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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
28th September 2018


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

International News

VitrA launches new Plural range at Design Junction. See it while you can!

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This week through to the evening of 23rd September, beautiful bathroom brand VitrA is participating for the first time in designjunction, London's premier exhibition for contemporary design and one of the main destinations of the London Design Festival.

Which? Best Buy accolade for Amica fridge freezer

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Amica is delighted to report that the FK3213DFX fridge freezer has been chosen as a Best Buy by Which? "This is a feature-rich model and has been a great seller for Amica," comments marketing manager Steve Corbett, "so we are thrilled to have this acknowledgement."

Blanco ArchPro offers the expert look

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The Blanco ArchPro series of taps demonstrates the expert design from Blanco UK. The semi-professional mixer tap has a twin lever to regulate the temperature of the water flow to suit the user's requirements.

New for 2018 at K├╝chenmeile: Holland Trend Haus

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Keller Kitchens, Dekker Zevenhuizen and ATAG Benelux have joined forces and will open the doors of Holland Trend Haus on 16th, 17th and 18th September. At ServicePoint A30 in Bünde, the three Dutch companies will present the latest trends and innovations in the field of kitchens, worktops and kitchen appliances.

Salice set for SICAM success

Salice tells us it is looking forward to showcasing its extensive product range at SICAM 2018, the International Exhibition of Components, Semi-finished Products and Accessories for the Furniture Industry, held in Pordenone, Italy between 16th-19th October 2018.

Miele's new CM 7550 bean-to-cup countertop coffee machine incorporates WiFi technology

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Premium domestic appliance manufacturer, Miele, showcased at IFA a new model for its range of countertop coffee machines, the CM 7550 Coffee Machine.

Blanco introduces super stylish stainless steel taps

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Ever the innovator in kitchen sinks and taps, Blanco UK has introduced a range of brushed stainless steel taps designed for today's busy home. The Ambis, Candor and Lanora-S have been designed to complement any design scheme, be it traditional or modern, and all stainless steel sink models from Blanco.

NoCode Versobox - innovation in shower valve technology

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NoCode's Versobox combines stylish looks with easy installation for any bathroom setting. The install box ensures a watertight installation for optimal product performance and tanking is also provided for additional waterproofing. The clear plastic front cover protects the valve during any plastering or wall finishing and acts as a tiling guide for an accurate finish.

Rangemaster updates iconic Elan range cooker by launching the Elan Deluxe

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Rangemaster has updated its popular Elan range cooker with the launch of the brand-new Elan Deluxe, available in both Dual Fuel and Induction models.

Sleek with no leaks for the perfect wetroom

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"A few manufacturers have attempted to create something similar but, in our opinion, Abacus Elements has really nailed it with this clever design making it one of the best wetroom trays we have seen," Roger Bisby, Skill Builder.

Better than ever ceramic hobs from Amica

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Amica has redesigned two of its best-selling ceramic hobs, adding sophisticated features and safety improvements.

Matt black finds its surface match with CRL Quartz Vicenza

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Responding to many of the key trends in interior design while offering several practical advantages, CRL Quartz Vicenza is a new colour from CRL Stone suitable for kitchens and bathrooms.

Welcome to the



I hadn't planned to continue last week's theme of ways retailers can attract customers into their stores, rather than lose business to online sellers, but I've just received a press release for KBzine's sister publication, Cleanzine, and it made me wonder whether there's any mileage in the idea it revealed...

The company concerned is ensuring that its visitors and company vehicles all have immediate access to electric charging points with the installation of some Rexel units in its head office car park. These are available for use 24 hours a day by anyone visiting the firm as well as all employees. It's another selling point, isn't it? 

The proportion of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles being registered in the UK car market continues to increase. According to The Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders, there were 7,489 electric or hybrid vehicles registered this August as opposed to 3,968 in August of 2017. The Department for Transport June report states that in Q1 of this year, 15,388 ULEVs were registered for the first time in the UK - representing 1.8% of all new vehicle registrations.  This signifies an increase of 11% on 2017 Q1 and 30% on 2016.

