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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
14th October 2016


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

International News

Methven retains exclusive CoolBrands status

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Methven, the global designer and manufacturer of premium showers and tapware, has been named among an exclusive list of companies to be given official 'CoolBrands' status in the UK for the second year in a row.

Franke extends popular Kubus sink range with a new super-sized model

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Franke has extended its best-selling Kubus stainless steel undermount sink range with the addition of the new, super-sized KBX 110-70. The sink measures 700 x 400mm with an extra-deep 230mm bowl.

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

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Ideal Standard has extended its successful 'accessible bathroom range', Concept Freedom, with the addition of a new accessible bath, suitable for the whole family.

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

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If 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)

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Embrace 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.

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

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"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."

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."

Welcome to the



With the adverse publicity some appliance manufacturers have had lately, thanks to what appears to be the phenomenon of something akin to spontaneous combustion, I can’t help but think that the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances’ announcement that the Prize Season@Register My Appliance is shortly to get underway, is something of a comfort.

After all, if you know your appliances may pose a safety risk to those in whose homes they’re used, it’s so much easier recall to them if you know exactly where those homes actually are. Any initiative that encourages we consumers to register our appliances and thus enable their manufacturers to keep in touch with us, has to be a good one.

I was guilty of keeping my purchases secret until I learned of the scheme and had the logic of it explained to me. I don’t know whether I’d not previously bothered because the excitement of having a new appliance pushed registration out of my radar, whether I was simply too lazy to do it or planned to do it later, or whether it was something to do with the silly threat of the guarantee not being honoured unless the product was registered… Well – when you’ve forked out a small fortune on new white goods and the like, the last thing you want to contemplate is them breaking down!

I now know better and always encourage friends and family to register any appliances they’re taking into their home – and particularly so if they’ve bought them second hand.

In case you’re not familiar with the scheme, the majority of the manufacturers take part and from 1st November, customers who register their new appliances (or even ones they already own – as long as they’re under 12 years old) at www.registermyappliance.org.uk are entered into prize draws that run through January to include Register My Appliance Day on 19th January 2017.

I know the manufacturers’ literature that’s tucked inside the packaging encourages purchasers to register what they’ve bought, but if you’re involved in the sale of such equipment, it won’t do any harm to help spread the word by pointing out why we need to register our appliances, when taking our payment, will it?

After all, for just a little bit of effort, you might just stop someone’s house from burning down…



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Franke and More in Store retailers raise £8,250+ for Marie Curie and reach 1.1million+ audience

* Franke_Ruth.jpgFranke and 190 of its 'More in Store' retailers have raised over £8,250 and reached an audience of over 1.1 million people through a pro-active fundraising drive for Marie Curie, as part of the charity's national 'Blooming Great Tea Party' campaign.

Franke's aim with the More in Store initiative is to support its retailers and help them increase footfall into their showrooms. The 2016 Blooming Great Tea Party campaign was a huge success, with the number of retailers taking part increasing by 245% to 190, welcoming hundreds of visitors to their showrooms.

British Ceramic Tile launches a new dedicated kitchen tile collection to support independent retailers

* BCT-Gold-silver.jpgBritish Ceramic Tile has launched its first ever, dedicated kitchen tile collection to better support retailers in generating add-on sales during the kitchen buying process.

With over a quarter of tiles bought in 2015 destined for use in the kitchen, tiles are proving to be an increasingly important purchasing decision with retailers looking to offer consumers the full kitchen package from cabinets through to flooring. With this new collection, British Ceramic Tile will look to support existing and new retailers with their kitchen offer, carefully selecting a range of wall and floor tiles to cater for all consumer tastes.

BMA celebrates three major milestones

* BMA.jpgNot one, not two, but three milestones were celebrated by the Bathroom Manufacturers Association at the industry's recent Annual Bathroom & Kitchen Business Conference.

Yvonne Orgill, BMA chief executive and Paul Massey, Group CEO of AKW and DLP Group, and current president of the Association, shared their obvious delight at reaching the three anniversaries which coincided at the event.

Saniflo introduces the new and improved Kinemagic Serenity

* SANIFLO.jpgDesigned for those who need a bit of extra help showering, the popular Kinemagic Serenity walk-in shower cubicle is also ideal for the whole family. Beautiful, spacious and practical, it has recently benefited from a range of upgrades to make life even easier for those who need care assisted showering.

A new, improved fold down seat provides even more comfort than before and can take up to 150kgs, whilst the cool-touch thermostatic valve now features easy grip controls - ideal for customers that are experiencing diminished fine motor control and strength in their hands. A new style soap tray attaches to the shower riser bar so that the essential grooming products can be kept close to hand; minimising the need to move around the cubicle. The door handle has been redesigned to provide an easi

KBSA Experts - Kitchen Advice Centre at Grand Designs Live

* KBSA-Meile-lady-vid.jpgThe Kitchen, Bathroom & Bedroom Specialists Association has announced that Tina Riley , KBSA national chair, as well as KBSA retail members Stuart Irving and Kimberly Jacks, will provide advice to consumers in the Kitchen Advice Centre as part of the Kitchen Live Experience Sponsored by KBSA corporate member Miele, at the Grand Designs Live show.

The KBSA experts will advise and review plans with consumers for their new projects, as well as give professional advice on the best ways to progress. Visitors will also receive a free copy of the new 2016/17 KBSA Showcase handbook, which gives full details about the Association, as well as retail members in each area.

