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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
10th February 2012


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

International News

Glimmers of hope for remodelling in the US in 2012

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After a slow start, home improvement spending is expected to trend up later this year, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released this week by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. If this momentum continues to build during the second half of the year, remodelling activity is on course to end 2012 on a positive note.

Furniture retail quality group publishes Flammability Best Practice Guide

The Furniture Industry Research Association has announced the publication of a new best practice guide for flammability testing of upholstery on behalf of the Furniture Retail Quality Group, the technical committee representing all major UK furniture retailers.

Gender differences using technology highlighted by survey

Men are baffled by washing machines while women can't get their heads around smart phone, research revealed this month.

Welcome to the


John and I have been producing an e-zine for the cleaning industry for 10 years now. It was part of the same stable from which KBZine was launched by Richard & Debbie Schwarz and I have to confess that I always felt I'd drawn the short straw - particularly when it came to exhibitions.

Yes the cleaning industry has some lovely people but I can't quite summon up the same enthusiasm for a mopping system or pressure washer as I can for luxury bathroom furniture, fabulous kitchens, high-tech appliances and taps and worktops that are begging to have you run your fingers over them!

One of the grumbles I hear from those attending cleaning shows (or reasons for non-attendance) is that: "There's never anything new in the industry." I tend to argue this point as there is innovation but it seems that it's gone almost as far as it's likely to and a lot of the 'new' products have merely had changes of livery.

Not so the KBB industry where we love changes of livery! 

KBB Birmingham 2012's organisers tell me that more than 1000 new products are due to be showcased by various of the 200 exhibitors at the show next month (4 - 7th March).

That's 1000 new products and some wonderful established ones all fighting for attention. If you're exhibiting and haven't yet let us know what you'll be unveiling, do send us your press release as soon as possible so we can include the information in our rolling show preview and help persuade our readers that your stand is one that simply cannot be missed! Our 'rolling' Preview is here

We look forward to hearing from you...



Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Enterprises must boost innovation as global competition becomes stronger

* Innovation-chart.jpgAlmost all EU Member States have improved their innovation performance according to the Innovation Union Scoreboard 2011 released on Tuesday by the European Commission in Brussels. However, innovation performance growth is slowing down and the EU is not closing the persistent gap with global innovation leaders US, Japan and South Korea. The largest gap for the EU27 remains in terms of private sector innovation.

Whirlpool induction hob is super fast and stylish

* Whirlpool-Induction-hob-ACM775.jpgAll the superb advantages of induction cooking technology are incorporated into the highly stylish and elegant Whirlpool ACM 775 extra-wide hob.

NKBA report shows high optimism for start of 2012

The US National Kitchen & Bath Association has released the Kitchen & Bath Market Report for the fourth quarter. Although results convey a slight drop-off from third quarter in number of remodels and budgets, showroom visits held steady from a year ago and with marked increases from 2009 and 2010, optimism for the first quarter of 2012 remains high.

Karonia to showcase extended Mistral range

* Galaxy-worktop-Karonia-MISTRAL-range.jpgKBB 2012: Hall 20, Stand F110

Karonia, the provider of Mistral genuine 25mm solid surface worktops, will be unveiling its significantly extended range. On display will be a number of exciting new colourways for the versatile enhanced acrylic worksurface.

LDL plans colourful presence

* LDL-Wesco.jpgKBB 2012: Hall 18, Stand L95

Vibrant colour will be one of the most striking features of LDL's stand. The popular nationwide distributor of quality fittings and accessories for the fitted furniture industry will be showcasing a whole range of new products, including the stunning Wesco household range of freestanding kitchen and bathrooms bins in bold fashion colours and an exciting new lighting collection.

'Get a new handle on it!' suggests Hafele

Hafele-Lamont_Group.jpgKBB 2012: Stand I130

Hafele will be showcasing its new and latest product ranges; a selection of over 400 new handles will be available to view, categorised into five easily identifiable groups:

Sustainable products and installation materials can earn 'green' NSF International certification

NSF International, an independent global organisation that writes public health standards and certifies products for food, water and consumer goods, now offers Green Squared Certification for sustainable ceramic tiles, glass tiles and installation materials.

Roman adds Ultra Care pre-coating glass protection

* Orbital-Colossus.jpgRenowned UK shower designer and manufacturer, Roman, has given its enclosures and bath screens the ultimate in glass protection by adding Roman Ultra Care pre-coating to its products. This is a special glass protection system that has been designed to work in tandem with the company's award-winning Roman Ultra Care in a bottle.

