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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
6th May 2016


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

International News

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

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Uform 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

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Smeg 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

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AEG 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.

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.

Welcome to the


It wasn’t much more than 20 years ago that I first learnt how to browse the Internet. I had no idea back then, how the World Wide Web was going to change my life, or the lives of those all over the globe.

Back then, it was very much a voyage of discovery. Now, if I can’t immediately find what I’m looking for, or if websites don’t work properly, I tend to become a bit frustrated and sometimes rather cross. It’s unbelievable how we’ve come to rely on it so heavily – and how much it’s become a crucial part of our daily lives.

The first ‘Show Daily’ I produced was in the mid-90s. I hand-wrote my copy, faxed it through to a colleague stationed at the designer’s and he keyed it in, before vacating his seat so the designer could work his magic. The results were printed overnight and couriered up to the NEC the next morning, for a stand drop around the enormous show. Now everything’s so much easier and we’re able to keep in touch and transmit our copy and images, 24/7, wherever we may be in the world – and without the legwork.

Next week’s KBzine will be produced from Amsterdam where John and I are attending a show at the RAI, but you wouldn’t know that if I hadn’t just told you…

Where would we be without the Internet? I for one would feel bereft!

The results of a survey I was sent this week (see below for more) surprised me. It found that while 85% of tradespeople feel technology has improved their working life, only 67% of office-based workers feel the same way.

Those who have to work all over the place absolutely have to keep in touch via the Internet, or their competition will soon be eating into their market share, but I can’t understand how those who are office-based can contemplate going back to the old ways of doing things.

I know I can be a bit overwhelmed by the volume of ‘stuff’ I’m sent via the Internet, but it’s probably made me more efficient in terms of information shared and it’s crucial to me for record-keeping, passing on messages and looking for things too. I for one would not be without it – despite the desperation I feel when when my Internet Service Provider’s not performing as well as it should!



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

BMA builds its conference line up

* Tim.jpgThe Bathroom Manufacturers Association, organiser of the Bathroom & Kitchen Business Conference 2016, has announced three more speakers for the day-long event.

Tim Pollard will be known to many in the industry. He is head of sustainability for Wolseley UK (a major distributor of plumbing and heating products) and was responsible for delivering the Sustainable Building Centre at Leamington Spa. Tim's breadth of knowledge stretches across a wide range of products and technologies together with the implications and requirements of a sustainable supply chain. In 2008 Tim was included in the 'Building' Magazine Top 40 list of 'Green Gurus' and in 2010 he was named as one the West Midlands' Top 50 Green Leaders.

Internet sales of plumbing products in the UK increased by 28% in 2015

* AMA-PLUMBING.jpgThe Internet is the fastest growing distribution channel of the overall UK plumbing and heating products market and has experienced strong growth levels in the last five years.

In 2015, the Internet distribution market for plumbing products increased by 28% on the previous year. Shower controls and bathroom taps represent the largest sector of the Internet plumbing market, followed by bathroom furniture and accessories, baths & sanitaryware, heating products such as boilers and standard radiators, shower enclosures and screens & trays.

RAK launches encaustic-styled Cronto Collection

* RAK-Cronto.jpgRAK Ceramics has launched a new range of encaustic-styled porcelain tiles. The new on-trend Cronto Collection includes 15 rustic wall and floor tiles, in a mix of plain and decorative designs. Patterns include traditional hotchpotch decors and retro-shapes, giving tremendous design scope in a range of natural tones.

Plain Cronto tiles are offered in cream, beige, sand, anthracite, black and dark black. The six shades are included in each of the patterned designs, so that the two styles of tile match perfectly. The decor designs include five 3D effect retro designs and four traditional encaustic styles.

iKBBI provides support to Trading Standards

* ikbbi-GJ.jpgIn addition to providing support to The Furniture Ombudsman and its vital work with Alternative Dispute Resolution, Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom, Bathroom Installers Chief Inspector Geoff Jackson has confirmed that the iKBBI will be present at this year's CTSI conference in Telford.

