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Issue 13 - Spring 2018





WIN £500 WORTH OF BUSHBOARD NUANCE BATHROOM WALL PANELS The official magazine of The British Institute of KBB Installation


Xxxxxxxx Contents


LIFT OFF for Apprenticeship!






Industry News supplied by kbbdaily


Sponsor News


The 18th Edition news


Modern Day Slavery


Opinion Piece


Security Matters


Insurance Advice


Bathroom Innovations


Financial Advice









50 WARNING! 54

Step By Step










Installer Profile


Company Profile

68 Events 70

Installer Initiative


Smart Homes


Equipment Advice


Step By Step


Ask The Experts


kbb 2018 Review


Design Competition


Smart Showers

103 Kitchen News 106 Bathroom Trends 110 Q & A 112 Installation Advice And much more inside ...

WIN!! 57


Welcome ... Well here we are on edition 13 of The Installer magazine and as usual its bigger and better than ever. We’ve been incredibly busy since the last edition in January, including enjoying a great KBB Birmingham experience and critically, advancing our apprenticeship initiatives at PROCAT. It appears that I took a bit of criticism following the publishing of some installer research we carried out in 2017, however, as I suggested in my response to kbbreview magazine who published the complaint, I believe we should be thanked for our engagement with installers and not chastised for publishing the views of this very important group of people. Positively, there have been great developments in other areas of the organisation including the development of our IT systems which will provide a solid foundation for our continued growth. Additionally, the new system will provide a robust compliance solution for our current and future retail installation standards partners. In this ever changing industry that we represent, it’s important that we remain open to positive change, positive thinking and most importantly, positive action. This is really vital with BREXIT looming especially as it will no doubt be unsettling for our nation, However, I believe that we must remain positive and make the very best out of this situation for ourselves, our family and our respective businesses. I hope you enjoy the magazine and invite you to make contact if you want to get involved in any of our exciting initiatives.

Damian Walters, BiKBBI CEO




ITS GO, GO, GO FOR THE BiKBBI APPRENTICESHIP SCHEME The BiKBBI has confirmed that it’s full steam ahead for the opening of its Centre of Excellence at the multimillion-pound PROCAT facility in the South East. The new Centre, which is located within Prospects College of Advanced Technology (PROCAT) in Basildon, will deliver several training opportunities, starting with a Level 2 Apprenticeship in Fitted Interiors for school leavers interested in a career in kitchen, bedroom & bathroom installation. The first two-year apprenticeship will commence in September 2018. Speaking at the March Education Committee meeting, CEO Damian Walters said, “The initiative is entering an exciting and critical phase so it’s vital for the industry to support it to create employment for up to 30 apprentices, or risk missing out on an exciting opportunity for the industry.” The BiKBBI’s Education Committee comprises a wide section of the industry,


including delegates from independent and national retailers, installers and key industry organisations. The 32-member committee, pledged its support for the apprenticeships and has been working collaboratively for 18 months on the initiative. Debbie McArthur, PROCAT’s curriculum developer who led the March committee meeting, confirmed that the apprenticeship would cover several topics for students and would not be limited to just the physical installation of KBB product.

“The industry has asked us to ensure that students leave their apprenticeship with a wide vision of their industry and so it should include business management and customer service."




“The opportunities for new talent to earn big in the home improvement sector is enormous. Now is the time to consider how we advise our kids on career options. Whilst a university pathway is ok for many it’s not the only option. For example, the former means that you begin working life with big financial debts, whereas in comparison as an apprentice you’ll earn money from the very beginning and with a real prospect of fairly rapid prosperity.”

Debbie commented: “The industry has asked us to ensure that students leave their apprenticeship with a wide vision of their industry and so it should include business management and customer service. We’re confident that the apprenticeship module will deliver this and more and so we all we need is to garner the support of installation businesses to employ these bright young things .” Debbie added, “The existing Level 2 Apprenticeship Standard is a great platform from which we can deliver. Although the committee would like to see future development of the standard, it’s clear it was created with passion and by an industry that needs this to work.” Damian added: “The Apprenticeship Standard, which replaced the old style ‘framework’ is up for review in 2020. We’ll definitely look to develop it with the support from the industry, not because the current version is lacking in anything, but because we’re working within a fast-evolving environment and it’s important we embrace any change and grow organically.” PROCAT is working with OAL (Occupational Awards Limited) and will deliver the qualification, which is split into two parts: Level 2 understanding of the Fitted Furniture Industry; and Level 2 NVQ in Fitted Furniture Installation


The qualification will consist of Core and Pathway requirements, through mandatory and optional units. These units will also include provision for maths and English learning where required. The delivery of the apprenticeship will be based on a day release to college scheme, with 20% of the education taking place ‘off-the-job’, which could include “online, practical and industry learning as well as time in the college” according to Debbie. Employers taking on an apprentice between the ages of 16-18, and have less than 49 employees, will be eligible for a fully funded apprenticeship. Those outside this criterion would contribute a mandatory 10% (or around £900). Employers would be responsible for employing apprentices, with a minimum salary of £3.50 per hour, to include the off-the-job training. Positively, all employers who take on an apprentice aged 16-18 would also receive an incentive payment of £1,000, usually paid in two instalments – one three months into the apprenticeship and one at the end of year one. Mirroring Theresa May’s comments in March, BiKBBI CEO said: “If we’re to truly address this nations skills gap, then we must invest in the next generation of installers. We can no longer afford to view vocational 

















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BiKBBI News learning as ‘ok for other people’s kids’ and to instead view apprenticeships as something we can be collectively proud of.”

Employers taking on an apprentice between the ages of 16-18, and have less than 49 employees, will be eligible for a fully funded apprenticeship. Referring to industry entrepreneur Charlie Mullins, of Pimlico Plumbers who has recently advertised a job on their website for an electrician, salary up to £100,000 per annum, Damian added: “The opportunities for new talent to earn big in the home improvement sector is enormous. Now is the time to consider how we advise our kids on career options. Whilst a university pathway is ok for many it’s

not the only option. For example, the former means that you begin working life with big financial debts, whereas in comparison as an apprentice you’ll earn money from the very beginning and with a real prospect of fairly rapid prosperity.” The bigger picture: BiKBBI also revealed its rollout plans for a nationally available apprenticeship. Damian said: “Clearly our aim is to promote apprenticeships that are available across the UK. The plan is to learn from our work with PROCAT and to then work with training providers and colleges nationally to develop and work with them. “We’ll create a national network of BiKBBI endorsed training partners and we’ll promote their learning to our audience. With over 5,500 members nationally, we’re ideally placed to promote apprenticeships to SME’s and from work to date, can see an appetite for future employers already.”

A call to action: BiKBBI and PROCAT will be hosting an employer event on the 23rd May 2018 at their Basildon Campus. The purpose of the event is to invite interested employers to find out more about the college and the apprenticeship. BiKBBI welcome interest in this event via their website:



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Margaret Talbot, Marketing Manager, VitrA

We are delighted to be a corporate sponsor of BiKBBI, the installer is a vital part of the jigsaw to VitrA."


A part of the Eczacıbaşı Group, one of Turkey’s most prominent industrial groups, VitrA and was founded way back in 1942. Firmly established in the UK, the company has been supplying UK bathroom retailers for 25 years and is firmly established as one of the leading bathroom brands. Speaking on behalf of VitrA, Margaret Talbot, Marketing Manager, said: ‘We are delighted to be a corporate sponsor of BiKBBI, the installer is a vital part of the jigsaw to VitrA and their importance can be overlooked by the industry. However, we are constantly striving to be the go-to bathroom brand by offering great products that are straightforward to install. In line with this we have recently launched a new campaign which directly supports bathroom installers. The Fit and Forget promotion is

aimed at the growing wall hung frames and flush plate market and ensuring the installers get access to the relevant training and product knowledge.’ BiKBBI CEO Damian Walters commented on the announcement by saying: “We’re hugely grateful that another big KBB manufacturer has decided to support our organisation. The endorsement of the BiKBBI by blue-chip brands like VitrA means that we can collectively achieve so much more. With a rapidly growing membership and exciting initiatives like our forthcoming apprenticeship launch these really are exciting times. He added: “We welcome VitrA to the BiKBBI family and thank them for their commitment. The support we receive from our corporate members is invaluable and is making the difference and enabling us to grow.” A truly global brand, VitrA manufactures a complete 

BiKBBI News range of bathroom products including some six million pieces of sanitaryware including baths, bathroom furniture, brassware and accessories annually across some 75 countries!

Damian Walters CEO, BiKBBI

We’re hugely grateful that another big KBB manufacturer has decided to support our organisation. We welcome VitrA to the BiKBBI family and thank them for their commitment."




Nigel Prince, Managing Director, New Way International.

We are delighted to be involved with the BiKBBI. Our exciting range of products greatly benefit installers as they work daily with water, dust and other working environments where a owning a phone device built to withstand these rigours can be of great benefit.”

New Way International has joined the ranks of BiKBBI sponsors by committing itself to the institute. The company is UK Distributor for the Bullitt Group, global device licensee for Caterpillar which supplies a wide range of durable Cat® phones to tradespeople.

'Cat® mobile phones are built to last and withstand the rigours of day-to-day installation work. The Caterpillar brand is globally recognised as being synonymous with trust, durability, reliability and quality This brand DNA is found in every Cat mobile

The range of robust, durable smartphones, mobile phones and accessories are designed with the tradesperson in mind and are an ideal match to our members requirements.”

phone and accessory as each of its phones are rugged and resilient, waterproof, drop-proof and with a large and powerful battery, keeping you connected wherever the project.'


BiKBBI News The comprehensive range of Cat mobile phones are built to last and withstand the rigours of day-to-day installation work. The Caterpillar brand is globally recognised as being synonymous with trust, durability, reliability and quality This brand DNA is found in every Cat mobile phone and accessory as each of its phones are rugged and resilient, waterproof, drop-proof and with a large and powerful battery, keeping you connected wherever the project. Managing Director of New Way International, Nigel Prince said, “We are delighted to be involved with the BiKBBI. Our exciting range of products greatly benefit installers as they work daily with water, dust and other working environments where a owning a phone device built to withstand these rigours can be of great benefit.”

This is another example of a great benefit for our members and brought to them as a direct result of their feedback. The CAT ® phones have ideal technology and durability, that our members need in their working environments, most importantly, we are happy to be able to offer our members a great discount."

Nicole Mercer, Communications Manager, BiKBBI.

A perfect example is the Cat S60, the world’s first thermal imaging smartphone with leading IP68, Mil-Spec 810G rugged credentials – drop proof up to 1.8m, waterproof up to 5m for 60 minutes, including salt water, and resilient to all types of dust. The range of robust, durable smartphones, mobile phones and accessories are designed with the tradesperson in mind and are an “ideal match to our members requirements” stated BiKBBI Communications Manager Nicole Mercer. “This is another example of a great benefit for our members and brought to them as a direct result of their feedback. The CAT® phones have ideal technology and durability, that our members need in their working environments, most importantly, we are happy to be able to offer our members a great discount. We thank New Way International for putting its trust in our organisation.” The full range of products can be found on the retail website www.ultimatephoneshop. where BiKBBI members will receive a 10% discount at time of purchase.



BiKBBI APPOINTS EDUCATION OFFICER The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI), confirmed the appointment of its new Education Officer, Stephanie Gray (pictured). Stephanie will be responsible for driving the organisations education initiatives, including its apprenticeship programme which is being launched from the multi-million pound facility at Prospects College of Advanced Technology (PROCAT) in September. The new Education Officer will also

work with strategic partners, including The Chartered Trading Standards Institute and safety partners Gas Safe Register & The NICEIC in the delivery of BiKBBI’s CPD portfolio. Stephanie commented on her appointment by saying: “I’m pleased to be joining the BiKBBI team at this exciting time and look forward to delivering great educational opportunities to both the new generation of apprentices and our greatly valued members.”

With a long heritage of developing innovative electrical wiring accessories, Hamilton Litestat has launched the first dual 2.4A USB switched socket plate, which allows two tablets or other higher-rated smart devices to be charged simultaneously from a single plate. Hamilton unveiled its range of dual switched socket plates with twin USB charging points last year. These feature one 1A USB socket for phones and another 2.1A USB socket for tablets. The newly-launched dual switched socket plate features two 2.4A USB sockets (combined 4.8A) that can be used simultaneously to make charging even easier in this ever-connected society. “Consumers want to be connected 24/7 and we’ve seen the demand for easy charging solutions skyrocket,” says Gavin Williams, Hamilton’s Marketing Manager. “Our dual switched socket plates have been hugely popular, and we anticipate strong demand for our new 2.4A solution that is set to make connectivity even easier.” Supplied as double pole as standard, the socket plate is available in 12 designs, including the popular Linea, Hartland and Sheer designer collections, each having up to 11 stunning finishes.



Blum UK is once again expanding its UK warehouse, only nine years after building the 3,000 square metre automated warehouse in 2009! The new extension will add a further 2,000 stock locations, and will also increase the speed of picking, as there will now be two picking locations. The new facility is scheduled to be live by November 2018, and will continue to add to Blum’s “One Experience” initiative which is to provide exemplary customer satisfaction .


POSITIVE OUTLOOK FOR 2018 The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom Installation held its annual stakeholder conference recently, attended by members, retail partners and associates. The event focussed on the organisation’s development throughout 2017 and provided guests with an insight into its plans for the year ahead.

Damian Walters, CEO, BiKBBI

The conference opened with an address by BiKBBI Brand Ambassador, Angela Smith, who shared some impressive numbers around membership growth, which is now in excess of 5,500 businesses, and the organisations social media growth and new digital strategy. Event host and main speaker, BiKBBI, CEO Damian Walters stated that the main focus for the institute in 2018 is to realise its ambitions of successfully bringing KBB apprenticeships for installers and he announced with understandable pride that after years of persistence, it will open its own Centre of Excellence in September this year.

Angela Smith, BiKBBI Brand Ambassador

More good news was announced by Damian when he unveiled

industry giant Häfele as the latest BiKBBI Official Sponsor whose representatives were in attendance. Further breaking news revealed on the day was that the BiKBBI, in response to industry challenges around insurance, was to launch its own kbb installer friendly insurance service for its installer, retail and corporate members in conjunction with acclaimed Insurance specialist, the UIB Group. The new insurance scheme will provide members with access to specialist trade and personal insurance products that have been tailored specifically for their unique needs. The event closed with a summary from Damian Walters, who said “ The industry and indeed the UK as a whole, faces challenges around the uncertainty of BREXIT and the subsequent economic unknowns this is creating; we have our very own challenge around a widening skills gap and general short fall of professional installers but, I see only opportunities ahead providing we work together in innovative ways.”


Industry News

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MOORES TO OFFER IMPROVED SERVICE FOR HOUSEBUILDERS West Yorkshire-based Moores Furniture Group is set to offer an “even better service for housebuilders” in 2018 on the back of a new collection of “improved products”. Alongside its recently launched installer app, the company said it is shortening its lead times and improving its customer software to improve its service for housebuilders. Moores a recent customer survey of more than 2,500 contacts at national housebuilders “revealed that almost 50% would score our service a nine or 10 for likeliness to recommend”. “This year we will continue to build on our committed customer service by offering improved


AEG has launched an “innovative” new app specifically designed for kitchen installers, allowing them to scan or search a range of AEG kitchen appliances “to find the correct and fastest way of installing them.” The app launch is part of AEG’s plans to “enhance support for its trade partners and continue to deliver quick and easy trade installation solutions,” the company said. The app features installation videos and drawings, user manuals and technical specifications. Installers can enter the product number code, model or product name on the app, or scan a product’s barcode with a smartphone, to view installation instructions. “AEG is the first to offer this unique support to the kitchen business and puts us in a very advantageous position ahead of the competition when it comes to best in class installation,” said Patrick Le Corre, Senior Vice President for kitchen major appliances EMEA at AEG. “Initial feedback has been extremely positive and we are looking into extending the app to include more functionality and content,” Le Corre added. 16

services,” said Moores Marketing and Sales Director Michael Barrett. “In addition, our installer app will be rolled out to all housebuilders as an easier, streamlined tool for tracking entire projects.” The UK pipes and fittings market has seen overall growth of 21% since 2012, according to the latest report by AMA Research, although the research firm noted that growth has slowed more recently but looks “moderately positive” for 2018. AMA noted “key factors” that have influenced market growth in recent years include “increasing levels of demand from key end-use sectors, principally in new housebuilding and non-domestic construction, and rises in raw material prices such as copper and plastic over the last two years”.


