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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
5th August 2016


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

International News

Franke adds the contemporary Smart tap to its best-selling Pro-Value range

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Franke's new Smart tap is the latest contemporary design to be introduced into the company's best-selling Pro-Value range, designed to offer exceptional quality and style at prices within most budgets.

'Wow factor' heating with new Sigma & Fog towel warmers by Aestus

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For those that want to make a statement in the bathroom or home interior, Aestus, the British manufacturer and supplier of high quality designer radiators and towel rails, has the answer, with the introduction of two new heating solutions - Sigma and Fog, part of the Contemporary Towel Warmer Collection.

New Sureseal enhances waterproof protection, performance and aesthetics

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Showerwall has launched Sureseal, a purpose-designed trim system that is fitted at the base of the company's bathroom panelling to enhance waterproof protection, long term performance and facilitate easier cleaning in busy shower areas.

Steel announces Enfasi range cooker collection

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Steel, the family owned Italian manufacturer of beautifully crafted, bespoke kitchen appliances and modular kitchen units, has announced a new range cooker collection - the Enfasi range.

Geberit Monolith: now even easier to install but as sleek and stylish as ever

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As stylish and elegant on the outside as it has ever been, the Geberit Monolith sanitary module has been improved internally to make it even simpler to install. New for 2016, the inside of the Geberit Monolith now includes an installation frame, so installation is quicker and more straightforward.

Virtu has shaker-style down to a fine art...

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Recently launched kitchen brand, Virtu, has introduced a shaker-style range of doors to its new collection which come under the 'Artisan' family of kitchens.

New Eisl Eco home mixer tap range cuts energy usage and keeps bills to a minimum

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Eisl UK has announced the launch of its new Eco range of home mixer taps. Available in the UK from the 3rd quarter of 2016, the new Eisl Eco range will offer a new level of functionality, with Water Saving, Energy Saving and Anti-Scald technology.

Lift kitchen storage to new heights with Alno iMove

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Alno has introduced stylish and practical new storage options for its luxury German kitchen furniture.

Vado launches Strata and Phase shower columns

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Vado has expanded its highly popular range of thermostatic shower columns with the launch of Strata and Phase.

Survey of SMEs across Europe and the USA reveals differing outlooks

Well over a third (38%) of UK small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) believe that if they don't adapt their business models they will go out of business in five years. However, only a mere 2% have done something about it. These are the findings of the 2016 'SME Barometer Research' commissioned by Exact - an annual survey looking at technology adoption among 2,500 SMEs across Europe and the USA - which reveals a number of differing outlooks, across the countries studied.

Gaia takes control of the whole house

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Gaia provides the unique opportunity of being able to control either a hydronic or an electric underfloor heating system from a distance. Combining the wireless element with an app-able feature enables homeowners to effortlessly control their home heating system via an app on their smartphone.

SieMatic receives the highest possible brand endorsement with a golden accolade

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Premium kitchen brand SieMatic has recently been bestowed with the prestigious 'German Brand Award in Gold.'

Established after a directive from the German Bundestag (House of Representatives) over 60 years ago, the 'German Design Council' acknowledges international design and brand activity in Germany with its esteemed 'German Brand Award'.

Grohe and Philips Sound bring the joy of music to the shower experience

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Grohe and Philips Sound have unveiled the Aquatunes waterproof Bluetooth speaker, bringing a high-quality, immersive musical experience to the bathroom. Users simply pair the speaker with their smartphone or tablet and enjoy their favourite music, radio station or any other source of audio.

Welcome to the



KBzine is on its annual broadcasting break, but remains live for important breaking news. See you in September!

Oddly, for someone in my position, I only learned about this today but I find it incredibly worrying….

Back in my days as a young rookie reporter, the Government (or was it the predecessor of the EU?) was attempting to introduce VAT on periodical publications. Naturally, the publishers of ‘trade & technical’ titles, were up in arms, saying – quite rightly – that this would be a tax on knowledge.

Now it’s happening with Internet publishing and, I believe (although I’m still trying to get my head around everything) this will include us posting links to your or your clients’ websites as well as your sharing or tweeting of any links we provide – such as forwarding coverage we’ve given your or a client’s company or new products, to, say, colleagues, customers and potential customers.

The link tax would mean the beginning of a systematic erosion of a fundamental building block of the open Internet: the right to link. If it is passed, the Internet could increasingly become a one-way broadcasting tool, rather than a place of connections and people power.

In September, the European Parliament is to decide the future of the link tax, which we believe is a cumbersome and unfair money-grab that would undermine everyone’s access to information and which will also limit innovation.

The lobby pushing this regressive idea will be redoubling its efforts after the Summer break, but if it goes through, then an EU-wide link tax could be passed this next session (awaiting clarification re UK liability now re Brexit)

OpenMedia is building an online tool to allow us to contact our MEPs with its expert-researched case against the link tax, and a personal message from us – the constituents.

This means that for the first time MEPs will be hearing directly from us about the link tax.

