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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
19th May 2017


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

International News

Get into the groove

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The perfect combination of style and substance, the new Groove cabinet from HiB is bound to hit the right note with homeowners...

'Catch a Wave' with new Surf contemporary radiator by Aestus

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Aestus, has introduced the new Surf radiator: a contemporary heating design with elliptical contouring.

Bertazzoni to cook up a storm in the UK

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Italian cooking appliance specialist, Bertazzoni, has established a subsidiary in the UK to support ambitious growth plans. Bertazzoni UK will occupy a 1,600sq.ft premises in Prenton, Wirral, comprising offices and a showroom. The facility is set to open in the coming months.

Abode's new Pronteau 3 in 1 steaming hot water tap come in two designs and five finishes

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Abode's new Pronteau 3 in 1 steaming hot water tap comes in two designs and five fabulous finishes: Chrome, Brushed Nickel, Graphite, Matt Black and Urban Copper, to smarten up any kitchen or office environment.

As with all new products from Abode, the technical and design side is hard to beat. The new mixertaps offer all the benefits of a standard kitchen mixer but with the addition of steaming hot filtered water available instantly at 98 degrees C.

Exotic meets Tranquil with Blanco's new nutmeg shade

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Never before has it been so easy to emphasise distinctive colour accents with Blanco Silgranit PuraDur - tone in tone or with an exciting contrast.

Nutmeg, the new CombiColours' hue, is a true feast for the eyes.

Now available: 'Affordable Luxury' from Xey UK

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'Affordable luxury' Spanish furniture is making its debut in the UK through Xey UK. Designed to offer a highly flexible furniture portfolio of kitchen, bedroom and bathroom furniture as well as flooring, Xey delivers a tailormade selection of interior solutions for every room in the home, all covered by a 12-year manufacturer's warranty and expertly made in Spain.

Simply Supreme!

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The Supreme enclosure collection from shower specialist Simpsons is simple, classic design at its very best. Updating the classic enclosure to suit the needs of the modern shower room, the range is expertly designed to offer long-lasting style and practicality, with an impressive lifetime guarantee offered on all Supreme products.

Welcome to the



It's funny, isn't it? We work in the KBB industry but unless we're involved in a makeover or are removing an old appliance/ripping out an unwanted bathroom or kitchen, we always picture everything as being in perfect condition.

Our industry spends a fortune on designing new appliances, fixtures, fittings and furniture, before spending a further fortune promoting and then selling them, yet rarely, I should imagine, do we wonder how these wonderful new things will look several months down the line when they'll have been knocked about a bit - or if it's an item that's in contact with water, covered in limescale.

Do you ever imagine these products when they're not in 'as new' condition? Do you advise customers on how to properly care for their new purchases, and talk to them about cleaning and the best methods and products to use... and what to avoid?

Apparently, we Brits aren't cleaning our bathrooms as often, or as thoroughly as we should; making ourselves vulnerable to some nasty bugs...

Recent research by Showerstoyou.co.uk of 1,200 UK residents, found that while we spend six months of our lives using the bathroom and a further four and a half months cleaning it, we're not cleaning it that well.

"We've seen some awful bathrooms," reveals Showerstoyou.co.uk's, Martin Smith. "Mould on the walls, floors and shower curtain, as well as on shower heads which have never been properly cleaned... people underestimate how much cleaning the bathroom requires. They do the toilet, floor, bath tub and basin but forget all the other bits and pieces which collect dirt and where bacteria can thrive."

Tests have shown that the average bathroom contains 764 bacteria/square inch and that 27% of tap handles have Caliform - a potentially harmful bacteria. Shower heads can host 29 varieties of microbes. The fact that these areas are moist and warm means they offer the perfect place for bacteria to thrive. And when water passes through, they blast bugs onto our faces and bodies (keep your mouth closed next time you shower!) Only 22% of those surveyed clean their shower head regularly - 48% never clean it at all. Of the toothbrush holders tested, 27% had coliforms, 64% had mould and 14% had Staphylococcus. Just 15% of survey respondents reported cleaning their toothbrush holder regularly, and 32% admitted to never cleaning it at all.

