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issue 8 - winter 2017







EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH B & Q HEAD OF INSTALLATION SERVICES, JOHN EASON The official magazine of The British Institute of KBB Installation









INDUSTRY NEWS supplied by kbbdaily


INTERVIEW WITH ... John Eason, B&Q

Evening coloured view of Mount Everest from Gokyo valley on the way to Everest base camp, Sagarmatha national park, Khumbu valley, Nepal




OPINION PIECE, Neil Clarke, Franke


Q & A, Nicole Mercer

32 COMPANY PROFILE, The Furniture Makers Company 36




















TAX ADVICE by Dean Flood








Welcome ...

Firstly, I would like to wish our readership a very Happy New Year and a warm welcome to our first edition of The Installer Magazine for 2017. You will notice a new look to this edition, as the magazine rebrands to match our new British status. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the editorial and design team for their splendid effort as once again - this edition is the biggest (& best) yet! From an institute perspective, 2016 was a remarkable year for the organisation, especially as we celebrated our tenth anniversary to include the special event at Parliament. We maintained great relationships with some of the industry’s most influential and our membership growth continued on a healthy upward trend. Education was a hot topic last year and will remain a focus this year too. The work on apprenticeships for newcomers continues tirelessly, as does the development of our CPD (Continual Professional Development) portal for experienced installers. I’m confident 2017 will be a success for the industry, but I’m under no illusion it won’t be without challenge. The industry must address the skills gap and take any opportunity to support initiatives that will attract newcomers and the training / retention of the experienced tradespeople that represent us on the front line.

Damian Walters, BiKBBI CEO




Everest, the ultimate challenge that awaits BiKBBI, CEO, Damian Walters



AIMING FOR THE TOP! Chief Executive Officer of the BiKBBI, Damian Walters, is literally putting his life on the line to raise money for the institute’s chosen charity for 2016/17. Damian intends to scale Mount Everest and in doing so aims to raise over £100,000 for The Furniture Makers Company’s, The Furniture industry’s charity! It’s not Damian’s first attempt at attempting this treacherous climb, he almost reached the summit back in 2010 but was forced to abandon the climb at 27,500ft due to severe altitude sickness. To put into perspective just how close he came to achieving the ultimate climb, he was only 1,500ft from the summit!

“The majority of expeditions to Everest last about 64 days but there are only a few days dedicated to the summit push, the rest of the time is spent preparing physically and mentally.”

Damian’s second attempt begins in April when he travels from London to Kathmandu, Nepal. The next leg will see the expedition drive into the Himalayas, crossing the border into Tibet, before arriving at Base Camp in the north around a week later at an altitude of 17,000ft. He’ll then spend three to four weeks acclimatising to the high altitude by tackling local peaks before the climb up the infamous north face of the world’s highest mountain. Damian says: “The majority of expeditions to Everest last about 64 days but there are only a few days dedicated to the summit push, the rest of the time is spent preparing physically and mentally.”



Before reaching Everest’s summit of 29,029ft above sea level, the cruising altitude of a Boeing 747, Damian will have to overcome many dangers, including The north Col, then onto the perilous ‘death zone’ at 26,000ft. While in the death zone, Damian will face high winds, treacherous ledges, and an extreme risk of frostbite. Low atmospheric pressure restricts the body’s oxygen intake by two-thirds which is the main obstacle that climbers face. The BiKBBI recently announced its support for The Furniture Makers Company as a Corporate Member, joining brands including BiKBBI Installation Partners B&Q and John Lewis, as well as sponsors Blum. Formed as a guild in 1952, established as a livery company of the City of London in 1963, and granted a Royal Charter in 2013, the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers strategically supports three key areas within the furniture industry namely; Education, Excellence and Assistance.

working on educational programmes for schoolchildren and students, as well as their sterling work on recognising quality standards complement those of the BiKBBI." The BiKBBI and The Furniture Makers Company are currently working together, along with other key parties, to develop a nationally available apprenticeship for kitchen, bedroom and bathroom installation and Continued Personal Development opportunities for timeserved installers. For more information on how you can get involved with The Furniture Makers Company or how you can sponsor Damian’s climb contact: DamianClimbsEverest Email: TH E MOST DANGEROUS PLACE ON EARTH



The Company is also proud to support our armed forces by being affiliated with 2nd Battalion The Rifles. Their historical ties with the forces date back to 1989 when the Bond of Association was made between the Company and The Royal Green Jackets, who in 2007 became a part of the new regiment – The Rifles. Damian Walters says; “We have been supporting the charity with several initiatives for some time and so we were pleased to make the Company our official charity moving forward.” He added, “The Furniture Makers Company’s core pillars are not too dissimilar to those of the Institute. Its commitments to education, especially with their tireless efforts



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NEW COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER NICOLE JOINS THE TEAM BiKBBI is delighted to welcome Nicole Mercer to its head office team, joining as their Communications Manager following Denise Mayell’s departure in November. Nicole, featured in this edition of The Installer Magazine (page 30), is now responsible for the management of all BiKBBI communication channels, including the organisations


growing social media platforms, member’s website, weekly members update and monthly newsletter. The new role will also encompass the growth of the organisations Corporate Membership offering, as well as working with existing stakeholders to strengthen the proposition and generally grow awareness of BiKBBI and its objectives.

BATHSTORE RENEW SUPPORT Fast growing retailer Bathstore renewed its support of The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation this month for the third year. Bathstore Director of Customer Experience, Martin Guest – pictured (right) with BiKBBI CEO Damian Walters, said he “was delighted with the partnership” and “looking forward to exploring new and exciting opportunities with the institute”. All Bathstore installers are registered members with BiKBBI. Damian Walters said: “Support from the industry is incredibly vital and we’re thankful to Gary Favell (CEO), Dean Weston (COO) and Martin Guest for their continued support of our objectives.”


SUPPORTING LOCAL COMMUNITIES THROUGH LAUGHTER Chief Executive Damian Walters continued his tireless charitable work by presenting Vincent Hayes MBE, of the famous Brick Lane Music Hall, with a cheque for £1,000 on Saturday evening. Vincent, pictured receiving his MBE from HRH Prince Charles, is curator at the music hall and the driving force behind its charitable work. Brick Lane Music Hall takes reminiscence music hall shows to care homes and hospices all over the London and the South East.

The value of laughter and familiar music and song is now a recognised form of therapy for those with longterm illness or memory loss. It can provide a welcome boost for those who are able mentally but find themselves confined, as well as for staff and carers. Damian’s donation will contribute to this Damian’s year of giving started in July with a bike challenge, riding from London to Paris raising money for Alzheimer’s Society. It will

conclude in June following an ascent of the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest in Tibet. Damian hopes to raise over £100,000.


Congratulations to BiKBBI member Gareth Williams of The K-Team (South Wales) for winning The Exceptional Installer of the Year 2016 at the inaugural ek&bbusiness Annual Awards & Review.

The award was accepted on behalf of Gareth and the team by BiKBBI CEO Damian Walters in Central London in December, which was hosted by celebrity comedian Josh Widdicombe, from Channel 4's The Last Leg. Gareth and his team fended off stiff opposition from great businesses, including Brownhirst Joinery Limited, The Property Team Limited, J.Beach Joinery, Mark McEvoy Interiors and Splendid SP Limited. British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation CEO Damian Walters was invited to be part of the awards judging

panel earlier this year. Damian Walters commented on the award by saying: "It was great to see the world of installations represented at this years awards and is demonstration that the often forgotten element of the industry is now being accepted as an integral part of the sector." Damian went on to say: "Huge congratulations must go to Gareth and his team. I know this business to be a fine example of a reputable installation business and I'm delighted that the team in South Wales received the accolade they fully deserve."


Sponsor News

SAW LIKE NEVER BEFORE WITH THE NEW FESTOOL KAPEX KS 60! LAUNCHING FEBRUARY 2017 Festool is launching the NEW Kapex KS 60, a mobile, compact and flexible sliding compound mitre saw in February 2017. With ergonomically placed carrying handles, a practical cord holder and a transport safety device, the new KS 60 is the perfect tool for assembly work. These benefits are combined with an extremely compact design and lightweight handling. Thanks to the mitre angle of up to 60 degrees on both sides and an inclination angle of up to 47 degrees on the left and 46 degrees on the right, the compact sliding compound mitre saw also enables excellent cutting with maximal precision and versatility in mobile use. The saw slides forwards and backwards on the two column guides, but the columns do not extend backwards during this process. This saves space – particularly in small work areas. The new Kapex KS 60 offers numerous other clever details. These include an LED spotlight, which projects the shadow cast by the saw blade onto the point that is to be sawed on the workpiece, precisely highlighting cutting lines without distortion. Even long workpieces pose no problem for the KS 60: Long workpieces can be easily positioned and cut on the integrated pull-out extension table. With the additional feet, the KS 60 can be


raised to the height of a Systainer (size: SYS 1), therefore allowing the Systainer to be used as the support surface. The speed can be quickly adjusted to the material that is being processed which will remain constant during the sawing process. The angle finder enables all of the interior and exterior angles to be precisely gauged and directly transferred 1:1 to the saw’s angle setting, and thereby adjusted to the bisecting line. The spindle stop is also practical and can be used to change saw blades in an instant. Various versions of the new Kapex KS 60 will be available from February 2017.



