* KBZ-Logo-7.png


KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
24th February 2017


We strongly recommend viewing KBzine full size in your web browser. Click our masthead above to visit our website version.


English French Spanish Italian German Dutch Russian Mandarin

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

International News

Belling launches freestanding microwave collection: Five models and two new looks

* Belling-new-launch.jpg
Popular appliance manufacturer Belling, part of Glen Dimplex Home Appliances, has launched a collection of freestanding microwaves to complement its existing cooking ranges. The new collection includes five products and offers two distinct aesthetics - a collection of sleek modern appliances and a Retro range in racing-car red, glossy black or vintage cream.

Ripples franchise appeal to industry-insiders!

* Ripples.jpg
Established in 1988, Ripples has become famed for designing and creating beautiful bespoke bathrooms, they have built up an impressive collection of showrooms nationwide, employing almost 30 bathroom designers.

2017 saw the doors open on one of Ripples' largest showrooms in Birmingham, based within Cookes Furniture the new showroom is already proving to be a huge hit, with hundreds of visitors heading to the inspiring new showroom in its first month.

Introducing the Regent Furniture Range

* Regent-furniture.jpg
Thomas Crapper & Co is introducing bathroom furniture for the very first time to complement its extensive range of heritage WC's and sanitaryware.

The new Regent furniture collection is the ideal solution for any bathroom, providing ample storage without compromising on style. Regent has a classic aesthetic with a modular design, playing on the key modular living trend and offering an elegant and flexible solution for all bathrooms.

Utopia adds to popular Symmetry range

* Utopia-new-Miro-basin.jpg
Utopia Bathrooms has updated and extended its popular Symmetry range of curved bathroom furniture with important additions including a new free-standing basin for modular units and an extended worktop choice.

Move and Switch with LDL

* The-Move-drawer-dividing-system.jpg
LDL is adding the new Blum Move and Switch cutlery and drawer dividing systems to its product portfolio. Specifically designed for use with Antaro and Legrabox drawers, the new systems offer more choice and flexibility for the optimum organisation of drawer interiors.

Shower in style with Laura Ashley Bathroom Collection

* Shower-in-style.jpg
With nearly 90% of UK homes having at least one shower, demand for super stylish shower systems that will complement both traditional and contemporary bathrooms continues to grow. Perfect for those looking to introduce a chic and sophisticated shower to their bathroom this spring, Laura Ashley Bathroom Collection's thermostatically-controlled shower systems provide safe and stylish solutions that all the family can enjoy.

LDL presents new Furnipart handle finishes for 2017

* LDL-new-Furnipart-handle.jpg
LDL Components, leading distributor of furniture fittings and accessories, is now offering exciting new finishes for 2017 from leading Danish handle manufacturer Furnipart.

Already available in Inox Look, Edge Straight is a stylish aluminium handle, 41mm wide, and is now available in four new finishes - Brushed Rose Gold, Brushed Anthracite, Antique Bronze and Brushed Brass. The perfect complement for the current trend for vintage or industrial looks, the new handles carry a lifetime guarantee along with all Furnipart handles.

Abacus Bathrooms - innovations for 2017 by expert in advanced bathroom and wetroom design and build

* ABACUS-grey.jpg
Established in 1989, Abacus is one of the UK's leading manufacturers and distributors of bathroom and wetroom products. The company's comprehensive 2017 product range has been developed alongside some of the world's most prestigious bathroom brands including world-class German sanitaryware and stunning contemporary designs, and encompasses the Abacus philosophy of innovation and build quality.

The Elements brand, manufactured by Abacus in the UK, offers what is arguably the most comprehensive range of wetroom and waterproofing products currently available.

Welcome to the



Last week's Office for National Statistics announcement that UK employment reached 74.6% in the last quarter of 2016 – the highest rate since such records began in 1971, while unemployment remained at its record low since 2005 on 4.8%, compared with 5.1% for the same period the previous year – has caused quite a stir.

Of particular interest to various players in the KBB industry was the announcement that the number of EU nationals employed in the UK had risen by 190,000 in the final quarter compared with the same period the previous year, but, comparing the final quarter of 2016 with the preceding quarter, there were 19,000 fewer EU nationals employed – the first three-month fall in since Q3 2014.

While David Freeman, ONS senior statistician, warns that the fall in the number of workers born in other EU countries should be treated with caution as the figures have not been seasonally adjusted, the latest Labour Market Outlook from the CIPD and Adecco says that labour and skills shortages are starting to bite in UK sectors that employ a high number of EU nationals – such as general building and the more specialised allied trades, as well as retail.

It suggests that, despite a near record number of vacancies (748,000 according to ONS data), UK employers are struggling to fill roles with the right candidates and that low-skilled sectors which typically employ a large number of non-UK nationals from the EU are facing particular recruitment challenges.

The CIPD says employers need to review their approach to workforce development and training and improve the attractiveness of their jobs through better line management and job design, developing closer links with local educational institutions and improving pay and employment conditions where possible.

Interestingly, the Outlook also asked employers that employ EU nationals how they would respond to potential migration restrictions. A quarter (26%) said they would ‘pay the difference’ and absorb the extra cost of recruiting EU nationals, whilst others said they would seek to retain older workers (19%), invest more in training and up-skilling (17%) and recruit more apprentices (17%).

Good news then for the British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation, which has been working with the Government on the development of a new Trailblazer Apprenticeship for Fitted Interiors! Its success, about which you can read more below, means that in one part of our industry at least, it’s likely to be, ‘business as usual’.



* Jan-new-15.jpg

Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

65% of SME businesses not ready for tax digitalisation

* tax-paperwork.jpgA recent survey by the UK200Group, the membership association of independent chartered accountancy and law firms, showed that 65% of its members' SME business clients do not currently use software to manage their accounts.

