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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
26th February 2016


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

International News

Masterclass takes up position at KBB Birmingham 2016

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Renowned UK manufacturer Masterclass Kitchens will be heading to the NEC next month, as it showcases its very latest ranges and engages with existing and potential customers at this year's KBB Birmingham.

Proud of its progressive design and product quality: Abode to showcase 2016 range of taps

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In the 14 years since Abode made its first entry into the UK market, it has become renowned for its progressive design styles at all budget levels. The company's focus on innovative kitchen sinks and taps has been recognised many times - with a cabinet full of industry awards which reflects Abode's ethos towards investment in design and product quality.

Karonia at KBB 2016: New Look Mistral worktops

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"Mistral was launched at KBB 2010 when we presented the industry with our different approach and, thanks to the many, many designers, installers and retailers who have dared to imagine what Mistral can achieve, we have grown to be a market-leading worktop brand," says the manufacturer. "In honour of this, Mistral has a new look as we seek to build on this success and continue the evolution of the brand by improving our offering to customers."

Twyford works with homeless charity, CRASH, to support projects in the North East

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Twyford has donated products from its Quinta and T4 ranges to two projects in the North East that provide accommodation for vulnerable homeless people, through the charity CRASH.

Grohe's new SmartControl takes modern shower control to the next level

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Grohe tells us it is delighted to present a brand new, unique Grohe Rainshower system featuring innovative SmartControl push button technology: said to be the first of its kind on the market to offer on-off and volume control at the push of a button. Simply select and start the spray pattern by pushing a button on the sleek, wall-mounted control. Turning the button allows the user to then choose the strength and volume of the water flow - putting a perfect shower experience for all the family at your fingertips.

Leisure Sinks adds Aquaflow 35 to mixer tap portfolio

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Leisure Sinks has added the lightweight yet highly functional Aquaflow 35 (TAF35CM/) to its range of WRAS approved taps. Boasting a polished chrome finish, the competitively priced single lever tap is perfect for both the domestic and contract markets.

Designed for single tap-hole sinks, the new Aquaflow 35 allows for hot and cold water to be mixed - as well as turned on and off - in one simple action. Compared to similar kitchen mixer taps, this new model is considerably smaller, without impacting on functionality or durability.

Devonstone's feature floor range extended due to demand from retailers

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British Ceramic Tile has added a black colourway to its commercially successful Devonstone collection. The range, which has been a hit with retailers and consumers alike since its initial launch, epitomises one of this year's hottest trends - patterned flooring.

Responding to retailer demand and strong sales of the Devonstone range, British Ceramic Tile has launched the new black colourway to strengthen the current offering of grey and brown. The eye-catching tile features a uniform pattern, making it easy to install in the home for one continuous, stunning look.

AEG enters water softener market in the UK... creating a new market opportunity for kitchen retailers

Premium appliance brand AEG has entered the UK water softener market, with a range of products to be sold exclusively through kitchen retailers.

Giving retailers the opportunity to capture the sale of these high-end products during the initial kitchen design phase, the AEG launch enables kitchen showrooms to generate additional margin and offer customers a comprehensive solution to protect their home and appliances from the damaging effects of lime scale.

Lakes Bathrooms launches pivot door with integrated in-line panel

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Lakes Bathrooms has added a pivot door with integrated in-line panel to its Classic Collection. This semi-frameless design offers a seamless finish for a wider enclosure, by dispensing with the profile between the door and the adjacent in-line panel. Available in three sizes, it offers more choice for larger alcove spaces and can be teamed with a low profile tray for a clean, minimalist look.

Mixed material bathrooms, available from The Bathroom Shop

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2016 is already seeing a new wave of intelligent materials being used across bathroom interiors, challenging our senses and bringing new innovation, in terms of material and design. Specialist retailer of quality bath and shower solutions, The Bathroom Shop, depicts one of the hottest trends for 2016 - mixed materials - with its inspired collection of tactile bathroom furniture by Dansani.

Introducing multifunctional living from Schmidt - the flexible way to cook, dine, relax and work

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Whatever size and shape the kitchen shell may be, whether it's in a compact city apartment, open-plan loft or spacious five-bed home, making the most of every inch of space is key to a clean, clutter-free look.

Speedy Easi-Plan installation cuts costs

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Helping to achieve cost savings and creating a stylish, trouble-free bathroom, the Easi-Plan range of concealed sanitaryware installation frames from Abacus Manufacturing Group significantly speeds up the fitting of WCs, basins and bidets.