The leading fittings supplier to the KBB sector in the UK, Blum, has implemented for fitters, designers and manufacturers, an extended hours technical support hotline: 0800 230 0898 The hotline offers 8am - 8pm support Monday - Friday, and 8am - 12 midday on Saturdays.

Blum realises that a strict 9am – 5pm contact availability is no longer adequate for today’s working environment and, with the new hotline, have proved that they are once again at the forefront of service to industry, exceeding expectations. The decision follows the results of a widely circulated questionnaire asking if out of hours support would be useful. Seventy five percent of respondents said “yes”.

Blum UK Sales & Marketing Director David Sanders said: “We realise that in today’s busy world, normal business hours no longer apply…and this is true of the KBB industry as any other. The most used service in our business is Technical Support so we are now meeting the demands of our customers by extending the hours that this service is available.” Blum UK 0800 230 0898


Sponsor News

FRANKE KEEPS IT IN THE FAMILY WITH ITS CO-ORDINATED MARIS RANGE OF HOODS, SINKS AND TAPS Franke’s Maris collection is a family of seven co-ordinating extractor hoods, four sinks and two taps. The smooth and streamlined Maris Plus hood in sleek black glass or stylish white glass features ghost controls on its digital display which are not visible when the hood is turned off. Air can be extracted directly through the rear of the unit, removing the need for ducting if installation allows.

into the glass plate that prevents water droplets from forming and dripping back into cooking.

The space-saving design of the Maris Pull-Out Slim Hood allows for installation under a kitchen cabinet whilst the T-Shape anti-condensation hood benefits from a uniquely designed heated element built

The premium brushless motor in these models allows up to an 85% energy saving compared to a standard motor and combined with LED lighting, gives them an energy rating of either A+ or A.

Maris 1.5 bowl Slim-Top sink

The Maris Built Under ceiling hood features a ‘plug and play’ system that makes installation quick and easy. The Maris Slim-Top stainless steel single and 1.5 bowl sinks sit virtually flush with the worksurface creating installation as easy as an inset. Reflecting the popularity of colour and texture in the kitchen, Maris granite sinks are available in Polar White, Coffee and Onyx in single and 1.5 bowl options. They are exceptionally durable, being resistant to burns, dents, chips and stains.

Franke’s Maris Built-Under hood can be installed in as little as 15 minutes


Two Maris taps complete the family to offer a stylish range with multiple installation options.

Sponsor News

Franke’s Maris Plus extractor hood in black glass or white glass is available in three sizes of 60, 80 and 90cm (pictured) for wider design flexibility.


Industry News

supplied by


IMPEY REVEALS 2017 WETROOM TRAINING DATES Wetroom manufacturer Impey has released 11 new dates for its 'We Are Wetrooms' training course for 2017 following a “sell-out” 2016 tour, with the new training tour set to kick off in March this year. The 'We Are Wetrooms' tour is designed to teach “essential wetroom fitting skills” to UK installers for Impey products, such as the AquaDec EasyFit floor former and AquaDec Linear floor former. Other areas covered in the training days include how to achieve the correct wetroom gradient, effective drainage, leak-free waterproofing, and how to correctly tile on a floor former or wetroom tray. The 2017 training dates for Impey's 'We Are Wetrooms' are as follows: 15/03 Ascot Racecourse, Ascot, Berkshire 05/04 York Racecourse, York 26/04 Sussex County Cricket Club, Hove 10/05 Northampton Rugby Club, Northampton 31/05 Exeter Chiefs Rugby Club, Exeter 14/06 Murrayfield, Edinburgh 12/07 Nottingham Forest Football Club, Nottingham 13/09 Peterborough Football Club, Peterborough 27/09 Gloucester Rugby Club, Gloucester 18/10 London-based Football Club. (venue TBC) 01/11 North West-based Football Club, (venue TBC) 14

The inaugural ek&bbusiness awards were held at The Brewery in Central London in December and at last, an awards organiser has recognised installation as a fundamental piece of the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom industry jig-saw. Subsequently, over 500 people attending the gala event witnessed the announcement that BiKBBI member The K Team, had scooped the Exceptional Installer of the Year award, sponsored by ALNO UK. In their absence, the award was collected on their behalf by BiKBBI Chief Executive Officer Damian Walters who commented afterwards, “Congratulations to The K Team, it’s a great business and is a very deserving winner, but to be fair, we have many members that could be in contention for this accolade so I hope others follow in their footsteps and enter in the years ahead.” Damian added, “A big ‘UP’ for the organisers ek&bbusiness magazine for recognising our sector by including this award in their event. I have to say that Darren and his excellent team at the magazine have always been most supportive to the institute.”

Industry News

supplied by

MAX-TOP REASSURES CUSTOMERS WITH PRICE FREEZE IN 2017 Surface company Max-Top has said that it intends to freeze prices for the next 12 months “to accommodate fluctuations in the financial market following Brexit and now the effects of the US election result.” According to Managing Director Stephen Moss, the company is keeping its MaxTop Quartz product at the same price “at a time of unpredictability”. The action by the business is designed to “reduce financial tremors” as consumer confidence, interest rates and the pound fall following the EU referendum. “Import costs and currency fluctuations have affected imported goods, forcing some companies to increase prices accordingly,” said Max-Top

Managing Director Stephen Moss. “However, we have taken the decision that we are in the right financial position to keep the cost of our work surface the same." “While the prices of other products and materials are already rising, we are keeping the retail cost of our quartz worktops at under £220 per metre,” he said. “In doing so, we hope to repay the faith our customers and regular installers have placed in us.”

SANIFLO ROADSHOW BOOSTS KINEDO SALES Saniflo UK's 'Building Better Bathrooms' roadshow, which began in May and ended in October, has resulted in a boost to sales of Kinedo, and was “so successful,” according to the company, that it will take to the road again this year visiting new venues with new products. The purpose-built roadshow truck visited 80 venues across England, Wales and Ireland this year, with more than 820 installers and builders visiting, according to the company, to talk to the Saniflo technical and sales teams. The roadshow resulted in an increase in the number of Kinedo showroom displays

being ordered, Saniflo said, as well as “excellent feedback from attendees including showroom and merchant staff who were taught how to build the Kinedo shower cubicles”. Saniflo UK Customer Services and Marketing Manager Ann Boardman said: “We’re delighted with the feedback and results of the Saniflo 'Building Better Bathrooms' roadshow. Our hands-on approach has led to a direct increase in


Shower tray manufacturer JT has published an installation video for its Evolved by JT product starring Shaun Scott, who won 2016 UK Plumber of the Year, a competition held by JT alongside Bristan and Plumb Center, last year. The video features Scott , who works for Derek Scott Plumbing Limited in Insch, explaining “the three simple stages of installing the 25mm tray: preparation, fitting and finishing,” according to JT. “The feedback on our product has been superb, but as with any new product, questions arise when it comes to installation,” said JT Managing Director Paul Crossley. “We've listened to our customers and delivered this easy-to-follow video, with the help of Shaun, to enhance the installers experience and answer any questions should they need it,” added Crossley. showroom displays of the Kinedo shower cubicles. Visitors were able to see for themselves just what a valuable business proposition Kinedo shower cubicles offer.” 15

Industry News

CAESARSTONE MARKS 30TH ANNIVERSARY BY LAUNCHING DIRECT DISTRIBUTION IN UK From January 2017 Caesarstone, the global leader in high quality engineered quartz surfaces, commences with direct distribution in the UK. This decision follows significant success for Caesarstone with its direct distribution model in other regions, including US and Australia, and highlights the importance the brand places on the UK as one of its key markets. “We are up and running and open for business,” says Caesarstone UK’s Managing Director Amir Reske. “With our well stocked, 42,000 sq. ft. warehouse at our HQ in Enfield, North London, complemented by our own delivery fleet we are in a strong position to ensure our customers enjoy a quick and efficient turnaround from order to delivery. Together with our team of dedicated sales and support people we aim to offer the exceptional service that you would expect of a premium brand - a service that is in line with our global service standards”. One of the first companies to take delivery of products from Caesarstone’s new UK business is Prima Stone Surfaces. Director, Robert Jay, commented, “We are delighted with the smooth transition and excellent service received. We can see the passion and commitment to the brand in the UK market and we are looking forward to working with Caesarstone UK to develop our own quartz business.” Caesarstone already enjoys significant brand presence and market share within the UK and is recognised as a premium, aspirational surface product by both trade and consumers. The company sees huge potential in the UK quartz market.