Relaxing haven or hotbed of germs? What type of bathroom do you have?



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

A Year of Madness at Wirquin

* Wirquin-40.jpgFamily run sanitary equipment specifier, Wirquin, is celebrating 40 years in business this year and has pledged to have a year of madness which it is sharing across its new social media platforms.

The special Facebook page called 'Crazy 40 years', promoting lots of crazy stories and activities in which Wirquin customers and staff are taking part, can be followed and contributed at facebook.com/wirquin40years/. Other new platforms for Wirquin include Twitter and Linked In, so whether it's new products, career vacancies, new installation videos or problem solving tips the company is sharing it all on social media.

Enjoy a night in on the tiles with the Spring Summer Ted Baker Collection from British Ceramic Tile

* BCT-Ted-Baker-floor.jpgBritish Ceramic Tile has extended its partnership with global lifestyle brand Ted Baker, introducing a standout new collection of tiles for 2017. Featuring a stylish selection of Ted's signature prints, each new range blends strong fashion influences with expert manufacturing techniques.

Who needs a night on the tiles, when you have all you need for entertaining at home?

The new Indesit chest freezers easily adapt to consumer shopping needs

* Indesit-chest-freezer.jpgIndesit has introduced a new range of chest freezers (100 litre or 250 litre capacities) that can be switched between cooling and freezing modes on demand.

Featuring the exclusive Cool Switch function, the new range allows for the appliance to be converted from freezer temperature, of around -18°C, to fridge temperature, of around +4°C, in just one turn, while the easy to use Flexi Rack allows users to tailor the space to their exact needs and requirements. The dedicated rack makes it convenient for storing tall items or ensuring that smaller items stay immediately accessible and visible.

Consumer research shines light on laminate work surface popularity

* WILSONART-zenith-curved.jpgWilsonart UK has completed consumer research designed to identify who is buying laminate worksurfaces in the 21st century and for what reasons. The research was commissioned at the end of 2016 in partnership with J M Blake Associates.

Ruby Kiernan (pictured), marketing communication manager for Wilsonart UK, based in County Durham and part of the world's largest laminate manufacturing group explains:

Ripples' Solihull designer wins 'Design Of The Year'

* Ripples-Solihull.jpgRichard Fox, designer at Ripples' Solihull showroom, has won the coveted title of 'Design of the Year' at Ripples' annual Designer Day.

Designers from Ripples' 13 UK showrooms gather for a training day filled with inspiring and motivating speakers, they get the chance to compare design ideas and discuss techniques with their peers. The day is headed by Ripples' sales manager, Nicola Crow.

LDL launches new PEKA Fioro range

* PEKA-Fioro.jpgLeading distributor LDL Components is now stocking the brand new Fioro pull-out shelving system from PEKA, the Swiss manufacturer of premium quality storage solutions and accessories. 

In a contemporary combination of anthracite metal and oiled oak, the new pull-out shelving system includes a larder unit and various solutions for base units, including Magic Corner options to maximise the usable space in hard to access corners.

Franke's updated WDU range now includes anti-bacterial protection

* Franke-WDU.jpgFranke's updated range of Waste Disposal Units, Turbo Elite, features a new space- saving model, the slimline TE-75S, and all now benefit from anti-bacterial odour protection for added hygiene.

The five WDUs in the Turbo Elite range are available now and offer different performance levels to deal with differing household waste requirements, at prices to suit every budget.

Alchemy - PWS's new classic brand for the modern era

* Alchemy-PWS.jpgPWS has launched Alchemy, its new, classic kitchen brand. Alchemy defines what classic means to today's consumers, following in-depth market and consumer research, coupled with an understanding of historical architecture and interior influences.

Speaking directly with consumers and retail partners, PWS's research revealed key information about the balance of classic elegance with functionality. A key indicator of the market review identified that classic style is no longer favoured solely by the older generation, it is relevant and appeals to any age group.

