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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
23rd June 2017


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

International News

Kitchen islands back to the future

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Wilsonart UK is reporting increased sales of its Zenith ultra slimline work surface for use as kitchen islands. The trend for column-come table in the kitchen fell out of favour in recent years but is being championed once again by independent and national chain retailers.

If we wash everything with water, why don't we wash everything with water?

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With 100 of experience, Roca leads the way in the development of bathroom products and is revolutionising the space with its new In-Wash smart toilet.

In-Wash is an innovative WC with in-built technology for exceptional personal hygiene that provides complete cleaning, care and comfort. Its soft curves and minimalistic design mean In-Wash will adapt perfectly to the interior design of any bathroom space for ultimate well-being.

Cosentino work surfaces to be available in ArtiCAD-Pro

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ArtiCAD has announced that new graphics for the Silestone Quartz, Dekton Ultra-Compact and Sensa Protected Granite from Cosentino will shortly be available as a comprehensive graphics catalogue within the ArtiCAD-Pro software.

Bathing beauties from Abacus

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Abacus Bathrooms' new Pure and Simple collection of baths encompasses eight models each manufactured with an 'Armour Plus' coating for a superb finish and immense durability.

Extra deep with sleek lines for a luxurious bathing or showering experience, there are three freestanding models in both acrylic and solid surface resin along with two double-ended, two single-ended and one inset bath.

The Indesit Aria built-in microwave - ideal for the modern busy family

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Indesit has responded to the need for appliances that are easy to use, and has developed the MWI 3443 IX built-in microwave, part of the Indesit Aria collection of cooking appliances.

Utopia targets freestanding bath sector

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Utopia Bathrooms has introduced a new freestanding version of its popular Dualelle double-ended bath to complement its three new modular collections and also to capitalise on the general popularity of feature baths.

Scandinavian-designed bathroom furniture new from VitrA perfect for both small and large bathroom spaces

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VitrA has launched a brand-new collection of stylish, wall hung bathroom furniture to complement the existing Sento Wall-hung WC. The Scandinavian-designed furniture features delicately rounded profiles in combinations that can be tailored for both smaller bathrooms (50cm compact version) but can be scaled up to suit larger proportioned rooms too.

MHS Radiators partners with Antrax to launch exciting new collection

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MHS Radiators has launched a spectacular collection of architecturally influenced radiators, following an exclusive long-term agreement with Antrax IT.

Franke extends its award-winning Maris Plus hood range

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Franke has extended its award-winning Maris Plus extractor hood range with the addition of a lustrous white glass colour option in addition to the existing black glass version. The new hood is available now in three sizes of 60, 80 and 90cm to offer wide design flexibility.

Howarth At Home has recipe for success at Laura Ashley kitchen collection Stockist Awards

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Howarth at Home has swept the board at the new Laura Ashley Kitchen Collection Stockist Awards for its work promoting and selling the Laura Ashley Kitchen Collection.

Utopia champions British design

In a strategic move to expand its share of the growing modular sector of the bathroom furniture market, Utopia Bathrooms is launching a groundbreaking collection of three new contemporary modular ranges.

Targeting the top end of the market, Utopia is deliberately competing against European brands to prove inspired British design can not only match but surpass the continental offering.

Welcome to the



We Brits are regularly using social channels to find inspiration and show off our cooking accomplishments - with 57% of us saying we eat more adventurously than ever before as a result - either to impress our followers, or as a result of resolving to copy something we've seen on social channels and like the look of. Commissioned by Neff to highlight its search for the next 'Cookaholic' (www.nextcookaholic.co.uk), new research of 2,010 Brits showed that a quarter of us take pictures of our dishes to put on social media when cooking for friends and family and spend six minutes perfecting that all important post (meaning that any hot food will have got cold before the first mouthful is enjoyed).

Lovely as some of these dishes may look, this is highly frustrating for those of us who've been taught that we should wait until everyone is seated and has their food in front of them, before we pick up our cutlery.

Many of us, however, are using these feeds as a source of inspiration... A third of those surveyed say social media has inspired them to create a new dish, so I suppose it cuts both ways...

And how many of us would have thought of cooking in a waterbath, or deliberately seeking out an oven unit incorporating a plate warming drawer, had we not first seen them in use on one of the many cookery programmes to grace our screens? Sadly though, while 'Instagram-able' foods are clogging our newsfeeds, the survey has revealed that many of us are losing our basic cooking skills. Some 37% of Londoners have confessed that they don't know how to cook dry pasta, while 34% of 25-34 year olds don't even know how to boil an egg...