“Quartz continues to grow in prominence within the UK surfaces market, driven by growth in new builds, commercial projects and consumer confidence in domestic renovations and their desire for high quality materials,” says Reske. “With this in mind we see great opportunities for the brand in the UK. We want to take our products and services to a new level, while ensuring that our customers are at the heart of everything we do. We will do this by enhancing our product offering – we already offer 40 desirable colours and designs and we will be launching more ground breaking products later this year – and by building stronger ties with key partners via new loyalty programmes and unsurpassed service." Caesarstone starts its relaunch with a big statement which underlines the confidence it has in its brand by offering a 25 year warranty on all domestic products sold from January 2017 onwards. Further investment has gone into new facilities: the company has fitted out its own state of the art offices and warehousing at its North London HQ. A new showroom within the same space will be unveiled in the coming months. “We want our facilities to become a resource for fabricators, designers and architects in its own right – and our product design and innovations an inspiration to them,” comments Amir Reske. “We now have everything in place to maximize the potential for Caesarstone in what will be a major market for the company.”

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The Installer Magazine talks to B&Q's John Eason, Head of Installation Services (pictured left), about the importance of recruiting the right installers for his organisation.

I understand there have been changes within the leadership team at B&Q. Can you summarise the changes and what this may mean to your installers short / medium / long term? Our focus remains absolutely unchanged - we are committed to giving our customers the best experience, and in having true partnerships with our installers who spend more time with our customers than we do. We have always sought to ensure that our ways of working with installers are as simple 18

as we can make them and this continues, so that our installers can continue to focus on delivering a great experience for our customers, installing a great project every time. We’re proud of the relationships we have with our installers and the support we can offer them, both in terms of continuity of work and regulatory help with Local Authority Notices and so on. B&Q are leaders in DIY‌ Why did the company choose to invest in an installation division

originally and how have you overcome your customers perception of the businesses core DIY messaging? Since 1969, our business has evolved to become the leading home improvement company in the UK reflecting changes in consumer lifestyles. We launched our installations service over 25 years ago to give our customers the choice of doing-itthemselves or having an expert undertake the installation for them. Today, customers continue to have this choice.


What do you believe are the installation sectors biggest challenge over the next 1-3-5 years?

What would you say to anyone who felt they had doubts about becoming B&Q installer?

The sector’s key challenge would be to ensure a strong pipeline of talent.

B&Q wants to be the installers partner of choice for those who want to work with a large national company. I would urge any installers interested in working with us to talk to us, and help us understand what more we could do to help them.

What are you looking for when recruiting installers and what piece of advice would you offer to anyone wanting to become a B&Q installer? Demonstrate you deliver the best levels of workmanship and customer service, and that you truly care about the work you do.

What role do you see BiKBBI playing within the industry moving forward? Setting the highest standards for

workmanship, practice and innovation, an educational centre of excellence and continuous improvement, and set an industry framework to grow and nurture high quality talent. How important is BiKBBI’s work within the apprenticeship initiative? Very important! Growing talent for the future is key and I believe the BiKBBI should be the go-to place for aspiring installers.



AGE UK TRADING CIC AND BiKBBI ANNOUNCE STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI) has announced its latest strategic partnership with Age UK Trading CIC (Community Interest Company). Age UK Trading CIC is a trading subsidiary of Age UK, the UK’s largest charity working with older people. The partnership will see BiKBBI assisting Age UK Trading CIC and their mission to support the country’s older population to make the most out of later life, specifically within the bathroom environment. BiKBBI will support Age UK Trading CIC, and their product partner Handicare (who work with Age UK Trading CIC to provide “Age UK Easy Bathing”). The strategic partnership will see BiKBBI support Age UK & Handicare to develop their bathroom proposition, playing a key role in the independent accreditation of those installation businesses that serve the consumer. This will include a number of facets, to include the support of duediligence, training and development, vetting and onsite auditing. BiKBBI CEO Damian Walters (pictured) commented on the announcement by saying: “It is clear that our joint goal should be the provision of product, services and an open and informative 20

sales process that will help the older population to live full and happy lives within their own homes for as long as humanly possible. But clearly, as we age, we must plan for the future and ensure that our living spaces are designed and installed with mobility, accessibility and future proofing in mind.” Damian added: “I’m personally looking forward to working with our latest strategic partner at Age UK Trading CIC. This is a great organisation that is very relevant to not only our sector, but also to us all as individuals. The industry has a lot to offer, with great innovation, products and passion, so if we can help connect it with those who would benefit from it, then we’re more than happy to facilitate.” Speaking on behalf of Age UK Trading CIC, David Hales, Head of Affinity and Product Development, said: “BiKBBI provide an invaluable service to the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom industry, and are at the forefront of the drive to improve standards across the sector; a desire that we also share. BiKKBI can provide support and guidance in a wide variety of areas, from training and development to performance management, all with the aim of ensuring customers receive the very best service. We’re sure that this relationship can only benefit Age UK Easy Bathing customers, and underlines Age UK Trading CIC’s desire to provide a market leading service for people in later life.”

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Following on from its foundation work in 2016, The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation will continue to focus on education over the next 12 months, according to Operations Manager Claire Walters (pictured). October saw the first ever assembly of some of the country’s largest retailers of KBB product, including B&Q, Bathstore, John Lewis, Homebase, Wickes, Wren, Omega and Symphony. The Installation Education Taskforce will meet again in February, as it combines efforts to


improve education opportunities within the sector. Since its last meeting in late October, BiKBBI have engaged a number of key stakeholders in an effort to promote existing schemes, in addition to creating new learning opportunities for both industry newcomers and existing time served professionals. BiKBBI CEO Damian Walters recently attended an Industry Education meeting in Milton Keynes, attended by a number


“We are happy, and we believe best placed, to lead the installation element of the forthcoming work on apprenticeships. There has been some fantastic work already carried out by CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) and the National Training Group (now incorporated within the KBSA), however there is a need to convert the existing Level 2 Fitted Interiors apprenticeship, with the new government Trailblazer replacement.” of key individuals and organisations, including representatives from FIRA (Furniture Industry Research Association), KBSA (Kitchen & Bathroom Specialists Association), Bucks University, and The Furniture Makers Company. The meeting, facilitated by Sales Director David Sanders at Blum UK, discussed a joined-up approach on education within the sector, to include the current design degree, being delivered by Bucks University, to the development of the current Level 2 apprenticeship in Fitted Furniture (kitchens). It was unanimously agreed that the industry would have a far greater chance of success if it combined its force to address the educational needs of the entire sector, to include manufacture, sales, design and installation. BiKBBI Operations Manager Claire Walters said: “We are happy, and we believe best placed, to lead the installation element of the forthcoming work on apprenticeships. There has been

Claire Walters, BiKBBI Operations Manager

some fantastic work already carried out by CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) and the National Training Group (now incorporated within the KBSA), however there is a need to convert the existing Level 2 Fitted Interiors apprenticeship, with the new government Trailblazer replacement.” Claire continued, “One of our biggest frustrations has been a lack of cohesion within this fragmented industry. It is our belief that a joined-up effort is critical if success is to be had, but we’re delighted that a combined force seems to be moving in the right direction.” BiKBBI have been clear that it’s focus on education will include three key areas: • Apprenticeships for industry newcomers • CPD (Continual Professional Development) of time served professionals • Retraining for professionals operating elsewhere in other industries 23


WHY DEVELOPING SKILLS IS VITAL FOR YOUR CURRENT WORKFORCE Whilst apprenticeships are an important part of the industry’s future, it is vital that the skillset of the current workforce is not overlooked. With fast changing legislation, ever evolving product and tighter regulation on the operational delivery of kitchen, bedroom and bathroom installation apparent, it would be naïve to think that CPD (Continual Professional Development) is unimportant for today’s installer population. With many industries already adopting CPD as part of everyday life, the KBB industry is falling short of its potential, according to BiKBBI. In a recent survey amongst members, only 8% of those participants (844 installers) had actively been involved in CPD over the last 5 years. Worse still, of that 8%, all of those who had undertaken CPD, had done so as part of their obligation to gas and electrical regulation, suggesting other industries, including the gas and electrical industries, are more tuned into CPD. BiKBBI Compliance Manager Christine Masson commented by saying: “The Consumer Rights Act is an example of CPD that shouldn’t be ignored. Tighter regulation on tradesmen is in force and we’re already seeing installers 24

Christine Masson, BiKBBI Compliance Manager

unknowingly fall short of new laws in place to protect the consumer.” BiKBBI introduced an online CPD portal, in association with The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSi) and Virtual College last July. The portal provides installers, members and non-members, with access to a number of online courses, specifically designed for tradesmen. “Our bite-sized, low cost online courses can be completed in a tradesman’s own time, will provide important learning to help them improve and protect their businesses as well as providing a recognised CPD qualification, endorsed by both BiKBBI and CTSi” according to Christine. BiKBBI’s CPD portal (www.iacademy., sponsored by Blum, covers


a number of subjects including CTSi’s TradeSimple courses, general business administration, health & safety and compliance. The online courses start from as little as £15 and will be developed over time to incorporate training and development opportunities from third parties, including BiKBBI Corporate Members, typically made up from suppliers and distributors of KBB product and components.

celebrating 20 years

For more information on BiKBBI’s training & development packages, please contact us: 01375 659 524

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Company Feature

SHARE THE FRESH AIR Yorkshire based Westin is a manufacturer of high-quality cooker hoods and extractors and says that it likes to share the experience of fresh air in every kitchen by ensuring that anyone involved in kitchen design can buy a Westin cooker hood. As a specialist in cooker hoods, Westin’s philosophy differs from competing appliance suppliers by taking pride in its personable and friendly approach to every customer; in fact the customer service team will always make time for enquiries from kbb installers who may have an onsite problem. The company say that the only criteria to be a Westin customer is that they require a beautiful cooker hood that has top performance, great looks and reliability; in fact, quite uniquely, the Westin team says that it is not necessary for kitchen retailers to put one of their hoods on display, commit to an annual turnover, or even open an account as they manufacture cooker hoods for customers not dealers. Even though Westin appreciates that not every kitchen design can accommodate one of its hoods, it says that it’s really important to them that one is made available to every trade customer where there is an opportunity for them to purchase one. Their credo is that everyone should have access to fresh air from Yorkshire.