They will be forced to adapt significantly in order to use software to comply with HMRC's 'Making Tax Digital' project, which aims to see businesses reporting tax digitally by 2018.

Methven UK launches new bath shower mixer: thermostatic offering extends Kiri range

* METHVEN1.jpgMethven, the global designer and manufacturer of premium showers and tapware, has extended its range of bath shower mixers with a new model for the UK market.

Featuring new easy to operate lever handles and ceramic disc valves, it is ideal to operate even for those with limited dexterity, whilst a 38°C default safety setting prevents scalding, making the new Kiri Lever Thermostatic Pillar Mounted Bath Shower Mixer safe for the whole family to use.

New marble-effect quartz for PWS Worksurfaces' Strata brand

* PWS-new-marble-effect.jpgPWS Worksurfaces' Strata brand has been extended with a new range of marble-effect quartz finishes. Available in differing depths of veining, from subtle to very prominent, there are five options within the palette.

Anticipated to be a strong design favourite, the new Strata Statuario draws inspiration from Statuario marble, one of Italy's most desirable and iconic marbles. Its cool, light tone, coupled with the bold grey vein that runs throughout the entire material, is relevant to both contemporary and classic kitchen schemes.

Utopia launches new online lead generation tool for retailers

* Utopia1.jpgUtopia Bathrooms has upgraded its online showroom locator to help drive more traffic into its network of retail showrooms. It now not only provides consumers with a list of local showrooms to visit, it also identifies the specific products they will be able to see, together with a list of services the showroom has to offer from interior design to fitting.

Hoover launches supersized 16 place setting dishwasher

* Hoover-supersizes.jpgHoover, has launched its largest ever capacity dishwasher, boasting 16 place settings and the space to hold up to 176 items.

The A++ 'Dynamic Mega' model is claimed to be the largest on the market in standard dimensions and is available in either white or black and has an adjustable upper basket ideal for loading glasses, cups and utensils.

Knit wall murals - perfect for that cosy night in when it's cold outside

* Knit-wall-mural.jpgOne of the latest big interiors trends in which Hygge and Lagom say we should all be indulging, to give our homes (and overselves) some extra love during these colder months, this charming Knit mural collection celebrates the comfort and sentimentality of knitted pieces by bringing them to the walls of our homes.

Paired with scandi furniture and a neutral palette, these murals make a super snug statement.

BSH Home Appliances certified as Top Employer for the second year

BSH-top-employer-2017.jpgIn the year of its 50th anniversary, BSH (BSH Home Appliances), manufacturer of premium brands Bosch, NEFF, Siemens and Gaggenau, has been officially certified by the Top Employers Institute 2017 for the second year running, retaining the exclusive Top Employers Europe 2017 Certification for its exceptional employee offerings in the UK and Ireland.

Nick Hall and Michael Sammon celebrate 25 collective years at Frontline Bathrooms

* Frontline.jpgAward-winning UK distributor, Frontline Bathrooms, has announced two significant milestones: the anniversary of its CEO, Nick Hall, who has worked his way to the top during his 15 years with the company, while sales & marketing director Michael Sammon celebrates a decade with the leading bathroom distributor.

The ethos and attitude of the senior management and their longevity of tenure ensures that both suppliers and customers receive the very best attention. Nick Hall and Michael Sammon celebrate 25 collective years at Frontline Bathrooms

Masterclass donates kitchen to injured Welsh rugby international

* Masterclass-donates.jpgMasterclass Kitchens has provided a new kitchen to rugby's Owen Williams, the Welsh centre, who suffered a life-changing spinal injury while playing for Cardiff Blues.

The Masterclass donation was made in support of the #StayStrongForOws fundraising and awareness campaign in support of the injured player. With funds being raised to aid the 24-year-old's rehabilitation, Masterclass Kitchens was keen to get involved.

The KBzine Archive Search

We keep an extensive archive of news stories and product information that have featured in past issues of The KBzine. If you would like to run a search of the The KBzine web site using the search tool below please just go ahead by entering in the name of the person, product or company or any other key words that you are looking for.

Search The KBzine:

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
* John Austen-cutout-kbz.jpg


www.facebook.com/KBzine FB2.jpg

* Zenius_Media.jpg


The KBzine is broadcast every Friday. You may receive it FREE each week by clicking the link above.
To prevent this newsletter from getting swept up by overzealous email filters, we suggest that you add [email protected] to your address book.

Recent News

Date announced for KBSA AGM & National Meeting 2017

* KBSA_AGM.jpg
The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has announced the date of the 2017 AGM & National Meeting, which will take place on Tuesday 3rd October in Stratford upon Avon.


Karonia launches brand new company website

* Karonia-new-website.jpg
Solid surface specialist Karonia has launched a brand-new company website at www.karonia.com. The result of an intensive period of redevelopment, the new site comprises dedicated microsites for each of the company's retail brands, Mistral worktops, Orello sinks and Karonia Store tooling and accessories.

Baumatic launches new 'gift with purchase' promotion

* Baumatic-Promotion.jpg
Baumatic has launched its latest consumer gift with purchase promotion which runs until the end of April 2017.


Abode introduces new bathroom brochure for 2017

* Abode-bathroom-trio.jpg
A new 232-page bathroom brochure has been introduced for 2017, emulating the creative lines of the Abode product range. It has been designed as a complete product information guide providing both Abode's retail partners and the consumer with everything they need to know, to make those all-important decisions.

Lustrolite - the easy way to create beautiful kitchen splashbacks and shower walls

A brand new brochure from Abacus Manufacturing Group explains everything you need to know about Lustrolite, leading name in acrylic high gloss wall panelling.

© The KBzine 2024.
Subscribe | Unsubscribe | Hall of Fame | Cookies | Sitemap