Page 1

issue 1 - spring 2015

theinstaller magazine



STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE to using a CM Seal tanking kit







be inspired Craftsmanship, creativity and innovative technology

Harmoniqe MD060

Vivid IV


Integral Collection valve fitting as featured on the Vivid IV IVCN021 Wall

Integral Valve Compression nut and piping


Towel Warmers & Radiators Vogue (UK) Limited, Strawberry Lane, Willenhall, West Midlands, WV13 3RS T+44 (0) 1902 387000 | F+44 (0) 1902 387001

Email -

Welcome & contents








INDUSTRY NEWS supplied by kbb daily




Q & A with Lynsey Easom




SPONSOR PROFILE Christopher Hackett, Classic Marble


RETAILER PROFILE Bathrooms at Source


OPINION PIECE by Michael Barrett at UK Special Risks


It’s finally here! After many months of planning I’m delighted to introduce the iKBBI’s very own eMagazine, The Installer – the first of its kind dedicated to the KBB installation sector. I’m incredibly proud to have launched yet another first for the industry and I’m confident you’ll find it a great read and a useful reference point. I must stress that it’s your publication and as such we’ll rely heavily on your interaction. We really want to know how you find this first issue and indeed if you’d like to see other features included, moving forward. Similarly, share the magazine with friends and colleagues, who can also subscribe for free at You can also contact us by emailing I do hope you enjoy this very first edition!

Damian Walters iKBBI CEO

STEP BY STEP to using a CM Seal tanking kit

issue 1 - spring 2015

theinstaller magazine










to using a CM Seal tanking kit








On the cover ... Interview with iKBBI member Alan Travers. See pages 20 to 22



iKBBI news



iKBBI news

“Today brings me enormous personal satisfaction as we collaborate with a service that is provided by one of the most respected consumer champions in the UK. Our relationship with Which? Trusted Traders will help us to spread the word to consumers that our organisation represents the very best of the KBB installation industry.” In what has been a monumental start to 2015, the not-for-profit registered and government sanctioned Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers (iKBBI) today unveiled a collaboration with Which? Trusted Traders. The collaboration has an express objective – to increase consumer confidence within the KBB industry by supporting reputable KBB installation businesses by providing them access to specialist advice and legislative guidance. iKBBI founder Damian Walters commented on the new relationship by saying: “Today brings me enormous personal satisfaction as we collaborate with a service that is provided by one of the most respected consumer champions in the UK. Our relationship with Which? Trusted Traders will help us to spread the word to consumers that our organisation represents the very best of the KBB installation industry.” Damian went onto say: “We actively encourage our members to apply to be endorsed by the Which? Trusted Traders scheme, as passing the rigorous and independent assessment process will open the door to benefits in addition to our own members’ package. This collaboration will also raise the bar for the national, regional and independent retailers that are members of our Installation Standards Partners.” The announcement coincides with the recent news that the iKBBI have entered a strategic

partnership with The Furniture Ombudsman in support of their pioneering work on a new consumer protection insurance policy that integrates and safeguards the installer in the event of retailer collapse. Which? Trusted Traders Managing Director Stephen McCluskey commented on the collaboration by saying: “Consumers lack confidence when it comes to choosing a trader that’s why we’re pleased to be working with the iKBBI, to reassure consumers and encourage even the very best installers to improve their service.” The iKBBI will be engaging its members in May with full information on the scheme, the benefits to them and the overall vision of the collaboration. The Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers is the UK’s first and only government sanctioned and not-for-profit registered organisation dedicated to the kitchen, bedroom & bathroom installation industry. Full information about the iKBBI can be found at iKBBI members wishing to become endorsed as Which? Trusted Traders can take advantage of the special discount offer available. Successful traders will be entitled to free membership for the first 3 months, with the following 9 months at the special discount rate of 50% off standard pricing. iKBBI members should call 0117 981 2921, quoting the code TTIKBBI.


iKBBI news

LISA DINES JOINS OUR GROWING TEAM AS BDM We’re delighted to welcome on board Lisa Dines who has joined the iKBBI team recently as Business Development Manager and is responsible for opening communication channels with the industry. She brings with her a great deal of experience as she has previously worked within the retail, transport and logistics industries as a Business Development Manager. Her primary role is the development of the innovative iKBBI Installation Standards Partnership initiative, engaging independent KBB retailers across the UK. Additionally, Lisa works with our existing Installation Partners on activities including installer recruitment, communication and reward initiatives. Moving forward, Lisa will liaise with our members by helping them to achieve maximum benefit from their association with us, as well as generally developing the member’s benefits package. Lisa is married to Tim, has four children and lives in Thurrock, Essex.


iKBBI TO ASSEMBLE NATIONAL NETWORK OF INSPECTORS The Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers announced a strategic collaboration with The Furniture Ombudsman (TFO) earlier this month, with a view to create the UK’s first national network of KBB inspectors, specialist within the field of dispute resolution. TFO Chief Executive Kevin Grix (pictured) commented on the collaboration by saying: “We’re delighted to be working with the iKBBI and look forward to exploring long term opportunities in addition to short-term quick-wins.” The new inspector roles will be created on a part-time (as needed) self-employed basis, and whilst the opportunity is not limited to members, it is hoped that experienced iKBBI members and associates will step up and show interest in this exciting new initiative.

