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21st October 2016


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International News

British Ceramic Tile launches a new dedicated kitchen tile collection to support independent retailers

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British Ceramic Tile has launched its first ever, dedicated kitchen tile collection to better support retailers in generating add-on sales during the kitchen buying process.

With over a quarter of tiles bought in 2015 destined for use in the kitchen, tiles are proving to be an increasingly important purchasing decision with retailers looking to offer consumers the full kitchen package from cabinets through to flooring. With this new collection, British Ceramic Tile will look to support existing and new retailers with their kitchen offer, carefully selecting a range of wall and floor tiles to cater for all consumer tastes.

Saniflo introduces the new and improved Kinemagic Serenity

Designed for those who need a bit of extra help showering, the popular Kinemagic Serenity walk-in shower cubicle is also ideal for the whole family. Beautiful, spacious and practical, it has recently benefited from a range of upgrades to make life even easier for those who need care assisted showering.

Abode's Dune sinks have attractive ripple drainer design

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New from Abode and showcased earlier this year at KBB, is the Dune range of reversible, functional composite granite sinks. With strong geometric lines, rounded corners and a stunning, ripple effect, practical drainer pattern, these creative features are the back-bone of the design which are right 'on trend' with current kitchen design themes.

'Love the Shower, Love the Price', with Triton

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The Great British Shower Company, Triton, has launched the inspiring Affordable Style collection which brings together stunning aesthetics and the latest technology. Featuring contemporary electric and chrome mixer products, the comprehensive new offering provides something suitable for every interior and budget.

Burbidge offers infinite inspiration with extended Otto range

Against the backdrop of an increasingly creative consumer profile, Burbidge continues to drive industry innovation with its newly extended Otto kitchen - arguably its most consolidated range yet.

Methven retains exclusive CoolBrands status

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Methven, the global designer and manufacturer of premium showers and tapware, has been named among an exclusive list of companies to be given official 'CoolBrands' status in the UK for the second year in a row.

Franke extends popular Kubus sink range with a new super-sized model

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Franke has extended its best-selling Kubus stainless steel undermount sink range with the addition of the new, super-sized KBX 110-70. The sink measures 700 x 400mm with an extra-deep 230mm bowl.

American standard launches campaign to announce new ActiClean self-cleaning toilet

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Unexpected visitors? Worse yet, the in-laws stopping by unannounced? It's no worries with the new ActiClean self-cleaning toilet from American Standard. Simply press a button, walk away, and let the toilet do the rest.

Just ask Howie Mandel.

The comedian, television host and self-described germaphobe is helping launch the ActiClean self-cleaning toilet, serving as its PR spokesperson.

Britannia Living launches integrated dishwasher

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Britannia Living, the premium kitchen appliance specialist, has expanded its portfolio of luxury appliances with the addition of a fully integrated 60cm dishwasher.

The Britannia Cascata dishwasher boasts an A+++ energy rating, a generous 14 place setting capacity and eight different wash cycles, including economy and rapid wash cycles. The appliance has six temperature levels and also offers features including a 1-24 hour delay start timer and an LCD digital display. It also has low water consumption of 10 litres and low noise level of 45dB.

Ideal Standard adds to Concept Freedom range with new accessible bath for all ages

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Ideal Standard has extended its successful 'accessible bathroom range', Concept Freedom, with the addition of a new accessible bath, suitable for the whole family.

Now this is what you call a bubble bath...

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If anything stokes the need to pop a bottle of champagne and 'chill out in the tub' in a candle-lit bathroom, it's this Newton Bathtub, which is now on show at Maison Valentina in Italy. It would almost be criminal not to go the whole hog, wouldn't it?

SieMatic Pure SE 3003 newly on display at Urban Interior (London)

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Embrace the 'Purest World' of SieMatic with the Pure SE 3003 R Kitchen, now taking centre stage as a new display at interior design studio, Urban Interior.

Czar kitchen taps from Abode: simple, stylish and easy to use

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"There are times when 'simple, stylish and easy to use' outweighs architecturally designed pieces in the kitchen," states Helen Clark, marketing manager at Abode "and our new Czar kitchen mixer taps, we believe, will become the staple diet of any modern kitchen. For us it's not about creating just functional objects, it's about creating both a functional and practical object with stylish clean lines and modern shapes."

