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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
14th December 2018


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

International News

The best for beautiful basins

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Established in 1989, Abacus Bathrooms is one of the UK's leading manufacturers and distributors of bathroom and wetroom products and is well known for a philosophy of pioneering development for the ultimate bathroom build.

New to the portfolio of clever innovations for the installer, designer and retailer is a range of four products for simple, effective installation of basins.

Fish scale/mermaid tiles conjure up a little mythical magic

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With the influx of unicorns there has been in recent months, it was only a matter of time before the trend was extended to other mythical creatures...

Gold mermaid fishscale tiles from Otto Tiles & Design appeared on George Clarke's 'Old House, New Home' featuring a property in Portsmouth, Claverdon, recently.

Otto Tiles & Design sees fish-scale tiles as the new trend upcoming over the next year, possibly to replace terrazzo tiles.

Bushboard's statement splashbacks launch on Monday

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Available from Monday, Lush tropical palms, on trend Moorish patterns, 60s style geometrics, weathered London brick and soft, time faded vintage prints are just some of the inspiring options in Bushboard's new Vista splashback collection.

The new collection, which includes 14 designs in 9mm mdf and six in 4mm acrylic, can be used to create either a focal point splashback behind a sink or a hob, to create a feature wall, or all around the kitchen if desired.

Perfect for the festive season!

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Entertaining at home continues to be one of our favourite pastimes and William Garvey Furniture Makers' freestanding bar cabinets will enable householders to do it in style.

Kitchen taps that dare to be different

Move over bold colours and minimal design, there is a new trend on the kitchen catwalk and it comes in the form of the unusually designed tap!

Choose a style or finish that breaks from the norm and an instant style update is made, transforming the entire kitchen and turning one of its busiest areas into a focal point.

A modern twist to a classic sink

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The Silgranit Legra from Blanco UK is the ultimate classic sink design for today's kitchens.

Each model has a wide tap ledge and a basket strainer to prevent food from going down the drain. Whether rinsing food, washing dishes or filling a vase, the large, deep bowl of the sink is ideal and most models in the Legra range are available for reversible installation.

Welcome to the



Something that frustrates my colleague John Austen is that although all the news and product information for KBzine might have long been finished and uploaded, he has to wait for my leaders as I tend to leave them until the last minute to ensure that they're topical.

Not so this week, (or so I thought) since I prepared today's leader this morning. It began with: "Another week and I'm still without a fridge" and went on to say how the engineers arrived last Tuesday and discovered that far from my fridge being broken because I'd damaged it, the thermostat and/or sensor appeared to be faulty. After much bashing about they left my appliance in the middle of the kitchen where they'd found it and told me they'd ordered new parts as they don't carry them. They said the parts would "hopefully" be in sometime this week and that the retailer would be in touch...

I didn't actually respond that I wouldn't hold my breath - partly because none of this was their fault but also because I was biting my lip so as not to ask why the heck they didn't carry what I'd consider to be essential parts on the repair van! I waited patiently until this lunchtime before contacting the retailer to say I was still wondering what was going on.

I don't know if the fact that I'd taken to posting my despair on the retailer's Facebook page had anything to do with it, or whether it was the last post in which I included the Group managing director's email address and asked if it was the one I should use for my complaint, or whether the company realised it hadn't performed well, but I've just had a message to say that owing to the length of time I've been without a fridge, the company is going to replace the appliance.

Naturally I'm delighted, but it has rather messed up my leader which I've had to rewrite and caused John - and you - to wait again!

This is the second time a repair engineer hasn't had essential supplies on board - the last one had come specifically to replace my last fridge freezer's lead (chewed through by a rat my cat had brought in) and didn't have a lead or plug with him! New Year resolution for repair people perhaps... carrying all the parts that might be needed? Mine is to get my leaders done early in future!

Merry Christmas!




Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Virtual Worlds appoints new sales manager for Wales, Midlands and South West

* Virtual-Worlds-appoints.jpgVirtual Worlds, innovative CAD technology specialist for the KBB industry, has bolstered its sales team, with the appointment of Rhian Davies to the role of regional sales manager. Rhian will cover Wales, Midlands and the South West.

