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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
19th October 2018


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

International News

Solid Core Zenith makes a style statement

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Sleek cream furniture combined with a super slimline worktop in an inspiring natural finish give this kitchen designed and supplied by retailer Hitchings & Thomas a timeless, yet forward-thinking look.

Be bold with blush: Meet the new Illusion from British Ceramic Tile

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Blush is back and is set to make a big impact in the kitchen and bathroom market. While rose gold and fuchsia have had their time to shine, British Ceramic Tile is embracing the return of the muted millennial pink hue, adding a playful, feminine vibe to homes with the launch of the new Illusion feature tile.

Danby launches in the UK as first part of European expansion project

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Danby Appliances, the leading Canadian manufacturer/distributor, has announced its expansion to Europe commencing with the UK market.

Making waves in kitchen design with new granite sinks

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A bold design statement for the contemporary kitchen, Londa is just one of a complete new collection of beautiful granite sinks now available from Abode.

Steel screens for stylish interior spaces

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While 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.

Can designer bathroom pieces increase in value?

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With 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.

Abacus Elements relaunches ultimate Tile Backer Board

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Abacus 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

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Research 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.

Welcome to the



Since I first tried out a microfibre cleaning cloth in the 90s I've used nothing else. The idea that the cloth can eliminate the need for cleaning chemicals and still present an acceptable finish on the surface being cleaned really appealed to me. It was only during a conversation with a cloth manufacturer earlier this year that I became aware that the fibres do their own damage to the environment - just in a different way.

I had no idea until then that the fleeces and throws that have become so popular in recent years were made of similar fibres and that these leech into our waterways every time we wear/use them - as well as while they're in the wash. Today an industry colleague forwarded me an article from the Daily Mail headed up: "We're all eating our own washing! How 'fast fashion' clothes made from polyester are polluting the seas with tiny plastic fibres that are shed from washing machines... and ending up back in the food chain."

The article goes on to discuss how Richard Thompson, professor of Marine Biology at Plymouth University, led a study with the International Marine Litter Research Unit in which a washing machine was filled with separate loads of jumpers made from three different synthetic fabrics, and used a micro-sieve attached to the drain hose to catch the fibres released during the washes.

The researchers found that a washload of 13lb can release into the wastewater systems, some 140,000 fibres from polyester/cotton blend, nearly half a million fibres from polyester and more than 700,000 fibres from acrylic. And while some of these fibres will be intercepted during the wastewater treatment process, others - due to their small size - will escape into the environment, ready for us to consume in some fashion or other!

Vacuum cleaners can be fitted with HEPA filters to prevent collected dust from escaping from the machine and I'm wondering how long it will be before an astute washing machine manufacturer will devise a filter to prevent microfibres from escaping into our waterways. There will of course need to be an easy way of emptying the filter so that the fibres don't waft around in the air, but it shouldn't be too difficult and the manufacturer will end up with a unique selling point that will appeal to those of us who are environmentally aware.

A challenge then!




Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

ICE Interior showroom shows off Blanco products

* ICE-showroom.jpgDesign specialist, ICE Interior, has launched a new showroom in the New Forest at Angel Courtyard, Lymington, featuring Blanco sinks and taps. The award-winning kitchen and interior design business has relocated, having spent the last 10 years on Berkhamsted's High Street in Hertfordshire.

ICE Interior prides itself on delivering innovative, creative kitchen and interior design solutions tailored to meet the client's desire and home. The service starts with expert design and a complete packed of high end products is offered, backed up with excellent customer service.

BiKBBI members to receive waste collection credit thanks to new sponsorship deal

* BiKBBI-waste.jpgThe British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation has announced that Clearabee, the on-demand rubbish removal business, has pledged itself to the Institute by becoming a sponsor for the next three years. Further, Clearabee is offering £75 in waste collection credit to BiKBBI members that sign up for its Beeloyal scheme.

Based in Birmingham and offering its services across the UK, Clearabee operates exclusively through its own fully trained and vetted employees. It provides affordable, on-demand rubbish removal services designed to meet the precise needs of kitchen, bedroom and bathroom installers. These include same day 'man and van' style waste collection and a large range of skip bags.