New marketing lead joins F & P as company enters fresh phase of development

* FP-marketing-man.jpgF & P, Primaflow and Connections has appointed Tim Ramsey as head of marketing to help drive the company forward as it embarks upon a period of expansive change. Tim will be responsible for developing the e-commerce offering, as well as helping the business to work even more closely with customers.

"Following consolidation of the F & P, Primaflow and Connections brands, we are poised to upgrade our customer service proposition further, with the introduction of new product lines, plus improved ordering technology and a new distribution facility," he explains.

Hoover gears up for huge charity bike ride

* Hoover-Paris.jpgTwo directors from Hoover are gearing up for a mammoth 1,200km charity cycle ride across France to raise vital funds for two worthy causes.

The dynamic duo will tackle The Veloddyssey Cycle, a 745m cycle route along the Atlantic coast, to fundraise for St. John's Hospice in Wirral and Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin. Both charities are local to Hoover's operations in Bromborough and Dublin. The ride is equivalent to 70,000 of the manufacturer's new tall larder fridge and freezer laid end to end.

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

Judging line-up announced for KBSA awards

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The KBSA has announced a new line-up of judges for its 2017 awards which were launched last week.

New judges this year include Andrea Hillier, national retail services manager Blum UK (pictured); James Herriot, director, Callerton, and Dave Hewitt, managing director, Oakwood Bespoke. They join returning judges Martin Thomas, director, Denmore Kitchen & Bathroom Studio and Renee Mascari, director, Mascari Design Solutions and CEO of KBBNTG, who is also head judge.

Celebrating 150 years in style!

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Burbidge is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year and to mark this special birthday, the company held an open day at its Coventry headquarters to enable visitors to learn more about Burbidge's past, present and future and examine its production facilities and latest kitchen ranges.

BMA representatives visit The Imperial Bathroom Company, Aldridge

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Imperial Bathrooms say it was delighted to welcome the Bathroom Manufacturers Association's environmental manager, Jonathan Green, (right of pic) and technical manager Christian Taylor-Hamlin, (left of pic) to its headquarters in Aldridge, Walsall, recently.

Learning with Blanco

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Adam Fitton, one of the Blanco regional sales team, spent a day at a school in Ubud, Indonesia, so that the enthusiastic group of children could practice their English. The school is charity-funded and provides free English lessons; it also supplies pens, books and uniforms.

The children were enthralled with everything - from learning new English words to playing games on Adam's iphone.

Checkatrade adds a touch of Hollywood glamour

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Consumer champion Checkatrade is best-known for providing reliable tradespeople across the country through its easy to use online database of vetted members, but it is also known for throwing an unforgettable party as its events has proven throughout the years!

Maurice Lay Distributors celebrates 40th anniversary

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Maurice Lay Distributors is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year with the relaunch of the Sense range of design-led, high performance appliances from its Caple brand.

Set to become available to retailers later this year, the new-look Sense range will combine sleek, stainless steel and black glass with the latest technology to provide consumers with innovative appliances across all categories from cooking and cooling to laundry and dishwashers.

'Improve not move' as home improvement figures continue to grow

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With many households having just undertaken a Spring clean over Easter, home improvement figures continued to increase in popularity across, as planning applications saw an upsurge in every region & country in Great Britain, except for Scotland.

House builders' views on their supply chain: from the Jablite round table debate

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Jablite recently hosted a round table debate to ask: "Is the house building supply chain fit for purpose?"

When resignations in trades don't have to mean the end

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Construction and plumbing employers are missing a key opportunity to retain valuable departing talent, according to new research carried out during a survey of 1,002 UK employees, which revealed that 93% of trade workers such as those in construction and plumbing, would be willing to consider staying at a company once they have handed their notice in, depending on what their employer offered them.

Birmingham resident's oven stands the test of time

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Local retailer Macphersons Appliances Direct in Birmingham has teamed up with Neff to replace a customer's 34-plus-year-old oven, free of charge.

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