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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
3rd December 2010


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

International News

CRL Shower Door Hardware and Accessories

C R Laurence offers a wide range of shower door hardware and accessories, including the Hydroslide sliding shower door kits. These are available in 90 degree wall-to-glass installations and 180 degree wall-to-wall installations. 

The Hydroslide system accommodates the option of floor to near ceiling glass panels with a sliding door. Bottom fixed glass attachments and handles can be ordered separately.

Chamber Furniture - ingenious, sleek hidden cooking areas

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Chamber Furniture combines the best of traditional cabinetmaking skills with the latest in technology and has achieved this and more in this Figured oak kitchen.

Night Black laminate slate from Faus

Romantic, handsome, intriguing... these are the emotions engendered by one of the latest laminate flooring designs from world leaders Faus - its Night Black Slate.

Croydex taps into the beauty of wood

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Croydex is excited to launch its brand new Kingston range, a stunning collection of bathroom accessories made from natural wood.

Why relaxing in a VitrA bath is also peace of mind

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What do people consider when buying a bath? Shape, size, maybe colour... but not much else. They wouldn't normally ever think about the bath's construction and how that will affect the eventual comfort and pleasure in use.

Freshness packed in

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Extend the life of food and improve the space and efficiency of your freezer with the help of Baumatic's Vacuum Packer from its PremiumLine compact range.

Fabulous fusion worktops and eyecatching ceramics from Mereway Bathrooms

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The brand new Fusion Worktop collection from UK manufacturer Mereway Bathrooms is continuing to lead the way in innovation and design. Inspired by opulence and beauty, the range brings stunning gloss and matt finishes that evoke elegance and timeless appeal.

New Fusion composite worktops boast a high quality construction and are more consistent in colour and texture than granite. Made from a special blend of polyester and acrylic non-porous surface resins, these surfaces are highly durable, heat resistant and extremely hygienic. 

Stuart Turner updates Pump Solutions brochure

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Stuart Turner, thought to be the UK's largest shower pump manufacturer, has updated its successful Pump Solutions brochure to include the latest new products and accessories. Retaining the same crisp, clean and easy-to-read style, the new brochure includes the new Showermate Universal, updated Monsoon Extra Pressure Sets and has a new 'Accessories' page that includes the new Stuart Flange. 

Get the Regency feel from British Ceramic Tile

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Following the success of the recently launched Brighton range of wall tiles from British Ceramic Tile, a selection of new border & feature tiles has also now been released in the same striking colour palette.

New self-builder's/renovator's contract pack could save £ thousands

Self-Build Zone has teamed up with ContractStore.com and construction lawyer Giles Dixon to produce a suite of contract templates specifically for self-builders and renovators for just £49 + VAT.

Painted palette perfection for English Revival

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In-frame has never been so diverse.  With a beautiful palette of painted pastel colours, natural oak and a primed ready to paint option, Mereway Kitchens allows designers to display their creative flair with this spectacular timber product.

Welcome to the


There I was last week mumping on about not having any snow and suddenly the UK finds itself completely covered in the stuff! Pretty as it might look, the downside of our snowy landscape is that it has brought UK plc to a virtual standstill... And the cost to the UK economy is said to be some £1.2billion for each day it continues!

People whinge that the UK needs to get its act together and ensure that roads, airports and rail links are kept functioning at times like this but the news from continental Europe - much of which is used to coping with such weather conditions - is that many of its roads and railway lines are also closed, either because of snow, ice and extremely low temperatures, or thanks to heavy flooding.

Perhaps we're not quite as badly prepared here as we try and make out.

Those of us who work from home face little disruption as long as the utilities suppliers don't let us down - although many industry colleagues I've tried to contact for news etc, clearly haven't made it to their desks.

Other self-employed people from our industry who will be suffering are the tradespeople who either won't be able to get to wherever they're supposed to be working this week, or who cannot continue with their work as they're awaiting the delivery of parts, appliances or entire kitchens, bedrooms or bathrooms.

And of course while everything will eventually be delivered once the transport situation has improved, production of many of these items will have been disrupted due to staff shortages, which means that either there will be delays in supply in the future or the manufacturers will be forced to pay overtime to encourage the workforce to help them meet deadlines!

As weather conditions show no sign of improving and indeed some parts of the UK had another 15 inches of the white stuff dropped on them overnight, employers and employees alike need to be aware of their responsibilities. Some useful information on these, provided by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, is just one of the interesting items in this week's news.



Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Damixa brassware showroom unveiled at Croydex HQ

* damixa-showroom-sml.jpgKnown globally for its superior design and functionality, Danish brassware manufacturer Damixa opens the doors to its spacious new showroom at Croydex's UK headquarters.

The brand new space showcases Damixa's stunning collection of kitchen and bathroom brassware, allowing each collection to shine in its own defined area for maximum impact and visual clarity in the company's 200-square-metres of showroom space. 

Employers need to be flexible during adverse weather conditions, says CIPD

With up to 20cm of additional snow forecast in parts of the UK today and the immediate weather outlook offering little respite, employers across the country are increasingly having to cope with a reduced workforce as staff struggle to get to work. The Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development's (CIPD) employee relations adviser, Mike Emmott, advises employers to be flexible with employees during bouts of adverse weather:

"Employers are entitled not to pay employees if they fail to show up for work, but the CIPD would not recommend that employers take this line. It's important to show empathy with employees - particularly those that normally perform well - as research shows that this flexibility and trust will pay off in the long-term, with employees more motivated and going the extra mile when they are able to get to work.

Carron Phoenix and Westag agree exclusive deal

* Sebastian_Fischer-with-Neil_Clark-sml.jpgRecognising the strong growth opportunities for undermount sinks in solid surface worktops, Carron Phoenix has agreed an exclusive deal with Westag & Getalit AG.  

