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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
22nd December 2020


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

International News

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

Designed 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.

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

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VitrA 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.

Utopia refreshes Halo range

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Utopia 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.

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

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Contemporary 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.

Sleek new Sarenna is Marbled with style

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As 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.

Russell Hobbs launches stylish Midnight Collection

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Russell 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.

Boiler and service upgrade makes this the best Pronteau yet

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

Welcome to the


I finished my last Leader saying I was hoping to share good news with you and although I have some, it’s not quite what I’d planned. With Brexit and Covid threatening food supplies I knew I’d be foolish to risk going without a fridge freezer any longer than the two months I’d already suffered, so set about finding the highest capacity, affordable appliance, that fitted the space, which could be delivered quickly - still determined to deal with the companies that had let me down. Because of time constraints, I used an online supplier serving many manufacturers and found an appliance advertised at 402 litres. After an online chat to check specifications – including capacity, I ordered it.

Knowing how tough it is for couriers at the moment, I told mine I’d unpack the appliance. Once finished, I realised it had far less capacity than advertised. I don’t know how long the call to customer services took but it was part of the two-hours plus I’ve been on the phone to them over the past 11 days. A complaint form instructed that I upload pictures of me measuring the interior of both compartments. The form wouldn’t allow me to upload, but while I was once again on the phone to them, I checked the manufacturer’s website and discovered that the advertisement was incorrect by 106 litres!

Being in a hurry, I incurred my family’s wrath by buying a more expensive appliance whilst complaining about the wrongly advertised one, arranging simultaneous collection/delivery. The couriers couldn’t collect though because of Covid regulations and complained that the supplier had known this for a long time - and that it was booking them in to install washing machines – also against regulations. I sent them away with my new appliance and told the supplier to remove the other one pronto, whilst refunding me in full. The shenanigans didn’t stop there and I haven’t shared the half of it! What I will say is that despite many conversations and emails highlighting the issue, the appliance is STILL on the website advertised as being 402 rather than 296 litres, 11 days after I first pointed out the error!

My good news is that I ordered from the manufacturer instead and have nothing but praise for appliance and service received. You can read how I’ve mastered the new technology in January as well as how my complaints with the other suppliers/repairer have been handled.

Meanwhile, I hope your Christmas is good and that you get to spend time with those who are important to you.


Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Busy month for BiKBBI

* BIKKBI-UPDATE.jpgThe British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation has had an exceptional December, with a number of new signings….

Buildbase and The Range have become the latest high profile retailers to adopt the ProtectMyInstall.co.uk platform for their retail kitchen and bathroom operations - an installation service with a number of unique features to protect both installers and their customers.

KBSA boosts membership

* KBSA-Kitchensbydesign.jpgThe Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has boosted its membership over the past few weeks.

Futurebuild postponed to March 2022

* Futurebuild-Postponed.jpgFollowing consultation with key stakeholders, the organisers of Futurebuild 2021 have decided to postpone the event, which will now go ahead from 1st – 3rd March 2022 at ExCeL London, instead.

“Futurebuild 2022 will elevate innovation, showcasing the products, solutions and ideas that will deliver the transformational change needed to address climate change,” says Martin Hurn, event director.

Bespoke kitchen maker is Northern Design Awards finalist

* BESPOKE-NORTHERN-DESIGN-AWARDS FINALIST.jpgWest Yorkshire-based furniture maker Drew Forsyth & Co has been announced as a finalist in the Northern Design Awards 2020.

The awards honour the most highly regarded designers, architects and retailers in the North of England, with a strong judging panel, including Linda Barker and Wayne Hemingway.

Tim Spann from Keller Kitchens rounds up 2020 - and looks forward to 2021

* Tim-Spann_Keller-Kitchens.jpgAs one of Europe's leading kitchen manufacturers, Keller Kitchens, with an HQ in Holland, has enjoyed a remarkable year in the UK. We talk to Tim Spann about the challenges it brought; and how 2021 looks…

“2020 has been a challenging year for Keller and the kitchen industry in general in the UK; yet we have been delighted with the huge levels of business - in particular, since the mid-point of the year. The second half of 2020 exceeded all expectations by a considerable margin.

Europe-wide campaign launched to promote The Unified Water Label #dontforgettheplug

* EWL.jpgA new marketing campaign is to be rolled out across the UK and Europe to promote the Unified Water Label and increase market representation.

