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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
7th April 2017


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

International News

Aqata showering luxury at the Ideal Home Show Village

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Aqata, the renowned UK shower enclosure manufacturer, tells us it is delighted to be part of the Ideal Home's Show Village. The show homes feature products from Aqata's Spectra range, which uses 8mm thick toughened glass with smooth polished edges to create, contemporary shower enclosures or screens, including straight and curved panels, spacious walk ins, bi-fold, sliding and hinged doors with minimal framing.

Designworks tiles launch new Zen mosaic tile collection

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Zen is an elegant collection of mosaic tiles inspired by natural stone, marble and wood - perfect for both the pool & SPA industry and private bathrooms.

The products offer a matt texture in a range of tranquil colours which evoke relaxation in every inch.

Kartell by Laufen takes part in Milan Design Week with new collection

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Kartell by Laufen is taking part in Milan Design Week, from 4th to 9th next week, with a collection enhanced by new products and furniture accessories, to narrate an exclusive, original interpretation of the bathroom environment

Stoves unveils new built-in Richmond Collection

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Leading appliance brand Stoves has unveiled a new collection of built-in ovens and gas hobs which emulate the classic design of its Richmond range cookers. The new Stoves Built-In Richmond range includes a 60cm multifunction single oven, available in four colours, and co-ordinating 60cm and 70cm gas hobs, which are available in three colours.

New and improved hot water tank from InSinkErator

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InSinkErator has introduced the NeoTank, a new and improved hot water tank for the company's full range of steaming hot water taps.

Wake up and smell the coffee...

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Bring warmth into the bathroom with this aromatic, elegant Mocha shade from Lustrolite panels...

Lustrolite's glass effect acrylic wall panels are the perfect way to update both the bathroom and the kitchen.

LochAnna Kitchens expands portfolio, launching 18 ranges and additional kitchen features

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LochAnna Kitchens has added 18 new ranges to the portfolio, increasing the offer to an incredible 64 kitchens designs.

Roca brings together the future and the past to its stand at ISH

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In the year of its centenary, Roca attended the ISH fair in Frankfurt with a new concept of stand, the Roca Mall - a modern shopping centre of over 1000sq.m that puts together the history, the present and the future of the brand through its different collections and products.

Grohe launches new water security system for the home

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Grohe Sense and Grohe Sense Guard are Grohe's latest intelligent solutions for the smart home. The Sense smart water sensor monitors humidity, detects leaks and alerts homeowners instantly in case of a problem, while the Sense Guard is installed in the main water pipe and can switch off the water supply in case of a burst pipe. Both use ground-breaking smart technology, allowing them to be monitored and controlled using the new Grohe Ondus App.

Indesit introduces a new stylish and efficient cooker hood

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Today's modern family is busier than ever, and as a result, requires an extractor that can do the job without hassle and fuss. Indesit's new 60cm cooker hood, part of the Aria built-in cooking collection, features angled black glass and is designed and engineered to give users more room in the kitchen when cooking.

Aquavision introduces the Tailored Collection

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Aquavision 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.

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

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Saniflo - 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

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The 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.

Sunshine on a rainy day

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Smeg 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.

Welcome to the


As the years go by, we're seeing more and more women learning one of the building trades, running their own businesses and making an excellent living out of what has traditionally been 'a man's job'. Since the take-up of a trade by women is something that's relatively new, I was surprised to learn that the gender pay gap for the construction sector is a whopping 23.3%!

While I can understand (although I don't agree with it!) that because of the way we used to do things, women who've worked alongside men in decades-old roles have generally earned less than their male colleagues; in relatively new industries - such as IT - or where women are taking up roles traditionally carried out by men, it doesn't make sense to me that there's a gender pay gap at all, let alone one that's so large. Of course, it's all about to change.

New regulations require employers with 250 or more employees to publish their pay figures by April 2018. Clive Hickman, chief executive of the Manufacturing Technology Centre, says of the changes: "The MTC fully supports gender pay gap reporting and it is important that every company achieves a good gender balance throughout their organisation to enable a balanced growth of the business and long term sustainability. Gender balance in engineering companies is often difficult to manage as historically relatively few women have chosen engineering as their career. We are striving to recruit between 25-35% women for our 2017 graduate and apprentice intake with a long-term objective to push this even higher."

