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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
9th September 2016


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

International News

Dream Doors launches new door styles and colours for 2016

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

Utopia creates a stir

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With 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.

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.

Welcome to the



I don’t tend to mention companies in these leaders but feel I’m on a mission today…

My daughter has moved into a lovely new flat with a beautifully fitted out kitchen that is missing one thing: a microwave. And although there wasn’t much room for one, we consider them a necessity.

“Don’t worry,” I assured her. “I’ll contact Whirlpool and buy you a new Max.”

I have a Max at home. As well as being a great little microwave, it’s a real talking point with newcomers to my kitchen who ask: “What on earth’s that?”. I then go into demo mode, showing off the functions and how it glows either red, blue, green or silver, depending upon which function is used. It plays jingles too!

What makes it really special though, is its shape. Talk about inspired thinking! It’s rounded at the back, so it snuggles into a corner, facing outwards across the room and enabling users to remove hot dishes from head on, rather than forcing them to lean across the worktop and sometimes around the open door, which is awkward and can cause burns… genius!

I was dismayed to learn that Whirlpool has stopped making the Max. Companies are spending thousands of pounds on research to tweak their products above the competition’s offerings, yet rarely do I find something so stand-out brilliant as the Max microwave – now discontinued! I’m starting a campaign, which I think that if you’re a Max owner you’ll readily support, to ‘Bring back the Max’? Will you join me?

Another Whirlpool initiative, which I love, is its instigation of a ‘National Quiet Day’, taking place next Wednesday (see more below).

I have to say, it’s not household appliances that drive me nuts with their noise, but noisy people; I abhor unnecessary loudness… having to listen to shouty conversations from those who have no dignity when it comes to sharing their intimate secrets with strangers, who are forced to listen whether they want to or not. They’re not on stage, after all! What is it with people these days?

I’m hoping Whirlpool can, over time, expand its National Quiet Day’ to include quietness in general – every day, and that by drawing attention to the need for us all to have peace and quiet in our lives, the quietness will become the norm rather than requiring a special day for its celebration…



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

UK tradespeople quoting for more work than 12 months ago

* SCREWFIX-BUSY-UK-TRADES.jpgNearly half (44%) of the UK's plumbers, electricians, builders, carpenters and other trades say they are quoting for more work than 12 months ago, according to multi-channel retailer, Screwfix.

Of the 95% of tradespeople currently working, the majority (67%) say they have enough work to keep them busy and 16% claim to have more work than they can handle, with nearly half (48%) believing business will improve for them over the next year.

Whirlpool announces first ever 'National Quiet Day'

* National-Quiet-Day.jpgRecognised for its dedication to innovation and quiet technology, Whirlpool, has announced the very first National Quiet Day, taking place on Wednesday 14th September 2016.

Peace and quiet is good for you, both physically and mentally. Studies have shown that taking time for quiet can have a positive effect on your body and in some cases can even lower blood pressure and reduce the heart rate. However, it is increasingly difficult in today's world to experience real quiet, and that's why Whirlpool, the maker of the washing machine with the quietest spin cycle on the market, is establishing a National Quiet Day.

Utopia introduces luxurious freestanding bath

* Utopia-Sensuelle-Peacock-Blue.jpgUtopia Bathrooms has introduced Sensuelle, its first freestanding luxury bath. The new bath is part of the Roseberry Collection, Utopia's recently launchednpainted timber range, but can also be teamed with other Utopia furniture.

Bookings surge for KBSA AGM & National Conference

The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has reported a record number of bookings already for this year's AGM, National Conference and Networking Dinner being held at The Welcombe Hotel, Stratford on Avon, on 27th September. During the dinner, the 2016 KBSA Designer Awards will be presented.

Many of the shortlisted entrants have already booked their places. In addition, the KBSA Excellence Awards; namely the KBSA Customer Service Award along and with the KBSA Training Award, (sponsored by the CITB) and the Supplier Awards are also being presented.

Hib Novum furniture collection gets a new look

* HiBGlyde.jpgHiB is continuing in its rapid expansion plans with the launch of the newly rebranded and refreshed HiB Novum furniture collection.

