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20th May 2016


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International News

KBSA Designer Awards 2016

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The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has reminded us that the deadline for 2016 Designer Awards submissions is fast approaching - so don't miss the opportunity to showcase your talents.

More Bette Baths with hidden overflow - BetteSensory options extended

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With the launch of the BetteLux Shape bath in 2015, Bette introduced a new type of electronic waste and overflow system called BetteSensory, which removes the need for a visible bath overflow. The company is now adding this innovative option to other baths in its portfolio.

Your contribution to landfill...

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Problems are often brushed under the carpet, but one problem that cannot be ignored any longer is the issue of sending food waste to landfill sites.

'Form and Functionality' from the Pure Bathroom Collection by Smiths Briten

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Bang on trend for summer 2016's pared-back look, distributor Smiths Briten has launched two beautifully simple bathroom suites - perfect for either a small cloakroom or a larger en-suite.

Calcutta Marble booms as tastes change: Decor of the month from Wilsonart reflects historical design trend

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Wilsonart has identified growing demand for white marble effects. There's no coincidence that the enduring design appeal of white marble, just like that of the Taj Mahal so recently visited by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, is enjoying a resurgence in kitchen design.

New technology: Washbasin and bathroom furniture merge to form a single unit

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To meet the highest design requirements in the bathroom, Duravit has developed an innovative method that involves connecting the ceramic furniture washbasin to the surface of the vanity unit to create a perfect whole.

Bathroom storage just got seriously slick with HiB'S Stratus

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HiB is continuing in its unrelenting mission to help consumers to make their bathrooms beautiful with its stunning new Stratus bathroom cabinet range.

Caple launches new pyrolytic pizza oven

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Cooking pizza reaches a new dimension with Caple's new Sense Premium C2485 pyrolytic oven. The pizza function is a first for Caple and this model, which comes with a pizza stone, will cook this Italian cuisine in just three minutes at a temperature of 350C, making this the perfect choice for fresh pizzas.

RAK launches encaustic-styled Cronto Collection

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RAK Ceramics has launched a new range of encaustic-styled porcelain tiles. The new on-trend Cronto Collection includes 15 rustic wall and floor tiles, in a mix of plain and decorative designs. Patterns include traditional hotchpotch decors and retro-shapes, giving tremendous design scope in a range of natural tones.

Popular commercial tap range extended and enhanced with new technology and design

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A popular commercial tap range has undergone a major design and functionality overhaul to ensure modern water saving efficiency and design credentials are met.

AHEC launches new and improved American Hardwood Environmental Profile

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The American Hardwood Export Council has developed an easy to use visual system to allow US hardwood exporters to create a comprehensive American Hardwood Environmental Profile (AHEP) with each individual consignment of product delivered to any market in the world.

Versatile styling with PWS' new 1909 collection

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PWS's enhanced 1909 collection has opened up a host of new styling options for designers. The recent launch of the in-frame slab range brings a contemporary slant to the range that evolves the traditional ethos of in-frame cabinetry.

Uform launches three new ranges in matte, gloss & oak finishes

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Uform is celebrating Spring / Summer with the launch of a new product trio under its popular Kitchen Stori consumer brand. Featuring matte, gloss and oak finishes, these latest ranges are designed to capitalise on current market trends and provide products that represent the best that the kitchen industry has to offer.

Smeg debuts stunning Dolce Stil Novo collection

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Smeg has debuted Dolce Stil Novo - its most elegant and technically advanced collection of appliances ever. Conceived and manufactured in Italy, the collection comprises innovative built-in ovens, game-changing hobs and pan-stand designs inspired by the natural world.

AEG brings sous vide cooking to compact range

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AEG is launching a compact, multifunction oven with sous vide, to bring great taste to kitchens of all sizes. It works in exactly the same way as a traditional oven, with the added benefit of steam and sous vide functions.

Welcome to the


Do you remember in last week’s leader I was saying how the lines between the KBB industry and cleaning are starting to blur?

Well one of the developments we learned about at the Amsterdam show is one that I can perhaps see taking off in our homes at some time in the future.

Do you, or does a member of your family, take a book or newspaper into the bathroom to read while using the loo? When you consider it (and think about potential hygiene issues) it’s not very nice, is it? Particularly if it’s a book or newspaper that someone else in the family is going to read afterwards!

Years ago, when the British Toilet Association first formed and I was on the committee, a colleague mentioned that local authorities could help pay for the upkeep of our public washrooms by selling advertising space for the cubicle door.  I was clearly not the only one sitting there open mouthed, as he then commented: “You have a captive audience.” You could almost hear the penny drop…

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Over the years, we’ve become used to seeing advertising on cubicle doors, but recently, one of our contacts realised that when men use the loo standing up, they’re not going to see the advertisement.