No formal qualifications are needed, as full training will be provided to successful candidates. It is anticipated that the inspector role will work around any installation or employment commitments. The iKBBI is inviting interest to be directed to Business Development Manager Lisa Dines, by email only at this stage. Anyone interested in finding out more should email a CV or brief biography to:

The Finest Kitchens Deserve The Finest Food Storage Solutions. Liebherr is the perfect choice for nocompromise cooling products in your kitchen projects, with an unrivalled range of sizes, options and finishes all featuring award-winning innovation. • Built-in • Freestanding • Wine • Side-by-side • Designer Take a fresh look at the range of design options available to you only from Liebherr. Liebherr-Great Britain Ltd Tel: 03330 147 888

iKBBI news

iKBBI POLL SUGGESTS A TORY TRIUMPH IN MAY The iKBBI conducted a poll in April asking the KBB industry who they will be voting for at next month’s General Election. 4,014 people participated in the online survey which ran for a two week period between the end of March and beginning of April. With just over 41% of the vote, the Conservatives came out on top, with UKIP in second place on 19%. Labour came third with 10%, but interestingly 14% were undecided. 6% of the poll said that they would not be voting at this stage. The hot topic was immigration, with 30% of those polled stating that this was important to them. The NHS and the UK’s participation in the EU with 20% of the poll split between the two subjects, but Corporate tax and support for small businesses were also highlighted as concerns. 30% of those surveyed said that they would consider changing their mind before the vote in May, which falls in line with general statistics relating to the General Election.


Support our mission Do you operate within the KBB sector? The Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers (or iKBBI as we’re better known) is the UK’s first and only government sanctioned and not-for-profit institute dedicated to KBB installation sector. With over 3,500 accredited members nationally* we already represent the largest independent population of KBB installers in the UK… and we’re growing… …But we can’t achieve our objectives of raising standards without support from you! If you’re a supplier, distributor, manufacturer, importer or service provider within the industry, you can connect with thousands of installers and publicly support positive change. Join the likes of Franke, Blum, Hippowaste (pictured), Tradepoint, Festool, Classi-Seal, UKSR and others by sponsoring the iKBBI. Visit our website for more information. 0845 519 2007 watch the video here


iKBBI news


comment by Stephen McCluskey, Managing Director at Which? Trusted Traders

You may or may not have heard about Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), but from April 2015, new UK regulations will come into force which set out the common standards for ADR providers. While using ADR will still be voluntary for traders in the KBB industry, we, the team at Which? Trusted Traders, believe that ADR is something that you should know the advantages of. It’s staggering to know that the number of complaints made against tradespeople last year was 1.3 million, according to Ombudsman Services’ annual Consumer Action Monitor. That’s 2% of all customer complaints made in the UK. As a KBB installer, ADR is a tool that you can use to increase consumer confidence and so improve the growth of your business. Every tradesperson who signs up to Which? Trusted Traders is able to access ADR. So what is ADR and why is it so important for us to offer it to our traders and customers? As consumers, if a product we buy from a shop turns out to be faulty, we are entitled to a refund or an exchange without having to jump through too many hoops.


To encourage consumer confidence, a retailer’s own return and refund policies may often exceed what people are entitled to from a legal point of view – this gives people the confidence to make purchases knowing they are protected if something goes wrong. And, while KBB installation transactions can be more complex than those seen in the retail sector, people are more likely to have confidence in your profession if they feel protected. Your customers, like consumers in a shop, naturally want to know that any issues with the work you are providing - whether related to the materials you have used, your craftsmanship, or personnel will be resolved as swiftly as possible. No doubt, whether you are an independent KBB installer or you work for a larger organisation, you will have a procedure or a set of policies in place to ensure your customers can access your complaints process. At Which? Trusted Traders we believe it’s in your interest that these matters are rectified quickly to preserve your personal and business reputation.

But sometimes that isn’t always possible – this can be due to circumstances surrounding the dispute or perhaps a reluctance to resolve the matter on either side. Without access to an ADR scheme, the alternative for the consumer or KBB installer is to go to court which can be an expensive, time-consuming and stressful process.

As a KBB installer these legal proceedings can also result in negative attention for your business. Even if you do go on to eventually win the case, the damage can already be done, either through the press or through word of mouth. It is in these instances that offering your customers access to an effective ADR mechanism can prove invaluable. At Which? Trusted Traders we offer all traders who sign up and pass our assessment process access to ADR through our partnership with Ombudsman Services. ADR schemes offer an alternative route for resolving disputes between consumers and businesses. Customers who are unhappy with the service of trader belonging to the Which? Trusted Trader scheme first raise a complaint with the trader directly. While most issues are resolved amicably, if a

resolution isn’t reached after eight weeks the complaint can be escalated to our ADR provider, Ombudsman Services, who investigate and make an independent and impartial recommendation to reach an amicable resolution. The service is free for consumers to use and remedies can vary from an apology to a financial award. For traders, offering access to ADR shows existing and potential customers that you value good service and are willing to be held to account. Feedback from organisation that have used ADR tends to be positive. A survey by the European Commission survey indicates that 82% of businesses who have used ADR would use it again.

offering ADR as part of the Which? Trusted Trader scheme, it shows that we are ahead of the curve and highlights that we, like the traders we endorse, are serious about ensuring there is backup and protection for consumers should something go wrong. For more information on Which? Trusted Traders and ADR please visit: for-traders or call: 02036 035 701

Since its launch, Which? Trusted Traders has offered its traders and our consumers access to ADR. Feedback from both sides has been extremely positive. By


Advertising feature



The innovative VitrA RIM-EX toilet features a special new rimless design to maximise hygiene. The rimless bowl features a sleek and easy clean surface, eradicating any possible space for bacteria to collect, and making cleaning quick and fuss free. The new RIM-EX WC features a pioneering and unique ceramic water distribution mechanism. It is designed to precisely distribute water, ensuring efficiency and removing the need for a standard rim. This unique water distribution mechanism is fully removable so that cleaning can be easy and thorough. The bowl’s shape has also been developed to make flushing efficient. In tests designed to examine the effectiveness of the system, the Akdeniz University determined that the RIM-EX WC pans were considerably easier to clean and were 95% more hygienic than standard WCs.


