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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
22nd January 2016


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

International News

Showers make a splash in bathroom industry

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Nowadays bathrooms have become spa-like havens offering an escape from the rest of the world. Close the bathroom door and hop into the bubbles of a roll-top tub or Jacuzzi bath, and for half an hour or so you can escape the screaming children or the piles of paperwork on the other side of the door and be transported to a luxurious sanctuary....

InSinkErator is steaming ahead with colour in 2016

As the New Year begins, and the home interiors world reflects on the shades Pantone announced as Colour of the Year, InSinkErator, a major player in steaming hot water taps and global leader and inventor of the food waste disposer, has been tapping into the latest colour trends with its striking range of 3N1 steaming hot water taps.

Blanco - German perfection at its best - appearing at KBB

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Pictured is Blanco UK's Subline 500-IF SteelFrame sink with a flat IF rim, which will be on display on Stand I100 at the KBB show, 6th - 9th March 2016. The Silgranit bowl has an extra-flat, modern stainless steel frame and showcases the innovative material mix of granite and stainless steel. Thanks to the IF rim, Subline SteelFrame can be installed from above the counter. However, flush-mounted installation in stone or glass is possible too.

V-Zug completes home steam cooking offering with its first built-in vacuum drawer

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V-Zug has launched its very first vacuum drawer, making it easy for budding home cooks to prepare, cook and store food like the professionals.

Many chefs use vacuum drawers to shrink-wrap food and liquid in air-tight bags. By stopping the food from being affected by ambient air or humidity, it helps to preserve its flavour, moisture, texture and nutrients.

'Sophisticated Showering' from Grange Design

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Exclusively available from specialist distributor Grange Design, this new Black Steel Shower Set by MGS is said to be a design first, being the only black collection for the bathroom designed and made from stainless steel.

Caple's new AN900 Anoka chimney hood combines style, function and technology

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Caple's new AN900 Anoka chimney hood has a sleek, black glass and stainless steel finish.

Featuring an illuminated electronic touch control and 3W LED light bar, it offers Caple's latest advanced technology and measures 900mmW x 400mmD x 800-1200mmH.

Max-Top makes its mark in Magnet

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Max-Top has been appointed as an official supplier to kitchen retail giant Magnet. The new contract will see Max-Top surfaces displayed and sold in all Magnet stores nationwide with immediate effect.

Electrolux remains in the forefront of connected appliances

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Electrolux has joined Google's Early Access Programme for its Brillo operating system and Weave communications protocol for the Internet of things aimed at developing connected appliances for smart homes.

Combating the problem of leaky showers with Elements Wetroom

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Avoiding the all too familiar problem of call-outs relating to leaking shower trays and wet rooms, the Elements Wetroom range from Abacus Manufacturing Group is an easy-to-install, tileable wet floor and wall board system for domestic and commercial applications. The components are developed and manufactured in the UK and include shower tray kits and seating.

AHEC to hold its 2016 European conference in Copenhagen

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The American Hardwood Export Council is reviving its successful conference formula for an event planned for 20th & 21st October 2016 in the Danish capital Copenhagen.

Abode launches two new 3-exit thermostatic shower valves

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Due to increasing demands from both retailers and consumers alike, Abode has launched two new 3-exit thermostatic shower valves. These new shower valves team up with two of Abode's existing bathroom brassware ranges - Zeal and Harmonie. All Abode concealed thermostatic shower valves are hand polished brass as standard, which provides that all-important finishing touch to a bathroom, en-suite or shower-room.

Impey unveils new product offerings

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Wetroom specialist Impey has introduced an innovative suite of new products to add to its portfolio of UK designed and produced wetroom solutions - many of which come with a 'Lifetime Watertight Guarantee' and which are packed with impressive technology and installation benefits making them the ideal choice for installers and specifiers.

German Design Award 2016 for Kaldewei washbasins

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Kaldewei has been honoured once more for its new washbasin segment, winning the German Design Award 2016. An impressive three Kaldewei washbasin series were awarded a 'Special Mention' by the German Design Council.

Welcome to the


Whilst writing last week about open water swimmers Danny Hanlon of Granite Transformations and his friend Bernard Stone – about to embark on a treacherous swim across the Cook Strait – I couldn't help but think that there must be easier ways to raise funds for charity. I jumped out of an airplane years ago for Cancer Research UK and scary as it was making that leap alone (rather than in tandem) after many hours of training at Chelsea Barracks, it was nothing compared to what these two were doing.

I was sad to learn that they were forced to abandon their swim, within just 3.6km of their goal. After almost nine hours, (during which they covered over 35km between them) strong currents, adverse weather conditions, increased tidal flows and a huge fog cloud covering the entire coastline, forced them to give up, rather than face another treacherous eight hours in the Strait.

