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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
8th December 2017


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

International News

Rearo launches new range targeting the bathroom makeover market

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A family-owned Scottish manufacturer has launched a new range of shower wall panels to target the growing demand for a design-led, 'straight over tiles' solution to upgrade bathrooms.

Glasgow-based Rearo believes the new range will accelerate demand for luxury shower panels which do away with the need to replace tiles.

Selco Builders Warehouse now offers comprehensive Wilsonart laminate worktop collection

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Wilsonart UK has launched a new range of versatile laminate worktops into Selco Builders Warehouse. The new range includes a collection of 27 decors in a choice of square edge and post formed profiles. There are nine different textures in a mix of stone, contemporary timbers, and sparkle designs.

New Product Guide from MHS showcases the latest in radiator design

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MHS Radiators has unveiled its new retail Product Guide for 2017/18, featuring a superb range of Designer, Multi Column, Aluminium and Cast Iron radiators, as well as a stunning selection of towel rails and valves.

Luxury island living with Mark Taylor Design

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British manufacturer Mark Taylor Design is renowned for its superlative bespoke furniture and joinery and for its creative use of materials, which is exemplified by this simply stunning, unique copper and blue kitchen.

New, exclusive brand and range of small domestic appliances for Euronics agents

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Electrical buying group Combined Independents (Holdings), part of Euronics, has launched an exclusive new brand and range of small domestic appliances. The Linsar range includes a colourful and stylish collection of kettles and matching toasters, available exclusively to Euronics agents.

Smart new finishes join the Elite

Crosswater is delighted to present two exciting new finishes to its ever-popular Elite bathroom furniture collection. The new colours to choose from join the celebrated original options of White Gloss, Steel and Walnut to provide a range of unique finishes designed to suit all bathroom schemes.

Discover the unexpected with HD Galvanised from British Ceramic Tile

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Industrial chic takes centre stage with British Ceramic Tile's new HD Galvanised collection. Offering a sense of the unexpected, this new range of metal-effect ceramic tiles brings new surface textures to walls for a look that's completely different.

Franke's new electronic 4-in-1 tap offers instant 100 degree C boiling and cold filtered water

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Franke has launched the Minerva 4-in-1 Electronic tap, the company's first digitally controlled tap with simple push-button functionality, offering enhanced convenience and user-friendliness with pre-set 30 and 60 second programmes that dispense two litres of water, ideal for filling pans, teapots, cafetieres and jugs with instant filtered boiling or filtered cold water.

Important environmental award for bedding manufacturer

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We normally cover beds but not bedding in KBzine, but with a story as good as this one, we just had to give it a mention... The environmental best practice by one of the UK's largest manufacturers of filled bedding products - Trendsetter International - has been recognised with a Gold award for Engineering and Manufacturing at the Green Apple Awards.

Set up and sell in a Nano

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Macdee Wirquin has created this new counter-top merchandiser to encourage a quick and easy sale of its innovative Nano 6.7 all-in-one basin waste and trap. This new Point of Sale merchandising box has been designed to sit on a trade counter and holds six Nano 6.7 Quick Clac boxes, so easily collected by the installer.

Thirty-eight stunning apartments pick Nuance for beautiful bathrooms

As a captivating alternative to ceramic wall tiling, innovative home builder Darren Smith Homes in West Yorkshire has chosen Bushboard's Nuance bathroom wall panelling as a compelling and practical way of creating spectacular bathrooms for 38 luxury apartments in Newgate, Mirfield, West Yorkshire.

Warm up this winter with Amber Underfloor Heating

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Amber Underfloor Heating is the new name in underfloor heating; offering excellent, high quality solutions with exceptional customer service.

Distributed exclusively through wholesalers, retailers and retail showrooms, Amber offers the full electric underfloor heating solution. The easy-to-use products include 100W/sq.m and 150W/sq.m AmberMat heating mats, 140W/sq.m AmberDry thin heating foils for installation directly below timber-based flooring - removing the requirement for latex - and two ranges of electronic, stylish thermostats.

