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


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

International News

KBB Industry Brexit poll reveals one-sided results!

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The Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom, Bathroom Installers (iKBBI) has conducted its own Brexit poll which has revealed strong support for an OUT decision by its members.

Shaws extends classic collection

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Shaws of Darwen has launched three new models, expanding its Classic Collection and Inset/Undermount offerings. Each new hand-crafted sink carries the Shaws of Darwen logo, which is a guarantee of traditional quality in a modern product. Sinks are manufactured with a 31/2" waste outlet which is suitable for basket strainer or waste disposer.

Methven secures Red Dot Product Design Award

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Methven has won a 2016 Red Dot Award for product design for its Aio shower featuring Aurajet technology.

Cast iron classics from MHS Radiators

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MHS Radiators offers a range of traditional cast iron models for period and modern interiors, guaranteed to satisfy the needs of homeowners and designers alike. As a material, cast iron has its own unique properties, including the ability to retain heat for extended periods.

Extension design 'flows' from steel windows

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Having found the house of their dreams in a quiet North London street, Marcelle and Robert Schogger decided to extend to create a spacious kitchen and dining area. They were determined that steel windows should be the key architectural feature of their project and, with this in mind, they appointed Steel Window Association member, Steel Window Service & Supplies, to supply and install a large window and door screen.

Liebherr hails the success of its Blu Performance launch

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In early March, Liebherr introduced its groundbreaking Blu Performance Premium range of cooling appliances to the UK market with an exciting launch at the remarkable Mercedes World in Brooklands, Weybridge in Surrey.

Fila surface care regime specified alongside national Porcelanosa applications

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Porcelanosa has specified FILA's award-winning surface care regime for all of its new build projects. As part of the National Housebuilder specification, Fila Deterdek will be used to clean all Porcelanosa kitchen and bathroom surfaces prior to handover.

Local students explore 60 years of manufacturing history in support of upcoming GCSEs

Thirteen Year 11 students from Barnard Castle School enjoyed a tour of the modern manufacturing facilities at Wilsonart UK in County Durham earlier this month.


For the beauty of ice in the home; go for Glacier from Lustrolite

If your clients say they're tired of looking at the same old tiles in their kitchen, or are perhaps bored with their plain white bathroom, why not suggest that they revamp their home and inject a subtle hint of colour with Glacier from Lustrolite?

British Ceramic Tile expands popular Ted Baker ArTile range

British Ceramic Tile's latest addition to the ArTile collection showcases one of Ted's signature prints - Flight of the Orient. Transporting homeowners into a far-flung paradise, the newest splashbacks are heavily influenced by the Orient, with exotic birds and blossom trees being married with a soft palette of blues and pinks.

Promising start to 2016 for UK tradesmen

2016 has got off to an encouraging start for UK tradespeople as they declare revenues are up, according to new research.

All hail the Harrow - Burbidge launches new bathroom beauty

Burbidge is continuing to hone in on the bathroom realm with the introduction of the stunning new Harrow bathroom furniture range.

Tilemaster launches new neutral-cure Silicone 3000+

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Tilemaster Adhesives has developed a new neutral-cure formulation for its popular range of silicones. New Silicone 3000+ now provides a premium anti-mould solution that can be used with acid-sensitive stone, as well as porcelain and ceramics. Other improved features include enhanced adhesion properties and increased flexibility. The new formulation is now also available in 14 shades, to colour-match Tilemaster's extended Grout 3000 range.

Welcome to the


Two press releases I received this week caused quite a chuckle in my office but when you look into the subject matter it’s really rather worrying…

The first regards an initiative by the European Agency for Safety & Health at Work, designed to promote sustainable work and healthy ageing and draw attention to the importance of risk prevention throughout our working life. I already knew about the ageing workforce but hadn’t been aware of what trouble we might encounter until I really thought about the figures and what they mean:

Some 30% or more of the total UK workforce is already over 50 years old, while 23% of the workforce is made up of those 60 years of age and older (this latter figure is set to rise to 30.7% by 2020).

The British Safety Council is arguing that it will be imperative that we hang onto our older workers and while I realise that makes sense, I can’t help feeling that despite the plans the EU-OHSA has for us, we won’t be seeing many 70 year olds humping boilers or butler sinks into place or delivering a washing machine or the like to a second floor flat without access to a lift!