With more than five years' experience in sales and account management, Rhian joins Virtual Worlds from SSE Energy. In her new role, she will be responsible for managing current customer accounts and for introducing the benefits of the latest 3D and 4D software to more retailers and designers.

UK first for Altecnic as Intaball valves attain new standard

* Altecnic.jpgIn what is believed to be a first for the UK's plumbing and heating industry, the Altecnic Intaball range of gas lever ball valves is one of the first UK products to be certified to EN 331:2015 (Class C).

Committed to achieving the latest industry standards, Altecnic has been working closely with BSI's Loughborough-based Product Certification Team and Centre of Excellence for the past two and a half years. Now, the company can demonstrate compliance with European Directives and Regulations relating to the ball valves and OEM equipment it manufactures and supplies across UK domestic and commercial markets.

New Year celebrations shaken and not stirred with The Connery cocktail cabinet

* Connery-cabinet.jpgAs Big Ben strikes 12 and the first notes of Auld Lang Syne ring out, ensuring everyone has a drink to hand to raise a toast to the New Year is a breeze with for those with their very own cocktail cabinet in their kitchen or open-plan living space.

For anyone who loves hosting friends and family for special occasions, The Connery from The Signature Collection by Masterclass Kitchens is a must-have piece of furniture that will put the sparkle and style into any party.

Season's greetings add up for charity

* Abode-Seasons-Greetings.jpgEntering into the spirit of the season while reducing the amount of non-recyclable waste that Christmas can bring, tap and sink manufacturer Abode replaced the tradition of giving Christmas cards with a charity donation, raising money for local people in need.

For 2018 Abode sent the money it would normally spend on purchasing and posting Christmas cards to its customers, straight to the EyUp Charity. The organisation supports the work of South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust in making a difference to the community, mental health, wellbeing and learning disability services.

Quartz in a quarter of the time (and cost)

* MAIN-PIC-Ivory-stone.jpgHardwearing, good looking and easy to care for quartz worksurfaces are growing in popularity. The downside with most quartz tops is that they cannot be fabricated on site, which causes delay and extra cost.

KBBG introduces a supplier of kitchen bar stools

* KBBG-intro.jpgThe Kitchen & Bathroom Buying Group, welcomes DF Sales as a new supplier of bar stools available to its members.

Stay on trend for 2019 with Lustrolite Carbon

* Lustrolite-Carbon.jpgDarker shades are on trend for 2019, with midnight blue and black predicted by many to be the popular shades for kitchens. Homeowners can make small changes to their kitchen to keep it en-vogue and stay at the height of fashion, such as adding a coloured award-winning Lustrolite glass effect acrylic wall panel.

The elegant panels can also add the same touch of sophistication to bathrooms.

Victory for the Cookie Club in kitchen showroom rugby V football bake-off

* Victory-Cookie-Club.jpgIn celebration of the launch of the Cookie Club Cookbook - being sold to raise money as part of Exeter rugby player Phil Dollman's testimonial year - rugby players and a team from Exeter City FC have just met for a second time in a Great Exeter Bake-off at The Room Works kitchen & bathroom showroom.

The Cookie Club, open to Exeter rugby players, meet throughout the season to surprise fellow members with delicious bakes, so there was pressure on the rugby team to level the score against the footballers and take home the trophy.

AKW launches its new timber range

* AKW-timber-range.jpgAKW, one of the UK's leading providers of accessibility solutions, has launched its complementary timber range. This means that installers will be able to buy CLS timber and plywood from AKW, saving them both time and money and enabling accessible bathroom purchasing and installation to become even more straightforward.

