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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
23rd September 2016


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

International News

Small kitchen? No problem with the new Elon 45 S sink

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Small spaces no longer have to compromise with the new Blanco Elon 45 S sink.

This model has a compact single bowl with a maximum bowl size for a 45cm cabinet and a bowl depth of 190mm. The innovative 205mm x 436mm stainless steel drainer grid, which fits with the unusual curved design of the sink drainer, provides extra space, making this a truly multi-functional kitchen.

'Mirror, mirror on the wall, which is the fairest of them all?'

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Surprisingly, many of us overlook the impact a finishing touch can have on a room, yet The Bathroom Shop recognises that it's the finer details which can give that all important WOW factor. Arguably one of the most reliant features in the bathroom, a mirror or mirrored cabinet is a must-have consideration in the early stages of design and one that should never be neglected.

Back in black and white: the amazing Arc from MHS Radiators

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MHS Radiators has added the handsome Arc Black and refined Arc White to its stunning range of designer radiators. There are 10 models of each radiator available, with either single or double tubes.

Utopia introduces luxurious freestanding bath

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Utopia 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.

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.

Welcome to the



I’ve received several press releases this week regarding research into various parts of the KBB and housebuilding sectors, one of which (and an encouraging one at that) is covered in full, in this week’s news.

Another, from the Federation of Master Builders, is saying that two thirds of ‘small/medium enterprise’ house builders are struggling to find land for development and that half of them see the planning system (which does not appear to be geared up towards those wanting to build on small sites) and difficulties accessing finance, as other serious challenges. Some 40% believe the construction skills crisis is now presenting a major impediment to building more homes.

When are we going to find a way out of that one, I wonder, and enable young people who are good with their hands to leave school and take up a trade, learn from (and alongside) the best and earn a decent salary whilst doing so?

Another survey is strongly blaming the Brexit vote for people’s apparent inability to find reputable tradespeople, with many householders being told that they’re going to have to wait three weeks for the tradesperson to begin work. Bearing in mind that we’re coming out of the Summer holidays and that not one member of the famed Eastern European builders’ workforce has yet been forced to leave these shores, I have to say that I do find that one a little far-fetched!

I’ve sometimes had to wait six weeks for good tradespeople and this was long before we were granted the courtesy of a referendum – and to be honest I’d worry if someone was able to start work a day or so after I called… I expect the best tradespeople to be booked up for a while, since they’re in demand, because of their good reputation.

I do wonder whether the inability to have someone start work immediately has anything to do with the news from AMA Research that there was a 4% growth in the UK home improvement multiples market in 2015, which was worth around £7.2bn in value terms in 2015, following an increase of around 4% that year…

Perhaps DIY is considered by some to be the way forward, although having seen some of the disasters that have befallen those who’ve attempted to fit their own kitchens and bathrooms, this is one area of DIY that I’d suggest is best left to the experts!



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

New housebuilding in 2015 sees 12% increase in kitchen and bathroom products market

* UK-Kitchen-Bathroom-Prods.jpgNew housebuilding is an important end use sector for kitchen and bathroom products, and in 2015 it was estimated to account for approximately 13% of the overall UK kitchen and bathroom products market. The market for kitchen and bathroom products in newbuild housing increased by an estimated 12% in 2015 to reach a value in excess of £700m, reflecting the continued steady improvement in the UK economy, consumer confidence levels and significant growth in the housebuilding market.

Kitchen appliances accounted for the largest sector of kitchen and bathroom products in the housebuilders market with 40% share by value. Other key product sectors reviewed in AMA Research's report include kitchen furniture, worktops, sinks and tapware, bathroom products and shower products.

LDL extends Leyton lighting range

* ROMA-LED.jpgLeading distributor LDL Components had extended its range of Leyton lighting solutions with the addition of two new easy to install, energy-saving LED lights - the Roma battery-powered sensor light and the Kwadra surface mounted light.

Designed to light cabinet interiors, the Roma LED sensor light is powered by a rechargeable Li-lon battery which has a 3-hour charge time. With no wiring required and easy to fix to the inside of the unit with a simple screw-on bracket, the Roma light is particularly suitable for retro-fit situations. When the door is closed, the PIR sensor turns the light off.

Blanco brings stainless steel to another level

* Blanco.jpgBlanco boasts an extensive portfolio including sinks, taps, induction hobs, and extractors but the company also provides innovative surfaces, introducing Durinox.

Blanco Durinox is the ultimate innovation in stainless steel. Extremely hard and highly resistant to scratches, Durinox stainless steel surfaces are given these special characteristics via a new finishing process that originates from the aerospace industry.

Blue light shines on floor to signal end of wash on new integrated dishwasher

* Amica-ZIM688E.jpgAmica's new, fully-integrated (behind a cupboard door) dishwasher features an innovative Blue-Dot of light that shines on the floor in front of the dishwasher to indicate when the wash cycle is complete.

