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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
25th May 2020


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

International News

VitrA identifies seven bathroom trends for 2020

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Now entering our second month of lockdown, we're having plenty of time to mull over ourhome improvements ideas, ready for when we can finally put our plans into action. With the bathroom being on the hit list for many, VitrA has identified seven emerging trends.

A splash of colour in the bathroom from Not Only White and Hi-Macs

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Designed with hotel bathrooms in mind, the new bathroom accessory collection, Stages, which can be made in a wide range of Hi-Macs colours, is the ideal display for small soap and shampoo bottles and other accoutrements provided by hotel chains.

Karonia introduces The Unique Collection

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Marking 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.

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

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Ripples has teamed up with Sam Lander on a collection of hand-crafted basins and each one is unique.

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

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The 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.

BC Designs relaunches the Magnus bath

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The latest statement bath from BC Designs, the Magnus bath, embodies an original design based on timeless and traditional fireclay models.

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.

Welcome to the


To return to the workplace or not? That is the question… but as one of the lucky ones who’s worked mainly from home for almost two decades, it’s not a dilemma I face. If it was, would I be happy about coming out of furlough or lockdown for work, when I can’t yet get together with my daughter – also self-isolating as vulnerable - or camp overnight at a distant beautyspot? No I wouldn’t. But if I worked for a company whose existence relied upon my presence… one that was struggling because of lockdown limitations, which I might just be able to save, with a little courage and a resigned commitment to the daily commute…? What then? Save my job and potentially endanger my family, or stay put & let down my company…? It’s a toughie, isn’t it?

According to a new survey by online training provider The Skills Network, the majority of people are concerned about returning to work. The survey quotes 56%. I'm surprised it's not higher.

One respondent - a furloughed retail worker for a non-essential business with stores across the country, (KBB-related I wonder?) said: "I'm worried that the business I work for is rushing to reopen. We haven't heard much from management on whether PPE will be provided or if social distancing will be adhered to. On top of this, I'm reliant on public transport to get to and from work. I don't want to go back to a daily routine just yet and even more so when I'm not comfortable mixing with co-workers and customers if there isn't going to be the necessary PPE."

Apparently, people's biggest concerns were: mixing with co-workers (49%), communicating face-to-face (32%), going back to a set routine (30%), commuting (30%), dealing with office politics (13%) and having to look presentable (9%).

Do employees have to return to the workplace? Kathleen Heycock, employment law solicitor at Farrer & Co, says employees are not obliged to work in an unsafe environment and that if an employer hasn't complied with the obligation to protect employees' health & safety, there will come a point when telling people to attend work is unlawful and unreasonable. The Employment Rights Act 1996 provides employees with protection from being dismissed or treated to their detriment as a result of their refusal to return to the workplace.

Interesting times ahead, eh?


Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Winning employee 'hearts & minds' essential for safe return to work, advises Bureau Veritas

* hearts-minds.jpgAs the UK Government unveils new guidelines for making workplaces 'Covid-secure', global health & safety expert Bureau Veritas is advising businesses that their safe return to work depends on their ability to "win the hearts & minds of employees" alongside creating clear policy, systems and processes with regular monitoring. The advice is, of course, useful wherever you may be in the world...

On 11th May, the Government published guidance for employers to help them get their businesses back up and running and workplaces operating safely following almost two months of strict Coronavirus restrictions. The new guidance covers eight workplace settings that are allowed to be open, from outdoor environments and construction sites through to factories and takeaways.

HSE reminder on water systems safety during lockdown

* HSE-water-systems-safety.jpgThe Health & Safety Executive has reminded building occupiers, businesses and other duty holders restarting operations after the shutdown to review their water systems' maintenance arrangements to avoid creating a public health hazard from waterborne bacteria such as legionella.

Water stagnation, poor temperature control and increased levels of contamination may create a hazard in water systems that have been less frequently used than normal (such as dental or outpatient facilities) or where operation has been suspended (such as leisure, sports, swimming and spa pool facilities).

Utopia opens refurbished showroom and resumes manufacturing and deliveries

* Utopia-refit3.jpgUtopia Bathrooms tells us it is delighted to have resumed manufacturing and deliveries and that its spacious showroom - dramatically updated to showcase the new products and colours scheduled for imminent launch - is now open to visitors strictly by appointment only.

Design considerations for a post Covid-19 world

* Grohe-hygiene.jpgIf you’re looking beyond lockdown and pondering how the interiors and design of our homes are going to change as a result of the Coronavirus crisis, then you’ve already probably considered the impact hygiene is going to have on how we interact with everyday items in our home.

