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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
15th February 2019


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

International News

Convert to the dark side

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Darker shades in kitchens are really popular this year; so ever the pioneer, Keller, has launched a new melamine colour, Metal Black, which offers an industrial style to complement the stunning Bolton model so homeowners can stay on trend. This model is perfect for contemporary and traditional homes.

The industrial element is reflected through the smart cube-shaped units, reflective of warehouse storage shelving, and dark coloured tin handles (no 672 from Keller's range) which can be matched with aluminium framed display cases (as pictured).

The Bolton model is also available in Concrete, Rust and Marble White.


Rotpunkt urges KBB industry to support further education apprenticeships

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German Kitchen furniture designer and manufacturer, Rotpunkt, shows its support for further education in the kitchen industry, following the successful submission by FIESTA [Furniture Industry Education & Skills Training Alliance], which has led to IFA [Institute for Apprenticeships] approving new Level 3 apprenticeship standards for Fitted Furniture Design.

Helping to 'provide a clear path into the kitchen industry', this announcement marks an important step for a qualification that sits just under the Level 4 & 5 FDA Foundation Degree in Kitchen Design, currently offered.

Clever evolution of tap technology with Blanco's Evol-S

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Renowned for pioneering kitchen tap design and technology initiatives, Blanco UK has launched the clever Evol-S Volume smart tap, demonstrating another step towards sustainability and smart functionality.

This revolutionary smart tap has an integrated measuring function with a precise rotary control to give users the exact amount of water they need. The specific volume is set with the scaling wheel while the measured amount is delivered via the intuitive touch sensor system. The standard mixer tap functions of temperature and flow are controlled by the lever on the opposite side - the Evol-S is available handed left or right.

New POS for Vista statement splashbacks

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Bringing colour, pattern and a funky new look to kitchen walls, recently launched Vista splashbacks have been an outstanding success for Bushboard. Hundreds of kitchen specialists have listed the new range and there is now a fabulous array of Point of Sale material with which to promote it.

Vista includes a compelling showroom lure like Summer Palms along with Moorish patterns, geometrics, weathered London brick, metro tiling and vintage prints (just some of the inspiring options in the new collection which includes 14 designs in 9mm mdf and six in 4mm acrylic).

Kai by Crosswater: part of the New Essentials collection

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Crosswater's new Essentials collection offers deluxe bathroom suites at astonishingly good prices, without compromising on quality or function.

HiB hits the right note with groundbreaking launch

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HiB is striking a chord for 2019 with the launch of a stunning musical ceiling light, designed to take a starring role in any bathroom. Rhythm combines sleek, minimalistic good looks with clever technology. Featuring a Bluetooth-enabled speaker, giving outstanding sound, Rhythm allows consumers to play music or news straight from their devices.

The RIBA + VitrA Talks series continues into 2019

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The RIBA + VitrA Talks series continues into 2019 with more emerging and established international voices in architecture. Last year leading bathroom brand VitrA announced the partnership with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in the form of the RIBA + VitrA Talks series.

Taps and showers one step closer to voluntary agreement says European Bathroom Forum

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A Voluntary Agreement for the Unified Water Label is a step closer after a programme for taps and showers was supported by the European Commission department DG Environment.

Silestone launches the new minimalist kitchen sink, Integrity Q

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Silestone by Cosentino, is adding to its popular Integrity by Silestone kitchen sink range with the new minimalist kitchen sink, Integrity Q.

New colours, finishes and revamped brochure for Cucina Colore

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Mereway Kitchens has launched a selection of new colours and finishes for its contemporary Cucina Colore collection, which are included within a stylish revamped brochure.

'New Traditional' with Dark Gold Art Moderne II Towel Warmer by Vogue (UK)

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British designer and manufacturer of premium radiators and towel warmers, Vogue (UK), presents the growing style trend 'New Traditional' with its Art Moderne II Towel Warmer: a pioneering heating solution that redefines traditional styling with a modern perspective.