From boxing in pipework and over-boarding wooden floors, to creating stud walling or noggins, an adapted bathroom requires a variety of timber. The AKW timber range has been introduced to offer installers and contractors more of the components of a bathroom adaptation from one source. By offering WBP plywood - which uses water & boil-proof adhesive for added security - in 4mm and 12mm thicknesses and 3x2 CLS timber in treated and untreated finishes, installers can order

Bathroom Industry Expert Returns to VitrA

* Return-to-VitrA.jpgInternational bathroom manufacturer VitrA has expanded its UK sales team with the appointment of Paul Cook as contract sales manager for the South. Paul has a long and well-respected career working for several leading bathroom manufacturers - including VitrA in his earlier career.

Paul will be working primarily with housebuilders as well as government property developers. VitrA is enjoying huge growth in the sector thanks to exposure at leading industry events such as designjunction, Sleep + Eat and the high-profile RIBA + VitrA Talks Series which will carry on into 2019.

New Hotpoint ActiveCook induction hobs maximise flexible cooking

* New-Hotpoint-ActiveCook.jpgHotpoint has launched a new range of induction hobs that feature ActiveCook technology, which provides users with extended cooking capabilities to provide a more versatile and flexible approach to cooking with induction.

Combining sensor technology, assisted-cooking and a fully-flexible cooking surface, the ActiveCook induction hobs make light work of cooking. The range is led by the 770mm model (ACP 778 C/BA), which features eight individual cooking zones that can each be precisely controlled with 18 different power levels.

The Sink Space invests in its first ever showroom and a revamped website

* MAIN-PIC-CARRON.jpgCarron Phoenix and KWC distributor, The Sink Space, has launched a completely revamped, new-look website www.thesinkspace.co.uk and invested in its first ever showroom, to support its growing trade customer base.

Open now, the new showroom showcases a carefully curated selection of products from both brands including Carron Phoenix's popular Vela and Debut stainless steel and Bali granite sink ranges, mixer and pull-out taps, and premium sister-brand KWC's luxury ZOE and EVE tap collections.

Franke launches Area Service Technician service to support customers

* Franke-Technicians.jpgFranke has launched a new UK-wide dedicated repair team covering its boiling water taps, hoods and waste disposal units. The full-time, fully qualified team are part of Franke's Consumer Care department and will respond to any issues with relevant products, whether they are in or out of warranty.

The service is only chargeable for products that are not covered under the Franke warranty.

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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

New award is essential part of strategy to promote compliance, says BMA

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A new industry award which was won for the first time by Roman is an essential part of a strategy to raise awareness of the dangers of using non-compliant bathroom products, says Bathroom Manufacturers Association CEO Yvonne Orgill.

Nuance secures Professional Builder 'Top Product' Award

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Professional Builder Magazine, one of the leading titles in the building sector, has recognised Bushboard Nuance bathroom wall panelling as a Product of The Year for 2018. This is quite an accolade as the Award was voted for by the readers...

2019 Conference set to be "extraordinary"

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The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI) has this week confirmed that it will be holding its Annual Conference at The Houses of Parliament on Wednesday 30th January 2019.

Sleep + Eat Success for VitrA

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VitrA has reported that the new look Sleep + Eat 2018 was a great success for the international bathroom company. The exhibition formed part of a series of high-profile events for VitrA during 2018 that has included designjunction and the RIBA + VitrA Talks series.

Don't always buck the trend, says HiB

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It's vital for any business to update and refine its product portfolio, and introducing products that meet changing customer needs is an important driver of product-line expansion. Ash Chilver, sales director at HiB, comments on the importance on taking stock of the latest trends:

'Best Installer 2018' winner announced

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The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation tells us it is delighted to announce that Liberty Fitting Services was unveiled as Installer of the Year 2018 at this week's ek&bbusiness Awards & Review ceremony in Central London.

Roman scoops NHIC Award

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Shower designer and manufacturer, Roman, has won the consumer safety award for compliance in bathroom products at the National Home Improvement Council Awards black tie ceremony.

TKC partners with leading kitchen design software companies to support Jigsaw

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To support the further growth of its Jigsaw brand and kitchen retailers, TKC has partnered with specialist kitchen design software companies ArtiCAD and Compusoft. The complete portfolio of doors, cabinets, storage, sinks, taps and worktops is now available in a digital format on both platforms.

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