As our picture shows, this image is actually a fixed screen and it’s really rather clever… If the user is standing up, the image is facing him. If the sensor on the toilet seat detects that he’s sitting down, it causes the image to reverse and be reflected onto a mirror placed at head height opposite the toilet seat – making the message readable.

How long is it going to be, I wonder, before we all have one of these in our bathrooms so we can have a hygienic, ‘hands-free’ read while using the loo – however quick the ‘visit’ might be?



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Abacus goes with the Flow

* Abacus-showroom.jpgDetermined to open 'a bathroom showroom like no other', builders and plumbers' merchants, MP Moran, turned to Abacus Manufacturing Group to help create an impressive display at one end of its new Flow Luxury Bathroom showrooms.

Created at MP Moran's head office in Kilburn, north-west London, the dramatic and inspirational, high-end showroom was officially opened by television personality, Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen.

Hoover joins retra in support of independents

* Hoover-Premier-Collection.jpgLeading domestic appliance manufacturer Hoover is looking to increase its support to independent retailers in the UK by joining the Radio, Electrical & Television Retailers Association as an associate member.

After a strong performance in sales over the last 12 months, Hoover has identified the independent sector as a key area for growth.

Ultra-Natural addition has beauty in its veins

* Ultra.jpgCaesarstone has extended its premium Ultra-Natural range of quality quartz worktops with the launch of Statuario Maximus, which has the appearance of natural stone.

A marble-inspired design, Statuario Maximus is a bold new surface, featuring intricate warm grey veins which sweep across a soft white base, enriched by delicate background veins.

Hippo extends sponsorship of the iKBBI for a further three years

* Hippo-bag.jpgThe Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers confirmed this week that national waste logistics company Hippo has extended its corporate sponsorship of the Institute for a further three years.

Hippo is a highly innovative and market leading waste solutions provider which has actively supported the iKBBI for many years alongside the provision of a highly flexible service to its members.

Which? awards Best Buy status to two AEG washing machines

Which? has awarded the AEG L79685FL and L87405FL washing machines Best Buy Status.

Commenting on the AEG L79685FL, Which? says: "We love how well this AEG washes clothes and blasted through stains in our tests. It will do a great job with your laundry and thoroughly deserves being a Best Buy".

New Pro filter system launched by Pando

* Pando-PRO.jpgPando, the Spanish cooker hood and extractor manufacturer, has added an integrated filter system to its existing range of premium products.

The new Pro filter system is available in two different sizes (Pro 52 - 520mm and Pro 85 - 850mm) and will fit either a 600mm or 900mm kitchen unit. Bespoke units over 900mm are also available which covers more surface area than any other similar system that is currently on the market.

Xpelair puts noisy bathroom fans back on the agenda

* xp.jpgThe latest Noise Attitude Survey highlights that 48% of people feel that our home life is spoilt by noise, whilst a fifth are kept awake by sound disturbance at night.

From 23rd - 28th May, Noise Action Week - co-ordinated by Environmental Protection UK - will be highlighting the impact that noise can have on our health and quality of life, including disturbance from alarms, DIY, people, pets and most notably household appliances.

Chic Coheba joins RAK's porcelain collection

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A new stone-effect tile range has joined RAK's porcelain collection. New Coheba includes four stylish base tiles and a contemporary mixed-mosaic design, which includes each colour tone in a repeating rectangle design. All of the surfaces have a chic Lappatto finish and can be used on walls and floors, offering huge design scope for commercial and residential applications.

Coheba single-shades include beige, ivory, brown and anthracite, whilst the urban-style mosaic design repeats the four shades through two columns. All tiles measure 40 x 40 cm and can be laid inside and outside. The mix of base tones, as well as the mosaic design, can be laid to create zones and features, with RAK's rectified tile edges facilitating neat, tight grout joints for a very smart installation.

New Victorian back-to-wall WC by Perrin & Rowe

* Victorian.jpgPerrin & Rowe has introduced its new chinaware design, in the form of a Victorian back-to-wall pan: now available to retailers.

100% British made, the new Victorian cistern and pan naturally embrace the humble detailing long associated with the bourgeois era. Presenting a sophisticated simplicity that will suit any bathroom interior, it is crafted using the highest quality Cornish porcelain which is then expertly cast and glazed.

We have Mail

Ed: We're hoping you can help this company out with your advice. Please email us at news@thekbzine.com with your views. Many thanks!

Dear Jan,

We are a small kitchen, bedroom and bathroom provider and wondered if you could help with an issue we are having. We fitted an en suite for a customer in 2013 and unfortunately the shower tray developed a hairline crack/crazing. The supplier has stated that there is only a two-year guarantee with the tray and refuses to replace it.

Whilst we appreciate our customer's concern and have offered to provide free labour, they feel we should replace everything free of charge.

What would be your opinion?

We are keen to protect our reputation but feel the manufacturers should take this on board.

