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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
25th November 2011


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

International News

Aquadi launch to retail customers hailed 'huge success'

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Fitted furniture manufacturer Symphony, has formally launched its biggest ever investment in bathroom products to KBB retailers, with a series of customer events held at its 18,000 sq ft state-of-the-art marketing suite in Barnsley last month.

KitchenAid's new built-in Lab oven is packed with technology

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It becomes quickly apparent why KitchenAid's premium KOLS 7010 built-in multifunction oven is called the Lab oven. With 28 cooking modes and superb technology packed into its robust but stylish frame, this incredibly versatile model is a must-have for both professional chefs and keen cooks who love to experiment with food.

Atag's 17-place setting dishwasher a perfect choice for festive season

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Atag, the Dutch company famous for its technologically advanced built-in kitchen appliances, exclusively available to the kitchen specialist, has a 17-place setting dishwasher which is perfect for the season of festivities and entertaining.

HGTVRemodels.com features planning guides as US consumers resume spending

With the US National Kitchen & Bath Association reporting a 42% increase in showroom visits and double-digit increases in remodel sales volume for kitchens (36%) and baths (85%) over one year ago, more homeowners will need the Kitchens and Baths planning guides on HGTVRemodels.com. In its quarterly Market Index Report released last week, the NKBA also found a 69% increase in revenue among kitchen and bath dealers since the third quarter 2010.

NKBA Market Report : "Although optimism is faded, revenues continue to rise"

The National Kitchen & Bath Association released the results of the US Kitchen & Bath Market Report for the third quarter, reflecting a rise in showroom traffic and an increase in kitchen remodels from one year ago. Although the number of bathroom remodels declined from the second quarter, results show a significant increase over the bathroom sales of a year ago.

FIRA - CMA achieves renowned testing accreditation

The Furniture Industry Research Association's Hong Kong furniture testing facility, FIRA-CMA Testing Services, is celebrating after achieving accreditation to the International Standard ISO 17025 from the Hong Kong Laboratory Accreditation Scheme for Physical and Mechanical Testing.

AEG Neue Kollektion picks up nine iF Design Awards

The iF Product Design Awards are amongst the most prestigious design awards in the world. This year, Electrolux has won a total of nine of the iF awards for its AEG Neue Kollektion products. The winning appliances were selected by an international jury who sifted through 2,923 entries from 48 countries. The winning appliances were assessed on the level of innovation, functionality, quality and ecological compatibility.

New basins from VitrA's T4

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As part of the fabulous new T4 collection launched at ISH 2011, VitrA is offering a stunning array of new basins that cover a wide scale of size and format options.

Carron Phoenix broadens appeal of Sapphira sink range with classic white

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Carron Phoenix has broadened the appeal of its popular Sapphira ceramic sink range by adding a white single bowl option offering classic modern styling. The Sapphira range was launched on July 1st along with a host of new sink and tap styles as part of the company's product update programme for 2011 and the new Sapphira in white augments Carron's choice of modern and traditional sink designs which includes the Bali, Shonelle and Solaris insets, Carlow undermounts and Belfast styles.

Kenmore introduces hybrid water softener and whole-home water filter

With recent conversations and news highlighting water conditions, it's natural that Americans seek the highest in water quality in their homes. Today, the Kenmore brand is offering a comprehensive, household approach to water solutions that together, make water at home cleaner and better tasting while extending the life of the home's appliances.

Leisure Sinks' new Spa Filter tap offers ultimate convenience

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Leisure Sinks has launched a new Spa Filter tap which offers homeowners ultimate convenience for food and drink preparation. The stylish dual lever tap has a three-way dispenser system to provide crystal clear filtered water, mains cold water and hot water - all in a competitively priced and high quality design.

Smart storage ideas from Blum

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A world leader in kitchen fittings and storage systems, Blum has conducted intensive research into the use of kitchens and best use of the volume of the kitchen cabinet.

Blum UK Marketing Director, David Sanders, says that "functional cabinets" are the way to go: "We buy a refrigerator or an oven for a specific purpose, so why shouldn't every kitchen cabinet have a specific storage purpose," he asks.

