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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
29th July 2011


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

International News

Amazing grates!

Unislope, the new all-in-one-pack solution for installing a wet room floor and linear drain, now offers a comprehensive range of superior grade solid stainless steel grates and custom panels that complement both the function and the form of a designer wet room.

New classically elegant basin stands from Imperial Bathrooms

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Imperial Bathrooms - the leading British manufacturer of bathroom products for the discerning client - continues to distinguish itself in the bathroom market with the launch of a new and extensive basin stand collection that recreates the classical elegance of the British bathroom.

Summer Style from British Ceramic Tile

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Whether you're looking for something soothing & restful or something with a bit more pizzazz, the Summer product launch from British Ceramic Tile will have a range to suit many of your needs.

AEG's new oven puts expertise of 100s of professional chefs at your disposal!

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The new Culisense oven from AEG offers the future right now in cooking with an abundance of expert functions, including the innovative AutoCook. The Culisense oven is equipped with a rich database of expert recipes and advanced sensors which can detect the weight and volume of the food to be cooked - calculating the right cooking temperature and time. The Culisense oven does the work for you; so you don't have to.

SBID announces International Design Awards as Official British Partner of Maison & Objet

As the official British partner of Maison & Objet,The Society of British Interior Design is delighted to be launching the inaugural International Design Awards to both SBID and non-SBID interior design professionals from around the world. The competition will measure six categories of interior design excellence.

Welcome to the

Some years back when our daughters were little, their father and I attended a 'self-build' show and came away determined to build our own home. We subscribed to all the magazines and Jason set about some major DIY jobs at our ramshackle Victorian semi, with a view to learning as much as he could about the various trades involved and how to go about them; the idea being that we would do what self-build work we could manage ourselves, but for what we couldn't do, we would be armed with the knowledge of what those tackling the larger jobs should be doing, when and how.

Back then (it was the early '80s) there weren't the mortgage constraints people have to overcome these days. We could borrow far more than we should have been allowed to (I believe it was slightly over eight times our income!) and our financial advisor knew all the tricks required to convince a lender that we could easily pay back whatever we might borrow. It rather frightens me to think about it now...

Our problem was though, that however hard we looked and however flexible we were prepared to be regarding its whereabouts, we just couldn't find any land. In the end this was a dream we had to give up on.

Twenty-odd years on and mortgages are really hard to come by. What little land there may have been has been built on. Within a five mile radius of my house alone, five large psychiatric hospitals and a convent school have been closed down and turned into sprawling housing estates and householders with larger gardens are being pressured by builders to sell off some of their land so a new property can be built there. I'm a sales negotiator at an estate agent's at the weekends and am well aware that every time a larger than average property comes to market, there will be queues of builders wanting to view the land (not the house) and learn about any previous planning proposals.

While I commend Housing Minister Grant Shapps highly supportive reaction to the National Self Build Association's report 'An Action Plan to promote the growth of self build housing in the UK' (see more below in this week's news) I can't help feeling that the reality - in my neck of the woods at least - will be nothing like the dream.



Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Grant Shapps joins forces with industry to take self build to the masses

There was what may be good news for the KBB industry last week, with Grant Shapps welcoming a new action plan for the self build industry that he says could be the turning point that takes it to the masses.

Meeting with the National Self Build Association - the representatives of the self-build industry - Mr Shapps said that for too long obstacles have led to the UK having one of the lowest proportions of new homes built by self-builders in Europe, and that he wanted to see the self build industry become a mainstream housing option.

Domestic Kitchen Furniture Market Report - UK 2011-2015 Analysis

* AMA-domestic-kitchens-chart.jpgThe UK domestic kitchen furniture market experienced steady growth in the 2002-2007 period, reaching a market size of £1,390m by the end of the period. The decline in the housebuilding sector, together with a downturn in consumer spending and tighter financial conditions resulted in a significant decline in the market in 2008 and an even steeper fall in 2009, however, the market began to show some stability in 2010.