“Anyone designing a kitchen incorporating a Westin hood can now quote with confidence for projects well in advance secure in the knowledge that the pricing will not change.” Ann Onions, Westin Sales & Marketing Manager

In addition to the ‘Westin for all’ opportunity, as the only British manufacturer of cooker hoods the company is keen to support the market further by announcing that there will be no price increases to their cooker hoods in 2017! In these times of post-Brexit price increases it’s a bold and very user-friendly commitment. 2017 prices will remain as per its March 2016 price list. Westin Sales & Marketing Manager, Ann Onions says, “Anyone designing a kitchen incorporating a Westin hood can now quote with confidence for projects well in advance secure in the knowledge that the pricing will not change.”

Company Feature

Ann Onions, Westin Sales & Marketing Manager




There’s no doubt that 2016 will go down as one of the most unpredictable years in history. Who would have thought 12 months ago that Britain would vote to leave the EU, that Donald Trump would be the US President, and that Leicester City would be Premier League champions? A £10 bet on all three would have returned £30m! If only…

year will end up. We’re already seeing it within our industry with new brands emerging, changes in distribution, changes in the retail landscape, new product launches, new technologies, innovations in the how and what, which will succeed only if they satisfy the needs of consumers, business owners and/or tradespeople.

I’m sure that 2017 will bring further change and I’m not foolish enough to try and predict where the

Change is inevitable. We can’t control it and we all need to embrace it, whether we like it or


not. But whether we are manufacturers, business owners, designers or installers, we should never lose sight of what it is that our customers value about what we do; quality products, great service, inspirational design and high quality installation. We should look forward to 2017 with a mix of confidence and trepidation. It can’t be any more tumultuous than 2016 … can it??

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and saw this Communications Manager role advertised. I read up about the company and it looked really interesting and wanted to be able to use my skills I had acquired from my previous roles. Enough of business, tell us about yourself, married? Kids? I’m engaged to Lee, we’ve been together for five years and we have twin girls Emmie and Lottie who are two and half years old. So as you can imagine I don’t get too much time for myself but when I do, I love little trips away with Lee, dining out, or I let him cook at home as he’s a pretty good chef. What’s your favourite holiday destination?

Q& A

WITH NICOLE MERCER Our Winter issue’s Q & A ‘victim’ is new Communications Manager Nicole Mercer You’ve recently joined the BiKBBI, what are your first impressions? As soon as I joined, I felt part of the team. The staff are so friendly and really support each other. It’s a really professional organisation and the team all know their stuff! There is a lot more to the institute than I originally thought, which is great. What attracted you to your role with the BiKBBI? I was looking to get back in to the workplace after a period of being ‘a mum’


Thinking back, any beach holiday I’ve had seems a dream away since having the girls. But the place I’ve been to the most and would return again and again as I love it, is New York, love the shopping, sites and food!


What’s your favourite movie? Trying to think of films other than reruns of Frozen, Lion King, Up and Dumbo (which is all I get to see these days!), my favourite film has got to be The Lost Boys, I know it’s a bit of a cult film and is pretty old now, but I loved the young vampires and always wanted to be one and it’s also got a pretty good sound track. What or who makes you laugh? Melissa McCarthy, especially in the film Bridesmaids. Most of her films are so funny!

Name three people you’d most like to share a dinner party with? OK, so I’ve got to have a bit of eye candy around the table, so it would have to be Tom Hardy, Gino D’acampo (for cooking the food obviously) as he would ensure some laughs and to even up the sexes, it would have to be Melissa McCarthy.

Name three people you’d least like to share a dinner party with? I won’t be too personal with this one, so I will go with my nightmare scenario which is sitting in a pie n’ mash shop with three OAPs with false teeth whilst they suck the bones from the jellied eels! I love pie n’ mash but for years I refused to go into a shop that sold jellied eels because my first experience in one was so awful. What song would most likely get you up on the dance floor? I love 90s dance music and my faves would probably be 'Break of Dawn' by Rhythm on the Loose, or 'You Sure Do' by Strike Hopes for the future?

What makes you cringe? The contestants on ‘The Apprentice’. How you could be that crawly and so full of yourself!! It’s embarrassing!

Just for my family and friends to be healthy and happy. And for my girls to grow up to be the best young ladies they can be, being thoughtful, generous and kind.


Company Profile

THE FURNITURE MAKERS' COMPANY - A COMPANY WITH A TRULY HISTORIC PAST. The BiKBBI CEO, Damian Walters, is about to scale Everest (he sets off in April) and his intention is to raise £100,000 for The Furniture Makers’ Company. Many of you will have heard of this business as it has become an institution, but you may wonder what it’s all about? The Installer takes a closer look by chatting to Ben Burbidge, Master of The Furniture Makers’ Company and Managing Director of Burbidge Kitchens. So how did the organisation come to be and what are its hopes for 2017? Our charity was established over 10 years ago to help people from the furnishing industry in times of hardship. Today we also encourage new talent with our extensive education programme to support school children, students and young professionals. We also work to promote our industry and inspire excellence though our prestigious Guild Marks and awards. These three priorities – educating for the future, supporting those in need and inspiring excellence – are what continue to drive everything we do. We have just finished the strategy for the next four years, so it is a very exciting time at The Furniture Makers’ Company.

London's ancient and modern trade associations and guilds. The earliest guilds date back to the 12th century when people working in the same craft in London grouped together to regulate competition within their trade and maintain high standards.

Can you explain the ‘livery’ component of the business and how does it work?

The term livery company was introduced when guilds began introducing their own clothing and regalia, or livery, to distinguish their members from other guilds. Today, there are more than 100 liveries that support matters of trade, education, charity and fellowship within their sector. They also play an integral part in the City’s governance, such as the election of the Lord Mayor. The Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers was formed as a guild in1952 and established as the 83rd livery company of the City of London in 1963.

It’s actually very interesting as City of London livery companies comprise

Every year all livery companies appoint a new Master, in our case a Master


Company Profile

Furniture Maker, who is essentially Chairman of the Company for a year, which I’m very proud to be. So how does fundraising apply to livery company? A lot of people don’t know about the amazing charitable work livery companies perform and support. In total, the livery companies collectively donate over £40m to charities and good causes each year, the great majority of this going to welfare and education. What are the main changes the company has undergone over the last decade? The biggest change the Company has undergone in the past decade is the merger of the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers, the industry’s livery

company, with the industry’s charity, the Furnishing Industry Trust (FIT), formerly the Furnishing Trades Benevolent Association (FTBA), in 2013. It was a natural fit for both organisations and has seen the Company/charity go from strength to strength. How are the funds spent? The furnishing industry needs skilled and talented designers, makers, merchandisers and managers in order to maintain the competitive edge in today’s international market. A great deal of the funds we raise go towards the continuation and development of a wide ranging education programme. From awarding design prizes that raise awareness and reward talent, organising a dedicated exhibition to

From awarding design prizes that raise awareness and reward talent, organising a dedicated exhibition to showcase work from young designers, through to mentoring schemes, giving grants, bursaries and scholarships to universities, colleges and their students, our educational programme is allencompassing.


Company Profile

showcase work from young designers, through to mentoring schemes, giving grants, bursaries and scholarships to universities, colleges and their students, our educational programme is allencompassing. Regarding how we support people in need, much of the help that we give is in the form of one-off grants to assist with a particular situation that has cropped up. People who work or have worked in the furnishing industry can apply for a grant through our website. The grant might be for essential home repairs or a contribution towards specialised equipment, help with the costs of a respite break or replacing a wornout fridge. Every story is different and we assess each application with care and consideration. How do you become a member? The majority of our members are recommended by existing members and being endorsed for membership is a great honour. However we are seeing more and Regarding how we support people in need, much of the help that we give is in the form of one-off grants to assist with a particular situation that has cropped up.


more people enquiring about membership off their own volition. By becoming a member, people can make sure that what we are doing is relevant and engaging, helping us to support our industry to thrive. Most importantly though, you get to give back to the industry and help others who have given their life to it and to those just starting out on their career. In addition to individual membership, we also have corporate membership which enables companies to give something back to the furnishing industry and fulfil Corporate Social Responsibility requirements. However for those people who simply want to support their industry charity, as opposed to joining as a member, we are launching a ‘supporter’ level this year, which will allow them to make an annual donation to the charity.

