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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
17th June 2016


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

International News

Floor-standing Crystal Obelisk joins RAK sanitaryware range

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RAK Ceramics has launched its new, floor-standing Crystal Obelisk cistern. Featuring a distinct, ultra-slim format, the on-trend cistern can be used alongside all RAK Resort wall-hung and back-to-wall WC's. It is offered alongside a variety of frame formats, with easy top access for installation and maintenance. All 'invisible' flush and mounting technology is included, for a fast fit and a very chic, contemporary look.

Bette to launch new matt colours for showers trays, shower floors and washbasins

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German enamelled steel shower tray, shower floor, bath and washbasin specialist, Bette, offers a huge range of colour options for its products, including 22 exclusive matt shades. The company is updating these matt colour options for shower trays, shower floors and washbasins, with the launch of nine new colours, which will be available from September.

Sanicubic XL goes out to sea

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One of Saniflo's leading products for the commercial sector, the Sanicubic XL, continues to enjoy great success and is specified for some very unusual and heavy-duty projects. Three of the robust pumps, which feature Vortex technology, are now sitting out at sea on a drilling rig providing drainage from toilet and bathing facilities for up to 24 people at a time. Two Sanicubic XL pumps are in use at any one time with one as a back-up.

Blanco's induction hobs bring water to the boil in seconds with 14 heat levels

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Speed is one of the benefits of induction cooking. Blanco provides absolute precision while cooking with 14 different heat levels on the BH467830 and BH467831 models.

Challenge is on for tradespeople

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To kick start the nation's football fever, Screwfix is providing tradespeople with the chance to participate in some football fun with its 'Back of the Van' 2016 football challenge. At selected Screwfix stores across the UK, tradespeople have the chance to be rewarded for their football skills whilst stocking up on trade essentials for work.

Smoothly does it - The Masterclass silk story

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With a luxuriously tactile finish that is smooth to the touch, Masterclass has introduced Silk, a new painted range that offers quality and perfection which is only possible due to superior manufacturing processes.

Axor asks experts to "create your own spout" with alternative materials and forms

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Building on the technological capabilities of the Axor U-Base, Axor envisioned a new dimension of individualisation: washbasin spouts crafted from alternative materials with total freedom of form for seamless integration in the interior design or for creating a personal statement. Within this creative brief, Axor invited world-renowned design partners to present their visions for the meaning of water within the living spaces of tomorrow.

Smeg unveils limited edition collection of MG FAB28 fridges

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Smeg has unveiled a limited edition run of MG-inspired fridges to celebrate its new UK headquarters, built on the site of the sports car company's original factory.

Next125 wins two Red Dot design awards for contemporary kitchen design

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The jury of the Red Dot Design Awards were so impressed with the high quality of design in the next125 collection, that they awarded the 'Red Dot Winner' label to two products. Both the new carcase height of 87.5cm and the stunning NX 950 ceramic fronts caught the eye of the international panel of experts and gained winning status.

Open sesame! with Servo-Drive flex by Blum

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Built-in fridge/freezers can now also be elegantly concealed behind fronts in minimalist handleless kitchens. Blum's Servo-Drive flex opens handleless fronts at a single touch. If the door has been opened unintentionally the self-closing mechanism ensures that it closes automatically within a couple of seconds. This will prevent defrosting and food from spoiling.

European Water Label launches new two-minute movie

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An excellent new advertising movie 'One Europe, One Label' has just been released by the Water Label Company.

Boutique hotel style at home

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The Matki Boutique Walk-In range creates an understated, hotel-spa feel in a variety of bathroom spaces and a luxurious showering experience, showcasing the beauty of 8mm and 10mm solid safety glass with discreet yet highly-polished Chrome finishing.

Welcome to the



This time next week it will all be over… and although with voter turnout expected to be high we’re unlikely to be 100% sure of the outcome, we’ll no longer be able to influence whether we ‘Bremain’ or ‘Brexit’. Conversations around the dinner table, in the pub or office will return to normal; Facebook users will revert to posting inspirational pictures and words or videos of cute animals, rather than a Britain Stronger in Europe or Vote Leave flag, with what has often been some wildly inaccurate propaganda beneath it.

But it’s been fun, hasn’t it?