Welcome to the


I almost didn't click on the link to the full article but curiosity soon got the better of me... And the first thought that popped into my head as I read was: "Why?" If you don't know what I'm talking about, a group of youths wasted the West Midlands Fire Service's already stretched resources, calling them to the rescue when a stupid Internet prank went wrong... Whatever or whoever persuaded one of the men to cement his head inside a microwave oven using seven bags of Polyfilla, I just don't know.

And having spent an hour and a half trying to free their daft friend, all the group managed to do was feed an air tube into his mouth so he could breathe. Apparently, it took the firefighters an hour to free him from the appliance. I expect that some of them would have liked to leave him in there for a few days...

Talking of microwave ovens, my beloved Max (the one with the curved back, which sits tucked away in the corner of my kitchen and is the best kitchen appliance I've ever had) is broken. I'm hoping that it can be repaired but I've checked the Internet just in case, to see if it will be easy to get a replacement. I'm disappointed...

I don't want black and I don't particularly want silver! Whirlpool, which supplied my Max, was truly inspired when it designed these little masterpieces. As well as the brilliant shape which meant that despite accommodating a full-sized dinner plate, they could fit into the smallest of spaces, the appliances were offered with different functions and glowed with different coloured lights depending upon which function was in operation at any given time. They also played tunes, so users knew if something needed turning, stirring, or whether whatever was inside, was 'done'. Max microwaves used to come in a choice of colours, to suit the environment they were about to grace. They looked fabulous! I can still buy a kettle, toaster of cooker in bright or pastel colours, so why not the Max?

It's Christmas... the time of year that we're encouraged to ask for things we'd like. So - Come on Whirpool/Hotpoint... please go back to manufacturing the Max in different colours, for those who, like me, like to have a bit of colour in their lives... If you do, I'll happily publicise them in a sensible way...



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

CIH Chairman Robin Millwood says industry must pull together to increase margins

* CIH-Chairman.jpgCombined Independents (Holdings) Chairman Robin Millwood has called on the industry to pull together to increase margins, singling out retailers in particular as being able to do more.

Conran collaboration secures gold for VitrA

* VitrA_Conran-gold.jpgVitrA secured a gold award for 'Collaboration with a Designer' for its inspirational Eternity accessories range, designed by Sebastian Conran, at the recent Designer Kitchen & Bathroom Awards.

Margaret Talbot, marketing manager VitrA (pictured right), said at the ceremony, held at the Bloomsbury Big Top in London:

Bosch and Siemens home appliances make the mark

* Bosch-and-Siemens.jpgBSH Home Appliances, manufacturer of the Bosch, Neff, Siemens and Gaggenau brands, tells us it is proud to announce that a wide range of its Bosch and Siemens appliances will carry the respected Quiet Mark approval programme award.

With open plan living becoming more and more the norm in our homes, as well as our preference for wood flooring and shutters rather than sound-absorbing carpeting and curtains; our quest for quieter appliances is ever-increasing.

BiKBBI Installer of The Year 2017: LSI Interiors

* BiKBBI-Installer-of-The-year.jpgCongratulations to British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation member Layne Ives of LSI Interiors, who has been awarded the Installer of The Year Award at the ek&bbusiness Awards & Review 2017 ceremony in Central London.

The premier event, hosted by comedian Rob Beckett, to a sell-out audience of over 500- saw Layne and his team presented with the award for his services to industry.

Going for gold: Bushboard's Options collection recognised for Material Innovation

* Budhboard_Going-for-gold.jpgCongratulations to Bushboard for winning the Gold Award for Material Innovation, with its Options collection, at the 2017 Designer Kitchen & Bathroom Awards. Now in their 15th year, the awards celebrate the very best talent in kitchen and bathroom design.