Special display offer for Evolve retailers

* Evolve-MAIN-PIC.jpgBuying a kitchen is a big decision for most customers - and nothing works quite so well in driving that decision as seeing products in an appealing display - which is why Bushboard is offering retailers an unmissable opportunity to show off new Evolve solid core worksurfaces at their best.

"At Bushboard, we know displays increase sales revenue," notes UK marketing communications manager Ruby Larvin. "Putting an Evolve worksurface on display in your showroom will showcase the versatility of the material and design benefits of this innovative, on trend product.

Terramix recreates exposed brickwork with ease

* Terramix.jpgInspired by the wave of industrial trends that have captured the interiors world in the past couple of years, the Terramix collection from Gemini Tiles recreates exposed brickwork with ease.

From stylish loft apartments to classic period properties, the architectural trend is perfect for introducing urban character to the home. Natural variations in colour and texture are present across the three options of the Terramix collection, creating a realistic, practical alternative to exposed brick walls.

Create the Scandinavian style with the GL5100 from Keller Kitchens

* Keller-Scandinavian.jpgKeller Kitchens' latest model, GL5100, embraces the Scandinavian style. The simplicity of the style provides a blank palette for homeowners to add the colour scheme of their choice, whether that's cool pastels or bold hues on the walls or the cabinets.

The sleek GL5100 handleless units come in both a silk gloss lacquer and a structured lacquer. Each cabinet is available in muted tones such as Ice, White, Blossom, Magnolia, Loam, Shell, Clay, Mocha and Basalt from the Master Collection; bold colours from the Trend Collection, including Yellow Gold, Powder Pink, Ruby Blush, Botanic Green and Midnight Blue; and 1,950 NCS colours from the Comfort Collection.

Developers building in style with Ultra-Thin Worksurfaces

* WilsonArt1.jpgHousebuilders are the largest growth area for sales of Zenith solid-core laminate worksurface. Nick Jones, sales & marketing director for Wilsonart UK explains: "The demand for Zenith has been remarkable since its launch in 2016. We were the first to market with a slim solid core product range of its kind. We knew it would appeal to kitchen and bathroom designers but the success of Zenith with builders and contractors has been a fantastic bonus.

"Zenith is 100% solid and waterproof which means it can be stored on site. It's adaptable and easy to handle on site too, so can be cut as it is required for kitchens, bathrooms, utility rooms and WCs with no need for off-site templating."

Hotpoint launches £50 cashback laundry promotion

* Hotpoint-launches-promo.jpgIn support of its recent introduction of the new ActiveCare range of washing machines, Hotpoint has launched a £50 cashback promotion.

The promotion applies to purchases made until 9th November 2018, where consumers will receive up to £50 cashback on selected Hotpoint washing machines from the recently launched ActiveCare range. Retailers have access to a raft of point of sale material to support and alert consumers, when in-store, to the promotion. The point of sale material is available via their Hotpoint account manager.

British Ceramic Tile and Laura Ashley launch charming new collections for every corner of the home

* BCT-Laura-Ashley.jpgBritish Ceramic Tile and Laura Ashley have once again demonstrated their expert design skills launching a stunning new collection of wall and floor tiles for the retail market. The latest collection has drawn inspiration from the latest colour and tile trends to create a series of new ranges that bring an effortless sense of style to living spaces.

Crafted with expert attention to detail, each range has been designed to coordinate beautifully with the Laura Ashley paint, wallpaper and Kitchen Collection as well as the brand's home accessories.

Steve Scogings takes over CIH chair from Robin Millwood

* Steve-Scogings.jpgCombined Independents (Holdings) has announced that Steve Scogings is to take over as chairman from Robin Millwood, who has chaired the Group for 12 years. Steve has been deputy chairman for the last two years and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience of the independent electrical retail channel, having spent 28 years with the electrical retail chain, Stellisons Electrical.

Steve says he continually innovates to ensure that Stellisons is at the forefront of the retail industry; for example, Stellisons was the first UK retailer to introduce electronic shelf labelling technology to streamline the pricing process, and to relieve staff to focus on the company's core value, customer service.

