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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
13th July 2018


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

International News

Subtle and sophisticated - the bathroom is multigenerational

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With bathroom sales predicted to grow, VitrA marketing manager Margaret Talbot, looks at trends for the rest of 2018...

Simple wall-hung modern furniture in subtle wood shades, soft creams or soft graphite teamed with either a counter-top or vanity basin in an appealing shape or a super-size slab top with one or two bowls and complemented by wall-hung sanitaryware, a walk-in shower and a freestanding bath, are the essential base ingredients for design success.

Benchmarx Kitchens reveals its softer side with the new Somerset Natural Oak kitchen

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The appeal of a real wood kitchen has an understandable draw, especially due to its inherent luxury, understated warmth and texture.

British Ceramic Tile emulates natural beauty of Indian slate with new porcelain tile collection, Mumbai Slate

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Replicate the beautiful appearance of Indian stone with the new Mumbai Slate collection from British Ceramic Tile. Known for its impressive colour variation and textured finish, Indian Slate has become a highly sought after surface material within interior design. Featuring rich base colours, the look is warm and inviting for a striking natural design aesthetic.

The superior Mumbai Slate porcelain collection from British Ceramic Tile provides a stunning floor covering, emulating the true beauty of Indian slate. Strong tonal variation and a matt, riven finish deliver an authentic interpretation, bringing the unmistakable raw, earthy qualities of slate indoors.

Abode presents a professional image with new 3In1 tap

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With saving time of the essence for modern families, steaming hot water taps are a hugely popular way of clearing worktop clutter and making a round of hot drinks quicker than ever before. Creating an on-trend industrial-inspired image, Abode has expanded its best-selling Pronteau 3In1 range to include the Pronteau Professional.

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

Additions 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

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The 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.

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

Blanco 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.

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

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People 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?

Welcome to the



I'm not normally one who brings politics into the workplace but I feel that events this week warrant a comment, with this industry being one of a handful I can think of, that's probably holding its collective breath over the Brexit white paper shenanigans, with so many of the products involved being made in different countries.

I'm not a fan of much of what's gone on in the heads of the EU decision-makers over the decades I've seen things unfold (I can remember, having learnt of the issues as a schoolgirl, asking my father how he was going to vote in that first referendum and him telling me that we were "too small" to be successful on our own in the future - but the world and the way it does business, has changed so much since then, hasn't it?).

There are things I do like though and amongst these are the EU's high standards regarding animal welfare and the environment and the fact that I can buy products I know are manufactured to a consistent high standard (I'm not including lightbulbs in this group). I also like the way we often work together for everyone's benefit and for the good of the planet - for example the European Bathroom Forum's voluntary agreement on adopting a single labelling scheme (see more below) which will give tardy manufacturers something to strive for and consumers knowledge when it comes to making decisions about the environmental-friendliness of appliances etc.

As someone who doesn't eat meat, I like the idea that EU meat is safer to eat than some other meats; while as a consumer, I'm taken with the idea that goods are made to a decent, universal standard - but may be more expensive as a result. I'm also well aware that we need younger people in the country, to help pay our pensions with their taxes - but mindful of the dearth of young workers this leaves the older ones to contend with back home, which somehow doesn't seem fair.

I'd really love to know what your thoughts are on this and if you've an opinion you'd like to share with KBzine's readers but are not keen on having your name 'in lights', I'll happily run any comments as anonymous contributions and not divulge your details to anyone. You can trust me - I'm a journalist!

What do you reckon? White paper deal or no deal?




Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Tickets selling fast for KBSA Annual Conference & Awards Dinner

* BMA-Tickets-selling-fast.jpgThe Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association tells us that tickets are selling fast for the Conference & Awards Dinner, taking place on 12th September at the Stratford Manor Hotel.

The new Rapide Collection from Ambiance Bain - available from UK stock

* AK_UK-AKIDO1.jpgWith consumers' ever increasing demand for stylish modular bathroom furniture together with speed of delivery, Ambiance Bain has developed a new range of products which fit the bill - all available from UK stock.

Nygel McCormac, sales & marketing director for Ambiance Bain says: "Offering a choice of outstanding quality modular furniture with practical storage, together with matching bath panels, shower trays, shower wall panels and mirrors, the Rapide collection has the benefit of beautifully handcrafted French design, with a choice of colour and size options to suit every bathroom configuration."

European bathroom industry will adopt single scheme for water/energy efficiency labels

* European-water-label.jpgDuring the latest meeting of the European Bathroom Forum on 5th July in Lisbon, the majority of the principal representatives of the bathroom sector came to a voluntary agreement on a single labelling scheme.

New washday wonders from Amica

* Amica-MAIN-PIC.jpgAmica has launched top spec washing machines featuring impressive A+++ energy ratings and a host of family-friendly features to deliver the perfect wash.

Steam Touch: Adds a burst of steam on selected programmes, helping to remove stains and give fabrics a fresh scent and a soft finish.

Driven by success at Sirius 2018 International Conference

* Sirius-2018.jpgSirius Buying Group, the major buying group of electrical appliance and kitchen retail solutions, has just enjoyed its biggest annual international conference to date, with the event being completely sold-out and Sirius hosting a full party of 140 delegates: made up of group members and their respective business partners, plus key delegates from group Approved Suppliers.

The group also welcomed a number of delegates who registered to attend as first-timers, and a pool of brand new members to the group.

Rangemaster releases cool new refrigeration range with brand-new functions

* Rangemaster-MAIN-PIC.jpgRangemaster has added six new A+ rated models to its existing cooling range. The new models include the RSXS18 standalone American-style four-door fridge-freezer, which has 560 litres of storage space, and the RDXD18 French-style two-door, two-drawer version, which has 557 litres of storage space.