Abode's Dune sinks have attractive ripple drainer design

* Abode-Dune.jpgNew from Abode and showcased earlier this year at KBB, is the Dune range of reversible, functional composite granite sinks. With strong geometric lines, rounded corners and a stunning, ripple effect, practical drainer pattern, these creative features are the back-bone of the design which are right 'on trend' with current kitchen design themes.

Manufactured from advanced, hardwearing acrylic materials, these new inset sinks will certainly form a focal point in any kitchen, be it modern or traditional, in style. There are four sinks within the range, two in an eye-catching striking Black and two in a contemporary Frost White Granite, in popular single and 1.5 deep bowls with single drainers.

Quality, excellence and innovation - there's a Geberit award for it

Now in its third year, the Geberit Awards 2016 promises to be the best yet, as installers from throughout the bathroom, plumbing and heating industries battle it out to be crowned the best in the business.

The Awards honour the cream of the installer crop in four categories:

'Love the Shower, Love the Price', with Triton

* Triton-Kensey.jpgThe Great British Shower Company, Triton, has launched the inspiring Affordable Style collection which brings together stunning aesthetics and the latest technology. Featuring contemporary electric and chrome mixer products, the comprehensive new offering provides something suitable for every interior and budget.

Tech Lovers... As the name suggests, consumers are sure to fall in love with the chic Amore electric shower. Available in three finishes (white gloss, brushed steel and black gloss), this is an attractive centrepiece for any design-led space. It also benefits from touch screen controls together with an OLED display to confirm the chosen temperature and power settings - max, eco and cold.

Record success at Sirius Buying Group's VIP Kitchen & Electrical Retail Trade Show 2016

* Sirius.jpgThe Sirius Buying Group, a major buying group in the electrical appliance and kitchen retail industry, tells us that its recent VIP Members Trade Show was the largest and most successful to date, winning a succession of kitchen retail visitors as new members to the Group.

This popular industry event took place over two days at the end of September at the Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club in Warwickshire. Proceedings were set in motion with Sirius's annual AGM which was attended by its premium bank of electrical and kitchen retail members, resulting in its biggest attendance yet at 89% capacity.

Burbidge offers infinite inspiration with extended Otto range

* BURBIDGE1.jpgAgainst the backdrop of an increasingly creative consumer profile, Burbidge continues to drive industry innovation with its newly extended Otto kitchen - arguably its most consolidated range yet.

Bringing a natural charm to the sharp, minimalistic Otto form, the range is now available in the three new woodgrain finishes of Dark Walnut, Rose Walnut or Bleached Walnut. Constructed from advanced laminate, each look cleverly encapsulates the intrinsic woodgrains and tactile appeal of real wood, while being cost-competitive.

Virtual worlds advises on how to leverage the bathroom boom

* Virtual-Worlds.jpgWith new research suggesting that the bathroom industry is set to outperform the general UK economy this year, Virtual Worlds is reminding KBB retailers of the importance of investing in CAD technology in order to unlock the full opportunity presented.

According to a new report by MTW research*, bathroom retailers will outperform the UK economy in 2016 despite many retailers and manufacturers being wary of the fallout from Brexit. Based on data from 90 leading bathroom retailers, the research found that sales in 2016 are now at an historic high, surpassing £1 billion for the first time.

Two construction firms benefit from national apprenticeship scholarship

* Joe-Lafbery-onsite.jpgTwo construction firms have benefited from a national scholarship scheme which enables them to take on an apprentice who is entirely funded to work for them for 12 months.

The initiative was launched by construction audit, contract and payroll provider, Hudson Contract, to celebrate its 20th anniversary and also provide opportunities for two young apprentices hoping to take their first steps on the construction career ladder.

Have you heard the Big Bang: explosive promotion from Benchmarx?

* Big-Bang.jpgThe trade-only supplier of high quality, pre-assembled kitchens, Benchmarx Kitchens & Joinery, has launched this year's Big Bang promotion period. With the ongoing aim to 'save the trade time and money', this much-loved annual promotion runs until 31st October and means that builders and tradespeople can benefit from a range of great deals across an array of appliances, accessories, flooring and ironmongery.

Maintaining the high-quality you'd expect from Benchmarx, offers forming part of the Big Bang promotion include branded Neff multi-function ovens, Suffolk White moulded doors and beautiful pre-oiled solid oak worktops with 18 - 24mm narrow staves (all at excellent prices), to name but a few.

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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 "proud to report another successful AGM and National Conference"

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The Kbsa is delighted to report that this year's AGM and National Conference and Networking Dinner surpassed last year's success. Attended by over 58 retailers and 42 Corporates, the event attracted over a 120 delegates.

KBSA Designer Awards Winners - a rundown

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The KBSA has announced the winners of the 2016 KBSA Designer Awards.

Winner of the Kitchen Designer of the Year (Under £30K), sponsored by Omega, was Aileen Thomson of Kitchens International, with her 'blend of modern and traditional' kitchen.

Dream Doors and Articad: a partnership for growth

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Dream 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).

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.


Abode continues investment in training

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Three years ago, Abode committed to giving something back to the community, in and around the local Barnsley area, by employing a number of apprentices.

Alno UK appoints a new south east area sales manager

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German manufactured kitchen retailer, has Alno announces a new member to its team of area sales managers for the UK.

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.


Frontline Bathrooms launches Autumn Winter 2016/17 brochure

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Luxury 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.

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