Following a successful corporate rebrand this January, the business's popular bathroom furniture brand, Novum, will now be known as HiB Novum as shown in a new logo, website, brochure and even a new showroom at the company's National Distribution Centre in Tamworth. This latest move is part of a wider strategy to more closely align the range to HiB and its overriding ethos on 'making bathrooms beautiful'.

Old fashioned and tired bathroom transformed

* ABACUS-refurb1.jpgHaving lived in their house in Knaresborough, near Harrogate, North Yorkshire, since it was built 20 years ago, Anne and Arthur Page took the decision to update the en-suite bathroom to their master bedroom. They opted for products from Abacus Bathrooms for the entire project, choosing everything from tiles, taps and shower fittings to basins, lights and cabinets.

The detached six-bedroom house had been the show home so the original bathroom had been built to a good standard but it was beginning to look old fashioned and tired and was leaking into the garage below. Anne and Arthur were keen to create a bathroom that was practical but had a wow factor so the old corner bath, bidet and small shower cubicle were ripped out and the Artex-coated ceiling was skimmed over.

Cosentino celebrates outstanding Elite Premium Studios with its Annual Honours List

* cosentino.jpgFollowing the success of its first Elite Honours List event in 2015, the Cosentino Group has once again celebrated its very best Elite Premium studios in the UK and Ireland.

Exciting new 2016 kitchen sink & tap brochure from Abode

* Abode-kitchen-sink-tap-brochure.jpgSeptember sees the introduction of the latest Abode kitchen sink and tap brochure which is available in a hard copy format, as well as viewable online via Abode's interactive brochure, or downloadable in a pdf format.

The Abode ranges have always been ahead in terms of technology, design and status and they are exquisitely formed and designed to fit into contemporary and classically styled kitchens - and all of these can now be seen in one beautifully produced brochure.

Haier brings splash of personalised colour to combi-fridge freezer range at IFA 2016

* Haier-name-your-colour.jpgHaier used IFA 2016 to showcase the first custom colour, combi fridge-freezer, which allows customers to select their preferred colour from a nearly unlimited palette for perfect integration into any interior. Haier tells us it is the only home appliance manufacturer to offer this new customisation feature, which is available exclusively with the company's 60 and 70 Series combi fridge-freezer models.

Pierig Bouret, European Project Manager at Haier Europe, said: "We are always looking for new ways to please our customers which is why we're pleased to announce brand new customisation options on Haier's 60 and 70 Series combi fridge-freezers.

Burbidge finds the perfect fit as it opens its doors to new Simply Burbidge range

* Mike-Proctor.jpgBurbidge, leading kitchen frontals and accessories manufacturer, has appointed a new operations director to oversee the businesses' two factory sites in Coventry.

Mike Proctor joins the business bringing with him over 25 years' experience within the furniture manufacturing industry. Mike's new role helps to drive the manufacturing process of the Burbidge's elegant new Simply Burbidge range.

Uform welcomes new sales representative in East Midlands & South Yorkshire

* Mark-Tomlinson.jpgKitchen door & component supplier Uform has announced a recent new appointment to its UK sales team. Mark Tomlinson joins the company with responsibility for the East Midlands and South Yorkshire area and will be key in helping to further penetrate the UK market in line with the company's planned growth strategy.

With a degree in Business & Management, Mark has eight years' experience of the hospitality industry and five years' sales experience including a position with Arco, one of the UK's largest safety equipment suppliers.

Further key management appointments at TKC

* Warren-Wood.jpgWarren Wood has moved to the newly created position of technical and training manager at TKC and Sinead Gill has taken up the position of trade counter manager.

Warren is responsible for new product training for staff, supporting them with product queries, dealing with technical questions from customers, working closely with the company on new product development and looking at ongoing product improvement within the current TKC portfolio. Warren is moving into the role with nine years' experience at TKC, most recently as trade counter manager, and 22 years' experience in the kitchen and bathroom industry.

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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 urges conformance and competence

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Useful 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.

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:


Ellis expanding every which way!

Ellis 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.


Franke launches completely revamped, responsive consumer website

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Franke 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.

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