Welcome to the



I’m always on the lookout when visiting ‘away from home’ loos, for products made by my KBB industry friends, since it’s lovely to see things I’ve written about, in situ, as opposed to looking at a photograph.

While most of the public washroom news I receive, concerns facilities being closed down because it’s more lucrative for local authorities to sell them off to housing developers than it is to keep them open, stocked and cleaned; it’s the gender designation or mixed washrooms that are making headlines in private sector and overseas news.

A press release from US company Impact Products made me chuckle. It talks about how, if they have not already, patrons in all types of commercial facilities will soon discover that signs indicating separate men's and women's washrooms are being replaced with ‘gender-neutral’ signs.

Refuge Restrooms, a site that lists every public, all-gender washroom in the US, says there are now 4,500 such public facilities in the country and that the number is growing fast.

While many of these all-gender signs will say ‘all-gender’ or ‘gender-neutral’ - some creative organisations have decided to add humour to their signs, aware that this is something of a contentious issue.

Impact says the top five gender-neutral signs uncovered so far are:

  • Lou or Lulu? Any loo will do (Goddess and the Baker Restaurant, Chicago)
  • Blokes or Birds Restroom (Virgin Hotel, Chicago)
  • We Don't Care (San Francisco office building)
  • Whichever! (Several US locations)
  • Pointers and Setters (Roadside restaurant stop, Illinois)

“We believe restroom users should always have a positive restroom experience," says Impact’s Amy Severtsky. "Clean restrooms, well stocked, including feminine hygiene products and dispensers, are always needed and will always be wanted no matter who uses the restroom or what the sign says on the door.”

While I agree with Amy’s sentiment, I abhor the idea of mixed washrooms and hope they don’t catch on. Meeting a colleague or customer of the opposite sex while touching up one’s lipstick or adjusting a hem or something is bad enough as it is, but being sat next to a man using a cubicle, with just a thin sheet of something between us, fills me with dread. These things are private, after all! And then there’s the safety aspect to consider…

Am I a prude or do you women agree with me? And what about you men?



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Self-build consumer confidence high at London Homebuilding & Renovating Show

The capital city's largest self-build event, The London Homebuilding & Renovating Show, sponsored by Anglian Home Improvements, (23-25 September, ExCeL, London) experienced a 11% year-on-year increase in visitors and those questioned stated that they were prepared to spend up to £123,000 on their property plans despite the prediction that Brexit would cause uncertainty and slow down the market - a 2% increase in spend from 2015.

More than 18% of visitors said that their renovation or construction was underway and 44% said it was due to commence within six months.

Franke's Cristallo tap features a distinctive angular design

* Franke-Cristallo.jpgThe minimalist aesthetics of the new Cristallo from Franke's Specialist Range make it a versatile tap for both traditional and contemporary kitchen designs.

The Cristallo features upright paddle levers and the popular U-shaped spout. The spout sits flush with its striking cylindrical body to give it a distinctively angular, yet streamlined, design.

Industry Golf Challenge was not just fun and games

* CBT.jpgThe recent Bathroom Industry Golf Challenge was not just fun and games. It had a serious drive about it. A total of 52 participants sliced, bogied and eagled their way to putting much-needed funds towards the Bathroom Manufacturers Association's favourite charity, The Children's Burns Trust (CBT).

The match, together with the traditional raffle at the networking dinner on 'the fringe' of the Bathroom & Kitchen Industry Conference, raised just over £1,500.

Scona and KA 90: luxurious, seamless and contemporary

* Kaldewei-Scona-Anthracite.jpgWith the Scona shower programme, Kaldewei is now able to meet almost any size requirement and installation type for modern, low level showering. Combined with the new KA 90 ultra low waste fitting, now available in a choice of coloured enamel to match the shower surface finish, it is now easier than ever before to achieve a luxurious, seamless and contemporary look either at low level or completely flush with the floor.

Available in a wide variety of colours to personalise a bathroom design, Scona can also be supplied with different surface finishes including Secure Plus, Kaldewei's renowned anti-slip finish which is virtually invisible.

PWS Worksurfaces achieves Lapitec accreditation

* PWS_Lapitec.jpgPWS Worksurfaces has added another accreditation to its line-up of credentials, with the recent award of 'Lapitec approved fabricator' status.