This exciting new design has been recognised throughout the industry with the M-Line RIM-EX WC winning a Good Design, Plus X, iF Product Design, and Designer Kitchen and Bathroom award.

The RIM-EX rimless WC range now includes designs in some of VitrA’s most popular ranges; Nest, Shift, T4 and M-Line from its Designer Collection; and S50 and Arkitekt from its Bathroom and Commercial Collection. This gives a wide variety of choice in terms of both design and price. With these new additions, many bathrooms can now benefit from the superior hygiene and ease of cleaning experienced with a RIM-EX WC.

Advertising feature

The RIM-EX M-Line toilet is also available with the VitrA Fresh system. The VitrA Fresh flush tank adds a dose of cleaning liquid to every flush, ensuring the highest levels of hygiene with the minimum effort. The tank is located inconspicuously at the back of the WC, making it easy to add fresh liquid. Refills are needed infrequently.

For further information please call VitrA on 01235 750 990 or visit the website at


Industry news

supplied by

PLUMBING CONTRACTING MARKET TO GROW 6% IN 2015, FORECASTS AMA RESEARCH The plumbing contractors market is forecast to grow by 6% this year and could be worth £17.1bn by the end of 2019, according to a new report by AMA Research. The ‘Plumbing Contractors Market Report - UK 2015-2019 Analysis’ estimates that the market achieved a value of £14.7bn last year, having reaped the benefits from improved business confidence and construction activity, which increased sharply. It said indications for 2015 were ‘positive,’ with opportunities for growth in the new housing sector, which AMA Research director Keith Taylor said was “being driven by rising prices, increased


mortgage lending, as well as a growing uptake of the government’s ‘Help to Buy’ programme.” The company said: “It is likely that as the economy improves and consumer confidence grows, an increasing number of consumers will begin to focus on higher value, big ticket projects such as kitchens and bathrooms.” To buy the full report visit: or call 01242 235724.


Tradesmen can get hands on products at time that suits them, says CEO Andrew Livingston

Geberit has revealed free goodies are up for grabs at its sanitary systems training days for installers.

Screwfix has extended its next-day delivery service to include Sundays in a bid to give tradesmen access to tools and products “at a time and place that suits them,” according to CEO Andrew Livingston.

Each trainee who attends the training will receive a Geberit Duofix framing system and flush plate – worth more than £250 – to take away with them and practice their new skills on.

The hardware giant said the Sunday delivery service has been launched in response to feedback from the retailer’s trade customers. It allows tradesmen to take advantage of next day delivery – to their home, site or free collection in store – if they order by 7pm on weekdays and 4pm on Saturday and Sunday. Livingston added: “We know from our customers that time is money and many are busier than ever.” Screwfix 01935 385 685


The training, which will take place at Geberit’s refurbished academies in Warwick and Dublin, offers the opportunity for installers to gain experience of fitting Geberit’s products. To book a place on any of the following training days, email or call 0800 0778 365: • Warwick on 11th March, 18th March, 9th September, 23rd September, 7th October, 21st October • Dublin on 26th March, 14th May, 16th September and 26th November

Keep a clean sheet.

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You´ll never work alone. A clean job is more than a perfect result. The Festool mobile dust extractors work discreetly in the background, but are immediately

Tools for the toughest demands

on site when they are needed. Sawing, sanding, routing. Perfectly matched to the tools, they extract the dust where it is generated. They thus guarantee not only health-friendly work, but also save you time and effort on time-consuming cleaning. For more information please visit or your retailer.

Industry news

supplied by

CROYDEX DOUBLES PRODUCT RANGE IN NEW CATALOGUE Croydex has launched more than 160 new products in its latest catalogue, which its commercial director Jon Langford says follows demand from consumers for products that can be “fixed with as little fuss as possible.” The bathroom accessories specialist has more than doubled its new products for 2015 compared to 2014, with the introduction of flat pack Click ‘N’ Lock bathroom furniture, illuminated mirrors and rust-free wire ware.

WIRQUIN ANNOUNCES MORE BREAKFAST MORNING DATES Wirquin has announced another date for its breakfast mornings, where customers can learn more about the sanitary equipment company’s product range.

The 150-page brochure also showcases a range of new vanity units and beauty stations, which has been added to Croydex’s Hang ’N’ Lock collection for 2015.

In addition to a free hot breakfast, the event offers the opportunity to gain product advice, technical information and promotions from Wirquin’s business development managers.

Langford said that Croydex’s new launches “mean it has never been simpler or quicker to create smart new storage space in bathrooms of all sizes and styles.”

The next date is: • Turnbull Building & Plumbing Supplies, Newark, NG24 2ET on 14th May at 7.30am - 12.30pm The company is giving customers the chance to win a VIP package to this year’s Rugby World Cup final – worth £2,700 – when they purchase the Macdee Wirquin products.

Croydex Product Catalogue

Each promotional box sold with the Motion dualflush siphon and the Slim shower waste contains a unique prize draw entry code to win the package, which includes Rugby World Cup final tickets, accommodation, return match day travel, merchandise vouchers and a Canterbury England World Cup 2015 jersey.




