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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
17th March 2017


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

International News

British Ceramic Tile talk texture with New Brighton and Luna

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British Ceramic Tile has extended its product offer with the addition of two contemporary ranges, New Brighton and Luna. Featuring a subtle linear design, both collections bring visual interest and texture to walls, tapping into consumer demand for tiles with raised surfaces.

Blue Atoll - a calming shade from Lustrolite

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Lustrolite's Blue Atoll shade is perfect for bathrooms and the shade is known to be calming, so worth suggesting to customers who lead busy lives and need their bathrooms to be restful and relaxing, to help them unwind.

A license to thrill with spectre from HiB

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With a license to thrill and delight retailers and consumers, HiB's latest innovative mirror collection, Spectre, continues to showcase the ultimate in luxury, style and practicality.

More than a kitchen: The new Kyra range from in-toto

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In-toto Kitchens opts for a cosy cottage atmosphere with its new Kyra range. With its grooved, wood-effect doors, and charming appearance, Kyra epitomises traditional country house and Nordic styles. A handled design (pictured with a Metal D-handle in Matt Black), this kitchen creates a tranquil, homely environment and provides a fresh approach to a classic kitchen look.

Installing sustainability is an education for Geberit apprentices in Poland

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Ten Geberit apprentices have recently returned from a working trip to Poland, where their sanitaryware installation skills were put to the test in upgrading the toilet facilities at a primary school in Warsaw.

Inexpensive 'stone look' floors are easy to install

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While Select First has always been a champion of wood and carpet, the company believes that there is something enticing about stone underfoot with its shade and texture versatility.

Traditional glamour yet modern manufacturing: Ideal Standard's new Waverley collection

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Ideal Standard has launched Waverley, a collection inspired by the elegance of the Victorian and Edwardian bathroom, which offers authentic period detail combined with the quality and reliability of modern manufacturing.

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

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Methven, 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.

New marble-effect quartz for PWS Worksurfaces' Strata brand

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PWS 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.

Hoover launches supersized 16 place setting dishwasher

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

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

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One 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.

Welcome to the


While many in this industry have been enjoying themselves out at ISH this week, John Austen and I have been at a cleaning show at ExCel in London's Docklands.

The KBB sector was never far from our hearts and minds however, particularly so since all the wonderful things this industry produces, need to be cleaned - and bearing in mind we're talking about areas where we're most vulnerable to picking up germs, i.e. the kitchen, bathroom or bedroom, they need to be cleaned properly.

As you might imagine then, it was with much interest that we struck up a conversation with the head honcho at the Domestic Cleaning Alliance, who approached us specifically to grumble about the way some of the goods manufactured by this industry, are made, since their design and/or construction, make/s the job of cleaning them, almost impossible.

I often grumble about how difficult it is to clean my kitchen and its appliances properly (same with the bathroom) because of their design, but I'd not been aware prior to my conversation with the DCA's director Stephen Munton that some items I enjoy writing about are actually prone to breaking... so much so, in fact, that when preparing contracts, many Alliance members include a clause saying they won't be held responsible if certain types of loo flushing systems break.

Many also specify that they cannot rinse down a shower properly after cleaning, if all there is in the bath or shower is a fixed shower head. Logic tells you that you need to be able to hold a shower head in order to direct it around the area you've cleaned, if you're to remove all the cleaning solution and muck.

Stephen revealed that so often, his members are faced with just a fixed shower head and thus can't provide a proper clean. Why are some of us not telling consumers that, if they're buying shower equipment with a fixed head, they should perhaps purchase something that also incorporates a hand-held shower, because of cleaning issues? After all, most good manufacturers produce these. And just think of the extra profits!

And regarding loo flushes and other items that regularly break long before their guarantee runs out, why aren't we doing something to stop this happening? Or is it just that disappointed consumers don't bother to complain that their 'new' fittings have broken? I'd love to know...



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Builders welcome NI U-turn, says FMB

The Government has made the right decision to row back on its plan to hike up National Insurance Contributions for the self-employed, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) said yesterday.

"At a time when we need to do everything we can to ensure economic stability, this would have been a destabilising tax increase which would have hit large numbers of tradespeople on quite modest incomes," said Brian Berry, FMB chief executive. "That would have felt very unfair and would have been in danger of undermining the entrepreneurial spirit Britain will need to rely on as we approach the economic uncertainty of Brexit.

The UK's kitchen culture

* kitchen-culture.jpgFive-star acrylic sheet supplier The Plastic People, a company that creates kitchen splashbacks to add a stylish touch to a cooking area, has delved into what the UK's kitchen culture looks like today.

