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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
20th July 2018


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

International News

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

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With 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.

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

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During 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

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

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.

Welcome to the



I've been in this industry for some years now, having - with John Austen - taken over the reins of KBzine from Richard and Debbie Schwarz, who launched it in 2001, without having any warning that I was likely to do so or any time to prepare. I was asked: "Are you up for it?" and when I said I was, readied our first issue for broadcast a few days later.

When a journalist starts writing for an industry about which they have little knowledge, there's a need to 'hit the ground running' and with this comes a fear of showing how little they know about the industry by asking the wrong question or being wowed by fabulous new technology that isn't actually new at all - or which may be new but has already been dismissed as useless by those that know better.

Of course, I've grown up with cookers, fridges (and later, freezers) and washing machines but in my early years laundry day involved a top loading twin-tub filled manually with a hose. Before hanging out the washing, my mother would run it through the mangle a couple of times, to squeeze out excess water. If you're too young to know what these things are, Google might enlighten you!

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that from those basic appliances and a couple of kitchen cupboards (and a larder!) it's been fairly easy to keep abreast of developments.

Since joining this industry, I've absorbed news about technological developments we'll enjoy in the future, sometimes in awe but with a "Well I'll never be able to afford that" or "I don't have the room for one of those" disappointment and sometimes wondering who'd want to waste their money.

One appliance I've never used is a dishwasher - partly as I can daydream while washing up, and partly as I don't really have room. It's caused arguments at home so one day I daresay I'll find a way to keep the family happy and will probably regret not having done so earlier.

What got me thinking about all this is learning about William Livens today. This highly-decorated Royal Engineer, invented a powerful flamethrower, gas bombs and something I didn't know - in 1924 - an electric, front-loading dishwasher with a wire rack for crockery and a rotating sprayer to clean it. Although his prototype leaked and was discarded, his idea might just have improved the lives of millions...




Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

A solid May for Merchants; kitchens & bathrooms up

* A-solid-May.jpgTotal Builders Merchant value sales were up 6.9% in May compared with May last year. Five categories did better, with Plumbing Heating & Electrical (11.9%) the top performer and Landscaping (+11.3%), Timber & Joinery Products (+8.2%) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (7.1%) also stronger. Heavy Building Materials, the largest category, grew more slowly (+5.1%) and only Workwear & Safetywear sold less (-5.3%).

Overall sales in May were 11.4% higher than in April, helped by one extra trading day. Seasonal category, Landscaping (+29.0%) did best, with its third consecutive significant month-on-month increase. Heavy Building Materials improved 11.1% and 10 of the 12 categories sold more.

VitrA appoints digital marketing executive

* VitrA-digital-marketing.jpgRebecca Slater has joined bathroom manufacturer VitrA UK to spearhead online, social, and digital media campaigns for the UK and globally.

Rebecca, who previously managed pan-European campaigns for companies in the legal sector, brings a considerable breadth of experience in creating dynamic, meaningful and relevant messaging for both b2b and consumer audiences.

New mineral cast basins for VitrA Ecora Infinit furniture range for that millenial vibe

* VitrA-Ecora.jpgSmart, practical, and easy to care for, VitrA's successful Ecora furniture range now features a gloss mineral cast basin option which gives the range a cool new millennial vibe.

Ecora Infinit basin units are available in 60 and 90cm sizes with either two doors or one or two drawers. Vanity basins have a slim, narrow edge and a gently sloped bowl with a central waste. There is a roomy tap platform that will accommodate most brassware. Basin units are fitted with LED lighting.

Homebuilding & Renovating Show attracts a serious quality audience

* Homebuilding_Renovating.jpgThe number of visitors attending The Homebuilding & Renovating Shows who are working on a live project is increasing year on year, according to new research from the event organiser Future.

Master urban living with Industrial White from British Ceramic Tile

* BCT-urban-ind-white.jpgFor urban styling at its finest, turn to the Industrial range from British Ceramic Tile. With a weathered, tactile design, the new White colourway is a bold choice for anyone with an eye for design.