“In particular, plastic push-fit and press-fit fittings have experienced growth due to the considerable savings made on installation time,” said AMA Research Manager Hayley Thornley. “In addition, with increasing health and safety legislation, and the lack of ‘traditional’ skills of soldering and welding pipework, there has been a continuing shift in the market towards flame-free jointing. Use of multilayer barrier pipes, including a metal layer to protect against degradation, has also grown significantly in the water supply sector.” Order the ‘Pipes and Fittings Market Report – UK 2018-2022’ from

Industry News

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Wetroom manufacturer Impey has been named as one of the official sponsors of the Women Installers Together Conference 2018, which is organised by national franchise of female plumbers Stopcocks Women Plumbers. The conference, which is now in its second year and is set to take place at the Building Centre in Fitzrovia, London on the 4th July 2018, celebrates female installers in the plumbing and gas installation industry. “We’re delighted to welcome Impey as a sponsor of Women Installers Together Conference 2018 for what we hope will be the beginning of a beautiful relationship,” said Stopcocks Women Plumbers founder and conference host Hattie Hasan. Impey technical manager Shaun Hunt added: “We are incredibly pleased to be supporting the 2018 Women Installers Together Conference. It’s an inspirational initiative which will undoubtedly encourage and motivate the many attendees and women installers across the UK. “With only an estimated 1% of installers across the UK being female, the Women Installers Together Conference and Stopcocks are doing a fabulous job of raising awareness of the career path and establishing a firm and equal footing for those women who want to be part of the plumbing and gas fitting industries.”


The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering, CIPHE, recently held its annual ‘Dinner with the President’ event earlier this month at the Founders Hall in London, with around 50 guests joining President Geoff Westall, pictured left, to celebrate his tenure. Construction Products Association Chairman and Worcester Bosch CEO Carl Arntzen, pictured right, attended the dinner as a guest speaker. In his speech at the event, Westall spoke about the highlights of the CIPHE since he took over as president, including a 7% growth in industrial associate membership. He also spoke about

the CIPHE’s involvement in education, continued professional development – CPD – and licensing. “In order for the Government’s Industrial Strategy to be successful, greater engagement with industry is essential,” Westall said. “There is no doubt that the aspirations to create a world-class education system would be enhanced if the Level 3 NVQ was adopted as a minimum standard for entry into the plumbing and heating industry. Of course, mandatory CPD linked to licensing would also help to raise standards and minimise the shortage of skilled people.”


Industry News

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STUDY ON TASTE OF ‘TOILET TO TAP’ WATER CARRIED OUT Researchers at UC Riverside in the US recently conducted a study that compares the taste of recycled wastewater, also coined ‘toilet to tap’ water, with tap water and commercially bottled water. “It seems that this term, wastewater, and the idea of recycled water in general, evokes disgust reactions,” said Daniel Harmon, a graduate student at the California university and the lead author in the study on water taste. However, he added: “It is important to make recycled water less scary to people who are concerned about it, as it is an important source of water now and in the future.” Wastewater is treated using reverse osmosis, with the preferred technology,

indirect potable reuse – IDR – found to remove “virtually all contaminants” from wastewater before it is reintroduced into groundwater supplies, where it then re-enters the drinking water system. The system is already in use by six California water agencies. UC Riverside’s study on the taste of recycled wastewater included 143 people, who were asked to compared IDR-treated tap water with conventional tap water and commercially bottled water in a blind taste test. Participants were asked to rank the samples’ taste from one to five as well as in categories including texture, temperature, smell and colour. “The groundwater-based water was not as well liked as IDR or bottled water,” said psychology professor

and co-author of the study Mary Gauvain. “We think that happened because IDR and bottled water go through remarkably similar treatment processes, so they have low levels of the types of tastes people tend to dislike.” A recent study commissioned by Orb Media found that an average of 10 particles of plastic are found in every litre of bottled water, reaching levels of microplastic fibres that are twice as high as those found in tap water.

BMA TO CARRY OUT CONSUMER RESEARCH ON BATHROOM HABITS The Bathroom Manufacturers Association – BMA – is undertaking consumer research to “understand more about how people use their bathrooms”. The organisation will be carrying out the study in two parts, comprising a seven-day diary study with a sample of 50 homeowners, and a questionnaire to be completed by a 500-strong sample. According to the BMA, the research will provide “valuable insight” into water usage and habits. The interactive study will look into people’s daily bathroom routines and how much water they use. The questionnaire will evaluate customer satisfaction levels after they have purchased a new bathroom and will “record awareness levels of water regulations and legal compliance whilst making their purchases”.


“This is the first time any organisation from our industry has questioned the consumer in so much detail about their bathrooms and how they use bathroom products,” said BMA CEO Yvonne Orgill. “The results of the research will be made available to all BMA members and aid the BMA to talk with clarity and credibility when working with the government and other organisations on water issues.”

Industry News

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Hamilton Litestat has launched its new-for-2018 kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms brochure, featuring its latest solutions, technologies and product finishes. The six-page KBB brochure showcases Hamilton’s stateof-the-art electrical solutions and smart technologies for the home, including smart lighting control and multiroom audio. It illustrates how the solutions can be used effectively and stylishly to create significant impact within the home. When considered early in the interior design process – from both a functional and design point of view – electrical accessories can provide the perfect finishing touch to the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom.

HAMILTON LAUNCHES NEW KITCHENS, BEDROOMS & BATHROOMS BROCHURE CARRON PHOENIX OFFERS BIG SAVINGS ON ITS VELA SINKS IN A ONEOFF SPRING PROMOTION Carron Phoenix is offering generous savings on the trade prices of its premium Vela stainless steel sinks in a special promotion for spring. The offer, available only while stocks last, applies to the single bowl Vela 100, available with a 60% discount, and the 1.5 bowl Vela 150 model with a 64% discount. Vela’s sleek and minimalist design uses simple, geometric lines on the gently raised perimeter edge, the drainer grooves and a sharp 10mm bowl corner radii to create a stylish, modern sink that is both elegant and easy to care for. Available either left or right-handed, Vela offers the flexibility of inset or undermount installation. When installed as an inset, the Vela sits just 1.8mm, the thickness of the stainless steel, on the

worksurface to give the high-end appearance of a flushmounted model. The Vela 100 bowl measures 357 x 410mm with a generous bowl depth of 200mm and fits a 500mm cabinet. The Vela 150’s main bowl measures 357 x 410 x 200mm, while the half bowl is 157 x 345 x 140mm and fits a 600mm cabinet. Optional accessories are available at an additional cost and include a bamboo chopping board, wire basket and strainer bowl, making Vela sinks ideally suited to supporting a wide range of food preparation, rinsing and washing tasks. For further information on the Vela promotion, contact Carron Phoenix on: 0161 436 6280, email:, website: 19

Sponsor News VitrA Stix ceramic tile range

VITRA CONTINUES ITS 2018 SUCCESS STORY BY SCOOPING MORE DESIGN AWARDS! After winning 11 Good Design awards in January, VitrA returned from the 2018 iF award ceremony on 8 March with 8 iF awards, including a Gold! VitrA has won a staggering EIGHT iF awards, largely considered to be the worldwide symbol of product and design excellence. VitrA’s gold prize winner was its Stix ceramic tile range, which has a timeless natural stone appearance. Several other ranges created by the VitrA Design Team won iF awards, including the Sento bathroom and Suit brassware ranges. Also recipient of an IF award was VitrA’s Tech-slate tiles range and there was also an award for the exhibition 20

containers that VitrA used to display its new products and highlights its sustainability approach at the 2018 Unicera fair. This year, the iF Award international jury of 63 design, industry and architecture experts evaluated more than 6,400 products from 54 countries. Among the many criteria they consider are the innovative, functional, aesthetic and environmental attributes on new products. VitrA has now won 22 iF awards to date. It has also won numerous other prestigious design and innovation awards, including EDIDA, Design Innovation, Design Plus, Iconic Awards, Interior Innovation, Plus X, Red Dot, and Wallpaper.


BiKBBI sponsor Ideal Standard International has been wholly acquired by private equity firms Anchorage Capital and CVC Credit Partners, both of which were existing investors in the company, as part of a refinancing deal. The two firms are believed to have acquired the stake owned by private equity firm Bain Capital, which bought the company American Standard in 2007 in a deal reportedly worth around $1.75bn including a $1.55bn debt package from Credit Suisse and Bank of America. Bain then sold off American Standard's US division to Sun Capital for $130m and renamed the rest of the operations Ideal Standard. Anchorage became a shareholder in the company in 2014 in a debt-for-equity swap as part of a restructure that garnered it a 50% stake in the business. CVC Credit Partners, which is the credit asset management arm of CVC Capital Partners, later joined Bain Capital and Anchorage as a shareholder. Last year, CVC and Anchorage injected a further €75m into the company. According to Ideal Standard International, its management team will now be focusing on “advancing its long-term strategic plan”. Representatives from Anchorage Capital and CVC Credit Partners have joined the Ideal Standard International board of directors. “I am delighted to announce this important step in the continued development of our company,” said Ideal Standard International CEO Torsten Türling. “With the unequivocal backing of our investors who believe in the future and long-term potential of our company, Ideal Standard International now has a healthy balance sheet and clarity in its ownership structure. “I want to thank Anchorage Capital and CVC Credit Partners for their trust and continued support, and I look forward to working with them to drive our growth strategy, build on our strong heritage and deliver real value for our customers.”



SHERIDAN BECOMES LATEST BiKBBI INSTALLATIONS STANDARDS PARTNER. Yorkshire based fabricator Sheridan has become the latest BiKBBI Installation Standards Partner. Subsequently, the company’s entire one hundred strong field installation teams have all become members of the institute. Sheridan Fabrications has recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. This follows a hugely impressive few years of growth, so much

so, that the company now claims to be the UK’s leading bespoke and modular luxury worksurface manufacturer. Established in 1996, Sheridan began as a fabrication company focusing on the commercial industry. It operated from a single lock up unit in the shadow of Bradford City’s Valley Parade football ground, but following significant investment since 2005, the company grew 

“Sheridan Fabrications is proud to be the first specialist worktop company, who’s installers have achieved BiKBBI accreditation. As we value and constantly strive for exceptional levels of customer service and installation standards, it seemed a natural step to take. The BiKBBI has strong values focussed around education, quality auditing and excellent customer service."


David Mercer, Installation Director, Sheridan

“We look forward to working with the BiKBBI and its members to improve standards and will offer them an unparalleled level of service, both in terms of cost and quality."

BiKBBI News from its humble beginnings to be the widely recognised business it is now. These days Sheridan operates from a state-of-theart 130,000 sq./ft production facility in Normanton, West Yorkshire. The company, operating a B2B model, works with many products including Granite, Quartz, Apollo Slab Tech, Magna and Ceramic. Sheridan’s Installation Director David Mercer commented on the new relationship: “Sheridan Fabrications is proud to be the first specialist worktop company, who’s installers have achieved BiKBBI accreditation. As we value and constantly strive for exceptional levels of customer service and installation standards, it seemed a natural step to take. The BiKBBI has strong

Damian Walters, CEO, BiKBBI

“We wholeheartedly welcome Sheridan to our growing family of Installation Standards Partners; it’s in good company with many major industry and retail brands already operating in collaboration with the institute to improve installation standards and education."

values focussed around education, quality auditing and excellent customer service. This ethos is shared by Sheridan, and we feel that by committing to BiKBBI’s Core Pillars, we can help improve the industry and provide great opportunities for those installers we work with.” David added: “We look forward to working with the

BiKBBI and its members to improve standards and will offer them an unparalleled level of service, both in terms of cost and quality. I would also like to thank Damian and the team at the BiKBBI for their hard work over the last 4 months to bring this vision to fruition. I am confident that this collaboration will bring unprecedented levels of service to the industry, and our teams will be recognised as the professionals they are.” Speaking on behalf of the BiKBBI, CEO, Damian Walters said, “We wholeheartedly welcome Sheridan to our growing family of Installation Standards Partners; it’s in good company with many major industry and retail brands already operating in collaboration with the institute to improve installation standards and education. Sheridan is a very impressive organisation and we look forward to sharing a long and mutually beneficial relationship.”


Industry News

THE 18TH EDITION IS COMING … With less than one year to until the 18th Edition of the IET Wiring regulations is published, NICEIC and ELECSA has set up an information hub with everything an electrician will need to know. The website www.18edition. com contains all the latest news and information relating to the new standard. Mark Smith, Marketing and Communications Director at NICEIC and ELECSA, commented, “The introduction of a new standard is obviously very


important for all electricians. Everyone in the industry will need to be aware of the changes and the implications it has on the work they carry out. NICEIC and ELECSA will be at the forefront of providing electrical contractors with everything they need to know, from updates on the latest developments, opportunities to purchase the new book and training packages to suit all contractors’ needs.” The new standard is expected to be available on or around July 1, 2018 with electricians

given a six month transition period to get up to speed with the changes. From January 1 2019, it will then be a requirement that all electrical installations designed after this date comply with BS 7671:2018, 18th Edition (2018). An ability to show a level of understanding and awareness of the changes should be a priority for everyone involved in the industry. To find out more log on to:

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Modern Day Slavery

We all realise that slavery is an extremely serious issue and you could be forgiven for thinking that its something that belongs to a bygone era, if so, you’d better think again because amazingly, its a problem right here in the UK and the amount of cases are increasing every day!

One of the problems we have is understanding the true scale of the crime because it’s kept so well hidden. But we do know its here and growing as there were over 3,800 potential victims referred to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) in 2016 and in 2017 this appalling statistic was exceeded. Sadly, these 3,800 victims only represent the tip of the iceberg as they are the lucky ones who have been found or were brave enough to come forward themselves. However, authorities understand that there are thousands more hidden throughout communities in the UK. The Metropolitan Police estimate that around 20,000 people are trafficked in the UK.  26

Statistics source:


Modern Day Slavery Now you may think that you will never encounter this odious crime but you probably have without even realising it, for example, there’s a high chance you’ve encountered a victim of modern slavery or labour exploitation if you’ve used a hand car wash within the past year. Construction is one of the most common industries for slavery in the UK and other industries include agriculture, maritime, nail bars, restaurants and takeaways, according to the GLAA, the government agency which investigates modern slavery. The most common form of exploitation for direct employees is non-payment of the National Minimum Wage / National Living Wage. The size of business is relevant as according to the Low Pay Commission, microbusinesses are three times more likely to offend. (That’s 3% of businesses rather than 1%). Offences are often concealed through payments being made in cash.

IF YOU BELIEVE A PERSON IS IN IMMEDIATE DANGER, YOU SHOULD CALL THE POLICE (999). If not an emergency but you see something suspicious then please talk to these organisations as they are all authorised to refer potential victims to the national referral mechanism (NRM), the UK process for identifying and supporting victims of modern slavery.

The Salvation Army provides support to victims and runs a 24-hour confidential helpline on: 0300 3038151 Crimestoppers has a 24 hour helpline on: 0800 555 111 www.crimestoppers-uk/modernslavery

So how do you spot a victim of modern day slavery? Well here’s a list of tell-tale signs relating to the Construction industry: • The victim is under the control and influence of others – sometimes are spoken for by a ‘controller’ • They are not allowed to leave the site unaccompanied • They will probably live in a multi-occupancy accommodation and often work at the same address • They have no access or control of their passport or identity documents or have false paperwork • They work excessively long hours over long periods • They cannot negotiate their working conditions • They are under the impression that they are bonded by debt • They have limited contact with their families or with people outside of their immediate environment


Modern Day Slavery

MODERN DAY SLAVERY RECENT CASE STUDY A man who enslaved up to 15 men by offering them demolition work and then using violence to trap them, has been jailed for seven years. Romanian David Lupu, 29, tempted the men into employment by offering accommodation and £50 per day but instead confiscated ID papers, housed them in cramped conditions and paid them just a fraction of the promised salary. Detectives from the Metropolitan Police began an investigation and were supported by CITB’s Fraud Team in September last year, after two Romanian men reported to Forest Gate police that they had been treated like slaves after coming to work in the UK. On 23 March at Inner London Crown Court, David Lupu was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment after being convicted of multiple offences of holding a person in slavery or servitude. During the trial, seven Romanian men said they had been offered jobs in July last year, but upon arrival in the UK discovered that they were expected to live in a small one bedroom flat in Leyton, east London where as many as 15 men at times slept wherever they 28

could, even occupying the kitchen, bedroom, hallway and storage cupboard and on mattresses found in the street. The seven men said that they were only allowed out of the house two at a time and were threatened that they would be arrested if discovered by authorities. They were also told that they owed Lupu hundreds of pounds and were forced to work long hours in the demolition sector to repay the alleged costs. Meanwhile, Lupu was paid a significant wage by the building site’s employers for the enslaved men’s labour. When the men discovered their wages from the building site had not been passed on by Lupu, they confronted him, only to be beaten and threatened to be killed if they

insisted on being paid before they had paid their ‘debts’. Ian Sidney, CITB’s Fraud Investigator who assisted the Met Police investigation, says “Modern slavery is a horrific injustice that unfortunately is becoming more commonplace in the UK’s construction industry. Forcing people to work illegally not only deprives people of their human rights, it also harms the reputation of the industry, puts employers at risk, drives down wages and denies employment opportunities to many others.” He continued, “CITB has been working with the trade, implementing measures to ensure that modern slavery is eradicated from the UK construction industry. We will also continue working with law enforcement agencies to bring offenders to justice.”


