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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
7th December 2020


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

International News

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

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

Welcome to the


You know what they say about 'best laid plans'? In my last Leader, I promised not to leave it so long between broadcasts, but it's been even longer! Not that I've not been thinking about the industry of course... Thanks to a degenerative spine condition my dementia-suffering mother has gone from hospital into a care home and the conversations and paperwork this has involved - not to mention sleepless nights and worry about my lovely mum's bewilderment, have taken a huge toll. Sincere apologies!

Indeed if anything, I've been thinking about the industry more than usual. If you're a regular reader of my musings, you may recall the saga of my fridge freezer two years ago... It had started playing up in just over a year and broke completely shortly afterwards. I had quite a fight with the mass-market supplier (used as it owned the brand offering the biggest capacity appliance) whose repairer messed me around so much that I was without the appliance for weeks. When the supplier replaced it with an identical model, (after Christmas!) I kept the original, intending to have it repaired for donation to charity. I never got around to it and it still looks like new - as does the replacement, which tellingly, has gone exactly the same way, in the same amount of time.

The engineer who'd tried to fix the original came to fix its replacement. He'd not been told by head office he was supposed to be repairing both so wouldn't touch the original and - as before - didn't have the required part. Before leaving, he expelled all the gas, saying he'd order the part and return when he had it. Next visit he still didn't have the part so said he'd try and repair the original, before expelling all the gas from that one too and going to meet a colleague "who might have the part on his van," never to return. I've since learned that his company doesn't repair gas canisters, and that he's rendered both appliances useless as no-one else does either! It wasn't just him but the administrators too, who should be ashamed of their incompetence - most of which I've not revealed here.

You'd think, with so many companies going into administration and social media having such influence, a savvy manager would realise that the customer is once again king. I'm about to enter my eighth week without a fridge freezer, all guns blazing - and I'm expecting to share good news with you in our next issue on 18th December!


Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Verona releases new statement tiles to bring new design potential to walls and floors

Verona1-Lilypad-Rose.jpgDesigned to stimulate the senses, Lilypad is a new statement tile from Verona. Made from high quality glazed porcelain, this new collection is set to elevate interior surfaces with its modern hexagonal format and striking geometric pattern, bringing new design potential to walls and floors.

Combining the opulence of the Art Deco era with a modern edge, Lilypad is a versatile collection that works equally well across bathroom floors as it does kitchen walls. Blending a soft, delicate colour palette with a striking linear pattern, this tile is ideal for homeowners who want something more decorative and out of the ordinary.

The Used Kitchen Company launches lockdown initiative with KBSA

* The-Used-Kitchen-Co.jpgThe UK's used kitchen recycling ambassador, The Used Kitchen Company (TUKC), has joined forces with The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association to assist the high street and independent kitchen retailers facing up to the second national pandemic lockdown this year.

TUKC has put meaning behind the hashtag #inthistogether, through its pledge to make a donation to the KBSA for every ex-display or used kitchen that it sells during lockdown. This will continue for as long as the second lockdown lasts.

Viva the revolution!

* Lakes_Mike-Tattam.jpg"The Government's 10-Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution is a call to arms for individuals and organisations to fight for the future of our planet - we must do whatever it takes to protect our world, and we must do it now."

That's the message from lakes sales & marketing director & BMBI expert Mike Tattam.

Unified Water Label features in energy Saving Trust's Top 10 Campaign

* UNIFIED-WATER-LABEL.jpgThe Unified Water Label has been included within the criteria of energy saving taps, by the Energy Saving Trust, in a new initiative designed to encourage consumers to replace their old appliances with new efficient ones.

BiKBBI welcomes Anthill as latest sponsor

* BiKBBI-Anthill.jpgContinuing what has been a busy month for The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation, Anthill Software has been unveiled as the latest corporate sponsor, as the Government-sanctioned Institute continues to grow.

Anthill specialises in CRM, process management and automation with a technology that focuses on how companies and their customers interact.

VitrA launches V-Care Prime: the latest innovation in smart WC technology designed by Arik Levy

* VitrA-1-Frame-bathroom-furniture.jpgVitrA has launched V-Care Prime, the latest addition to its range of shower toilets. Designed by Arik Levy in collaboration with the VitrA's Design Studio and the Innovation team, this new shower toilet WC combines the functionality of a standard WC with the personal cleaning properties of a bidet and integrates the latest bathroom technology.

The elegantly designed new shower toilet provides a modern, refreshing, and hygienic washroom experience, is available to retailers and specifiers now.

New channel director at Whirlpool UK Appliances

* WHIRLPOOL_Russell-Owens.jpgWhirlpool UK Appliances, the home of Hotpoint, Indesit, Whirlpool and KitchenAid brands, has appointed Russell Owens as channel director.

