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


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

International News

Extending working lives

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The 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*.

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

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Following 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.

Make a standout style statement with HIB'S Zircon

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

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.


Welcome to the


With news of exploding appliances hitting the press (no pun intended!) again this week, Trustmark’s latest initiative is timely. The organisation has partnered with CFOA Blue Watch, the Chief Fire Officers’ home safety scheme, to promote the assessment and registration of safety features and appliances.

Supported by UK Fire and Rescue services, Blue Watch provides help and support to households to reduce hazards posed by electricity, gas, fire and carbon monoxide, for example. The Blue Watch logo shows that a trusted fire safety professional has validated a property or safety product – and of course Trustmark endorses the need for qualified and experienced professionals to install and maintain appliances.

For while it’s the exploding appliance that’s generally blamed, so often it’s actually the way it’s been fitted in the first place or how it’s been treated since, that’s the real problem.  People moving home sometimes dismantle appliances to make them more easily transportable (and then don’t reassemble them again correctly) or perhaps connect something up that they shouldn’t be fiddling around with. Few notify the manufacturers of their move. And then there’s the misuse…

Some years ago I kept getting shocks from my washing machine as I unloaded my washing. I’d thought it was just the cold, as the machine was in an unheated extension, but it turned out that I was receiving electric shocks as a result of something my (now-ex) partner had done when he connected it up after our house move. If I’d not mentioned it to my father, I might not be here now. The experience has taught me to use a qualified professional every time – and register my products, so manufacturers know where I am in the event of a product recall.

The more we can do to get the message across, the better.



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

How to make the North a magnet for the 'Millenials'

* Northern.jpgChancellor George Osborne has promised plenty of money for the Northern Powerhouse Project since he first proposed it in 2014. But is the effort really enough to turn the concept into reality?

And how well prepared is the North itself? A KPMG report released recently said that the biggest issue facing the Northern Powerhouse is how to attract and retain people in their twenties and thirties - the 'millenial' generation.

Uform launches three new ranges in matte, gloss & oak finishes

* Uform-MAIN-PIC.jpgUform is celebrating Spring / Summer with the launch of a new product trio under its popular Kitchen Stori consumer brand. Featuring matte, gloss and oak finishes, these latest ranges are designed to capitalise on current market trends and provide products that represent the best that the kitchen industry has to offer.

Smeg debuts stunning Dolce Stil Novo collection

* smeg-blades-hob.jpgSmeg has debuted Dolce Stil Novo - its most elegant and technically advanced collection of appliances ever. Conceived and manufactured in Italy, the collection comprises innovative built-in ovens, game-changing hobs and pan-stand designs inspired by the natural world.

AEG brings sous vide cooking to compact range

* AEG-sous-vide.jpgAEG is launching a compact, multifunction oven with sous vide, to bring great taste to kitchens of all sizes. It works in exactly the same way as a traditional oven, with the added benefit of steam and sous vide functions.

Five year warranty on selected laundry products launched at CIH Show

* High-Five-promo.jpgAmica household appliances, one of Europe's fastest growing manufacturers, is now supporting laundry products with a five year parts and labour warranty. Launched at the CIH Show in Birmingham, the warranty will be available on all laundry products in the Amica catalogue with a 7Kg capacity and above.

'Master your Metropolis' with Urban Interior (London)

* urban-interiors.jpgChampioning the latest trend for farm-to-table food preparation, luxury interiors showroom, Urban Interior, brings nature back into the home with its innovative granite Herb Garden, featured in the Urban Kitchen Collection by SieMatic.

Designed with the modern lifestyle in mind, a herb garden in the kitchen is perfect for metropolis environments as it is both sustainable and aesthetically pleasing.

Trust me... I'm V-ZUG

* Most-Trusted-Brand.jpgIn a recent online survey, premium appliance brand V-ZUG was awarded the accolade of the most trusted provider of household and kitchen appliances in its home country of Switzerland. This coveted award recognises and rewards quality and reliability.

For many years Readers Digest has surveyed readers across Europe to ask which brands they consider the most trustworthy and this year some 16,000 consumers were involved including 1,200 in Switzerland. The Swiss contingent, not for the first time, voted V-ZUG as its most trusted brand.

Utility room with innovative dog washing area

* Dogwash.jpgEdmondson Interiors has announced the launch of its new bespoke contemporary utility room - now on display in its Kent showroom. Within the utility room the company has designed an innovative and very unusual (and useful) dog washing area which can of course also be used for either boots or sports equipment washing too!

Custom made wet room flooring solutions for Voyage Care

* custom-made.jpgOn The Level first started supplying Voyage Care around five years ago when, having experienced problems with slow water drainage in some showers, the company asked On The Level to design a solution to stop water flowing into other areas of the bathroom.

On The Level is an expert in the design and manufacture of custom-made shower formers which exceed normal stock shapes and sizes. The custom-made formers created for Voyage Care projects to solve the excess water problem, cover the entire bathroom.

Checkatrade celebrates latest partnership with successful Open Day

* open-day.jpgTrade vetting service Checkatrade.com celebrated its latest partnership with the Trading Standards Authorities by hosting a successful open day recently for local tradespeople in East Sussex.

The event, which was held in Eastbourne, saw over 40 tradespeople attend to find out more about what the Trading Standards Authorities can do for their hardworking businesses along with providing information about what the partnership means for tradespeople and consumers, whilst continuously delivering exceptional customer protection.

Geberit Duofix Sigma 8cm slims down for slim-line installations

* Geberit-Duofix.jpgIdeal for installations in compact spaces, the slim-line Geberit Duofix Sigma 8cm framing system has been relaunched, with a number of improvements to ensure it continues to meet the demands of modern bathroom design.

More versatile than ever before, the Geberit Duofix Sigma 8cm now has a frame width of just 50cm, making it the ideal solution for small bathrooms and cloakrooms, or where depth is an issue.

Design & Form appoints new director

* Jason-Pontin.jpgBritish bath manufacturer Design & Form has announced the appointment of Jason Pontin to its board as a non-executive director. Experienced in internet marketing and working with customer groups worldwide, he will be supporting both Design & Form and its luxury retail brand, Cabuchon Bathforms.

Jason gained much of his experience in the United States. In 2004, he joined M.I.T. Technology Review, the world's oldest technology publication, as publisher and editor-in-chief.

Rev-A-Shelf's 2016/2017 Specification Guide now available

* Rev.jpgRev-A-Shelf, the manufacturer of cabinet organisation and LED lighting accessories, has published its new comprehensive 2016/2017 Product Specification Guide.

Guy Malam of Tembe DIY & Building Products, raises £4,000 for Children with Cancer UK

* Marathon.jpgGuy Malam, managing director of Doncaster-based Tembe DIY & Building Products, has raised £4,000 for Children with Cancer UK by completing Sunday's Virgin Money London Marathon for the first time, alongside his fianceee Victoria.

Guy said he hit well over his target, raising over £4,000 to date for Children with Cancer UK and funds are still rolling in.

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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'.


PWS expands sales force with trio of appointments

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PWS 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.

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.

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