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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
22nd October 2010


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

International News

Bali offers the perfect retreat

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A firm believer in the philosophy that the bathroom should be a room of relaxation and indulgence, Shades has launched its most luxurious furniture range yet in the form of Bali.

Burlington's shower sanctuaries are set in stone

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Cumbria-based stone engineer, Burlington, is continuing to diversify and expand its standard/off-the-shelf product range with the introduction of natural stone inline shower trays and aqua panels.

Four classic looks in one range

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In response to outstanding customer feedback, leading British manufacturer of quality bathroom brassware, Waterfront Bathrooms, is launching an updated version of its Classic  range of stylish taps, showers and bathroom accessories for the Period and Period-style bathroom. 

Individually designed and beautiful!

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Figura is the ultimate in individually designed, joinery-made, hand crafted furniture and bespoke kitchens for your home.

CaesarStone the ideal choice for Poggenpohl

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CaesarStone quartz surfaces were the idyllic choice for the show room at the Greystones Development, supplied by premium kitchen manufacturer Poggenpohl (St Albans), for a stunning and flawless finish.

Welcome to the


A positive outcome of this week's Comprehensive Spending Review is what Chancellor George Osborne announced is the "largest ever investment in apprenticeships by a government" - the promise of a 50% rise in funding, taking it to some £250 million a year, with the aim of recruiting 75,000 new apprentices by 2014.

I do hope that a large chunk of this funding is going to be earmarked for those wishing to enter the building trades in a way that will make learning a trade more accessible.

Having young daughters I've come across quite a number of their friends who, rather than going to university, have wanted to learn a building trade but have been unable to find a way into the industry.

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One went along to a plumbing training centre that advertises heavily in local newspapers nationwide but was put off by the enormous personal financial investment that was required to complete the course. How on earth those just leaving school are supposed to find the money I have no idea!

No wonder this organisation - and others like it - has to advertise so heavily... Perhaps if they charged less for their courses they wouldn't need to advertise so much, as word-of-mouth recommendation would get them all the applicants they need!

I feel that were consumers confident that they would be able to find good, trustworthy, hard-working, honest and competent tradespeople to look after their projects, they would be far more likely to invest in a new kitchen or bathroom. I know from personal experience that the fear of poor workmanship and all the hassle that this involves, is a real deterrent to those wanting to refurbish their homes!

And try finding a good gas fitter at this time of year, who can sort out your heating this week rather than next, without charging an exorbitant sum...




Jan Hobbs

This Week's News

Hettich partnerships bring concepts event to life

* Neil_Schofield_and_Deborah_Loader.jpg'Kitchen Concepts - Virtual & Reality', the re-opening showroom event at Hettich in Clerkenwell, London, was a hit with the 80 invited guests from the kitchen specialist, architectural and interior design industries who attended.

The theme of the event was the 'Intelligent Kitchen Concept'. Leading German furniture fittings manufacturer Hettich combined a holistic look into the history and future of kitchen design, with live cooking demonstrations, the very latest product innovations and the highly successful Intelligent Kitchens design specification tool. 

Record low housing numbers reveal scale of the crisis

Figures released yesterday reveal that the net number of homes added to the housing stock in England fell to a record low in 2009-10, down 23% on 2008/9.

Just 128,680 net additional dwellings were provided last year compared with around 167,000 in 2008/9. This figure is even lower than the previous record low of 130,510. Fewer net additional dwellings were supplied in the 2009-10 financial year than in the previous year in every English region. The North West saw the largest annual decrease (38%), followed by the South East (32%).

Ten reasons to be at Big Tour 2010

Calling all UK Kitchen & Bathroom retailers, this one's for you... If ever there was somewhere you needed to be, then this is it! 

Leading kitchen, bathroom & heating distributor, BCG, has made sure that this year's Big Tour 2010, the UK's only travelling exhibition to focus on the kitchen & bathroom industry, has something that every one of the retailers attending, will benefit from.

BCG's BIG new brands

With Big Tour 2010 fast approaching, BCG is taking the opportunity to launch three new brands to its kitchen and bathroom retail customers. 

BCG has chosen Big Tour 2010 as the platform to launch three highly recognised and industry respected brands. Baumatic, GE and Jacuzzi will all join BCG's already desirable portfolio and will exhibit their existing, new - and in some cases - exclusive ranges to BCG's retail customers at this year's five Big Tour venues. 

Ultraheat's hot new models in demand

* Ultraheat Kolon_chrome172.jpgPitacs is delighted to announce that its new Ultraheat Kolon and Sofi radiator designs are 'selling like hot cakes'. In stock since April 2010, these two models from Ultraheat's Premier Range are significant upgrades from standard panel radiators with an appealing design edge and price. 

Monthly sales of each style are more than 450 units, with 60% of orders going to plumbers merchants and 40% to Aeon showrooms or kitchen and bathroom studios.