Tapping into the trend for raw materials and aged finishes, this new option combines the practical benefits of a ceramic tile with the same intrigue as rusted white metal. A stunning take on the timeworn look, Industrial White works wonderfully when offset against a polished concrete floor, distressed wood and weathered accessories.

Multi-compartment bin from Binopolis make recycling quicker and easier

* Multi-compartment-bin.jpgOver 12 million tonnes of plastic enter the sea each year, which has a devastating impact on animals and the environment, and while many of us consciously try to limit the amount of plastic we use, we all end up with some plastic waste, which makes recycling at home a key priority.

Binopolis is arguably the leading specialist online bin retailer offering the most comprehensive collection of quality recycling bins on the market. Its products have been cleverly designed to help meet all recycling requirements and to fit kitchens of all sizes. With an incredible collection of in-cupboard and freestanding multi-compartment bins available, there are even space-saving models that will fit maximum recycling capacity into one unit to suit even the most compact kitchens.

Textured Kitchens with generous uber-slim surface space on wishlists for consumers

* BUSHBOARD-MAIN-Lightning-grey.jpgNeil Horton, commercial director for the UK and Europe for Bushboard looks at work surface inspiration for the rest of 2018.

Ultra-thin, super-slim whichever way you describe it the standout trend for 2018 with consumers is thin and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Texture, as well as slim dimensions, subtler colourways, and a break away from perpetual granite in favour of marbles and marble-esqs, are top predictions for 2018/19.

Character building...

* Character.jpgWorking with the period features of this Grade II listed building, senior designer Chris Payne from Ripples Bristol has created a welcoming guest bathroom full of modern charm.

In the Arts & Crafts property, Chris was tasked with transforming a dark, dated guest bathroom into something fresh and welcoming for family and friends. Because of the property's listed building status, the brief was to work with existing architecture, creating a balance between cosy and contemporary whilst being sympathetic to the eaves and angled walls of the original building.

New freestanding cookers from Amica offer many options

* Amica-60cm-freestanding.jpgAmica UK has launched an impressive new range of 50cm & 60cm freestanding double cavity cookers. With hob choices from solid plate electric to fast induction or traditional gas, there is a style to suit every cook and every budget.

Slip-in freestanding cookers are still a popular choice in the UK market, both as a replacement for an older product and as an alternative to built-in - especially in the buy-to-let market as slip-in reduces installation costs when compared to built-in.

Dragon Boat fund raiser from Wirquin

* Dragon-Boat-fund.jpgAn enthusiastic team from Wirquin has raised funds for Sheffield Children's Hospital and Doncaster Rotary Club, by taking part in a Dragon Boat Race.

The event, which has now run for nine consecutive years, was the St George's Dragon Boat Challenge held at Lakeside, Doncaster in July. The team of 10 paddlers and one drummer from Wirquin competed in a 30-foot Dragon Boat and had to complete the 250m course twice.

More needs to be done to protect workers' lives

* Workers-lives.jpgThere were 144 work-related fatalities in Britain during 2017-18, an increase from 135 fatalities in the previous year, reported the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in  a recent report..

Logistics industry commits to ambitious carbon reduction target by 2025

* Logistics-industry.jpgThe Freight Transport Association, the largest membership body in the UK logistics sector, has agreed to support a short-term government target of reducing carbon emissions from HGVs by 15%, announced on Monday in the Government's 'Road to Zero' report. The target will judge tailpipe emissions in 2025 against a 2015 baseline.

Commenting on the target, FTA's head of UK policy Christopher Snelling said: "All sectors of society need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions if we are to avoid the worst effects of climate change. HGVs and their operators have to play their part in this and significant steps have already been made by the industry to change its behaviours and impact on the environment.

The KBzine Archive Search

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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

Tickets selling fast for KBSA Annual Conference & Awards Dinner

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The 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.

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.


Discover Saniflo consumer campaign underway

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Saniflo 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.


New brochure taps into kitchen design

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With 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.

New brochure 'Look-Book' for Bushboard Omega

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The 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.

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