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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
29th January 2016


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

International News

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.

Peka extends appeal of Fluid II corner system

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The 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%.

Classy curves from new Citronella

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Moods' new Citronella bathroom suite blends minimalist lines with sumptuous curves and is the latest suite to join PJH's Bathrooms to Love Collection.

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.

Welcome to the


An interesting post appeared on our Facebook page this week, written by Bags Mort, who’s asking us all for input on a problem he’s having with rusty shower controls. In it, he says:

“I am currently having an issue with a supplier under the Sale of Goods Act regarding shower controls provided three years ago. It would appear that the controls are rusting externally, and the supplier is now arguing about durability and the reasonable amount of time a person should expect shower controls to last.

“Can anyone give me any industry guidance on how long a consumer should expect shower controls to last before they might reasonably expect this type of corrosion, given that shower controls by their very nature will be subject to heat and moisture for prolonged periods of time?

“The company is asking for expert/industry standards to determine reasonable time against durability etc. before they will help in any way, and in the meantime I am stuck with a shower that is constantly continuing to corrode.

“All help/comment appreciated!”

I mentioned to John Austen that I was incredulous that a supplier felt it was ok for a shower control to go rusty. I agree with Bags that anything that’s destined to spend its life in a damp and steamy bathroom and be constantly doused in water, shouldn’t really change too much in appearance – unless of course you’re a human being who’s spent too long in the bath & ended up looking lobster-like and with wrinkled fingers!

John’s response was that his showerhead – even newer than Bags’s – had gone the same way, (rusty, not wrinkled!) but I got the impression that he was resigned to the fact that it had rusted, because he’d bought it over the Internet.

So what’s the answer to this one please?

Do we come from such a throwaway society that we shouldn’t be bothered that bathroom fittings are rusting while still fairly new? Or is it that there are so many fabulous designs being launched that the manufacturers expect to be able to tempt us to replace our old fittings after a couple of years, and therefore don’t build them to last? Or have Bags and John fallen foul of some products that are just not fit for purpose?

Your input – as Bags said – will be most appreciated; not just for his dispute, but for my own knowledge.



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Bathroom market to outperform UK economy in 2016

* bathroom-market-report.jpgA new report from MTW Research on the UK bathroom market suggests that bathroom retailers' sales will outperform the UK economy in 2016, with sustainable growth forecast throughout the year as consumer spending continues to remain high.

Based on data from 90 leading bathroom retailers, the research found that sales in 2016 are now at an historic high, surpassing £1 billion for the first time. According to the report, 2016 is set to enjoy high levels of consumer confidence boosting growth in the high value sector of the bathroom market. Rapid housing transaction growth, low unemployment and sustained vigour from specialist retailers with regard to differentiation of service are just some of the key issues identified by MTW as prompting growth across the bathroom industry in 2016.

Bathroom Academy upgrade launches at KBB

* Bathroom-academy.jpgThe popular Bathroom Academy, managed for the industry by the Bathroom Manufacturers Association, has received a major upgrade and will be relaunched at KBB Birmingham in March 2016.

The Bathroom Academy has been under review by experts from the bathroom industry for almost 12 months. Many man-hours have been dedicated to make the eLearning website bang up-to-date and its fresh new look brightens the easily navigable site.

Fall in workloads for small builders, warns FMB

* FMB.jpgWorkloads for small builders across the country took a downward turn towards the end of last year, the Federation of Master Builders' latest State of Trade Survey has revealed, amid worries over wider economic uncertainty.

"The building industry remains confident of continued growth but the slowdown we saw in the last quarter is a cause for concern," notes Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB. "Undoubtedly, the adverse weather experienced in large parts of the country has played its part, by causing projects to overrun and costs to spiral. However, the fact that both current and expected construction workloads are down in every region is worrying given some of the gloomy predictions being made about the wider economy.

White is now the toast of the kitchen!

* white-new-toast.jpgWhite is the new black for kitchen worktops, according to home makeover specialist Granite Transformations, having reviewed its sales figures for 2015.

Two years ago it reported that black granite was by far the most popular amongst its own customers, although later that year it predicted that white worktops would be amongst the top interior design trends, attributing this to the 'Apple effect' of minimalist white product design.

Sing to the sound of SysRock for a chance to win £5,000 of Festool Tools!

Festool is giving customers the chance to win £5,000 of Festool tools... This fun competition is to celebrate the launch of the new SysRock BR10 Site Radio by asking tradespeople to submit a video of them singing along to one of the SysRock songs, as chosen by tradespeople at the end of last year.