Cooking with steam: More efficient, better results

* aeg-b98205m-at-daylesford small.jpgThe AEG-Electrolux B98205M multifunction oven with steam functions cooks faster with less energy, while enhancing flavours, preserving nutrients and giving more control over surface textures.

 Switching to energy-efficient appliances in your kitchen is a great way to make your personal contribution to reducing greenhouse emissions. So is looking at the way you cook: Using a steam oven greatly reduces cooking time and temperature compared to using a conventional oven, while bringing out tastes and controlling textures like no other cooking method.

Burbidge team leader Steve, rallies colleagues to support our lads on the front line

* Burbidge_soldier172.jpgWhen Steve Randle's son Sean was posted to Afghanistan for a six month stint, it filled him and his wife with apprehension.  

Working in the factory as a senior team leader for Burbidge, the Coventry based kitchen manufacturer, Steve often shared his fears with his colleagues and friends.

Elegant and efficient glass showerlights from HiB

* HiB Knight sml.jpgLeading bathroom supplier HiB is at the forefront of introducing new bathroom lighting which includes a modern range of glass showerlights offering a variety of styles and technical advantages.

HiB's Dante design is a good example - a flat, clear glass round showerlight that enhances the shower area. Dante uses a low energy bulb and requires no transformer. The energy needed is a mere 11W but gives the illumination equivalent to a 50W halogen bulb.

Carron Phoenix's new Zeta105U undermount: perfect for the compact kitchen

* Carron Phoenix's Zeta 105U small.jpgIn compact kitchens when space needs to work extra hard, the new Zeta 105U undermount sink offers an ideal solution.

The single bowl 105 model offers a roomy single bowl measuring 494mm x 464mm, which is larger than the average sink found in a 1.5 or double bowl option, yet has the advantage of fitting into a slimmer 500mm cabinet. For the user, this gives the enhanced functionality of a spacious bowl for coping with larger items that don't fit in a dishwasher, without losing valuable worksurface area. 

FIRA's FurnitureFootprinter updated and improved

The FurnitureFootprinter is already the premier carbon footprint calculator for the furniture industry and has now been updated to deliver improved results with an ultra-user-friendly design. The online tool, with its useful 'drag and drop' capability, allows all parties within the furniture supply chain to generate and compare carbon footprints for their businesses and products quickly and easily.

Calculating, and reducing, your product's carbon footprints can deliver many benefits, such as:

The price is right on best-selling products

* LaufenPro_WanneLSchuerze172.jpgReacting to these credit crunching times Swiss bathroom manufacturer Laufen has lowered the price on some of its most popular products, making them more attractive than ever to consumers and enabling retailers to extend their profit margins during the months leading up to Christmas.

Two of Laufen's best-selling bathtub ranges are available with up to 30% off selected models for a limited period and there is also a reduction in price in its ever-popular Pro soft-close toilet seat, with the introduction of the Pro X - exactly the same product but sourced from an alternative official Laufen Swiss approved supplier, enabling the cost to be lowered at a very reasonable £65 excluding VAT until December and held at just £85 thereafter.

Hansgrohe establishes new subsidiary in Brazil

Hansgrohe, the bathroom and sanitation specialist, has opened a new branch in Brazil. This means that Hansgrohe has now entered the fourth and last of the BRIC markets (Brazil, Russia, India and China), consistent with its ongoing internationalisation strategy. 

"We estimate that about 50% of Hansgrohe's growth will be contributed by these emerging markets and the so-called 'Next Eleven'," explains Siegfried Gänßlen, CEO of Hansgrohe AG.

Individually designed and beautiful!

Figura is the ultimate in individually designed, joinery-made, hand crafted furniture and bespoke kitchens for your home.

The company looks at each project in isolation and with an open mind, taking each client's ideas and the property as a whole into consideration. It does not provide preconceived ranges of furniture.

KBSA success at Grand Designs Live

* Alan Stanford.jpgThe Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has enjoyed a super successful Grand Designs Live Exhibition in Birmingham.

The KBSA was situated in the Expert Advice Centre and had an expert on hand to answer any visitors' questions on buying a new kitchen, bathroom, bedroom or home office. 

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News in Brief

Crown Imperial has launched a range of painted solid real wood framed, kitchen cupboard doors in three styles and 18 paint colours. T: 01227 742424

From sliding and hinged to walk in, Amode's new Italian-built bedroom furniture features well organised spaces with a wide range of containers and accessories dedicated to specific functions. E: [email protected]

German kitchen specialist Kuetchenhaus will be opening a £1 million, 8000 sq ft flagship showroom in The Trafford Centre's Barton Square, next May. The existing Manchester showroom will relocate to the store, taking its team members with it. 0161 749 4110

Raines & Willow's Oxford White Glass bedroom furniture is a modern design with solid frames surrounded by heat proof and stain resistant white glass. The dramatic sheen reflects light from the high-gloss glass, making a striking statement. E: [email protected]

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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