Mmmmm... I have an idea for a new cookery show...



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Soapbox: The Bathroom Manufacturers Association's CEO Yvonne Orgill on 'Leaky Loos'

* Soapbox-Yvonne.jpg"Today, a typical British sunny day has seen heightened activity regarding Dual Flush WC's. Radio interviews, articles in the national press, comment by many, have all raised the issue 'leaky loos'!

To put the record straight - any product will leak or fail, if, it's of poor design and quality and does not meet the legal requirement and is installed by 'Fred' up the road.

Introducing the Metallic Marbles collection by Versital

* Copper_Stratos.jpgVersital has announced the launch of its 'Metallic Marbles' collection, a range comprising three new metallic and marble-inspired finishes which will be available to the hospitality and contract industry followed by a roll out into KBB retailers.

The collection features three stunning colours: Copper Stratos blends a backdrop of white marble with statement metallic copper veining; Gold Stratos (pictured) incorporates high quality gold veining for an opulent finish; whilst Silver Stratos completes this on-trend trio with a modern and contemporary look.

Apprenticeship Levy key to unlocking disabled talent

* Apprenticeship.jpgThe introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy offers employers a prime opportunity to improve disabled talent pipelines. That was the conclusion of a recent round table hosted by the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI).

However, attendees identified a number of barriers to engagement. Not least a level of ambiguity around where employers should turn to for support in this area with an overarching theme running throughout the discussion being the 'missing link' in the dissemination of expertise around inclusivity in apprenticeships.

Groundbreaking British Standard for the 'circular economy' launched

* Groundbreaking-BSI.jpgBSI, the business standards company, has launched a new standard for the 'circular economy', BS 8001: 2017: Framework for implementing the principles of the circular economy in organisations - guide.

The 'circular economy' is a concept which challenges organisations to rethink how their resources are managed to create financial, environmental and social benefits. BS 8001 was developed to meet these mutually beneficial goals, by providing guiding principles for organisations and individuals to consider and implement more sustainable practices. It is the first standard of its kind, both in the UK and globally.

KBBG welcomes Opticolour as new supplier

* KBBG-Opticolour.jpgAnnounced at the Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group Annual Members' Meeting 2017, Opticolour has joined the ever-increasing list of suppliers available to KBBG members.

Opticolour manufactures glass splashbacks and glass wall coverings. Advanced digital technology allows Opticolour to print photographs onto large glass panels, ranging from scenic views, retro patterns and even your own photograph.

'Party On' with new dishwasher Party Setting by V-ZUG

* Party-on.jpgV-Zug has launched another technologically advanced feature across its range of Adora dishwashers with a new 'Party Setting', which offers:

On The Level wet room tile-in system: more tile; less drain

* On-The-Level.jpgThe new Tile-In system from On The Level (OTL) is the perfect solution for customers wanting to see more tile and less drain when they stand in the shower.

Available in linear and square options, the new drain covers have a minimalist stainless steel finish on one side or can be flipped and completely tiled in to create a seamless wet room shower floor.

BiKBBI 2017-2018 brochure available here

* BiKBBI-2017.jpgIf you'd like to know more about the British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation and the important role it plays within the KBB industry, you might wish to download the BiKBBI 2017-2018 brochure, with has just been published:


HIB directors raise £13,500 for charity

* HIB-directors.jpgTwo HiB directors turned fundraisers recently, by skydiving and running a marathon in aid of Muscular Dystrophy UK and Nicki's Smile. The total funds raised came to over £13,500, providing a welcome boost to two vital charitable organisations.

Managing director, Robert Ginsberg, signed up to run the London Marathon whilst finance director, Himesh Shah, braved the skydive as part of the bathroom product manufacturer's ongoing commitment to supporting worthy causes.

Franke More in Store retailers ready to support Marie Curie Blooming Great Tea Party campaign

* Bake.jpgMore than 70 of Franke's More in Store retailers across the UK and Ireland are setting out their stalls ready to host a Blooming Great Tea Party for Marie Curie this weekend.

Fully embracing the campaign, now in its fourth year, retailers are getting more creative this year to entice customers into their showrooms by holding the tea parties with golf challenges, luxury prize draws and full bake sales. One retailer, J Sheppard and Son, is also unveiling their fully revamped showroom, featuring a new Frames by Franke display.

