark Stephenson, CEO of PWS, will lead a team of four veterans, PWS colleagues and support staff, on a demanding 320-mile cycle ride across the mountainous Western Cape of South Africa.

The challenge, aptly named 'Blood, Sweat & Gears', aims to raise £250K to further the fabulous work provided at Phoenix House, the Help for Heroes Recovery Centre at Catterick Garrison.

LDL sponsors local football strip

* LDL-sponsor.jpgBath-based LDL Components is sponsoring the new football kit for local team Timsbury Athletic FC Under 9s. The team is managed by John Carey, senior sales administrator at LDL, and plays in the Midsomer Norton & District League.

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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

Construction staff remain in high demand

The latest 'Report on Jobs', published today by KPMG and the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, highlighted slower, but still robust, growth of demand for permanent and temporary staff in the construction sector during October.

Season: the Exclusive Cookery School

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Hobsons|choice has completed a unique kitchen project at historic Lainston House, Winchester. Working with Exclusive Hotels&Venues, the talented design and installation team created the kitchen area of the new Season, Exclusive Cookery School - the brainchild of Exclusive Hotels & Venues managing director, Danny Pecorelli, who says:

Campaign raises awareness of the dangers of scalding and makes over £5000 for charity as it does so

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In just 12 months, the Bathroom Manufacturers Association has raised over £5,000 for its favourite charity, the Children's Burns Trust.

Soapbox: Celebrate being truly independent

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Writes Bill Miller, Managing Director, Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group

"Being a truly independent kitchen or bathroom specialist is something to be cherished and celebrated. It is essential that we constantly promote the many advantages we hold over our multiple competitors. We are the true specialists of our industry, offering a wealth of knowledge and expertise, as well as a distinctive atmosphere of warmth and intimacy that is so lacking in multiple outlets.


Haier appoints Vincent Rotger as general manager for Northern and Eastern Europe

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Appliance manufacturer Haier, has strengthened the organisational structure of Haier Europe with the appointment of Vincent Rotger (pictured) as general manager for the Northern and Eastern Europe regions.


SmegZones enhance immersive shopping experience

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Smeg is rolling out its own 'shop in a shop' dedicated displays with the aim of supporting independent electrical retailers. SmegZones are the Italian brand's bespoke package of products and displays tailored to fit a specific store's demographic and catchment.


Burbidge gets a handle on the final touches with new brochure

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Burbidge is continuing to provide customers with innovation and an eye for detail with its brand new Handle Collection brochure.

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