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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
1st March 2019


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

International News

New Infinity: a design to suit bathrooms of any size or shape

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New from Crosswater, the Infinity enclosure collection is designed to offer the ultimate in-shower experience for everyday use. Available in a choice of enclosure styles including quadrant, pivot door, single slider and walk-in, the collection is designed for installation in bathrooms of any size or shape.

As with all of Crosswater's products, quality and long-lasting durability come as standard across the range of Infinity shower enclosures. Surrounded by a contemporary polished stainless steel frame, 8mm toughened glass offers a superior power shower-proof surface that will withstand the daily wear-and-tear of multi-person use.

Introducing K├Ângistone: Feel at home

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Taking its name from the German word for 'king', Königstone was created in 2005 with the aim of providing quartz products of the highest quality for use as surfaces in kitchens and bathrooms.

New space saving cooling from Amica

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Perfect for a kitchen where space is short or as a replacement for an older appliance, Amica's new FC2093 larder fridge is just 55cm wide compared to the usual 60cm. There is a strong replacement market for 55cm fridges for both consumers looking for extra storage and this size is also popular in social housing.

The fridge is 1235mm high so there's an impressive 204 litres of cooled storage space - perfect for fresh foods. It has four shelves, a roomy salad crisper, four spacious door balconies and has an A+ energy rating.

Practical, adaptable Evolve - top choice for Nest Kitchens' community project

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Good habits start young - which is why top-rated Bramhope primary school in Bramhope, Leeds, is introducing hands-on cooking lessons for its pupils. When the company heard of the project, Harrogate-based Nest Kitchens, which specialises in bespoke furniture, decided it would like to be involved.

Unidrain: an exact fit for Copenhagen's Luxury Hotel Herman K

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Unidrain's HighLine drain and Reframe Collection of bathroom accessories were selected for all the Ahead Award-winning Hotel Herman K's designer bathrooms.

45-litre cooling perfect second-tier option for retailers

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A small 45-litre refrigerator makes the ideal second-tier cooling option for retailers interested in this growing segment of the appliance market according to Canada's Danby Appliances.

The brand which launched with Exertis late last year is now unveiling a retro-inspired compact countertop refrigerator as it's second product for the UK and European markets.

Bushboard invests in award-winning Nuance

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Striking, 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.

New Valarte makes classic current

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VitrA 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.

Schmidt makes the impossible possible

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Schmidt 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!

Franke launches retailer incentive scheme for hoods

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Franke 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.

New Hotpoint freestanding microwave provides extra cooking space

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Hotpoint 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.

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.

Welcome to the



I was reminded by a comment on Facebook by the Domestic Cleaning Alliance's Stephen Munton, about a range of Electrolux vacuum cleaners which - when I wrote about them in KBzine in 2010 - I'd hoped would soon become widely available. As well as their striking appearance, what made them extra special was the fact that they'd been manufactured from waste plastics collected from the ocean... something useful being made from something bad... Stephen mentioned that back in the late 1990s, Dyson made the 'DC02 Recyclone' cylinder vacuum cleaner out of waste plastic from the factory. The intention was to eventually collect and recycle worn-out Dyson cleaners from customers, so as to continue making the Recyclone, but, sadly, this was never followed through.

What got both Stephen and me reminiscing was a video I'd posted (www.facebook.com) of a boat which is sailing 500km along the coast of Kenya to raise awareness of plastic pollution. Called the Flipflopi, it's made from 10 tons of waste collected on the Kenyan coastline, including 30,000 recycled flip-flops to make the hull and decking! The boat is mooring up to visit schools along the way so those on board can share their views with teachers and pupils on the problems created by plastics and provide insights into repurposing the waste they create.


The expedition has already inspired the city of Mombasa to close down a mismanaged dumpsite and get 22 major hotels to ban single-use plastic bottles and straws, so it's doing well.

Kenya introduced the world's toughest plastic bag ban in 2017, decreeing that those producing, selling or using plastic bags could be imprisoned for four years or faced with a fine of up to $40,000. I wonder what delights could be produced from waste plastics if these penalties were to be applied to anyone discarding plastic of any sort? After all, if Electrolux and Dyson can make covetable appliances from waste plastics, why can't everyone else?

Now... flip-flop boat to take me exploring the seas or a colourful vacuum cleaner to help me with the housework... it's really a no-brainer, isn't it?


Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

KBSA says rise in induction hobs is changing dominance of gas in the kitchen

* KBSA-induction-hobs.jpgThe Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association responded to the Committee on Climate Change's 'UK housing: Fit for the future?' report - published last week, by reporting that gas is losing its dominance in the kitchen in favour of induction for cooking.

KBSA former retail chair and showroom owner Tina Riley says: "We have not sold a gas cooker for almost 10 years now; built in electric ovens and induction hobs are by far the most popular choices. Gas hobs are now very rare, unless customers are opting for a range cooker, when they are most likely to opt for electric ovens and gas hobs.

IDS recruits Jason Neve as new national business development manager for Worktops

* IDS_Jason.jpgIDS has hired Jason Neve as its new national business development manager for Worktops. Jason will be responsible for bringing new business to IDS and working with existing IDS customers nationwide to maximise their potential and increase sales.