Can you imagine it?

The second release I mentioned discusses the findings of a CheckaTrade survey which shows that British householders are complaining that Britain doesn’t have enough skilled workmen and women such as builders, plumbers and electricians.  Well – from my own experiences, I can second that!

There’s a real need to encourage youngsters to go into the trades, rather than settle for university and what may end up a rocky employment future. Tradespeople – well good ones, anyway – are estimated to be able to earn around £70,000 to £80,000 a year.

I was about to suggest that persuading youngsters to take up a trade and then retrain to carry out an office-based role when the physical side of the work becomes too much, might be the way to overcome the issues, but on that sort of money and some clever investments, they probably won’t need to, will they?



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

British homeowners call for action to address the nation's lack of builders and plumbers

* why-checkatrade.jpgBritish homeowners have called on the government to encourage more young people to enter the manual trades after a survey showed nine out of 10 agreed with the idea. The survey, commissioned by trade vetting firm Checkatrade.com, quizzed 1,000 homeowners across the UK - and left no-one in doubt about how they feel about the nation's manual skills shortage.

More than four-fifths agreed that Britain doesn't have enough skilled workmen and women such as builders, plumbers and electricians. And 89% - rising to an incredible 95% for the over 55s - think more should be done to encourage young people to take up a trade.

Extending working lives

* Christa-Sedlatchek.jpgThe European workforce is ageing fast. By 2030, employees aged over 55 are expected to make up 30% or more of the total workforce in many EU countries. In the UK, 30% or more of the total workforce is already over 50 years' old, while 60 year and older employees constitute 23% of the workforce, and this figure is set to rise to 30.7% by 2020*.

This demographic trend creates significant challenges and opportunities for both employers and their workforces. That's why the European Agency for Safety & Health at Work (EU-OSHA) launched the Healthy Workplaces for All Ages campaign this month. It is set to alert European employers to the urgency of the situation and the need to respond to it in a positive way.

Introducing the latest Laura Ashley collection from House of British Ceramic Tile

* BCT-LA-Artisan-Wicker.jpgFollowing on from the success of the first two Laura Ashley collections, British Ceramic Tile has worked closely with the company to translate Laura Ashley prints into a sophisticated range of floor and wall tiles to offer even more design appeal to consumers.

Featuring The Heritage Collection and The White Collection, as well as further colours being added to Artisan to offer retailers and consumers the most quintessentially British collection to date, the new additions are likely to prove very popular...

Firms must guard against staff fatigue as fines for corporate manslaughter escalate to £20m

* fatigued.jpgImperago has published a paper outlining the importance of taking staff fatigue into account when devising staff working patterns. Major companies convicted of corporate manslaughter that have a turnover of £50m or more could now face fines of up to £20m according to guidelines by the Sentencing Council that were announced recently.

Make a standout style statement with HIB'S Zircon

* Zircon1.jpgRetailers looking to leverage the growing demand for luxury bathroom accessories need look no further than HiB's new Zircon mirror range.

Guaranteed to ensure broad appeal, the Zircon features a stunning LED illuminated frame giving brilliant quality light ideal for putting on make-up or using the tweezers. Its sleek form and slim depth makes it ideal even in small bathrooms, while the reflection of light creates an illusion of extra space.

Baumatic launches new vantage cooking collection in Milan to coincide with Eurocucina

* Baumatic-Vantage.jpgTo coincide with Eurocucina 2016, Italian appliance brand Baumatic held a major launch of its new built-in Vantage Cooking collection at an exclusive event for key UK customers and press. The stylish showcase was held at the Via San Gregorio in Milan and was hosted by Giorgio Lasagni of the Candy Group, Gianfranco Palma, UK CEO of Hoover Candy and Owain Harrison, UK head of sales and marketing Built-in for Hoover Candy Baumatic.

Utopia upgrades bath range at no additional cost

* Utopia-bath2.jpgUtopia has introduced a new production process for its range of acrylic shower baths featuring triple layer reinforcement, all at no additional cost. The new Resinite production method includes a 5mm ICI acrylic top coat and results in each bath being incredibly strong and hardwearing with the added benefit of increased insulation properties.

In effect, the baths will now have the solid strength and rigidity of a traditional cast iron bath combined with the natural warmth, high gloss finish and easy clean features that acrylic offers.