Developing the software is expensive and OpenMedia is asking for donations. You can donate now at www.act.openmedia.org/expression/donate?src=159917

Either way, if you want to be able to continue to share Internet links, do please write to both your MP and your MEP without delay.

Links (while I can still freely provide them!) to further information is below:

How does this harm publishers who want to innovate? Source: Media Publishers Action

Ancillary copyright has "overwhelmingly negative impact.” Source: AncillaryCopyright.eu

More evidence from Germany: ancillary copyright still not working. Source: Communia

EU Lawmakers Are Still Considering This Failed Copyright Idea. Source: Fortune



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Brexit Bump & Bounce for Shower Market to 2020

* Shower-Market-Report.jpgA new report on the UK shower market from MTW Research suggests above inflation growth in 2016, with new technology paving the way for a £50 million sales 'bounce' by 2020, despite Brexit dampening volume growth.

Based on industry sales data, the report forecasts volume and values and suggests that sales of shower products are set for 10% growth by 2020, highlighting healthy fundamentals as consumer spending remains strong in 2016.

Daval launches Mayfair & Varenna Kitchen Furniture Collection

* Daval-Mayfair.jpgDaval, a leader in the design and manufacture of fitted furniture, has just launched the Mayfair and Varenna Kitchen Furniture Collection: a classic design that is both fresh and modern.

Simon Bodsworth, managing director of Daval says: "Fifty shades of grey with accents of wood are very popular right now and the cashmere and grey oak seen across our new Mayfair and Varenna furniture collection answers this trend perfectly."

UK drivers urged not to stop for anything other than marked police vehicle

Following a second theft of a vehicle on a motorway in Essex this week, police are advising motorists not to pull over if requested to do so by anything other than a marked police vehicle.

This warning follows a second theft between junctions 28 and 27 on the anti-clockwise M25 at around 14:10 on Monday, July 25th.

KBSA announces further keynote speakers at 2016 National Conference

* davisAndrew.jpgThe KBSA has announced a further keynote speaker at its 2016 National Conference and Networking Dinner being held at The Welcombe Hotel, Stratford Upon Avon, on 27th September 2016.

Andrew Davis, social media and digital marketing expert, will discuss how social media is evolving and what that means for businesses.

Stylish fairytale furnishings for little princesses

* Little-Mermaid-bed.jpgLittle girls can feel like real princesses, even if only in their dream world in the bedroom...

The various children's room ideas and furnishings for princesses, from Portuguese manufacturer Circu, offer a big choice for interior design, with the availability of everything that corresponds to the fairy tale - down to the last detail.

Start with choosing the wall colour... The bedroom of a little princess can be decorated in the classic shades of pink and violet, but designers can add shades like turquoise, jade, ruby and amethyst. The fabulous look can be achieved with accents of white, pale peach or special patterns.

Dream Doors launches new kitchen design tool to allow customers to plan their perfect kitchen

Dream-Doors-Visualiser.jpgKitchen makeover firm Dream Doors has launched a new a new online 'visualiser', a kitchen design tool that allows consumers to plan their perfect kitchen, from door style and colour to different wall colours and flooring.

Created after consultation with Dream Doors' kitchen designers and feedback from customers who had requested a digital aid to help think about what might work in a kitchen, the Dream Doors visualiser aims to help both consumers and franchisees.

Perrin & Rowe adds a new extra special finish 'Aged Brass'

* PERRIN.jpgPerrin & Rowe has announced its new finish, Aged Brass, which completes its collection of five extra special finishes.

Introduced to work alongside the standard collection of Chrome, Nickel and Pewter by Perrin & Rowe, Satin Brass, Polished Brass, English Bronze, 24K Gold and the debut of Aged Brass are sure to answer the latest trend for metallic interiors.

Indesit full time launderette completed over 200 washes at Camp Bestival 2016

* Indesit-Singers.jpgIndesit washed over 200 festival goers' laundry loads whilst at this summer's Camp Bestival. The appliance manufacturer attended Camp Bestival for the 3rd consecutive year, and once again gave visitors the chance to get their dirty laundry washed and dried for free, as well as hosting a variety of fun football-themed activities to keep the whole family entertained.

AHEC European Conference 2016 programme: the future for American hardwoods

* AHEC.jpgThis year's American Hardwood European Conference (20th - 21st October at the Marriott Hotel, Copenhagen) will provide a platform for American hardwood exporters and the European trade to discuss and debate the challenges and opportunities both industries face, by addressing current issues and future developments.

On Thursday 20th October, the conference will open with an overview of how AHEC Europe is working to create a bright and promising future for US hardwoods by inspiring decision-makers and creating new products for the built environment. This will include a session on the globalisation of the hardwood trade, focusing on the US domestic market, Europe, and of course China.

V-Zug's Refresh Butler enables users to 'steam through the laundry'

* V-zug.jpgSpecialist of steam technology V-Zug has the answer for those who complain that they hate ironing, with its innovative Refresh Butler, which makes creased, musty clothes a thing of the past.

