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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
25th June 2018


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

International News

Shades of grey find new lease of life in kitchen design with matte finish

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Formica Group reviews the kitchen surface trends making their mark in 2018

Shades of grey, white and black are dominating kitchen design in 2018. These versatile, albeit no frill tones, pair with any colour and finish, making them perfect for the modern kitchen.

With moodier aesthetics in demand, as seen at EuroCucina, grey, white and black décors are the perfect building blocks to design a kitchen around. Facilitating this trend, the Formica Infiniti Worktops range comes in 12 modern décors including four core neutral colours: Graphite, Fog, White and Diamond Black.

Kitchen TVs make handy save as World Cup kicks off

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Love it or loathe it, for the next couple of months there'll be no escaping it; the 2018 World Cup is here, ready to polarise the nation's TV opinions once again.

More than 20 million UK viewers tuned in at home four years ago and there's no doubt that the tournament will be dominating the airwaves again this year. While that may be great news for football fans, it's likely to lead to disagreements in households where not everyone's as passionate about the beautiful game.

Arty Artago sink will stun in the kitchen

The new Artago sink from Blanco UK will fit perfectly into any kitchen scheme. It is available in two models, Artago 6 and Artago 6 IF/A. The Artago 6 comes in 10 Silgranit PuraDur colours; Alumetallic, Anthracite, Champagne, Coffee, Jasmin, Nutmeg, Pearl Grey, Rock Grey, Tartufo and the Artago 6 IF/A comes in two colours; Alumetallic and Anthracite.

Featuring a concealed C-overflow and the innovative InFino waste system, the unique models are incredibly hygienic and easy to keep clean.

Focus on stainless steel new tap range from Abode

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The first company to launch stainless steel kitchen taps in the UK, Abode continues to be ahead of the curve with six new trend-setting taps joining the range.

All manufactured from hard-wearing and natural 304 grade stainless steel, the new taps present a professional image in the kitchen, with their own distinct style, innovation and high quality finish.

Rangemaster's Paragon sink family extended with two new models

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In line with the latest trends for minimalist kitchen design, Rangemaster has introduced two new additions to its Paragon granite sinks collection.

The new Paragon single and double bowl models are designed to blend seamlessly into contemporary kitchens, with both sinks suitable for undermount fitting. For added flexibility in kitchen design, the single model can also be fitted inset for a more traditional look, making it an excellent choice for refurbishment projects.

Facelift for Amica family laundry

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Amica has announced changes and improvements to three of its popular everyday washing machines.

Priced to appeal to the family market, all three machines feature a number of useful innovations - such as child locks and drum clean - a programme that keeps the drum smelling fresh and clean...

Walk This Way...

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Hudson Reed has added to its Glass Collection with a new range of Walk-Through wetroom screens.

Brassware trends are on tap with new Abode Additions

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Changing up the brassware in the bathroom is an effective way of giving the whole space a facelift, which is why Abode has introduced several new styles into its collection, tapping into latest design trends to offer something for all tastes.

Design flair is evident throughout the new collection, which includes Loop, a contemporary brassware solution featuring an on-trend single lever and elegant tapered spout, giving high-end appeal at a competitive price point.

Tankless intelligent toilet debuts at New York's International Contemporary Furniture Fair

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International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) attendees have been introduced to a new tankless intelligent toilet, the Axent.One C+, which the manufacturer says redefines intuitive design and adaptable home technology.

Each intelligent toilet is designed to make life more comfortable with smart and personalised cleansing technologies free of the unnecessary bulkiness and lackluster design of traditional toilets.

British Ceramic Tile brings great British design to Spain with the Laura Ashley collection

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British Ceramic Tile's global team has secured its latest new business opportunity, bringing British designer style to the Spanish tile market. The UK manufacturer, who designs and produces its market-leading product portfolio here in Britain, will be launching its Laura Ashley collection in Spain with the designer ceramic tiles available to buy in store and online at www.laurashley.es

Welcome to the



I thought when I read about the recent ruling that tradespeople working for Pimlico Plumbers are not to be classed as self-employed, that the decision would have far wider-reaching implications for our industry, and indeed it seems I was right. Hermes has also been in Court over similar issues and of course now the precedent's been set, that outcome was really a forgone conclusion, wasn't it?

I expect these to be the first of many cases that will change the way we work. Over decades of owning 'falling-down' property I've realised how often tradespeople uncover problems they couldn't have been expected to see before starting the job. As a result, I'm aware that when these cans of worms have been opened up, the likelihood of the tradesperson having all the parts required to deal with the newly-discovered issue/s are low. Thus, these people have to rely on parts being delivered later that day or overnight by courier, to avoid holding up the job. And of course, when it comes to the trade, busy professionals will have to work silly hours to prevent any downtime from having a knock-on effect on the work they have lined up for the rest of the week.