They are available in three colour co-ordinating Rangemaster finishes: Black, Stainless Steel and Ivory. In addition, the company has introduced four integrated models, including 70:30 and 50:50 fridge-freezers, plus a tall larder fridge and a tall larder freezer.

Hotpoint launches campaign to tackle issue of food waste

* Hotpoint-campaign.jpgHotpoint believes that no food waste should be wasted and has teamed up with brand ambassador, Jamie Oliver, to launch the 'Fresh Thinking for Forgotten Food' campaign.

Research, commissioned by Hotpoint, has found that two thirds of Brits worry about food waste, but admitted to buying fresh ingredients that replace edible food in the fridge. The research also reveals that in the UK, the top three most wasted foods are bread, bagged salad and fresh vegetables.

Sophisticated bathrooms with Easi-Plan flushing and support systems from Abacus

* ABACUS-cutaway.jpg"The clever bit is what you don't see." Ian Pattison, MD, Abacus Bathrooms.

Always pioneering the ethos that the key to any perfect, stylish bathroom is in the planning and structure, Abacus Bathrooms has developed the innovative Easi-Plan range of flushing and support systems. The Easi-Plan system allows bathroom designers and installers to create spacious schemes by maximising floor space whilst creating beautiful lines.

Discover Saniflo consumer campaign underway

* Discover-Saniflo.jpgSaniflo UK - renowned designer and manufacturer of pumps, macerators and shower cubicles - is embarking upon an aggressive consumer campaign to create a strong pull for its trade customers. Selected and qualified audiences will be targeted via print and digital campaigns from June through November.

No stranger to consumer advertising and accustomed to strong television campaigns dedicated to the Kinedo Kinemagic shower cubicle, this year Saniflo will promote a broader collection of products featuring its Domestic Up range.

'Timeless Beauty' with Belgravia by Aestus

* Timeless-Beauty.jpgAestus is embracing the global trend for 'Timeless Beauty' with Belgravia: an eye-catching heating design which fuses traditional brass with a modern chrome finish.

Appreciating a combination of industrial chic with country-house styling, 'Timeless beauty' welcomes a blend of durable materials like brass, wood and ceramic which over time, become more beautiful with age.

New brochure taps into kitchen design

* ABODE-New-brochure-tap.jpgWith brassware being an important design and functional element of any kitchen, Abode has launched a new brochure to support its full range of taps, with new lines and firm favourites all featuring.

The full-colour A4 brochure is as stylish as the range itself, covering the complete kitchen taps collection from Abode, including hot water taps, water filter taps and the award-winning Abode Swich Aquifier.

Blanco's Ricky Clarke stars in charity boxing match

* BLANCO_Ricky-Clarke.jpgOne of Blanco UK's warehouse operatives, Ricky Clarke, has taken part in a charity boxing match, organised by Ultra White Collar Boxing, to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

Ultra White Collar Boxing is designed to encourage people to get fit and try a new experience.

New brochure 'Look-Book' for Bushboard Omega

* MAIN-PIC-Omega-Brochure.jpgThe new brochure for Bushboard's Omega worktop range is packed with new products and clever ideas. With a collection designed around the latest on-trend colour palettes, smart looks and innovative thinking, this range takes laminate to a new level.

Bushboard was one of the first worktop specialists to introduce texture and a new realism to laminate. The new brochure features the company's latest development in this field with striking new end grain edge detail on five woodgrain designs.

Gaia Climate Solutions appoints new technical designer

* Gaia-tekkie.jpgPaul White has joined the team at underfloor heating specialist, Gaia Climate Solutions, as a Technical Designer. Paul was responsible for taking projects for large clients to final working drawings in his previous role at Retail Design 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

Online sales of plumbing products in the UK to increase by 43% by 2022

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The Internet is the fastest growing channel of the overall UK plumbing and heating products market and has experienced strong growth levels in the last five - seven years. In 2017 alone, the UK Internet plumbing market is estimated to have increased by 17% in value terms.

InSinkErator invests in UK distribution facility

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InSinkErator has invested in a dedicated UK distribution facility in the Borough of Milton Keynes, to improve customer service levels and support the company's growth.

Keller Kitchens is on the search for new UK dealers to join the team

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Keller Kitchens is recruiting new dealers to join the busy UK team. Keller Kitchens is one of Europe's prominent kitchen brands boasting a unique product range featuring Dutch design and carbon neutral production. With over 1,950 colours available, Keller Kitchens' products are increasingly popular with homeowners.

Annual Zenith Design Contest winners announced

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Wilsonart has announced the winners of its recent Zenith design competition. Zenith is the company's innovative ultra-slim solid laminate worksurface range and is available in a choice of 12 decors.

Kudos Showers joins 'Made in Britain' campaign

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Cumbria-based Kudos Showers has become the latest UK manufacturer to join the diverse group of businesses campaigning for 'Made in Britain' products, making everything from kitchen rolls to wind turbines, vans to shoes and coffee machines to bio beans.

Bathroom Brands brings old style Hollywood glamour to Notting Hill hotel

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Based in London's exclusive Notting Hill, The Laslett is a boutique hotel from Living Rooms, comprising guest rooms designed by award-winning London based architectural and interior design studio Waldo Works.

Stronger April sales for merchants

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The 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

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An 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.

Tradespeople shake off stereotypes by choosing work over World Cup

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For 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.

Indesit nominated for Best Baby And Toddler Gear Award

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The 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.

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

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Rotpunkt 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.

Caesarstone Metropolitan Collection now available for ArtiCAD designers

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

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