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Industry News

BEWARE THE ILLEGAL USE OF LEAD SOLDER A water company recently identified the illegal use of lead solder on pipework supplying wholesome water for domestic purposes. The use of lead solders on wholesome water supplies was outlawed over 30 years ago in 1987 and remains banned today. Although lead solder can still be used where water does not need to be wholesome, for example, central heating circuits, to avoid mistakes we recommend you purchase and use only lead free solder. There is substantial evidence highlighting the negative impacts of lead on our health. The World Health Organisation details how young children are particularly vulnerable to the toxic effects of lead and can suffer profound and permanent damage. Lead affects development of the brain and nervous system leading to cognitive and behavioural difficulties. It is also known to cause long-term harm in adults, including increased risk of high blood pressure and kidney damage. Please see


the fact sheet here. This article serves as a reminder why lead solder use remains illegal. Some solders and brass fittings contain lead which can be dissolved into the water as it passes over the joints. Where solder joints are used on water systems used for domestic purposes i.e. used for drinking, cooking and food production purposes it MUST be lead free; be sure to check the solder in your toolboxes and van and double check when you purchase more.

Water suppliers carry out water quality tests at properties in their areas of supply. If they identify any infringements regarding use of lead, they will require the installer to undertake remedial works, at their cost and are likely to prosecute the installer too. Overlooking which solder you are using can be a costly error. More details can be found on the WRAS (Water Advisory Regulations Scheme) website or by following this link here.



THE SCHÜLLER BRAND IS IN YOUR HANDS Wayne Dance, Managing Director InHouse Inspired Room Design, who represents Schüller in the UK, talks about how installers are key to his business. The importance of the installer cannot be underestimated. After all, you’re the ones in the consumer’s home who ensure that our finished Schüller kitchen exceeds expectations. We recognise that while the showroom makes the sale, the installer guarantees the referral. We also know the importance of having a supplier who makes life easier for the kitchen designer, dealer and installer. That’s why we represent Schüller in the UK - the kitchens they produce are top-notch in their design and functionality. Equally important is how they manufacture, quality check and deliver every kitchen. Stress is therefore kept to a minimum, making for a better installation and a happier customer. How Schüller supplies its kitchens is also different to other manufacturers. For example, everything is delivered in one box. This  32

Here’s a few reasons why Schüller kitchens are so installer friendly: •

Every Schüller kitchen is manufactured to order which means there’s always a consistency of finish.

Panels come cut to size and are perfectly edged. All doors and drawers come pre-drilled, to avoid the risk of incorrect drilling.

95% of appliance housings are manufactured to fit the specified appliance, this means that there are no ugly fillers to spoil the line of the kitchen. Fridge housings have integrated ventilation so there’s no plinth grill.

Worktops are precisely mitred with front edges in the same finish as the straight edge.

Visible ends match the doors, cutting down on fitting time and expense as there’s no need for end panels.

Unlike some brands, all base units have cross members made from solid wood which means that they are strong enough for installers to use to lift the unit without the risk of it snapping.

Little details like the 100mm extra on cornices to accommodate uneven walls make all the difference when installing.

Soft-close hinges are already fitted. Doors can be easily clipped on and off with the 3-way adjustable and fully metal hinges.


Schüller Vienna range

means that there’s nothing left out and there’s nothing added in. Our first instruction to new installers is never throw anything away as it’s there for a reason! On the rare occasion that something does go wrong, Schüller sorts it out immediately. The reason it happened is always investigated after the problem has been resolved, because customers can’t be kept waiting. Installers will also know exactly when Schüller is delivering as the retailer is informed when the kitchen

Schüller make it easy for the installer. Every order is custom made and every fitting is included. That means the installer has everything they need on site and on hand so the consumer can get their kitchen completed with no additional details.

Wayne Dance, Managing Director

is loaded and given a firm date for delivery. As an installer you can therefore be confident and make arrangements for the installation. The feedback we get from installers is that once you’ve completed your first Schüller kitchen you’ll never want to install another brand. Your customer will love their new kitchen and most importantly, they’ll recommend you to their friends and relatives. Keeping us all happy and in business. 33

Security Matters

BEWARE OF TOOL THEFT! ————— I was talking to a friend recently (who wishes to remain nameless) who owns a four man installation business; he was telling me that he became a victim of vehicle crime when thieves broke into his van one night back a couple of years ago while it was parked outside his home in south London.

“They took my tool bag which contained tools I had accrued over many years that were very difficult to replace, especially my drills. I also stupidly left some cash in the van and they obviously took that too. Worse, was the fact that I had to cancel my planned jobs over the next two days whilst I frantically searched online for deals on tools.” He added, “The value of hand tools I lost totalled around £500!” 


Security Matters

This feature first appeared in Connections, magazine for NICEIC and ELECSA registered contractors -


Security Matters The reason he was telling me this was because recently another of his team had his van broken into with thieves getting away with yet more expensive equipment. Sadly, these are not isolated incidents as figures obtained by BBC Radio 5 Live in 2017 from the 45 UK police forces showed that the number of reported thefts from vans rose from14,063 in 2014/15 to 22,749 in 2016/17, an increase of around 38% in just two years! True, there are more than 4 million vans on the road in the UK according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, so only a tiny number of van owners suffer such thefts, but this is clearly still a common crime, and one to which kbb installers vans are particularly vulnerable. Statistics suggest that tools are stolen from vans in the UK on average once every 23 minutes! As Matt Weston, product manager, LCV and electric vehicles, marketing, at PSA Group (which produces Peugeot and Citroen vehicles), puts it: “You’ve got a toolbox on wheels: something valuable that people are keen to get access to.” WEAK POINTS Simon Ashton, vehicle industry liaison for security solutions provider Selectamark, says, “Theft of vans or from vans is now less likely to be opportunistic: much more of it is the work of highly organised illegal businesses. The two most commonly stolen vans are the Ford Transit and Mercedes Sprinter, which are stolen to order for parts that are then sold online. These vans are so popular simply because they are the bestselling vans, so offer the two most lucrative markets for spares. But


any vehicle protected by nothing more than standard locking and ignition systems is at risk of theft or targeting by thieves.” The motor and insurance industries are currently concerned about an increase in the use of skeleton keys, which enable swift access to a vehicle as easily as if the thief had the real key. Digital ignition systems are also relatively easy to hack. The on-board diagnostics (OBD) port,

“If installers livelihoods are in their vans, they’ve got to secure it to the utmost. Once you lose your van, everything goes: your work, all those tools you’ve accumulated, the money.”

Security Matters located near the steering column, is also a security risk. “It is possible to plug a laptop into the OBD and add an additional key for the vehicle,” Ashton explains. “The process can be completed in less than a minute!” FIGHTING BACK There are things you can do to address these vulnerabilities. Fitting a lockable device over the OBD port, and using ignition locks, or pedal boxes and steering locks, can all help to deter and even defeat attempts to steal the van. But these devices won’t stop someone breaking into the back of the van to steal its contents. As there is now usually a solid bulkheads between the cab and the back of the van, thieves often get into the back of the vehicle by peeling open a weak part of the panelling on the side or rear doors. “Having a lockable toolbox or using a strong wirelock on your toolbox could prevent the theft of some items “says Simon Cook, LCV leader at leasing company Arval, “Anything that will slow thieves down is worth having, for instance, you can also mark tools with tracer and microdot markings that identify them as yours, but cannot be seen without special equipment.” Manufacturers of marking kits such as Selectamark also offer an opportunity to upload photos of individual tools to their databases, this can then be shared with police to help reunite stolen items with their owners. “If installers livelihoods are in their vans, they’ve got to secure it to the utmost,” says Ashton at Selectamark. “Once you lose your van, everything goes: your work, all those tools you’ve accumulated, the money.”

Increased vehicle security can include fitting extra shielding around doors and locks. If a van is stolen, tracking technologies like Teletrac can help police to recover the vehicle, although in some cases thieves will be able to find and remove the tracking system. Its worth checking out an organisation officially known as the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre but is better known as the Thatcham Research Centre. The organisation works closely with car companies to set car insurance rates depending on the complexity of security systems, safety and repair costs ( security). Critically though, insurance could be what saves your business from complete disaster following a theft. You need to make sure you have the correct cover and that you have

"Thieves often get into the back of the vehicle by peeling open a weak part of the panelling on the side or rear doors."

"Statistics suggest that tools are stolen from vans in the UK on average once every 23 minutes!"

 37

Security Matters

"Insurance could be what saves your business from complete disaster following a theft."

“Purchase an alarm, It’s well worth the peace of mind: it’s a gut-wrenching feeling when you set off to work only to find your tools have been taken.” 38

provided accurate information to buy ‘the premium you need, not necessarily the cover you think you want.’ Otherwise you may find that any savings gained on the insurance policy at the outset are dwarfed by the loss suffered when you discover that you cannot claim for everything stolen. Christopher Bates, Divisional Director – Corporate and Commercial Division, UIB Group,

official partners of the BiKBBI, advises installers to check with their insurer that they have all the cover they need, and ask them to explain the relevant section of the policy if it is jargon-heavy. And if the worse comes to the worse and you are the victim of a van or tool theft crime, then it’s important to provide an insurer with a crime reference number as it may help speed up the claims process. “It may expedite the claim significantly, because then the insurer knows the loss is valid,” Christopher explains, “Some insurers may insist on the theft

having been reported to the police before they will settle the claim. Yet the most important actions an installer can take are those that significantly reduce the chances of having to make a claim in the first place. Returning to the beginning of this article and my friend who was a victim of van theft said through experience, he suggests that kbb installers should remove all they can

from their van and keep anything of value as well hidden and protected as possible. “Purchase an alarm,” he says. “It’s well worth the peace of mind: it’s a gut-wrenching feeling when you set off to work only to find your tools have been taken.” He’s not alone though; another real life case study has revealed that an Installer of more than 25 years, serving clients in London had his van broken into while parked outside his house in Banstead, Surrey. After the initial shock, he then had to wait for almost a year

Security Matters before his insurer would pay out on his claim, after which it then increased a quote for his next annual premium by £500. He now makes sure he takes all his tools out of the van and into his house every night. “It’s a bit of a pain but it’s worth it, rather than having them stolen again,” he says. He has also installed a CCTV camera at his house. Unfortunately, this spring he was hit by a second robbery while the van was parked outside a client’s property. “I was gone for 20 minutes and when I returned to my van it was unlocked and all the tools were gone,” he says. “They’d taken everything, even my paperwork. That did knock me back a bit!” he added, “Since then, I’ve bought deadlocks for the rear and side doors. This came to about £350 and if I want the front ones fitted it will be another £400! It’s all more money, but it’s what you’ve got to do these days sadly.” Final word goes to UIB Group’s Christopher Bates who says, “You should make a simple inventory of the tools you have, and ideally keeping a record of serial numbers and receipts as it gives the insurer very clear details of exactly what tools you owned if you need to make a claim.” He says. “This could by-pass a lot of the form-filling.” He also stresses the importance of buying all the cover you need.

"My van was robbed whilst parked outside a client’s property, I was gone for 20 minutes and when I returned to my van it was unlocked and all the tools were gone, they’d taken everything, even my paperwork!"

Here’s a few tips: •

Lock your van at all times

Install security lighting and CCTV where the van is parked

Use a Thatcham-approved alarm or buy / lease a van with these already fitted

Don’t leave equipment in the van overnight

Fit stronger locks, or get a van with stronger locks

Keep tools inside a lockable toolbox and / or use extra locks to secure tools and toolboxes inside the van

Use tracking technology to increase the chance of a stolen van being recovered

Use extra security devices in the cab, such as OBD and ignition security locks

Mark van and tools with security markings that may deter thieves and enable recovery of stolen goods

Make sure you have the right insurance cover and keep a registry of your tools to help speed up a claim




Insurance Advice

PUBLIC LIABILITY… WHY DO I NEED IT? Public Liability insurance isn’t compulsory by law for kbb installers so why should I bother? I’ve had no problems in the past! Isn’t it just a waste of money?

Christopher Bates, Divisional Director, Corporate and Commercial Division, UIB Group.

Purchasing a policy from BiKBBI insurance via UIB Direct, you can be assured that the insurer is financially stable; the excesses are low; and there’s no weird, stupid conditions, warranties or exclusions and, crucially, it is formulated and endorsed by the institute who knows exactly what its members and other kbb installers requirements are.


You may have a fair point, until now … but perhaps you should ask yourself, what if something does go wrong, do you have enough spare cash to defend yourself or pay for the damage which you have accidentally or inadvertently caused? A good example of the dangers of not getting Public Liability insurance happened recently when a kitchen installer who was contracted to install kitchens in 26 of the flats in a housing development, accidentally and completely unknown to him, punctured a pipe. When the cold-water system was tested the punctured pipe became exposed but only because it caused extensive water damage to a number of the flats. Although not completely aware he had caused the damage himself, it was found that it was his responsibility and that he was liable for the entire damage. He was ordered to pay for cost of the repair work and his own legal fees, which amounted to a whopping £35,000! But, lucky for him, he was insured.

This is just one example of many incident which occur daily. Mistakes do actually happen and perhaps more often than you’d think. For the sake of a modest premium, which can start as low as a £150.00, why not pass this financial burden and risk on to a Public Liability insurer, if nothing else it will give you total peace of mind. In addition to avoiding financial ruin, sight of your policy will only increase your credibility with customers and potential clients. It may be unaware but it could also be that you’re obligated to have a policy for a contract which you have entered. 

'Although not completely aware he had caused the damage himself, it was found that it was his responsibility and that he was liable for the entire damage.'

Insurance Advice

SO HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT GETTING THE RIGHT POLICY FOR YOU? When buying a Public Liability policy, my advice to you would be: • Always use a financially stable insurer. An insolvent insurer cannot pay claims and if insolvency hits, you’ll only have to buy another policy, so why risk putting your trust in a cheap, unknown insurer? • Make sure you have a sufficient limit of indemnity for the work for which you’re carrying out. If you’re working on high end residential properties or within commercial premises, a £1m limit may not be enough. • Check what your excess is (this is the first part of a claim that you are obliged to pay). Can you afford to pay it? £250 is affordable, but I’ve seen some at £5,000!!! Check what it is. • Yes, it’s boring, but do READ your documents. You need to ensure that there are no conditions, warranties or exclusion which don’t suit your business. I’ve read policies received from bedroom installers who have Woodwork Exclusions and from Plumbers who have Heat Exclusions! Its madness! If you need any advice or assistance in relation to insurance for your business, e-mail me at You can also obtain a quotation online 24/7 at www.uibdirect. or if you don’t like computers, call one of our UK based advisors on 0330 159 6212 (use the promotional code BiKBBI for added savings).


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Bathroom Innovations


Bathroom Innovations

FINALLY, AN MDF FOR USE IN BATHROOMS AND OTHER WET ENVIRONMENTS! MDF is a great product, popular for its flexibility in use, strength and cost. The one drawback for KBB installers is that it has always been vulnerable to damp and humid conditions. Standard MDF absorbs moisture and expands, meaning that any room with high humidity has been off limits, until now. ï‚š


Bathroom Innovations CASE STUDY

'MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME (MTX) is a genuine gamechanger, completely impervious to water and humidity' MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME (MTX) is a genuine gamechanger, completely impervious to water and humidity; so much so, that to demonstrate its validity, visitors to the recently held Ecobuild exhibition in March were intrigued to see blocks of MTX floating in a tank of water. More impressive, was the fact that the blocks had been immersed in water for three weeks, outside in all weathers, with absolutely no effect on the dimension, performance or appearance of the MDF. This extraordinary performance is down to the unique patented manufacturing technique, which involves treating every particle of wood fibre in an entirely sustainable acetylation process. This results in an MDF board which can be cut, machined and treated just like standard MDF but has complete dimensional stability in all conditions. It now means that kitchen and bathroom installers can use an MDF product, safe in the knowledge that they will not receive unnecessary call-backs to deal with later.