The campaign entitled 'PLUG' is based around a slogan of #dontforgettheplug and includes key messages to promote the benefits of supporting the Unified Water Label - as seen here:

Ergonomic appliances that don't compromise looks are essential for aging population

* Ergonomic.jpgThe design ideas behind Fisher & Paykel appliances are founded in ergonomics and intuition and the appliance brand strives to be the most human-centered in the world. According to the Office for National Statistics, by 2030 the global aging population will have grown by 12% to over one billion people aged 60 and above.

However, the evolution of our lifestyle means we will be more active than ever before. Here, Mark Elmore, Vice President Design and Brand at Fisher & Paykel, explores the need for functional and practical products for those reaching retirement and beyond.

Lakes goes above and beyond to achieve Carbon Neutral Plus status

* Lakes_Mick-Evans.jpgLakes, one of the UK's leading manufacturers of innovative showering spaces, has been awarded Carbon Neutral Plus certification for its UK operations in recognition of the company's continued commitment to reducing its impact on the environment.

Lakes was awarded the Carbon Footprint Standard in March 2019. Since then, the company has gone above and beyond to reduce its carbon emissions even further, offsetting more CO2 emissions in 2019 than its UK operations generated.

HiB goes extra mile to raise money as part of Around the World fundraising challenge

* HiB-Finish-Line.jpgHiB has celebrated reaching its fundraising target after finishing a huge 30,000-mile charity challenge. The company, which this year celebrated its 30th anniversary, pledged to complete the huge distance virtually to raise £15,000 for Alzheimer's Research UK and the National Autistic Society.

Since January, staff from across HiB have been running, walking and cycling in their local areas to keep the miles rolling in and increase the total distance travelled.

Contemporary bathroom solutions by Britton

* Contemporary-Britton.jpgShowcasing modern styling and space-saving functionality, Britton brings a wide selection of innovative products to the forefront of bathroom design.

The complete collection is exceptionally crafted with clever features to suit a variety of design preferences and bathroom sizes.

Saniflo launches grease traps

* Saniflo-Sanigrease-T24.jpgSaniflo has launched three new grease traps - SanigreaseT24, SanigreaseT and SanigreaseS - for the hospitality sector, hospitals and other professional kitchens to help minimise the issue of fatbergs in the nation's sewers caused by fats, oils and grease (FOG) waste.

SanigreaseT24 is designed for mobile use. This small, lightweight (4kg) unit can be installed under one sink and is ideal for food trucks.

Intelligent cooking leads the way with Caple's new C990i induction hob

* Caple-C990i.jpgCaple's new induction hob, the C990i, not only looks state-of-the-art with a TFT 7-inch touch screen but it features the innovative Caple Smart pan detection, which allows cooks to use the entire surface of the hob as it automatically detects up to six pans at once and even adapts to the pan size.

Product manager Luke Shipway explains: "Our new induction hob is so intuitive it will detect the pan size area and continue the timer if it is set. We've also added an incredible TFT touch screen, which uses a clever combination of TFT, LCD display and touch technology to allow you to easily select cooking options on a beautiful, full colour display."

European Promotion for VitrA's Margaret Talbot

* European-Promotion_VitrA.jpgMargaret Talbot, marketing manager for VitrA bathrooms in the UK, has been promoted to Regional Marketing Manager - Europe.

Haier launches a new 49-bottle Wine Cooler

* Haier.jpgHaier has launched an elegant 49-bottle capacity, lockable wine cooler that features advanced technologies, premium design and a tailor-made experience.

A humidity control system that keeps the unit within the 50-70% threshold thanks to a natural air flow, protection from external vibrations, the use of 3D LED lights to save energy and an anti-UV door to ensure the correct level of lighting, are just some of the technologies introduced within this new product.

Matthew Wells joins Utopia

* Utopia_Matthew-Wells.jpgUtopia Bathrooms has announced the appointment of Matthew Wells as business development executive for the South East region.

Foyne Jones appoints Paul Da Silva, as its new KBB development consultant

* Foyne-Jones_Paul-Da-Silva.jpgFoyne Jones, executive search and talent acquisition service provider for the KBB, Builders Merchant & Construction Sales Industries, once again strengthens its core market with the appointment of Paul Da Silva, as its new KBB development consultant.

Bringing unrivalled experience and already established connections for the company to draw upon, Paul will be responsible for acquiring and maintaining key accounts across the North of England, Midlands and Scotland.

The KBzine Archive Search

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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

The Used Kitchen Company launches lockdown initiative with KBSA

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The 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.

Viva the revolution!

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"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."

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

The 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

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Continuing 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.

Insinkerator sees sales spike due to increased demand for kitchen hygiene

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Due 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.

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.

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