Two months ago the Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom, Bathroom Installers sent me the results of its Brexit poll which revealed that 82% of the 4,203 members who responded to its poll, would vote to leave the EU.

Now it’s the turn of the manufacturers, who are also heading towards the Brexit door – although I have to point out that this isn’t an industry-specific group and the figures aren’t quite as dramatic.

This survey, in which 900 UK manufacturing companies were asked whether they think they are better served by the UK remaining in the EU, has revealed that the industry is largely divided. Some 55% said they think the UK should go it alone compared to 45% who think the UK is better off in the EU. However, 14% admitted that they could still be persuaded to change their mind.

Chris Griffin of Manufacturing Futures – which carried out the survey, says: “Manufacturing is a key sector in the referendum debate because so many UK companies trade in the EU and rely on being able to export freely.  The UK still ranks as the 11th largest manufacturing nation in the world and, although many businesses have concerns, we are surprised the results of this poll are so close with the referendum fast approaching.

“The number of people who could still change their minds could determine the outcome.  The remaining campaigning, from both sides, will be crucial in deciding the UK’s future.”  

It’s not just the UK’s future that will be decided thought, will it, since any decision we make is going to have one heck of a ripple effect!

With so many of our kitchens, bathrooms and appliances made overseas, I wonder how a potential Brexit will impact on our industry.

Positive? Negative? Or indifferent? Do let me know what you think… 



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Kitchen market boost from 'cooking culture' in 2016

* MTW.jpgA new report from MTW Research on the UK kitchen products market suggests kitchen sales will surpass £3 billion for the first time in 2017, with the market strengthening in 2016 as consumer confidence and the housing market remains buoyant.

Based on kitchen industry data, the research found that sales in 2016 are at an historic high, with the higher value sector boosting margins for the specialist kitchen retailers. Some 30% growth in housing transactions in four years, low unemployment and new kitchen design trends are some of the key issues identified as prompting growth across the kitchen market in 2016.

British Ceramic Tile's Retailer Club gets off to a flying start

* BCT-club.jpgBritish Ceramic Tile's recently launched Retailer Club has got off to a flying start, with over 590 premium retailers already signed up to the reward and loyalty scheme.

Retailers already taking part in Retailer Club are enjoying an enhanced level of support from the company and a range of benefits including lower MOV, a better trade price, free display boards and a link of the British Ceramic Tile's website 'Where to buy page', all with an aim of driving sales and increasing turnovers for the retailers.

The KBSA's national chair, Tina Riley, writes...

* Tina.jpgFollowing the recent board meeting, I am pleased to advise that the KBSA future strategy project is progressing well and we will continue to drive this forward with the assistance of Uwe Hanneck who will continue to work as a consultant to The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association.

This follows an interim report which Uwe Hanneck & Ruth Ward presented to the Board after a considerable amount of preliminary work and member meetings have taken place.

Stanza makes a poetic addition to the Britannia family

* Stanza-detail.jpgPremium kitchen appliance specialist Britannia Living has launched a brand new range cooker collection - adding the Stanza to its suite of products.

The professionally-styled 90 and 100cm twin cavity, dual fuel appliances are available in stainless steel or gloss black.

Dads outshining mums in the kitchen?

Dads who regularly cook are challenging Mums' supremacy in the kitchen, according to a recent poll by Sharp Home Appliances. Stepping up to the plate, Dads appear to be more creative and less prone to cooking disasters than Mums, who have, traditionally, come out on top in the family kitchen.

According to the poll of 2000 adults, 62% of Mums admit to experiencing an average of 3 cooking mishaps a month compared to 53% of Dads. It's also mothers who appear to be wreaking the most havoc. Whilst 57% of Mums admit to burning pots and pans, only 49% of Dads confess to causing the same damage.

Thirty6 - new thinking for the smallest room

* My-Home-wall-hung.jpgDespite the typical British bathroom being only six feet square or smaller, today's bathroom remains one of the most considered spaces in home design. With new homes including two or more bathroom spaces as standard - most of which are small in dimension - builders and plumbers are actively seeking products that make the best use of available space for the homeowner.

Consumer design expectations for these compact rooms is fuelled by TV programmes, magazines and brochures showcasing high design standards across the home.

iKBBI announces strategic safety partnership with NICEIC and ELECSA

The Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers has teamed up with electrical safety organisations NICEIC and ELECSA to promote consumer safety within the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom installation market.

