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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
11th February 2020


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

International News

VitrA launches Smart Panel flush plate

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The VitrA Smart Panel flush plate uses the latest digital sensor technology to create the most hygienic and efficient WC flush available.

Steel Cucine: The appliance of design - with knobs on

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For consumers and retailers looking for innovative designs that extend planning flexibility, the Enfasi Design40 All Black range, from Italian appliance manufacturer Steel Cucine, has it all, with knobs on.

Verona introduces its revamped product catalogue

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Tile distributor Verona will be launching its newly revamped trade catalogue to customers this month. Featuring the company's hugely popular product portfolio, the catalogue has been redesigned to ensure it is simpler for customers to navigate and thus identify ranges for selection.

New year, new colour scheme: Vasco to launch six new on-trend colours for 2020

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Vasco is introducing six new 'Noble' colours across all its designer radiator collections.

Enhancing an already impressive palette, the new 'Noble' colours introduce three metallic shades in bronze, gold & silver, the warm tone of curry provides interest & depth, whilst pearl beige and pink add light, providing the finishing touches for a modern interior be it in the home or office.

HiB launches design-led Accessories range

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HiB has announced the launch of its elegant new Accessories range, designed to complement its existing portfolio of mirrors, cabinets, furniture, lighting and ventilation.

Including a comprehensive selection of bathroom essentials, the Accessories range typifies the innovative approach for which HiB is known.

Transform the kitchen in as little as one day: Have breakfast in your old kitchen and dinner in a new one!

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Ready for a new kitchen in a day? There is a new Trend developing and all you need to know is at granitetransformations.co.uk - Don't start over; makeover. That is the message from Granite & Trend Transformations, with showrooms all over the UK, which means you can transform your kitchen in just one day.

Bold as brass with Caple's new Frampton tap

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Caple's Frampton model now comes in a beautiful new finish, antique brass, for an elegant style statement in the wet zone. Durability is still key for this design as the tap has been designed in solid stainless steel, however the muted tone of brass makes this the perfect choice for a classic in-frame or painted kitchen.

Black to the Future

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A black grid hinged door with 10mm glass thickness is the newest addition to Roman’s Liberty Black Grid collection. The door, which features a silicone free matt black wall profile and the ceramic printed glass, replicates the on-trend black grid latticed style which encapsulates industrial chic with an elegant twist.

Introducing Jet: a collection of the deepest black ceramic for dramatic intensity

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Aptly named after the precious gemstone found along the Great British, North Yorkshire coastline, the new capsule Burlington Jet collection encapsulates the deepest blackness and high gloss qualities of the Whitby Jet Stone.

Lighten up the kitchen with Königstone's Concrete Sand

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For homeowners looking for a natural-looking engineered stone, then Königstone's KönigQuartz worktop is the ideal material; the new neutral colour, Concrete Sand, perfectly complements all schemes.

The light tones of the worktop will contrast with dark cabinetry to lighten a kitchen scheme or will blend seamlessly with muted coloured doors and drawers.

'Go Figure' with Fog by Aestus

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Aestus celebrates the graphic beauty of Fog: a highly-expressive heating design, made available in either a contemporary Matt Black or Matt White finish.

"Confirming once again that 'expressive shapes and creative forms' will become a key ingredient for next-generation heating solutions in 2020, Fog is a textbook choice for the modern homeowner wanting to create a statement piece in the modern bathroom," says Steve Birch, sales director, Aestus.

The 2020 interior design trend is Timber-tastic, says German brand Schuller

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German brand Schüller says timber will be high on the must have list for 2020 designs. 

'We can expect raw appeal with refined surface,' it says. 'Think natural wild oak and black flamed effect, all with high quality and low maintenance.

Welcome to the


Good news then, for KBB industry manufacturers launching products that incorporate Smart technology, if the results of a survey released today are anything to go by…

Most of us in this industry are aware of how home products can transform the way in which we live, by providing us with increased control and convenience when dealing with various aspects of our homes. In recent years, we’ve become used to the idea of using Wi-Fi and our smartphones, tablets and computers to control such things as temperature and lighting, to view security CCTV footage and to connect with our appliances – perhaps switching on the washing machine so it’s ready to unload when we’re available, or the oven so that as we arrive home we’re greeted by the aroma of a cooked meal that we prepared before we left. But just like everything, these ideas can take a while to be widely accepted.

