A new survey carried out amongst plumbing and heating engineers has highlighted the need for more support to promote the use of water-efficient products, so says Unified Water Label MD, Yvonne Orgill.

The research, carried out by the CIPHE, found that more than 50% of respondents said customers rarely (40.74%) or never ask (13.11%) for environmental attribute based recommendations.

Yvonne said “Whilst this figure of 53.85% is high, it also reflects that almost one in two consumers are asking about environmental considerations. We are making progress with consumer education, and previous research has shown that consumers are looking to make more environmentally friendly decisions.

“Bathroom manufacturers have invested in bringing these products to market but there is a gap in the chain, as installers and retailers are failing to do their bit and bring these products to consumer’s attention.

“With only one in three respondents seeing an increase in consumers asking about efficiency measures, there is huge scope for them to help inform those consumers about the products that are available.

“It is encouraging that three-quarters of respondents say they always or usually promote efficient products but we need more commitment, there is no reason why this should not be 75% are always promoting water efficient products.

“We have work to do at the Unified Water Label to help installers become more aware of the label and how they can use the database to identify products that carry the label.

“It is important that we all work together as there is a strong possibility that the government will force a mandatory label upon us, via the Environmental Bill. It is likely that this would reduce choice for the consumer and restrict products available

“We must also help installers understand that they are missing an opportunity to change consumer behaviour and support them in making more informed choices.”

Kevin Wellman, CEO at CIPHE added, “This research highlights the need for promoting greater water efficiency. Installation of a water meter can not only reduce your water bill and save on energy but it can also impact positively upon consumer behaviour that leads to more informed product choices. The corresponding reduction in carbon dioxide emissions in the treatment and supply process brings further environmental benefits.”

Villeroy & Boch has confirmed a new partnership with Bathstore within the UK following the recent refurbishment of their flagship Guildford store. During this trial period within their new concept store, there will be a very limited assortment of Villeroy & Boch washbasins, pans and baths.  

The Bathstore Lyla range has been put together in conjunction with a distribution partner to compliment a strategy of up to date design trends and colour matching products within the bathroom due to the ever-changing market design trends.

We would like to thank the relevant parties for their input surrounding this new strategy but at the same time would like to reiterate our stance and continued support for our exclusive showroom partners. Villeroy & Boch are heavily focused on developing market-leading products and working with our specialist network of retail partners to develop sustained growth within the UK bathroom sector. 

We believe that this latest initiative will not only improve our overall visibility to the consumer but will help Villeroy & Boch to continue to be the most recognisable and desirable brand in the bathroom market.

The Kbsa has contacted the Welsh government for clarification on how the latest, ‘firebreak’ lockdown, announced yesterday for Wales, will affect KBB retailers.

Kbsa national chair Richard Hibbert said, “We acted quickly earlier this year, liaising with government and trading standards to clarify the position for our members and the definition of ‘non- essential’ shops”. 

” It is even more important that we have clarity this time, as any closures may be temporary.  The complications of a stop-start situation, especially during this busy period, when projects are in hand for a Christmas completion, are complex”.

“Whilst we seek clarification, our members have access to our dedicated legal and HR support lines that can help deal with the implications, and provide up to date information on the latest business support packages”.

“With details emerging every day, we are in constant contact with our members, not just by electronic means but with face to face briefings via Zoom”. 

“There is no doubt that there are many changes coming over the next few weeks.  We remain committed to supporting members as they negotiate their way through this challenging period. “

Hygiene is becoming increasingly important in people’s consciousness. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is affecting many areas of daily life. Companies, hotels and institutions with heavily frequented entrance areas are faced with the challenge of raising hygiene standards as soon as customers, guests, patients and visitors enter the building.

The new disinfectant dispenser column from HEWI meets the increased hygiene requirements for washrooms and highly frequented areas. The mobile solution for hand disinfection increases hygiene in entrance areas of public buildings, healthcare buildings and the hotel industry.