Rods & Rails Shower Curtains & Rings Bath Mats & Pillows Showers & Shower Accessories Toilet Seats & Bath Panels Cabinets & Storage Wall Mounted Accessories Semi Permanent Accessories Inclusive Products Homewares

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU If you have anything to get of your chest or want to contribute to the magazine please write to:

For any advertising enquiries please contact: Emily on 01992 478 109 or email:

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Sponsor news


The leading fittings supplier to the KBB sector in the UK, Blum, has implemented a new extended hours technical support hotline – 0800 230 0898 - for fitters, designers and manufacturers. The new hotline will offer 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

FRANKE PROVES THERE IS SUCH A THING AS A FREE LUNCH – FOR A WHOLE YEAR! Franke has celebrated the launch of its ‘Fit Franke First’ initiative by selecting one lucky installer, Stephen Ayre, Managing Director of Ayre Heating & Plumbing Ltd in Bishop Auckland, in a random draw to receive free lunches at Greggs bakeries for a year – through a pre-paid lunch card worth £1,000. The prize was up for grabs to encourage installers to register for the initiative which launched last November and the first 500 installers to sign up also received a branded work t-shirt. ‘Fit Franke First’ centres on a series of short training and information videos covering popular topics on installing sinks and taps. A range of techniques are being covered, starting with the basics and building up to more specific and complex subject matters. The videos are being mailed out across the industry to thousands of installers and are available to view on a dedicated website: Franke 0161 436 6280


Stephen Ayre, Managing Director of Ayre Heating & Plumbing Ltd.


Q&A with Lynsey Easom Lynsey joined the iKBBI head office team in 2014 and is responsible for new member applications and renewals, as well as daily management 4. What gives you the most of our Direct Debit scheme satisfaction in your role? for members. 1. It is said that if you snooze you lose, are you a snoozer ? Only when football is on the telly, my husband Gary is an avid Arsenal fan but it bores the life out of me. So in answer, I snooze and Arsenal lose ha ha. 2. What is a typical breakfast / sets you up for the day? Coffee and toast (or anything quick). I’ve got two children Gracie who’s 6 and Max is 4 (three kids if you count my husband) so mornings are always a rushed affair! 3. How long have you worked for the iKBBI? I joined in January 2014 after time away from corporate life raising my children. I used to work in Central London for a international accountancy firm, but decided after Gracie & Max were born that Central London wasn’t for me. I saw the iKBBI job advertised on social media and the rest is history!

Speaking with new members and discussing the benefits of joining – sounds cheesy I know, but I really do believe that the iKBBI offers fantastic benefits to members. Watching the institute grow over the last 12 months has been great and I’m proud to have played a part in its success. 5. And the most frustrating? Hearing people say “I’ve never heard of you” which is usually followed by “what a great idea!” Thankfully, awareness of the iKBBI is vastly improving, especially as member numbers grow. I think we all wish we could wave a magic wand and inform the world of our mission, but good old fashioned persistence will have to do instead. We are winning the battle though. 6. What makes you laugh? My kids make me laugh daily – Max burst into our bedroom at the weekend after dressing himself… pulled a pose and said “Well hello ladies”… He’s 4 – I dread to think what he’ll be like at 18!

7. What is your favourite movie of all time? Beaches (Bette Midler) is my all time favourite girlie film, or perhaps Die Hard for a bit of action (although the storyline is pants, Bruce Willis is pleasing on the eye!) 8. What is your favourite restaurant or cuisine? Without doubt, Smiths in Ongar is my favourite restaurant. It’s famous for its fish menu, there’s a great vibe about the plaice (plaice, get it) and the food is awesome! It’s a bit of a celebrity hang out too. That’s if you count the cast of TOWIE as celebrities! 9. What item could you not live without? Other than hearing from happy iKBBI members (crawler ha ha), it’s got to be my make-up bag. Rarely do I leave the comfort of my home without applying the ‘war paint.’ 10. Tell us a secret? I can’t, its a secret!


∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙



Installer profile, Alan Travers iKBBI member since 2007

SPECIFIC KITCHEN INSTALLATION TRAINING IS THE WAY FORWARD Without installers, there’d be no ikbbi and so each month we head out to meet up with members from across the country to find out about their daily lives. This month, our team caught up with Alan Travers who works in East London. Having been in the industry for over 13 years, Alan Travers been able to see the vast changes that have affected the installation industry first-hand. He’s built up a successful business and now has an employee that works alongside him installing kitchens with jobs sub-contracted from Wickes. His story is similar to many, having got into the business through a friend in the building trade. Whilst he may have started off years ago, he’s aware of the challenges faced by up and coming installers today: “It’s harder to get into the industry now than it was years ago. There are many official standards of workmanship that you have to pass. There are also lots of new and different products coming on to the market that you need to understand how to install”. He went on to explain how the industry has “drastically changed” and that whereas there used to be more general safety guidelines, the laws and regulations now in place are much “stiffer”, but added that this was “for a good reason, but challenging.” Looking to the future, Alan thinks that providing training courses is the way forward for helping budding installers. He makes an interesting point, too, about his sector of the market: “If you do gas or electrics there are courses readily available, but with kitchens, there isn’t anything out there, but everyone needs a kitchen.” cont. on p22

“the different people you meet, the areas you get to know and the different products you can work with”


Installer profile

“any information or details you don’t have, there’s always someone at iKBBI who will try and help you out” ... cont

A common grievance that Alan shared with us and we’re sure will score pretty high with most installers is late, incorrect or missing deliveries. This, Alan revealed was one of the most frustrating things he encounters and something that companies could change to really improve their relationships with installers. He also thinks that raising customer awareness of the ikbbi would also help. Alan’s enthusiasm for the job is clear to see and he points to “the different people you meet, the areas you get to know and the different products you can work with,” as just some of the things he likes about being an installer. Whilst that might be what he likes about the job, he was somewhat hesitant to share with us what he likes least, but removing the “odd dirty kitchen” was finally revealed. So what does Alan do to relax when he’s hung up his tools for the day? Alan comments: “We’ve been working flat out at the moment because we’ve got a lot on, but in my spare time, I own a motorbike and like to go out and meet up with a group of friends.” Alan’s a big supporter of the ikbbi and its benefits for installers and is quick to point out how the website has helped him to aquire jobs. He also added that “any information or details you don’t have, there’s always someone at IKBBI who will try and help you out,” as one of the reasons he’s an avid supporter.



