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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
13th May 2016


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

International News

RAK launches encaustic-styled Cronto Collection

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RAK 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.

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

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

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.

Welcome to the


John and I have produced this issue of KBzine while also covering an enormous four-day cleaning show in the beautiful city of Amsterdam.

One of the things that has struck me while walking around the halls is that the lines between that industry and this are starting to blur.


We're starting to see more and more self-cleaning loos displayed, which are of  the calibre that one would normally see at a KBB event – i.e. smart rather than ‘municipal’. Perhaps it won't be many years before the majority of us have these in our bathrooms at home – and if the local authorities don't continue to close our public washrooms and sell them off to be turned into housing – we might just see them in 'away from home' washrooms too.

Cleaning toilets can’t be on many people’s bucket list, can it?

Another area where I see a real crossover is in the conservation of this planet's resources – and particularly water. Both industries are working really hard to ensure that we use as little water in our processes as possible.

Further down the page is a thought-provoking piece selling the benefits of the food waste processor. I've spent the week looking at these on a much grander scale and learning about what happens to the waste at the other end of the process. Judging by some of the conversations I've had, it won't be that many years before every new kitchen will have to incorporate water-saving devices and a food waste crusher/disposer of some sort.

I for one don’t think it will be a moment too soon…



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

KBSA Designer Awards 2016

* Kbsa-Design-Award.jpgThe Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has reminded us that the deadline for 2016 Designer Awards submissions is fast approaching - so don't miss the opportunity to showcase your talents.

The deadline for entries is Friday 3rd June 2016.

More Bette Baths with hidden overflow - BetteSensory options extended

* BetteSensory.jpgWith the launch of the BetteLux Shape bath in 2015, Bette introduced a new type of electronic waste and overflow system called BetteSensory, which removes the need for a visible bath overflow. The company is now adding this innovative option to other baths in its portfolio.

Bette teamed up with drainage expert Viega, to create the BetteSensory, which allows the smooth Bette enamel to be enjoyed without being interrupted by an overflow. Developed specifically for the BetteLux Shape bath, it can now also be fitted to baths in the BetteLux, BetteLux Oval, BetteArt, BetteFree, and BetteOne collections, as well as all Highline and Silhouette designs.

Your contribution to landfill...

* Food-waste.jpgProblems are often brushed under the carpet, but one problem that cannot be ignored any longer is the issue of sending food waste to landfill sites.

InSinkErator, inventor of the food waste disposer, has always had the environment at the forefront of its thinking, and provides a solution to reduce the amount of food waste sent to landfill sites.

'Form and Functionality' from the Pure Bathroom Collection by Smiths Briten

* Vico.jpgBang on trend for summer 2016's pared-back look, distributor Smiths Briten has launched two beautifully simple bathroom suites - perfect for either a small cloakroom or a larger en-suite.

Calcutta Marble booms as tastes change: Decor of the month from Wilsonart reflects historical design trend

* Calcutta-Marble3.jpgWilsonart has identified growing demand for white marble effects. There's no coincidence that the enduring design appeal of white marble, just like that of the Taj Mahal so recently visited by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, is enjoying a resurgence in kitchen design.

The white marble trend was seen throughout the Eurocucina showcase in April underlining how much this intricate design is back at the forefront of the market.

New technology: Washbasin and bathroom furniture merge to form a single unit

* Duravit_c-bonded.jpgTo meet the highest design requirements in the bathroom, Duravit has developed an innovative method that involves connecting the ceramic furniture washbasin to the surface of the vanity unit to create a perfect whole.

This completely new look produces an exceptionally sleek washing area.

Bathroom storage just got seriously slick with HiB'S Stratus

* HIB-Stratus-60.jpgHiB is continuing in its unrelenting mission to help consumers to make their bathrooms beautiful with its stunning new Stratus bathroom cabinet range.

A must-have for any retailer, the Stratus is the ideal choice for discerning customers seeking a storage solution which isn't just slick in design but guaranteed to inject a real 'wow' factor into their bathroom.

Caple launches new pyrolytic pizza oven

* pizza-oven.jpgCooking pizza reaches a new dimension with Caple's new Sense Premium C2485 pyrolytic oven. The pizza function is a first for Caple and this model, which comes with a pizza stone, will cook this Italian cuisine in just three minutes at a temperature of 350C, making this the perfect choice for fresh pizzas.

Utopia invests in manufacturing excellence

* Utopia_Dave-Conn.jpgBathroom furniture sector specialist, Utopia Bathrooms, has demonstrated its commitment to UK manufacturing by investing in a new board storage and delivery system including a throughfeed router at its Wolverhampton headquarters.

Representing capital investment of over £500,000, the new machinery has increased productivity and facilitated better capacity planning.

VitrA expands sales team with new 'North of England' rep

* Dutch.jpgVitrA is expanding its sales team by appointing Darren Dutch as area sales manager for the North of England.

Employee raffle helps four-legged friends in their time of need

* Athena.jpgThe future is looking bright for two canines in need at a Romanian dogs home thanks to the generosity of kind-hearted staff at the Geberit HQ in Warwick.

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

BMA builds its conference line up

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

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

The 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.

iKBBI provides support to Trading Standards

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In 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.

New head office and manufacturing warehouse facility for Phoenix Bathrooms

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Phoenix 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.

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

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Chancellor 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?

Five year warranty on selected laundry products launched at CIH Show

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Amica 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.

Trust me... I'm V-ZUG

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In 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.


Dream Doors appoints Ed Brewer as new director of operations

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

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.


New and updated Kinedo brochure published

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Saniflo 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.

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