“Early on in the day, we were making great progress and looked set to reach the other side within nine hours and set the new two-man record,” reports Danny. “The highlights included each of us swimming with a pod of up to 15 dolphins, chasing around us at incredible speeds and clearly looking to see what was going on. Bernie also encountered a giant pack of jellyfish, swimming 100 metres to avoid them, and I was circled by a huge Albatross, looking to have a go at my toes!

“We came close, just an hour from our goal, but that’s open water swimming for you. Challenging, exciting, physically draining, literally sick-making and, in this case, heartbreaking! We now know first-hand why the Cook Strait is considered one of the most dangerous and unpredictable waters in the world.”

Danny’s words got me thinking about what a fantastic industry this is, in terms of people putting their health and sometimes even their lives on the line, to raise money for charity. And that’s not forgetting the companies donating products, furniture and appliances to others in need, and the tradespeople giving up their time to fit them.

Aren't we all part of a great industry!



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Double digit growth forecast in the UK Kitchen & Bathroom PODs market

* double-digit-growth.jpgAMA Research has published the fourth edition of the 'Bathroom & Kitchen PODs Market Report - UK 2015-2019 Analysis', which provides comprehensive and detailed coverage of the growing market for bathrooms or kitchens that are constructed off-site with all the fittings included, ready to slot into place on site.

Written by market research professionals with significant experience and a specialism in the construction sector, it evaluates future prospects for the UK PODs market, both as a whole and across a number of the key application sectors. The report incorporates original input and research and offers excellent value for money.

Making bathrooms beautiful - HiB unveils new identity, new website, new brochure and new range!

* HiB1.jpgHaving recently turned a quarter of a century, HiB is preparing for a new era of even greater success with the reveal of a new brand identity and strap line - 'making bathrooms beautiful', along with a new website, a new brochure and a new range - and we're told there's more to come!

The major rebrand follows an intensive research and development process for the leading bathroom company under the remit of transforming the brand in line with the businesses' future vision. To begin with, HiB not only recruited a specialist brand agency but talked to customers and staff via one-to-ones as well as to mystery shoppers, to find out exactly what the business meant to them.

Haier enters into global strategic partnership agreement with General Electric

Haier Group and General Electric have announced a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate globally and jointly pursue growth projects in focus areas where both companies can increase business competitiveness such as industrial Internet, healthcare and advanced manufacturing. This strategic cooperation framework agreement brings together two highly complementary world-class enterprises and establishes a model for cross-border investment and cooperation between China, the US and other regions.

In addition, Qingdao Haier, a Shanghai stock exchange listed company that is 41% owned by Haier, will acquire the GE Appliances business. Qingdao Haier acquired all overseas operations of Haier Group in June 2015, as part of the expansion of Haier's global business.

Peka extends appeal of Fluid II corner system

* LDL-Peka.jpgThe popular Fluid II corner system from Peka is now also available in anthracite to complement the new Blum Legrabox drawer system.

Available exclusively in the UK from LDL, the Fluid II solution for corner spaces utilises Peka's clever swivelling carousel system to ensure perfectly balanced movement. What's more, the improved profile of the shelves enables the system to function fully even when the opening angle of the unit front is restricted to 85%.

BSC says sharing good health & safety practices can empower construction sector employers

The construction sector is rightly proud of its improving safety record that has been achieved in collaboration and through investment. However, those involved in construction, including clients, contractors and service providers, are challenged by the impact of drivers such as changes in regulations and guidance as well as by other factors such as new and emerging technologies and operating conditions.

The British Safety Council and its wide-ranging members believe there are still key challenges to meet - including embracing the CDM 2015 changes or in addressing the health-related challenges to ensure that our ageing workforce remains a healthy one.

PWS worktop factory on film

* PWS-FACTORY.jpgPWS has released a film to promote the many service benefits offered from its state-of-the art worksurface factory. One of the most advanced production facilities in Europe, the factory combines fully-integrated processes with quality materials and an expert team to deliver a great product and an exemplary service.

The film follows the journey of a typical order, starting with the dedicated sales advisers for a consistent point of contact, through each step of the process, from template, material selection, manufacturing with care and exacting precision, to despatch and installation. With nine hubs around the country, PWS offers a local service on a national basis, backed with generous stock holding of materials to support short leadtimes.

Classy curves from new Citronella

* Moods_Citronella-Suite.jpgMoods' new Citronella bathroom suite blends minimalist lines with sumptuous curves and is the latest suite to join PJH's Bathrooms to Love Collection.