Simple to install...

In August 2013, bathstore launched its nationwide expert installation service. Built around quality products, exceptional customer service and iKBBI accreditation, the installation service is a vital part of bathstore’s proposition. As the UK’s leading specialist bathroom retailer, bathstore helps create beautiful bathrooms - offering customers an end-to-end solution. Unique in the marketplace, bathstore has 173 stores nationwide and an award winning website; ensuring customers are never far from expert advice. Bathroom renovations can be a daunting process so bathstore created Service by Design - five steps to bathroom heaven – design, assist, deliver, install and care. Liz Lakin, Head of Installation comments: “At bathstore, we turn customers dream bathrooms into reality, helping them select appropriate products, visualise the concept and support them through to installation and beyond. We are proud to offer a wide range of quality products at competitive prices, backed up by an expert service with 5 year craftsmanship guarantee. It’s essential our installers deliver a first class service too, that’s why our iKBBI accreditation is so important. It guarantees the credibility and professionalism of our team and gives us true differentiation. In fact, we are pleased to report that 97% of our customers would recommend our installation service.”

Simple to maintain

Enclosures designed for the end-user and the installer. Tel: 01282 605000

Sponsor profile


this is the credo of Christopher Hackett and his team at iKBBI sponsors Classic Marble

From its humble beginnings in a converted pigsty on the family farm 30 years ago, Classic Marble has gone on to firmly establish itself as a multi-award winning manufacturer of gel-coated resin stone shower trays, and waterproofing products. We spoke to Christopher Hackett, who is a non-executive Director of the iKBBI, as well as Director at Classic Marble - a Founder Sponsor of the institute, about the company and his involvement with the organisation. Classic Marble was founded in 1984 by Christopher’s father Donald. “He started the business in a converted pigsty on his father’s farm experimenting with artificial marble,” Christopher explains. “Soon, we moved to a converted broiler house, then to a converted cattle byre and now, we work out of a purpose-built manufacturing facility.” It’s not just the premises in which the company operates that have changed since the business first started, Classic Marble’s product offering is somewhat different nowadays too. “In the beginning, the company manufactured tables from artificial marble,” Christopher points out. “This then turned into shower tray production, as we discovered it was possible to use the same skills and knowledge learnt from mould and pattern making to manufacture the trays and nowadays, Classic Marble is equally well known for its innovations in waterproofing bathrooms under our Classi and CM Seal brands,” he continues. “All it took was a little flexibility and foresight, and we were able to change direction.” Classic Marble has always been a part of Christopher’s life, and he has fond memories of being involved with the family business from a young age. “I think I was about 5 or 6 when I first began helping at the weekend, although back then, I was probably more of a hindrance to my father who had work to do,” he laughs. “I came to love the Saturday trip to the ‘factory’, where there was always something to do. Looking


back, having that opportunity really benefitted me, as it taught me a valuable lesson about the importance of a strong work ethic.” These family principles have undoubtedly paid off in the last 30 years but during this time, have changes in the industry meant that Classic Marble has needed to adapt in order to remain successful? Christopher believes in the last ten years, since he’s played an active role in the business, that although the difficult trading conditions have certainly had an impact on the industry, the fundamentals of business haven’t necessarily changed. “There will always be the need for quality product at the right price,” he explains. “In fact, in my opinion, quality of product and customer service will always win out in the long run, and I don’t see that ever changing.” This said, he believes companies need to ensure they move with the times in order to prosper in the future, particularly with regards to technology, which is proving invaluable to the running of Classic Marble. “Thankfully, when it comes to Classic Marble, with us running our 9001 and 14001, it is quite well regimented, so operates as much as any business can on its own.” “There will always be the need for quality product at the right price,” he explains. “In fact, in my opinion, quality of product and customer service will always win out in the long run, and I don’t see that ever changing.”

Classic Marble was a founder sponsor of the iKBBI and remains a sponsor to this day, after Christopher was made aware of the concept at his first Bathroom Manufacturers Association conference. “Sometimes you are in the right place at the right time, and this was definitely one of those occasions,” he recalls. “It was clear to me from the outset that the principals of raising standards, particularly within installation, were sound, as well as the motives, the drive and the passion of the people who were behind the institute.” He continues, “Classic Marble believes in the importance of continuously raising

“Classic Marble believes in the importance of continuously raising standards, so it was an easy decision to get involved with the iKBBI and become the founding sponsor.”

standards, so it was an easy decision to get involved with the iKBBI and become the founding sponsor.” Over the past seven years, Christopher has watched the organisation grow and evolve, despite facing some criticism. “It hasn’t been easy, but seven years on, the institute has fully cemented itself within the industry, and is ready for the next stage of membership growth.” “Health is something I always hope for, both personal and from a business perspective. If both can remain in good shape, what more could you want?!”

Christopher’s experience with introducing new concepts and products to market is proving invaluable in his role as a non-Executive Director of the iKBBI. “In effect, the iKBBI is bringing a new ‘product’ to market, so the skills I’ve learnt over the years enable me to help with the next stage of its growth.”

Although Christopher is based in Northern Ireland he feels that managing his time between there and the iKBBI isn’t a problem, he says “By using easyJet and Ryanair, making time for both roles is not an obstacle for me. After all, there are no traffic jams at 20,000ft!” He continues, “the likes of smart phones, Skype and The Cloud have meant I can carry out both roles off-site.” When looking to the future, Christopher knows exactly what his hopes and aspirations are, both in his business and personal life; “Health is something I always hope for, both personal and from a business perspective. If both can remain in good shape, what more could you want?”