From the items bought for the kitchen to the country's cooking habits, there's so much to discover from the research below:

Aquavision introduces the Tailored Collection

* AQUAVISION-main.jpgAquavision has announced its new Tailored Collection - off-the-shelf MirrorVision+ televisions from the Bespoke Range. An invisible television in a perfectly reflective mirror, it will be highly desirable to designers, architects and home owners. The developers at Aquavision have taken the three most popular sizes of MirrorVision+ glass from the Bespoke range that have been requested over the last three years and made them available in this collection.

Homes and buildings industry: integration of new technology drives double-digit growth

* Homes-and-buildings.jpgThe global homes and buildings industry is expected to reach $1,150.75 billion in 2017, with technologies such as Internet of Things, Big Data, data analytics, and the cloud playing a vital role, reveals Frost & Sullivan's Homes & Buildings team in a newly released report.

The industry is undergoing an intense evolution and accelerated growth. Transformational technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, data analytics and the cloud, are propelling double-digit growth and market expansion in connected homes and light-emitting diode (LED) lighting sectors.

Whirlpool dishwasher wins Waterwise Award

* Waterwise-award.jpgWhirlpool has won a UK Water Efficiency Product Award at the recent Waterwise Awards 2017.

The Waterwise UK Water Efficiency Product Awards recognise products and technology which contribute to water efficiency that benefit the economy, society and environment.

Benchmarx expands to 180 branches

* Benchmarx1.jpgFollowing a successful 2016, Benchmarx, the trade-only supplier of high quality kitchens, is continuing its impressive expansion plans at it heads towards its next milestone branch opening. Having grown from just one branch in Croydon in 2006, the company will now be celebrating the opening of its 180th branch.

CTD and BAL 'Win A Van Competition' winner takes to the road

* CTD-and-BAL.jpgDundee-based tiler Gordon Mitchell has taken delivery of his new van after winning Ceramic Tile Distributors (CTD) and BAL's Win a Van Competition.

The 60-year-old is a regular customer at CTD's Dundee branch and started tiling 40 years ago after completing a four-year tiling apprenticeship.

Saniflo launches raft of new products, new product catalogue and extended warranty

* Saniflo1.jpgSaniflo - inventor of the macerator with more than 60 years' experience and the number one in the UK macerator market - is launching a raft of new products featuring new technological advancements for the domestic and commercial plumbing sectors, a new product catalogue available now and an extended warranty for domestic products.

Carron Phoenix's new Carronade Elite waste disposal units: easy to fit; efficient to use

* Carron-Phoenix-Elite.jpgThe new Carronade Elite CE-50 and CE-75 waste disposal units (WDUs) available now from Carron Phoenix offer consumers an easy, hygienic and eco-friendly method of food waste disposal.

Compatible with most sinks, the WDUs are easy to fit and their premium specification includes antibacterial protection for odour control in addition to sound insulation for quiet operation.

Sunshine on a rainy day

* Sunshine.jpgSmeg has launched the latest addition to its range cooker collection; the stunning Portofino. Smeg's freshest design yet, the Portofino will come in eight colour-pop finishes: sunshine yellow, olive green, deep red, burnt orange, classic stainless steel, anthracite, black and white.

Each represents the bright shades of towns and villages along the Italian Riviera and offers a fantastic way of introducing colour in the kitchen.

Faith Furniture Company releases two-year anniversary photo tribute to staff

* Faith-Furniture.jpgFaith Furniture Company has released a two-year anniversary photo tribute to its staff, saying the secret of its success is simple - it's the people! Pictured here is the entire FFC team.

Croydex continues to support merchants with new sales appointment

* Croydex.jpgCroydex is continuing its commitment to supporting independent building and plumbing merchants with the appointment of a new area sales manager, Andrew James.

Andrew brings three decades of experience to his role with the award-winning bathroom accessories specialist having held similar positions at Rak Ceramics, Phoenix Whirlpools and Uptrend Distribution. He will be responsible for strengthening relationships with national trade accounts, independent merchants and showrooms across South Wales and the West Country.

The KBzine Archive Search

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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

Budget relief on business rates welcomed KBSA

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The KBSA has welcomed the relief offered to businesses facing huge hikes in their business rates.

Newly appointed chair of the KBSA, Richard Hibbert, said: "It is good to see that the Chancellor has listened to the business community on business rates. The £435 million promised will provide much needed relief in the short-term.


New point of sale displays for retailers

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Providing retailers with a powerful visual aid for marketing its Ceralsio porcelain and CRL Quartz surfaces, CRL Stone has introduced new point of sale displays.

Utopia launches new online lead generation tool for retailers

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Utopia 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.


Häfele launches latest edition of go-to reference guide

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Häfele has launched the latest version of its guide 'The Complete: Häfele Furniture Fittings Design' showcasing its design-led product range for furniture buyers, designers and manufacturers.

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