Offering stylish solutions for compact as well as spacious bathroom spaces, the range offers standard, back-to-wall or wall hung ceramic options.

Ruth Hinks, UK World Chocolate Master, joins Franke at KBB 2016 – Stand H80/H82

Franke_Ruth-Hinks.jpgUK World Chocolate Master, Ruth Hinks, will be helping Franke ‘Make it Wonderful’ by crafting stunning chocolate showpieces at Franke’s KBB exhibition stand this year. This will give retailers a first chance to meet Ruth, who will also lead Franke’s ‘More in Store Blooming Great Tea Party’ campaign, now in its third year, in support of Marie Curie.

Franke is reaffirming support for its specialist showroom retailers by bringing together its More in Store initiative with exclusive exhibition offers, sister brands Carron Phoenix and premium tap manufacturer, KWC, all in a brand new stand design that underscores the global Make it Wonderful strategy.

Blomberg takes on Scotland

* Scottish-Roadshow-team.jpgFollowing the success of its training roadshow throughout England, German appliance brand Blomberg, organised an additional leg of its tour taking the team to Scotland.

Hosting five sessions in Inverurie, two in Larkhall, Kilmarnock, and Dumfries, 69 staff were trained taking the grand total of Euronics agents to benefit from Blomberg's Roadshow in 2015 to 389.

ArtiCAD delivers 'game-changing' iPad solution for Betta Living

* ArtiCAD-Betta-Living.jpgCAD software specialist for the KBB industry, ArtiCAD, has developed an innovative iPad solution for Betta Living's bedroom designers.

The new solution is currently being rolled out to more than 30 of the company's bedroom designers, with plans to extend this to all 60-plus Betta Living designers over the course of the next few months.

Shaws' sinks test as 99.99% antibacterial

* Shaws-bowland-sink.jpgShaws' sinks are not only for use in homes, but are commercially used in laboratories, hospitals, institutions, restaurants, hotels, schools, universities and many other applications.

To ensure that they are safe for every environment and being a considerate company, testing of the various ingredients used to manufacture its range of sinks is routinely carried out.

Average2Awesome: Smeg UK completes gruelling fitness campaign with Team GB coach, Rory Coleman

* Smeg.jpgQuitting carbohydrates, alcohol and sugar just before Christmas sounds like a terrifying prospect for anyone, but staff at Smeg UK went several thousands steps further embarking on a gruelling fitness regime led by a Team GB coach with a thousand marathons under his belt.

Performance coach Rory Coleman's aptly named Average2Awesome challenge gave the team of 11 just eight weeks to get into shape through the strict diet, along with gym sessions, a spot of office Olympics and covering minimum of 12,500 steps-a-day.

Utopia appoints marketing director to strengthen brand position

* Utopia_Beth-Boulton.jpgUtopia Furniture Group has appointed Beth Boulton as marketing director to strengthen its brand position in the increasingly competitive bathroom market.

Beth will lead the development and implementation of the overall marketing strategy to consolidate and enhance Utopia's brand-leading position.

Wilsonart appoints new national accounts manager for distribution

* Wilsonart_Nigel-Michin.jpgAmerican owned Wilsonart, one of the UK's largest producers of worktops, has appointed a highly experienced national accounts manager to develop the company's sales strategy within the distribution channel, from its head office in County Durham.

Nigel Michin's remit is to work in close partnership with Wilsonart's specialist distribution customer base to build on existing relationships and develop innovative new sales opportunities. Nigel joins from Schneider Electric - a global leader in power distribution products - and brings particular expertise in planning and implementation to the role, alongside a wealth of relevant customer experience.

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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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Christian Smith takes on national account controller role at Whirlpool UK Appliances

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Whirlpool UK Appliances has promoted Christian Smith to national account controller, responsible for AO.com. Christian joined the appliance giant almost seven years ago and has held various sales roles there, initially being responsible for the laundry category.

Granite Transformations COO Danny and pal Bernie attempt Cook Strait world record

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Danny Hanlon, chief operating officer of the Trend Group's international Granite Transformations home improvements franchise, will celebrate his new year relocation from the UK headquarters in Tunbridge Wells, Kent to the corporate head office in Miami, Florida, in an unusual - not to say hazardous, fashion.


Success for Grohe Work Smarter Tour 2015

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Grohe is celebrating the success of its 2015 Work Smarter Tour for installers, which took place in May and July. Over the two months, the company welcomed 800 industry visitors to its mobile showroom - the Cube - in over 21 locations around the UK, including two major trade shows, Installer 2015 and PHEX.


New Pier bathroom furniture collection optimises bathroom space

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Combining modern design with superior functionality, the new Pier furniture range from Bauhaus offers a practical solution for washrooms of any size.

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