With the disinfectant dispenser column, HEWI offers design options and enables aesthetic implementation of hygiene measures in entrance areas and lobbies. The HEWI design line is available in stainless steel and powder-coated surfaces with a deep matt finish in white, grey tones or black.

Touchless Disinfection

Two functional dispenser variants are available: In the sensoric version, the sensor dispenser can be used without contact and is equipped with a drip tray. Thanks to a reinforced base, the column offers optimum stability even in the manually operated dispenser version.

System competence in hygiene

The disinfectant dispenser column can be combined with other sanitary solutions. Soap and disinfectant dispensers, paper towel dispensers and waste bins are available in the respective design language.

HEWI | Public

Furnishing solutions in public and semi-public areas should reflect the character of the property with a representative design. Other important aspects in planning and implementation are atmosphere, the well-being of the users as well as economic efficiency and sustainability. HEWI offers the possibility of consistently meeting these requirements. Consciously selected materials and their careful processing result in high-quality products which can cope with the high user frequency over many years.

Pictured: HEWI disinfectant dispenser column System 900

Visit the Hewi website for more information.

The headline speaker for the conference is one that any child of the 80s & 90s will recognize, Robert Llewellyn is most commonly known for playing the role of Kryten for 30 years in the BBC hit series Red Dwarf. He also hosted the Channel 4 series Scrapheap Challenge for ten years.   More recently Robert has taken his career to YouTube with his show Fully Charged. The series has over 400,000 subscribers and receives over 2 million views a month.  On Fully Charged Robert and his co-host, Jonny Smith investigate the rapid development of electric vehicle technology and anything from solar panels to alternative energy sources.

Formerly a “petrol-head”, he is now an electric car advocate, and it is this approach to renewable energies and future technologies that Robert will explore at the 2021 conference.  

The BMA Industry Conference which has been rearranged to 8 June 2021 will take place at Carden Park, Cheshire and focus on the topic of ‘sustainability in the sector’.  

To register your interest and secure a place, visit our dedicated booking form.

Showering solutions manufacturer Coram UK has announced the resignation of long-standing Managing Director, John Blackburn.

Coram UK has announced that UK Managing Director John Blackburn will be leaving the company in November to seek a fresh challenge in the sector.

Well-known and respected in the bathroom manufacturing sector, Blackburn joined Coram UK as managing director in 2014 after a three-year stint as MD at Twyford. He successfully steered Coram UK’s brands, which include Impey wetrooms and Coram Showers, through a period of significant growth and adjustment.

As an experienced strategist and innovative business leader, his vision, passion and commitment to the Group has been unrelenting, as shown by the successful and timely delivery of the recent high-profile UK transformation project.

With progress underway for significant expansion of brands into specialised high-end bathroom outlets, as well as continued focus on the core healthcare, installer, merchant and specification marketplaces; Blackburn’s timely exit sees the brand primed for future successes.

Blackburn said: “I have enjoyed my time at Coram UK immensely and would like to thank my colleagues for their support and hard work over recent years.

“My decision to step back is motivated by my desire for a new challenge and to build upon the lessons learnt in growing both UK brands across multiple markets.”

Coram Steve Huntly

He will be succeeded by Steve Huntly, who has been with the business in the role of Group Sales Director, since April 2017 and has designed and executed plans for a comprehensive restructure of the UK sales division including the advent of a new retail sales division.

Said Huntly: “I am incredibly excited to step into a new challenge at Coram Group and am looking forward to driving sustainable growth and progress across our whole showering solutions portfolio.

“It’s an extremely exciting time for our group, as we focus on significant new UK product launches and partnerships with our sister brands from across Europe.

“I would like to offer my sincerest good wishes to John who will be greatly missed by all at Coram UK.”

The Swiss Arbonia Group has appointed a new experienced commercial team with multi-brand responsibility led by John O’Brien, Business Development for the UK & Ireland

The Swiss Arbonia Group’s brand portfolio includes: Arbonia, Brugman, Kermi and Vasco, between them they cover all solutions for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC).