A team of four, from the PWS's production, technical and sales departments, was invited to Lapitec HQ in Italy for in-depth training on the material, including its technical properties, CNC machining recommendations and range content. Extensive testing subsequently took place at PWS's factory, with specialist features created, prior to the Lapitec approved status being awarded.

Latest ISO 14001 data shows significant global growth in environmental management systems' use

Data just released on the uptake of the International Environmental Management Systems standard ISO 14001 shows that the number of certificates issued worldwide has grown 8% over the last year. The worldwide total of accredited ISO 14001 certificates now stands at 319,324 and IEMA reports that the data published this week by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) shows a year-on-year increase of over 25,000 certificates between 2014 and 2015.

KBBG welcomes Warendorf-Die Küche to its growing list of suppliers

* Ginkel_Miller.jpgThe rapid growth of the Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group has attracted yet another quality name. Continuing its ongoing quest to bring its independent kitchen specialist members the very best kitchen and bathroom suppliers, Warendorf-Die Küche will be supporting the KBBG by offering exclusive, special buying terms to members.

Go green with Caple's new integrated dishwashers

* Caple-Di631.jpgCaple is embracing the trend for eco-friendly living with its new, fully integrated Di631 and Di481 dishwashers. From an impressive energy efficiency rating of A++ (with A-rated washing and drying performance) to low water consumption - with the Di481i using as little as 9 litres to 11 litres for the Di631 - these models are perfect for those wishing to lower their carbon footprint.

Make the most of millennial demand, says HiB

* Prima-roomset.jpgWith a new report by Houzz highlighting a high percentage of UK millennials choosing to update their outdated or undesirable bathrooms rather than relocate, HiB is suggesting to retailers to make the most of this potentially lucrative opportunity.

According to a new report by Houzz, over half (57%) of millennial homeowners (aged 25 to 34) renovated their home in 2015 and a huge 79% have recently redecorated. Furthermore, the research shows updating an outdated or undesirable design or style was the top issue addressed for home improvement - with over half (53%) saying this was a key focus for the bathroom.

Turkey's VitrA invests in new capacity

* VitrA.jpgTurkey’s premier bathroom brand and leading exporter of ceramic sanitary ware is increasing its production capacity by 20%. VitrA’s new investment will raise its ceramic sanitary ware capacity to six million units per year and create 500 new jobs.

The Eczacıbaşı Building Products Division has completed the first phase of its new production plant for ceramic sanitary ware at the Bilecik-Bozüyük complex in Turkey. This is VitrA’s fourth production plant for bathroom products at the complex.

Rearo has interiors covered with new flooring range

* Rearo-kitchen.jpgRearo, the Govan-based manufacturer and supplier of bathroom and kitchen surfaces and accessories, has launched its first ever flooring range, Clixeal, which it developed in response to domestic and commercial customer demand. The vinyl flooring range is now on sale at its six showrooms across Britain, and through Rearo's distributors and retail network.

The Clixeal range comes in eight options, including tile or traditional wood plank effect, and is waterproof, scratch resistant and antibacterial. A range of accessories and finishings are available, for secure installation and a perfect finish.

DVSA seeks views on changes to tachograph centre rules

The Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency launched yesterday a review on proposals to improve rules for approved tachograph centres. These ATCs - of which there are around 600 in Great Britain - install, calibrate and inspect tachographs, which record information about driving time, speed and distance. Proposals include:

* removing the requirement for ATCs to offer analogue tachograph calibration
* reviewing the site dimensions to allow smaller sites to be used
* updating the ATC manual

Roman launches new brochures

* Roman-new-Showroom-Guide.jpgRoman has published new Showroom Guide brochures, which introduce updates on existing products and exciting new products launching in 2017.

The brochure covers all the Roman Ranges from 4mm through to 10mm with framed, semi-framed and frameless enclosures. It also includes Roman's Select Wetrooms, which allows users to choose the perfect wetroom size, style and configuration to suit the individual bathroom. Bath screens are featured with a multitude of different sizes and styles, from inward opening to outward opening and from 5mm to 10mm.

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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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How to contact us at The KBzine:
Jan Hobbs
Publishing Editor
Tel: +44 (0)1372 811 307 
Mobile: 07980 288 373






John Austen
Publishing Director
Tel: +44 (0)1580 755 863
Mobile: 07766 707 888
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Recent News

BMA celebrates three major milestones

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Not one, not two, but three milestones were celebrated by the Bathroom Manufacturers Association at the industry's recent Annual Bathroom & Kitchen Business Conference.