Since its launch to the wider contract market, the reputation of MTX has grown as evidence of its performance builds. As long ago as 2014, an episode of popular TV programme, Grand Designs, featured a project by Tracy Fox and husband Steven who set out to use unexpected products in novel situations. Loving the texture and surface finish of MDF, Tracy used the raw, stained product extensively in kitchen cabinets, and a stairway. During the programme, Tracy raised the issue of the two wetrooms in the house, lamenting that she could not use MDF in those because of the issue with humidity. It was the programme’s presenter, Kevin McCloud, who suggested using MTX, having featured the formaldehyde-free, durable board in his “Kevin’s Eco Find of the Month” column in 2012. Following up on the recommendation, Tracy got in touch MEDITE SMARTPLY and Product Manager Peter Clifton was able to reassure an initially sceptical customer about the performance of the product, although admittedly it had not been used in this specific application at the time. Encouraged by what she heard, Tracy made extensive use of the

MTX board in both wet rooms. In one, she decided to keep the original surface texture, using a simple black stain to colour the board, but otherwise using no surface treatment or protection. MTX boards are dimensionally stable in any conditions, but the panels were installed with expansion joints to cater for movement in the supporting framework and the joints were filled with black mastic. In the second wetroom, MTX was used as a substrate with tiling applied directly to the board using standard adhesive, which proved to be a problem-free process. “We used a high-quality adhesive and every tile is still holding fast after 18 months” was Tracy’s conclusion.

"Encouraged by what she heard, Tracy made extensive use of the MTX board in both wet rooms. In one, she decided to keep the original surface texture, using a simple black stain to colour the board, but otherwise using no surface treatment or protection."

Bathroom Innovations This case study, combined with other project successes, has encouraged the company to roll out MTX to the KBB industry for the very first time. It appears to be a genuine game-changer. Final word goes to MEDITE SMARTPLY’s Peter Clifton who said, “This extraordinary product is certainly confounding expectations

and proving that, finally, there is an MDF product that can be used in wet areas where it is guaranteed to retain its performance over the long term.” For more information on MTX, email info@mdfosb. com, visit: en/medite-tricoya-extreme/ products. Or see more of the actual Grand Design here.

"This extraordinary product is certainly confounding expectations and proving that, finally, there is an MDF product that can be used in wet areas."


Financial Advice

TAX & ACCOUNTANCY TIPS Dean Flood, Chartered Certified Accountant and Partner at Rowland Hall Tel: 01375 373 828 / 01268 696 878

By the time you read this column you we will have entered a new tax year, which commenced on the 6th April. Since the last newsletter, the main activity on the tax front is the Chancellor’s Spring Statement on the 13th March. There were no ‘earth shattering’ announcements but there are a couple of general points of note, some of which are simply relevant given our transition into the new tax year. Income Tax Rates and Bands As from the 6th April 2018, the basic personal allowance increases to £11,850. This is the basic amount an individual can earn before paying income tax. 20% income tax will be assessed on the next £34,500 whilst 40% will apply for total earnings above £46,350. Income over £150,000 will be taxed at 45%. It should be emphasized that the bandings have some additional complications subject to other relevant criteria. These include a graduated tax charge on

recipients of the ‘family allowance’ where there is a taxpayer in the house earning in excess of £50,000, and restrictions on the size of the personal allowance for those earning over £100,000. It is strongly recommended that you speak to your tax advisor if you are unsure as to how these matters may affect you. Please also note that there are additional charges to national insurance to consider. Making Tax Digital (MTD) HMR&C would appear to be committed in its drive to ensure that all VAT registered businesses are ready for MTD by April 2019. By that date, all VAT registered businesses must maintain their financial data in a digital form and also transmit VAT return information to HMR&C using MTD functional, compatible software. Handwritten schedules to support online VAT returns will no longer be acceptable. If you have any concerns as to meeting these requirements or perhaps advancing on from

handwritten ledgers, you must discuss this with your advisor as soon as possible. Deregistration from VAT may be an option to consider if your turnover is below the deregistration threshold. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) On 25th May 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) replaces the Data Protection Act 1998. This legislation increases controls on how organisations use data held on individuals. For many businesses that will include data held regarding employees, customers and suppliers. Controls over access to data and in particular when information leaves the security of the businesses internal protection, have to be sufficiently robust. GDPR has undoubtedly ‘raised the bar’ significantly with regard to data protection and the potential penalties for data protection breaches are substantial. If you have any uncertainties on your compliance, appropriate advice must be sought. 49



MAKING KBB RETAILERS BETTER UNDERSTAND THE NEEDS OF INSTALLERS! A recent blog from the owner of a Rugby based kitchen specialist retailer created a lively debate through the medium of KBB Review, one of the leading trade magazines for the KBB industry. The retailer, Trevor Scott, criticised comments that Damian Walters had made when the BiKBBI, CEO, conducted a seminar at the recent kbb 2018 exhibition. In his address, Damian had referred to several points that emanated from research that

the institute had conducted with both its members and installers outside their membership.

The following is a transcript of a section taken from Trevor’s blog and interjected with comments that Damian made in reply:

Trevor’s main discussion point in his blog was about apprenticeships but the case in point that sparked the debate centred around a part of the research where results clearly demonstrated that currently the majority of KBB installers, rather than be ‘employed’ by a retailer fulltime, would rather work more autonomously as pricing and fair payment terms were important to installers and sadly, when it comes to retail relationships its financially better for them to operate more remotely.

TS (Trevor Scott) Certainly, in our business developers are having to pay through the nose for skilled tradesmen who are walking off one site and on to another if they’re offered a larger day rate.

It has become a hot topic in the industry and it would be amiss of The Installer Magazine not to make its readers aware of the details of the discussion that’s been bubbling away in the trade press on their behalf.

DW (Damian Walters) That statement is a little unfair. Of course, there will be elements of all industry that will follow the money (why wouldn’t they – they’re selfemployed with interests to support their respective families). Equally, there are very loyal installers who value their relationship with those retailers they represent. Perhaps the problem here is


Warning that some ‘skilled tradesmen’ (and women) have been treated like a commodity over the years, and will subsequently show as little respect for the business developers, as perhaps they’ve been shown themselves in the past? Just a thought of course. For us it’s all about building mutually beneficial relationships. One business supporting another with a common goal. Commercial success gained via the delivery of a great installation service to the customer. It’s all about balance, but in this changing world, where installers are kettled into compliance with new regulations and rising operational costs, why shouldn’t they demand better pay for services rendered? Those businesses that have built great relationships with their installers over recent times will have little to worry about in terms of loyalty. The risk of these installers ‘walking off site at the lure of a bigger purse’ will be negligible. Those who have  failed to build great relationships with their installers… good luck, you’ll be needing it.

TS This in turn results in delays on completions and our installations being put back. But worse than that our prices are at risk of being squeezed as more and more cash is being thrown at the build leaving the developer and the consumer alike with less cash to spend on their kitchen - which in many cases was the whole point of the build in the first place! DW Or perhaps the installer has been ‘squeezed’ for long enough over the years and now the shoe is on the other foot? Now that’s a thought. Fact is, where a skills shortage (or a commodity shortage in any warp of life is concerned), the rule of ‘supply and demand’ enters the equation. Fact is, as the pot shrinks, those left become more valuable… that’s just retailing isn’t it? What we need to do, to ensure the consumer gets a fair deal, is ensure the pot is replenished at every opportunity. Growing our own, via apprenticeships, strengthening relationships with the existing and retraining from other sectors for some quick wins. Retailers would be foolish not to value installer retention (if our research has anything to go by). TS We have found ourselves becoming increasingly more involved in organising and managing the kind of building works we wouldn’t have entertained a few short years ago as consumers can’t find builders to do the smaller jobs as they’re too busy on bigger projects.

DW We live in a ‘done-for-you’ society… We shouldn’t be negative about changing times, but to instead embrace it. TS Yet we’re not a small building firm, we’re kitchen specialists, but the edges are becoming well and truly blurred. DW Evolve and adapt like the rest of the world is what I'd say. It’s like a car garage thinking that consumers should be able to change their own tyres (and being upset when they don’t want to!). Rather than belly ache about it, invest in tyre installation as part of your service (as it’s what your customers want). Connect with a great fitter, pay him/her competitively and charge the client (who just wants a tyre fitted) for a professional service at a service driven rate. TS We’ve had no choice but to separate out room preparation, in whatever form that might take, from the pure installation of the kitchen itself once the room is ready to receive it. We now estimate the prep but quote the installation.


Warning After the sales has been made the lead installer will go in with other specialist trades such as the electrician or the plasterer and firm up on the estimate for preparing the space. The client is under no obligation to accept their price and we as a business are only accepting liability for and warranting the actual kitchen installation. DW If you’re recommending an installer, you may want to check out The Consumer Rights Act of 2015… I believe you have a responsibility. So, you either sell installations or you don’t. The lines are clearer now than ever!!! TS This has helped make things much clearer and easier to control. All we need now are more installers so I was very disappointed to read Damian Walters (BiKBBI) is claiming installers don’t want to work for independents. DW Like I said at the kbbreview Conference… It’s all very well ‘wanting more

installers’, but without a magic wand, you need to understand why we are, where we are and invest in the sector if you want to reap the reward. For the record, ‘Damian’ isn’t “claiming” anything! Damian, in actual fact, recited results from The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation, who undertook research with members and nonmembers in 2017. It appears you don’t like what the research has revealed – but I guess, sometimes the truth hurts right? The research revealed that pricing and fair payment terms were important to installers when it comes to retail relationships – Are you seriously surprised by this? As an industry, we’ve got a couple of choices here ... 1. Let’s all feel sorry for ourselves, kick the cat and moan about installations as being the bane of our lives and how damaging “Damian’s” comments were; or 2. Perhaps we drop the dated thinking, read, digest and take the time to fully appreciate the research… and then, consider developing our respective models, with a true understanding of the industry and those installers you wish to engage. TS He alluded to us retailers not being well organised enough and not good enough payers, saying “Money Talks”!

DW What the RESEARCH actually revealed was that money is important, amongst other attributes may I add... It also identified that perception was a problem and that retailers aren’t collectively doing enough to change this perception. There was no mention of retailers being un-organised within my comments. TS Well thanks Damian, that’s really helped loads... DW You see, this is the problem. For far too long, some retailers have viewed installations as a bolt-on to their service. Dare I say it, an un-necessary evil perhaps? If not an evil, maybe a ‘them and us’ relationship. Your ‘thanks’ to me (for publishing research from those installers you speak of), is an example of this ‘themand-us’ mentality unfortunately. You shouldn’t be upset by the research, you


Warning should be thankful that someone is actually out there asking the opinions of those installers you so dearly seek… Perhaps if you take the time to understand installers (via our research and perhaps your own) , you may actually stand a better chance of connecting and retaining their valuable services? My general advice would be this… Instead of viewing installations as a separate part of the industry – the bastard relative that no-one likes to invite to Christmas gatherings, how about you try embracing it, work with it, value those tradespeople who represent your brand on the front line and bring installers out from the cold and into the family? If you interact well with it, give it love, appreciation, treat if fairly and with respect, it’s less likely to run off in the park when someone else waves a juicy bone from a distance.

My last word is this… I would recommend that installers work with retailers who are fair, competitive and willing to work with their installers. Why wouldn’t we encourage this? These relationships can be rewarding for all parties, resulting in the professional installation of the beautiful products that our industry produces. The research wasn’t undertaken to ruffle the feathers of retailers, but instead to help them better understand installers, and what would attract them to a relationship with retailers. It should be used as a tool to recruit, not a stick to beat you with if you’re getting it wrong. In summary; though many of Trevor’s comments were wide of the mark, you must respect him for caring and feeling so passionately about his business and the wider industry in general and also for having the courage to speak out. Respect also to KBB Review for running with the debate. Reaction to Damian’s comments have been very positive. Basically, if retailers want happy customers, they must get their installation proposition right by better understanding how installers think and what they need to keep their installation

businesses running successfully. The best sales people in any walk of life think like a buyer. Installers are far too often overlooked and in fact if you glance at any of the trade KBB press you would be hard pressed to find anything remotely installer orientated. This magazine (The Installer) is the only magazine that serves KBB installers. The fact is, the only way that we can improve overall conditions for KBB installers and safeguard the longterm future of our industry is by improving standards, improving education with CPD (continuous product development) for members and beyond and creating modules to close the skills gap (apprenticeships and more) and critically, by having a voice. The BiKBBI and this magazine facilitates this so please don’t just be a member, get involved by contacting the team at the institute or drop me a line at the magazine as I’m always happy to give you guys a say.


Step By Step

AN INTRODUCTION TO AluSplash BROUGHT TO YOU BY HÄFELE AluSplash is a new product from Häfele. It is an advanced aluminium based splashback and wall panel, which is eco-friendly, durable, cost effective and fire-resistant. Here is a brief overview of how you install it, its quick and simple to install providing you follow these instructions.




1. ALWAYS remember your 1.5 expansion gap and USE packers!

2. ALWAYS measure twice, cut once!

3. ALWAYS work on the back of the AluSplash Panel!

Not leaving sufficient expansion could cause the panel to bow, however this does not apply to joins. Once correctly joined this panel becomes one.

Double check you’re measurements! As you’re working on the back of the panel it can become confusing.

Working on the back of the panel will leave your “good” clean cuts on the face. It will also stop any surface scratches during fitting.



4. ALWAYS dry fit the panels and check the fit!

5. ALWAYS use the right kit & ensure you wear the correct PPE!

We always encourage “dry fitting” this enables you to clearly check you’re work before final installation.

Using the correct, sharp tools will ensure you have the very best work! Make sure you use the correct PPE throughout the installation.


For the full video of how to install, please go to the Häfele UK YouTube Channel or click here.

Step By Step


STEP 1. Preparation Be careful when lifting the panel, Alusplash is heavy & can bend easily. Open with care & check both sides of the panel for imperfections. Mark FACE & BACK on the panel to avoid making mistakes.


STEP 2. Measuring When you measure you need to ensure you measure ALL areas. Make sure you REMOVE 1.5mm for expansion. Expansion gaps are NOT required where you have a join. TOP TIP! Measure twice, cut once.



STEP 3. Cutting

STEP 4. Joining

When cutting, always cut from the BACK of the panel.

Check you are happy with the join with the panels against the wall.

TOP TIP! Using an aluminium blade will ensure a precise clean cut.

If you require a joining strip, there are 2 ways of joining the panels together; either attach the joining strip to the panels when off the wall to create one, or attach it to one panel when off the wall and slide it behind the other once fitted to the wall.


STEP 5. Edging Profile Edging profiles add the finishing touch to the panels. Make sure you remove the protective film and dry fit the profiles, marking your mitres for a cut line. Use a chop saw to cut the profiles and dry fit before you attach.

ď‚š 55

Step By Step



STEP 6. Seamless Boxing

STEP 7. Trimmed Boxing

This section is only required if you are boxing in concealed pipework or wiring etc.

2. Trimmed; where you see the silver of the trim in your internal and external corner joins.

There are 2 different types of boxing you can create with AluSplash. 1. Seamless; where you bend the panel round to create a seamless edge.


STEP 8 – Fitting panel When fitting, ensure the wall is clean. Measure and mark a 25mm line on all visible edges, and then mark 400mm across the panel for where you will apply the double sided tape, this allows the panel to hold in place whilst the silicone is sets. When setting the panel, always remember to use packers to allow for expansion.



STEP 9a. Fitting of seamless boxing STEP 9b. Fitting of trimmed boxing This section is only required if you are boxing in concealed pipework or wiring etc.

Seamless; make sure you apply tape to one side and silicone the other. When setting the panel, remember to use packers to allow for expansion. Trimmed; attach the panels into the external trim, silicone both sides of the boxing and side the panels into place. When setting the panel, remember to use packers to allow for expansion. STEP 10 – Completion When the installing of the panel is complete, add any sockets back in place, remove the packers and clean the work surface. You can then apply the silicone and apply vuplex. To find out where you can buy AluSplash, please go to


INDEPENDENT Independent Expert Reports (CPR compliant)

FURNISHINGS CONSULTANT Dispute Resolution ● Training 07583 600805 ● ●



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Installer Profile


Dave with one of his daughters

How long have you been installing and what areas do you cover? I have been installing now for 18 years and we generally cover north and West Yorkshire but we are willing to work all over the country if the project is right for us. What do you install and what’s your specialty? Kitchens and bedrooms with our specialty being custom made furniture, made-tomeasure bedrooms which we handcraft ourselves. Do you install yourself or do you have a team/teams of installers working for you? My business partner Gavin Brown and I both install and have a full team of complementary tradesmen  60

Installer Profile who we work along side to undertake the tiling, plastering, electrical, decorating and gas works as required. How did you get into installing kitchens, bedrooms? As a cabinet maker by trade, I began by making bespoke furniture and kitchens for a company close to Masham in North Yorkshire. Everything I produced was totally handmade and all from hardwood. I was fortunate enough to work for someone who was excellent at his trade who taught me a lot, especially the importance of the finishing touches. I eventually moved to a building company based in Wetherby who specialised in one off, high-end building projects and so my skill-set became much more rounded. I’ve learnt a lot over the years but I always found that I loved fitting kitchens.