Since the beginning of this year, Grohe has already seen unprecedented demand for its infrared touchless taps and ongoing enquiries and sales show this is a trend that is set to stay.

Shower in style: the new 8mm shower enclosure range from Crosswater

* Shower-in-style.jpgCrosswater is introducing a collection of 8mm shower enclosures into its premium bathroom range.

The striking collection encompasses shower screen solutions, fittings and accessories, all designed to give customers the ultimate showering experience.

Undermount sinks - Blanco explains all you need to know

* BLANCO-ETAGON-sink.jpgHere, John Robinson of Blanco UK explains all that the retailer or installer needs to know about undermount sinks…

“When deciding what sink type is best for a design scheme, it's best to start by considering the kitchen style, the worktop material, the profile of the homeowner/s and any constraints which may demand a certain installation method.

Brandt Design launches online 'Design Tool' for its customers

Brandt Design, specialist retailer in the design and installation of residential and commercial lifestyle interiors, bring its showrooms to you with the launch of a new commercial Design Tool.

Specially designed to help the fight against Coronavirus, this new online resource is available to retail and commercial clients, giving its customers the opportunity to 'stay inspired' when face-to-face consultation is absent.

Brandt Design welcomes new project designer

* Brandt.jpgBrandt Design, luxury interior design specialist with showrooms in Stevenage, Hatch End and Hampstead, continues to grow its expert project design team with a new appointment: Dionne O'Brien, project designer, is available at Brandt Design head office & stone fabrication centre in Stevenage, Hertfordshire.

Working across both residential and contract interiors, Dionne offers a diverse skillset with design experience beginning in the education industry, before making a considered move in to kitchens and bathrooms. Adding to her multiform approach to interior design, Dionne has gained many years' experience spanning design and management from her time at KBB specialists Cameo Kitchens, CC Kitchens and Majestic Showers, where she was able to hone her skills and discover her true passion fo

Over the moon with new shower tray

* Over-the-moon.jpgIt's hard to believe that the great and the good of the KBB world was attending the KBB Show at the NEC just a couple of short months ago. Now, of course, the world is a different place and we're looking forward to the time when we can meet our sector colleagues again.

The show, despite what was around the corner, proved to be a great showcase for the kitchens and bathroom sectors including Kinedo, the shower brand of Saniflo.

Choice and flexibility is key for Keller

* MAIN-PIC-Keller.jpgOne of the many benefits of specifying and designing a kitchen from Keller is the vast choice and flexibility within the portfolios.

KBBG launches NHS support initiative

* KBBG-NHS.jpgThe Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group, has launched an initiative called 'Support our NHS'. In appreciation for the amazing work and sacrifice made by the NHS throughout the current crisis, the 'Support our NHS' initiative encourages KBBG members to offer a special 'thank you' discount to NHS workers on any purchase of kitchens, appliances and bathroom products.

Bill Miller, Managing Director, KBBG explains: "We have asked our suppliers to support our initiative by giving our members an additional discount for any order placed, up until 31st December 2020, for an NHS worker. This will allow our members to offer the NHS worker a significant discount on their order."

Indesit’s new compact fridge freezer boasts 245 litre capacity

* Indesit-combination.jpgIndesit’s new, frost free, combination fridge freezer (IBNF 55181 W UK) boasts an 'A+' energy rating, a generous 245 litre capacity and a narrow 540 mm width - ideal for modern, compact kitchens.

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

Cameron Design House seeks volunteers to make face shields for the NHS

In response to the Coronavirus crisis, London-based bespoke lighting brand Cameron Design House has turned over production in its workshop to manufacture free protective face fields for the NHS and care workers.

Coronavirus... global pandemic: national challenge

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The national survey conducted by the National Home Improvement Council in the first week of the lockdown (26th March 2020 to 3rd April 2020) shows a significant risk to consumers alongside a need for clearer guidance on the stay at home restrictions.

HiB wins prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2020

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Leading bathroom supplier HiB has been honoured with a Queen's Award for Enterprise in the innovation category.

Bathroom furniture manufacturer Vanity Hall helps NHS Nightingale hospitals

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Midlands-based specialist in Corian fabrication, Vanity Hall tells us it was honoured to help CDUK manufacture basins for the Nightingale hospitals.

Shower-room pods account for 50% of the prefabricated pod market

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The bathroom and kitchen pods market experienced an 8% increase in value through 2019 and continues to offer significant growth potential as an offsite building solution, reports AMA Research.

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

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Bathroom Manufacturers Association CEO Tom Reynolds has spoken out against faux criticism towards manufacturers and tradespeople.

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

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It 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.

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:

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