Westag complements Carron's existing network of distributors and will offer nationwide availability on Carron's complete range of undermount sinks pre-fabricated and supplied in Westag's solid surface module worktops.

KitchenAid's Hero gas on glass hob packs a punch

* Kitchenaid_black_hob_sml.jpgIt is not hard to see why luxury manufacturer KitchenAid's sleek and classy KHGL 9010 model is the hero product of the company's prolific range of professionally-styled gas hobs.

The 90 cm KHGL 9010 gas hob packs a formidable punch with five powerful burners that include a central triple-crown wok burner boasting a powerful 4kW.

Marks & Spencer supplier Yonga is first non-EU FISP member

The Furniture Industry Research Association has announced that Turkish furniture manufacturer, Yonga Mobilya, is the first non-EU based manufacturer to become a full member of The Furniture Industry Sustainability Programme, and the first from the Marks & Spencer supply chain. Full membership was granted in August this year and the membership certificate was presented to Yonga's factory manager, Gokhan Sertdemir, by Lord Hoyle of Warrington at FIRA's recent reception at the House of Lords.

Yonga was founded in 1974 by Turkish guest workers in Germany; today the company, based in Turkey, employs 230 people and is an exclusive supplier to Marks & Spencer.

Franke helps Cambridge Cookery School

* CCS-Franke-sml.jpgThe Cambridge Cookery School has recently opened new premises and - with Franke products in the mix, has created a state-of-the-art facility. 

Franke has provided a range of products - Kubus KBX sink, Peak PKX sink, Eiger SilkSteel and Ticino SilkSteel taps. Franke products have been supplied through retailer Cambridge Kitchens which has worked with the Cambridge Cookery School for over two years; the company has also custom-built the kitchen for the school. 

Greystone welcomes WorldSkills Tiling Squad

* tile-skills.jpgThis month North West Regional College's Greystone Centre has been the venue for the latest round of competition to choose a UK representative in Floor & Wall Tiling for the World Skills Competition in 2011.

Four students from across the UK have been at the Limavady Campus centre to undertake a challenging contest, which will see them one step closer to securing a place on the squad.  Among the contenders is the College's own tiling champion, Ian McMahon, who holds triple gold medals from NI Skillbuild and a bronze medal from the UK-wide competition.

Dear Jan,

I am just writing to inform you that I will be leaving Hettich at the end of December 2010 after a very happy seven years.

My new position at EQ Software (formerly Easyquote), is to head the marketing and supplier development business.

I would like to thank you for all the support for Hettich shown in the last few years and I am leaving a very successful company, firmly established as a leading furniture fittings supplier in the UK.

No doubt I will be in touch some time during January 2011.

Kind regards,

Neil Schofield, Marketing- Products- Training

E: [email protected]

Soapbox: How will the property sector fare over the coming months?

Matrix's real estate research team shares its predictions for the future of the UK property market, which in turn will influence the KBB industry

Everyone is in agreement that the next year is going to be tough for the UK economy; but how will the property sector fare?

In theory, low interest rates should help, and on a relative basis, property looks an attractive asset class. However, until confidence returns and there is evidence of widespread rental growth, valuations are unlikely to move anywhere quickly.

Laminate flooring firm sentenced over worker's injuries

* injured-hand.jpgA laminate flooring firm has been sentenced after a worker at its Merseyside factory suffered severe injuries to his left hand.

Christopher Sillitoe now has difficulty dressing himself and using a knife and fork, after his hand came into contact with a large circular saw at Universal Mouldings' site in Aintree in 2009.

Nine-month figures for 2010: Grohe reports strong growth

In the first nine months of 2010, Grohe has posted further strong growth in terms of both sales and earnings.

At the end of Q3, consolidated sales were up 20% on the prior-year figure at EUR 726 million. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation increased 37% to EUR 144 million and this margin remained unchanged against the first-half figure at 20%.

The KBzine Archive Search

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News in Brief

Interior design company Keech Green, has appointed Bathrooms International as the exclusive bathroom retailer, selector and supplier for its products. E: [email protected]

Tile Depot has introduced a selection of designer products from the Laura Ashley Home collection. E: [email protected]

As Atag's new UK Product Manager, Neil Joubert, who has worked in the international marketplace for five years, will provide customers with technical and logistics support. T: 0208 247 3993

Sabaf, Italian manufacturer of components for domestic appliances, has been awarded  'Creators of value - Metal and mechanical and general use machinery sector', by China  Awards 2010. T:  +39 030 6843001

Upofloor has been awarded the right to use the Blue Angel Eco-Label, highly regarded by the building industry, for four of its LifeLine flooring products. E: [email protected]

Register now for your free ticket to Ecobuild which takes place at London's ExCeL from 1st through 3rd March 2011. E: [email protected]


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

An Industry to be Proud of!

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BCG's 'Big Challenge', which was launched to the press in June and has run alongside the organisation of this year's Big Tour will, if completed, directly help over 650 children living and benefiting from Action for Children projects here in the UK.

LDL launches new 2011 catalogue


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LDL Components, the nationwide distributor of quality fittings for the furniture industry, has introduced a glossy new brochure for 2011. Split into six clear sections, the 272 page catalogue details the entire stock range which now exceeds 3,500 products. There are significant new innovations in each section, all imaginatively presented in attractive lifestyle photography with product features and benefits clearly highlighted.  

UK's first conference on Retrofit sees unveiling of University of Salford's Energy House

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On 26th and 27th January 2011, the University of Salford will be holding the UK's first conference on the challenge of how to sustainably retrofit existing housing stock. The event will also feature the unveiling of the world's first Energy House.

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