Livery Company launches new sustainability award for British furniture manufacturers

The efforts of British furniture manufacturers to become greener are to be recognised by a new annual award from the industry's Livery company, the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers.

Aquadi leading way with handleless bathroom doors

Aquadi by Symphony is bringing a touch of European sophistication to the UK market with the introduction of a handleless bathroom door.

NHBC Foundation publication showcases international comparisons of CO2 emissions

As a measure of success, the UK is beyond its target to meet the carbon emissions set out in the Kyoto protocol, according to a new publication by the NHBC Foundation.

Methven Tahi twin-lever tapware wins Design Award Gold Certificate

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Methven is celebrating another award win after receiving a Gold Certificate for Product Innovation, for the second year running, at the Design Awards ceremony held recently at Lord's Cricket Ground. The certificate, awarded to the Methven Tahi twin-lever tapware, follows hot on the heels of a coveted red dot design award earlier in 2011 and accompanies the Gold Certificate awarded to Methven Satinjet Tahi in 2010.

Kompact solution to single and double panel radiators from MHS

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The Kompact range of single and double panel radiators, from MHS, delivers variety, quality and exceptional value. Comprising the Kompact Panel, Kompact Plan and Kompact Line, the range is among some of the highest output compact panel radiators available in the UK.

Welcome to the


It's hard to believe that it's Winter, isn't it? Well certainly from where I'm sitting anyway, and when I ventured into my garden yesterday I noticed that several of the trees and shrubs are in bud and that some of my tubs and baskets are still in flower!

Of course when we're spoiled like this it's easy to forget that we actually need some unpleasant weather to kill off the nasty bugs that survive the season when it's mild and come back to annoy us in larger volumes and sizes as a result - and of course there are our water supplies to worry about too, aren't there?

This week the Environment Agency has warned that unless we cut our water consumption over the coming months, we'll suffer a drought crisis next Summer as parts of the UK have had some of the lowest rainfall this year since records began. And it's not just the UK... Continental Europe is also experiencing conditions that are far milder than normal.

I generally feel quite smug when I hear this kind of news as I work in an industry that's working hard to cut the amount of water and energy we consumers use as we go about our daily lives.

I'm ashamed to say though that I'm one of the 65% of people in the UK that doesn't own a dishwasher. Since joining the industry I've learned that they cut the amount of water used in washing up, rather than use more (as I'd always believed). Having examined the latest Whirlpool appliance on a visit to the company's showrooms a couple of weeks back (see the story below) and learned that it uses a paltry six litres of water to get the family's dishes, pots and pans sparkling clean, I've decided that this is something I need to change quickly if I want to be sure of 'doing my bit'!




Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Aqualux rides to the rescue with Channel 5's Cowboy Builders

* Aqualux-AquaSpace.jpgAqualux was delighted to be approached for the second time to supply an Organic Walk-In shower surround to the Channel Five television programme, Cowboy Builders, for use in a stylish refurbishment project. The show provides makeovers to families whose homes have been ruined due to the incompetency of unqualified or incapable builders.

Aquavision sets up new manufacturing and distribution facility

A pioneer in the design of waterproof and in-wall televisions (perfect for that pampered bathing experience!) Aquavision has made some major changes to its business.

Whirlpool celebrates Centenary

* Centenary-Luncheon-Whirlpool-UK.jpgKBZine's editor Jan Hobbs reports from Whirlpool's plush 'AtHome' showroom in Croydon

Whirlpool, the world's number one manufacturer of major home appliances, has held a series of events around the world to commemorate the company's 100 years. Whirlpool UK celebrated with several events throughout the year including an Employee Day, a Family Day and a classic tea party on the date of the company's 100th anniversary, 11th November 2011.

Lighting - the Loox way

* Loox-Bedroom.jpgHafele UK has launched its new modular LED lighting range for the furniture market, a fantastically simple plug-and-play LED lighting system for worldwide use.

