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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
30th March 2020


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

International News

A S Helsingö launches Bagel Mini and Novel Mini handles

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A S Helsingö has launched two new handle models - the Bagel Mini and Novel Mini. These knobs are new members of the existing Bagel and Novel handle series but are more petite in size and pair perfectly with both smaller furniture and kitchens.

VitrA launches the Voyage collection by award-winning designer Arik Levy

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Leading bathroom brand VitrA introduces the Voyage collection, a collaboration with the award-winning multi-disciplinary artist and designer Arik Levy.

Inspired by his time living and working in Japan, Arik Levy worked closely with VitrA's in-house design team to create a bathroom collection that allows both mind and body to relax.

Match made in heaven with Caple's new WMI4000 washing machine

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Caple's new WMI4000 washing machine has been designed to complement Caple's new TDI4000 tumble dryer for a match made in heaven in laundry.

This appliance is incredibly energy efficient with an A+++ energy rating with an A for wash class and spin efficiency, too.

PJH signs distribution deal with Elica Appliances

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PJH 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.

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

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

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.

Welcome to the


In my last Leader I encouraged you to attend KBB Birmingham, saying it would be a shame to miss it as the next Show was two years away. At that stage I expected my flu-like symptoms to clear up but sadly it wasn’t to be… I have no idea whether I’ve had mild Coronavirus or severe flu; either way, please accept my apologies for being unable to broadcast KBzine since then - but what with the aches, pains & brain-fog it was probably better that I stayed tucked up in bed. I really do hope that you and your loved ones are managing to stay safe and that you have plenty of everything you need.

The Show’s organisers say that not only was there an “exceptionally strong” turnout, but that a record number of visitors attended on two of the four days.

Richard Hibbert, KBSA national chair, was impressed that in contrast to some European shows where many of the exhibits are prototypes or inspirational, “there were lots of things that could be taken back to showrooms and implemented straightaway," he says. Well… after lockdown finishes, anyway…

Sustainability’s always been dear to my heart and I like that KBB Birmingham and The Used Kitchen Company (TUKC) launched a partnership to help exhibitors sell their displays. I do hope this is still up and running for KBB 2022, since I’m still sporting the Gumtree kitchen I had when I started editing KBzine well over a decade ago!

I also missed hearing the winners of the Blum-sponsored 2020 Innovation Awards announced, and seeing the 10 finalists’ entries displayed and admired for their forward-thinking and technically advanced design. Congratulations to Natufia Lab, crowned People's Choice Award winner for the world's first fully integrated and automated hydroponic kitchen garden, which maintains light, pH, temperature and water levels in addition to optimising minerals, nutrients and vitamins for non-GMO certified plants. It brings nature into the home and allows people to conveniently manage their own produce from the comfort of their kitchen. Mmmmm… Perhaps when I have my new kitchen…

Congratulations too, to Wirquin for its Neo Zero Leak Trap, which scooped the Judge's Finalist prize for its cost-effective and space saving zero-leak traps for basins or sinks, which incorporate washers that are over-moulded onto the body to ensure complete protection against leaks, while preventing odours and noises.

If you were particularly inspired by anything at the Show, please do let me know, so I can look into it, won’t you?


Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

BMA postpones this year's Industry Conference

* BMA-postpones-conference.jpgIn light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Bathroom Manufacturers Association has postponed its Industry Conference - due to take place in October - until 7th & 8th June 2021.

Karonia introduces The Unique Collection

* RIVER-ROCK-Karonia.jpgMarking 10 years since the launch of the innovative Mistral range of 25mm solid surface worktops, solid surface specialist Karonia’s KBB2020 preview of The Unique Collection - a series of marble-inspired worksurfaces – has attracted a lot of interest and some excellent feedback.

BMA CEO's expresses anger at faux outrage directed at industry

* BMA-CEO.jpgBathroom Manufacturers Association CEO Tom Reynolds has spoken out against faux criticism towards manufacturers and tradespeople.

While lots of businesses have shut their doors due to Covid-19 restrictions, many construction projects and manufacturers' operations have continued up to now. Several businesses have reported a backlash on social media as a result.

Ripples teams up with Sam Lander to offer a collection like no other!

* Red-Yellow-Blue-Bauhaus-Basin.jpgRipples has teamed up with Sam Lander on a collection of hand-crafted basins and each one is unique.

Theseimpressive basins are produced in Sam's workshop in Derbyshire. Sam has mastered the art of producing these artistic patterns using a completely different technique from the usual basin manufacturing processes.