Kind regards

Linda Dobson

Franke appoints new UK sales director

* Franke_Rod-Jones.jpgFranke has appointed Rod Jones as sales director. Leading the UK sales team, Rod will manage the brand portfolio consisting of Franke, Carron Phoenix and KWC, across all key trade channels and is responsible for the development and execution of the UK-wide commercial strategy.

Rod brings with him extensive commercial leadership experience, with a background in consumer goods companies including Spectrum Brands, head of sales at Whirlpool and latterly, as business unit director for KitchenAid.

BSH appoints two new regional service managers

* BSH_Alan-Walls.jpgBSH's growing sales mean that its Customer Service constantly needs to adapt to continue to provide award-winning support for the organisation's brands (Bosch, NEFF, Siemens and Gaggenau). In Spring 2016, the existing 12 teams of Field Service Engineers were expanded to 14, which would be too many engineers for one UK-wide service manager to effectively co-ordinate.

Therefore, two new regional service managers, Alan Walls, responsible for the North, (main pic) and Andy Kent, responsible for the South, (pictured below right) have been appointed.

Mereway bath racer team raises £1000

* bath-racer.jpgA team of runners from Mereway raised £1000 for its 30th Anniversary charity appeal whilst pushing a 'Bath Racer' around the five mile Knowle Fun Run.

The West Midlands-based kitchen, bathroom and bedroom manufacturer has set a challenge to raise £30,000 during its 30th year and the Knowle Fun Run is one of the many sporting events taking place across the country.

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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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

Utopia invests in manufacturing excellence

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Bathroom furniture sector specialist, Utopia Bathrooms, has demonstrated its commitment to UK manufacturing by investing in a new board storage and delivery system including a throughfeed router at its Wolverhampton headquarters.

BMA builds its conference line up

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The Bathroom Manufacturers Association, organiser of the Bathroom & Kitchen Business Conference 2016, has announced three more speakers for the day-long event.

Internet sales of plumbing products in the UK increased by 28% in 2015

The Internet is the fastest growing distribution channel of the overall UK plumbing and heating products market and has experienced strong growth levels in the last five years.

iKBBI provides support to Trading Standards

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In addition to providing support to The Furniture Ombudsman and its vital work with Alternative Dispute Resolution, Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom, Bathroom Installers Chief Inspector Geoff Jackson has confirmed that the iKBBI will be present at this year's CTSI conference in Telford.

New head office and manufacturing warehouse facility for Phoenix Bathrooms

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Phoenix Bathrooms will be moving to new larger premises on Monday 9th May 2016.

The new premises have been in the process of development over the last three months and will consist of a new purpose built product training centre where the whole range of Phoenix products are displayed, open plan office for greater departmental communication and a warehouse and manufacturing facility that will be twice the size of the existing premises.

Smeg opens new state-of-the-art Abingdon headquarters

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Smeg UK has opened its striking new eco-conscious headquarters, on the site of the original MG car works, encompassing the history, heritage and heart-of-the-community family ties on which the company is founded.

How to make the North a magnet for the 'Millenials'

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Chancellor George Osborne has promised plenty of money for the Northern Powerhouse Project since he first proposed it in 2014. But is the effort really enough to turn the concept into reality?

Five year warranty on selected laundry products launched at CIH Show

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Amica household appliances, one of Europe's fastest growing manufacturers, is now supporting laundry products with a five year parts and labour warranty. Launched at the CIH Show in Birmingham, the warranty will be available on all laundry products in the Amica catalogue with a 7Kg capacity and above.

Trust me... I'm V-ZUG

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In a recent online survey, premium appliance brand V-ZUG was awarded the accolade of the most trusted provider of household and kitchen appliances in its home country of Switzerland. This coveted award recognises and rewards quality and reliability.


VitrA expands sales team with new 'North of England' rep

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VitrA is expanding its sales team by appointing Darren Dutch as area sales manager for the North of England.

Darren has accrued an impressive 22 years of industry experience joining VitrA from BCG where he sold kitchens and bathrooms in the North West. Before BCG, he had sold Ideal Standard to bathroom retailers in the same geographical area and so is well connected as well as product savvy.

Employee raffle helps four-legged friends in their time of need

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The future is looking bright for two canines in need at a Romanian dogs home thanks to the generosity of kind-hearted staff at the Geberit HQ in Warwick.

Dream Doors appoints Ed Brewer as new director of operations

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Kitchen makeover franchise firm Dream Doors has announced the appointment of Edward Brewer as the company's new director of operations.

Paradise gained!

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VitrA has appointed Jamie Paradise as area sales manager for the Midlands area. Jamie has been brought into the VitrA team to maintain and build upon sales in a region where VitrA is thriving.


New and updated Kinedo brochure published

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Saniflo has launched a new Kinedo brochure detailing the latest products and updates to bring together the whole range of Kinedo self-contained cubicles including the updated Kinemagic bath-replacement range, the brand new Eden, the Kineprime Glass as well as the latest Kineduo shower baths and the existing portfolio of leak-free cubicles.

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