Welcome to the


On Wednesday, without any warning, our water went off at home. Well – I say ‘without any warning’, but Thames Water had been watching a leak in my stretch of the road for three weeks, so I suppose it was only a matter of time before the water was cut off, so they could carry out repairs. The problem was, nobody warned us it was about to happen.

Luckily, no-one in the family was caught under a dry shower covered in suds or shampoo, so I suppose it could have been a lot worse. However, one of my daughters had a dental appointment and was so worried about not being able to present perfectly clean teeth to the dentist, that she marched outside in her orange hooded pyjamas to ask the technicians how long it would be before the water was back on. Either they were very polite or were used to seeing irate, pyjama-clad young women in the street, for without cracking a grin, they told her our services would be reinstated within the hour, which we estimated would leave us just enough time to get ready and be out of the door in time to make the appointment.

But what to do while we waited? We couldn’t make a coffee, or do the washing up, because there wasn’t any water. We couldn’t do the laundry either. And of course there was no chance of using the loo, as we wouldn’t be able to flush or wash afterwards.

The leak took longer to fix than we’d been told it would, but luckily, we were able to jump into the car and drive to my mother’s to do what we needed to. Not everyone’s in a position to be able to do that though…

Reading the MTW report (below) made me thankful that this industry is working hard to produce appliances and bathroom products that use less water – and of course thankful that many of us, as consumers, are considering water consumption when we’re choosing what to buy, so less water is used in our homes.

For no matter how fabulous and technologically-advanced the latest products and appliances might be, if they use water, they’re absolutely useless if there’s no water available, aren’t they? We need to start conserving every drop we can, so waterless, frantic mornings, don’t become the norm…



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Three new freestanding washer dryers offer an A rated 30-minute wash & dry solution to wettest winter on record!

* Amica-AWD1712S-washer-dryer.jpgConsumers looking for a cost efficient and immediate alternative to waiting for a change in the British weather might consider one of three new freestanding washer dryers from Amica.

Available in a choice of three wash-load sizes; 9kg or 8kg (both dry a 6kg load) or the smaller 7kg option (dries 5kg load) the three new machines share features such as; Extra Rinse, Pre-Wash and an Anti-Allergic Rinse from a choice of 21 (9kg) or 15 (7kg and 8Kg) washing programmes.

BMA to hold PR day

* Army_Navy-club.jpgThe Bathroom Manufacturers Association is holding a public relations day on 12th April 2016, at the Army & Navy Club in London's Pall Mall. The event will feature presentations and lively discussion - and will, of course, provide the opportunity for valuable networking.

Water saving bathroom products see sales levels rise by 25%

* Propellair-cut-out.jpgA 2016 report by MTW Research indicates that sales of water saving bathroom products have risen by 25%, boosted by housebuilding, domestic refurbishment and a continued emphasis by manufacturers on water efficiency.

Based on data from 130 manufacturers and retailers, MTW found that water saving products account for around 30% of the UK bathroom market in 2016, with the 50+ age group, DIoT (Domestic Internet of Things), product labelling and changing consumer habits providing a much needed sales boost in 2016.

Stunning, cost-effective laminate worktop can be curved to create lavish designs

* Legno-Textured.jpgSynergii Trend is a stunning collection of decorative laminate work surfaces from one of the world's leading worktop manufacturers, Wilsonart. The square edge profiles of the Trend finishes can be curved to create a super-luxury modern design that looks and feels just like the most expensive designer worktops.

Available in 22mm, 38mm and 50mm thicknesses, the Synergii Trend Collection comprises eight striking colourways including high gloss sparkle, textured stones and compellingly realistic wood effects.

Tradesmen busier than ever in 2015 as trade booms

* tradesmens_helmet.jpgNearly three quarters of tradesmen reported an increase in revenue in 2015, according to a new report. IronmongeryDirect's Annual Industry Review, which was compiled to gain a snapshot of the construction industry, found that 72% of trade businesses experienced a revenue increase in 2015.

The majority of tradespeople (43%) said that sales had increased by up to 10%, with a third claiming revenues had improved by 11-20%. 16% said revenues rose by up to 30% and 8% claimed they had increased by more than 30%.

The right way to light a kitchen

by Doug Walter, AIA, of Doug Walter Architects, of Denver, Colorado. Doug is an award-winning residential remodelling architect with over 30 years' experience, who speaks frequently to design and construction professionals about lighting design. Here he argues that old-school lighting theory doesn't work so well in practice and offers some more effective kitchen lighting solutions...

