KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
21st October 2016
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I’m always on the lookout when visiting ‘away from home’ loos, for products made by my KBB industry friends, since it’s lovely to see things I’ve written about, in situ, as opposed to looking at a photograph.
While most of the public washroom news I receive, concerns facilities being closed down because it’s more lucrative for local authorities to sell them off to housing developers than it is to keep them open, stocked and cleaned; it’s the gender designation or mixed washrooms that are making headlines in private sector and overseas news.
A press release from US company Impact Products made me chuckle. It talks about how, if they have not already, patrons in all types of commercial facilities will soon discover that signs indicating separate men's and women's washrooms are being replaced with ‘gender-neutral’ signs.
Refuge Restrooms, a site that lists every public, all-gender washroom in the US, says there are now 4,500 such public facilities in the country and that the number is growing fast.
While many of these all-gender signs will say ‘all-gender’ or ‘gender-neutral’ - some creative organisations have decided to add humour to their signs, aware that this is something of a contentious issue.
Impact says the top five gender-neutral signs uncovered so far are:
“We believe restroom users should always have a positive restroom experience," says Impact’s Amy Severtsky. "Clean restrooms, well stocked, including feminine hygiene products and dispensers, are always needed and will always be wanted no matter who uses the restroom or what the sign says on the door.”
While I agree with Amy’s sentiment, I abhor the idea of mixed washrooms and hope they don’t catch on. Meeting a colleague or customer of the opposite sex while touching up one’s lipstick or adjusting a hem or something is bad enough as it is, but being sat next to a man using a cubicle, with just a thin sheet of something between us, fills me with dread. These things are private, after all! And then there’s the safety aspect to consider…
Am I a prude or do you women agree with me? And what about you men?
This Week's News
The capital city's largest self-build event, The London Homebuilding & Renovating Show, sponsored by Anglian Home Improvements, (23-25 September, ExCeL, London) experienced a 11% year-on-year increase in visitors and those questioned stated that they were prepared to spend up to £123,000 on their property plans despite the prediction that Brexit would cause uncertainty and slow down the market - a 2% increase in spend from 2015.
More than 18% of visitors said that their renovation or construction was underway and 44% said it was due to commence within six months.
The Cristallo features upright paddle levers and the popular U-shaped spout. The spout sits flush with its striking cylindrical body to give it a distinctively angular, yet streamlined, design.
The recent Bathroom Industry Golf Challenge was not just fun and games. It had a serious drive about it. A total of 52 participants sliced, bogied and eagled their way to putting much-needed funds towards the Bathroom Manufacturers Association's favourite charity, The Children's Burns Trust (CBT).
The match, together with the traditional raffle at the networking dinner on 'the fringe' of the Bathroom & Kitchen Industry Conference, raised just over £1,500.
With the Scona shower programme, Kaldewei is now able to meet almost any size requirement and installation type for modern, low level showering.
A team of four, from the PWS's production, technical and sales departments, was invited to Lapitec HQ in Italy for in-depth training on the material, including its technical properties, CNC machining recommendations and range content. Extensive testing subsequently took place at PWS's factory, with specialist features created, prior to the Lapitec approved status being awarded.
Data just released on the uptake of the International Environmental Management Systems standard ISO 14001 shows that the number of certificates issued worldwide has grown 8% over the last year.
The worldwide total of accredited ISO 14001 certificates now stands at 319,324 and IEMA reports that the data published this week by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) shows a year-on-year increase of over 25,000 certificates between 2014 and 2015.
The rapid growth of the Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group has attracted yet another quality name. Continuing its ongoing quest to bring its independent kitchen specialist members the very best kitchen and bathroom suppliers, Warendorf-Die Küche will be supporting the KBBG by offering exclusive, special buying terms to members.
Caple is embracing the trend for eco-friendly living with its new, fully integrated Di631 and Di481 dishwashers. From an impressive energy efficiency rating of A++ (with A-rated washing and drying performance) to low water consumption - with the Di481i using as little as 9 litres to 11 litres for the Di631 - these models are perfect for those wishing to lower their carbon footprint.
With a new report by Houzz highlighting a high percentage of UK millennials choosing to update their outdated or undesirable bathrooms rather than relocate, HiB is suggesting to retailers to make the most of this potentially lucrative opportunity.
According to a new report by Houzz, over half (57%) of millennial homeowners (aged 25 to 34) renovated their home in 2015 and a huge 79% have recently redecorated. Furthermore, the research shows updating an outdated or undesirable design or style was the top issue addressed for home improvement - with over half (53%) saying this was a key focus for the bathroom.
Turkey’s premier bathroom brand and leading exporter of ceramic sanitary ware is increasing its production capacity by 20%. VitrA’s new investment will raise its ceramic sanitary ware capacity to six million units per year and create 500 new jobs.
The Eczacıbaşı Building Products Division has completed the first phase of its new production plant for ceramic sanitary ware at the Bilecik-Bozüyük complex in Turkey. This is VitrA’s fourth production plant for bathroom products at the complex.
Rearo, the Govan-based manufacturer and supplier of bathroom and kitchen surfaces and accessories, has launched its first ever flooring range, Clixeal, which it developed in response to domestic and commercial customer demand. The vinyl flooring range is now on sale at its six showrooms across Britain, and through Rearo's distributors and retail network.
The Clixeal range comes in eight options, including tile or traditional wood plank effect, and is waterproof, scratch resistant and antibacterial. A range of accessories and finishings are available, for secure installation and a perfect finish.
The Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency launched yesterday a review on proposals to improve rules for approved tachograph centres. These ATCs - of which there are around 600 in Great Britain - install, calibrate and inspect tachographs, which record information about driving time, speed and distance. Proposals include:
* removing the requirement for ATCs to offer analogue tachograph calibration
The brochure covers all the Roman Ranges from 4mm through to 10mm with framed, semi-framed and frameless enclosures. It also includes Roman's Select Wetrooms, which allows users to choose the perfect wetroom size, style and configuration to suit the individual bathroom. Bath screens are featured with a multitude of different sizes and styles, from inward opening to outward opening and from 5mm to 10mm.
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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.