Talking of apprentices, the Apprenticeship Levy may be a game changer, but it certainly has its challenges and Bally Bhogal, managing director of independent advisory firm Independent Training & Skills Services, believes that one of the biggest of these is the lack of knowledge and understanding around apprenticeships and the subsequent handover of control to a training provider. She says that with over 1500 apprenticeship training companies registered, 'doing your homework' can really pay off. As a bare minimum, employers should be asking what training and qualifications they will receive through apprenticeship programmes, how much it will cost, how long it will take, what the benefits will be and how the training will be delivered. Something worth taking into account, I think...



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Belling announces major consumer cashback campaign for Sensicare Collection

* BELLING-MAIN-PIC.jpgLeading appliance manufacturer Belling has unveiled a major consumer campaign to support its recently launched Sensicare laundry collection.

The three-month campaign is aimed at creating consumer awareness and demand for the Sensicare collection and underlining Belling's 'Inside Every Great Home' message. The campaign, running from April 1st to June 30th, features a cashback scheme, offering up to £100 back on selected Sensicare washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers.

Der Kreis presents research results at LivingKitchen

* Der-Kreis-presents.jpgEurope's largest kitchen and bathroom buying group for independent kitchen specialists, Der Kreis, actively promotes young talent in the kitchen industry. In 2009, a foundation was set up to recruit, and excite young people into the specialist kitchen and design industry.

Together with kitchen specialists and partners from the kitchen industry, the foundation initiates and encourages study projects at universities and colleges that focus on the kitchen, and all of its facets. The most recent study was designed to discover more about the ideas and needs of consumers and connect them with the kitchen living space.

Howdens Joinery scoops carbon reduction award

* Howden.jpgHowdens Joinery was on Wednesday named winner of the Freight Transport Association's prestigious Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme award for exceptional efforts in reducing carbon across its operations.

The LCRS Leadership in Carbon Reduction Award was presented at the FTA Multimodal Awards in Birmingham. Judges thought Howdens' submission demonstrated a co-operative and inclusive approach to carbon reduction. The firm's plans not only included its own vehicles and drivers but also suppliers and even end-users.

First bathroom manufacturer to exhibit at Clerkenwell Design Week: Bette takes the bathroom in a new direction at Design Fields

* Bette-Loft_2.jpgGerman glazed steel bathroom manufacturer, Bette, will be the first bathroom sanitaryware manufacturer to take a stand in a Clerkenwell Design Week exhibition, when the event opens on 23rd May.

The company pushes the boundaries of what can be achieved in bathroom product design, and it was this focus on innovation that led to Bette being invited to exhibit at Design Fields, which will showcase leading product design from around the world. Bette will be using the exhibition to show how the bathroom can be taken into a new direction with the UK launch of contrasting new collections.

National Tile Week returns for 2nd year, celebrating best of British design & manufacture

* National-Tile-Week.jpgTile Week (10th - 17th April 2017) is back for a second year running. Supported by British Ceramic Tile and Tile Giant, the week-long nationwide event will run celebrate the best of British design and manufacture, and is set to put tiles firmly on the map when it comes to interiors.

Designed to educate consumers on how to creatively use tiles in the home and drive sales across retailers in the run up to the Easter weekend, National Tile Week will examine the latest trends sweeping through interiors, bust some myths about the complexity of tiles and provide practical tips, making DIY projects easier than ever before.

Abacus' new customised retailer software system wins seal of approval

* Abacus.jpg"The dealer log-in system is great for checking stock levels; it is quick and easy to place and track an order. It is also quick to obtain invoices and monthly statements." Amanda McKinlay, Scope Bathrooms.

"We are very impressed with the new system; as we were guinea pigs in the trial phase, we helped to make the system run perfectly for the dealer; which it does!" Nick Frost, Janico (www.janico.co.uk). The proof of the pudding is in the eating they say; Abacus Bathrooms' new dealer log-in software system is certainly satisfying the appetite for a streamlined, quick, simple software system which makes the entire retailer/ customer experience hassle-free.

