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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
2nd December 2016


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

International News

New compact oven and warming drawer for Amica Built-In

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Europe's fastest growing appliance manufacturer, Amica, has added two compact built-in ovens and a complementing warming drawer to its portfolio of built-in and freestanding kitchen appliances.

Amica's Platinum Design features a choice of two compact ovens. Both provide a 38-litre combination of oven with built-in microwave and grill and both offer touch control LED clock and time. Five power levels for the oven and three for the grill feature on the AMMB44E1GI which also features a 1000W power combi oven with a 1500W grill.

BETTE shower trays and baths chosen for luxury St James developments

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Member of the Berkeley Group, St James, has chosen Bette enamelled steel bathroom products for a number of its luxury London developments. St James has established a reputation as a design-conscious developer regenerating brownfield sites, with its designs, not only creating desirable places to live, but also having a positive impact on the environment. Sustainability is vital to the way the company operates.

The future is now

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It's an inalienable fact that just as the world keeps on turning so does our desire to continuously innovate. Staying ahead of the game is crucial if we are to succeed in helping our clients now and in the future, writes Darren Evans.

"Disney chairman Bob Iger once said: 'The riskiest thing we can do is just maintain the status quo'. I was reminded of this when members of our team here at Darren Evans Assessments visited the National Self Build and Renovation Centre in Swindon.

Abode Zorb - a 'steel' of a stainless tap

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Over the past few years there has been a continued dominance of steel in kitchen appliances overall. This ongoing trend has lead the way for Abode to introduce a competitively priced range of stainless steel taps which are a perfect combination with the company's sinks. 

They are hygienic and practical, retaining a natural lustre for years and the resistance of stainless steel to corrosion and staining, together with its low maintenance and sheen, make it an ideal material for the kitchen.

Holloways of Ludlow launches three kitchen designs to celebrate move to Shropshire

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For the past 10 years, Holloways of Ludlow has been designing award-winning, beautiful, individual kitchens, hand-made from solid wood by skilled craftsmen at its workshop in West London. However, during 2016, the team has been preparing a return to its Shropshire roots, (where the business started life as a company trading in architectural salvage) and to celebrate the move, is launching three new designs.

Burgbad's Coco Collection wins German Design Award 2017

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The new collection from bathroom furniture specialist Burgbad wowed the expert jury of one of Germany's most prestigious design competitions - dressed not in a 'little black number' but a simple outfit in matt grey. The jurors declared Coco one of the German Design Award 2017's winners in the bath and wellness category.

Britannia Living unveils refreshed Fleet collection

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Britannia Living has updated its Fleet range cooker collection by revamping design elements and adding exciting new colours.

The models have been updated with the addition of a refined new oven door-handle and the introduction of a new fascia panel, which proved a huge hit on the Delphi platform.

The neat and multi-functional Blanco Delta II sink: perfect for smaller kitchens

Perfect for smaller kitchens, the Blanco Delta II sink is designed to fit perfectly in the corner of a workspace.

This 183 mm bowl is large and deep, and its uniquely slanted shape provides excellent space for washing up large saucepans and baking trays. Alongside the main bowl, there is an additional one with an integrated stainless steel colander and a large drainer area making this a truly multi-functional sink.

British Ceramic Tile relaunches its impactful splashback collection

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British Ceramic Tile has relaunched its Impact glass splashback collection, revealing a capsule new range that brings together a concise offering of best sellers and on trend new colours.

Indesit makes dinner time a breeze with innovative turn&cook function

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Indesit has developed a simple solution for creating perfectly cooked family meals in just one hour - bringing harmony to the kitchen. Its new built-in cooking collection, Aria, includes the KFW 3844 H IX electric oven, which boasts the innovative and time-saving Turn&Cook function.

Kaldewei showcases new product segment - washbasins - at this week's Sleep exhibition

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Kaldewei, showcased an exciting line-up of recently launched products at Sleep this week, including models from its new product segment - washbasins. With the introduction of this new segment, hotel bathrooms can now be styled using a single material, a harmonious design vocabulary and a matching colour scheme.