The Hafele engineered system is offered in 12V, 24V and 350mA, with each component colour coded to the correct system to ensure mix-ups do not occur as the driver selected can only be used with the lights for the same system.

German manufacturer goes the extra mile

* Westag-Smart.jpgLocated in Rheda-Wiedenbrueck, Germany, Westag & Getalit AG is a leading European manufacturer of wood based and synthetic products, which services the UK market via a sales office in Watford and a stock holding depot in Doncaster/Thorne. It prides itself on the great service it offers, but things are going to get even better...

The company has now announced that it is enhancing the support given to its retailers using KBBConnect, the free online quoting and ordering system, by upgrading its membership of the KBBConnect Retailer Support Partnership.

Lakes Bathrooms launches SMC low-cost shower tray range

* Injection-moulded-tray.jpgShower specialist Lakes Bathrooms has launched a new collection of lightweight, sheet moulded composite (SMC) shower trays. The new entry level range of trays is designed as a high volume, lower-cost option to traditional stone resin.

As a new manufacturing methodology in most of the bathroom market, yet well proven in other industries, SMC uses fibre reinforced polymers, moulded with heat and pressure. Quality is consistently high says Lakes Bathrooms and, thanks to the impregnated fibres, the resulting shower trays are strong and yet lightweight - every design weighing in at less than the 25kg one man lift target and around 50% lighter than stone resin counterparts.

Rayburn launches new electric model

* Rayburn-Electric.jpgRayburn has launched its first ever electric cooker, which combines highly efficient and controllable technology with classic, iconic looks. Featuring an electric fan oven, conventional oven, grill and a choice of induction or ceramic hobs, the Rayburn Electric offers exceptionally efficient cooking at a competitive price. Plus, with no requirement for a flue, the new appliance allows greater flexibility in kitchen design and layout.

The new model is available with a choice of the latest induction or ceramic hobs with square or dome hinged lids. By utilising two 2.3kW burners, the induction hobs have excellent response times, are highly efficient and cool extremely quickly. They also automatically adjust to any pan size and only heat the pan when it is placed on the burner.

The Zehnder Fina has the 'Plus X' Factor

* Zehnder-fina.jpgThe recently launched Zehnder Fina has achieved "Best Product of 2011" in the Heating & Air Conditioning class of the Plus X Awards. Receiving awards in the four categories of 'Innovation', 'High Quality', 'Design' and 'Functionality', the minimalist designer radiator sets the standard for intelligent and comfortable heating.

Said to be the world's most prestigious innovation awards for technology, sport and lifestyle products, the Plus X Awards honour products that are both innovative and viable for the future, whilst also possessing at least one 'Plus X' factor to offer real brand quality. With more than 130 jury members from 32 countries, the judging process is extremely rigorous and the product features must directly benefit consumers.

Bushboard helps shape kitchens with new Omega curved laminate components

Bushboard has stepped smartly onto the emerging trend for curves in the kitchen with its range of brand new shaped worksurfaces and breakfast bars on its premium Omega laminate range.

Newly launched as part of the range revamps in September, there is a choice of two readymade and pre-finished components that offers increased design flexibility for casual dining and feature furniture.

Charming Couture from Uber

* Uber_Cameo_6099-Anthracite.jpgKeep up with the catwalk trends this summer with the Couture collection of kitchens from Uber. You may have noticed that the new trend in Europe is all things matt. Uber's Couture collection embraces this new look beautifully so that retailers can offer something really different.

The Couture collection is stylish with handleless doors for a minimalist streamlined look. It is also versatile with nine different colours. For example, the Anthracite colour balances bold and stylish, yet warm and homely. Each couture kitchen is specially made to order and is hand finished in a silk lacquer which is gives a higher level of resistance to scratches and fingerprints. Eber can also mix and match gloss and matt finishes so customers can have a truly personal design.

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

Alan Hughes joins the Carron Phoenix sales team

* Alan-Hughes_Carron_Phoenix_Scotland_Ireland.jpgAlan Hughes is a new face on the Carron Phoenix sales team. Replacing Gordon Mitchell, he has been appointed as the new Area Sales Manager for Scotland and Ireland and with responsibility for retailers and distributors in these regions.