Latest Pegler Yorkshire award win recognises long term commitment to quality

* Kitemark-Pegler.jpgPegler Yorkshire, a leading global plumbing and heating manufacturer, has added the latest to its long line of awards as it received recognition for being one of only two companies in the world to have held the BSI Kitemark(tm) for over 70 years, in addition to being the first UK business to receive the much coveted recognition.

Mike Jarrett takes early retirement

* Mike-Jarrett.jpgBSH Home Appliances has announced the early retirement of BSH independent kitchen sales director, Mike Jarrett.

In making the announcement, Andreas Meier, CEO BSH Home Appliances, said: "After nearly 33 years of incredible service to BSH Home Appliances, we announce the early retirement, on April 30th, of one of the most well-known and respected characters with the UK kitchen industry - Mike Jarrett."

Abode welcomes new area sales manager

* Abode_Louise-Richens.jpgLouise Richens has joined the ever-expanding and successful, Barnsley based, Abode Home Products team, to further strengthen the sales and support coverage offered to customers.

Louise will cover the South East and South West of England in her role as area sales manager to support and train Abode's retailer base as well as to increase Abode's showroom presence of its award-winning kitchen sinks and taps as well as bathroom brassware and showers.

PWS expands sales force with trio of appointments

* Adam_Chelley_Michael.jpgPWS Distributors has expanded its field-based sales team with a trio of appointments.

Covering the North West is Chelley Thompson, who takes over the role following Paul Dorrington's recent promotion to northern sales manager.

Chelley's credentials extend to over 21 years in the industry, where she has built up an immense amount of experience and industry knowledge, most recently at Astracast and previously Jacuzzi, as well as sales manager roles with distribution companies.

Mereway and Speedfab construct bath racer for charity

* Bath-racer.jpgWest Midlands based kitchen, bathroom and bedroom manufacturer, Mereway, has entered a team with a difference into a local Fun Run as part of its 30th anniversary celebrations. The team will not just be running for charity but will also be pushing a bespoke 'Bath Racer', a bath in a cradle that has been designed and built by one of its suppliers.

The Bath Racer was the brainchild of Mereway buyer Wayne Frost and SpeedFab, a supplier to Mereway that manufactures bespoke stainless steel parts.

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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

Foundations for success: the future looks bright for family businesses in the construction sector

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Family firms across the UK are setting their sights on expansion following another hugely successful year for the sector.

New customer recognises enhanced performance potential of exclusive Aeon worksurfaces

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Brent Plastics is a brand new distribution customer for Wilsonart UK and is stocking the exclusive Aeon collection. Aeon is an enhanced-durability laminate worktop range exclusive to Wilsonart UK.

BMA announces conference host and first speakers

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The Bathroom Manufacturers Association, organiser of the Bathroom & Kitchen Business Conference 2016, has announced the host and the first of its seven speakers for the day-long event.

Abode acquired by Norcros plc

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As announced as breaking news last week, on 1st April 2016 Norcros, leading supplier of innovative branded showers, taps, bathroom accessories, tiles and adhesives, announced its acquisition of 100% of the share capital of Abode Home Products for a total of £4.8m.

League table of the top districts in Great Britain for home improvement in 2015

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With many households across the country in the process of a spring clean, it was Kensington & Chelsea that led all regions in Great Britain for home improvement planning applications in the last year.

Bathtime decline, but showering Brits are still a nation of water-wasters

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A new report by the UK's authority on water efficiency, Waterwise, has found that despite more of us than ever making a conscious effort to save water, Britain unconsciously remains a nation of 'water wasters'.


Interiors expert Tristan de la Haye, joins award-winning Hampshire kitchen design specialist

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Hampshire-based kitchen design specialist, The Myers Touch, has bolstered its senior sales team with the appointment of widely-recognised and well-loved industry expert, Tristan de la Haye, as sales manager, ahead of the company's ambitious expansion and new partner initiative.


Karonia launches new Mistral consumer brochure

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Karonia has introduced a new consumer brochure to showcase the colours, features and benefits of the Mistral range of 25mm solid surface worktops.

Insinkerator introduces new product brochure

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InSinkErator has released a new, full colour glossy brochure, outlining its complete product range.

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