Welcome to the



New research has revealed that 61% of us are worried our local high streets are going to be lost completely within 10 years & that until then their variety will continue to contract; with food and beverage, value and fashion brands likely to be the next victims. Respondents felt that if local high streets had free parking & easy accessibility, we'd more likely shop in-store. When asked what would tempt us back to our high street, the top answers were: more staff to facilitate a quicker experience (41%); clearer stock check in store (34%); 24-hour service so you can shop at any time (27%); Self-checkout service to avoid queues (26%)

When asked what we think the high street will look like over the next 10 years, we're worried independent stores won't exist. Listed in order of the most likely inhabitants, to the least likely, are: restaurants, coffee shops, second-hand shops, bars, fast food restaurants, retail chains e.g. department stores, clubs, cinemas, banks, travel agents and independent retailers.

Doesn't bode well for our sector, (or the shopping experience) does it?

"It's obvious that people still like going into store to shop, but it just isn't as accessible as online shopping is," says KIS Finance, which carried out the survey. "To save the high street, retailers need to ensure they are thinking innovatively about how to draw customers in with clearer in-store stock checks, more staff and extended hours during busy periods. The reason so many retailers are struggling is because consumer shopping habits are changing and the high street needs to change with it, creating a more community-led atmosphere with more accessibility & variety for everyone."


In contrast is the report from the Farnborough Homebuilding & Renovating Show, staged late last month, which proves that a comprehensive gathering of companies able to provide the trade and consumers with all they need to either build a new property or renovate an old one, can be a real success... A kind of Field of Dreams 'build it and they will come' gathering. Is this something we might perhaps see in the future... fixed gatherings of related stores for a particular sector, much like a permanent exhibition?

Image courtesy of Sam Edwards


Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Bushboard invests in award-winning Nuance

* Grey-Paladina-Nuance.jpgStriking, faster and more economical than traditional ceramic tiling, Bushboard's 100% waterproof Nuance bathroom panels have been a massive success in the domestic and commercial bathroom markets both here and now in mainland Europe.

In anticipation of continued growth, the company has completed a £1million investment increasing its state-of-the-art manufacturing capacity at its factory in Wellingborough, Northants.

Bathroom Brands to join BMA

* Bathroom-Brands.jpgThe Bathroom Manufacturers Association, has announced that Bathroom Brands is the latest company to join the Association.

The UK based group - best known for its key brands, Crosswater, Burlington, Britton and Clearwater - is based in a new office, warehouse and large showroom complex (pictured) in Dartford, Kent and has offices in several other countries around the World.

New Valarte makes classic current

* Valarte-MAIN-IMAGE.jpgVitrA has announced details of a new bathroom range joining its Signature Collection during March. A perfect complement to the contemporary designs associated with VitrA, Valarte introduces the popular Shaker design which combines simplicity with fine craftsmanship and functionality.

Valarte is a modern take on a proven classic style that can be used in a traditional or a modern interior. The design, produced by VitrA's in-house team, takes its inspiration from Shaker and is available in three soft, nostalgic and on-trend shades with circular metal ring handles.

BMA names new CEO

* BMA-CEO.jpgThe Bathroom Manufacturers Association has announced that Tom Reynolds will take on the role of CEO when Yvonne Orgill steps down at the end of 2019. Tom takes on the role of CEO designate from 7th May.

He is currently commercial & public affairs director at the British Ceramic Confederation, where he leads on trade and employment policy as well as political engagement.

Farnborough's first Homebuilding & Renovating Show smashes expectations

* Farnborough-Homebuilding.jpgThe potential concerns surrounding Brexit and the property market were debunked at the first South East Homebuilding & Renovating Show 2019, which defied expectations despite the stuttering UK climate by attracting 50% more visitors than anticipated.

The event, which took place for the first time towards the end of January at Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre, welcomed over 9,700 visitors across the two days, with an average project spend of £154,834 per person.

Wilsonart launches #wilsonartquestionhour

* WilsonartQuestionHour.jpgWilsonart has launched a question and answer hour on twitter. #wilsonartquestionhour is an open invitation to customers, retailers, installers, housebuilders and anyone using any of the Wilsonart worksurfaces and splashbacks.

Masterclass Kitchens bids farewell to longstanding area sales manager Steve Hansford

* Masterclass-farewell.jpgKitchen manufacturer Masterclass Kitchens bids farewell to longstanding area sales manager Steve Hansford who's retired after 14 years in the business.