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2016 Review

2016 - A YEAR TO REMEMBER! Wow! What a year 2016 proved to be! We witnessed massive political and sporting surprises and observed some shocking items of news throughout the year; we also lost many iconic famous figures too. Thankfully, on a business front, things were a little less extreme for the BiKBBI in 2016, but it did prove to be a massively eventful year for the organisation and in a purely positive way. It began in January when the long-established Symphony Group were unveiled as an official Installations Partner joining huge brands like John Lewis Partnership, B & Q and Bathstore who had already committed to the same initiative. Symphony is the UK's largest privately owned manufacturer of fitted kitchen, bedroom and bathroom furniture with a turnover exceeding ÂŁ100 million. Its customers include private developers, social housing providers, hoteliers and independent retailers throughout the UK and overseas so it was a massive coup to get them on board. March was an enormously busy month for the BiKBBI as it exhibited at the KBB 2016 Exhibition in Birmingham with 2 36

stands, one of which was used to promote The Installer Magazine. The show provided a perfect platform for the institute to launch its Corporate Membership Scheme (CMS) as it is an initiative that provides opportunities for kbb manufacturers to create closer links with the guys and girls who install their products. The CMS will bring big benefits to the BiKBBI membership. March also welcomed two new and highly influential additions to the BiKBBI board in John Peerless and Vince Linnane. John brought with him over 40 years of experience and is the former Chairman of Trading

March was an enormously busy month for the BiKBBI as it exhibited at the KBB 2016 Exhibition in Birmingham.

2016 Review

Standards Institute and current Principle Trading Standards Officer at Brighton & Hove City Council. A consumer champion and hugely influential senior Trading Standards Officer, John has a keen interest in consumer rights and the exposure of rogue traders. Vince has specialised in risk management and the underwriting of risk within the construction industry for the last 25 years and his experience is a massive asset to the institute. Both Vince and John are board members at The Furniture Ombudsman and Vince has a specific interest in protecting retail customers for some of the largest blue-chip retailers and national organisations that raise standards within their respective industries. With the June ‘Brexit’ referendum moving ever closer, the BiKBBI decided to consult its membership to get an indicator as to how the Brexit vote may result. Despite nationwide shock at the eventual result, our members were spot on with their OUT vote which ‘flew in the face’ of many of the time-honoured poll prediction organisations like Mori, YouGov and Gallup. An amazing 65% said they would vote to leave the EU. 25% said they would vote to remain in the EU and 10% said they were undecided.

HIPPO has recently launched new initiatives that create great solutions for BiKBBI members enabling easier working environments and project management. Check out their website for more details at In June a strategic Partnership was agreed when the BiKBBI teamed up with NICEIC and ELECSA to promote consumer safety within the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom installation market. Paul Collins, Technical Services Manager at NICEIC and ELECSA, said at the time: “We are pleased to be working alongside the BiKBBI to look at ways that the NICEIC

Good news followed in May with Waste Management giant HIPPO WASTE confirming its renewal as a full sponsors.

With the June ‘Brexit’ referendum moving ever closer, the BiKBBI decided to consult its membership to get an indicator as to how the Brexit vote may result.

Good news followed in May with Waste Management giant HIPPO WASTE confirming its renewal as a full sponsor of the institute. 37

2016 Review

2016 was a landmark year for the institute as it reached its 10th birthday. This was marked with a gathering of supporters, members, sponsors, partners and media at the House of Commons. The Parliamentary buildings provided a perfect venue for such an event as the institute has been supported, endorsed and championed from day one by MP Brian Binley and more latterly Stephen Metcalf MP. Though 10 years was in the minds of all who attended, the event was marked with the launch of various positive initiatives and announcements including publishing and event giant UBM as a sponsor and the announcement of a partnership with the wonderful charity ‘Veterans Care After Combat.’

The institute reached its 10th birthday which was marked with a gathering of supporters, members, sponsors, partners and media at the House of Commons.

and ELCESA can support the institute and help it achieve its aims. Many NICEIC, ELECSA and BiKBBI registrants will already be undertaking work in the kbb sector so it makes sense to come together and look at ways that we can support installers and promote consumer safety to ensure that work is completed to a high standard by competent installers.” It was a very important step for the BiKBBI as its members can operate in potentially dangerous environments on a daily basis, often working with a combination of gas, electricity and water. It made sense to partner with those whose specialist subject is safety in the home.


August was ground-breaking as the BiKBBI launched its very own iAcademy, the industries first online CPD portal. The Continual Professional Development website facilitates for tradesmen to sharpen up their customer service skills and learn more about their contractual obligations. Working with The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), the new iAcademy has several TradeSimple e-learning modules aimed at improving legal compliance. This monumental year ended with a huge announcement that the institute was to undergo a change in name that’s designed to help the institute better meet its objectives as it moves forward. Approval for the change

2016 Review

followed a series of discussions in early 2016 with The Secretary of State which resulted with the proclamation that and on January 1st 2017 the Institute of Kitchen Bedroom & Bathroom Installers (iKBBI) officially became: The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation The BiKBBI CEO, Damian Walters states “The change is hugely significant as the introduction of the word 'British' better reflects the institute’s ascendancy and acceptance within Great Britain since it inception ten years ago. The re-brand will enable the organisation, and importantly its members, to market itself as the pre-eminent trade body in its market within the UK. A new logo will incorporate a Union Jack theme and members of the institute will be entitled to use the post-nominal letters BiKBBI.” Damian continued, “The two key changes are; along with the word 'Institute', the word 'British' is a protected term within British Law, use is restricted only to those organisations that represent their industry at the highest level. The second change is the replacement of the word 'Installers' in the name, to 'Installation'. It is felt that the change represents the BiKBBI’s evolvement within the wider industry, which extends beyond those who install on the frontline. It's incredibly important that all

key stakeholders are engaged including manufacturers and retailers to ensure the industry delivers the very best installation service to those consumers who invest in our sector. So 2016 was a biggie! It was a year with many positives for the organisation and one of many shocks and surprises from a more general news aspect. 2017 is already shaping up to be a positive one for the BiKBBI with another sponsor announced in this issue in global brand Wilsonart. Let’s hope that the year proves to be an incredibly successful one for all BiKBBI members.

2016 was a landmark year for the institute as it reached its 10th birthday.

This monumental year ended with a huge announcement that the institute was to undergo a change in name officially became: The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation.


Extractors Feature

DW Premira Stainless Steel Wall Hood by V-ZUG


Extractors Feature

BREATH OF FRESH AIR We all know the advantages of using an extractor fan: to eliminate surplus heat, smoke, steam and odour from our kitchen during cooking. But, with so many innovative designs hitting the market is it really necessary for homeowners to have both an extractor fan and cooker hood? Rhys Evans, UK & Ireland Sales Director at V-ZUG says “UK building regulations state that you must have a way to remove steam and condensation from the kitchen. However, this regulation only applies to new build kitchens and extensions rather than a quick kitchen re-fit. So, if it's not possible to fit a cooker hood over the hob then you must ensure a wall extractor is installed to provide a decent extraction rate to comply. For me and for greater aesthetic appeal and design symmetry, a cooker hood is a really great way to provide additional ventilation in the kitchen: as well as provide an additional light source right where you need it!” Nevertheless, the decorative cooker hood has definitely changed its purpose in the kitchen, no longer used as a focal point for every ‘on-trend’ kitchen scheme. The introduction of the concealed extractor, from downdrafts through to built-in ceiling 41

Extractors Feature The 3L9 Lantern Extractor makes a striking focal point by CDA

models, suggests a positive move away from ornamental ventilation to more discreet solutions. Howard Bogod of Elica comments: “Currently we are in a time when, in terms of style, almost anything goes. There has been a great divergence in style from those who want everything concealed and minimalist at one end, to those who want to make a feature out of some or all of their appliances that others would choose to conceal.” Strength of design therefore remains a key factor for customers wanting 21st century extraction in the kitchen: whether they reside in a traditional or contemporary property. Kathryn Lowe, Marketing Manager at Aga Rangemaster agrees "A matching extractor is the natural companion to a range cooker. We offer top quality classic chimney extractors in colours to match all of our ranges across the Rangemaster, Falcon 42

“Currently we are in a time when, in terms of style, almost anything goes. There has been a great divergence in style from those who want everything concealed and minimalist at one end, to those who want to make a feature out of some or all of their appliances that others would choose to conceal.” Howard Bogod, Elica

Extractors Feature

and Mercury brands, contemporary stainless steel and glass canopy extractors, a dedicated extractor for the Hi-LITE range cooker. A coloured range with a matching classic extractor above makes a strong statement in the kitchen. A powerful extractor is an essential above a range where four or five burners may be used at the same time. There is also a selection of cutting edge designs that includes the Vesper rise and fall model and the stunning Opal in black or white glass for use above built in hobs. For our consumers who want to set a range cooker into an old chimney breast, we have a powerful professional style integrated model.” Luke Shipway, Product Manager at Caple explains how choosing the right extractor fan really can influence the overall look and feel of a kitchen: “Kitchen design

plays a big part in the type of extractor chosen. Focal extractors remain our biggest selling cooker hoods. However, style never comes at a compromise to performance. Combining form and function, our hoods allow consumers to have the best of both worlds – a statement hood that looks as good as it performs.” So what support is out there to help you and your customers post installation? Well, thanks to an upsurge in whole-house interior solutions where kitchen retailers are now offering not only the furniture, but lighting, appliances, hardware, plumbing and even extraction, there is an increased level of advice and expertise prior to purchase. As a result, a lot of premium retailers now offer an invaluable after-care service which in most cases, is now offered as standard.

