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


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

International News

Increased hygiene in the kitchen with Blanco's Solenta-S tap

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Blanco UK has redefined sensor technology to make life in the kitchen cleaner and easier. In these days of heightened awareness of the need for super clean environments in kitchens, demand for touchless products has soared.

Good headset hygiene helps make kitchen and bathroom showrooms COVID safe

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Providing peace of mind and reassurance to customers that the showroom experience is Covid-safe will be a huge part of helping restore consumer confidence in the weeks and months ahead.

Add pizazz to walls and floors with new Patterned Tiles from Verona

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Verona has extended its popular Patterned Tiles collection introducing two new ceramic tile designs, which are guaranteed to deliver character and charm to any home.

Design that moves: the next125 trolley

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The new next125 trolley offers timelessly elegant design, in combination with multifunctionality and mobility.

Triton introduces essential handwash units

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The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for more rigorous hygiene processes and frequent handwashing in the workplace, as well as in the home. 

New distribution deal adds Abode sinks & taps to PJH product

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PJH has agreed a distribution deal with Abode, one of the UK's leading designers and manufacturers of kitchen sinks and taps, and a brand renowned for its award-winning innovative product designs and outstanding product quality.

Design considerations for a post Covid-19 world

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If 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.

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

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Crosswater 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

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Here, John Robinson of Blanco UK explains all that the retailer or installer needs to know about undermount sinks…

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.

Choice and flexibility is key for Keller

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One of the many benefits of specifying and designing a kitchen from Keller is the vast choice and flexibility within the portfolios.

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.

Welcome to the


I think I'm going stir crazy - not through working from home, which I've done for almost 20 years, but through having to work with all the neighbours about, many of whom seem to have been furloughed and appear to be noisily enjoying every last bit of it; forgetting that some of us have a living to make and many in our area are keyworkers who need sleep.

I called my daughter into my office to look at the picture of the freestanding wine rack Caple's just launched, thinking I might allude in the headline to how we've (not me; the nation!) turned to alcohol during lockdown. My daughter quipped: "It looks like a portal to another land. It probably is, if people drink that much!" I can see exactly where she's coming from and am pondering whether, if I had the chance, I'd take that step through it...

Yes, lockdown & everything it's entailed, the aftermath, the hard division between mask-wearers and the anti-mask/anti-vaccine protesters, the very strangeness of everything, has made its mark. And that's coming from someone who - I'm thankful to say - doesn't know a soul who's been seriously ill with Covid-19. The whole ongoing episode has caused us all to take stock, hasn't it?

The industry is starting to come out of enforced hibernation. What sort of general public is it likely to entertain? Many of us have adjusted our way of thinking; becoming more concerned for our environment and the sustainability of what we buy and what we enjoy. I can see in the future, more of us wanting to take responsibility for the amount of water we use and making a conscious effort to reduce waste. Likewise our kitchens. I've seen a lot of posts on local Facebook group pages, from people wishing to give things away. I've acquired a new fibreglass pond as well as a stationery cabinet in which we're planning to store all our craft things, acquired for our new hobbies (although oddly, no-one in my household has been furloughed - we've all been working but have managed to try new things). We've even made some garden furniture out of discarded pallets. A new kitchen next, I wonder...

A poll by the Bathroom Manufacturers Association has revealed a strong appetite for bathroom refurbishment. The Used Kitchen Company is pushing an initiative that encourages not just a first recycling, but a second and possibly third recycling thereafter.

Things are starting to look good...


Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

A welcome statement and great picture from the BiKBBI!

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Following the temporary closure of our head office operation in March, and in response to the national Coronavirus lockdown, we have managed to continue the delivery of our service remotely.

Whilst we have proven that technology allowed for remote working, I know that our team are stronger together and as such I've been working on a phased plan to safely reopen our HQ operation. This phased return started in June and has been running successfully throughout, which has included adaption of our office environment to meet government directives.

KBSA supports Covid-19 research project for kitchen and bathroom industry

* KBSA-graph.jpgThe Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association is supporting a research project to assess and document the recovery of the kitchen and bathroom industry in terms of market demand and opportunities as lockdown restrictions are lifted.

The project, which is being undertaken by market research companies Trend-Monitor and JKMR, will track demand from kitchen and bathroom retailers, up to the end of 2020, to provide valuable data on buying patterns.

Double win for RAK Ceramics at first virtual BKU Awards

* Rak.jpgIt may not have been possible to gather in numbers, but the team at RAK Ceramics certainly had much to celebrate at a socially distanced viewing of BKU Awards 2020, held online for the first time. The champagne was flying when RAK Ceramics was declared the winner of not one but two prestigious industry awards, namely Best Tiling Brand and Best Sanitaryware Brand.

Strong appetite for bathroom refurbishment, poll shows

* Strong-appetite.jpgNearly a third of UK adults are likely to undertake a partial or full bathroom refurbishment in the next 12 months, a poll has revealed.

Opinium surveyed a nationally representative group of over 2,000 people between 14th and 17th July for the poll, which was commissioned by the Bathroom Manufacturers Association.

Luxury steel framing defines Caple's new WF1550 freestanding wine cabinet

* Luxury-steel-framing.jpgCaple has created a new freestanding wine cabinet, the WF1550, with a thick stainless-steel frame for a more luxurious finish.