"For too many years, the advice about kitchen lighting given by people who should know better has been to place the ceiling lights out in the aisles of the kitchen. This looks nice on the plans, but it keeps the people working in the kitchen in the dark.

Hoover appoints Glyn Martin as account director

* Glyn-Martin_Hoover.jpgHoover has added to its freestanding division for the second time in six months, with the appointment of Glyn Martin as account director - major domestic appliances. Glyn's appointment swiftly follows the addition of Garry Smith as laundry product manager, which was announced earlier this year.

Glyn brings over 20 years' experience to the role, having worked in sales & marketing roles in multiple sectors, most recently working across the grocery and mass merchant channels. At Hoover he will be working on a number of key retail accounts, including Argos.

Hughes Electrical and Amica donate four freestanding double ovens to Worcester school

Electrical expert Hughes has joined forces with Amica to donate four new double cavity freestanding cookers to a Worcester junior school.

The River School of Fern Hill Heath, needed to replace the existing cookers in the domestic science classroom to enable students to develop their culinary skills in line with the curriculum.

Smeg UK welcomes Matt Balm as southern sales manager

* Smeg-new-man.jpgIn his new role as Southern sales manager with Smeg UK, Matt Balm will use his vast experience to develop both new and existing business, whilst overseeing the Southern regional sales operation within the retail channel of the business. He will also be responsible for Smeg UK's ongoing relationship with the CIH/Euronics buying group.

Matt joins Smeg from Britannia Range Cooking and previously worked for De Dietrich and Liebherr, where he held a number of area manager positions.

Geberit hits the jackpot with darts sponsorship

* Adrian-Lewis.jpgIn a deal that will see the brand reaching an audience of over 12 million sports lovers throughout the UK, Geberit has extended the sponsorship of darts champion Adrian Lewis for a further three years.

Ranked number three in the world, Adrian 'Jackpot' Lewis will wear the Twyford logo on the front of his shirt for all matches played in the UK, with the Geberit logo on his shirt for matches played outside of the UK.

Urban Interior (London) expands its design team

* Luisa.jpgNestled in the trendy E1 district of London, kitchen design specialist Urban Interior has added to its expert design team, with the employment of Luisa Agliatta, as senior designer.

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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

SHD acquires majority stake in ArtiCAD

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As of 11th February 2016, SHD AG acquired the majority of the shares in British software specialist, ArtiCAD Holdings. The company founder, Richard Turner and director of corporate sales, Daniel Allerton, will remain as shareholders and will be responsible for the further development and sales strategy for ArtiCAD's software solutions.

KBBG members to enjoy an exclusive consultancy offer

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The Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group is dedicated to supporting independent kitchen specialists in the UK; members can benefit from an exclusive business consultancy opportunity to work with one of the UK's leading independent kitchen and bathroom retailers, with a support package, only available to KBBG members.


Ideal Standard appoints new UK sales director

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Ideal Standard has appointed Steve Breen as UK sales director. Steve joins from Electrolux, where he served as head of Kitchen Retail & Contracts. He worked across the kitchen retail and house-builder channels - with a high profile client portfolio, including Travis Perkins, Magnet and Homebase, as well as independent kitchen studios and all major house builders.

Methven reinforces national accounts team with three key appointments

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Following the opening of its new UK Head Office and showroom in late 2015, Methven has strengthened the national account team and made the key appointments to further reinforce its support for customers across the UK.

BAL expands specification support team with two appointments

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Building Adhesives Ltd (BAL), which manufactures full tiling solutions including adhesives, grouts and ancillary products, has hired two new specification managers as part of its drive to expand its specification support team.

Blanco develops sales team in preparation for an exciting 2016

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Blanco UK has heralded the launch of a new chapter with a new look sales organisation designed to maintain and optimise the company's success under new managing director, Simon Hart.


Dream Doors targeting kitchen industry as it launches major new recruitment drive

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Dream Doors, the UK's largest kitchen makeover franchise, has launched a major new recruitment drive targeting those already working in the kitchen industry, as it looks to meet ambitious 2016 expansion plans. The company has traditionally recruited its franchisees from a variety of different backgrounds, but as it is targeting 80 showrooms by the end of the year, has chosen to focus on recruiting those with existing kitchen skills and expertise.

Fresh new look for PWS' 1909 website

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PWS has launched a new website for its 1909 kitchen collection, following the launch of the brand's contemporary in-frame slab range. In keeping with the fresh modern feel of the new door design, the website has a simple and clean layout that's both easy on the eye and easy to navigate.

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