Lakes Bathrooms moves to new premises

* Lake-new-premises.jpgContinued growth for shower specialist Lakes Bathrooms has seen the company relocate to new, significantly larger premises. The move doubles the space to a total 60,000 square feet and consolidates its four existing Gloucestershire sites into one much larger head quarters.

Richard Willetts Joins EQ Sales Team

* Richard-Willetts.jpgDue to continued growth and expansion in the UK, EQ Software has appointed Richard Willetts as Area Business Manager for the second time.

HiB master bathroom ventilation new for 2012

* HiB-Vents-Display-Board.jpgNew for 2012 from bathroom specialist HiB, is a range of ceiling and wall mounted bathroom extraction fans.

As with all HiB products, these new additions to the portfolio have been introduced to offer superior quality, performance and aesthetic value.
Bathroom extraction is extremely important as steam and the resulting condensation can accumulate to create damp and mould which will eventually have a negative effect on surfaces and accessories.

New EU Textile Regulations

A new EU Regulation concerning textile fibre names and related labelling and marking of the fibre composition of textile products will be implemented in the UK, and across the EU, on 8th May 2012. 

This Regulation (1007/2011) replaces three existing textile labelling Directives with a single Regulation which should make it easier and quicker to cope with technical innovation in the future. The process for applying for, approval of, and adoption of a new fibre name has been simplified and so will hopefully speed up the process. 

Drive away those chills with portable heating!

* Glofan.jpgNot just for those that haven't been able to get into work over the past couple of weeks but also for those that regularly work from home, Dimplex offers a stylish and energy efficient selection of portable heaters. These can provide a powerful source of warmth directly where it is required, without the need to heat the whole house.

Government urged to boost credibility of apprenticeship schemes

The Forum of Private Business has urged the Government to simplify the entire apprenticeship system to make it more business-friendly and appealing to industry leaders.

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.

Search The KBzine:

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

Pseudomonas - we need more facts

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By Yvonne Orgill, CEO of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association

The tragic baby deaths in Belfast's Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital have shocked us all and investigations into how and where this killer bug, pseudomonas, thrived, need to be carried out quickly and accurately.

SBID offers honorary membership to kbbreview award finalists

The Society of British Interior Designers is offering the finalists in the design categories of the kbbreview Awards the opportunity to become an honorary member for a year, usually worth more than £300.

World record-breaking paralympic athlete champions independent living opportunity

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If anyone is an inspirational role model for illustrating the rewards in overcoming a disability, it's Jon-Allan Butterworth. The 25-year-old is considered one of the country's brightest hopefuls for the London 2012 Paralympic Games in the cycling category, having already broken numerous British and world records. The athlete has teamed up with independent living solutions provider AKW to demonstrate that having a disability does not mean you cannot be self-sufficient in the home.

160-year old kitchenwares firm goes for high-tech inventory management tool

A multi award-winning kitchen, dining and housewares supplier with a 160-year history has opted for a high-tech solution to boost already impressive availability targets.

KBSA announces new corporate member

The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has just announced a new Corporate Member, Keller Kitchens.

FIRA dramatically reduces its carbon footprint by working with Recycling Furniture

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Through the help of Recycling Furniture, The Furniture Industry Research Association is now able to recycle a large proportion of the furniture it tests, rather than sending it to landfill.

Ultima Furniture Systems takes over Matchmaker Kitchens

Longstanding cabinet manufacturer Ultima Furniture Systems has today announced that it is taking over the Matchmaker Kitchen brand.

Retrofit 2012 conference finds that policymakers have yet to engage with human behaviour

The University of Salford Retrofit 2012 conference concluded yesterday with a detailed focus on the challenges of the large-scale behaviour change needed in the UK if the Government is to achieve its carbon reduction targets.

Belling announces centenary plans for 2012

Popular cooking appliance brand Belling, has announced a 12 month programme of activity to take place throughout 2012 to celebrate its centenary year.

Anna Ryder Richardson and Gerd Bulthaup to speak at kbb Birmingham

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The seminar programme for kbb Birmingham 2012 has been announced and it promises to equip visitors with the inspiration and knowledge for the year ahead, discussing the key issues facing the sector.


New Abode for talented young technical designer

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Talented 25 year old Mark Staweczny recently joined the award winning design team of Abode, the manufacturer of highly creative kitchen sinks and taps and bathroom brassware.

Franke appoints Annie for first class aftersales service

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Kitchen system, sink and tap specialist, Franke, has appointed Annie Dwan to work in Customer Services.


Vado announces 2012 catalogue collection

In preparation for what is set to be another busy year for brassware manufacturer Vado, the company has produced a range of 2012 catalogues tailored to the specific requirements of its customers, namely:

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