DI-Premira Sialnd Hood by V-ZUG


Extractors Feature

With extractors clearly needing much consideration in terms of design and performance, it is wise to speak to your local kitchen expert to understand the true benefits to your customer and even, whether or not one is required. Steve Corbett, Marketing Manager at CDA says "Retailers should be selling extractors as an essential item in the kitchen. As well as removing cooking smells - essential in a kitchen diner/living room, the extractor helps to keep surfaces clean by removing steam which contains droplets of grease. Left alone these settle on surfaces and can be hard to remove. Make sure that the customer realises the importance of having the right size extractor for the room and point out the benefits of features such as a run on that clears lingering smells, super efficient peripheral aspiration and lighting that can become an important part of the general room scheme. Our EKP extractor which comes in three sizes has powerful DW Levante Wall Hood by V-ZUG


“Retailers should be selling extractors as an essential item in the kitchen. As well as removing cooking smells - essential in a kitchen diner/living room, the extractor helps to keep surfaces clean by removing steam which contains droplets of grease. Left alone these settle on surfaces and can be hard to remove. " Steve Corbett, Marketing Manager, CDA

halogen downlights to illuminate the hob area and edge lighting that highlights the elegant glass canopy. CDA offers one of the largest selections of extractors on the market with everything from efficient entry level products for those on a budget up to superb designer style talking points such as our suspended lantern extractor."

image courtesy of Grid Thirteen

Invisible extraction

Invisible price rises

We’re keeping last year’s pricing fixed for all our hoods for 2017


Cooker Hood Specialists +44 (0) 1484 421585


Cooker Hood Specialists

W. S. Westin Ltd Phoenix Mills Leeds Road Huddersfield HD1 6NG United Kingdom



Tools, Power Tools & Equipment Advice Festool Kapex KS60


Tools, Power Tools & Equipment Advice

KAPEX KS 60 - A SIGHT FOR SAW EYES! Festool’s reputation for producing machines that fit to a specific area has been enhanced with the introduction of its Kapex KS 60. Kapex KS 60 is a sliding compound mitre saw (SCMS) that excels at producing a high quality cut with impressive cutting capacities; for example, it has a 300mm capability for cuts at 90 and with a maximum depth of cut at 60 mm making it ideal for kitchen and bathroom installations. This is all enabled by its 216mm blade size. The new KS 60 is also perfect for cutting angles at 60º to the left and the right sides ensures that all applications for fitted work are covered on site. Using a machine like a SCMS produces dust but this can be minimised if using the Kapex KS60 with one of the extractors from the Festool range. They complement each other perfectly and simply to ensure a clean environment for working in but importantly, safeguarding the health of the user and homeowner. The KS 60 weighs only 17.5 kg so it is light and easy to transport and use, especially as it can be carried by one of its handles 47

Tools, Power Tools & Equipment Advice

either on the top, the front or rear of the machine. When cutting materials, the KS60 produces a fine cut with a 36t blade that is supplied upon purchase and if an even finer cut on timber based materials is required then a 60t blade can also be used. Blades are available for plastics and nonferrous metals and this is where the variable speed can be used to good effect to produce the best possible result. As Festool has created a systematic approach to working, then naturally, the more of the system that is used, the greater the benefit will be. So as an example, the KS60 can be used on its stand to the height to 900mm – an ideal height to work at, add the leg extensions and then material can be supported to work safely and accurately to support long lengths securely.


At first sight the Kapex KS60 appears compact but the engineering by Festool means that the accuracy that it can provide when in use is ahead of its contemporaries. As an example, even bisecting an angle is made simple when using one of its accessories as the angle finder can be set to either internal or external angles and this is then transferred to the KS60. The angle finder is placed against the fence and held in position while the swivelling base plate can be lined up to the two white lines and the angle is found! The big advantage is its accuracy and its huge time-saving which not only makes working easier but critically, increases profitability. I’m certain that the new Kapex KS 60 will prove the professionals choice requiring a professional finish.

Surfaces Feature

LOOK BENEATH THE SURFACE… You wouldn’t think a surface can ultimately dictate the look and feel of an interior, but when you consider its application then you’re looking at floor and wall tile solutions, work surfaces, countertops, splashbacks and panelling to name a few! Most of the development over the past 5 years has come in the form of materials: how it looks and the practicality of it. However, future trends suggest the market will focus more on how we incorporate material into the home: as surface materials constitute as a large visual and practical element in the kitchen. If we start there, then it is the more atypical surfaces like sintered stone, marble and composite surfaces alongside impactful tones and texture that are winning out in the kitchen. Natural wood effects with sawn finishes or embossed features are being used to add warmth in the kitchen, with textured rustic finishes on trend for areas of relaxation and socialising. As we enter 2017, Stephen Moss, Managing Director of MaxTop, has noted a few emerging worktop trends: “At MaxTop we have noticed the number of people upgrading from laminate to quartz rose steadily throughout 2016. This trend looks set to continue in the year ahead 50

“2017’s hero trend will be geometric design with a huge rise in consumers already opting for this quirky and eccentric look throughout their homes." David Bigland, Managing Director, Moduleo UK and Eire.

as the quality and value of materials becomes an important consideration. Previously, quartz was seen as a luxury kitchen surface, perhaps out of the price range of the average household, but the development of composite surfaces is opening the possibility of natural stone as an option for both kitchen and bathroom surfaces. The upgrade from laminate to natural stone can greatly increase the grandeur of the room for a relatively modest price increase.” David Bigland, Managing Director of luxury vinyl flooring manufacturer, Moduleo UK and Eire, also gives his key flooring predictions for 2017 and says: “2017’s hero trend will be geometric

Surfaces Feature Moduleo, MO-231, Honeycomb Soft, TR Jura Stone


Surfaces Feature MaxTop Quartx, Black Onyx Sparkle

design with a huge rise in consumers already opting for this quirky and eccentric look throughout their homes. Traditionally, consumers implemented geometric shapes into their interiors through wallpaper and accessories. However, since the launch of our Moduleo Moods collection last year, we’ve had an incredibly positive response to our triangle, hexagon and diamond shaped tiles in particular. Moduleo Moods offers customers a creative studio in which they can combine ten brand-new flooring formats. Up to 110 unique wood and stone-effect designs can be created using the wide range of tile shapes available. Geometric flooring offers a striking, contemporary finish which takes centre stage to provide a creative and sleek ambience." Jeremy Redshaw, Manufacturing Manager at PWS Worksurfaces comments “Textured surfaces, such as leather52

"The development of composite surfaces is opening the possibility of natural stone as an option for both kitchen and bathroom surfaces. The upgrade from laminate to natural stone can greatly increase the grandeur of the room for a relatively modest price increase.” Stephen Moss, Managing Director of MaxTop

Surfaces Feature

finish granites, can add contrast and depth to either gloss or matt kitchen cabinetry. They are also becoming popular to enhance the characteristics of rustic-styled doors. Whilst there is a shift away from black worktops there is a trend towards lighter tones of black, with various hues of rich greys, such as charcoal and steel as demonstrated by our stunning new Sinuous White granite. There are a plethora of greys, in various shades and finishes that can indicate a natural stone, or in some cases a concrete effect. The trend continues for man-made surfaces that replicate natural stone, such as marble-effect quartz. Not only does this emulate the look of marble but it has all the inherent practical benefits of a composite. Combining materials and finishes continues to be popular, where a neutral base can be used for the majority of the worktop, such as a solid grey with feature pieces, such as

splashbacks or breakfast bars being in a more striking finish to make a greater contrast. Technical developments include quartz moving on to materials such as Dekton and porcelain-based compositions which have greater thermal and practical benefits. Alongside this the introduction of alternative textures and the flexibility to create a range of shapes and thicknesses with quartz helps to differentiate from the less-versatile laminate.� Colour also provides great interest in the kitchen and can really awaken a worktop, splashback or piece of flooring by simply varying its tone and/or pattern. MaxTop predict monochrome tones are the go-to options for surface solutions this season and MD, Stephen Moss confirms “This year we’re anticipating a rise in popularity of grey, black and white tones in the kitchen. These colours can work to varying degrees, whether it's entire Wilsonart, Earthstone solid surface, Gemini