Paul Collins, technical services manager at NICEIC and ELECSA, says: "We are pleased to be working alongside the iKBBI to look at ways that the NICEIC and ELCESA can support the iKBBI and help achieve its aims.

Lustrolite at 100% Design - for stunning bathroom panelling and kitchen splashbacks

* Kitchen-Safari.jpgAbacus Manufacturing Group, 100% Design, 21 - 24 September 2016, Olympia London, stand number K572

Lustrolite acrylic high gloss wall panelling, available from Abacus Manufacturing Group, is proving exceptionally popular with designers and retailers who want to add pizzazz to kitchens and bathrooms - or, indeed, any room. There is a choice of nine vibrant colours - Arctic, Glacier, Blue Atoll, Rouge, Mocha, Titan, Carbon, Forest and Safari (pictured) - so that all design and colour schemes can be enhanced with this innovative panelling.

Mix & match with the handless Arcos collection from Schmidt in a range of on-trend colours

* Schmidt.jpgKeeping it simple is the key to a calm, clutter-free kitchen. That's why the Arcos range of fitted furniture from Schmidt is perfect for a sleek, contemporary look that combines clean lines with practical elements and functional pieces ideal for modern living.

The handless Arcos collection features touch-latch doors and is available in 17 matt colours, 13 wood effects four high gloss and three textured finishes, suitable for all interiors and decor styles.?

Showerwall updates its range with distinctive new decors

* Showerwall-Urban.jpgThe June relaunch of Showerwall sees it get a major design update with seven new decors added to the standard range, together with the introduction of a new designer-led Infinity Collection.

The 100% waterproof Showerwall system caters for a wide range of tastes and demographics, providing the opportunity to put an individual design stamp on any project.

New project director appointed at hobsons|choice

* Clive-Hathaway.jpghobsons|choice has announced the appointment of Clive Hathaway as the new project director.

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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

SOAPBOX: What does the new 14 day self-certification proposal mean for patients and employees?

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With self-certification to be extended to 14 days, the Faculty and Society of Occupational Medicine discuss the benefits of the current 7-day system for patients and employees.

Are you working with water safely?

The Water Management Society is running a two-day event on 28th and 29th June 2016 at the National Conference Centre, Birmingham, which will combine presentations with interactive workshops and will reveal intriguing insights into various water management disciplines.

Quinoa and spiralisers? Brits still have soft spot for retro dining, reveals survey

Despite the rise in popularity of superfoods such as quinoa, kale and avocado - and gadgets such as spiralisers and juicers - Brits still place cottage pie and toastie makers as firm favourites when it comes to dining.

2016 Trends in the Home

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Mira Showers brought together a panel of experts in to discuss the top trends that will appear in 2016 and how they can be implemented in the home. The panel consisted of Mira Showers' industrial design director Simon Browning, Sally Nettleton and Sarah Shepherd from TrendPulse, digital expert Will Brocklebank, interior designer Richard Randall and Heloisa Righetto from WGSN.

Miele crowned Which? Home Appliance Brand of the Year 2016 with "unparalleled" results

For the second consecutive year, the German premium domestic appliance manufacturer, Miele, has been crowned Home Appliance Brand of the Year at the prestigious Which? Awards. Now in their 10th year, the awards recognise and celebrate the best businesses that deliver innovation, excellent products and service that score highly in Which? research and testing.

Kitchen entrepreneur shortlisted for coveted interiors award

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AEG is delighted that one of its premier partners has been shortlisted for a prestigious award. Glasgow-based Silver Birch Interiors has been shortlisted for the Scottish Home Improvement Awards 2016 in the category 'Best Kitchen Company'.

Liebherr has great success at Grand Designs Live London

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Liebherr has great success at this years' Grand Designs Live. From the 30th April to the 8th May at ExCel London, Liebherr showcased a plethora of appliance products with which visitors could interact.

HIB welcomes bathroom renovation popularity

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Popular bathroom brand, HiB has welcomed new market research which reveals that the bathroom is the most popular room for home improvements.


VitrA welcomes Tamara Harris to its team

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VitrA, which tells us it is proud to have become a member of the Bathroom Manufacturer's Association, has appointed Tamara Harris FMAAT ACCA to the position of Finance Manager following the retirement of Peter Skeggs.

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