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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
28th October 2011


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

International News

US home remodelling activity to remain weak through first half of 2012

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A sluggish US economy and housing market will continue to hamper home improvement spending well into next year, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity released yesterday by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. The remodelling market is expected to stay soft with the LIRA pointing to a modest decline in annual homeowner improvement spending over the next several quarters.

Abode Verso the rest!

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Yet another Gold Design Award win for Abode, the stylish Barnsley kitchen tap and sink manufacturing and design outfit...

CRL's new Serenity sliding frameless shower door appears to float into place

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C R Laurence continues to respond to requests for progressive sliding shower door systems with the brand new Serenity Series Frameless Shower Door System.

New technology cabinets from HiB

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Bathroom products specialist HiB has introduced two handsome new LED backlit cabinets with, for the first time, heated mirror pads to prevent condensation.

Hi-Macs is key to superb wetroom design

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Designed and made by Bespoke Surfaces, a specialist designer of bespoke kitchen and bathroom designs, this new wetroom display features the solid surface material Hi-Macs, which especially lends itself to this type of application.

Whirlpool wins International Design & Architecture Award

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Whirlpool has won an International Design & Architecture Award for its stunning Nova American-style, side-by-side fridge freezer.

KitchenAid's Vacuum Machine has the 'Chef Touch'

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Proper food preservation has not only become an increasingly important issue but also an essential science. With its built-in Vacuum Machine, premium manufacturer KitchenAid has produced a remarkably versatile product that preserves food up to three times longer than traditional methods to maintain organoleptic properties, nutrients, taste and colour.

Naked Collection

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At the recent Cersaie show, Glass Idromassaggio, the dynamic wellbeing producer from Italy, presented Naked, a highly original collection of baths designed by Giopato & Coombes.

50 grassroots rugby teams given new kits & chance to train with England

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A total of 50 schools and junior rugby clubs throughout the UK are being given the chance to win the prize of a lifetime - a training day with the England rugby team. The teams, which have already won themselves an Ultimate Kit & Laundry Package, which includes 22 bespoke Samurai kits and a top-of-the range AEG 9 series washing machine and tumble dryer, will compete against each other to gain the most votes for a chance to learn to kick like Wilkinson, lead a team like Moody or cross the try line like Ashton.

WEEE Directive recast negotiations sparking disagreements

The European Parliament and the 27 EU member states are set for difficult negotiations over the recast of the bloc's electronic waste directive as MEPs insist on ambitious targets for collecting and recycling discarded fridges, phones and other e-waste than the member states can accept, reports EurActiv.

Purple microwave takes it to the Max!

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Whirlpool's MAX 35 range of stylish and colourful microwave ovens has been extended to include a striking new model in on-trend purple. The fashionable and contemporary range already includes colour options of black, cream, red, silver, and white.

China Xiamen International Kitchen & Bathroom Fair 2011 takes place next month

China Xiamen International Kitchen & Bathroom Fair will take place from November 5th to 8th, 2011 at Xiamen International Conference & Exhibition Centre. It is being organised by the Xiamen Jinhongxin Exhibition Co along with the Fujian Association of Plumbing Sanitary & Valve Industry, the Kitchen Cabinet Chamber of Commerce of Fujian, the Xiamen Bath & Kitchen Association and the Kitchen Cabinet Chamber of Commerce of Xiamen.

Ellis Furniture introduces space saving cloakroom furniture

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Making limited space work in a small bathroom or cloakroom is now a whole lot easier, thanks to the Cloakroom range from leading manufacturer Ellis Furniture, offering the perfect solution for compact spaces.

Welcome to the


The KBB industry has made enormous strides over recent years to reduce the amount of energy used to operate our essential appliances and I have always believed this to be an excellent move. Delegates at the recent WWF resource-efficiency conference in Brussels, however, heard that encouraging consumers to 'buy green' by making environmentally-friendly goods less expensive, might have drawbacks as the 'rebound effect' could offset gains by encouraging greater consumption.

Environmentally-friendly goods are often considered by consumers to be too expensive - and as the economic crisis continues to bite, many suggest that tax incentives are needed to make green shopping more affordable. Yet conference delegates were warned that selling the resource efficiency agenda to consumers as cost-saving could have some serious fallout. 

