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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
30th September 2016


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

International News

LDL extends Leyton lighting range

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Leading 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.

Blanco brings stainless steel to another level

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Blanco 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

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Amica'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.

Steel introduces Plasma technology to its range of cooker hoods

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Luxury 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.

Smiths Briten reaches new highs with latest shower enclosures

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With 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.

Baths by Clay produces some fab Hi-Macs basins

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In 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. 

Zanussi celebrates centenary year

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Zanussi 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."

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.

Welcome to the



Once again, kitchen appliances are in the mainstream press and sadly, again it’s not good news. This time it’s exploding washing machines making the headlines but on closer inspection, I can see that the culprits are in the US – and that they’re top-loaders.

Does anyone in the UK use top-loaders these days? I ask, because I’ve not come across (that I’ve been aware of) any top-loading appliances for many years – both in the stores and in people’s houses. Is this because our typical houses have smallish kitchens that require us to make the most of every available surface in terms of creating worktop space, or is it simply fashion?

I know we’re considered odd in the UK for fuelling the manufacture of double ovens – although I do wonder now whether many of us buy them because of their abundance, rather than because a double oven is on our list of ‘must haves’. i.e., do we really think about what we’re buying or is it, perhaps, now a case of the tail wagging the dog?

Something else that these exploding appliance stories made me consider, is whether the appliances are failing because of what we’re doing to them, rather than because they’re inherently dangerous. Or should they be built to withstand any type of abuse they may encounter when in our homes?

I can recall interviewing the manufacturer of the famous ‘Henry’ vacuum cleaner some years back and was surprised to learn that in tests they’re dropped from great heights to see if they can withstand the impact. When I asked why, I was told that aeroplane cleaners had so little turnaround time between flights that they’d vacuum from front to back and then chuck poor Henry out of the rear doors once finished. I’m hoping that this would be onto a soft surface, but of course I can’t be sure…

Where do manufacturers draw the line when it comes to personal safety? Are KBB products manufactured to withstand ridiculous amounts of abuse and where do you draw line? Is it down to costs or is there a point that’s reached, whereby you say, “No-one could be that stupid…” and leave it at that?



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

EKCO wins Young Designer of the Year Award for second year running

* KBSA_AGM_AND_AWARDS.jpgThe KBSA has announced the winner of the Young Designer of the Year, sponsored by PWS, at the 2016 KBSA Designer Awards, as Angus MacKintosh from Edinburgh Kitchen Company (EKCO) in Lothian.

Dream Doors and Articad: a partnership for growth

* Articad-Dream-Doors-styler.jpgDream Doors has selected ArtiCAD as its CAD partner not only for the company's headquarters but also as the preferred design solution for its UK-wide network of franchisees. Dream Doors has invested in three of the company's products: ArtiCAD-Pro, the company's flagship KBB CAD design software, Room Styler (the visualisation tool) and Pan360 (panoramic viewer).

Ideal Standard adds to Concept Freedom range with new accessible bath for all ages

* ideal-standard-accessable.jpgIdeal Standard has extended its successful 'accessible bathroom range', Concept Freedom, with the addition of a new accessible bath, suitable for the whole family.

Concept Freedom's new bath has been designed to make bathing anxiety free for older and less abled bathroom users while still delivering a beautifully designed aesthetic and a tranquil space in which to bathe. What's more, many of the features, such as the lower ledge, will also make bath time simpler for those bathing children and pets.

Now this is what you call a bubble bath...

* Bubble-bath.jpgIf anything stokes the need to pop a bottle of champagne and 'chill out in the tub' in a candle-lit bathroom, it's this Newton Bathtub, which is now on show at Maison Valentina in Italy. It would almost be criminal not to go the whole hog, wouldn't it?

SieMatic Pure SE 3003 newly on display at Urban Interior (London)

* SieMatic-PURE.jpgEmbrace the 'Purest World' of SieMatic with the Pure SE 3003 R Kitchen, now taking centre stage as a new display at interior design studio, Urban Interior.

Seen here in Lotus White Matt Lacquer and Gold Bronze Aluminium with Silk Gloss and Brushed finish, the collection creates timeless, minimalist kitchen design, with a focus on exquisite materials and craftsmanship.

Social secures sales for Max-Top

* Max-Top.jpgKitchen and bathroom surface specialist, Max-Top, has reported that its social media presence has been successful in enabling installers to set up Max-Top Quartz accounts, leading to a number of key sales.

Max-Top, which launched in the UK in 2014, regularly updates its Facebook and Twitter pages with quick responses from its social media account manager, providing strong customer service and sales support.

Czar kitchen taps from Abode: simple, stylish and easy to use

* Abode-Czar-pull-out-spray.jpg"There are times when 'simple, stylish and easy to use' outweighs architecturally designed pieces in the kitchen," states Helen Clark, marketing manager at Abode "and our new Czar kitchen mixer taps, we believe, will become the staple diet of any modern kitchen. For us it's not about creating just functional objects, it's about creating both a functional and practical object with stylish clean lines and modern shapes."

With this in mind the two new chrome Czar taps are solid geometric forms with a contemporary feel embodying this popular style. The Monobloc tap is a combination of sophisticated modern styling, offering a curvaceous spout with precision water control and has been created for people who want the perfect blend of design, performance, quality and certainly, value for money.

Frontline Bathrooms launches Autumn Winter 2016/17 brochure

* Frontline-Autumn.jpgLuxury is the name of the game this season, and UK bathroom distributor Frontline Bathrooms has pulled out all the stops in its new Autumn Winter 2016/17 brochure to make it the biggest and best yet.

Triton showers welcome new specification director

* Triton_Martin-Smith.jpgThe Great British Shower Company, Triton, has strengthened its specification team with the appointment of Martin Smith.

Martin joins as specification director having previously held a number of senior, demand generation roles and will be primarily responsible for new sector development and sales pipeline optimisation.

Team Croydex counts down to Tough Sh!t challenge

* Croydex.jpgCroydex is counting down to October's Tough Sh!t challenge which sees its 11-strong team of runners tackle a 10K toilet-themed obstacle course to fundraise for WaterAid.

Employees from the Andover-based bathroom accessories specialist hope to raise £2,500, which will go towards installing toilets in communities currently without this basic facility.

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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

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

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New 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.

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

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A new television programme featuring bathroom manufacturer Ideal Standard's Armitage factory in Staffordshire aired on Wednesday.

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.


British Ceramic Tile announces new area sales manager

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British 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.

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.


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.


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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