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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
28th October 2016


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

International News

Franke's Cristallo tap features a distinctive angular design

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The 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.

Scona and KA 90: luxurious, seamless and contemporary

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

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.

Welcome to the




Gas Safe Register is calling for private renters to be more gas safe as research reveals that 2.7million tenants are at risk from dangerous gas appliances. The campaign launched yesterday and is supported by Dominic Littlewood, (from TV shows Fake Britain and Cowboy Builders) and I believe that the KBB industry is not only in a great position to be able to support this initiative, but that it should be taking it one stage further.  

Data from 122,000 safety inspections spanning five years reveals that unsafe gas appliances were found in 21% of rented accommodation and that 37% of landlords are unaware of their responsibility for checking appliances. Further, 19% of tenants are unaware that their boiler should be safety checked annually; 11% of this group don’t think their boiler has been inspected this year.

Despite landlords being responsible for ensuring that all gas appliances provided by them are safety checked every year by a Gas Safe registered engineer, 37% are unaware of their duty of care. In fact, 15% think gas appliance safety is the responsibility of their local council!

Homeowners are also confused about where responsibility lies. Only 49% realise it’s their responsibility, while 14% view gas safety as being down to the gas provider.

Of course it’s not just about gas safety; it’s important that our electrical appliances are checked too. On several occasions I’ve noticed people using vacuum cleaners and irons with leads that have clearly been sucked into and chewed up by the works or ironed over and damaged. These items are dangerous! I also often see a lead’s innards where the casing doesn’t quite meet the plug itself. This is dangerous too. And how many people are still using those 4-way adaptors, which can overload the system?

We in the KBB industry are in the perfect position to help get the safety message across and I believe we have a responsibility to do so. We’re talking to people all the time who are thinking of buying new equipment and when doesn’t this involve either gas or electricity? Even bedroom refurbishment is likely to include new lighting…

What’s to stop us mentioning the need to check all appliances that aren’t being replaced, when we’re discussing, selling, installing or delivering new items? We could even place a sticker on packaging or the new equipment itself, reminding buyers to have their old equipment safety checked.

What do you reckon?



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Now officially the best of British: iKBBI

The Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers announced yesterday that it had been granted permission, by The Secretary of State, to change its name with immediate effect. The organisation is now to be known as The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation.

The announcement comes as the Government-sanctioned organisation celebrates its 10th anniversary, which was marked by a Parliamentary event in July attended by a host of industry dignitaries.

British Ceramic Tile represents manufacturing alongside Philip Hammond in The Parliamentary Review

* Tony-Taylor.jpgBritish Ceramic Tile has been selected to appear in the 2015/16 edition of The Parliamentary Review . Established by former minister The Rt Hon David Curry shortly after the 2010 general election, The Parliamentary Review's September release has become a key fixture in the political calendar.

Blum opens new state-of-the-art Experience Centre at its UK HQ in Milton Keynes

* Blum1.jpgBlum, renowned fittings supplier to the KBB sector, has launched a brand new immersive facility at its UK offices and warehouse in Milton Keynes. The Experience Centre is 11,500sq.ft of interactive experience: "A place where ideas and relationships are brought to life," explains David Sanders, Blum UK sales & marketing director.

"It's a state-of-the-art facility, where our partners can experience not only Blum's products but also its services, its people, its heritage and culture." (Please note: All visitors must have an appointment - call 0800 917 5550 to book).

Electrolux recognised as world leader for action on climate change, sets new renewable energy target

Electrolux has been identified by CDP - the international not-for-profit organisation that drives sustainable economies - as a global leader in responding to climate change. Electrolux said yesterday that it is amongst an exclusive group of companies worldwide that have been awarded a position on the CDP's Climate A List for 2016. The company also unveiled a new target to grow the share of renewable energy used in its operations to 50%.

"Improving our climate impact is a core part of Electrolux sustainability framework 'For the Better', and CDP's assessment is one of the most important external references showing we are at the forefront of the industry," said Henrik Sundström, head of sustainability affairs at Electrolux.

Reed Harris opens the doors to stunning new studio

* Reed-Harris.jpgTile specialist Reed Harris has started an exciting new chapter in the company's rich history with the opening of a striking London design studio and office. Aimed at architects and specifiers, the new Bagley's Lane studio is perfectly placed adjacent to Chelsea Harbour.

Featuring an abundance of natural light, which shows off the carefully selected range of stone, porcelain, ceramic and mosaic tiles on display to great effect, the new studio is a must-visit destination for professionals.