Entrants can visit have 20 songs to choose from and can download the backing track and lyrics. Once you've recorded yourselves singing, you can upload your video to be in with a chance to win.

Indesit says its new MyTime dishwasher boasts fastest eco cycle on the market

* Indesit-DFG26B1.jpgIndesit's new DFG 26B1UK MyTime freestanding dishwasher's eco cycle is 25% quicker than previous models, saving up to 52 minutes, and is said by the manufacturer to be the fastest on the market.

The appliance owes its speed to an enhanced drying process that reduces the cycle length down to 138 minutes for a full 13 place-setting load; features such as the MyTime option are designed to reduce the time duration of any selected cycle.

Harvey Maria shows how to use 2016's colour trends

* Harvey-Maria.jpgFor 2016, Pantone has introduced two new shades as its colours of the year - 'Serenity' and 'Rose Quartz'.

Pantone believe that "Serenity is weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times."

John Lewis signs exclusivity deal for Gorenje by Starck

* Gorenje-by-Starck.jpgThe stylish new 'Gorenje by Starck' collection is now available exclusively through John Lewis. Developed with internationally acclaimed designer Philippe Starck, the collection boasts a selection of ovens, microwaves, hobs, hoods, refrigerators and warming drawers - all of which boast 100% matching design and feature Gorenje's most advanced technology.

"Gorenje by Starck is a stunning new line of technologically advanced appliances and we are delighted to be partnering with John Lewis to make this available to consumers across the UK," says Jernej Hren, managing director of Gorenje UK.

New adapter for waste disposal units from Rangemaster Sinks

* Square-Waste-Kit.jpgRangemaster has launched a new waste disposal adapter for its growing range of sinks with square wastes. The new offering allows any of the company's high quality waste disposal units to be fitted to the entire range of sinks, whereas it was only previously possible on models with circular versions.

The new adapter has a brushed finish to complement all stainless steel models. It is also constructed from three easy to assemble parts, making installation quick and simple.

InSinkErator unveils new showroom at Watford HQ

* InSinkErator-Showroom.jpgTo coincide with an increasing product portfolio, InSinkErator has moved to new offices with a new showroom and demonstration area that proudly showcases the wide range of InSinkErator products, increasing the opportunities for retailers to experience demonstrations and product specific events.

The 3N1 steaming hot water taps in an array of beautiful shades dominate the back wall of the showroom, while the food waste disposers are displayed throughout, offering a true reflection of how the products would look and sound once installed.

An industrial revolution in the bathroom...

* Metalic-Double-End-bath.jpgInspired by industrial luxe trends, Frontline Bathrooms has launched two new freestanding statement baths as part of its 2016 aquabathe collection.

The new season's arrivals are the epitome of luxury and create an instant focal point for the bathroom.

Abacus Manufacturing Group helps raise money for Saint Michael's Hospice

* Abacus-skydive.jpgAbacus Manufacturing Group, the bathroom products manufacturer and specialist distributor, will be supporting Saint Michael's Hospice in Harrogate with two skydives during 2016.

Garry Smith appointed as Hoover product manager

* Hoover_Garry-Smith.jpgHoover has added to its freestanding division, with the appointment of Garry Smith as laundry product manager. Having spent his 27 year career working as a buyer at a leading retail partner, Garry joins Hoover to assist with the company's ambitious growth plans.

Steve Macdonald, marketing director at Hoover Candy UK comments: "Garry's wealth of experience makes him ideally placed to join the product development team as we continue to build a range of appliances which meet and exceed consumer and market expectations. In fact, we have a vision for all our appliances to be 100% Wi-Fi connected by 2017."

Hafele launches new kitchen accessories directory

* Hafele-catalogue.jpgHafele UK has launched a new Kitchen Accessories directory, which showcases the latest innovations in kitchen storage, stylish waste management and ventilation, boasts over 1000 kitchen fixtures and fittings - providing everything trade professionals and kitchen studios need to make high-end kitchen designs, including flexible systems for accessible kitchens.

The catalogue also includes new product launches, such as Vauth-Sagel's latest swing out larders, Flex Corner and Cornerstone corner solutions as well as a XXL Liner waste bin, Hailo's laundry carrier and the Plasmamade ventilation system.

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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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Utopia appoints marketing director to strengthen brand position

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

Wilsonart appoints new national accounts manager for distribution

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American 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.

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.


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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