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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
2nd September 2016


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

International News

Daval launches Mayfair & Varenna Kitchen Furniture Collection

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Daval, 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.

Stylish fairytale furnishings for little princesses

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Little 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.

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

Kitchen 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.

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

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

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.

Welcome to the



* Compost-loo.jpgWelcome to the first edition of KBzine since our Summer break. I hope that if you too, have had a break, it’s been a good one.

I’ve attended several festivals over the Summer and although I’ve been banging on about the benefits of compost loos for years I don’t believe I’ve shared any pictures. The ones I’ve used have been semi-permanent, posh wooden shacks with proper seats set into a wooden platform, with a pit below for everything to drop into. Users sprinkle sawdust over their contribution and everything smells really sweet, all the time. At some stage after the composting process is complete, the waste is removed and used to create energy. Perfect!

One festival I’ve attended for years is set in the grounds of a stately home. The owner told me this year that more than half the energy used ‘in the house’ and for the festival and other events held on the land, now comes from a combination of this human waste and food waste and peelings. That’s really good, isn’t it?

This year at another festival I saw temporary compost loos being installed, so took some pictures. These were raised to create space for green waste bins or non-porous sacks, which were to be taken away before composting had been completed, to the facility that would use the waste. This meant that effectively there would be no waste and that the festival field would be left as was, once all the revellers had departed.

This industry has moved forward in leaps and bounds over recent years, raising awareness of the need to reduce water and energy usage, while bodies such as the Bathroom Manufacturers Association, through the European Water Label, have done a grand job in encouraging manufacturers to produce the required products and widely publicising the wares of those that do so.

As you can see from my picture, the loos I’ve been using at these festivals are very basic (the wooden ones are even more quaint!). With the growing need for us all to reduce both water and energy usage, compost loos are a brilliant concept but need some adapting before they’re really suitable for home use.

I’m hoping one day soon to be able to write about someone from this industry who’s taken up the challenge and produced a ‘posh’ compost loo that’s fit for the home.



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

BMA urges conformance and competence

* like-fire.jpgUseful advice worth - if you're a retailer - sharing with potential customers...

Apart from price, which is always top of the list, there should be two main priorities for anyone investing in a new bathroom. The first is that the product should be of excellent quality and should conform with all the relevant standards and regulations. The second is that it should be installed correctly, safely and efficiently, by qualified and competent installers.

Franke launches completely revamped, responsive consumer website

* new-franke-website.jpgFranke has launched a completely revamped consumer website, www.franke.co.uk boasting a faster and easier-to-navigate design that's optimised for mobile phones and tablets to enhance the browsing experience.

The new site includes the full Franke portfolio of sinks, taps, hoods, waste disposal products and the new 'Frames by Franke' collection. It also features inspirational lifestyle imagery and information, comparison and search facilities, advice and tips on how to choose the right products, videos and latest news.

Dream Doors launches new door styles and colours for 2016

* Dream-Doors-bella-cambridge.jpgKitchen makeover specialist Dream Doors has launched a new range of door styles and colours, available to customers for Autumn / Winter 2016/17.

Continuing the trend for more neutral colours in the kitchen, Dream Doors has added 21 new colours to its classic range, nine new colours to its modern range and three new colours to its traditional range. There is also a new door style range called Integra which is also available.

A trio of Althia kitchen taps from Abode

* Abode-Althia-pull-out.jpgShowcased at KBB for the first time earlier this year, these three sleek Althia kitchen taps from Abode, are now available nationwide, through the company's distributor partners. The new modern contemporary taps offer cutting edge, up-to-the-minute creative styling with multiple functionality - the perfect family!

The clean-cut, Althia Pull out spray tap with minimalist design, maximises performance and style. The tall, swan neck moveable spout allows the control and flow of water and with its diverse application of use, this high specification mixertap is also designed to provide flexibility in food washing and preparation with its pull-out spray. The spray hose is also long enough to reach into the corners of even the largest of sinks to ensure hygiene.

Neff announces Masterpartner design competition winners at the Big Feastival

* Neff-Masterpartner.jpgThe winners of the MasterPartner design competition were announced at The Big Feastival last weekend, Saturday 27th August. The competition saw national kitchen specialists from the UK enter the competition to be in with a chance of winning one of the four categories: Best Showroom, Best Kitchen Design Under £25,000, Best Kitchen Design Over £25,000, and Best Use of Social Media and Advertising.

The judging panel looked for a highly desirable, extremely well planned and designed kitchen... A kitchen that included a range of Neff appliances, appropriate storage, individuality and one that met all the needs of the customer.

Wilsonart UK and Decormax enjoy huge growth

* WILSONART1.jpgDecormax, one of the country's leading distributors of decorative sheet materials and wood- based panel products, has notched up three hugely successful years with its own brand of Decor worktops, manufactured in partnership with Wilsonart UK.

Established in 2001, Decormax now operates nationally via three depots in Wakefield, Leicester and Bishop's Stortford. The company operates a fleet of its own Decormax delivery vehicles and has sustained remarkable growth over 15 years which have included some of the toughest trading conditions in living memory.

Ellis expanding every which way!

* ELLIS-FURNITURE.jpgEllis Furniture's Anna Hirst tells us that on the back of continued growth and thriving business, the company has expanded its Design and Marketing teams, with five new employees.

Utopia creates a stir

* UTOPIA-Roseberry-London-Grey.jpgWith the new Roseberry collection of painted timber bathroom furniture, leading manufacturer Utopia Bathrooms has brought something genuinely different to the market. It has developed a unique range that is packed with choice and inspiring design ideas and one that has universal appeal, at home in any style of property.

The culmination of months of intensive product development to ensure a perfect finish, the Roseberry painted timber range is a mix of fitted, freestanding and modular options. The key to its appeal is a classic raised and fielded door style made from solid timber.

Mereway launches silent auction for charity

* Mereway-silent-auction.jpgWest Midlands based kitchen, bathroom and bedroom manufacturer Mereway has launched a silent auction with the opportunity to bid for 13 lots including a signed Saracens team rugby shirt.

The auction is one of the many 30th anniversary fundraising activities being held throughout this year. The auction lots have been donated by suppliers and partners and offer something for everyone from wine and whiskey to an Indian meal and weekend break in Birmingham.

Bailey's of Verwood, Dorset, wins brace of new Amica double ovens

* Baileys.jpgIndependent freestanding and built-in electrical retailer Bailey's of Verwood, Dorset has won a brace of new double ovens from Amica following a prize draw promotion at the CIH (Euronics) trade show earlier in the year.

Chosen from over 300 entries handed in on the Amica and Portway Appliances stand, the two ovens - which are worth almost £1000 at retail price - formed part of Amica's launch promotion for its new freestanding double cavity range.

Devon Home Cook of the Year 2016 is cooking up a storm with Alno Kitchens

* Devon-Home-Cook.jpgFollowing the success of the 2014 and 2015 Devon Life Home Cook of the Year, Alno UK, together with Alno dealer Bradburys, is once again sponsoring the cookery competition in 2016.

Six contestants have cooked their way to a place in the finals, which will take place at the Bradburys kitchen showroom in Exeter over the weekend of Saturday 8th October and Sunday 9th October 2016.

The KBzine Archive Search

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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

Brexit Bump & Bounce for Shower Market to 2020

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A 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.

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.

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