Introducing the Esteem monobloc kitchen tap

* Abode-Esteem-monobloc.jpgAbode added 16 stylishly designed kitchen taps to its portfolio, at KBB earlier this year. All of these new, practical taps are now available through Abode's distributor partners and can be purchased from specialist kitchen outlets on the high street, nationwide.

One of the latest products to be launched is the contemporary styled Esteem monobloc.

Targeted inspections coming to a street near you

* HSE-inspections.jpgHealth & Safety Executivee construction inspectors are carrying out unannounced visits to sites where refurbishment projects or repair works are underway.

Inspectors will be out and about ensuring high-risk activities, particularly those affecting the health of workers, are being properly managed.

Neolith Polished - a real winner!

* Neolith.jpgNeolith Polished finish by Spanish Sintered Compact Surface manufacturer TheSize has received the Plus X Award seal of approval for Innovation, High Quality, Design, and Functionality. The company has also been presented with the Materialica Design + Technology Gold Award Certificate in the Surface & Technology category.

Introduced in 2014, Neolith Polished finish, featuring in the Neolith Classtone collection, stands out for its high degree of gloss and a perfectly linear reflection that mirrors the way precious marbles and stones look naturally. The finish adds depth, realism and sophistication to any given design.

Ripples heads to Switzerland with Laufen

* Ripples-Laufen.jpgAward winning bathroom retailer Ripples headed to Switzerland recently with one of the world's leading bathroom manufacturers, Laufen, whose headquarters are in Laufen near Basel in Switzerland.

Laufen's Jamie Welch (regional sales manager) and Richard Court (national training manager) led the group. Those attending from Ripples included managing director Paul Crow, sales manager Nicola Crow and marketing manager Grazziella Pinto, plus five of the top performing sales designers at Ripples.

Consumers upgrading from laminate to Quartz increases Max-Top sales

* Max-Top-Quartz.jpgMax-Top is attributing an increase in sales to a rise in the number of consumers upgrading from laminate to quartz surfaces in homes across the UK. This growing trend has led to significant growth for the company, which has expanded in to Scotland and Ireland over the last 12 months.

Stephen Moss, managing director of Max-Top, comments: "Previously consumers perceived quartz as being a luxury kitchen surface, perhaps out of their price range, whereas they are now becoming aware that they can greatly increase the grandeur of their kitchen for a relatively small cost implication.

New and improved spec for Prima Brand

* primahob.jpgThe Prima Appliances, Sinks & Taps Collection, exclusive to distributor PJH, has been upgraded and a higher specification range launches next month.

InSinkErator appoints new marketing manager, Europe and Russia

* Denise-Iordache.jpgInSinkErator has announced the appointment of Denise Lordache to marketing manager, Europe and Russia.

With international marketing experience, Denise brings with her a wealth of knowledge and expertise in brand strategy and development, gained through various roles at well-known companies, such as Scandinavian Tobacco Group and Nike Europe.

Rearo promotes internally for new domestic sales team

* Kevind_Rearo.jpgInterior manufacturer and supplier Rearo, headquartered in Glasgow, has promoted Kevin Niccol (pictured) to sales manager of its new domestic product sales team.

Kevin has worked at Rearo for 11 years in the sales team, and was involved in the company's recent restructuring. His previous role was UK branch sales manager, overseeing the regional performance of Rearo's seven showrooms.

Charity Sporting Dinner at Birmingham City with Mereway

West Midlands based kitchen, bathroom & bedroom manufacturer, Mereway, is hosting a Sportsman's Dinner as part of its 30th anniversary celebrations, with the aim of raising funds for four charities: Acorns, The Birmingham Children's Hospital Charity, Help for Heroes and Helping Harry Help Others.

The company is offering tickets for a significant game at Birmingham City FC that will include tickets to the game, dinner and a charity auction. The Birmingham City game is against Ipswich Town and takes place on 13th December at St. Andrews Stadium, Birmingham.

Wilsonart UK team smashes £6000 target for Macmillan Cancer

* Wilsonart.jpgTwenty-two riders from Wilsonart UK, based in County Durham, have completed a hardcore 170-mile bike ride to raise valuable funds for Macmillan Cancer Support. The team, which comprised staff and management from the laminate and solid-surface worktop manufacturer, also included entries from customers IDS and Benchmarx.

The well-known Way of The Roses 170 mile bike ride started at Morecombe in the West and finished at Bridlington in the East and is the main event in a year-long charity fundraising campaign for Macmillan by the company.

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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

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.

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.


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.


Roman launches new brochures

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

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