Classic Marble Showers Ltd. 185 Omagh Road, Garvaghey, Ballygawley, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, BT70 2AL, Northern Ireland Classic Marble 02885 568 081 Fax: 02885 568 082


Retail member profile


The showroom, or “tardis” as they call it, covers approximately 210sqft and is set up to help a diverse clientele.

Bathrooms at Source was one of the first ever retail members to join the iKBBI back in 2009. When Damian Walters, the chairman Founder of the iKBBI, said the showroom had “adopted the principles of the iKBBI like no other,” there was only one choice for the magazine’s first showroom profile. If you check out Bathrooms at Source online before visiting them, you’ll be primed to expect a company with bags of personality; that know their stuff and that can deliver it professionally but with a sense of humour. We certainly weren’t disappointed when we caught up with the brother and sister duo, Terry and Sarah and their lively crew. On asking Terry and Sarah about their employees, they’re quick to point out that

they’re a team, and that instantly tells you everything you need to know about this family business. All of the company’s departments are situated in one location with the sales, installation, accounts, warehouse and delivery teams all working together. In addition to the ten people in these departments, there are also seven registered iKBBI CIS fitters.



Terry Jones

Laura Hodgson

Simon Hickman


Installation Manager

Online Manager

Retail member profile

Bathrooms at Source is located in Wandsworth and services the South West of London, in addition to the A3 Corridor from Putney to Esher. The showroom, or “tardis” as they call it, covers approximately 210sqft and is set up to help a diverse clientele. Builders and installers are well catered for with a dedicated trade counter, and they’re also equipped for the general public, with a children’s play area and nappy changing facilities. The team are also proud to have forged long-standing relationships with designers, and their extensive online shop means they can extend their reach even further with nationwide sales.

“We wouldn’t be ‘Us’ if it wasn’t for Laura’s input. I certainly couldn’t cope without her.”

There’s a wide range of established brands available in the showroom, including Crosswater, Bauhaus, Simpsons, Saneux, Bette, Dansani, Vado, Svedberg’s, St James, Bagno Design, Zucchetti, Heritage, and many more. The company’s personality is evident here too, with Terry and Sarah keen to point out that they build up long-term relationships with the manufacturers they work with. The showroom is in its 18th year, and there’s a real wealth of experience within the team. Terry’s been in the industry for almost 30 years and specialises in the installation side of the business whilst also helping with sales. Sarah co-ordinates the management of the company with accounts and administration and has 15 years of industry experience. It’s clear to see Terry and Sarah’s appreciation for their team and they point to Laura their Installation Manager who Terry says, “We wouldn’t be ‘Us’ if it wasn’t for Laura’s input. I certainly couldn’t cope without her.” Laura has seven years of experience behind her and is in charge of cont. on p28


Retail member profile ... cont

coordinating the fitting teams. She makes sure that they deliver the service and quality of finish that the showroom has become known for. They also highlight Simon the Online Shop Manager who produced the newly launched online shop and has over has over 19 years of experience in what he refers to as the “bog flogging” industry. The current team of installers has been in place for over five years and they credit this success to its strict vetting process and its iKBBI involvement. Laura the Installation Manager says this “sorts out the men from the boys” and ensures they can “strive for the best quality of service.” The team have noticed too that “our standards have risen in all departments since we became members.” Laura stresses that in achieving this, the importance of communication; “we speak to each team several times a day, by way of email, phone calls, face-to-face and text.”

On discussing the problems with non-iKBBI installers, Terry said “our only frustrations are with the poor quality of workmanship and lack of honesty of some independent installers.” He went on to add that “being a part of the iKBBI is a great tool for us, both for clients and fitters. They recognise the importance of being associated with a professional, not-for-profit, and government sanctioned body.”

“Being a part of the iKBBI is a great tool for us, both for clients and fitters.”

The iKBBI is continuing to grow its retailer members, and with supporters like the Bathrooms at Source team, this can only be a good thing for the industry.

The current team of installers has been in place for over five years and they credit this success to its strict vetting process and its iKBBI involvement.

Bathrooms at Source 02088 700 066 Bathrooms at Source, 128 Garratt Lane, Wandsworth, London, SW18 4DJ 28

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Opinion piece

DON’T LEAVE YOURSELF EXPOSED IT COULD COST YOU! says Michael Barratt from UK Special Risks

As an iKBBI recommended insurance broker, specialising in the Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Industry, I have recently been receiving a number of enquiries from installation contractors and showrooms regarding the lack of cover under their public liability insurance policies for accidental and unforeseen exposure to asbestos. They ask “Is this something I should be concerned about?” In short, yes. The majority of insurance policies increasingly contain exclusions for any damage resulting from the release of asbestos and the consequential cleanup operation. This could quite easily lead to you as the contractor being personally liable for tens of thousands of pounds in damages, and more often than not, you were just carrying out your daily tasks, blissfully unaware of the perils behind that wall or that ceiling. One of our clients, subcontractors unfortunately had an incident of a similar nature, resulting in a claim in excess of £100,000. Luckily for the client, their insurance policy was on the right basis and the claim was paid out by the underwriters. Martin Bell, Managing Director of UK Special Risks, said of the matter “What this accident clearly shows is that unforeseen and accidental exposure to asbestos can be very costly, and if the correct insurance had not been in place, the potential cost to this client’s business could have been fatal.” A quick flick through your policy wording may indicate whether you’re properly


Michael Barratt Cert CII, Account Executive, UK Special Risks

covered for this or not. Sometimes these restrictions can be hidden in the small print of the policy. If it’s not clear, ask your broker or insurance company directly. Get them to point it out in the policy wording and confirm to you in writing that it’s insured. This way, you know you are adequately covered. If, for whatever reason, this is not insured then unfortunately you are at risk. If your insurer cannot amend this to include unforeseen and accidental exposure to asbestos cover, you may be eligible to exit your existing policy at no charge, claiming it “no longer meets your requirement.” This will allow you to adequately cover yourself elsewhere as soon as possible. Michael Barratt Cert CII Account Executive UK Special Risks 01634 661 403

Win a superb Manhattan shower enclosure worth almost £1,000! ‘The Installer’ magazine team has got together with British shower enclosure manufacturer to give away a 1000mm Manhattan 8 straight slider complete with matching 760mm side panel (left or right hand).