Steve has been an integral part in the growth of the Masterclass business with his contribution and service to the brand, resulting in his area having the largest turnover at the point of his retirement.

Schmidt makes the impossible possible

* Schmidt-Kenton-Cool-eating.jpgSchmidt proudly presents the 'Vertical Home', a new concept that illustrates how nothing is too much trouble when it comes to challenges for ultra-personalised home living projects!

To show its commitment to customers, no matter how far-fetched their dream, Schmidt set itself an extraordinary challenge: to design a kitchen and wardrobe for an exceptionally demanding customer - the world-renowned mountaineer Kenton Cool. The twist was, Schmidt did not install these at his home in England but on the side of a mountain at an altitude of nearly 2,000 metres. And the company succeeded with no compromises!

Franke launches retailer incentive scheme for hoods

* MAIN-PIC-Franke-Impress-hood.jpgFranke Impress hood in Metallic Grey

Franke has launched its first ever retailer reward and incentives scheme for its hood category and it is in operation now. Retailers can open a direct account with Franke to purchase hoods from its extensive portfolio, while also earning attractive margins.

Upon signing up to the Rewards scheme they then earn £20 for each hood sold - with the first sale doubling up to £40, following registration on Franke's easy-to-use Reward Portal www.frankerewards.co.uk, the dedicated website for the scheme.

New Hotpoint freestanding microwave provides extra cooking space

* New-Hotpoint-microwave.jpgHotpoint has launched a new freestanding microwave oven with grill and crisp plate) that features Flat Bed Technology, which creates more space for the user to cook multiple dishes simultaneously.

The compact microwave has a 20-litre capacity, with the same usable space of a Hotpoint 25-litre capacity microwave.

New 2019 bathroom brochure by MGS is exclusively available from Grange Design

* MGS-brochure.jpgUK-based designer, manufacturer and specialist distributor for the bathroom industry, Grange Design, has introduced the new 2019 Bathroom Brochure by MGS.

Featuring a host of solid stainless steel eco-friendly taps and shower solutions for the contemporary homeowner.

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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

Most KBSA retail members have confidence in supply chains - whatever Brexit brings

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With just weeks left, the clock is ticking on Brexit. The delays and uncertainties have not been good for business, making it difficult to make decisions.

Bertazzoni teams up with EQ Software

Italian kitchen appliance manufacturer, Bertazzoni, has partnered with EQ Software to provide retailers with simple and easy access to its product portfolio. Since launching in the UK in May 2017, Bertazzoni has built a robust network of trusted stockists and distributors to ensure consumers have access to a high calibre of retail partners across the UK.

Bora demonstrates the future of kitchen technology at architect@work

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Showcasing the latest innovations in cooking technology, Bora exhibited at the recent architect@work in London, with live demonstrations of its new cooktops creating a talking point among the show's visitors.

Membership continues to grow for KBSA

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The Kitchen Bathroom & Bedroom Specialists Association has announced that four new members have joined the Association, just weeks after confirming that 2019 began with an influx of 10 new members. The latest members to join include three retail members and one corporate member.

Uform reduces paint-to-order lead times

Kitchen manufacturer and distributor Uform is pleased to announce a reduction in lead times for its Paint-to-Order timber items. This latest development means that Paint-to-Order timber items are now back to a 10- day lead time, which comes as a result of the company's recent £4million investment programme which was completed at the end of 2018.


Winter promotions for Bushboard Evolve: Love to Shop on Every Evolve Surface + Free Evolve Displays

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To celebrate the success of Evolve solid core surfaces, Bushboard is extending its £20 Love to Shop promotion until the end of April 2019.

Benchmarx Kitchens and Joinery website now open for business

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Reaffirming its commitment to helping the trade save time and money, Benchmarx Kitchens and Joinery is the first trade-only supplier of its type to add a transactional function to its website.


Out now: Maurice Lay Distributors' new trade price guide

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Get your copy of the Maurice Lay Distributors' trade price guide for a comprehensive collection of all its latest promotions, product details and pricing.

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