Accepting the award, commerical director for Bushboard, Neil Horton, said:

Armitage Shanks closes bicentenary celebrations with gala evening

* Armitage-Shanks-200th.jpgOne of Britain's oldest businesses, Armitage Shanks, has culminated its bicentenary celebrations with a gala evening, which included rewards for colleagues as well as celebrity performances.

Patrick Kielty presided at the event, which featured performances from Britain's Got Talent finalists Escala, magician David Penn and a grand finale show from pop star Beverley Knight. Poet Laureate for Birmingham, Matt Windle, was on hand to read a specially commissioned poem on the history of Armitage Shanks and its local significance.

Gorenje searches for a new strategic partner following net profit announcement

* Gorenje-searches.jpgKitchen appliance manufacturer, Gorenje, has announced a 12% growth in the first nine months of 2017, which equates to a net profit of €4.6m, and a 5% sales increase of €944m.

The company has also revealed that it is now seeking a suitable partner and potential shareholder to be in place by the end of Q3 2018.

British Ceramic Tile takes customers on a tour with tiles

* BCT-Tour1.jpgWhen is a biscuit not a biscuit? When it's a tile. It's all these small details and more that are brought to life in British Ceramic Tile's new corporate video, launched to the trade this month.

A company obsessed with the small things that make a big difference, British Ceramic Tile has launched a new corporate video to give retailers and buyers a real insight into the factory and its state of the art manufacturing processes.

Abode supports the Ochre charity this Christmas

* Abode_Bob.jpgFor the past few years Abode has been wishing its customers and distributor partners 'Seasons Greetings' with a merry e-Christmas card. Instead of spending money on hundreds of Christmas cards, the caring Abode company has helped many people by donating money to different charities.

This year, Abode is making a donation to the registered charity Ochre, which promotes awareness of oesophageal cancer. This is in memory of Abode's media buyer, Bob Williams, who worked with Abode since its inception in 2002. Bob bravely fought his cancer last year and never lost his sense of humour or his cheeky smile.

Samsung announces new '100-day promise'

* Samsung-100-day-promise.jpgSamsung is giving its customers the opportunity to be sure they've made a worthwhile investment with its new '100-Day Promise'.

Your chance to win a Christmas hamper...

* Your-chance-to-win.jpgHafele UK is currently running a fun Christmas competition on its Facebook page where anyone can win a Christmas #HafeleHamper with items worth more than £700.

The hamper includes a Smeg coffee machine, power tools for the home handyman, bottles of Prosecco, Christmas crackers, and other great Christmas treats.

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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

Market growth in integrated MDAs expected to continue

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A new report from industry analyst JKMR highlights how integrated major domestic appliances sales growth is continuing to outperform that of the overall fitted kitchen market.

Roca wins gold at Designer Kitchen & Bathroom Awards

The new Roca In-Wash Inspira smart toilet has won a gold award in the Innovation in Technology category at the recent Designer Kitchen & Bathroom Awards.

Sleep success for Bushboard

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Sleep, the exciting hotel design event during November, has been an enormous success for Bushboard Nuance bathroom wall panelling. The company, which is aiming to change outdated perceptions about bathroom wall panelling, demonstrated the product on the stand with a live water feature alongside a seamless wetroom display.

BAL at Skills London

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BAL has teamed up with CITB (Construction Industry Training Body) and The Tile Association to demonstrate the benefits of a career in wall and floor tiling and other trades at Skills London - the UK's biggest jobs and career events for 15-24-year olds.

Modern Homes launches partnership with fine dining chef

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Kitchen, bathroom and bedroom retailer, Modern Homes, has launched a new partnership, 'Yes Chef Dining' that will offer exciting food-related benefits and opportunities for its clients and expand their businesses.


Utopia extends and enhances Visualise online planning facility

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Utopia Bathrooms has extended and enhanced its popular Visualise online planning function at www.utopiagroup.com It now includes all of the new modular ranges and also offers the user an improved experience.

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