Established as a leading manufacturer in the UK for over 25 years, the company has recently launched a visually stunning collection of easy-to-install enclosures. Manhattan 8 is one of the company’s new generation of contemporary enclosures designed with the installer in mind. Manhattan 8 is manufactured from 8mm toughened glass, is a generous 2000mm in height and has ‘Easiclean’ glass protection. It has a unique patented flush interior so the enclosure looks as good from the inside as it does from the outside. It has a beautifully smooth sliding running mechanism with soft stop runners that minimise impact. All you need to do to win this fantastic enclosure is to subscribe to ‘The Installer’ magazine by clicking the link below:



iKBBI membership

Step by step from Classic Marble (Showers) Ltd



Independent accreditation from a government-sanctioned institute provides enormous credibility and subsequent commercial opportunities for professional installers.

CM Seal can be used as a stand alone product or as part of the CM Seal Tanking Kit. The CM Seal membrane has been designed to have a fleeced outer layer, which makes CM Seal fully compatible with liquid sealing membranes and tile adhesives.

Marketing • Exclusive use of the iKBBI logo to promote your business • ID card and certificate to demonstrate accreditation • Access to a range of promotional material, including a free vehicle sticker • Full listing on our find-amember consumer search tool ● Opportunities to work with our Retail Installation Standards Partners



Applying CM Seal takes just 5 mins

Step 1 Thoroughly roughen and clean the sides of the tray or bath that the CM Seal is to be attached.



For more information on member benefits please visit;

Step 2 Remove the backing paper 100mm at a time and align the top of the adhesive strip with the top edge of the shower tray or bath and firmly press on by hand.

Step 3 Before applying around the corners, pinch the CM Seal to allow extra material in the corners - this helps with subsequent tiling. When finished applying, give the CM Seal one last rub all the way around to ensure the perfect seal - paying special attention to the corners.

Stage 1 is complete. You are now ready to apply the wall membranes.


Step by step from Classic Marble (Showers) Ltd STAGE


Applying the CM Seal Tanking Membranes - Takes less than one hour

The membranes are bonded to the already primed walls with C2 powder mix tile adhesive, which is applied to the wall with a 4mm square notched trowel. (Bucket ready tile adhesive should not be used as it requires air to cure). Depending on the application the membranes can be applied horizontally or vertically, with all overlaps being at least 75mm wide. The CM Seal wall membrane should not be put around corners, the supplied 200mm wide elastomeric strip is used instead.


Step 3 Apply elastomeric strip to the corners ensuring at least 75mm of overlap on membrane and upstand.



Step 4 Using excess elastomeric strip, cut out a 100mm x 100mm piece per pipe and cut a small hole in the centre. Push over pipes and bond the membrane to the wall with tile adhesive.

5 Step 1 Apply adhesive to wall behind CM Seal upstand. Press upstand into adhesive with the back of the trowel ensuring there are no air pockets.


Step 5 As soon as the CM Seal membranes are applied to the wall, tiling can begin in the normal way.

CM Seal is a product of Classic Marble Step 2 Apply tile adhesive over upstand and wall. Apply membrane print side out starting at the bottom ensuring a minimum of 75mm overlap, and a gap of approx 20mm from the corner. Press on firmly with the back of the trowel ensuring there are no air pockets.

02885 568 081


Solutions for retailers Do you retail kitchens, bedrooms and/or bathrooms? The Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers (or iKBBI as we’re better known) is the UK’s first and only government sanctioned and not-for-profit institute dedicated to KBB installation sector. With over 3,500 accredited members nationally* we already represent the largest independent population of KBB installers in the UK… and we’re growing. The innovative iKBBI Installation Standards Partnership (iSP) initiative allows retailers to support positive change within the industry through independent accreditation of their installers, with lots of commercial benefits to be had including support with recruitment & legislative management. Find out more by visiting our website. 0845 519 2007 watch the video here


Financial advice Rebecca Callow is an Associate at McCabe Ford Williams Chartered Accountants

Annual Investment Allowance You have until 31 December 2015 to take advantage of the unusually high Annual Investment Allowance. The allowance gives 100% tax relief on plant and machinery up to £500,000. From 1 January 2016 the allowance falls back to the old rate of £25,000. It would be sensible to make any major plant and machinery purchases, such as a new van, before 31 December 2015. Write it Down! It is not always possible to obtain a receipt for all expenditure, for example small cash purchases, parking meters etc. In the absence of a receipt, a record of the expenditure made on the same day in a diary will give good supporting evidence to HM Revenue & Customs. If there is neither record nor a receipt there will be no tax relief for the expenditure. Value Added Tax Once your turnover on a rolling 12 months goes over £81,000 you must register for VAT and there are penalties for not doing so. You can however

FINANCIAL TIPS FROM REBECCA CALLOW choose to register voluntarily and, if your turnover is less than £150,000, join the flat rate scheme. Under the flat rate scheme the business charges VAT on its turnover but instead of paying over the output tax (less recoverable input tax) in the normal way, the business pays the appropriate flat rate percentage. There is often a gain for the business of the difference between the standard rate charged on sales and the amount paid to Customs & Excise. Use Your Home Many small businesses are run from home. A claim against taxable profits can be made for part of the expenses of the home if they are wholly and exclusively for the business. So a proportion of the light and heat, council tax, mortgage interest etc., for the room used as an office or workshop can be claimed as a tax deductible expense.