The ZIM688E dishwasher achieves an A+++ for energy efficiency, provides light inside and there are choices for flexible Zone washing. Adjustable basket space and a MaxiSpace3 (three positions) cutlery tray and upper rack mug shelves provide a host of loading options.

Steel introduces Plasma technology to its range of cooker hoods

* Steel-hoods.jpgLuxury Italian appliance brand Steel has redesigned its collection of cooker hoods to feature innovative Plasma technology, which allows for air to be filtered, cleaned and recirculated back into the kitchen during the cooking process, as opposed to traditional cooker hoods which waste this extracted air.

Plasma cooker hoods therefore offer customers an eco-friendly and efficient way of managing the kitchen's air stream.

Ideal Standard factory at Armitage stars in new BBC children's programme about toilets

* ideal-standard-factory.jpgA new television programme featuring bathroom manufacturer Ideal Standard's Armitage factory in Staffordshire aired on Wednesday.

The new show called 'Do You Know?' is on BBC's CBeebies channel and features a behind-the-scenes look at how a toilet is made at what is the UK's only major remaining bathroom sanitaryware manufacturing plant, which is located on Old Road in the village of Armitage near Rugeley in Staffordshire.

Smiths Briten reaches new highs with latest shower enclosures

* Pure-Curved-Walk-In.jpgWith the height of the population ever growing - the average UK man being 5% taller today than he would have been 100 years ago, and 2% taller than he would have been 30 years ago - shower enclosures need to measure up.

And with a new height of almost two metres, the latest range from the Pure Bathroom Collection offers customers an all-encapsulating shower experience.

Baths by Clay produces some fab Hi-Macs basins

* Baths-by-Clay.jpgIn our ever-evolving homes, there is one room that maintains its purpose of form and function - the bathroom. This sanctuary of the soul is our retreat from the stresses and strains of everyday life; a place where we can escape to relax and unwind after a hard day. 

It's also a room that needs to revive and energise as we begin each new day and in order to meet the demands of everyday family living, the design must be durable, hardwearing, practical and, above all else, aesthetically pleasing.

Zanussi celebrates centenary year

* AZP-Antonio-Zanussi-wood-burning-stove.jpgZanussi turned 100 years old this year, 2016. To celebrate this milestone, earlier this year it launched an engaging, integrated campaign across key retail channels to highlight its rich history as one of the most creative and exciting brands in the industry.

"Zanussi is a brand that represents the zeitgeist of many generations," says Vanessa Holloway, senior consumer marketing manager at Zanussi. "Everyone can remember a Zanussi appliance in the backdrop at one time in their life... From a hand-made, wood-burning oven produced in a corner of Italy to more than six million units sold each year; Zanussi is a company that has earned consumer trust through its cutting-edge design, innovation and outstanding quality over the last 100 years."

British Ceramic Tile announces new area sales manager

* David-Brooks.jpgBritish Ceramic Tile has appointed David Brooks as its new area sales manager. David joins a 10 strong sales team, reporting to national sales manager Paul Wright. David will cover the North West, developing relationships with new and existing retailers to grow the company's presence within the independent market.

Formerly store manager at Topps Tiles, David comes to the business with extensive industry and product knowledge. "British Ceramic Tile is an evolving business and has a strategic plan for the future within the independent market, which I'm very much looking forward to being part of," he says.

Another successful tee off for Abacus's annual golf day

* abacus-golf.jpgThe sun shone on the stunning Renaissance Club in North Berwick, Scotland, for the annual Abacus Bathrooms and Hansgrohe golf day. Golf trick-shot and commentary pro, David Edwards, who is best known for his international trick-shot show, entertained the group throughout the day.

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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

R&D tax relief claims by construction firms rise by a quarter

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New statistics from HMRC have revealed there was a 26% year-on-year rise in the number of claims for research & development tax credits submitted by construction firms in 2014-15.

UK tradespeople quoting for more work than 12 months ago

Nearly 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.

Whirlpool announces first ever 'National Quiet Day'

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

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.


IDS expands its senior team with a new regional sales manager north

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Surface materials distributor IDS has appointed Jamie Ibbetson to the new position of regional sales manager north.

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

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

Uform welcomes new sales representative in East Midlands & South Yorkshire

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Kitchen 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.

Further key management appointments at TKC

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Warren 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.

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.


Abode and Barwick form new partnership

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Abode and renowned bathroom distributor, Barwick Bathroom Distribution, have formed a partnership to promote and sell the company's vast range of designer-led bathroom taps and showering solutions throughout the UK.

Swan celebrates success at IFA 2016

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British brand Swan is returning from the world's leading trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances, IFA, having celebrated a successful show in Berlin.

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.


Exciting new 2016 kitchen sink & tap brochure from Abode

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September 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.

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