"Selling resource efficiency through the cost-saving argument will not work as people will just go and buy other stuff," noted WWF UK's David Norman, who said that the same problem applies, for example, to the energy efficiency gains obtained from more efficient fridges which is being offset by the regular addition of new energy-consuming gadgets into our homes. 



Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

The Tile Association shows support for 'Cut The VAT' campaign

The Tile Association has announced its support for the 'Cut The VAT' campaign, adding its name to an ever growing list of organisations encouraging the UK Government to reduce VAT on all home repair, maintenance and improvement work from 20% to 5%.

Intervari signs exclusive UK distribution deal with Mobalco

* Intervari-kitchen.jpgLuxury interiors specialist Intervari has been selected by exclusive kitchen furniture manufacturer Mobalco as the sole UK distributor of its award-winning designs and products.

Amica first to offer free collection of WEEE and packaging

Amica, one of Europe's largest producers of built-in and freestanding kitchen appliances, has joined forces with The Wastepack Group and Electrolink to offer electrical retailers and distributors a completely free of any charge collection and disposal service for all brands of electrical products (including small appliances, TV's and white goods). The company also collects all associated packaging for recycling and says it believes it is the first to offer this additional service.

LDL Launches Autumn Promotion

* LDL-Autumn-promotion.jpgLDL has launched the latest edition of In Focus, its seasonal selection of new products supported by special promotional offers.

The Autumn edition, which runs until 16th December 2011, focuses on the Linea range of premium wirework and new additions to the Furnipart collection of designer handles, available exclusively in the UK from LDL.

Post office guarantees to beat architects' insurance renewal quotes

The Post Office is guaranteeing to beat business insurance renewal quotes for architects' offices. The business insurance policy, which can be accessed from any one of over 11,800 Post Office branches, as well as by phone and online, will provide architects with access to the wide ranging cover required in the course of their business including:

Bushboard's Encore solid surface range responds to trend for traditional looks

* Bushboard-Crystal-Black-curved-end.jpgA modern material it may be but Bushboard's Encore solid surface worktop range now offers four brand new Crystal designs which salute the look of natural granite and stone and respond to the growing trend for traditional looks in the kitchen.

Ellis Furniture apprentices win awards

* Apprentices-with-Richard-Ellis.jpgAs part of its ongoing commitment to support apprenticeships, Ellis Furniture is proud to have yet another of its talented young students receive an award in recognition of his hard work.

Trustmark achieves 'Social Enterprise' recognition

TrustMark, the Government-endorsed quality mark for tradespeople, has been awarded the Social Enterprise Mark in recognition of its not-for-profit business, which helps consumers find reliable and trustworthy kitchen and bathroom installers. TrustMark joins other ethical businesses that have also been recognised by being awarded the Social Enterprise Mark such as the Age UK, Eden Project, Big Issue, the Phone Coop and Fifteen London.

New Dante Spiral tap from Carron Phoenix cuts a classic professional look

* Carron-Phoenix-Dante-Spiral-tap.jpgCarron Phoenix's new Dante Spiral tap pays homage to a professional style catering tap, with an ornamental wire spiral detail complementing the curves of the classic arc-shaped spout. The tap is one of the nine new styles launched during the summer as part of Carron's portfolio update for 2011.

Late Payments Directive to be brought forward

European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani announced on 17th October, during the launch conference of EurActiv Italia, that he is to tell member states to pursue early transposition into national law of the late payments directive, scheduled initially for 2013, reports EurActiv Italy.

M & S Sonoma folding wardrobe receives FIRA Innovation Award

MS-FIRA-innovation-award.jpgFIRA's Innovation Award has been presented to Marks & Spencer for its novel Sonoma folding wardrobe. The award was received by M & S Furniture technologist David Attwell at FIRA's annual event, held at the House of Lords last Friday.

Bathroom Retailers Market Research & Analysis UK 2011-2015 now published

MTW Research has published a new Research & Analysis market report providing a fresh, comprehensive & reliable review of the UK Bathroom Retailers Market in 2011 with forecasts to 2015.