Utopia announces latest product launch

* Nadia-Azure-Blue_Utopia.jpgUtopia Bathrooms has announced that its major product launch for Spring/Summer 2020 is now set to be unveiled.

Colour and texture are key to this latest exciting new product launch. Reflecting the vital role colour plays in any environment and particularly in our bathrooms, seven new foil finishes are being introduced across several of Utopia's furniture collections, along with two stunning new colours to extend the colour palette for the heritage-inspired Roseberry painted timber collection.

New name to head up operations at Abode

* Abode_Dave.jpgDesign-led tap and sink manufacturer Abode has welcomed Dave Wood to the team, as he joins the company as its new operations manager.

With strong leadership and excellent problem-solving skills, Dave also has a wealth of expertise in the KBB industry and is no stranger to the sector, with a career that spans more than 26 years and counting.

Virtual workshop confirms opportunities for bathroom industry to benefit from renovation wave

* UWL-Webinar.jpgA virtual workshop hosted by the Unified Water Label and its Italian partners was a resounding success, with more than 70 visitors from across the UK and Europe attending to discuss the commercial benefits of the UWL.

Paulo de Silva Lemos, policy officer at DG Environment and Alessandro Durante from the Italian trade body AVR (taps and valve association), were both guest speakers.

The Used Kitchen Company sets another milestone in UK recycling

* The-Used-Kitchen-Company.jpgThe Used Kitchen Company, the pioneer of kitchen recycling and its champion since 2005, has taken its groundbreaking 'Kitchen Passports' eco-initiative to the next level, as it sets another milestone for UK recycling and waste control.

Having previewed its unique TUKC 'Kitchen Passports' with huge success at KBB Birmingham 2020, TUKC has removed any excuse that the kitchen trade can make for not participating in an initiative that aims to reduce the impacts of continual resource-stripping from the planet.

Two new junior designers join Imperial Bathrooms

* Two-for-Imperial-Bathrooms.jpgSpecialists in the design and manufacture of classic and contemporary British-made bathroom solutions, Imperial Bathrooms, has expanded its design team with the appointment of two new junior designers.

Recent graduates from Derby University, Alex Freeman and Hannah Hart, joined Imperial Bathrooms in July to bring a fresh perspective on all areas of corporate and product branding. Alex and Hannah studied BA Product Design, and both graduated with First Class Honours.

Private Room chooses Virtual World as its route to market

* VW-MAIN-Pebble.jpgVirtual Worlds is welcoming a new name on board to its 3D and 4D design software this month, as Private Room begins its exciting kbb journey.

Using Virtual Worlds as its main channel to market, Private Room manufactures distinctive shower trays and complementary fittings designed to transform ordinary bathrooms into spa-like sanctuaries.

Stunning black metal and crystal pendant supplies some serious wow factor

* Stunning.jpgMake a statement with this incredible pendant light made from muted metal and hundreds of coloured and plain crystals.

It looks fantastic in contrast to the minimal lines of the kitchen units and adds style and glamour, making a dramatic focal point - perfect for over a dining or kitchen table and truly adding the wow factor here, over a kitchen island.

Utopia launches new brochure

* Utopia-brochure.jpgUtopia Bathrooms has introduced a striking new brochure to coincide with its Summer 2020 product launch. In pride of place on the front cover is the new Azure Blue finish, just one of 11 new door finishes introduced across several of its key ranges.

In keeping with Utopia's promise to offer an imaginative solution for any bathroom, no matter how small or awkwardly shaped, the 234-page brochure presents the entire collection of 11 ranges in a series of beautifully styled room sets, from the most spacious rooms complete with freestanding baths through to much more modestly proportioned bathrooms including en suites and cloakrooms.

BC Designs highlights the virtues of copper in fighting Covid-19

* BC-Southerndown.jpgLeading bath maker, BC Designs, has a piece of advice for retailers as the industry starts to reopen… A little-known fact that few people are aware of is that copper is actually a super metal when it comes to killing germs.

Exclusive virtual showroom tour offer now available to KBBG members

* Two-Guys-Kitchens-Dollhouse-View.jpgThe Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group has partnered with Virtual 360 Tours Glos. The partnership enables KBBG members to create a virtual tour of their showroom at a special discounted price. Virtual tours are an increasingly important tool as we continue to live and work in different ways as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Virtual 360 Tours Glos will help retailers capture their showroom from all angles and create an easy-to-navigate tour. Customers will be able to explore what is on offer, safely and remotely, should they be unable to physically visit the showroom.

Whirlpool UK Appliances donates appliances to NHS hospitals and charities

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In an effort to support those working on the front line of the pandemic, Whirlpool UK donated appliances including washing machines, microwaves, dishwashers and refrigerators to several NHS hospitals across the UK.

Washing machines, which were donated to hospitals in Peterborough and several other counties in the East of England, were provided to ensure that staff treating patients affected with Covid-19 are able to wash their uniforms on-site, eliminating the need to take them home to be cleaned.

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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

BMA Elects John Robinson as president

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Members of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association have elected John Robinson as President for the next two years. John, who is business director of Ideal Standard, takes over from Roca's Alan Dodds.

LochAnna Kitchens celebrates 100,000th sale as it gets back to business

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The Coronavirus has adversely affected every part of the KBB industry, leaving every brand, manufacturer, dealer and installer, worried and wondering. Like most businesses, LochAnna Kitchens closed its doors at the end of March, not knowing when the business would reopen.

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.

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