Dave's company specialises in custom made furniture

"We also create made-to-measure furniture which we handcraft ourselves"

If you weren’t an installer, what would you be? That’s a tricky question as this is all I’ve known really. I’m very artistic so perhaps a Graphic Designer or Architect What has been your biggest challenge in business? Definitely managing cash flow and completing projects on deadline. What has been your biggest challenge personally? My biggest challenge personally would be managing my work/ life balance which is very  61

Installer Profile

Dave's two beautiful daughters enjoying the outdoors


Installer Profile difficult when trying to grow the company but still give enough time to my young family. Do you have any concerns for the future of the industry? Yes I do have many and probably the biggest is the current skills gap. I don’t think that young adults want to be in the trade as much these days as its very hard work and long hours and initially its not very well paid. I think that there are too many short courses rather than apprenticeships which is what the industry really needs because apprenticeships will produce quality kbb installers for the future as they will get an all-around skill set and understanding of the trade. It needs to change as currently, if the younger generation do choose a trade, it’s generally not in joinery. What do you want to be doing in 1 year/5 years/10 years? I’m sure my business partner would agree that our objective has to be that within 10 years we will have quite a few installers working for us which are as enthusiastic and have an eye for detail that we do; we have talked about showrooms and growing a business that everyone will be aware of. I’m sure the difficulty will be finding the right calibre of installer to uphold our great reputation. Why did you join the BiKBBI? We subcontract to Omega

Plc for nearly 5 years and initially they specified that we joined the BiKBBI. Now we have become members we understand the necessity for such an organisation and all the great things it is doing for our industry, and installer members in particular. I have to say its great value!

youngsters as it can be very rewarding financially and also because transforming a sometimes dilapidated dwelling to a beautiful home is really satisfying. I love seeing the transformation throughout the project and to see the customer’s face when complete.

How long have you been a member? Since 2015.

If you could change one thing about the industry what would it be? I would put a stop to tradesmen folding their business to avoid debts accrued or worse, poor quality or work and the setting up again under another name.

How do you use the BiKBBI within your business? / Does it work? In all honesty, we have been so busy that we have not yet used the BiKBBI to its full potential which is something we intend to change; however, just from being a member we have begun sub contracting to John Lewis, how bad is that! Why should installers consider being a part of the BiKBBI? Just by being a member of the BiKBBI demonstrates to potential customers that you have all the documentation needed like insurance etc., which you are a quality installer and a ‘safe bet’ to employ. It definitely gives you an advantage over non-members. Long term I hope that this will eventually squeeze out the cowboys who are currently pretending to be tradesmen.

Have you a family? Yes, my wife and I have been married for over 10 years and we have two beautiful daughters aged 8 and 4. Do you have any hobbies? I don’t really have time for hobbies but I do really love our family holidays. Dave and his gorgeous wife

If you were a youth worker, would you recommend your career to young people? I would definitely recommend kbb installation as a career to


Company Profile


THE INSTALLER FRIENDLY WASTE REMOVAL SERVICE HIPPO is not your run-of-the-mill supplier to kitchen, bedroom and bathroom installers; if you asked a hundred fitters to name a supplier to their businesses they would most likely name a kitchen furniture or appliance manufacturer or maybe a supplier of showers and screens, something at the ‘sexy’ end of the market; and yet if you asked them to name the most valuable to their business, many would name HIPPO. So, why you may ask? The answer is simple as HIPPO not only removes on-site waste, it also takes away a lot of worry and stress for the installer. Removing waste can be a daunting task and is necessary at the completion of every project; furthermore removing waste carries huge fines if not carried out competently! Hence, HIPPO now supplies its range of services to thousands of installer businesses throughout the UK. 


Company Profile


Company Profile Founded in Winchester, Hampshire back in 2002, HIPPO is a nationwide provider of flexible, convenient waste solutions, with a 5-star rated customer service. The depth of the company’s industry experience, working with businesses large and small across a wide variety of sectors, is enabled by a switchedon and dedicated 'Business Solutions Team' who understands the challenges that waste management can present. Through HIPPO’s range of solutions, including its acclaimed HIPPOBAG, its ‘Here to Clear’ service and its traditional skip hire, the company delivers bespoke support packages to suit every business need. A company spokesperson for HIPPO said “Choose HIPPO as your waste disposal partner, and we will help you to reduce costs, save time and critically, comply with your environmental duty of care and relevant legislation – providing you with peace of mind, as well as helping to enhance your company profile." The company’s nationwide fleet currently stands in excess of an impressive 55 waste removal vehicles and it comprises a range of sizes to suit differing needs. The fleet is continuously expanding so the company states that regardless of how complicated your collection may be, they will have a solution to fulfil your needs. HIPPO's most popular and unmissable truck is the original purpose-built collection vehicle which is a bright yellow 26 tonne truck, that’s designed to collect a 1.5 tonne HIPPOBAG! It can lift fully-loaded bags over a variety of obstacles, such as walls and fences. The highsided bodies can carry multiple tiers of bags which improves efficiency whilst reducing fuel consumption and emissions.


For HIPPO’S ‘Here to Clear’ service, a Tipper Van is used which can hold up to 14 yards or 1 tonne of waste. Crewed by an expert two-man HIPPO team, this vehicle is ideal for collections where access is restricted, or waste needs to be manually cleared. HIPPO has another service in its portfolio which can prove invaluable to KBB installers which is the company’s ‘Here to Clear Reactive’ service which provides rapid removal of unplanned waste – such as flytipping, office and site clearance. This form of waste can cause several issues but if fitters get in touch with the HIPPO team they will react swiftly by sending a professional twoman team and a van to clear the waste reliably and responsibly. Incredibly, HIPPO claims that its national fleet of vehicles has so far collected over 1.8 million HIPPOBAGs from UK homes and businesses. The company collects from anywhere in the UK mainland and its professional, uniformed waste collection team is fully trained, highly experienced and DBS checked. HIPPO also states that it will always dispose of your waste safely and ethically, at a licensed facility. In its efforts to divert as much re-usable material as possible from landfill, the company typically recycles over 95% of business waste – reducing its customers’ exposure to landfill tax and promoting more sustainable operations. HIPPO is a refreshing and highly-successful business that has come a long way in its 16 years and I’m sure that its professional, genial team with its can-do attitude, will take the company as far as it wishes to go.

Company Profile



GRAND DESIGNS LIVE, LONDON, EXCEL 5TH - 13TH MAY 2018 Grand Designs Live, proudly sponsored by Anglian Home Improvements, returns in 2018 from 5 - 13 May at London’s ExCeL and from 10 -14 October at Birmingham’s NEC. Based on the Channel 4 series and presented by Kevin McCloud, the show offers visitors top expert advice, new product launches and specialist exhibitors in six project zones. Whether you’re planning a selfbuild, renovation or are adding the finishing touches, find ideas and inspiration for your very own Grand Design at this multi-award winning event.

EI LIVE!, 9TH - 10TH MAY, SANDOWN PARK, ESHER, SURREY You’ll find all the Essentials you’ll ever need pertaining to the home automation, custom install and smart building industry here at EI Live! 2018. Whether you are a start-up or looking for new ways to make your existing operation stand out from the crowd. EI Live! will bring the latest technology and knowledge to the forefront of the industry and open up endless possibilities for everyone involved. With free entry for both days, outstanding seminar sessions across an informative agenda, fantastic networking opportunities and a broad spectrum of exhibitors.

INSTALLER 2018 SHOW, RICOH ARENA COVENTRY, 8TH -10TH MAY 2018 Launched in 2015 by Installer magazine, the UK’s leading annual heating and plumbing show has grown year-on-year to provide the perfect opportunity for installers to get hands-on and face-to-face with leading manufacturers, merchants and suppliers from across the industry. Bringing together over 3,000 visitors and more than 100 brands, Installer2018 will once again deliver the UK’s plumbing and heating professionals with an event focused totally on them and their businesses – providing solutions to everyday issues that affect the industry. From boilers to bathrooms, Installer2017 features a wide range of exhibitors from right across the sector who will be offering demonstrations, competitions, give-aways and special show deals to ensure a fun-packed and informative day that will be well worth a visit.

PHEX, ALEXANDRA PALACE, LONDON, 20TH - 21ST JUNE 2018 PHEX and PHEX+ are the leading trade shows for the plumbing, heating, local authority and merchant sectors. Be part of PHEX 2018 and meet over 100 suppliers - including brand new exhibitors and the biggest selection of boiler manufacturers the event has hosted – along with FREE training, seminars, stadium tours and a meal. And make the most of our #PHEXGives promotions, winning exclusive prizes from exhibitors such as Saniflo, Grundfos and Worcester Bosch.



Installer Initiative

FIT & FORGET CAMPAIGN LAUNCH DESIGNED TO TACKLE CONSUMER DOUBT VitrA’s new ‘Fit and Forget’ campaign being launched this month is designed to underline the company’s expertise in wall-hung frames and remove any consumer concerns about concealed cisterns. VitrA, one of the fastest growing bathroom brands in the UK, offers a comprehensive frame collection including slim frames, regular, double and the more recently introduced reduced-height frame designed for installation under windows or where space is limited. The ‘Fit and Forget’ campaign aims to highlight the design potential of 

VitrA’s Fit and Forget wall-hung frames and flush plate campaign. Reduced height VitrA wall-hung frame for use under a window or where space is limited.


“A wall-hung WC and furniture is now a bathroom design staple and key to a modern high-performance bathroom. Achievable at all price points, consumers like it because it is neat, space saving and makes cleaning the bathroom much easier."

Installer Initiative VitrA frames and flush plates by introducing the products to specialist retailers through a series of informal breakfast mornings and training sessions. The events will be held over the course of the year. VitrA Marketing Manager, Margaret Talbot comments, “A wall-hung WC and furniture is now a bathroom design staple and key to a modern high-performance bathroom. Achievable at all price points, consumers like it because it is neat, space saving and makes cleaning the bathroom much easier. But, there is consumer hesitation about installation inside walls and worry about maintenance and the weight capabilities which the VitrA ‘Fit and Forget’ campaign has been designed to address.”

"There is consumer hesitation about installation inside walls and worry about maintenance and the weight capabilities which the VitrA ‘Fit and Forget’ campaign has been designed to address.”

VitrA offers specialist retailers and installers a complete package of bathroom products; frames for all locations, and designer flush plates that give easy access to all maintenance components. The Fit and Forget campaign has been created to build on the extensive knowledge retailers already have and includes; a dedicated ‘Fit and Forget’ microsite that has installation videos. Retailers can also book in-house training sessions with VitrA’s area managers. The Fit and Forget campaign is supported by both in print and online advertising campaigns too. Retailers will receive a £10 Love2Shop voucher via the microsite and can find out more about VitrA’s Fit and Forget campaign opportunities by visiting:

“The Fit and Forget campaign has been created to build on the extensive knowledge retailers already have and includes; a dedicated ‘Fit and Forget’ microsite that has installation videos."


Smart Homes


Smart Homes

EXHIBITION SUCCESS DEMONSTRATES MARKET GROWTH IN SMART HOME TECHNOLOGY A remarkable TEN THOUSAND people visited the Gira stand during the recent ‘Light & Building’ show in Frankfurt (the world’s leading trade fair for lighting and building technology) with many travelling from the UK. This number represents a significant increase in the volume of visitors to the stand compared to when the show last took place in 2016, thus demonstrating the ground-swell of interest in this exciting product area. Gira is a leading global player of intelligent system solutions for building management for both commercial and domestic applications and it has targeted, the UK, and more specifically, kbb installers and retailers plus electrical installers, system designers and  distributors for considerable growth this year.


Smart Homes The Gira exhibition stand was vast, dwarfing many of its competitors and it reflected its standing as a market leader. The company received a great deal of positive feedback about the innovations on show and the modified stand concept. “This is our most important trade fair, and the success we enjoyed here will give us momentum for the day-to-day business to come,” commented Torben Bayer, Head of Brand Development and Marketing at Gira. “The combination of product presentation and hands-on experience of smart housing technology found just as much favour with both our domestic and foreign customers as did our range of specialist lectures on a wide range of topics related to building control.” Particularly well received were the light socket ‘Plug & Light’, the combination of the compact smart home server ‘Gira X’” with ‘Alexa’ voice control and the WiFi-based sound system ‘Sonos’ as well as the remote access module ‘Gira S1’ which ensures completely encrypted data transmission for mobile access to the ‘Smart home’. Gira used the ‘Light & Building’ show to set some new standards in data security, currently a hot topic with recent breaches in security of personal data at Facebook and the new European legislation in data protection (GDPR) which is coming into force in mid-May. The new remote access module “Gira S1” guarantees that communication with the KNX Smart Home is protected from unauthorised access even when used. Torben Bayer commented, “It has never been as easy and safe security wise for homeowners to link to their digitally connected dwelling when away from their home; however, our new Gira S1 addresses this and we are therefore able to set new benchmarks in terms of data security underlining that once again, Gira stands for German engineering solutions and innovation quality with real added values for users,” 74

Smart Homes



Tools, Power Tools & Equipment Advice

BLUETOOTH FOR CORDLESS EXTRACTION AND SMOOTH TAPERED HOSE FOR SNAG FREE WORK The advantages of using a cordless powertool are endless, no concerns about 240/110v, it can be used up a ladder of any floor of a building and modern batteries have vastly improved extending usable time, so much so, that Festool’s range of power tools now cover most applications that can be found on a site or a workshop; however, there is just one problem that remains – automated dust extraction. The hassle was the fact the end user didn’t bother with extraction, or if they did, it had to be turned on and off as required on the extractor. 

Festool has now developed a system to turn on the extractor via a remote control switch on the end of the hose that attaches to the machine but better still, it also has a Bluetooth enabled battery that sends a signal to the receiver on the extractor so as soon as the cordless machine trigger is pulled the extractor is switched on.


Tools, Power Tools & Equipment Advice Festool has now developed a system to turn on the extractor via a remote control switch on the end of the hose that attaches to the machine but better still, it also has a Bluetooth enabled battery that sends a signal to the receiver on the extractor so as soon as the cordless machine trigger is pulled the extractor is switched on. The advantages are obvious as even when just using the remote switch on the hose, you don’t need to keep switching the extractor on and off, it doesn’t need to be left running which saves wear on the motor, and it is simple to use as it will already be paired when the box is opened. However, using a battery to switch the extractor on via the receiver is where the main benefit is gained as the battery can be used on different machines as it is the battery that is paired. The Bluetooth batteries are available as a 5.2, or for longer operation time, opt for the 6.2. Pairing the battery with the receiver is a simple task, just press the button on the centre panel of the receiver until the blue light spins fast and then pull the trigger on the cordless machine with the Bluetooth battery, the blue light then becomes solid and the extractor starts up. Therefore, each time the battery is used on

a different machine, just connect the hose, pull the trigger and you will enjoy exceedingly efficient dust extraction with all the benefits that this brings, including healthier working due to a clean working environment and longer consumable wear, furthermore, Festool’s cordless extraction provides a more time-efficient way for kbb installers to work which is extremely important. Another benefit of Festool’s cordless extraction is for instance, when an installer is cutting material with a plunge saw for example, the last thing he/she needs is for the hose to get caught and then having to stop work to free it. A smooth hose prevents this scenario and with a taper, the hose has a higher airflow so all the dust is collected. The new hoses from Festool have this type of taper and 144 strands around the outside of the hose give the hose a smooth outer covering that is hard wearing and still retains its anti-static properties. Festool is bringing Bluetooth technology and combined with a smooth hose, extraction suddenly becomes easier, simpler and of course more efficient.

The advantages are obvious as even when just using the remote switch on the hose, you don’t need to keep switching the extractor on and off, it doesn’t need to be left running which saves wear on the motor, and it is simple to use as it will already be paired when the box is opened.


Zenith C ollection

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Undermount sink & drainer groove


Step by Step

ZENITH INSTALLATION GUIDE Zenith from Wilsonart has blazed a trail as the first super thin solid laminate worksurface. This hardwearing product is ideal for a variety of kitchen and bathroom applications and can be worked on site for custom fitting of bespoke drainer grooves and shelving, as well as under mount sinks and all formats of hobs. Here Wilsonart have listed some top tips to ensure the highest quality Zenith installation. There is an installation kit available to purchase, providing all the consumables needed for a successful install and a full installation guide also available to download here.