Created in collaboration with designer, Anke Salomon, the Silenio is distinguished by exceptionally soft interior lines - with the baths and washbasins harmoniously combined.

Welcome to the




What do you think of kitchen islands?

As a retailer, do you like them and do your customers... Do they try to shoehorn them into too tiny a space or is it a case of 'take them or leave them'? Or as a manufacturer, are you happy about producing kitchen islands or are sales not really adequate to justify the extra costs and other considerations of manufacture and distribution.

And what about fitters? Do islands enhance your role in the supply chain or are they a pain in the rear to get just right? What do you think of the clients who buy kitchen islands? Do they seem 'decent'?

I ask because a friend has emailed me an article from today's MailOnline, in which kitchen islands - and those who have them - aren't spoken of very highly. Indeed the headline reads: 'Why you should NEVER get a kitchen island: interiors experts reveal the many reasons you should steer clear of the middle-class status symbol'. I wonder why?

Reading the article, I learned that while in theory islands add space and functionality to a kitchen that may not otherwise have much workspace, they are perhaps not as useful as people think. They have also, apparently, become a status symbol for the middle classes.

The publication has enlisted the help of a handful of interiors experts to back up these claims... One says they're impractical, preventing those using the kitchen from navigating their way around it and keeping sink, fridge and other useful appliances out of reach. Another said they're uncomfortable to sit at and compared eating at one to eating in the office canteen, calling them 'clinical'.

One referred to them as 'the kitchen island mistake' and said that the accompanying lighting is often 'a disaster', while a couple suggested that the island will become a dumping ground for people's things. Another said that because the island acts as a natural hub, it becomes virtually impossible for whoever's tasked with the cooking, to open drawers and cupboards or use the workspace.

Not very complimentary then... Scanning through the readers' comments though, I became aware of another angle. Consumers appear to love them, provided they have the space. I wonder if this is where the 'middle class' idea takes hold, as middle classes are, perhaps, more likely to have a decent sized kitchen than those of limited means. Wish my kitchen was big enough!



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Obituary: Robin Craddock, chairman of Lakes Bathrooms

* Robin-Craddock.jpgRobin Craddock, chairman of Lakes Bathrooms, passed away on 24th November 2016, aged 51. He lost his short battle with cancer, but went peacefully, surrounded by his family.

"Strong demand for residential projects" reports latest Markit/CIPS UK Construction PMI

* MARKIT.jpgThe latest Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers' Index, published today, reports improved order books, alongside resilient client confidence and strong demand for residential projects. Housebuilding activity remained the best performing category of construction output during November, despite the pace of expansion slipping to a three-month low.

November data indicated that the UK construction sector continued to rebound from the weak patch recorded on average during the third quarter of 2016. Business activity and incoming new work increased at the strongest pace since March, although both rates of expansion remained much softer than the peaks achieved at the start of 2014. Greater workloads underpinned a further solid rise in employment levels and input buying among construction

CRL launches new collection of porcelain surfaces

* CRL-Calacatta-Grigio.jpgCRL is proud to be launching a stunning new range of surfaces crafted from porcelain. The perfect complement to the company's existing quartz offering, the brand new collection - Ceralsio Porcelain Surfaces - is available in 26 colours and a choice of finishes, making it an ideal option for any space.

Drawing on its 20 years' expertise in the stone industry and responding head-on to current trends in worksurface design, Ceralsio surfaces from CRL tap into the huge move towards ceramic worktops coming out of Europe.

Tiles market growth forecast for 2017

* Tiles-markets.jpgA new report on the UK bathroom market from MTW Research indicates that sales have remained resilient for most bathroom products in 2016 with consumer spending set to remain strong in 2017, despite a recent 'Brexit Blip'.

Forward ordering of currencies and clear strategic planning has offset the impact of a weakening Sterling for most bathroom suppliers in 2016 according to the report, though MTW indicates that average prices are now exhibiting some upward momentum. However, the research found that the uplift in prices is related to healthy demand in the higher value bathroom sector as well as the low value of Sterling across low-mid value price points.