McCabe Ford Williams 17 Hart Street Maidstone Kent ME16 8RA 01622 683 627

iKBBI membership

iKBBI MEMBER BENEFITS Business support • 24/7 access to our members only website Information, advice and guidance on a variety of business topics • Technical updates on products, practices and legislation • Networking opportunities Free monthly eNewsletter and quarterly ‘the installer’ eMagazine

Commercial cost savers • Discounts for training & development opportunities • Access to iKBBI specialist commercial insurance scheme • Discounted waste removal, tools and materials • Discounts on fuel with our exclusive diesel scheme • Huge savings on new websites, printing & promotional services For more information on member benefits please visit;


Product portfolio

Vogue (UK) introduces Harmonique A contemporary double panel radiator designed into a popular multirail towel warmer, Harmonique is perfect for heating and drying. The top half provides space for hanging and drying towels, whilst the radiator heats the bathroom. Harmonique has been manufactured from the highest quality mild steel and comes with a 10 year guarantee. It’s available with its radiator finished in any RAL colour and there are two sizes of radiator to choose from. Harmonique is suitable for closed indirect heating systems and also available in convector radiator options. Vogue (UK) 01902 387 000

theshowerlab’s Curium 19H Walk-In Shower Enclosure The Curium 19H Frameless Walk-In Shower Enclosure from theshowerlab™ is a sleek, frameless glass shower screen which has been expertly designed to provide maximum space and promote ease of use. With the Curium 19H, there is no door to open and close and full wheel chair access can be gained, so the screen is suited to a wide range of users. Furthermore, the hinged panel folds away into the enclosure, preventing water from escaping the enclosure. The Curium 19H is available in standard sizes, as well as bespoke, made to measure options. theshowerlab™ 01375 390 444

Manhattan unveils its 8mm Hinged Bathscreen Practical and stylish, Manhattan’s 8mm Hinged Bathscreen allows the showering experience to be enjoyed in bathrooms where there is no separate enclosure. Manufactured from the highest quality Toughened Glass, it measures H 1500 mm x W 900 mm and is available in either a left handed or right handed configuration. The 8mm Hinged Bathscreen, which comes with a lifetime guarantee, has been coated with EasiClean Glass Protective Shield and benefits from Manhattan’s patented flush fitting interior. Furthermore, its chrome hinges allow for one panel to fold back outside of the bath to provide easy access. Manhattan Showers 01282 605 000


Product portfolio

Liebherr huge accolade for innovative BlackSteel side-by-side Fridge-Freezer

Innovative new 3in1 hot tap from Perrin & Rowe

Innovative appliance specialist Liebherr has won the iF Design Award for Product Design in recognition of its BlackSteel side-by-side SBSbs 7263. Liebherr’s BlackSteel is a striking black stainless steel finish with a textured feel. The model is packed with lots of innovative and useful features.

Incorporates new advance technology to dispense hot, cold and up to 98°C of steaming hot filtered water from one tap without any run off or spitting. Perfect for hot drinks, cooking and numerous other kitchen tasks. Water saving, time saving and energy efficient

Liebherr 01767 602 221

Perrin & Rowe 01708 526 261

The ‘Without’ towel warmer by Aestus

Astracast launches the price beating Edge 1.5

The Without towel warmer by Aestus enhances the aesthetics of a contemporary bathroom, providing hanging space to warm and dry towels. A versatile design, Without is manufactured from mild steel and available in various colours. It comes in two different sizes and is suitable for closed circuit systems. Without comes with a 10 year guarantee.

Astracast’s newly priced Edge 1.5 beats the cost of many other designer brands whilst delivering on style, quality and durability. The undermounted sink is made from a premium grade polished stainless steel. It can be specified to fit a right or left hand 60cm base unit.

Aestus 01902 387 080

Astracast 01274 475 179


Directory Associates & Supporters

Bathroom Manufacturers Bathroom Retailer Building Supplies Cabinet Fitters Domestic Appliances


Directory Insurance Services

Shower Enclosures/Screens

Waste Management Website Design

Kitchen Furniture ™

Craftsmanship, creativity and innovative technology ™

Sinks & Taps ™

Power Tools

Work Surfaces Harmoniqe MD060 ™

The UK’s No1 Frameless Shower Screen Manufacturer T. 01375 390444

Price Comparison Services

Vivid IV


Tile Sealant PR & Marketing Tile Warmers & Radiators Sanitaryware


To advertiseIntegral in this Collection v as please featured on the Vivid directory contact Emily W at Publicity Engineers on 01992 478 Integral 109 Valve Compression nu or at emily@ publicityengineers. com

Towel Warmers & Radiators

Vogue (UK) Limited, Strawberry Lane, Willenhall, West Midlands, WV13 3RS T+44 (0) 1902 387000 | F+44 (0) 1902 387001

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Introducing the new Perrin & Rowe 3 in 1 hot tap New advanced technology Dispenses hot, cold and up to 98째C steaming hot filtered water from 1 tap Perfect for hot drinks, cooking, food preparation and cleaning Innovative 2.4 litre digital tank with touch screen display Water saving, time saving and energy efficient Spit-free with zero run off

Always innovating, never duplicating For more information please call +44 (0) 1708 526 261 or visit Unit 1, Gateway XIII, Ferry Lane, Rainham, Essex, RM13 9JY

iKBBI The Installer Magazine April 2015  
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