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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
20th July 2019


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

International News

VitrA extends Scandi-style Sento bathroom furniture

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Aesthetic and minimalist Scandinavian styling has made the Sento range from VitrA a top choice for bathroom buyers looking for modern and versatile design.

The wide range of options within the Sento range has now been extended with the addition of new washbasin units, designed to work with countertop bowls.

BC Designs brings colour to its bath collection

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British bath maker, BC Designs, is launching Colourkast; a collection of eight colourways which will be available across all its Cian baths and basins.

'Go Eco' with new coffee-inspired wood colours by Rotpunkt

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Rotpunkt, award-winning designer and manufacturer of quality German kitchen furniture, has responded to the growing trend for eco-friendly interior design with the launch of two coffee-inspired wood colours:

Spread Mudd right through the house

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A new tiling brand from Building Adhesives, Mudd products gets the job done. No fancy names, no gimmicks - just a range of hard-working products to see you right through the installation. If you're looking for prepping and levelling, then look no further.

Twice as nice with Caple's new double ovens in the Classic collection

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Caple's new double ovens have been carefully curated to match the other new cooking appliances in the Classic collection. Each features an LED display, programmable electronic timer, metal dials, easy-clean enamel interior, tangential cooling fan, removable chrome shelf racks and a light.

Kitchen tap design goes back to black

With matt black taps being one of the hottest trends in kitchen design, creating a sleek, sophisticated and modern impression with this must-have look is now simpler than ever, with Abode adding this popular finish across even more of its ranges.

Classically beautiful and beautifully versatile - new ceramic sinks from Blanco

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Blanco UK's new ceramic sinks collection has been developed to answer the demand for a choice of styles in this timeless material - combined with high-tech manufacturing and quality standards.

The everlasting appeal of ceramic sinks and bowls lies in the natural look and feel. A tactile, deep glaze finish creates a beautiful work space while modern production techniques allow for contemporary shapes with slim rims and small radius designs.

Total Eclipse

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It's been a busy year of product launches for Saniflo. And now, hot on the heels of numerous Kinedo enclosure and shower tray launches, another range, the versatile Eclipse, has been added to the growing portfolio. It joins Kinesmart, Fast 2000 and Kinespace in the rapidly developing line-up of easy to install shower enclosures from Kinedo.

Lights Action Awards!

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It's not often you hear the words "international film awards" and "drains" in the same sentence. However, Unidrain is not your average drain company; in the last year it has won three international film awards for its corporate video!

Unidrain received a Gold REMI at the WorldFest-Houston, the Silver Award at the US International Film and Video Festival, plus a Silver World Medal at the New York Festival Awards, which took place earlier this year.

Bathroom Brands Group's new MyHome collection by Britton: compact yet comprehensive

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Bathroom Brands Group has introduced the MyHome collection by Britton. Designed especially for the UK by British design group Bluefrog Design, the compact yet comprehensive collection of furniture, washbasins, WCs, baths and brassware aims to bring solutions to the space limitations of many UK homes.

InSinkErator introduces new development on hot water tank

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InSinkErator has upgraded its hot water tank to reach a higher temperature for the complete range of steaming hot water taps and combination taps.

The upgraded NeoTank, suitable for use with the InSinkErator 4N1 Touch combination tap, benefits from a 1300W power level to efficiently heat the water in the tank up to 99°C. If a lower temperature is required, the NeoTank features a precise +/- 1°C thermostat.

Welcome to the


An email I received following last week's leader in which I wrote about the loss of personal contact when we shop online rather than in store, brought up another issue I'd not addressed - that of unmanned checkouts.

Nick Wigson, senior inventory coordinator, Hafele UK, wrote: "What a lovely intro. I regularly sell at car boots and get people who spend a lot of time telling me stories; in the back of my mind I think the same as you wrote: that this person might not talk to another soul all day. Also with the loss of smaller retail outlets is the loss of the personal touch and one-to-one attention. The out-of-town shops are large and staffed by young men and women on low salaries who are generally doing all the jobs needed in these types of stores: stocktaking, tidying, taking money etc, so they don't have the time (or inclination) to interact in a meaningful way with individuals. One reason I always go to a manned till is to have a natter with the staff and generally they welcome a bit of a giggle."