Fashioned with a premium selection of cutting-edge modes and functions, the V-Zug Refresh Butler is thought to be an industry first for the UK being the only personal laundry assistance specifically designed for the domestic home. It can refresh and dry clothes, eradicating odours, reducing creases and eliminating 99.9% of bacteria.

Saniflo roadshow already a success

* Saniflo-truck.jpgSaniflo UK, a leading designer and manufacturer of pumps, macerators and shower cubicles, is reporting a flying start to its 'Building better bathrooms' UK roadshow with installers, landlords, builders, plumbers and merchants turning out to get up close and personal with a range of Saniflo and Kinedo products.

The roadshow, which started in May and ends in October, is already leading to direct sales of Saniflo products, including numerous orders for Kinedo shower cubicles.

TKC's Quickcab saves 75% of cabinet assembly time

* TKC.jpgThe pre-fitted cam and dowel design on TKC's new 'Quickcab' cabinets means that a standard 12-unit kitchen can be assembled in 25 minutes, giving installers an estimated time saving of up to 75%.

Quickcab cabinets come with TKC's standard specification of an 18mm board and 18mm solid back panel on the base unit, and can be assembled in two minutes due to their innovative design, compared with 7.5 to 10 minutes for a standard flat-pack cabinet.

New headquarters for ArtiCAD

* Articad-office.jpgCongratulations and best of luck to CAD software specialist for the KBB market, ArtiCAD - moving today to new headquarters in central Watford, leaving York House (on the Wolsey Business Park) after 10 years based there.

The new offices in Rickmansworth Road, designed by commercial interiors specialists whose clients include Google, MOO.COM, and KAYAK, are almost double the size of the company's previous accommodation, and offer ultra-modern facilities. Importantly, the new headquarters has much more space for dedicated training rooms and far greater space for meetings and technology presentations, including a new feature tech bench.

HiB goes the distance as 10th van hits the road

* 10th-van.jpgAs part of an ongoing commitment to going the extra mile for customers, HiB has recently added a 10th delivery van to its busy fleet.

Originally launched a decade ago, the HiB delivery service covers the length and breadth of the country each day in order to ensure all products are delivered on time and in tip-top condition.

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

KBSA announces further keynote speaker at their 2016 National Conference

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The KBSA has announced a further keynote speaker for its 2016 National Conference and Networking Dinner being held at The Welcombe Hotel, Stratford Upon Avon, on 27th September 2016.

Channel 4 viewers see George Clarke give new Energy to period bathroom with Twyford

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Twyford e500 Square sanitaryware, from the brand's Energy collection, reached an audience of over two million people when it appeared on new Channel 4 show 'George Clarke's Old House, New Home', this month.

Croydex secures patent for Flexi-Fix

Croydex has been granted a patent for its Flexi-Fix 'X' plate following a successful application to the UK Intellectual Property Office.

British Ceramic Tile supports students at Plymouth College of Art

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British Ceramic Tile, the UK's largest manufacturer of ceramic and glass tiles, has been supporting the next generation of textile designers with the sponsorship of a category in the final year show for students at Plymouth College of Art.

New dates announced for Graham Hayden's training courses

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Graham Hayden has announced the dates for the next KBB one day 'Sales and Customer Care' courses which will be hosted by Blum UK at its training centre in Milton Keynes:

Rt. Hon. Theresa May MP (as she was at the time) visits new Maidenhead Screwfix store

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Screwfix was delighted to welcome local Member of Parliament Theresa May to its new Maidenhead store on Reform Road last Friday, just days before she became our new Prime Minister. Mrs May was given a tour of the new store where she met store staff.

Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group signs up its first bathroom supplier

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Since the launch of the Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group in 2014, the group has grown rapidly, and now has added its first bathroom supplier to its expanding portfolio.

Soapbox: don't use Brexit as an excuse to raise prices - and remember - prompt payment is the lifeblood of a small business

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By Mark Errington, sales & marketing director, City Distribution

City Distribution, based in Blackpool, has been servicing the North of England for 29 years. We take orders up to 4:45pm delivering the following day and even man our sales office on probably our customers' busiest day, Saturday, to deal with product enquiries and process orders for Monday delivery - arguably making a rod for our own back but today's retailer need every tool in the box to secure that all important sale.

Hib enters the Virtual Worlds realm

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Innovation-led CAD technology company, Virtual Worlds, has secured a new contract with popular bathroom brand, HiB.

Dream Doors announces winner of inaugural 'kitchen transformation of the year' award

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Kitchen makeover firm Dream Doors has announced the winner of its first 'kitchen transformation of the year' award, given to the best kitchen makeover project carried out in 2015 / 2016.


Coram Group UK appoints James Walker as new national specification manager

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Coram Group UK has announced the appointment of James Walker into the newly created role of national specification manager, within the company's national specification team.


Candy reveals new 'Built-in kitchen appliance collection 2016' brochure

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Candy has published its new 'Built-in kitchen appliance collection 2016' brochure, which showcases the latest product portfolio available to kitchen studios and includes ovens, hobs, hoods, microwaves and range cookers, as well as integrated dishwashers, washing machines, wine storage and refrigeration.

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