Following the acquisition of ‘Belgium’ Vasco Group by Arbonia (May 2018) the increased portfolio of product (Design Radiators, Commercial Radiators, Radiant Panels, Fan Coils, & Ventilation) led to a re-energised planned approach to the UK and Irish market, this became a working project in the latter stages of 2019. This resulted in combining the expertise from within Arbonia and Vasco, paving the way for a new integrated approach to the building and construction sector.

Part of the strategy for reorganisation was to increase their specification sales force across Residential, Commercial, and Educational and Healthcare construction sectors. The concentration by Arbonia Group on this consolidation process is underpinned by its quality, service and continuous drive towards sustainable energy solutions.

John O’Brien is in charge of Business Development for the UK and Ireland and the driving force behind sales and strategy. Under his guidance Arbonia has appointed a highly experienced commercial team with multi-brand responsibility, with each agent covering a specific sector.

 South England and London: Matthew Tickle
 North East England: Paul Barker
 Scotland: Charles Blair
 Wales: Phil McNeil
 Northern Ireland: Ian Thompson
 Southern Ireland: John O’Brien

John states that, “The concentration is on the internally manufactured products from our Group brands, Arbonia, Vasco, Brugman and Kermi. This gives us an extremely strong and competitive product portfolio and we now have the capability to cover both residential and commercial projects; this combined with robust financial backing nables our new sales team to showcase our combined capabilities with absolute confidence. The new team selection is extremely knowledgeable and all come from a technical sales background covering the range of products we offer. We are fully supported by a technical team at our production facilities and this support system is available to our sales and specification customers where required. This new market approach enables us to be a ‘one stop shop’ for designers and specifiers alike whist simultaneously catering for design product retailers”.

About Arbonia
Arbonia’s extensive range of products encompasses numerous solutions in the field of
heating, ventilation and cooling. All are suitable for a wide variety of buildings – offices, public
buildings, industrial buildings; work and living spaces, each providing appropriate and
energy-efficient solutions with high-quality components.

Arbonia Group

With its brands Arbonia, Brugman, Kermi and Vasco, Swiss Arbonia Group has an extensive
brand portfolio for the UK. Arbonia Group is a focused European building supplier that is
listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and has its headquarters in Arbon (Switzerland). The
group is active worldwide with its own distribution companies, as well as offices and partners
in more than 70 countries. Its main production sites are located in Switzerland, Germany,
Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Poland, Russia and Slovakia. A total of
around 8,300 employees work for Arbonia Group. The divisions that make up Arbonia are
active in the following sectors: heating technology, ventilation and air conditioning
technology, sanitary equipment, windows, as well as exterior and interior doors.


For more information on the Arbonia Group, products or team details please email:

GROHE has expanded its range of modern thermostat solutions for the bathroom. The new GROHTHERM 1000 Performance and GROHTHERM 800 Cosmopolitan thermostats offer additional safety features and enhance shower comfort and convenience for the user

Combining high standards of quality and design with a multitude of innovative technologies, the new models offer additional safety features and enhance shower comfort and convenience for the user. Alongside the standard models which can be purchased individually, or as shower sets in combination with the GROHE Tempesta Cosmopolitan shower mixer with two sprays, low-pressure shower sets of both the GROHTHERM 1000 Performance and GROHTHERM 800 Cosmopolitan will also be available in a convenient one box solution.

“Low water pressure remains a pain point for many property owners up and down the country, delivering a poor shower performance that leaves users frustrated and underwhelmed”, says Paul Bailey, Senior Category Manager at GROHE UK.

“A study we commissioned recently into showering behaviours and attitudes revealed that 61% of us like to take a shower to get us feeling fit and ready for the day so it’s important that our shower performance can match our demands. It can be confusing for homeowners trying to find a suitable product for a property with low pressure, so we’ve created a one box solution comprising our new thermostats, hose and hand shower to provide a really simple, hassle-free solution”.