A spokesperson for this 'switched on' company said that installation of these new charging points is providing reassurance and making it easier for visitors and staff to recharge. The idea has gone down very well indeed.

"Sustainability and concern for the environment is key and this is factored into operations across all our business units," he said.  "Cutting down on our fleet emissions, is another way we can improve our commitment, as is making provision for the growing numbers of EVs on our roads."

And still on customer service, a friend has just had her kitchen refurbished and the finished product includes a concrete worksurface. Unfortunately it's stained and while one surface is rough, another is smooth, when they're supposed to be identical. She told the firm they've not done a good job and they're not interested.

In these days of online customer reviews and the likes of Facebook, I wonder that any company can think it will get away with this flagrant lack of customer care. Obviously our friend will do her bit, but if you have an idea of what may be wrong with the worksurfaces  and what should be done to make them match and remove the stain, we'd love to hear from you! 




Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Glen Dimplex Home Appliances launches Elite Retailer scheme

* Elite-Retailers1.jpgDomestic appliance manufacturer Glen Dimplex Home Appliances has launched a new independent retailer support initiative, as part of its focus on supporting the independent electrical retail channel and increasing its share of the range cooker market.

Up to 50 independents, who display a minimum of six range cookers across GDHA's Belling, Stoves and Britannia brands, will become Elite Retailers and benefit from a host of financial and support benefits, including high-tech display stands, improved margins and rebates.

B&Q installers migrated

* BandQ-installer.jpgFollowing the announcement that B&Q was closing its Homefit department - the department responsible for installation of its fitted kitchen and bathrooms, the British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation has been working closely with the DIY giant to support both its staff and installers through the transition.

Several hundred installers have begun the process of independent registration with BiKBBI and will soon feature on the organisation's 'find-a-member' search facility, which will re-launch later this month to coincide with a wider IT project implemented by BiKBBI.

Steel screens for stylish interior spaces

* Steel-screens.jpgWhile steel doors and windows are synonymous with rugged performance and slim sightlines, the distinctive frames offered by members of the Steel Window Association are also increasingly being chosen to help create stylish interior spaces for locations such as restaurants, hotels and residential properties.

These internal partitions are normally fabricated using the W20 sections, rather than the higher energy performing W30 or W40 systems favoured for exterior openings. Whilst the majority of screens installed are single glazed, some clients still often select double glazed screens - featuring 16mm Krypton filled units.

Boundary Space leading the trend in coloured sanitary bathrooms

* Boundary-Space.jpgClients - reports Boundary Space - are moving away from the 'Scandi' monochrome and bleached timber look that has dominated the last few years, seeing that colour is a way for people to express themselves.

"There has been a move away from seeing a bathroom as just a utilitarian 'living' machine to a bathroom that is a space of luxury and peace," it says. "Bathrooms are becoming closer to boudoirs, with clients wanting the space to be the same pretty standard as their beauty products.

Can designer bathroom pieces increase in value?

* VitrA-Plural.jpgWith the current market for refurbished Victorian and Edwardian sanitaryware, the answer is yes. A restored Victorian console basin on a stand can sell for up to £3000 while a refinished cast iron roll top will be well over £1000.

Cosentino celebrates outstanding Elite studios with its annual Elite Honours List

* Cosentino-celebrates.jpgThe Cosentino Group has once again celebrated its very best Elite Premium studios in the UK and Ireland.

Rangemaster makes two key new appointments

* Rangemaster2.jpgRangemaster has made two key new appointments in a bid to strengthen its position as number-one brand for range cookers and built-in appliances in the UK market. Emma Line has been promoted to the role of brand & digital marketing manager for Rangemaster, while Lee Harris has been appointed as national account manager.

Emma first joined Rangemaster as online marketing assistant in 2014, and was then promoted to the role of assistant brand manager, and then brand manager. She will now be overseeing the digital marketing strategy for Rangemaster appliances, and her duties will include controlling the digital brand and social media strategy for the company. She will also be managing online product campaigns to raise brand awareness.