Handling and Planning

Zenith is a solid laminate and a 3m worktop weighs in at 38kg, we recommend it should be carried horizontally by two people. Planning where to position joints is paramount – avoid hob or sink cut outs. Silicon sealer must be used to fix Zenith to base units. Ensure a 25mm gap at each end between Zenith and heat-generating appliances like an AGA. No specialist tooling required just standard installation tooling, check out the video for a full listing Wilsonart Zenith Installation Tools Video


2. Cutting Zenith worksurfaces are very hardwearing and must be worked with clean, sharp cutters to produce a professional finish. Using a portable hand-held circular saw slowly cut the worktop by plunging in three 4-5mm increments. Finish all exposed edges and finished ends by skimming with a hand router with a sharp blade, allowing 2-3mm for final skim to size. Wilsonart Zenith Cutting Video ď‚š


Step by Step


3. Scribing Scribe Zenith to the wall with a planer or jigsaw with a metal blade, sand top and bottom edges to remove any chipping that have occurred during cutting. Wilsonart Zenith Scribing Video

4. Jointing


a: Using a biscuit joint machine form pockets for No.20 biscuits, it is important you apply biscuits as they act as a self-leveller ensuring a discreet even joint. Insert a minimum of three biscuits per join and carry out a dry fit. b: Clean the joint, then mix the clear two part epoxy resin and apply to biscuits and the joint itself. To pull the worktops together use either the suction cup or hot melt blocks method. For a corner joint, you can opt for a mason’s mitre or a simple butt joint, either way ensure biscuits are still used. Wilsonart Zenith Jointing Video


5. Drilling Holes and inserts can be drilled through or part of the thickness of the material using the correct drill bits or hole saws. Where part drilling is required ensure a minimum thickness of 3/4.5mm remains. For tap holes or pop up sockets the material should be cut completely through using the correct diameter hole saw allowing the worktop to support the accessory. Avoid using flat Spade drill bits or Auger type drill bites. Wilsonart Zenith Drilling Video



Profiling edges

Simply use a 240 grit sanding block to lightly soften the edges on top and bottom. The recommended finished edge is square but sanding will remove the sharpness of the raw edge. Wilsonart Zenith Profiling Edges Video ď‚š 81

Step by Step




Sink Installation

Zenith is ideal for both Inset and under mount sinks. Both stainless steel and composite sinks can be fitted. Ensure a distance of at least 150mm between the inset cut and the joint edge. A minimum of 40mm to the front edge should be allowed. For installation of sink clips drill hole to a depth of 8mm and with the recommended diameter place the spreading dowel insert into the hole and tap flush. Remember when placing inserts avoid obstructing any tap holes or drainer grooves. Wilsonart Zenith Inset Sink Installation Video.


Drainer Grooves for Under mount Sinks

Drainer grooves can be created for under mount sinks, simply use good quality cutters and masking tape to guide positioning. Using a hand router with a 30mm bush guide and radius cutter, set your groove depth and work smoothly when processing. You may need to sand out any router chatter lines that may have occurred Wilsonart Zenith Undermount Sink Installation Video



Hob Installation

Zenith surfaces are compatible with most hobs and fitting clips but if an additional packer is required to secure the clips simply use the surface cut out from the hob. If installing an oven under a hob a 40mm ventilation gap must be present, if this is not present due to the thinness of Zenith we recommend dropping the oven and moving the filler panel from the bottom of the oven to the top. Wilsonart Zenith Hob Installation Video


Finishing and Maintenance

Using a random orbital sander or palm sander finish the edges by sanding with 180 & 240 grit papers in a constant flat motion. Finally finish with a 400grit ultrafine paper / scotch brite. If desired apply a layer of boiled linseed oil to the edges to enhance the aesthetics. To maintain Zenith simply wipe down with a mild detergent and buff dry. Wilsonart Worktops Zenith Finishing Video 82



ASK THE EXPERTS ZENITH SOLID LAMINATE FAQ’S ANSWERED BiKBBI sponsor, Wilsonart’s Zenith range is a collection of on-trend solid laminate (also known as compact) worktops available in a wide range of decors and finishes. Although not a new material, compact is a new player within the worktop market. At 12.5mm thin, Zenith is made up of a black core created from layers of kraft paper impregnated with phenolic resin, a decorative paper is then placed on either side along with an overlay paper and impregnated with melamine resin to create a durable and waterproof, stylish worksurface. As it’s still a recent addition to the marketplace the company often receives questions from KBB installers about how Zenith can be used, and how it should be installed in the kitchen for a highquality finish. We’ve spoken to the team at Wilsonart and with their help, have collated a selection of these FAQs below so you can find out all you need to know to specify Zenith or feel more confident in recommending and installing our ultra-thin Zenith worktops.

How can Zenith worktops be used? Zenith has wide-ranging applications throughout the kitchen and the wider living space in addition to being used as a worksurface – especially in comparison with traditional laminate. • Undermount sinks can be installed with Zenith, creating a streamlined design effect as the material is 100% waterproof. You can even install drainer grooves into the surface due to its solid core which creates a sleek finish but also becomes a modern design feature as the black core is visible. • Zenith can be used as cabinet cladding due to the decorative design on both sides and its thinness – simply use silicone and clamp in place while it sets. • Coordinated open shelving is also a popular option to fit with modern open-plan designs, make use of any offcuts or purchase additional material to achieve this look. • Upstands and splashbacks are available for a fully coordinated design effect and quality finish as a contemporary alternative to tiles – and they’re easier to install too. • Zenith can be used for kick plinths due to its waterproof qualities, so it can standup to the testing environment of the kitchen avoiding any problems with water ingress.



Do you need specialist tooling to install Zenith? No, the same tooling as basic worktop installation is needed to fit Zenith solid laminate worktops, including; handheld routers, drills, sanders, jig saw and blades, worktop jig, hand held circular saws, extraction units, clamps, biscuit joint machine and biscuits. Additional pieces may be needed for sink installation of which are included in the installation kit, but you can see the full details in our installation guide. Boiled linseed oil is also recommended for finishing. How should you cut Zenith solid laminate worktops? Use a hand held circular saw with clean, sharp TCT triple chip blades, followed by a handheld router to achieve a high quality finish when cutting Zenith worktops for joint edges and finished ends. The blade of your tools will dictate how fast you can go but we recommend a slow speed and you should plunge in three increments (never one) to avoid burning the material and blunting the blades. How do you join Zenith worktops? Firstly, ensure the cut is clean to allow for a good bond to the joint and a high-quality finish. As it’s a machined edge, you can


Zenith Woodstone Grey showing black core detail


Q&A choose to do a mason’s mitre or a straight butt joint, but if the latter, make sure it’s a neat, clean cut. A biscuit joint is required to keep the surfaces level, you will need to insert No 20 biscuits into the joint; we recommend using 4-5 of them per join (but never less than 3). Then use a two-part epoxy resin to join the two pieces and clamps to pull the worktops together for a smooth join. Clean off any excess resin. If the machined cut is not a clean cut, use a jig held on with clamps and use a masons mitre as you would with a standard worktop to create the join instead. We always recommend you carry out a dry fit first. What kind of sinks can be installed with Zenith? When it comes to installing sinks with Zenith solid laminate worktops there are no limitations due to its 100% waterproof properties, so both inset and under mount sink types can be used. All under mount sinks must be cut out using

Zenith Pyla showcasing undermount sink and drainer grooves


a jig and centre support to avoid tipping, then plunge in increments of 4/5mm with router, never use a jigsaw to freehand on the compact material when creating the sink cut out. If installing Belfast / Butler sinks, please refer to manufacture guidelines to ensure you follow the correct method to ensure the sink is sufficiently supported underneath. They also need sealing with a good quality silicone sealant, this is applied to the top of the Belfast sink and Zenith lowered into place, any squeeze out must be removed at this point and made good. How to apply Drainer Grooves? If applying drainer grooves into the surface, then the sink cut out and drainer grooves must be done at the same time. This allows the inserts to be drilled and placed at the thickest point of Zenith between each groove, this is important to avoid a hole appearing and the insert being seen. The sink can then be attached. Never make the drainer grooves deeper than 6mm.


Q&A Zenith Caldeira showcasing curved ends

Can you use Zenith with different types of hobs & oven combinations? All hob types including electric, gas and induction are compatible with Zenith worktops, however there are some specific fitting requirements to make sure the hob is fitted correctly depending on the hob depth. If installing an oven under a hob you may need to lower the oven and move the filler panel from the bottom to the top of the oven, to create a ventilation gap between the two appliances. The installation guide which comes with each worktop and online videos provide full details. However we are finding tower ovens are becoming increasingly popular in kitchen designs, therefore alternatively you could introduce a pan drawer / display drawer underneath the hob to allow for the necessary ventilation gap. How to finish Zenith worktops for a premium result? When it comes to creating a perfect finish for Zenith worktops, the last thing to do is finish

the front edges (there is no need for edging strips as with traditional standard laminate as the worktop is solid). Any edges that will be seen should be sanded with an orbital sander or palm sander using 180 and 240 sanding grits – keeping it flat to avoid any rounding or trenching. Next wipe the edge clean with a damp cloth and follow with a scotch-brite pad too for a final smooth finish, you may want to apply a layer of boiled linseed oil to the edge as a final step to emphasise the aesthetic of the visible solid black core. Please note there is a Zenith installation kit available which is highly recommend when installing Zenith worktops. If you have any additional questions about Zenith, installation or how it can be used from a design perspective, please get in touch with the Wilsonart team who will be happy to help.


Show Review - 'kbb 2018'

SHOW ORGANISERS AND EXHIBITORS BEAT WEATHER TO PRODUCE ONE OF THE FINEST kbb SHOWS IN YEARS! Those who attended the recent kbb exhibition at the NEC were rewarded with one of the finest shows in recent years. The week before the show, anyone connected to it, whether organisers or exhibitors, would have been looking forward to the event with a great deal of trepidation as the ‘Beast from the East’ with its snow showers and biting winds (have you ever been that cold before?) did its worse. The worry of course was how exhibitors were going to logistically deliver their stands and displays, let alone erect them! Then there was the concern that even if they achieved this, would anyone visit the show? Thankfully, the weather relented a couple of days before the show and apart from one or two exhibitors whose vehicles were marooned in far-flung parts of the UK, the build-up eventually came together on time. The fact that it did was remarkable and I for one applaud the resilience and fortitude of all connected with the build up. 88

Jon Johnston Sales Director, kbb 2018

"Market-leading product ranges, bespoke solutions and future-facing technology for kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms were showcased at kbb Birmingham 2018. The event saw more than 15,000 visitors descend on the NEC from 4-7 March, and increased in size this year to reflect the industry’s growth and evolution. Across the four days, visitors made the most of a huge range of installations, exhibitions, thought leadership, networking opportunities and chances to try out the newest products. A record number of international visitors and 76% of exhibitors rebooking for kbb 2020 reaffirmed that economic and trading conditions are ever-improving."

By the time Sunday morning arrived, the first day of the show, the roads were pretty much clear of snow and most of the trains were running to schedule. Birmingham airport, with its heated runway, were getting flights in and out on time too, so the stage was set for a cracking exhibition and that’s exactly what we got.

Show Review - 'kbb 2018' More importantly, it seems the organisers, with help from exhibitors, attracted the right calibre of visitor.

"We are all aware of the doom and gloom in the news about the economy and the effects of Brexit in particular, but the exhibitors, with their huge investment in quality stands, told a different story and anyone visiting would feel that this is far from a struggling industry."

We are all aware of the doom and gloom in the news about the economy and the effects of Brexit in particular, but the exhibitors, with their huge investment in quality stands, told a different story and anyone visiting would feel that this is far from a struggling industry. Respect to those exhibitors who really pushed the boat out with their stands. A few of the more prominent ones include: Hafele, Crosswater, Franke, Showerwall, Bushboard, Rotpunkt, Blum, Caple, Duval, Liebherr, Perrin & Rowe, Sensio to name but a few.

ever and attracted many visitors from all areas of the market, not just installers. They were enticed in part by the industry personalities who were conducting seminars on the stand during the show but mostly because of the incredible growth in industry awareness and acceptance of the BiKBBI brand and its ideals. This is a real testament to the hard work of the BiKBBI team and its supporters and members. A big ‘up’ to all those delivery drivers and stand builders who braved the elements to ensure that the ‘show went on’ and all the sales and reception staff that operated every stand so professionally. Finally, well done to all those who visited the exhibition despite extremely pressing work schedules; a show is only as good as its visitors! The next few pages will give those of you who couldn’t attend a feel of what you missed, it would be impossible for us to do anything more comprehensive, so enjoy our little exhibition snapshot. 

Of course, our very own BiKBBI had its largest stand


Show Review - 'kbb 2018' HÄFELE With a whopping 150 sqm double-decker stand, this hugely progressive company used kbb 2018 to set down a marker for its future ambitions. The stand was always immensely busy, but everyone was dealt with in a friendly and professional manner by the sizeable Häfele team. Häfele believes the future of furniture is building furniture with a future, they refer to this ethos as “Thinking Ahead”. A concept that ensures each element of design is built for the way people live now, and in the future. Innovation, functionality, comfort and convenience are all at the forefront of the products displayed on the stand, whether they’re Häfele manufactured or selected through its trusted suppliers. WILSONART Zenith, the first compact laminate worktop to market, was the mainstay of Wilsonart UK’s kbb show plans. At 12.5mm thin and 100% waterproof, the double-sided solid laminate worktop is the first of its kind. A striking super-thin material which has a solid true black core, looks and feels just like a luxury composite worktop material but offers the ease, adaptability, and significant cost savings of a laminate. Gemma Barratt, Business Manager at Wilsonart UK says “We enjoyed massive demand for Zenith last year and subsequently, we are making a significant investment to support its continued growth. We would like to thank our partners for showcasing Zenith at kbb 2018.” NEW WAY INTERNATIONAL A new sponsor to the BiKBBI and a new exhibitor at the kbb show, New Way International used the event to demonstrate its amazing CAT mobile phone range for installers and other tradesmen. Built to withstand shock, moisture and pressure, the stand attracted a huge amount of interest, with most visitors ‘knocked-out’ by the fact that the top of the range CAT phone on display even had an infrared function to detect wires and pipework buried in walls. When they give out gongs for best technical product on display at kbb 2018, my guess is it will go, as it traditionally does, to a domestic cooking or cooling appliance; however, if I were a judge, the CAT phone would be on the short-list as a potential winner.



Zenith woodstone grey from Wilsonart, showing solid black core that enables the drilling of drainer grooves. Also used here for co-ordinating and bespoke open shelving

BE A DESIGN WINNER WITH WILSONART ZENITH ENTRIES INVITED TO WILSONART’S ANNUAL ZENITH DESIGN COMPETITION. Wilsonart is offering creative designers the chance to win high street vouchers and valuable publicity through social media in an exciting new competition featuring the company’s unique Zenith slimline work surfaces. Zenith is made from solid laminate and features a unique black core. The tops are just 12.5mm thick, giving a sleek, slimline look that adds a touch of distinctive flair to any kitchen. The material comes in 11 designs inspired by natural stone and timber. Upstands, splashbacks, breakfast bars, shelves, cabinet framing, curves and drainer grooves for under mount sinks allow plenty of scope for innovative design. Wilsonart is looking for the best design ideas showcasing Zenith. Entries must be pictures of completed installations – not CAD

drawings – and should show inspiring use of the material on any area in the kitchen. To enter the designer must send photographs of the kitchen, their name, location, contact number, email address, company and where the worktops were sourced from if not from company they work for. THERE WILL BE 3 ON4ALL VOUCHER PRIZES UP FOR GRABS. 1ST PRIZE - £300 worth of vouchers 2ND PRIZE - £150 worth of vouchers 3RD PRIZE - £50 worth of vouchers Entries should be posted on @WilsonartUK social media sites (facebook, twitter, linkedin) with #zenithdesigncomp or emailed to with the subject Zenith Design Competition. Competition will close on Friday 25th May 2018.