Precise control and uncomplicated installation: GROHTHERM 1000 Performance

Like all wall-mounted thermostats of the GROHTHERM range, the GROHTHERM 1000 Performance enables easy and uncomplicated installation. The integrated GROHE CoolTouch technology ensures that a barrier of cold water is formed between the hot water and the product surface, helping to reliably protect against scalding. With this technology, the product surface always stays cool to touch and never exceeds the running shower temperature.

Additionally, the GROHTHERM 1000 Performance is equipped with ergonomic ProGrip handles with a knurled surface making it convenient to use, even for children or with soapy hands. Economic, efficient water consumption is a must-have feature of any modern thermostat and the GROHTHERM 1000 Performance encourages its users to choose more considerately with the addition of its EcoButton, which when selected, saves water by up to 50%.

GROHE Grohtherm 800 Shower Set thermostat
GROHE Grohtherm 800 Cosmopolitan shower set suitable for homes with pressure as little as 0.2 bar

Minimalistic design with smart ergonomic metal handles: GROHTHERM 800 Cosmopolitan

GROHTHERM 800 Cosmopolitan is the latest evolution of the compact thermostat and unites the highest
standards of quality, technology, and design. Like the Performance series, this new range ensures easy and uncomplicated installation whilst its slim, cylindrical silhouette is streamlined and minimalist to meet the style demands of sophisticated, modern bathrooms. The solid metal handles of the new GROHTHERM 800 Cosmopolitan ensure safe and ergonomic ease of use thanks to an integrated “Ergorim” on the back which helps to improve grip when operating the shower even with wet or soapy hands. Meanwhile, GROHE’s EcoJoy feature offers the additional benefit of reducing water consumption by up to 50% without compromising on the showering experience.

Precise temperature control
For ultimate showering convenience and safety, both GROHTHERM 1000 Performance and GROHTHERM 800 Cosmopolitan models are equipped with GROHE’s TurboStat technology, which ensures that the thermostats react fast and precisely to sudden changes in both water pressure and temperature, keeping them constant for the duration of the shower.

For those seeking a safe, family-friendly shower that all family members can use confidently and independently, additional features such as the GROHE 38°C SafeStop Button have been designed to protect against incidents where the temperature may be unintentionally turned too high.

SafeStop Plus is an additional function that allows users to pre-set the maximum water temperature to 43°C for extra safety if required.

Pictured top: GROHE GROHTHERM 1000 Cosmopolitan thermostatic shower set, available as both a
standard and low-pressure model

More news from GROHE

COVID-19 has affected every sector across the globe, and the hospitality industry is among the hardest hit.  Research* suggests that recovery to pre-COVID-19 levels could take until 2023—or later and like so many industries, hospitality will also see both subtle and substantial changes in the post-pandemic era.

The consumer is embracing the need for safeguards while travelling, staying in hotels, and eating in restaurants.  On the list of things that will make them feel pandemic-safe, are contactless check-ins and check-outs, smart-phone ordering at tables, masks, and visors and critically, robust hygiene protocols.  After the kitchens or food delivery areas, it is in bathrooms, washrooms and WC’s that consumers will judge whether an establishment has taken hygienic safety seriously.  Businesses that can highlight both stringent procedures and the best in hygienic bathroom design will be in the best position to get back to pre-pandemic trading.

Specifying Bathroom Confidence for Customers

Throughout the COVID crisis, VitrA products have been available and fully supported an essential consideration for bathroom specifiers that need products that are proven and backed up with full service along with spares in this intensely hard-working sector. VitrA is recognised as an innovative manufacturers of complete bathroom solutions and tell us they are well equipped to help hoteliers and restaurateurs meet the many challenges that COVID-19 has created.  Whether that be reducing touch-points with no contact flushing and water delivery or guarding against virus and bacteria build-up with special finishes on ceramic ware and tiles, VitrA can create bathrooms that are both safe and design-led.

What Gives a Bathroom User Confidence?