Hi-Macs helps restore London's emblematic Hoover Building

* Hoover-Showflat.jpgIDM Properties has renovated and restored one of the most iconic Art Deco buildings in the English capital city, built in the 1930s for the Hoover Company.

British Ceramic Tile strengthens sales team in London and the South East

* BCT_Dan-Dodds.jpgDan Dodds has returned to British Ceramic Tile as area sales manager for London and the South East. Dan rejoins British Ceramic tile after two years with N&C Building Products, where he was responsible for dealing directly with contractors & housebuilders in Kent & East Sussex.

In his new role, Dan will be returning to his retail roots, driving sales across the company's product portfolio, focusing on independent retailers in London and the South East.

Abacus Elements relaunches ultimate Tile Backer Board

* Abacus-Elements-tileboard.jpgAbacus Elements has relaunched its range of ultimate Tile Backer Board, which is hailed as the most comprehensive range of quality and cost-effective tile backer boards on the market.

The company is well known as the 'go-to' brand for waterproofing and wetroom solutions in the bathroom, creating innovative and flexible designs coupled with ultimate build quality.

Toto's Washlet certified as world's No.1 brand when it comes to shower toilets

* Toto-Washlet.jpgResearch published by Euromonitor International has revealed that Japanese bathroom manufacturer Toto is the number one brand globally in terms of sales in the shower toilet market (toilets with bidet functions) with its Washlet shower-toilet.

Since Washlet launched in June 1980, Toto has continually expanded and evolved the range. A genuine innovation in sanitaryware technology, Washlet demonstrates Toto's commitment to the advancement of bathroom design and hygiene.

Standards & guidelines for installers published

* BiKBBI-Standards.jpgThe British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation has published its Standards & Guidelines (12th Edition).

Stylish solutions from Blanco by Gutmann

* Blanco-Gutmann.jpgBlanco UK has launched the new Blanco by Gutmann extractor hood brochure which illustrates the very latest in extraction hood design and technology.

Gutmann's hand-crafted extractor hoods set what are said to be the highest standards on the market, combining style with unrivalled technology and advanced engineering.

Benchmarx Kitchens offers support for Bristol homeless charity

* Adam-Harris_Bechmarx.jpgThe team at Benchmarx Kitchens on Feeder Road, Bristol, has given its support to the 'Help Bristol's Homeless' charity by donating a number of kitchens for use in its innovative shipping container project.

The branch has currently provided two kitchens, including one from one of its latest collections, Richmond Oak (pictured), to aid the completion of the latest containers, which have now been transformed from shipping crates into amazing one bedroom accommodation. These fantastic repurposed homes are designed with the aim of helping to get Bristol's homeless people back on their feet.

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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

Over 20% growth forecast for UK kitchen & bathroom worktops market over next five years

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According to a new report by AMA Research, there has been good growth in the domestic kitchen and bathroom worktops market in recent years and this is set to continue, with over 20% growth forecast over the next five years.

BMA works towards international agreement on water efficient products

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The Bathroom Manufacturers Association is working to influence the development of an international standard for a banding system to indicate the efficiency of water-using fittings and appliances, which will encourage water saving throughout the world.

Abode scoops LTG's 'Best in Kitchen & Bathroom Accessories' Award

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Abode has won the 'Best in Kitchen & Bathroom Accessories Award' in the Luxury Travel Guide's 2019 Lifestyle Awards, which showcases the very best brands that enable affluent travellers to bring the benefits of their trip into everyday life.


British Ceramic Tile refreshes retailer Rewards Club

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British Ceramic Tile's reward scheme has been relaunched with a host of exciting offers, promotions and prizes in a move to make the scheme more attractive and beneficial to retail customers.


Smeg's new digital brochure features entire built-in and integrated appliance range

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Smeg has produced a new digital version of its built-in brochure. This new digital format means customers, dealers and retailers have quick and easy access to Smeg's entire range of built-in and integrated appliances.

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