During this period the level of price competition has remained high in most sectors of the market, but particularly in the low and mid priced sectors.

Soapbox: The rental industry - how do we move forward in difficult trading times?

Steve Macdonald, marketing director of Hoover Candy shares his views on the growing rental market in the UK and how it could impact the industry:

In this recession driven economy where the consumer is King, retailers and manufacturers of high value products need to look at the key drivers in the marketplace to guarantee the success of the future.

"It goes without saying that no matter what the government says, we are still in the grips of a recession driven economy and as the consumer has learnt to live within a more frugal economy, consumers are also asking themselves with every product purchase, no matter how large or small; 'do I really need it?'

Kitchen specialist cooks up new brand identity ahead of major marketing push

* Barry-Casement.jpgA UK supplier of fitted kitchens and bedrooms to trade and contract customers Lanzet (Interior Contracts) has unveiled a new brand identity ahead of a major marketing campaign and new business drive.

The privately owned, £3million turnover business, with offices in Blackburn and Reading, has outlined ambitious plans for growth, including increasing revenues by at least 50% in the next three years. Lanzet currently employs more than 30 people across its two sites and, through a partnership with fitted kitchen and bedroom retailer Betta Living, it manufactures all products in Oldham, Lancashire.

Stoves and Belling launch Colour Boutique

Appliance brands, Stoves and Belling have unveiled a new colour concept which will give consumers the opportunity to choose from 12 inspiring colours across some of the most popular range cookers.

Colour Boutique, initially available in Range Centres across the UK from September, can be applied to all size and fuel variants of the Stoves Richmond and Belling Classic models - offering a total of 180 personalised colour/cooker combinations which is believed to be the biggest colour offering in the market.

EQ backs BMA Water Efficiency Product Labelling Scheme

* EQ-Software-WELPS.jpgThe Water Efficiency Product labelling scheme operated by the Bathroom Manufacturers Association has received a further endorsement from EQ Software. The UK-based business management software provider will incorporate water efficient products registered on WEPLS into the system, for specification and order by retailers.

At the recent Bathroom Manufacturers association AGM, Neil Schofield, Marketing Manager at EQ, outlined the company's commitment to the green agenda in a presentation to members.

Methven unveils Kaha tapware

* Methven-Kaha-Mono-Basin-Mixer.jpgAs part of its popular Kaha collection, Methven - the global designer and manufacturer of superior quality showers and tapware - is launching Kaha tapware with soft curves and crisp edges that create a timeless design style. The rounded, tapering lines of Kaha tapware finish soft, slightly organic shapes.

Offering a choice of seven Kaha tapware designs, including 3-hole deck mounted basin and bath mixers, a basin mixer with swivel base, which allows the user to turn the entire tap in any direction to create more space around the basin, a wall-mounted single-lever mixer with or without backplate and a 3-hole wall-mounted mixer with or without backplate, the styling options with Kaha tapware are vast.

Plumber sentenced after explosion at Willenhall bungalow

A Wolverhampton plumber has been given a 10-month suspended jail sentence for causing a gas explosion and fire in which a pensioner sustained 21% burns rescuing his nine-year-old granddaughter.

Peter Naylor, of Wednesfield, removed the gas meter at the property in to reach a leaking water stopcock he was repairing in December last year.

LDL extends LED lighting range

* Linea-surface-mounted-LED-LDL.jpgLDL Components has extended its range of LED lighting solutions with the new Linea range of recessed, semi-recessed angled and surface mounted display profiles, ideal for use in kitchens, studies, wardrobes, dressing rooms and also shop interiors.

Available to order in any size up to two metres, the new profiles are aluminium with a polycarbonate cover and are supplied with a two metre input cable, plug and end caps. Any LED tape from the LDL range can be used with the profiles, including the new high output tape. With 60 LEDs per metre, this self-adhesive tape is available in a choice of Warm White or Cool White.