KBSA Experts - Kitchen Advice Centre at Grand Designs Live

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The Kitchen, Bathroom & Bedroom Specialists Association has announced that Tina Riley , KBSA national chair, as well as KBSA retail members Stuart Irving and Kimberly Jacks, will provide advice to consumers in the Kitchen Advice Centre as part of the Kitchen Live Experience Sponsored by KBSA corporate member Miele, at the Grand Designs Live show.

Quality, excellence and innovation - there's a Geberit award for it

Now in its third year, the Geberit Awards 2016 promises to be the best yet, as installers from throughout the bathroom, plumbing and heating industries battle it out to be crowned the best in the business.

Record success at Sirius Buying Group's VIP Kitchen & Electrical Retail Trade Show 2016

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The Sirius Buying Group, a major buying group in the electrical appliance and kitchen retail industry, tells us that its recent VIP Members Trade Show was the largest and most successful to date, winning a succession of kitchen retail visitors as new members to the Group.

Two construction firms benefit from national apprenticeship scholarship

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Two construction firms have benefited from a national scholarship scheme which enables them to take on an apprentice who is entirely funded to work for them for 12 months.

KBSA "proud to report another successful AGM and National Conference"

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The Kbsa is delighted to report that this year's AGM and National Conference and Networking Dinner surpassed last year's success. Attended by over 58 retailers and 42 Corporates, the event attracted over a 120 delegates.

KBSA Designer Awards Winners - a rundown

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The KBSA has announced the winners of the 2016 KBSA Designer Awards.

Winner of the Kitchen Designer of the Year (Under £30K), sponsored by Omega, was Aileen Thomson of Kitchens International, with her 'blend of modern and traditional' kitchen.

Take part in the iKBBI National Waste Survey 2016

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The Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers is inviting the industry to take part in a National Waste Survey, the results of which should provide a better understanding of the working habits of the sector.

The 30 second survey is designed for kitchen, bedroom & bathroom installers, and one lucky winner will be picked randomly to receive a £100 fuel voucher as a prize for completing the survey.

British Ceramic Tile steps out at London Fashion Week

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The world of fashion and interiors have once again united, with British Ceramic Tile stepping out in style at London Fashion Week 2016, which took place last month. The UK's leading ceramic and glass tile manufacturer, once again supported LFW, tiling the New Gen area at the show, a space dedicated to celebrating the young designers of the future.

Dream Doors and Articad: a partnership for growth

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Dream Doors has selected ArtiCAD as its CAD partner not only for the company's headquarters but also as the preferred design solution for its UK-wide network of franchisees. Dream Doors has invested in three of the company's products: ArtiCAD-Pro, the company's flagship KBB CAD design software, Room Styler (the visualisation tool) and Pan360 (panoramic viewer).


Franke and More in Store retailers raise £8,250+ for Marie Curie and reach 1.1million+ audience

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Franke and 190 of its 'More in Store' retailers have raised over £8,250 and reached an audience of over 1.1 million people through a pro-active fundraising drive for Marie Curie, as part of the charity's national 'Blooming Great Tea Party' campaign.

Abode continues investment in training

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Three years ago, Abode committed to giving something back to the community, in and around the local Barnsley area, by employing a number of apprentices.

Alno UK appoints a new south east area sales manager

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German manufactured kitchen retailer, has Alno announces a new member to its team of area sales managers for the UK.


Virtual worlds advises on how to leverage the bathroom boom

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With new research suggesting that the bathroom industry is set to outperform the general UK economy this year, Virtual Worlds is reminding KBB retailers of the importance of investing in CAD technology in order to unlock the full opportunity presented.

Have you heard the Big Bang: explosive promotion from Benchmarx?

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The trade-only supplier of high quality, pre-assembled kitchens, Benchmarx Kitchens & Joinery, has launched this year's Big Bang promotion period. With the ongoing aim to 'save the trade time and money', this much-loved annual promotion runs until 31st October and means that builders and tradespeople can benefit from a range of great deals across an array of appliances, accessories, flooring and ironmongery.


Frontline Bathrooms launches Autumn Winter 2016/17 brochure

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Luxury is the name of the game this season, and UK bathroom distributor Frontline Bathrooms has pulled out all the stops in its new Autumn Winter 2016/17 brochure to make it the biggest and best yet.

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