I think it will take a little while for things to settle down again and am wondering whether tradespeople are going to consider it necessary to expand the stocks of spare parts they keep in their vans, in an attempt to cover almost every eventuality, and also what effect this may have on future insurance premiums.

Moving on, please accept my apologies for the late arrival of this issue of KBzine. Suffice it to say, you can't always rely on the Internet - particularly when housing developers are afoot and are not being too careful about where they're digging...

Finally, the Bathroom Manufacturers Association tells us it's soon to share the results of its recent consumer research into how people use their bathrooms. Whilst waiting for my Internet to click back in (Spotify's a great aid, as the music starts again when it picks up the connection) I asked my elderly neighbours what they'd like to see in their bathroom, which isn't currently available. "A wipe-clean magazine rack or book rest," mused the lady of the household, while her husband suggested a voice-controlled crossword problem-solving device. Any takers?




Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

New account manager bolsters sales team

* ABODE-New-account-manager.jpgAbode Designs has strengthened its sales team with the appointment of Esther Bowness, who joins the manufacturer as a national account manager.

Esther brings with her a wealth of experience from all channels and all areas of not only the kitchen and bathroom industry, but the wider consumer market too. She began her career in account management at the age of 21, working for Haribo for seven years managing key accounts with major retailers such as Waitrose.

Stronger April sales for merchants

* Stronger-April-sales.jpgThe latest data released in the BMF's Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) confirms Total Builders Merchant value sales were up 8.8% in April compared with April last year, helped by two extra trading days and an earlier Easter.

Average sales a day, which take trading day differences into account, were down 2.1% on April 2017.

Bushboard Nuance top choice for Bannatyne Spa Hotel refurbishment

* BUSHBOARD-Crossley-web.jpgAn impressive choice of designs, fast installation and customer recommendation, made Bushboard's Nuance waterproof panels the perfect choice for leading commercial interior refurb company Crossley Webb Contracts, when it was asked to transform 14 bathrooms at the luxury Bannatyne Hotel, Durham.

Crossley Webb Contracts has specialised in giving exceptional quality interior refurbishments and fit-outs for the past 16 years. The key must-have features for the hotel bathroom refurb' were for a product that was completely waterproof, quick to install and available in a choice of upmarket finishes.

Tradespeople shake off stereotypes by choosing work over World Cup

* Tradespeople-stereotypes.jpgFor years, tradespeople have been unfairly tarnished with the reputation for prioritising football over work. Many members of the public see them as being a bit too eager to down tools and head to the nearest big screen.

Nearly 20 million viewers tuned in to watch England in its first World Cup match; although, it is the daytime games that will put loyalties to the test in a clash of the World Cup vs work.

Croydex inspires with innovative additions and new-look for firm favourite in latest collection

* CROYDEX-MAIN.jpgAdditions to the Aqua Air, Flexi-Fix and Hang 'n' Lock collections, and a revamped Stick 'n' Lock range are among the new products unveiled in Croydex's latest catalogue.

Big on performance but low on water consumption, each of the six new water-efficient Aqua Air showerheads use the latest water-saving technology to draw in air and blend it with water flow, making each droplet bigger and softer. By enhancing the system's spray power, Aqua Air promises to reduce water use by up to 50% compared to normal showers.

BMA looks to the future at AGM

* BMA-AGM.jpgThe Bathroom Manufacturers Association held a successful AGM at Hogarths Stone Manor, Kidderminster, electing a new presidential team that will help deliver the Association's ambitious plans for the next three years.

Alan Dodds from Roca UK (pictured here speaking at KBB Birmingham) takes on the role of president for two years, assisted by Nick McGrellis, Croydex, as first vice president and John Robinson, from Ideal Standard International in the position of second vice president.

Blanco's Catris-S tap; for the ultimate in flexibility

* BLANCO-CATRIS-S.jpgBlanco UK continues to create innovative designs for the ultimate flexibility for users. The Blanco Catris-S tap is the perfect example of Blanco displaying a striking and modern yet functional design.

The flexible spout can be swivelled from side to side, it also can easily be removed from the holder. The spout is fitted with two buttons for the user to change the water flow from normal to a spray.

Indesit nominated for Best Baby And Toddler Gear Award

* Indesit-nominated.jpgThe Indesit eXtra dishwasher with dedicated BabyCare Cycle (DFP 27T96 Z UK) has been nominated in the Most Innovative Household Product category in the Best Baby and Toddler Gear Awards 2018.