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

We're not the slightest bit surprised that Electrolux's 'Vac From The Sea' has been awarded the IPRA Golden Award by the United Nations. T: 08445 611611

KBSA retailers featured strongly amongst the winners at Neff's Masterpartner Excellence Awards. More next week... T: 01623 818808

Congratulations to AGA Rangemaster;  named Manufacturing Company of the Year at Insider's inaugural 'Made in the Midlands' Awards. T: 0870 755 485

Milton Keynes-based Koncept Kitchens has joined the Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association as a retail member. 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 rescues industry standards

The Tile Association has come to the rescue of standards within the tiling industry by hosting the plenary meeting of the International Standards Organisation (ISO). In the world of Ceramic Tiles and Adhesives, it is this governing body that creates the standards to protect consumers and trade users.

Apprenticeships: Vince Cable guarantees quality, slashes red tape and delivers cash boost for firms

Business Secretary Vince Cable has announced new measures to ensure more young people benefit from an apprenticeship, and to help employers gain the skilled workers they need to grow.

Karonia specified for sustainable development

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Mistral solid surface worktops by Karonia have been specified throughout the innovative new 'Green Street in The Meadows' development in Nottingham. The inspiring 38 home development has been designed to an unprecedented standard of quality and sustainability, making the houses significantly cheaper to run than comparable homes.

Latest ONS construction industry output figures released today

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The Office for National Statistics has this morning issued its latest Statistical Bulletin on 'Output in the Construction Industry' in Great Britain.

The bulletin reveals that:

Birmingham tradesman fined over asbestos release

A Birmingham handyman has been prosecuted after releasing asbestos fibres while refurbishing a kitchen at a flat in Solihull.

Women cook better living with a partner

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A woman's cooking ability improves dramatically after she moves in with her partner as she happily takes on the traditional female household role, a new study has shown. Research shows that three quarters of women not only cook more but are better at it than when they are single.

FIRA leads the way on cutting carbon footprint of furniture industry

The Furniture Industry Research Association will be sharing the findings of a key furniture industry research project that has assessed the feasibility of providing the UK furniture industry with product carbon footprint benchmarks. The event, which is open to those within the furniture industry, will be held on Tuesday 6th December, at Birmingham Botanical Gardens, between 10.00 and 16.00.

UK construction: Activity growth at five-month high despite deteriorating housing sector

The seasonally adjusted Markit/CIPS Construction Purchasing Managers' Index registered a five-month high of 53.9 in October, up from 50.1 in September.

New design event to showcase cutting edge concepts and materials

The launch of the new design show 'W12 - Working with Design', will be an important national event for KBB designers , manufacturers and retailers alike.

Amica's Platinum collection joins the set of Hollyoaks

Amica's Platinum collection has been installed as part of a major refurbishment on the set of 1 Stockton Lane, better known as the accommodation above The Dog in the Pond, the public house in Channel 4's award-winning youth drama, Hollyoaks.

Leisure Sinks reaches new heights in Dorset

More than 50 Euroline stainless steel one and a half bowl sinks and Aquaflow taps from Leisure Sinks, are being installed at Persimmon Homes' award-winning Badbury Heights development.


AMDEA celebrates the accomplishments of Uwe Hanneck

After its Board meeting and AGM on 26th October, the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances held a lunch at the Riverside Room of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, for 50 members and industry colleagues to thank Uwe Hanneck of BSH, for his tireless efforts in serving the Association. Uwe was AMDEA Chairman for the past six years and has now retired, handing the baton to John Morrissey of Indesit.


New brochure and new collection from Lakes Bathrooms

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Shower specialist Lakes Bathrooms has launched a new brochure with a free DVD, to showcase its full range and introduce the new Coastline Collection. The 100-page book now details a wide selection of frameless, semi-frameless and fully framed enclosures built with a choice of 8mm or 6mm safety glass.

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