Surfaces Feature

cabinets, worktops or appliances, or subtle hues coming through in various details and accents such as kitchen accessories. While black and white have always been popular finishes, 2016 saw demand for grey products surge and we expect that demand for grey surfaces of all shades, to be a key trend for 2017. To cater for this demand, we offer MaxTop Quartz in Anthracite, Black Onyx Sparkle, Diamond White Sparkle and Warm Grey finishes. These tones can work in either a traditional or modern kitchen environment and provide a stylish, memorable environment throughout the year.” Moduleo also agrees that grey tones are going to be massive throughout 2017 and are prepared for the demand, “In 2017, we’re anticipating the popularity of grey flooring to continue to grow. In recent months, grey has proven to be the goto choice for those looking to decorate their bedrooms and living rooms. The look is traditional with a modern twist, and is ideal for creating a comfortable and welcoming environment all year round. The Blackjack Oak 22937 from our Transform collection provides a stunning finish and, as it’s available through Moduleo Moods, it comes in a variety of different shapes and sizes.” David Bigland, Managing Director of Moduleo UK and Eire, continues on to say “Our Impress collection features registered emboss and provides the ultimate in realistic and nature-inspired design, but with the added benefits of luxury vinyl such as increased durability, excellent heat and sound-insulation, and an easy-to-clean finish. Impress features five wood designs with 22 colour options, in both dryback and click.” Whether your customers wish to upgrade from laminate worktops to quartz, favour the bespoke route over off-the-rack, or just 54

Moduleo, SE-Maritime Prime 24854

Moduleo, MO-209, Hexagon Random Hard, TR Jura Stone

want to inject as much tone and texture into the room via surfaces then there is a solution for you. Just remember: the modern homeowner is looking for product and brand reliability so make sure the surface you recommend is durable and low-maintenance to ensure as little followup care as possible. Final word goes to Wilsonart's Ruby Kiernan, Marketing Executive, Worktops

Wilsonart, the worktop specialists ‘..we are delighted to be part of the BiKBBI family’

When it comes to worktops we’ve got it covered, from versatile laminates to seamless solid surface, to our newest introduction Zenith, 100% waterproof ultra-thin solid laminate. Install our stunning collection of worktops with ease, step by step guides and videos available to help you along the way, and no need for specialist tooling. Wilsonart - the installer friendly worktop company.

To find out more about Wilsonart or the worktop collections

Visit: Wilsonart-uk


Contact us: +44 (0)1388 774661



Surfaces Feature Wilsonart, Zenith Solid Laminate, Pyla

who says "Now known as the hub of the home, the kitchen area plays a critical part in our everyday lives from social entertaining to quality family time. Holding an important role within this, the worktop, it must not only look fantastic but also be able to endure the demands of day to day use. Consumer buying behaviours reflect this, with a shift towards premium, higher performing products." She added "Design trends 56

continue to see marbles and concretes take centre stage, natural rustic planked woods are still prominent but there is a move toward warm Scandinavian woods. From naturally rough to super silky smooth, textures are becoming even more of a focal point in the overall worktop specification. Material mix concept is still strong, now complimented further with the trend toward thin format worktops."

New Sponsor

WILSONART BECOMES BiKBBI SPONSOR Wilsonart, a truly global brand, is the latest highly prestigious business to demonstrate its faith in the credo of the BiKBBI by becoming a sponsor with immediate effect. Wilsonart Engineered Surfaces is a world leading manufacturing and distribution organisation that have been designing and developing decorative surfacing solutions for 60 years. With its headquarters based in Austin, Texas, it manufactures and distributes highpressure laminate, Quartz, solid-surface and other engineered surface options for use in residential and commercial spaces across multiple applications, including kitchen worktops, furniture and wall panelling to name a few. Its two UK based business units Wilsonart UK and the hugely established Bushboard, specialise in creating beautiful surfaces for both domestic and commercial projects, from its signature materials solid surface, laminate and the newly launched Zenith solid laminate. The company feels that its product range, whether applied for worktops, breakfast bars, splashbacks and upstands for the kitchen or for engineering the very best solid surface solutions for a whole multitude of commercial applications is manufactured with genuine passion. Speaking on behalf of Wisonart UK, Nick Jones, Head of UK Sales said, “We are delighted to sponsor the BiKBBI, the opportunity that it presents is tremendous. Having been inspired by Damian Walters, we have no hesitation in becoming a member of BiKBBI and look

forward to contributing to the continued development and professionalization of the K&B market. Installing solid-surface materials in a domestic environment is not a task for the unskilled and therefore developing closer working ties with accredited BiKBBI installers, including training and sharing of information will create a ‘win-win’ scenario for us all.

Damian Walters said on behalf of the institute, “I’m thrilled to welcome such a prestigious company to the BiKBBI by way of sponsorship and it’s a fantastic endorsement of the market acceptance of our organisation and its membership. We look forward to jointly creating new and exciting training and development opportunities for our members with the Wilsonart UK team.” 57

Why Should I Be A Member? NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES KNOWLEDGE IS POWER To keep members fully informed with all that is going on in their industry the BMA regularly disseminates over ÂŁ2000 worth of market information, reports, trends and updates

The BMA hosts a number of networking opportunities and is supported by a pro-active membership structure. Committees regularly invite guest speakers from a variety of backgrounds to present on topical issues

TECHNICAL & ENVIRONMENTAL The BMA library is a precious source of information for members legislation, regulation and performance standards

LOBBYING ACTIVITY The BMA has the opportunity to steer government thinking based on members’ opinions both in the UK and across Europe

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS The BMA is the Voice of the Bathroom Industry. Members have a greater chance of their voice being heard if that voice is part of the BMA roar!

The Voice of the Bathroom Industry

Sanitaryware Feature


This issue, BiKBBI The Installer takes a look at the sanitaryware market to see what you and your customers need to know this 2017‌ According to Waterwise, UK water treatment experts, every person in the UK uses on average 150 litres of water, each day: with bathing, washing and teeth cleaning using up to 21% cent of a household’s water. With that, new technologies are elevating sanitaryware designs to now offer energy efficient and water saving solutions for the modern bathroom.

The Sensuelle freestanding bath in Peacock Blue from Utopia's Roseberry Collection


Sanitaryware Feature

VitrA V-care WC

Margaret Talbot, Marketing Manager from VitrA tells us more, “Water efficiency has increasingly become a factor for the development of new sanitaryware. There are great savings to be made by reducing the amount of water that is used during simple everyday activities: whether it’s hand-washing, brushing your teeth or having a shower. Consumers are starting to make more informed decisions and developers are under growing pressure to answer this call and look to manufacturers to supply the demand. This trend is already apparent in the sanitaryware market with dual flush WC’s which are specifically designed to flush with lower water volumes. By using less water, the WC benefits both your customer and the environment. The partnership between design and sustainability encourages new eco-friendly products, so it’s just a matter of time before sustainability becomes a standard practice, not a feature.” 60

“Water efficiency has increasingly become a factor for the development of new sanitaryware. There are great savings to be made by reducing the amount of water that is used during simple everyday activities" Margaret Talbot, Marketing Manager, VitrA


Sanitaryware Feature

VitrA released the V-care system last year for easy hygiene and greater water efficiency in the modern bathroom. The high-tech WC uses 3 to 6 litres for flushing and has three different flush modes for the height of energy-saving. To continue to acknowledge this ever growing conservation problem, manufacturers are investing in new technologies to answer what has become a very clear demand for eco-conscious products. For example, 2017 is welcoming the Resinite reinforcement technology created by Utopia: a technology consisting of an extremely hardwearing finish where its insulation properties allow hot water to stay warmer for longer. Sam Ball, Marketing Manager from Utopia further explains “Energy efficiency is very important. Rensite results in each bath being incredibly strong and hardwearing with the added benefit of increased

Laura Ashley Bayswater sanitaryware range


insulation properties. In effect, the baths have the solid strength and rigidity of a traditional cast iron bath combined with natural warmth, high gloss finish and easy clean features associated with acrylic.” This pioneering technology from Utopia allows a bath to be 30% heavier and stronger when compared to typical designs, guaranteeing it will retain heat for approximately 30 minutes longer. Added value features, like a need for increased heat retention, are forcing manufacturers to discover new ways to innovate the bathroom through choice pieces of sanitaryware: bog, bath or basin! According to the Green Building Store, “Most of the low flush toilets currently available on the UK market are dualflush valves. These can save water until the valves become faulty, when unless rectified, they leak water continually down

Sanitaryware Feature

through the pan” says Nell Griffiths, Water Saving Manager at Green Building Store. Its Siphon Flush Technology has been introduced to create leak free WC’s as it estimates 20% of WC’s leak at a rate of 20,000 US gallons per year. This Flush Technology ensures completely leak free results and will avoid future plumbing costs when compared to installing a valve flush. Green Building Store has also introduced a new ES4 WC: a 2.6 litre lower flush option for the ultra energy efficient choice.

“Energy efficiency is very important. Rensite results in each bath being incredibly strong and hardwearing with the added benefit of increased insulation properties."