Jason comes with 32 years of experience in the KBB industry, having begun work as a kitchen designer with Magnet before moving into distribution, working for George E Grey, Chambers International Products, Wilsonart and later Montague Meyer. He also ran a solid surface fabrication business called Universal Solid Surface. For the past 14 years, Jason held the role of key account manager at Bushboard.

Record-breaking year in 2018 for LDL

* Record-breaking_LDL.jpgLDL Components enjoyed a record-breaking year in 2018, the company reports. Following the management buyout announced in April 2018, LDL has significantly expanded its workforce by the addition of new employees across a variety of roles.

Wren Kitchens joins Britain's best manufacturers

* Wren-Kitchens.jpgWren Kitchens has been awarded the Made In Britain marque in recognition of its commitment to manufacturing excellence. Wren manufactures all its high-quality kitchens at three state-of-the-art factories in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, using the latest production technologies.

Around 2,000 kitchens a week are delivered fully built, including all doors, drawers, wirework and baskets, and Wren has supplied kitchens worth over £1 billion in the last three years.

XSquare bathroom furniture range secures Duravit the iF Design Award 2019

* XSquare.jpgDuravit was among the winners at this year's iF Design Award; for the XSquare bathroom furniture series, created by Duravit in conjunction with the designer Kurt Merki Jr.

The XSquare furniture range is both impressive and striking, with contemporary, elegant style. The quadrant-shaped chrome profile which edges the furniture emphasises its characteristic design. On the floor-standing model, the transition from the body of the furniture to the base is absolutely seamless.

Neighborly acquires Dream Doors

* Neighborly-Dream-Doors.jpgNeighborly, the world's largest franchisor of home service brands, has announced the acquisition of Dream Doors, the UK's No. 1 kitchen makeover franchisor. The addition marks the first acquisition of 2019 and brings Neighborly to a total of 22 service brands, nearly 3,700 franchise owners and more than 850 colleagues across nine countries.

The deal includes 91 locally-owned and operated franchise showrooms of Dream Doors across the UK, specialising in fully-fitted kitchen makeovers, replacement doors and countertops and the installation of new appliances. As a result, Neighbourly UK now consists of a total of six brands, including Aire Serv, Bright & Beautiful, Countrywide Grounds Maintenance, Drain Doctor, Mr. Electric and Dream Doors, and three support offices in Banbury, Manchester

Industrial design on tap with new Hex range

* ABODE-Hex.jpgAbode is often at the forefront of the latest kitchen trends and tapping into the burgeoning trend for industrial elements in kitchen design, Abode has launched Hex.

New members for KBSA

* New-KBSA.jpgThe Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association is continuing its drive to increase membership during 2019, with the announcement that three more members have joined the Association. The latest additions include one retail member and two corporate members.

The retail member is Signature Kitchen Designs, which has two showrooms in Petersfield and Grayshott, Hampshire.

Nuance now on ArtiCad

* MAIN-PIC-Chalkwood-Nuance.jpgThe complete range of Bushboard Nuance waterproof bathroom panels is now available on the ArtiCAD design system. Designers will be able to show Nuance panels in 'real life' settings - and the picture can be changed in seconds so that customers can see alternatives.

"We are delighted that the Nuance range is now available on ArtiCAD," comments Paul Findlay, product sales manager for Nuance. "The ArtiCAD system means that consumers and specifiers can get a clear view of how the panels will look in any bathroom - and allows retailers to present different options for those who have problems making a buying decision."

Smeg UK announces super Spring offer for its retailers

* Smeg-Spring-offer.jpgCoinciding with the key buying time for kitchens, Smeg will be introducing an incredible new offer exclusive to its retailers this Spring. From 1st March until 30th April 2019, Smeg stockists will be able to offer a free slow juicer for every Victoria range cooker purchased.

This lovely upselling tool will be available with the brand's most in-demand sizes, from 90cm, 100cm and 110cm.

Swan celebrates successful 2018

* Swan-celebrates.jpgSwan Products has annouced another great year in terms of sales, business growth and development, with contributing factors including the continued collaboration with the popular presenter, DJ, cook book author and designer, Fearne Cotton.

Established in 2017, named aptly as the Fearne by Swan range, Swan Products produced a collection of colourful kitchenware and cookware items available in four on-trend pastel colours. In 2018, the range extended with the arrival of the Fearne by Swan Housewares collection.

Franke launches redesigned brochure for 2019

* Franke-Master-Brochure.jpgFranke UK has launched its 2019 Master Brochure showcasing a revamped format, making for easier navigation of its comprehensive, premium quality portfolio of products including sinks, taps, instant boiling water taps, waste disposal units and sorter bins.

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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

Bathroom Brands to join BMA

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The Bathroom Manufacturers Association, has announced that Bathroom Brands is the latest company to join the Association.

Farnborough's first Homebuilding & Renovating Show smashes expectations

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The 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.

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.


Wilsonart launches #wilsonartquestionhour

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Wilsonart 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.

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.


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

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UK-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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