Exclusive: Verona offers advice to help companies adapt during the current crisis

* Exclusive-Verona_advice.jpgIt has been a turbulent few weeks, as the kitchen and bathroom industry and the whole of the UK goes through an unprecedented time. Businesses are switching strategies, and adapting to the new climate as seamlessly as they can.

Adrian Hinchliffe, managing director of Verona, the UK's largest distributor of tiles, comments on the crisis the industry is currently facing: "We have been through tough times before, but this crisis brings with it a whole new challenge. As a business, our number one priority is to safeguard our employees and customers by following Government guidelines.

NEW Smart shower products catapault Aqualisa out to the front of the smart shower market

* Aq-MAIN-QuartzClassic-remote.jpgThe recent launch of the new Aqualisa Smart Quartz Collection of showers shows that Aqualisa is firmly in the driving seat for innovative shower technology in the UK.

The bathroom and wet room are fast becoming an integral part of today's smart home, with intelligent technology that not only makes possible exceptional control and ease of use, but also is unrivalled for reliability and easy installation.

Bathroom Brands Group announces appointment of Stephen Ewer as CEO

* Stephen-Ewer.jpgBathroom Brands Group has appointed Stephen Ewer as CEO. Stephen joins from Ideal Standard where he has a track record for developing and growing the business in the UK and Internationally.

With significant improvements in service, a well-developed supply chain and logistics, the Group is well placed to move forward as we exit the lockdown period and intends to develop the business based on strong brands, new products and bringing innovation to the market.

BC Designs relaunches the Magnus bath

* MAIN-PIC-Magnus.jpgThe latest statement bath from BC Designs, the Magnus bath, embodies an original design based on timeless and traditional fireclay models.

Brought into the 21st Century by a powerhouse of bath design and manufacturing, the Magnus bath has undergone a refresh, with a much thinner rim to provide a deep and spacious bathing area to consumers.

VitrA publishes third Design Update: The Water Issue

VitrA-Design-Update-3.jpgVitrA has published its third Design Update, this time the focus is water. Arguably the most important element in bathroom design, VitrA delves into the debate on modern day water consumption, water consciousness and how our relationship with water is changing.

News in Brief

The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation has published an article that provides greater insight into the Government's new Self Employed Income Support Scheme. As well as looking into the scheme, it provides answers to some of the most popular questions raised by members www.bikbbi.org.uk Like many of us now working from home, the team is contactable by email only. For addresses see: www.bikbbi.org.uk

The Bathroom Manufacturers Association has unveiled its new interactive website; optimised to work across multiple devices including smartphones and tablets, with improved navigation. www.bathroom-association.org.uk

The Kitchen Bathroom & Bedroom Specialists Association has issued a package of support to help members deal with the COVID-19 crisis. This includes an emergency advice line for expert HR and health & safety support from business partner Croner and a 'Buddy System' to offer support and advice to retailers. "We can provide our members with direct and easy access to all the advice and tools available to help them keep their businesses running," says KBSA national chair Richard Hibbert. "Our new Buddy System offers more than just business support, it gives members an opportunity to talk and share their concerns; it lets them know that they are not alone." T: 01623 818808 / www.kbsa.org.uk

Simon Acres Group has launched a free service to help source and introduce temporary staff for merchant and KBB businesses that are losing key workers due to self- isolation etc. T:0203 701 6660.

Grand Designs Live, due to run from 2nd - 10th May 2020 in London, has now been rescheduled to take place from 22nd August 2020 - 31st August 2020 at London's ExCeL. www.granddesignslive.com

Vogue (UK)'s remote sales office can be contacted via 'phone and email. Warehouse staff are working to fulfil outstanding orders for the company's premium designer radiators and towel warmers, albeit with a slower lead time, and new orders are being taken. 01902 387 000 / [email protected] / www.vogueuk.co.uk

Edwins is temporarily closing its showrooms and trade counters, from 17:00 today (Friday 27th). Staff will be able to quote, answer queries and progress orders. Some suppliers have agreed to facilitate direct courier deliveries for important/essential items. T: 0207 221 3550
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The KBzine Archive Search

We keep an extensive archive of news stories and product information that have featured in past issues of The KBzine. If you would like to run a search of the The KBzine web site using the search tool below please just go ahead by entering in the name of the person, product or company or any other key words that you are looking for.

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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

FTA asks businesses to cease commercial driver toilet ban

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In response to reports from Freight Transport Association’s members that commercial drivers are being refused entry to businesses toilet facilities due to COVID-19 concerns, Sally Gilson, head of skills policy at FTA, comments:

BMA cautiously optimistic for Boris Bounce

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Bathroom 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.

And they keep on coming!

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

Pland debuts on Radio 4'S Today Programme

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UK 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.

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.

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