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www.sellhousefast.uk surveyed 1,462 UK households to discover the Smart home products they intend to own in 2020. A thermostat (71%) came top with a doorbell following closely at 66%. Perhaps unsurprisingly with the lack of ‘bobbies’ on patrol, the increasing crime rates have fueled some aspirations on the home security front, with 60% expressing a strong desire to install cameras and 57% aiming to have locks.

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Interestingly, 44% anticipate purchasing a smart coffee maker this Spring. This reminded me of the popularity of the Goblin Teasmade. I never saw one but I’m assuming that these could also now be operated using Smart technology. News that the oven/hob is the least likely Smart appliance people intend to buy, with only 17% wanting the appliance in their kitchen this year, is not so good though.

The advice/recommendations results are worth taking into account too, with 48% saying they use an online search engine such as Google and 43% opting to contact a Smart home technology manufacturer direct. Worth then, working on getting great Google reviews and ensuring your customer services people are well trained, knowledgeable and highly personable!


Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

KBB: Bushboard returns for 2020 (Stand G95)

* New-Options-Bushboard.jpgBushboard, the UK's leading producer of laminate worksurfaces and waterproof bathroom panels, is exhibiting at KBB Birmingham 1st - 4th March, 2020.

BMA cautiously optimistic for Boris Bounce

* BMA-new.jpgBathroom Manufacturers Association CEO Tom Reynolds has welcomed the 11 months of certainty on trading terms and regulation that began on 1st February, as the UK finally left Europe, but is cautiously optimistic about the longterm outlook.

“We have seen a boost for business with the arrival of a government with a clear majority and the ending of years of uncertainty over Brexit, however what lies ahead will not be without risk,” he says.

New managing director for Abode as Darren Holliday resumes his studies

* Abode-Matthew-Pitt.jpgDarren Holliday, managing director of sinks and taps specialist, Abode, is to step down from his role, after 18 years at the helm. Darren, who founded the company in 2002, will be moving on to new challenges, including a Master's Degree at Leeds University.

Matthew Pitt, currently operations director, will take up the managing director role from 1st March. Matthew has been with the company for over 10 years, and has been instrumental in the growth of the business and its systems development. The existing management team will remain in place, ensuring a seamless takeover, at what is a busy time for the manufacturer as it launches a raft of new and exciting innovations at KBB Birmingham.

Königstone makes debut at KBB 2020 (Stand N123)

* KonigSink-Dakota.jpgKBB 2020 is Königstone’s trade show debut and this will certainly be a welcome opportunity for the inspirational team to showcase the high quality, elegant Quartz kitchen surfaces and the innovative new Königsink.

How to make your bathroom an eco-friendly zone

* Zypho-Andre-Fonseca.jpgBy André Fonseca, Zypho

"As consumers and homeowners we very aware of environmental concerns, particularly in relation to plastics and energy usage. However, we need to address environmental concerns on many fronts. There is overuse of everything, from water to fossil fuels, from packaging to fashion items and action is needed to tackle all of this.

Fortunately, all this attention is changing buying habits. According to a recent survey from Accenture, over 80% of people felt it was "important or extremely important" for companies to design environmentally-conscious products.

And they keep on coming!

* Showerwall_Steph-Harris.jpgTwo more companies have just joined The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation as Corporate Sponsors: Showerwall and French company, Dassault Systèmes.

Says Steph Harris (pictured, left), product manager for Showerwall: "As a brand we're committed to quality and professionalism and this is reflected across the depth and breadth of our product range and at every step of the customer journey.

Pland debuts on Radio 4'S Today Programme

* Pland-debut.jpgUK manufacturer, Pland Stainless, made its debut on the Radio 4 Today programme this week, when Nick Robinson visited Pland’s Leeds manufacturing site with the producer of the Today Programme.