Carron Phoenix 'taps' into top-end contemporary style with its new Tulipano

* Carron-Phoenix-Tulipano-Grande.jpgCarron Phoenix has unveiled its elegant Tulipano Grande tap, one of the eight new tap additions to the company's portfolio for 2011.

The epitome of contemporary styling, Tulipano Grande is deliberately pitched to appeal to the discerning mid-top end consumer looking for a statement tap without compromising on functionality. Tulipano Grande is 100mm taller than the average tap which accentuates its distinctly sculptural feel with the slim spout developing into an elegant water droplet shape at the end. With its refined aesthetics, Tulipano Grande is beautiful in both form and function, with a directional spout and single lever operation. Tulipano Grande comes in a pristine highly polished chrome finish.

Timeless Tetbury

* Uber_Furniture_Tetbury.jpgThe stunning Tetbury kitchen from Uber combines timeless beauty and splendour and offers a modern twist on the traditional Shaker design.

Tetbury features solid frame doors made from Ash in a rich oyster colour with grey undertones. The flowery grain of the solid timber fascias has been carefully exposed by wire brushing before painting giving an interesting 3D effect.

To complete the Uber offering, there is an exciting range of handles from which to choose. The Charleston handle, pictured, has pewter ends with a grey crackle ceramic centre to add a touch of class to any kitchen.

For more information, contact MGA Distributors on:

T: 01384 638700
F: 01384 635094
W: www.uberfurniture.co.uk

The KBzine Archive Search

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News in Brief
Access Hansgrohe's new online planning tool for its Axor Bourellec bathroom collection at: www.pro.hansgrohe-int.com/axor-composer

HiB's beautiful new mono block basin mixer  tap designs - Mesi and Neath - come with pop-up wastes. T: 0208 441 0352

's latest surface finish enhances the colour of steel, avoids yellowing and masks any natural defects. T: 0870 755 485

Ex-Focus DIY Category Buyer, Craig Hadley, is to head up the vitreous china product division,of PJH Group's Bathroom portfolio. T: 01204 707070
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

B&Q invests in FIRA Gold Installation Certification

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FIRA hasd announce that B&Q has received FIRA Gold Installation Certification for its kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms installation services.

Construction repair specialist Plastic Surgeon wins National Recycling Awards

Plastic Surgeon - cosmetic repair specialist and expert in material and building product repairs such as plastic and GRP, woods and veneers, stone and brick, ceramics and enamel, glass and glazing, metals and Ffoils and other surfaces, scooped an award at last week's 2011 National Recycling Awards, under the category of 'Waste Minimisation' for its 'repair not replace' sustainable strategy.

Bathroom Retailers Market Report now available

The new report on the UK Bathroom Retailers Market has now been published.

Written specifically for bathroom product manufacturers, distributors and retailers and based on actual sales returns, this comprehensive 180+ page report reviews the UK Bathroom Retailers market size from 2005 to 2011, with forecasts to 2015 alongside analysis of product mix & trends for Sanitaryware/Baths; Bathroom Furniture; Brassware; Showers/Enclosures/Trays; Bathroom Heating; Bathroom Lighting and Bathroom Accessories.

Annual Bathroom Conference - an update

Stunningly beautiful, packed with style and ultra-modern. That's how the BMA has described the venue for this year's Annual Bathroom Conference.
All the arrangements are now in place for what is set to be the top bathroom business event of the year on 9th November 2011. The stunning all-new conference centre at Heythrop Park, Oxfordshire is secured and eight world-class speakers have been booked.

Wolseley announces disposal of Electric Center

Wolseley has announced this week that it has signed an agreement to sell its Electric Center business to Edmundson Electrical, a leading distributor of electrical equipment to trade and industry in the UK. Completion will follow a period of employee consultation and is expected to occur in the next few weeks.

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