Bauhaus Wild Wall Hung WC & Soft Close Seat

Sam Ball, Marketing Manager, Utopia

Style of sanitaryware is another factor you must not overlook and 2016 saw slim line designs with thin profiles sore in popularity. With this, Roper Rhodes for 2017 has introduced its new Cover Sanitaryware Range. Helen Shaw, Marketing Manager of Roper Rhodes tells us more “Characterised by its smooth, curved design and slim edges Roper Rhodes new Cover sanitaryware range beautifully complements its fitted furniture.” This trend for thin profiles, slim shapes and contouring has also been noted by Laura Ashley through its Bayswater Ceramic Sanitaryware Range. Featuring organic shapes and crisp, contemporary styling, this bathroom collection is perfect for creating a designer look at an affordable price point.

Cover Sanitaryware by Roper Rhodes

The Sensuelle freestanding bath in London Grey from Utopia's Roseberry Collection


Financial Advice

TAX & ACCOUNTANCY TIPS A happy new year to all members and readers. Tax Return Deadlines The new year often signals the busiest month for many accountants and tax advisers. The 31st January marks the deadline for submission of self-assessment tax returns and is also the date that all liabilities for the 5th April 2016 have to be settled by. Failure to file on time will result in penalties being issued and failure to pay on time will result in HMR&C charging interest and potentially very high surcharges. It is strongly recommended that you communicate with your professional advisors as soon as possible if you have not already. VAT Flat Rate Scheme Charges The VAT Flat Rate Scheme (FRS) is a popular means of administering VAT for small businesses because of its relative simplicity and potential for producing small gains for that business. HMR&C have decided that these ‘small gains’ are unnecessarily advantageous to some small businesses and therefore some sectors will see an increase in their flat rate percentage from April 2017. The government estimate that this will affect 123,000 FRS businesses. If you are using the FRS, it is recommended that you speak to your adviser about these changes. Entrepreneur’s Relief There are some complex rules as to the application of Entrepreneur’s Relief (ER) which should be discussed with your advisers if you are planning to sell a trading business or company. If ER is available your rate of Capital Gains Tax can be reduced to 10% which would be a significant saving if you are a higher rate tax payer. There are however some basic rules which are easily overlooked and have to be considered in


Dean Flood Chartered Certified Accountant and Partner at Rowland Hall Tel: 01375 373 828 / 01268 696 878

advance of a business disposal especially where the disposal is of a Limited Company. The shareholder should ensure that they have at least 5% of the business shareholding and should there be more than one classification of shares, the shares held must have an equivalent level of voting rights. The individual has to have been an employee or officer of the company. Both of these conditions have to be met for the full year prior to business disposal. These are easy points for HMR&C to challenge an ER claim so please ensure they are addressed in advance. State Pension Most UK tax payers will now have online tax accounts with HMR&C. These can be accessed by way of registering with HMR&C through their website. The facility will permit access to the individual’s tax record but also has the benefit of providing an up to date assessment of the individuals State pension entitlement. This may be useful to many to ensure that their National Insurance Contribution profile is accurate and as to whether there are opportunities to make additional contributions to maximise State Pension Entitlement. If you haven’t set up a direct link to your tax account, the State Pension position can be checked by visiting

The only daily news site for the UK Kitchen and Bathroom industry. Winner of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association award for Digital Media Contribution in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016


Social Scene

Should I call a Plumber or a Electrician? Kitchen inspiration for the bachelor pad/man cave!

Direct plumbing!

e ... n e c ial s ny Soc n w fu rom e f f A ets p p f i sn ld o r o w dia the e m al soci


Erno Rubik’s toilet

Social Scene

Spend quality time with your loved one

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

We don't need to pay some Plumber to install the new toilet. How hard could it possibly be?

A new meaning to an early morning swim

Anyone for a tinkle??

Seen anything funny on the net? Follow us. Join us on our Social Networks 67

Product Portfolio Bathroom Brands Launches NEW Digital Range Offers total safety, easy installation and maintenance. A simple smooth operation, intuitive automatic shut-off system and state-ofthe-art technology that prevents sudden surges of hot or cold water, the Digital range delivers the next level of intelligent bathroom design. Available in high and low-pressure systems, its quiet integrated pump boosts performance even when combined with a low-pressure system. Forming the core of the new Digital range is an innovative digital processor, containing technology that controls and monitors the water’s flow and temperature. Featuring simple, push-fit twist and lock electrical cables and push-fit isolation valve plumbing connections, there is no need to go inside the digital processor to set up the shower, making installation and maintenance an easy and undisruptive process. This control can be placed discreetly anywhere up to 10 metres away from the processor unit.

New Year, New 2017 Brochure by Vogue (UK) Vogue (UK) launches a new brochure for 2017 to kick start the year in style. Showcasing a range of new and refined designs and pricing, effective 1st January 2017. Featured is the Smooth II Contemporary Towel Rail. Designed with 38mm vertical tubing, defined mitred corners and a lustrous chrome finish, the Smooth II is crafted from high quality Mild Steel for increased durability and carries a 15 year warranty. Providing a generous heat output of up to 1144 Btu/hr or 335 watts for warming and drying fluffy towels or plush bath robes. Smooth II measures 800 or 1200mm in height, with either a 400 or 500mm width and 8 or 11 cross-rails for ample hanging space, depending on model. Part of the 2017 Contemporary Collection.


Product Portfolio The Newly Improved LUPIN and POPPY Towel Rails by The Radiator Company The Radiator Company has announced that it has improved its popular Lupin and Poppy models. New for 2017, both the Lupin Straight Ladder Rail (pictured) and the Poppy Curved Towel Rail now offer a wide range of size options. With a new increased tube diameter of 25mm, the improved products emit more heat than before and deliver a sleek and contemporary finish. With 36 models available, 25 RAL colour options as well as a special finish in chrome, the wide range of size and finish choices will provide installers with a whole raft of options for thier customers.

Aestus introduces the Cluster Towel Warmer Featured as part of its highly versatile Contemporary Collection of towel warmers. The new Cluster Contemporary Towel Warmer is manufactured from Mild Steel and finished in chrome. Designed with sets of three 22mm protruding towel bars, and groups of 3 or 4, depending on model chosen. To increase heat output, Cluster is available in heights of 800mm or 1160mm, utilising unused wall space at high level. With a width of 500mm, Cluster is available with 19+9 bar configuration or the pictured model showing 28+12 bars. Suitable for closed heating systems, Cluster is also available with sealed electric and dual fuel options and delivers a heat output of up to 2021 Btu/hr or 592 Watts. Aestus provides a generous 15 year manufacturer’s guarantee with this model.


Product Portfolio Liebherr’s NEW high volume 390 litre BluPerformance KPef 4350 refrigerator ... Boasts the largest storage capacity of the comprehensive freestanding BluPerformance Collection. When compared to an average freestanding refrigerator of 200-300 litres, the new BluPerformance KPef 4350 with its 390 litre capacity offers users almost twice as much storage space! In addition, its innovative design means that it retains a standard 600mm width. The KPef 4350 is uniquely finished in highquality stainless steel to create a modern look that will play to current interior trends. This unique refrigerator is just one of 66 new models in the BluPerformance range and it is available with four of the innovative new BluPerformance features; BioCool, SoftSystem, GlassLine and SmartSteel. Rated A*** Energy efficiency.

Urban Interior (London) shows how to maximise kitchen storage space by as much as 30%!

Urban Interior masters the art of concealed kitchen design from its trendy East London studio by recommending the PURE SE 8008 + S2 Kitchen by SieMatic. MultiMatic is a highly flexible interior design system, which can be configured, changed and expanded to meet your clients exact requirements and storage needs. It will allow for individual arrangement of kitchen interiors to create practical compartments, fixtures and fittings as well as gain up to 30% more space! The PURE SE 8008 (pictured in Agate Grey finish) sports a slim-line profile, made possible by adding a 10mm optic worktop which allows for easier installation. A variety of different sized trays and frames, along with a host of accessories such as racks for bottles and wine glasses are available.


Product Portfolio Grange Design introduces the new Matt Rose Gold finish by MGS Pictured here on the MB289 Single Lever Basin Mixer is the striking new Matt Rose Gold by MGS. Its matt appearance lays the primary foundation for a highly contemporary look in any bathroom, allowing this new Rose Gold patina. MGS achieves its new Matt Rose Gold finish via a highly innovative PVD Technology: where the colour penetrates the metal by molecular bonding rather than 'coating it' for a durable and smooth finish. The MB289 has an innovative hidden aerator to increase performance, a precision single lever control and a universal pop-up waste, it measures 180mm high has a spout-reach of 136mm. The MB289 is exclusively distributed by Grange Design Cooking made quick and easy with new QueenSteam function by V-ZUG QueenSteam is a cutting-edge function designed and introduced by leading steam appliance specialist, V-ZUG as part of its innovative Combi-Steam MSLQ Oven. So how does QueenSteam work? It couldn't be easier, just select the microwave setting on the oven and the QueenSteam feature will combine hot air and steam to cook a delicious meal. There is no need to adjust temperatures or to add ingredients throughout the cooking process. The new QueenSteam by V-ZUG not only enables fast, simple cooking but is healthier too! With the help of QueenSteam by V-ZUG, your Combi-steam ovens’ specially designed recipes will transform your raw food into a professional tasting dish with ease! Able to cook almost any dish in one setting, QueenSteam will deliver every time.


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BiKBBI The Installer Magazine January 2017  
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