Bright Medical responds to report on need for bathroom safety equipment

Bathroom-related injuries brought over 230,000 people into American emergency rooms in 2008, according to a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

In response to the study, Bright Medical, a leading online marketplace for medical supplies and equipment, decided to expand its Bathroom Safety Equipment category to include over 100 different products, including grab bars and bathtub safety rails, designed to make the bathroom a safer place.

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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News in Brief

Well done  to Armitage Shanks for supporting the Bog Standard School Toilet Awards! T: 01543 490253

's Asymmetric Duo bath tub won a Gold Product Innovation Award in the UK Designer Awards. T: +49 2382 785 0

Moods Bathrooms
has added a classic new roll top bath to its freestanding Richmond range. E: [email protected]

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

TTA invites nominations for 2012 Awards

The Tile Association has announced that it is now inviting nominations for the 2012 TTA Awards. The event, which will be taking place on Saturday, 21st April 2012 at the Hilton Hotel in Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre complex, rewards the products, people, businesses and projects in the tile industry.

Energy Saving Week highlights new 'intelligent' heating control

This isn't KBB as such but is very topical right now and offers qualified tradespeople who fit kitchens and bathrooms the opportunity to provide an extra service and earn some extra money too. Plus we're all in the business of saving energy...

UK taxman urges employers to ditch 'A N Other'

UK Employers are being urged to get their PAYE paperwork in order, after more than 500 returns incorrectly claimed to employ 'A N Other' in 2009/10.

New format a success for KBSA AGM

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A new format for the The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association's AGM was warmly welcomed by members and judged a great success by those who attended the event on 4th October.

Suppliers receive their awards

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The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association presented the KBSA supplier awards at the recent 2011 kbbr Kitchen Conference. The awards recognise excellence in those companies that supply products to KBSA retailers and are the only awards of their kind that represent the views of retailers and not a panel of judges.

New AMA report provides major review of the UK Shower Market

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The UK shower equipment market has an estimated value of around £438 million at Manufacturers Selling Prices in 2011. This represents a moderate increase of around 1% when compared to the market size in 2010 and reflects the continuing fragility of the UK economy.

Furniture Industry Research Association offers PhD opportunity

The Furniture Industry Research Association has announced the sponsorship of a PhD Studentship, offering a bursary of up to £9,300 per annum towards tuition fees and living costs. The research is to focus on design or manufacturing of contemporary furniture, looking at the development of either innovative furniture materials or volume production processes that can be embraced by British furniture manufacturers.

Herman Miller awarded BIFMA level 3

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Contract furniture maker Herman Miller has been certified by global public health and environmental organisation NSF International to the highest level for sustainable furniture - BIFMA level 3. Products certified to the level program may satisfy US state and federal purchasing requirements and earn points toward LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.

A new Abode (albeit brief!) for needy children

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The Safe Anchor Trust is an award winning charity based at Shepley Bridge Marina in Mirfield, West Yorkshire. Les Moss, founder of the charity and his team provide an annual programme of canal trips aboard narrow boats on the local waterways, specifically for special needs groups, those with health and mobility problems and socially disadvantaged groups.

Stourbridge builder fined for illegal gas work

James Raybould, who trades as Jim Raybould Electrical, Plumbing & Building Services, has been prosecuted by the Health & Safety Executive for carrying out gas work at four houses in Worcester between September 2009 and July 2010, despite not being Gas Safe registered.

National Heat Pump Awards becomes annual event following launch success

Following the outstanding success of last year's inaugural event, the National Heat Pump Awards 2012 have been launched in an expanded format and the event established as a regular annual highlight in the industry's calendar.


The Baumatic Autumn collection of promotions is here

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Baumatic has launched the mother of all marketing campaigns, rolling out a series of four promotions in a nationwide push that will target more than 12 million end consumers. In this 'piece de resistance' of UK marketing, Baumatic will be promoting four different product categories, partnering with some big name brands such as Finish, Laithwaites, Lakeland and Prestige to offer added value to many Baumatic appliances.

Atag extends popular promotions

Atag, the Dutch company famous for its technologically advanced built-in kitchen appliances exclusively available to the kitchen specialist, has extended its excellent Summer offers until the end of the year.

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