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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
11th January 2019


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

International News

Quartz in a quarter of the time (and cost)

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Hardwearing, 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

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The Kitchen & Bathroom Buying Group, welcomes DF Sales as a new supplier of bar stools available to its members.

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.

Welcome to the



It's been a funny old Christmas, hasn't it, with the lack of sales in our town centres and scaremongering over the ever-growing political uncertainty? It isn't all bad though, with official figures revealing that construction output grew by 2.1% for the period September to November compared with the previous three months, and today's UK kitchen market report by MTW Research (www.marketresearchreports.co.uk) suggesting sales will rise by £50mn in 2019, despite ongoing challenges for the kitchen products industry. Suppliers' data shows that higher value rigid kitchen cabinets, cooking appliances, premium taps and dishwashers are performing exceptionally well, although the mid-market stays squeezed on prices and profits, with online retailers steadily gaining share through aggressive pricing strategies.

The 170-page report identifies top kitchen design trends, noting increased complexity as consumers personalise their kitchens rather than accept traditional off the shelf solutions. Design innovation continues to support the higher value market, with the 'unobtrusive kitchen' also gaining share thanks to increased building of smaller, urban open plan homes.

MTW says sophisticated consumers realise the old binary choice of traditional or modern kitchen design is defunct, with the market more complex regarding design, specification and purchasing criteria... Urban, industrial, chic rustic and vintage designs drive the market and knowledgeable consumers are seeking retailers and manufacturers who can help create a distinctly personalised kitchen. The report identifies several growth opportunities, while warning suppliers they'll suffer if they're slow to identify new trends and underestimate the growing threat of price deflation.

Based on data from companies reporting over £180 million profit, the report finds that the 'connected kitchen' is driving value growth in the luxury and high-mid markets, with smart extractors, voice activated hobs and built in cabinet smart speakers demonstrating how retailers are using technology to personalise kitchen designs.

The report also identifies a shift in distribution, with retailers have mostly won the battle against the Sheds, which are repositioning to more traditional DIY market positions. Growth in the lower value sector is likely to be elusive in 2019, forcing online and DIY channels to engage in price battles, while lower mass market growth is likely to be compounded by the 'kitchen refresh', with cost-conscious consumers changing doors, handles and taps rather than undertaking full refits.

Happy New Year to you!




Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

KBSA starts new year with 10 new members

* KBSA-10.jpgThe Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has announced that 10 new members have been accepted into the Association, continuing the drive towards 50 new retail members by Summer 2019.

The latest new members include eight new retail members, one corporate member - Gardner Distribution based in Kent, and one Foundation member - New Forest Designs in Hampshire. In addition, Ekco (Edinburgh) has added a new branch to its membership.

End of an era...

* Roman-retiree.jpgRoman is wishing northern contract manager Geoff Ingram well in his retirement, earned after 50 years in the industry. From starting out as an apprentice heating engineer, aged-16, Geoff worked his way up, spending his entire career in the bathroom industry.

After his apprenticeship he went to work at Baxi Boilers and then to Myson as a sales representative. He then spent 21 years working for Aqualisa, first as a sales representative, then to northern regional contract manager and later as national contract manager.

Swiss Krono's CamuStyleTX wins prestigious German Design Award

* CamuStyleTX.jpgCamuStyleTX, the latest collection from global decorative panel specialist Swiss Krono, has won the award for Excellent Product Design in the Material and Surfaces category of the prestigious German Design Awards 2019.

Available exclusively in the UK from IDS, the collection harnesses the aesthetics of natural limestone and open weave fabric, expertly combining them into the unique CamuStyleTX texture.

Gorenje joins Hisense family

* Gorenje-joins-Hisense.jpgGorenje, the global Slovenian-based home electronics manufacturer, has joined the Hisense family of consumer electronics brands. The Gorenje brand will continue to operate in the UK, with both sales and support continuing.

The deal, initially announced in May, has now been finalised and will see Hisense UK assume control of Gorenje's UK operations and logistics, as well as launching new products to the market.

Tim joins Masterclass as national sales manager

* Tim_Masterclass.jpgTim Gent has joined the Masterclass Kitchens team in the role of national sales manager. Covering the whole of the UK, Tim will be responsible for strengthening the brand's regional sales team, supporting its network of retailers and further strengthening the brand within the KBB sector.

With over 30 years' experience in the industry, Tim brings a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to the role. Joining Masterclass from Hepplewhite where he managed retailer accounts throughout the UK, Tim prides himself on being a 'hands on' manager who has built lasting relationships within the industry over the years.

Minimalist vanity basin, WC & electronic-flush urinal for Istanbul

* VITRA-vanity1.jpgThe Istanbul collection designed for VitrA by Ross Lovegrove has been an international success since it was first launched in 2004. The sanitaryware and furniture collection draws its inspiration from the organic shapes found in nature and the fluidity of water.

New financial support for BiKBBI members

* New-financial-BIKBBI.jpgBuilding upon its member financial services and extensive member benefits package, The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation has launched a new financial services product to help members source financial funding solutions for their businesses.

The new BiKBBI Funder Finder provides free and simple access for its members to source financial funding for their businesses, including vehicle & asset financing, cash flow loans, commercial mortgages, invoice finance, pension-led funds, term loans and trade finance.

Keller's chic Chelsea kitchen: vintage style with a modern twist

* Keller-chic-Chelsea2.jpgKeller's new Chelsea kitchen reflects a vintage style; with a modern twist.

KBSA confirms date and venue for 2019 Conference and Awards

* KBSA-confirms-date.jpgThe Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has announced that this year's exclusive Retailer Dinner will take place on Tuesday 24th September, while the full day Conference, AGM and Awards Dinner will be held the following day, Wednesday 25th September, in Stratford upon Avon.

Fashionable tap for modern kitchens

* BLANCO-Fashionable.jpgThe beautiful, angular shape of Blanco's fashionable Luper tap brings a modern design to all kitchens. The cross-shaped mixer tap has ceramic disc control and provides a high-pressure water flow with a minimum of 0.5 bar pressure.

Pelipal wins the German Design Award with Solitaire 9025

* Pelipal-wins.jpgLeading German bathroom manufacturer Pelipal has been awarded one of the most important European Design Awards for the innovative Solitaire 9025. The international jury awarded the coveted title of German Design award winner 2019, highlighting in its statement "The minimal design of this washbasin endows it with elegance and lightness, qualities underscored by a subtly designed frame.

A beautiful and timeless design that's also noted for its outstanding functionality".

New brochure and new look for Amica

* Amica-New-brochure.jpgAmica has launched a new 72-page A4 brochure featuring all its top value, high performance freestanding appliances in striking new lifestyle photography sets. The company has also unveiled a new logo which now carries the strapline 'for living'.

"It emphasises that Amica appliances are designed and manufactured with the needs of the consumer firmly in mind," says marketing manager Steve Corbett.

Formica Group to be acquired by Broadview

* Formica-Group.jpgThe current owner of Formica, Fletcher Building, has entered into an agreement to sell the Formica Group to Broadview Holding BV. Formica Group is a worldwide provider of branded, design-coordinated surfacing solutions for commercial and residential customers and a huge manufacturer of High Pressure Laminate.

The sale includes Formica Group businesses in North America, Europe and Asia as well as its Homapal laminates business in Germany and is subject to regulatory approvals and conditions.

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News in Brief
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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