Fit and Forget delivers

* VITRA-mainpic.jpgVitrA reports that its innovative Fit and Forget campaign designed to highlight the design features of VitrA's concealed cistern frames has seen sales double year on year. VitrA is a major supplier of wall-hung sanitaryware and of the frames that make installation fast and straightforward.

Sometimes we use machinery... and sometimes we just use our hands

* Sometimes.jpgSo says Imperial Bathrooms whose beautifully hand-crafted range brings together the Radcliffe vanity basin with wall-mounted or free standing units in solid wood.

KBSA member celebrates Bucks New University success

* KBSA-S-Mascari-grad.jpgThe Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association member Mascari is celebrating the success of staff member Samantha Mascari who has graduated from Bucks New University with the KBSA Kitchen Design degree. Samantha undertook the three-year part time course whilst working in the family business and is one of the first students to graduate from this new course.

Designer Colin Wong donates KBB Birmingham proceeds to earthquake charity

* Designer-Colin-Wong-donates.jpgMulti-award-winning kitchen and bathroom designer Colin Wong is using his success to help those less fortunate, with the latest donation from his Edinburgh-based design studio Development Direct going directly to help those affected by devastating earthquake in Indonesia.

Colin had been using his holiday breaks to travel far afield, to gain design inspiration for his projects. While he discovered an abundance of design inspiration, his eyes were also opened to another world of unjust poverty and neglect, which had an abject effect on him.

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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

VitrA secures second consecutive Designer Kitchens & Bathrooms Award for Bathroom Innovation

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itrA Bathrooms has secured another prestigious industry award, this time for Plural, the ground-breaking bathroom range designed in partnership with Terri Pecora. The Designer Kitchen and Bathroom Award for Innovation in Bathroom Product Design is the fourth award for VitrA from Designer Kitchen & Bathroom in recent years, with last year's award received for the Eternity accessories developed with Sebastian Conran.

New British standard states tiling backer boards must replace plywood in the bathroom - Abacus Elements has the solution!

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The latest revision to the British Standard covering wall tiling (www.tiles.org.uk) includes a number of important changes. One states - tiling direct to plywood is no longer recommended for wall tiling; a bespoke tiling backer board should be used.

Cosentino UK supports The Kitchen Education Trust (TKET)

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Cosentino UK tells us it is delighted to be continuing its support for The Kitchen Education Trust (TKET), demonstrating its commitment to promoting talent in the kitchen industry.

Blanco's charity bake-off success

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Blanco UK joined most of the country and hosted a coffee morning in aid of cancer charity, Macmillan. The fun included delicious home-made goodies and competitions, including a 'cake bake-off', 'place the cherry on the cake' and 'guess the length of the sausage roll'.

Hotpoint's Fresh Thinking pop-up café will make us think twice about food waste

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The Hotpoint Fresh Thinking for Forgotten Food pop-up café, located in East London, opened its doors to consumers recently, serving dishes that have been inspired by the most commonly wasted food in the UK.

Best Installer finalists announced

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The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation has revealed the finalists for the prestigious Best Installer 2018 Award, with the winner set to be announced at the ek&bbusiness Awards ceremony on the 29th November at stunning London venue, The Brewery.

Plumbers' merchants market in the UK worth over £4.2bn

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The plumbers' merchants market was worth an estimated £4.2bn in 2017, representing growth of around 2% from 2016, according to a new report by AMA Research.

Blanco sponsors the 2019 RSA Student Design Awards programme

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After a successful year taking part in the 2018 Royal Society of Arts Student Design Awards, Blanco UK tells us it is proud to be returning to sponsor the Awards which provide students with an invaluable network and a brilliant platform to further their career in design.

Glen Dimplex Home Appliances launches Elite Retailer scheme

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Domestic 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.

Boundary Space leading the trend in coloured sanitary bathrooms

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Clients - 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.

Cosentino celebrates outstanding Elite studios with its annual Elite Honours List

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The Cosentino Group has once again celebrated its very best Elite Premium studios in the UK and Ireland.

Hi-Macs helps restore London's emblematic Hoover Building

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IDM 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.


Standards & guidelines for installers published

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

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