The Radio 4 team was visiting Leeds on the final day that Britain was part of the European Union. Leeds was chosen as it was a marginal northern seat in the 2016 referendum. The programme-makers wanted to visit Pland Stainless - as a UK manufacturer, largely supplying UK customers - to ask the views of managing director Steve Duree on the future for his business following independence.

BLANCO set to shine at KBB 2020

* BLANCO-smart-tap-collection.jpgKBB 2020, Stand i100, Hall 17, NEC, 1-4 March

Pictured clockwise; BLANCO's smart tap portfolio, the TAMPERA Hot tap, the EVOL-S Volume Measurement tap and the ETAGON sink in SILGRANIT

PJH signs distribution deal with Elica Appliances

* PJH-Elica.jpgPJH has agreed a distribution deal with Italian appliance brand, Elica. The new partnership, commencing 1st March, will see a comprehensive range of premium Elica cooker hoods, including downdraft, island, integrated and wall mounted, being added to PJH's branded appliance offering.

Design-driven and renowned for its innovative and high-performance products, the new Elica range now available from PJH, includes a choice of 'good, better and best' lines available at highly competitive prices.

Industry bodies call on IFATE to provide comprehensive logistics apprenticeships

* IFATE.jpgCurrent estimates have identified a shortage of more than 59,000 HGV drivers nationwide - and with EU workers currently representing 13% of the overall UK logistics workforce, industry bodies feel that the shortfall is ‘critical’.

They are now urging the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IFATE) to provide the apprenticeship standards that businesses need to start training the next generation of drivers, if we are to keep the UK's commerce and industry flowing.

Wilsonart smashes 2019's 10K Alzheimer's Society fundraising target

* Wilsonart-Fundraising-2019.jpgWilsonart staff and management have surpassed the £10,000 charity fundraising goal for 2019. Launched in February 2019, the fundraiser saw the team at Wilsonart pledge to raise £10,000 for Alzheimer's Society, a charity very close to two of the staff: John Goldsborough and Kevin Allen.

New regional sales manager gets on board to support growth

* Virtual-Charles-Appleton.jpgInnovation-led technology company Virtual Worlds has welcomed a new regional sales manager into its fold, with the appointment of Charles Appleton.

Covering North London and the Home Counties, Charles will soon become a familiar face among independent kitchen and bathroom companies throughout this region, as he offers sales and support for the company's growing customer base.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?

* mirror-mirror.jpgTwo leading lights of British business - both well-known specialists in their field - have formed their own eye-catching partnership.

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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

Sovereign Bathrooms joins KBSA

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The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has welcomed another independent retailer as a member of the association: Sovereign Bathrooms is a premier luxury showroom based in Winchester offering a fully managed, design, supply and installation service.

Duravit offers new RIBA-approved CPD: 'Material Innovation in Bathroom Design'

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Duravit has introduced a new RIBA-approved CPD: 'Material Innovation in Bathroom Design'. It incorporates: an overview of the latest material innovations used within the bathroom; an understanding of the differences and advantages between materials used in bathroom product manufacture, and 'an overview of the quality features of innovative bathroom materials'.

BiKBBI welcomes Victoria Plum Trade as Corporate Sponsor

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The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation has announced that VictoriaPlum.com (Trade) is the latest blue chip brand to become a Corporate Sponsor of the organisation.

The Kitchen Lab measures the power of ArtiVR

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Multi-award-winning Nottingham-based The Kitchen Lab installed ArtiCAD-Pro design software on the day they opened for business two years ago, and followed this up by buying ArtiVR - ArtiCAD's new virtual reality package - on the first day that it was released.

The new year starts with a new home for Saniflo

As one of the most recognisable brands in the plumbing sector, Saniflo has been based in an office block in South Ruislip in South West London for more than 30 years with separate warehousing and showroom facilities in Bedford.


Roxor completes rebrand of Premier Bathrooms to 'nuie'

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The arrival of the aspirational new 'nuie' bathroom brochure from Roxor - which showcases many new products - completes the transition of the Premier Bathroom Collection to the new brand 'nuie'.

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