Organised by Mumii.co.uk, a website dedicated to parents, the Awards recognise the very best products aimed at parents and their little ones. Award winners are selected based on comparative testing by both industry experts and 'real life' mums and dads.

British Ceramic Tile launches new Tile Collection brochure

* BCT-Luna-MAIN.jpgLeading UK tile manufacturer, British Ceramic Tile, has launched its new tile brochure bringing together its inspirational, stunning product portfolio into one handy guide.

Created by British Ceramic Tile's in-house marketing and design team, the new brochure reflects the company's obsession for tiles and putting the customer first with a new, easy to navigate format.

Rotpunkt delivers on 'lead-time' promise to UK independent retailers

* Rotpunkt-delivers.jpgRotpunkt UK, which designs and manufactures quality German kitchen furniture, is said to be outperforming its Germanic cousins. Retail opinion has revealed extended lead times of 8-12 weeks over the last two months' pre-Summer shutdown, with Rotpunkt delivering a 4-5 week turn-around during this same business period.

No more leaks! See how it all works...

* No-more-leaks-screenshot.jpgPeople have been saying for decades that a picture tells a thousand words, so what would a video be worth in those terms, we wonder, to companies such as Abacus Bathrooms, which boasts its own YouTube channel?

Caesarstone Metropolitan Collection now available for ArtiCAD designers

* Caesarstone-Met-Art.jpgArtiCAD has announced that the new Metropolitan Collection of surfaces from Caesarstone is now available as a comprehensive graphics catalogue within the ArtiCAD-Pro software.

ArtiCAD designers wishing to use these groundbreaking new surfaces in their designs can browse through the catalogue and select those which best suit the style they are seeking.

KWC launches its first UK brochure of luxury sinks and taps

* KWC-brochure.jpgTo mark the introduction of its first ever collection of high-end sinks, premium Swiss brand, KWC, has launched a new sink and tap brochure for the UK market.

Available now, the 58-page, full colour A4-size brochure comes in a stylish matt finish and reflects the company's flair for innovative design and finest quality precision manufacture.

Account managers join the team at Gaia Climate Solutions

* Gaia_Rebecca-Ella.jpgPictured left is Rebecca O'Hara. Pictured right is Ella Robinson.

Gaia Climate Solutions has appointed two new account managers to join its team, Rebecca O'Hara (left) and Ella Robinson.

Rebecca joins the underfloor heating sales team from Chubb Fire & Security. Although she worked across a variety of roles, Rebecca primarily worked as a territory sales executive where she was responsible for growing service contract portfolios within the South East Region, negotiating service agreements and specifying intruder alarms, CCTV and access control systems. Rebecca is looking forward to her new role at Gaia Climate Solutions.

The KBzine Archive Search

We keep an extensive archive of news stories and product information that have featured in past issues of The KBzine. If you would like to run a search of the The KBzine web site using the search tool below please just go ahead by entering in the name of the person, product or company or any other key words that you are looking for.

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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

BMA calls for more anti-scald education after man dies after falling into scalding bath

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After the tragic news that a 79-year-old man died after falling in a scalding hot bath at his Romford home, Bathroom Manufacturers Association CEO Yvonne Orgill has called for more to be done to avoid such tragic incidents.

Shortlist for KBSA Designer Awards announced!

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The KBSA Designer Awards are now closed and this year's shortlist of finalists has been announced. The shortlist for each category is as follows:

Penny Mallory to join Wayne Hemingway at KBSA Conference

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One of the most successful women rally drivers and the first woman in the world to compete in a World Rally Car (the Formula 1 of rallying), Penny Mallory is to join Wayne Hemingway as a speaker at the 2018 KBSA conference on Wednesday, 12th September.

BiKBBI Statement: B&Q Homefit

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The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation standards partner B&Q announced its intention to simplify its kitchen and bathroom operation, providing customers with new and more streamlined offering.

KBSA Design Awards closed

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The KBSA Design Awards 2018 are now closed for further entries and it promises to be a good year, says KBSA national chair Richard Hibbert.

If you want to learn from world class speakers, you'd better register soon...

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Want to ensure you are part of one of the most eagerly awaited events of the year, which provides an opportunity for manufacturers, distributors, retailers, architects and designers to be inspired by thought-provoking presentations and gain valuable insights which will benefit their businesses?

A strong future for AKW following buyout

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AKW, a leading provider of accessible shower and kitchen solutions, has announced the appointment of Nick Parsons as Group CEO and Ruth Ingledew as managing director, following a company buyout in March to Pennant Park.

UK inclusive bathroom and kitchen products market sees 4% growth

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The UK inclusive bathroom & kitchen products market is estimated to have increased by around 4% in 2017, when compared to the market size in 2016 - despite the uncertain general economic situation and a slowing construction sector.

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