Show Review - 'kbb 2018' FESTOOL Long-time sponsor of the BiKBBI, this leading power tool specialist manufacturer had a working stand which attracted many installers. The Festool team were demonstrating its range of high-quality power tools, including new products whilst reminding visitors to its stand that customers benefit from 36 months free of charge repairs and theft protection as part of SERVICE all-inclusive. Jon Burcham, Marketing Manager at Festool, said, “The show provided us with a great opportunity to connect with, and further cement our strong relationships with our customers.” SCHÜLLER At KBB 2018 InHouse Inspired Room Design showcased its exciting new partnership with successful Italian brand Steel Cucine. The appliance brand joins other leading kitchen furniture brands including, Schüller, next125 and Aster Cucine in its comprehensive and hugely successful portfolio of suppliers. Steel Cucine is a collection of beautifully designed built-in appliances, freestanding range cookers and refrigeration. Stuart Dance, Director at InHouse, said, “KBB 2018 was tremendous for us as it provided a perfect opportunity to demonstrate in one amazing room set just how well Steel Cucine appliances complement Schüller kitchens. Kitchen retailers who visited our stand were extremely impressed with what they saw, so much so that we took many display orders at the show.” LIEBHERR Recognised by many as the markets pioneering cooling appliance manufacturer. This global industry giant exhibited key products from across its entire range. Special prominence was given to the groundbreaking BluPerformance collection which has made the entire industry re think how domestic refrigerated appliances are designed and manufactured. Liebherr Divisional Manager, Tim Hutchinson said, “kbb has always been good for us but I have to say, this year was outstanding, we achieved all of our objectives which included generating many enquiries from potential new customers.”


Show Review - 'kbb 2018' DAVAL Two spectacular kitchen room sets, and one bedroom were featured on the Daval stand. The largest featured the company’s Mayfair / Finsbury and Langham kitchen collections. A second kitchen display showcased Daval’s Bramham in-frame traditional kitchen; whilst Daval’s bedroom room set displayed Varenna grey oak, a walkin bedroom concept. Much visitor interest was also shown in the company’s new option-i Version 2, which was on display for the first time. Daval MD, Simon Bodsworth, said, “2018 is a special year for Daval as it marks our 40th Anniversary, so kbb 2018 provided a perfect platform to make the industry aware of our longevity and to attract new customers. Hats off to my team as our stand looked amazing and we honestly couldn’t have hoped for a better show” BUSHBOARD According to Bushboard, KBB 2018 was by far and away its finest ever. Commercial Director Neil Horton said; “The show was an unprecedented success. The team worked incredibly hard to pull the exhibition together. We had much to show and created a real buzz amongst our kitchen and bathroom industry colleagues and customers.” Bushboard showcased its highly successful ‘Nuance’ bathroom surfaces which the company says” is the future of bathroom design and could ultimately replace ceramic tiling thanks to ease of installation and finish quality.” Highlights from the company’s new ‘Omega’ and ‘Options’ worksurface collections were on display as was the new ultra-slim surface ‘Evolve’ which will be formally launched into the market this summer. CARRON The main driver of the Carron Phoenix team was to reinforce its position in the market as a sink and tap brand that stands for good quality, design and value. Its fair to say that they achieved their goals as the company reports a hugely positive response from visitors to stand generally but especially in its ‘Larunda’ hot tap. This elegant, easy-to-install 3-in-1 tap, is developed to dispense 98⁰C steaming hot water in addition to standard hot and cold at a very competitive price point. The Carron Phoenix team also report great visitor appreciation for its new Stone Grey colour which has been added to its Fiji undermount granite sink range complete with complementary Reno tap, along with a new contemporary L-spout and coloured-spout taps.



Show Review - 'kbb 2018' ROTPUNKT ‘Inner Beauty’ was the theme of Rotpunkt’s stand. The leading German manufacturer used the event to launch a raft of products, sizes, materials and finishes including a highlight, its new 2018 interior options in Carbon, along with three new Zircon drawer boxes, finished in Carbon, Smoked Black Glass or Wood. The company also featured a variety of new furniture and worktop finishes and collections, with its new Terra Grey with black Line and new Metal on display. Matt Phillips, Head of UK Operations, Rotpunkt UK said “kbb 2018 gave us a perfect platform to increase brand awareness, the depth of our product range and the quality of its manufacture. Its early days but signs indicate that will hit our target of attracting new displaying showrooms at the event.” BMA Perfectly positioned in the hub of the bathroom hall, the team from this long established and influential association were targeting new members whilst raising awareness of the BMA brand and its ethos. The message it successfully delivered centred around the word why? Why be compliant, why be a member of the association and why it has a Water Label. Clearly, the Water Label is important to the BMA’s as it forms a part of its key campaign for the year ahead, which includes CE Marking and the importance of compliant product in the market place. SENSIO (LIGHTING) Sensio never ceases to amaze. The company grows year-on-year and this is reflected by the size and quality of its kbb exhibition stand. The largest Sensio stand to date was designed with 4 open sides with its displays positioned on freestanding displays and walls. This encouraged copious amounts of visitors to the stands and so the Sensio team were always busy showing interested visitors what’s was new and what the highlights of its comprehensive portfolio of products. Sensio has come a long way in a short space of time. Half a dozen or so kbb exhibitions ago and Sensio was exhibiting to help seek market acceptance. 14 years on and they are now an opinion forming global brand. You have to give its management team due respect.


Show Review - 'kbb 2018' FRANKE Always a ‘go-to’ stand at any Birmingham kbb show, Franke unveiled a host of new products. Remaining faithful to its ‘Make it Wonderful’ credo, the company showcased a new family of super metallic granite sinks finished in Copper Grey, Lunar Grey, Sterling Silver and Copper Gold, each reflecting the trend for metallics in the kitchen. Other stand highlights included innovative ‘steam-off’ technology, a unique super-matt textured material feature on Franke’s statement hoods, all in addition to its significantly expanded boiling water tap range which includes new 2- and 4-in-1 models and four fashionable coloured PVD finishes. IDS/SHOWERWALL Positioned in the bathroom hall and attracting a huge amount of visitor interest was specialist manufacturer Showerwall, with its bathroom surfaces inspired by nature. It was a significant show for the company as it revealed a new brand identity, new collections and innovations, signalling the design strides made by the smart waterproof surfacing system. Showerwall displayed its newest nature-inspired décors including elegant marbles and stones, industrial concrete and warm woodgrains. Innovations included a market-leading synchronised texture and new Proclick installation technology for seamless joints. Visitors to the stand were impressed by the fact that its fast and easy to install and importantly, comes with a 15-year guarantee. BLUM Blum had a huge stand at the show and it was alway s extremely busy with visitors. The company showed a variety of products from its hugely extensive product portfolio including many items on view in the UK for the first time. Always acknowledging the importance of installers by periodically launching a variety of initiatives and services, the Blum team were on hand to discuss these with attending KBB fitters. These included Blum’s Technical Hotline, which is open Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, Saturdays 8am to 12pm.its LIVE SUPPORT which gives the same level of support but can be accessed direct as written or verbal chat, including photos and videos. Blum’s Easy Assembly App is an essential digital tool for anyone working with Blum components. And Blum’s new EASYSTICK makes it easy to set up MINIPRESS and facilitates assembly.


Show Review - 'kbb 2018' HAMILTON LITESTAT This British manufacturer of smart lighting control and multiroom audio systems targeted kbb 2018 with its unique range of complementary designed switch plates & sockets that can totally coordinate the look of any kitchen, bedroom or bathroom project. Its smart lighting can be controlled with the flick of a switch or swipe of a button and its smart audio can stream music to any area of the home, inside or out, New products introduced included a paintable range of control plates, 'Ultra' 2.4A USB dual switched sockets that allows two tablets to be charged simultaneously, and a new range of wireless audio products. BiKBBI The BiKBBI utilised its largest stand to date by organising a series of seminars throughout the duration of the show. This helped attract many visitors including plenty of current BiKBBI members; however, there was also a raft of visitors who located the stand to find out more about becoming a member. Hugely encouraging was the fact that there were many enquiries about the apprenticeship initiatives that the institute is instigating to try and close the skills-gap and protect the long-term future of our industry. BiKBBI, CEO, Damian Walters commented, “I was incredibly encouraged by the volume and quality of exhibitors, perhaps a sign of positivity within our industry, I understand that organisers, UBM was recently acquired and really hope that the new owners support the show in 2 years’ time as we would very much continue to support what we find a worthwhile presence.” Damian added, “We are really pleased that we deigned our stand to facilitate a seminar programme as it meant that that in addition to having our physical presence at the show, we were able to extend out ‘reach’ by simultaneously broadcasting the seminars via our social media platforms, and they were viewed by hundreds. These can still be found on our Facebook page.”



NOW IN STOCK Driven by our upgraded QuartzTM Smart Valve and easy to install. Precision engineering sits at the heart of our smartest most personal shower.

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Smart Showers

HELPING CUSTOMERS MAKE THE SMART CHOICE Wendy Bennett, Customer Experience Director at Aqualisa looks at the key factors contributing to the growing trend of the personalised smart shower market – and explores the features and benefits it has to offer. In recent years there has been a discernible move towards high-end personalisation, with more than 50% of consumers interested in purchasing customised products. It is anticipated that this will have a knock-on effect on smart shower sales, with the smart shower market forecast to see an increase of 26% by 2020 due to a shift towards high end products within domestic refurbishments in particular . This offers a unique opportunity. With a wealth of benefits over traditional mixers, smart showers are becoming an easier sell – whilst for the installers themselves they offer hassle free installation, plus extra margin too. 


Smart Showers KEY FEATURES FOR THE INSTALLER Flexible application Most smart showers are compatible with all standard domestic hot water systems and provide optimum performance and flexibility with regards to installation and use. This is due to a mixer valve, which most smart showers have. For example, Aqualisa smart showers are controlled by the QuartzTM Smart Valve, which thermostatically blends hot and cold water, connected to the shower’s controller by a slim data cable, to provide the exact temperature required by the end user. At Aqualisa we have designed two smart valves (a.k.a processors) suitable for all UK water systems: a pumped smart valve for low pressure systems such as traditional gravity fed water systems and a standard (unpumped) smart valve for high pressure systems such as a combi boiler system and unvented systems. In 2017 we renamed our processor boxes to ‘smart valves’ to reflect further smart developments to these units. Easy to install When installing or upgrading to a new shower, traditional mixer showers usually require major disruption to tiles when channelling pipes and fitting a shower unit. This increases installation time as well as the cost to the homeowner. Exposed smart showers remove this issue, as the wall

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Smart Showers does not need to be chased out to expose the cabling which would be required to wire a mixer valve. Most smart showers also have a smart valve, which can be located away from the shower in places such as the loft, under the bath or in an airing cupboard. This further reduces disruption to the bathroom and maximises space that would usually be taken up by the smart valve. Simple to maintain As smart valves can be installed away from the shower it also means that they are easy to access for maintenance purposes and require minimal disruption to the bathroom. KEY FEATURES FOR THE CONSUMER Smart showers provide a wealth of benefits and key selling points to allow the homeowner to have a completely personalised shower experience. Water efficient Aqualisa’s latest smart range, the Aqualisa QTM, can significantly reduce water use in domestic applications. The smart valve can be set to ‘eco’ mode, which can reduce water output by 33% while the proximity sensor (a feature that can be switched on or off to suit the end user) automatically reduces the water output when the user is 0.5 meters away – but crucially continues normal 100

water flow when the user steps back towards the QTM shower controller. Personalised experience The Aqualisa QTM range also allows users to choose from a variety of pre-set shower experiences based on water flow, duration, temperature and outlet or create and save their own preferences to repeat the perfect shower every time. Additionally, the range features precise temperature control, which holds water at the desired temperature for the duration of the shower. The wireless remote allows users to remotely turn on the system from up to 10 metres away from the shower controller and enables them

'Aqualisa’s latest smart range, the Aqualisa QTM, can significantly reduce water use in domestic applications. The smart valve can be set to ‘eco’ mode, which can reduce water output by 33%' to switch between available outlets by holding down the remote button. While the temperature ready indicator lets users know when the water has reached their perfect temperature, so they do not have to reach into the shower to test it. 

Smart Showers ADVICE TO INSTALLERS The smart shower market is growing at a rapid pace, which indicates that it should be easier for installers to encourage consumers to make the switch to smart showers. However, there can be a perception that smart showers are difficult to use when in fact, once installed, they just require the user to step in, select the temperature and enjoy precise showering every time. For many homeowners it may be a simple lack of awareness of what smart showers offer. Informing customers about the potential benefits, especially when a traditional shower is due for replacement, provides installers with an opportunity to offer a better service as well as up-sell to customers. As such, Aqualisa provides free training courses on all its smart ranges, which provide detailed product information, installation guidance and advice on how to up-sell from traditional mixers to smart showers. Our award-winning customer service team can offer advice on our full range of mixer, electric and smart showers or provide answers to any technical queries as well as spare parts advice. 101

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Kitchen News

COLOURS, TEXTURES AND INNOVATION ARE MAJOR DESIGN STORIES FOR FRANKE AS IT LAUNCHES 95 NEW PRODUCTS FOR 2018 Franke has unveiled its extensive 2018 portfolio, turbo-charged with 95 new products Highlights include four unique ‘Super metallic’ Fragranite colours, two grey ceramics, six new sink ranges, seven new taps including a new electronic 4-in-1 style, four new brassware finishes and five innovative hoods. 

We’ve interpreted the trend towards texture and colour widely across our new products with a major expansion of granite sinks, plus two new grey colours for ceramics."


Kitchen News Says Neil Clark, managing director of Franke UK: “Our new portfolio for 2018 shows Franke’s commitment to serving our UK customer base with high quality, well designed products offering installers a wide choice of designs and installation options. We’ve interpreted the trend towards texture and colour widely across our new products with a major expansion of granite sinks, plus two new grey colours for ceramics. We have a fashionable matt finish on the new Maris Bowl stainless steel sink range, together with innovative hoods and an array of new coloured finishes and tap styles which strongly complement our sink offer.”


The company has extended its popular Fragranite range to include four luxurious Super metallics in Copper Gold, Copper Grey, Lunar Grey and Sterling Silver, elevating the material to a new aesthetic level. Matt to the touch and with a subtle pearlescence, the Super metallics expertly combine high performance and sophistication and are available on the Kubus 2 undermount, the contemporary Fresno undermount and the easy-toinstall Style inset sink ranges. The new Maris Bowl stainless steel sink range has a distinctive matt finish. The comprehensive range comprises three

We've extended our popular Fragranite range to include four luxurious Super metallics, elevating the material to a new aesthetic level. Matt to the touch, with a subtle pearlescence."

Kitchen News different models which are all available in either undermount or in inset Slim-Top versions, where easy installation is assured through Franke’s FastFix system. Accessories include a strainer bowl, mobile drainer, chopping board and Rollamat. Reflecting the popularity of ceramics, two new colours of

Out and Neptune, available in chrome and four new stylish finishes of Brass, Smokey Mirror, Graphite and Matt Black, while new U-spout options in Fuji, Ascona and Olympus are available in chrome and SilkSteel. Five innovative new hoods are also available, the Cloud, Impress, Mythos 2gether, Mythos ceiling and Atmos,

which gives it the appearance of contemporary wall art, attractive to an urban consumer. The Mythos 2gether is a completely integrated extractor which sits between two induction hobs in stylish black glass. It extracts vapours using a constant flow of air pressure, discreetly reducing unwanted odours

The Impress is manufactured from a unique, super-matt textured material with anti-fingerprint properties, it has a 3D-formed surface which gives it the appearance of contemporary wall art, attractive to an urban consumer." Graphite and Matt Pearl Grey have been added, in addition to white, on the Kubus ceramic undermount range in all three current single and 1.5 bowl sizes. The Minerva Electronic 4-in-1 tap is now available in solid stainless steel in the contemporary Minerva Mondial style. It has preset 30 and 60 second programmes that are digitally controlled with a push-button, ideal for filling pans, teapots, cafetières and jugs with instant filtered boiling or filtered cold water, while standard mains hot and cold are operated by a single lever. Other new taps include the Active Plus, Active Plus Pull-

demonstrating the company’s focus on technology, innovation and design. All of the new models have an energy rating of A+ or A. The Cloud extractor hood appears to ‘float’ above the worksurface. Its suspended installation gives the Cloud a sleek, minimalist appearance and its slimline design is elegant and unobtrusive, with illuminated touch controls and three ambient LED lighting options. It is available in White or Grey. The Impress is manufactured from a unique, super-matt textured material with antifingerprint properties. The hood is available in White, Metallic Grey or Soft Brown and has a 3D-formed surface

and condensation. The Mythos ceiling hood is designed for flush-mounted installation and comes in white tempered glass. It features full panel LED backlighting with five settings which can be adjusted to suit the mood and tasks of the kitchen environment. The new Atmos hood, which is installed in wall cabinetry, solves the problem of dripping condensation. Available in three sizes, it is ideal for use with induction hobs capturing the rising steam before it condenses on surfaces using its innovative ‘steam-off’ technology.