Stone Show outing for Ceralsio and CRL Quartz

* Marquina_Natural.jpgCRL Stone will be making its debut appearance at The Natural Stone Show later this month, as it showcases its new ranges of quartz and porcelain surfaces.

Fabricators, architects, designers, developers and retailers visiting the three-day show, held at London's Excel, can visit Stand AA1 to see the new collections and to learn about the many advantages that quartz and porcelain offer on all types of applications.

BiKBBI confirms Howarth Timber Group Corporate Membership renewal

The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation [BiKBBI] confirmed that the builders merchant that has recently celebrated its 175-year anniversary, renewed Corporate Membership in April.

Operating from its national network of specialist branches across the UK, Howarth Timber is a family-run business with a rich history of providing quality building supplies to local tradesmen.

V-ZUG live Gourmet Academy enabled displays

* V-ZUG-live-Gourmet-displays.jpgInnovator in the design and manufacture of high quality steam appliances, V-Zug, tells us it is proud to declare a prime collection of official 'Zugoramas' across the UK via its exclusive network of 'V-Zug Centres of Excellence'.

Operating with a heightened level of brand sophistication, V-Zug premium dealers provide a highly interactive home-cooking experience, using their kitchen showrooms as an active V-Zug UK Gourmet Academy. Brought to life with regular cooking demonstrations, master classes and in some cases, in-house chefs, each Zugomrama is designed with a quality consumer experience in mind, ready to captivate each and every potential customer instore.

New Geberit head office opens for business

* New-Geberit-head-office1.jpgLocal dignataries, company directors and employees gathered to mark the official opening of the new Geberit UK head office in Warwick last Friday, 31 March. The purpose-built facility, less than a mile from the centre of historic Warwick, on Tournament Fields, is the new UK base for over 150 Geberit staff.

The 2017 UK Plumber of the Year competition opens for entries

* plumber-comp.jpgThis year's UK Plumber of the Year competition has begun its search to find the nation's best plumber after officially opening for entries. Launched by JT in partnership with Bristan and Plumb Center, the industry competition aims to find the finest plumber of 2017 and recognise the remarkable level of talent from plumbers across the UK, with another huge prize fund awarded to the worthy winner.

Entries are now open via www.ukplumberoftheyear.com and the deadline for all entries is midnight on Friday 16th June 2017.

Ireland's Potter Cowan joins Wilsonart UK'S distributor line up

* Potter-Cowan.jpgPotter Cowan is one of Ireland's leading trade-only kitchen product and component distributors. Servicing retail and builder customers from three branches in Belfast, Dublin and Cork, the company is ideally placed to offer a launch pad for Wilsonart UK's Synergii laminate worksurface collection.

"Wilsonart is an internationally respected name with a range of laminate products that offer incredible depths of realism," says Adrian Allen, managing director of Potte Cowan. "Our customers expect us to explore the market and offer products that will offer them tangible sales opportunities. With the designs, finishes and accessories available, Synergii fits the bill perfectly."

Shaws expands customer service & merchant roles

* Shaws.jpgStephanie Fielding has joined Shaws, the well-known fireclay sink manufacturer as customer services manager and Leon Harber has been promoted from within the company, taking on the important new role of merchant sales manager.

Stephanie's remit will be to reinforce the company's mantra as 'being easy to do business with'. Strong customer service and reliability has become synonymous with the Shaws brand and as part of that, the Lancashire ceramics manufacturer has added to its existing team.

Staff at IDS Nuneaton give local children an 'eggs-celent' Easter treat

* Eggs.jpgYoungsters across Nuneaton are in for a treat as kind-hearted staff at the local branch of International Decorative Surfaces (IDS) donate 200 Easter eggs to Barnardo's Children's Centres across the town.

"We appealed for people to bring in Easter eggs and due to the generosity of customers, staff and the wider community the donations have really piled up," says Jamie Barnes, sales office manager at IDS in Nuneaton.

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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

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.

The UK's kitchen culture

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Five-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.

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

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The 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.

Whirlpool dishwasher wins Waterwise Award

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Whirlpool 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.


Imperial Bathrooms' new Design Guide includes latest launches

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Imperial Bathrooms has unveiled a bold, new-look Design Guide for its portfolio of handcrafted sanitaryware and bathroom furniture.

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