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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
21st October 2016


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

International News

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

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British 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.

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."

Welcome to the



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:

  • Lou or Lulu? Any loo will do (Goddess and the Baker Restaurant, Chicago)
  • Blokes or Birds Restroom (Virgin Hotel, Chicago)
  • We Don't Care (San Francisco office building)
  • Whichever! (Several US locations)
  • Pointers and Setters (Roadside restaurant stop, Illinois)

“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?



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Self-build consumer confidence high at London Homebuilding & Renovating Show

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.

Franke's Cristallo tap features a distinctive angular design

* Franke-Cristallo.jpgThe minimalist aesthetics of the new Cristallo from Franke's Specialist Range make it a versatile tap for both traditional and contemporary kitchen designs.

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.

Industry Golf Challenge was not just fun and games

* CBT.jpgThe 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.

Scona and KA 90: luxurious, seamless and contemporary

* Kaldewei-Scona-Anthracite.jpgWith the Scona shower programme, Kaldewei is now able to meet almost any size requirement and installation type for modern, low level showering.

PWS Worksurfaces achieves Lapitec accreditation

* PWS_Lapitec.jpgPWS Worksurfaces has added another accreditation to its line-up of credentials, with the recent award of 'Lapitec approved fabricator' status.

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.

Latest ISO 14001 data shows significant global growth in environmental management systems' use

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.

KBBG welcomes Warendorf-Die Küche to its growing list of suppliers

* Ginkel_Miller.jpgThe 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.

Go green with Caple's new integrated dishwashers

* Caple-Di631.jpgCaple 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.

Make the most of millennial demand, says HiB

* Prima-roomset.jpgWith 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 VitrA invests in new capacity

* VitrA.jpgTurkey’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 has interiors covered with new flooring range

* Rearo-kitchen.jpgRearo, 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.

DVSA seeks views on changes to tachograph centre rules

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
* reviewing the site dimensions to allow smaller sites to be used
* updating the ATC manual

Roman launches new brochures

* Roman-new-Showroom-Guide.jpgRoman has published new Showroom Guide brochures, which introduce updates on existing products and exciting new products launching in 2017.

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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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).


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.


Virtual worlds advises on how to leverage the bathroom boom

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With 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.


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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