Russell joins the Whirlpool team with a wide and in-depth knowledge of the white goods and electronics industries, from previous roles including sales and marketing director at Samsung Electronics. During his 12 years at Samsung, Russell implemented marketing and channel strategies for its portfolio of white goods, while building and maintaining relationships with major retailers.

Insinkerator sees sales spike due to increased demand for kitchen hygiene

* InSinkEratorEvolution.jpgDue to the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent UK lockdown in March 2020, consumers' homes became their safe haven as well as their office, classroom and restaurant.

This has led to consumers re-evaluating their homes to ensure they meet a wider range of needs, including enhancing the kitchen to support the increase in home cooking and being more hygienic. As a result, InSinkErator has witnessed a spike in sales of its range of food waste disposers.

Planet-U becomes BMA affiliate

* Planet_U.jpgPlanet-U, the UK's fastest-growing renewable energy company, has joined the Bathroom Manufacturers Association as its latest affiliate. The company works with over 35 energy suppliers to help businesses cut energy costs as well as their carbon footprint.

Tom Reynolds, chief executive of the BMA, welcomed Planet-U, saying: " Sustainability is one of BMA's strategic priorities, from water efficiency to reducing waste. Energy purchasing and efficiency investments can be difficult to navigate, so Planet-U is uniquely well-placed to help BMA members reduce the environmental impact of their operations."

Lockdown launch for Lancashire interior startups

* Lockdown-launch.jpgLockdown has seen a Lancashire duo launch four new interiors brands. Dave O'Keefe and Lewis Birch, from Preston, successfully launched Just Radiators, Just Baths, Just Bedrooms and Just Blinds and Shutters, under the Luxus Design umbrella brand, over the past few months.

Former digital director Dave had been discussing a partnership with bathroom specialist Lewis for some time - but being furloughed gave him the time to put plans into action.

Utopia refreshes Halo range

* Utopia-Halo.jpgUtopia has refreshed its Halo range of contemporary wall mounted bathroom furniture with the addition of a beautiful new oak finish, an extended choice of basins and a number of co-ordinating ancillary items.

The introduction of Washed Oak, a warm, natural finish with a beautiful woodgrain effect, brings the number of Halo finishes to six, while a new slimline ceramic basin offers an alternative to the existing Gloss and Matt Coralux solid surface washbasin options.

Pronorm maximises space to provide 10% more storage with new Proline128+ range

* Pronorm.jpgContemporary German kitchen furniture manufacturer Pronorm has introduced Proline128+, a new size of cabinetry that has been cleverly designed to offer 10% more internal storage without taking up any extra floor space.

To maximise functionality and help consumers optimise storage in their kitchen, Pronorm has increased the carcase height of its Proline128 base units from 768mm to 832mm (excluding the plinth) to create Proline128+.

Sleek new Sarenna is Marbled with style

* HUDSON-REED-Sarenna-range.jpgAs the use of marble is making a comeback in the bathroom, Hudson Reed has addressed this trend and launched the new Sarenna Marble Bathroom Furniture range which features a luxurious marble-effect finish that perfectly mimics the noble look of this natural stone.

Wall-hung and modular, the Sarenna Marble vanity unit measures in at 1000mm in width and features a unique curved marble-effect worktop that can be paired with any of a beautiful range of ceramic countertop vessel basins for a coordinated look.

Russell Hobbs launches stylish Midnight Collection

* Russell-Hobbs-Midnight-Collection.jpgRussell Hobbs has launched the dark steel Midnight Collection - a premium large domestic appliance range featuring a multi-functional fan oven, microwave oven, induction hob and gas hobs, as well as a range of cooker hoods - all with a variety of sizing options to fit into any home.

The collection incorporates impressive features across the product range to deal with the demands of a modern kitchen.

Boiler and service upgrade makes this the best Pronteau yet

* PRONTEAU.jpgFaster, quieter and easier to install, the ProBoil.2X from Abode marks a new generation in intelligent hot water boilers.

Spelling an end to complex installation methods, the ProBoil.2X is quick and simple to fit, with self-calibration and no requirement for connection to the sink waste. The connections are colour coded using simple wingnut fixings which can be tightened without any need for specialist tools.

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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

BiKBBI and BMA cement international relationships

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The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation and the Bathroom Manufacturers Association have partnered with the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), the North American authority on all things residential kitchens and bathrooms, on its NKBA Global Connect Alliance Programme.

Vast majority of Brits have no idea how much water they use each day

This bank holiday as record numbers of people stayed at home, Water UK and water efficiency expert Waterwise joined forces to call for more to be done to educate the public about their water use.

A welcome statement and great picture from the BiKBBI!

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We're back!

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.

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

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The 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.

Double win for RAK Ceramics at first virtual BKU Awards

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It 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

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

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

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A 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.

The Used Kitchen Company sets another milestone in UK recycling

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The 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.

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