Bathroom Trends

HOT TOPICS The team at The Installer Magazine talks to Steve Birch, Sales Director, Vogue (UK) about trends in the bathroom. Do consumers take heating products more seriously these days? Steve Birch, Sales Director, Vogue (UK)

When you think about it, most consumers will only buy a radiator or towel warmer as few as three times, sometimes less in their lifetime and therefore, with stunning modern designs and improved functionality, they now want to make this type of purchase a special and even personal one, often making a design statement with the model they choose. They have become more comfortable to explore the advantages of bespoke heating design, models which are luxurious and non-specific to a certain room are performing best right now. You mention stunning modern designs and improved functionality; can you expand on your thinking? I’m happy to. By offering almost unlimited styles and combinations to heat the home, new technologies and designs are coming to the fore all the time to tempt and inspire new house buyers. This has elevated premium design radiators and

towel warmers into becoming much more than just a heating solution, obviously they need the appropriate heat output of course but also they have to be aesthetically pleasing and now often with added functional too for example, with integral fold-away storage rails, practical mirrors and even a remote control function for the height of convenience. What about new product innovations generally? The introduction of atypical materials and finishes has also become the latest look in interior fashion thus driving a need for more adventurous and unusual heating designs at the higher end of the market. Perfect for creating a minimalist aesthetic, metallic finishes are elevating contemporary heating designs for the better, welcoming new finishes like brushed and bright nickel or antique copper or brass as a point of difference. This fashion has also led to developments in texture which create an opportunity for designers move away from the standard smooth, highly polished chrome finish. The market now offers a choice of matt finishes and tarnished effects to choose from, and for the height of contrast, homeowners can combine this style

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Bathroom Trends

"Choosing a bespoke model will guarantee a unique design statement that fits the exact requirements of the space. By customising size, material and style, it is possible to create a completely unified interior scheme."

New Simplicity II by Vogue (UK)


Bathroom Trends of rail finish with an integrated flat panel radiator in granite or coloured glass. This is a great way to give your customers and the home a sense of personal style, as well as move away from the standard white finish to create a heating solution suited to any décor, interior or individual. How can you help your customers stand out from the crowd? The luxury interiors sector demands a heating solution that is unique, and this has seen bespoke design services become more prevalent and allow each aspect of a design to be tailored to individual requirements. The once humble radiator has become far more than just a necessary and practical addition to heat the home . Choosing a bespoke model will guarantee a unique design statement that fits the exact requirements of the space. By customising size, material and style, it is possible to create a completely unified interior scheme. Although this level of design and quality comes with a higher price Comby Dryer in white by Vogue (UK)


tag, it is often the finishing touches that make the difference between a ‘good’ and an ‘exceptional’ bathroom, kitchen or living space. So why is Vogue UK’s bespoke service is popular? The satisfaction of having a truly original product that will not be seen anywhere else is a major selling point for our customers. They can also be assured that the product will provide professional results, as our highly skilled craftsmen and designers will advise clients on all the elements of design like style, material, finish and practical requirements. We offer a bespoke service across Vogue (UK)’s standard portfolio, which allows for quick modification of our existing models in terms of design and construction. This is a great compromise as it not only costs less than designing a completely bespoke product from concept, but it also provides the customer with a great level of choice and individualism.

"We offer a bespoke service across Vogue (UK)’s standard portfolio, which allows for quick modification of our existing models in terms of design and construction. This is a great compromise as it not only costs less than designing a completely bespoke product from concept, but it also provides the customer with a great level of choice and individualism." Vivid with new dryline technology by Vogue (UK)

New Simplicity II by Vogue (UK)

Why ArtiCAD is a smart choice for your business Things are changing in the KBB software landscape as consumers become more tech savvy. Your customers expect to easily engage with you online, in-store and from any location. n. It’s It s time to embrace technologies that deliver an interactive customer mer journey.

ArtiCAD’s super-fast, ultra-high quality, easy to use and award winning CAD software is available to use online, offline, via outright purchase or low-cost monthly subscription.

Images produced using ArtiCAD-Pro HD

In addition to CAD, we provide integrated software solutions and services for every stage of your customer journey – helping your business stand out from the crowd. These include: Design, pricing and management tools Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Apps

To partner with an award-winning software innovator, with an independent A1 customer service rating, contact our sales team on +44 (0)1923 888101 or email

Consumer room planning and styling software for your website ArtiCAD Academy – training in design, sales, customer care and CAD 109

xxxx Q &A You’ve recently joined the iKBBI, what are your first impressions? That they are a lovely young and friendly bunch of people

Q& A

with Stephanie Gray ‘Victim’ of this issue’s Q & A is the BiKBBI’s new Education Officer, Stephanie Gray (pictured). Stephanie is responsible for driving the organisations education initiatives, including its apprenticeship programme which is being launched at the multi-million-pound facility at Prospects College of Advanced Technology (PROCAT) in September.


What attracted you to your role with the iKBBI?

What’s your favourite holiday destination? Disney Florida. I’m a huge Disney fan! Book or Kindle? Book, if I ever had the time!

I was impressed with the Institute’s drive to raise and set standards within the industry, furthermore it had the benefit of being fantastically located for me with friendly working hours as I’m a Mum

Red or white wine?

Enough of business, tell us about yourself, married? Kids?

What or who makes you laugh?

Yes, I’m married with two kids, Olivia 10 and Kieran 8

White What’s your favourite movie? Oh, there’s so many but I’ll go with Jerry Maguire

Observational comedians like Peter Kay, Lee Evans, Micky Flanagan. Basically, anyone


who can see the humour in day-to-day life What or who makes you cringe?

Hopes for the future? To be happy and healthy (and win the lottery of course!)

When people ‘get it on’ on reality TV shows. Their parents must be so proud! Name 3 people you’d most like to share a dinner party with? David Beckham, Channing Tatum ….and now Lynsey from our membership team asked if she can come too – I wonder why! ha ha Name 3 people you’d least like to share a dinner party with? Katie Hopkins (yuk!), Gillian McKeith (double yuk!) and Ann Widdecombe (yawn!). What song would most likely get you up on the dance floor? Young Hearts Run Free by Candi Staton.

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Installation Advice

APPLYING SEALANT - THE IMPORTANCE OF GETTING THE FINISHING TOUCHES RIGHT It’s one of the cheapest products that we use when fitting kitchens and bathrooms, however, in my experience, which is considerable, it seems to be the hardest to get right. Furthermore, we’re not alone as it’s used by almost every other trade in the construction and interiors industries, from plumbers to painters, window fitters to floor layers. So which product am I talking about? Sealants of course! 

After days of painstaking high-quality installation work, it’s vital to get the finishing touches right as poorly applied silicone can make a really good job look somewhat amateurish as it’s so visible. For something so simple as applying sealant will speak volumes about the quality of your work every time your customer and their guests walk into the room. Don't forget vulnerable areas like the dishwasher plinth

Poorly applied silicone ... speaks for itself!


Installation Advice

So here are a few guidelines to help you get it right: •

Clean the joint before you begin so that the sealant sticks to each side of the joint. If there is a protective film (for example on a sink or high gloss panel) remove the film as you won’t be able to remove it afterwards.

Trim the nozzle to suit the width of bead you need to apply. If the nozzle is too big, use a smaller one (spare nozzles can be purchased, but you’ll probably find they gather in your toolbox anyway). A 45 degree angle is normal, but sometimes a steeper or shallower angle helps to get into tight corners or to reach further.

Remember, sealant doesn’t just come in white. Clear is useful but will show what’s underneath. Translucent is harder to find but blends in better than white against coloured surfaces.

• Fill larger gaps and then apply silicone over the top. If you don’t, the silicone may sag. •

Don’t rely on silicone to cover up bad workmanship.

Push the gun, nozzle first, so that the back of the nozzle shapes and controls the bead. Get it right and you won’t need to run over it with your finger, so you’ll reduce the risk of overspreading the sealant. Click on the video and you’ll see what I mean.

Be aware that skeleton guns are not all the same. Some continue to apply pressure on the tube even when you release the trigger, better ones release the pressure as soon as you stop squeezing the trigger. It’s possible to get a good result with either, but only if you’re aware of the type you’re working with.

Always use a piece of scrap to rest the gun on between applications in case sealant squeezes out onto your work. It will also help to prevent the skeleton gun marking the surfaces.

In awkward places mask each side of the bead before you start then smooth the sealant and remove the tape before the sealant has set.

Use acrylic sealant against paintwork as it can be overpainted, but silicone can’t.

• Don’t forget areas which are vulnerable to moisture, but which often are overlooked: the cut outs for sinks, hobs and pipes, the plinth under a dishwasher, etc. •

Use a cap between jobs to stop the sealant going off in the nozzle. Or put the point of the nozzle in a plastic bag with an elastic band to hold it in place.

So there you have it, some of these tips will be obvious and one or two perhaps not so, but I do I hope that you take something from this article. Remember, the finishing touches can make or break a kitchen or bathroom installation.


Business Advice by Houzz

5 THINGS THAT PREVENT YOUR BUSINESS FROM GROWING AVOID THESE COMMON PITFALLS TO MAKE SURE YOUR INSTALLATION BUSINESS KEEPS GROWING Want to grow your small installer business? Check out these typical mistakes that kbb installation firms make when expanding their business, to ensure that your business continues to go from strength to strength. Mistake 1: Relying on referrals There’s no better way to gain new business than when a customer recommends you to a friend. You won’t have had to lay out any marketing costs, and when you work with a client who has been given your name as a referral, an element of trust is often already established from the beginning. However, be careful not to rely too much on recommendations for growing your business. Not every happy customer has the time or inclination to recommend you to others, so if this avenue dries up you might find yourself with no other leads to follow.


Solution: Take time to explore other ways of finding new business, such as improving your website, marketing your firm on social media and signing up to web communities like Houzz. Even if business is booming, these other channels will pay off in the long run. Mistake 2: Doing it all yourself Small business owners often find themselves wearing many hats, juggling projects with all the other tasks of running a firm. You probably don’t think you have the resources to delegate tasks, but in fact this cost saving might actually waste money in the long run. Solution: If you’re finding yourself spending ages working out your accounts, for example, it might be time to hire a professional and use your time more valuably on tasks that will help your business to grow. 

Business Advice by Houzz However, Ran Ankory of Scenario Architecture advises: “Its a matter of finding the right balance by asking questions about each and every task that you’re considering to outsource.” “Why am I considering outsourcing this aspect of my business, is it because it is not what we specialise in, and will it be more efficient and cost effective to collaborate with someone else? Or am I simply avoiding aspects that are not what I love doing and do best, but are essential to developing a new business?”

Small business owners often find themselves wearing many hats, juggling projects with all the other tasks of running a firm. You probably don’t think you have the resources to delegate tasks, but in fact this cost saving might actually waste money in the long run. He also recommends you ask the question: “Must I outsource an entire task, or can I select parts of it which would not compromise my overview as a owner/managing director?”

And finally: “Can I work with the potential company I am considering partnering with to find the correct balance and make sure that the communication and data flow is efficient enough to keep the necessary control mechanisms intact?” Mistake 3: Keeping your prices too low Customers are looking for a fair price, but it’s not always a good idea to offer a cheap quotation to compete for new clients. If you undercut yourself, by only charging enough to cover your materials and labour costs, you’ll find it difficult to really grow your business. Solution: Jeff Kasfikis of Big Bean Construction says: “There is no point being cheap if this affects the service provided and the end product. Some clients want the cheapest priced installation company but also want them to provide a comprehensive service and the highest quality. It’s just not feasible and that is why you need to issue a tight schedule of works, so accurate comparable pricing can be sought.” To do a great job you need to be able to hire good staff and complementary tradespeople and spend time on completing the project on time and to a high standard. Offer your services too cheaply and you won’t be able to afford either of these things. You might end up with unhappy clients, dissatisfied employees and an extremely low profit margin. Instead, look for potential clients who focus on quality and not just finding the lowest price. 


Business Advice by Houzz Mistake 4: Not employing people When you’re trying to grow your business there comes a time when you’re faced with the conundrum of whether to employ staff. Ran Ankory says: “In a small business at least in the beginning, the owner normally tries to be at least three different people at once – the entrepreneur with the large scale vision and drive; the manager who keeps it all organised and running smoothly; and the technician who is doing the actual work that the business is set up to do.” Solution: So when is the right time to get help with one of these roles? After all, by adding the wages of just one person you’ll have two people to support and therefore must double your revenue. But if you don’t employ staff you won’t be able to take on extra work to grow. Bridge the gap by taking on an apprentice who will grow with your business or use subcontractors as a stop gap until you have enough work to pay an extra person’s salary. If you’re worried about the administration involved in paying someone’s salary, you could delegate this task to an accountant or bookkeeper. Mistake 5: Failing to give a quotation It can be frustrating for homeowners when a renovation specialist doesn’t give an estimate for work they’ve enquired about. So, if you

Customers are looking for a fair price, but it’s not always a good idea to offer a cheap quotation to compete for new clients. If you undercut yourself, by only charging enough to cover your materials and labour costs, you’ll find it difficult to really grow your business.

want your business to stand out, it makes sense to be one of the firms who does takes the trouble to offer a quotation. Solution: Even if you’re too busy and don’t need the work, it will pay off in the long run to give potential clients a quote. They’ll appreciate that you’ve made the effort, which will set you in good stead for any later projects. Similarly, when someone contacts you through your website, social media profile or through Houzz, it’s important to respond. Even if the query is small, or unrelated to your company’s services, the customer will remember your business positively.

Speak to our team If you’d like some help setting up your profile, one of our Houzz experts can offer you a free, personalised consultation call to give you the tips and tricks you’ll need to get the most out of Houzz. Just email Houzz on and we’d be happy to help! Or visit the website to sign up for your free business profile today.


Product News

ANTIBACTERIAL PROTECTION FOR WORKSURFACES BETTER THAN WET WIPES! It’s common knowledge that a kitchen dishcloth is a breeding ground for bugs which has led to an increase in sales of anti-bacterial wipes. However, a recent episode of BBC’s ‘Trust Me I’m a Doctor’ exposed how using wipes did very little to stop the growth of microbes. Dr Clare Lanyon, a Biomedical Scientist from Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne, said, “Consumers may be wasting money on antibacterial wipes and sprays because common germs, which can replicate themselves in just 20 minutes, quickly recolonise back to original mass even if just one single cell is left over.” Neil Horton, Commercial Director of Bushboard, says, “Serious consideration should be given to antibacterial laminate surfaces when specifying a new kitchen or bathroom. Worksurfaces were identified by Good Housekeeping recently as a leading harbour for germs. Not usually available on solid wood, or granites, Bushboard’s new Omega collection provides

Stamford Oak worksurface in ultramatt texture with new end-grain edging strip and matching Stamford Oak splashback. All with Bushboard Santitized® Worksurface

antibacterial protection not afforded by other surface materials.” Antibacterial wipes are not necessarily the ideal way to clean worksurfaces either; adding more waste to landfill or British beaches: In 2015 volunteers with the Marine Conservation society, found 4,000 wipes washed up on British beaches, that’s around 80 wipes for every

mile of British coastline they examined! Inherently easy to clean, Bushboard Omega worksurfaces incorporate Sanitized® Actifresh that deters the growth of bacteria. It’s odourless, non-toxic and reduces microbe and bacteria growth by 99%. 117

Social Scene

ne ... e c s l Socia funny w e f A m ts fro e p p i sn rld of o w e th media l a i c o s

Design fail!!


Social Scene

Wrong on so many levels!

... ene c s l a y Soci funn w e m Af s fro t e p snip rld of wo the edia m l a soci

You had one job!

Seen anything funny on the net? Follow us. Join us on our Social Networks 119

Directory BiKBBI Corporate Sponsors

BiKBBI Retail Partners 120


installer the

BiKBBI Strategic Partners


For all enquiries including editorial, advertising, advertorial, directory and promotional enquiries contact:

Rob Nicholls

rob@ Tel: 01992 478 109

The Installer is produced on behalf of the BiKBBI by public relations, marketing, advertising and publishing specialists, Publicity Engineers Ltd. 121

Install kitchens, bedrooms or bathrooms?

Interested in hiring an apprentice?

Special event The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation is developing a New Government-backed Apprenticeship for Fitted Interiors, which will be hosted at PROCAT (Prospects College of Advanced Technology) in Basildon starting in September 2018.


on 23rd May, 8am– 10am

If you’re working with a young person (16-18 years), or would be interested in hiring an Apprentice as part of this historic initiative, we are hosting a special event at PROCAT on 23rd May, 8am – 10am… Bacon rolls included!

To register for the event, visit

Profile for casapublishing

BiKBBI The Installer Magazine April 2018 Issue 13  

BiKBBI The Installer Magazine April 2018 Issue 13  

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