Taking time out for training: the Counter Interiors experience

* Articad-Counter-Interior.jpgYork-based Counter Interiors is run by Luke Counter. A kitchen fitter by trade, he ran his business successfully from home using the ArtiCAD design software on a laptop - until he hurt his back. This demanded a change of lifestyle - and the opening of his first showroom in partnership with his wife just over two years ago.

The company now employs three designers using the ArtiCAD software for both kitchens and bedrooms. Typically Counter Interiors installs about eight kitchens each month.

A 'bluming' fantastic two-day event for Burbidge premium partners

* bluming-Training-day.jpgIn a true meeting of minds, KBB industry giants Burbidge and Blum join forces to launch a very special two-day event recently, for a select group of Burbidge Premium Partners.

The Premium Partners spent the first day at Blum's impressive HQ in Milton Keynes where they were able to immerse themselves in the fittings manufacturer's state of the art facilities. Key topics covered included product innovation, technology and the company's brand heritage.

Keeping warm with Gaia's underfloor heating

* Keeping-warm_Gaia.jpgIdeal for kitchen or bathroom floors, Gaia Climate Solutions provides two main types of underfloor heating systems; a water-based system (often referred to as hydronic or wet) and an electric system.

Water-based systems essentially use warm water from the central heating system and pump it through pipe circuits underneath the floor.

Icing on the cake: in-toto Kitchens' Big Barnardo's Cake Off

* In-toto-Barnardoes.jpgWinner of the in-toto Kitchens' Big Barnardo's Cake Off competition, Lucy Brittle, enjoyed her baking masterclass prize with MasterChef: The Professionals winner, Steven Edwards, recently.

Taking place at in-toto Mere Green, the Kitchen Design Studio was the perfect setting for Steven to teach Lucy what it takes to be a true MasterChef. Using the studio's working in-toto kitchen, competition winner Lucy was treated to a VIP baking experience with the celebrity chef as he shared the recipes for his delicious panna cotta and legendary honey cake - the recipe that won Steven the title of MasterChef in 2013!

Faith Furniture Company employee takes on Britain's highest peak for charity

* Faith-Furniture.jpgFaith Furniture Company, manufacturer of kitchen furniture brand LochAnna Kitchens, tells us it is delighted that one of its employees bravely tackled Britain's highest peak to raise £140 for charity.

Smeg UK welcomes two new additions to its growing regional sales team

* Smeg-persons.jpgSmeg has announced the appointment of Keith Hayes (North West & West Midlands) and Daniel Heath (North East, Yorkshire, East Midlands) as regional sales managers across the independent retail channel.

With over 20 years' experience in a variety of regional, national and key account management roles, Keith joins Smeg from Glen Dimplex Home Appliances. Formerly Keith has worked for many years at Armour Home Electronics and the Guardian Media Group.

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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

AMDEA wins BSI's first industry leader award

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The Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances has been recognised by the British Standards Institution for leading the way in establishing key production standards in the UK and wider world. AMDEA won the BSI Industry Leadership Award last Thursday November at a prestigious ceremony in London, becoming the very first recipient of this new honour.

Going green boosts contract kitchen firm's profits

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Lanzet, a national supplier of kitchens and fitted bedroom furniture to house builders, developers and social/commercial contractors, is enjoying record profits.

AKW promotes independent living on Care England and ITN's 'Caring Communities'

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AKW, manufacturer of accessible bathroom, kitchen and mobility support solutions, has been extensively featured on a programme titled 'Caring Communities', produced jointly by ITN Productions and Care England.


Becky joins Crosswater Contracts team

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As part of its continued expansion, Crosswater Contracts has appointed Becky Greenin to the UK contracts team. Becky is the first of a series of new appointments, and will hold the role of projects and key account manager for London and the Home Counties.


Saniflo roadshow boosts Kinedo sales

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Saniflo UK, a leading designer and manufacturer of pumps, macerators and shower cubicles, says its 2016 'Building better bathrooms' roadshow has been so successful that it will take to the road again in 2017 visiting new venues with new products.


Utopia launches new-look brochure

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Utopia Bathrooms' latest brochure has a brand new format designed to inspire and assist end-consumers planning and selecting a new bathroom.

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