The conference attracts Trading Standards officers from across the country and the Institute will be discussing ways it can support them in their tireless work protecting and representing consumers from rogue elements of our industry.

Popular commercial tap range extended and enhanced with new technology and design

* Performa1.jpgA popular commercial tap range has undergone a major design and functionality overhaul to ensure modern water saving efficiency and design credentials are met.

The 'Performa' range by leading plumbing and heating manufacturer Pegler Yorkshire has seen amendments to the classic design as well as the range extended to provide further options for commercial specifiers, plumbers and end users.

AHEC launches new and improved American Hardwood Environmental Profile

* AHEC.jpgThe American Hardwood Export Council has developed an easy to use visual system to allow US hardwood exporters to create a comprehensive American Hardwood Environmental Profile (AHEP) with each individual consignment of product delivered to any market in the world.

The structure and content of the AHEP aligns to the requirements of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) and closely follows the European Commission's guidance for the EUTR.

Versatile styling with PWS' new 1909 collection

* PWS1.jpgPWS's enhanced 1909 collection has opened up a host of new styling options for designers. The recent launch of the in-frame slab range brings a contemporary slant to the range that evolves the traditional ethos of in-frame cabinetry.

However, the latest slab door also delivers increased design possibilities that respond to the increasingly discerning consumer who is looking for extra style, personality and elegance from their new kitchen.

New head office and manufacturing warehouse facility for Phoenix Bathrooms

* Bruntcliffe.jpgPhoenix Bathrooms will be moving to new larger premises on Monday 9th May 2016.

The new premises have been in the process of development over the last three months and will consist of a new purpose built product training centre where the whole range of Phoenix products are displayed, open plan office for greater departmental communication and a warehouse and manufacturing facility that will be twice the size of the existing premises.

Smeg opens new state-of-the-art Abingdon headquarters

* abindon.jpgSmeg UK has opened its striking new eco-conscious headquarters, on the site of the original MG car works, encompassing the history, heritage and heart-of-the-community family ties on which the company is founded.

The triple-storey Magna Building (Magna is Latin for 'great', as well a an award-winning MG car produced on the site in the 1930s) places emphasis on light, living green spaces and natural materials, set in four acres of landscaped land that has transformed the former brownfield site in Abingdon, Oxfordshire.

New and updated Kinedo brochure published

* Kinedo.jpgSaniflo has launched a new Kinedo brochure detailing the latest products and updates to bring together the whole range of Kinedo self-contained cubicles including the updated Kinemagic bath-replacement range, the brand new Eden, the Kineprime Glass as well as the latest Kineduo shower baths and the existing portfolio of leak-free cubicles.

Dream Doors appoints Ed Brewer as new director of operations

* Edward-Brewer_Dream-Doors.jpgKitchen makeover franchise firm Dream Doors has announced the appointment of Edward Brewer as the company's new director of operations.

Paradise gained!

* Paradise.jpgVitrA has appointed Jamie Paradise as area sales manager for the Midlands area. Jamie has been brought into the VitrA team to maintain and build upon sales in a region where VitrA is thriving.

'Blood, Sweat & Gears' and smiles

* bikes.jpgThe Blood, Sweat & Gears charity bike ride in aid of Help for Heroes is now in full flow, which Cosentino UK and Ireland is proud to support.

The gruelling seven-day cycle ride challenges riders to a demanding 320-mile route across the Western Cape of South Africa, encompassing 22,000ft of punishing climbs and seven mountain passes.

Abacus' Yorkshire Warriors strike again

* Abacus-warriors.jpgThe Abacus Manufacturing Group team has, yet again, overcome the 10-mile-long extreme obstacle course that makes up Harrogate's Yorkshire Warrior event.

The KBzine Archive Search

We keep an extensive archive of news stories and product information that have featured in past issues of The KBzine. If you would like to run a search of the The KBzine web site using the search tool below please just go ahead by entering in the name of the person, product or company or any other key words that you are looking for.

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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

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

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Five year warranty on selected laundry products launched at CIH Show

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Trust me... I'm V-ZUG

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New customer recognises enhanced performance potential of exclusive Aeon worksurfaces

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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.

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