I always use manned tills too, but not just because I can chat to staff & help save jobs - I hate being told off by the woman in the machine! So many times I've just left my shopping and gone elsewhere, when there isn't the option of a manned till and I've frozen the hi-tech version. I'm not stupid by any means, but I certainly look it when trying to work out where to put my bags - maybe because I'm left-handed - and when I can put scanned stuff into them! I daresay you'll have done it too (and yes, I know there isn't really anyone in the machine but the loud voice and its tone make me feel as if the idea is to draw everyone's attention to the "unexpected item in the bagging area" in the hope that if one of us is deliberately bagging something we've not scanned, we'll be stopped in our tracks since everyone queuing behind us is now watching us suspiciously).

One store I'd regularly frequent, replaced all its manned checkouts with self-serve versions. I've not shopped there since. While I realise that installing them saves shopkeepers money as they're not forking out for salaries, sick pay, pensions, maternity leave etc, I do wonder whether, in the long run, it turns out to be a false economy...


Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

MemberSafe initiative announced

* MemberSafe.jpgThe British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation today announced its MemberSafe initiative - the first of a number of measures planned to protect installers against financial loss when transacting with other businesses.

MemberSafe includes an early warning system linked to the industry's financial profile, which will alert members to signs that may indicate risk within those businesses they engage. Members will have access to live data in order for them to make an informed choice on future financial transactions.

Secured your place at this year's KBSA Conference, AGM & Awards Dinner yet?

* Secured-KBSA.jpgThis year's highly-anticipated Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association event will feature talks from Lady Michelle Mone and Kevin Keegan OBE, as well as insightful, expert workshops in the morning and a delicious dinner.

"We are thrilled that Baroness Michelle Mone will be our keynote speaker," says Richard Hibbert. "Her success as an entrepreneur and determination to succeed, despite a hard upbringing, are in tune with our theme for 'Staying Ahead'.

The Shower Lab announces internal and external corporate rebrand in line with a new vision

* ShowerLab1.jpgPopular UK shower designer and manufacturer, The Shower Lab, has this week launched a newly modernised brand complete with redesigned logo and website. The entire business rebrand has paved the way towards a more innovative placement amongst the competition.

In line with the company's plans for growth, this new brand is the first step towards a more comprehensive marketing strategy for The Shower Lab, including heightened digital marketing activity, product development and a keen customer service focus.

BMA announces judges for Ageless Bathroom Design competition

* BMA-judges-Ageless.jpgThe Bathroom Manufacturers Association has announced the judging panel for its inaugural Ageless Bathroom Design competition, which was launched last month. The competition is open to any bathroom retailer, architect or designer and the closing date for entries is 30th August.

The four professionals brought together to judge the entries include Kevin Wellman, chief executive officer at Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineering, (CIPHE); Peter Gore, professor of practice (Ageing & Vitality) at Newcastle University Institute for Ageing; Kate Sheehan, director and occupational therapist at the OT Service and Andy Mclean, technical director at BMA.

Linda Barker opens 250th The Bathroom Showroom

* LINDA-BARKER-opens.jpgLinda Barker, star of BBC TV's 'Changing Rooms, ITV's 'I'm a Celebrity. Get me Out of Here!', interior designer and Multipanel brand ambassador, cut the ribbon and officially opened the 250th The Bathroom Showroom at the organisation's new location on the Trinity Trading Estate in Sittingbourne, Kent.

'It's been an honour for me to open The Bathroom Showroom's 250th showroom,' she said. 'I'm so pleased that I could meet the team and show some customers my Multipanel collection in this wonderful showroom.

BMA announces new speakers for 2019 Conference

* Harrop-Thirkel.jpgThe Bathroom Manufacturers Association has announced three new speakers for the 2019 Bathroom & Kitchen Business Conference, which takes place on 8th October at the Carden Park Hotel, Cheshire.

David Harrop and Dan Thirkell (L&R in pic) from specialised research consultancy BRG Enterprise Solutions, will give an overview of the European bathroom market, looking at key trends, segmentations, supply structure and distribution developments.