Search is on to find Golden Ticket in Showerwall's 500,000th panel

* Showerwall500.jpgTo mark the production of its 500,000th panel, Showerwall has hidden a special Golden Ticket inside the panel's packaging. When the ticket is discovered, the lucky merchant or retailer, installer and property owner will each win a £500 Love2Shop voucher.

Showerwall, the waterproof bathroom panelling system, offers 56 designs ranging from bold metallics to classic stones and the panel containing the Golden Ticket was placed randomly into stock in May, so it could now be anywhere in the UK. Details on how to claim the prize are printed on the winning ticket.

Trio of new starters join Hoover

* Trio.jpgHoover has appointed three new starters in a drive to support its ambition to become the 'supplier of choice'. Rob Pearse, Gema Aldridge and Becks Simms have assumed the positions of commercial manager - Ireland, account director - freestanding and built-in appliances and account director - built-in appliances, respectively, and collectively bring with them 45 years' industry experience.

Each of the new starters will be working closely with key customers, contacts and the supply chain to ensure that the brand continues to be front of mind for quality, state-of-the-art products which make people's lives easier.

New appointment for the Whirlpool brand

* Whirlpool-girl.jpgCatherine Balderson is the new brand manager for Whirlpool UK Appliances. Previously customer marketing manager for the company's New Business Home Delivery Channel - which included supporting Shop Direct and Tesco - Catherine brings extensive account experience to her new role. Prior to her time at Whirlpool she was National Account Manager with SodaStream.

"My previous role with Whirlpool is great grounding and has given me an excellent insight into the commercial and marketing side of the business," she says. "This depth of knowledge will enable me to progress and execute the needs of the brand effectively, including working with retailers to broaden distribution, raise awareness and selling the benefits of the brand."

Christian Taylor-Hamlin to leave BMA

* Christian_BMA.jpgThe Bathroom Manufacturers Association's Christian Taylor-Hamlin is moving to pastures new. Christian has decided after nearly nine years of leading the technical function of the Association to take up new challenges and will be leaving the Association at the end of August. He has led and driven a very proactive technical programme and leaves this activity in a very healthy state.

The BMA is now recruiting for a technical manager to replace him.

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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

Expansion plans announced by The BiKBBI

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The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation has announced that it is expanding by opening two new regional offices in the north of England this Summer. The initiative is an exciting one for the Institute as it continues the considerable growth it has enjoyed in recent years.

Creating opportunity out of change: Host and first speaker for B&K Conference 2017 announced

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The organiser of the Bathroom & Kitchen Business Conference, has announced the host and the first speaker in the line-up for the day-long 'Creating opportunity out of change' event on 17th October 2017 at The Belfry Hotel & Resort, Sutton Coldfield.

Franke scoops four prestigious design awards

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Sink, tap and appliance manufacturer, Franke, has scooped four prestigious design awards. It has won three Red Dot Design Awards for its Maris Pull-Out Slim hood, Style sink and Pescara tap range in the latest round of winners. In addition, the Pescara tap range has been given an iF Gold Award for 2017.

Bathroom inspiration at every turn -BagnoDesign Chelsea

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More than 200 specially invited guests attended a sparkling evening on Chelsea's Kings Road, as the flagship BagnoDesign London showroom celebrated its official opening late last month.

Football & rugby battle it out during K&B showroom bake-off event

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To celebrate the first anniversary of The Room Works, a kitchen and bathroom showroom in Exeter, Exeter City FC and the Exeter Chiefs rugby team battled it out during a charity bake-off last Thursday and, following a highly competitive showdown, City were crowned the baking champions.


Barwick appoints new sales director Steve Hooley

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Independent bathroom distributor Barwick has announced the appointment of Steve Hooley to the role of sales director.


Abode launches all-new Pronteau website

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The Pronteau website from Abode has had a makeover and now includes full details of the new Pronteau 3 in 1 steaming hot water tap collection as well as added functionality and new easy-to-use navigation.


New for 2017, kitchen sink & tap brochure from Abode

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Abode introduces its latest kitchen sink and tap brochure which is available in a hard copy format as well as viewable online, via the company's interactive brochure or downloadable in a pdf format.

Maurice Lay Distributors publishes 60th trade price guide

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Maurice Lay Distributors, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, has published a new version of its trade price guide. Highlighting the company's four decades in business, this special edition has been completely redesigned and features a beautiful collage of images of the most iconic issues of the guide on its front cover along with the strapline 'Celebrating 40 years'.

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