Verona launches its most extensive ceramic tile collection yet with Definitive

Matlock-Cream.jpgLeading tile distributor, Verona, has launched an extensive, market-leading portfolio of high definition stone-effect ceramic tiles to fill a vital gap in the UK marketplace.

Stylish, versatile and practical, Definitive from Verona has been designed to answer the needs of the retail market offering an exclusive collection of premium white bodied ceramic tiles.

Kudos introduces Original6: UK designed & hand built shower enclosures

* Kudos-Original6.jpgUK Showering solutions manufacturer, Kudos, has introduced Original6, a new range of shower doors and enclosures based on the manufacturer's hugely successful Original Collection design.

As the name implies Original6 doors and enclosures now feature 6mm toughened safety glass throughout and have been increased in height to 1950mm, making them ideally suited for installation on lower level shower trays or directly on to a wet room floor.

Jenny takes on technical writing role at Masterclass

* Jenny-Masterclass.jpgJenny Roberts has joined Masterclass Kitchens as technical author. Working closely with the manufacturer's technical and marketing departments in the production of product guides and technical literature, Jenny joins the company from Hoover Candy.

Bringing a wealth of experience in technical writing to her new role, Jenny will be responsible for creating and editing product guides and other technical product literature, ensuring accuracy and ease of use. This will involve collating the crucial information required by kitchen designers, including prices, descriptions, installation guidelines and other technical data.

It's softer...

* softer.jpgThe last time the industrial look had a moment was in the noughties when exposed extractor pipes, stainless steel worktops and expandable taps were seen in glossy magazines and designer kitchens across the UK and beyond.

Kitchen designer, Kitchens International (KI) says the look is back but this time it is subtler and more nuanced; a nod to industrial kitchens rather than the pastiches in domestic settings we saw during the early years of the last decade.

The Bora principle: the innovation behind the idea

* Bora.jpgThe original Bora cooktop extractor is more effective than conventional extractor hoods - but why? Bora stops cooking vapours and odours from rising in the first place by extracting them from the place they are created.

The concept is based on applied physics and the basic principles of fluid mechanics: the lateral flow is greater than the rising speed of the cooking vapour from pots and pans. From a purely physical perspective, it is therefore easier to directly extract the vapour at the cooktop.

Bertazzoni strengthens refrigeration range with new BI models

* Bertazzoni-BI.jpgBertazzoni has bolstered its refrigeration offering with the addition of new built-in fridge freezer models, hand crafted to the same high-quality specifications as the rest of the brand's offering.

The new A+ rated 90cm and 75cm models offer a total capacity of 355-litres and 456-litres respectively. Both comprise three height-adjustable shelves, two crisper drawers and three storage compartments within the main fridge door.

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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

Duravit support Blueprint for the Future

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Duravit tells us it is delighted to be part of Blueprint for the Future - a three-day event designed to showcase of the work of the brightest, most interesting and challenging architecture students graduating Part II across London and the UK.

BMA introduces new structure and strategy at AGM

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The Bathroom Manufacturers Association held a successful AGM at the Leicester Marriott on 26th June, announcing a number of changes designed to streamline the management of the association and support CEO designate Tom Reynolds as he implements a new three-year strategy.

Bathstore retraining offer helps designers stay in the industry

KBB design software specialist Virtual Worlds is reaching out to former Bathstore designers affected by the collapse of the retail chain, to offer them free training on its interactive 3D and 4D programmes.

Caesarstone UK opens second distribution centre

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Caesarstone UK has opened its second distribution centre in Trafford Park, Manchester. The 20,000sq.ft warehouse will act as a hub, serving customers in the north, cutting delivery times and improving service levels.

Wren Kitchens offers roles to Bathstore employees

Wren Kitchens is offering employment opportunities to staff at Bathstore, which announced that it had gone into administration with 500 jobs at risk.


Grohe launches cashback offer for Sensia Arena shower toilet

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Grohe has launched its latest cashback offer to its customers. The new promotion entitles any consumer who purchases a Grohe Sensia Arena shower toilet through a participating retailer to claim £100 cashback via its online claims form.


New consumer brochure showcases JP Kitchens

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JP Kitchens & Bathrooms has produced a new consumer focused brochure to showcase its Bretton Park and new Town & Country kitchen collections, including new on-trend cabinet handles.

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