Confidence comes from reducing touch points and from the human senses, feel, smell, sight, and sound.  Not only does the bathroom need to look and be clean, but an ambient aroma of a clean smell is confidence giving also.  Reducing physical contact is essential.  Quick, quiet no-touch flushing on WCs, responsive no-contact basin taps that turn off as quickly as they turn on and all without the need for physical touch are reassuring to visitors.

Speed of Cleaning Saves Times and Money.

Cleaning protocols are likely to add time and money to housekeeping budgets.  With due consideration and compelling design meeting, the COVID cleaning procedures can be made quick, easy and reduce room turnaround. Wall-hung WCs and bathroom furniture speed up the daily housekeeping routine, by making it easier to reach the hard-to-reach areas.  Tiled walls and floors are easy and straightforward to clean as there are no skirting boards.

Tiles with a built-in antibacterial like VitrA Shield offer a valuable back up to cleaning. On all WCs and basins, VitrA adds a unique glaze to reduce the growth of bacteria and limescale, this VitrA Hygiene glaze is available as standard on all ceramic sanitary ware products.

In addition VitrA Clean coating is available on several ceramic basins, vanity basin tops and WC products. The coating increases the surface tension, ensuring the water flows smoothly from the surface. All that is required to keep the basin clean is a wipe with a damp cloth and mild detergent.

The rim around a conventional toilet pan is the place where water enters and is usually open, creating the perfect place for bacteria and limescale to accumulate.  VitrA’s Rim-Ex technology offers the latest in WC bowl design.  With a rimless, smooth internal pan, there is no hiding place for bacteria to multiply and limescale to build-up. Rim-Ex ensures the best in hygiene and offers the added benefit of speeding up cleaning time.  Tests undertaken by Akdeniz University, in Turkey, prove that Rim-Ex is 95% more hygienic than a standard WC pan.   

Pictured – VitrA RimEx technology eliminates the rim on a WC, making it far more hygienic and faster to clean.

Making hotel bathrooms safe

VitrA provides complete bathroom solutions for all hospitality settings with excellent hygiene and easy cleaning features – features that have historically been part of the VitrA design ethos.

More news from VitrA

Rob Heredia

In these difficult times, it is encouraging to see the bathroom industry is not only adapting to changing needs but also delivering fresh new launches to uplift and inspire. This week Diane Larner caught up with Acquabella’s UK Sales Manager, Robert Heredia to discuss the companies latest launch, the Acquawhite Collection.

DL: Whilst the pandemic has hit many businesses hard, Acquabella is delivering a new collection to market, what is your reasoning behind this launch?

RH: We believe that at a time like this we must strengthen our commitment to customers by helping them with new collections that complement and further improve our catalogue. The pandemic has changed the way we all promote our products, so in these times new tools have been discovered to reach the customer, even if it is not on paper, we can still ensure brilliant presentation. Our commitment extends to design and innovation, so when a product is ready and tested, it must be launched and for this, Acquabella has the best tools to do so.

DL: What are your objectives for the UK market?

RH: Without a doubt, and despite the fact that we are a modest and family business, we want to be the number one producer of resin shower trays in the UK and Rep. Ireland. For this, we have been working hard for the last 7 years and in hand with our retailers aim to place Acquabella as a reference brand in the renovation of any home, in the design strategy of any designer, and in the day to day portfolio of each sales team. We aim to become a reference brand (and a different Brand ), in our product typology in order to deliver moderate but constant growth.

It is also important for us to deliver quality and prestige, not simply quantity. In order to do this, over the last 7 years we have fully adapted our products to service the UK market, the result being we are now as respected as any other British brand. We are not afraid of Brexit, on the contrary, we will continue to give the same trust, service and quality to our UK customers as we go forwards into 2021.

DL: What is the inspiration behind the Acquawhite collection? Tell us about Acquabella’s new material?

RH: While we are developing new akron products in our R+D Center in Spain to be launched next, Acquabella also decided to extend its portfolio with additional bathroom products to complete and expand the range.

The new collections are based on the brightness of matt white and its smooth, soft-textured base. It is perfect for Acquawhite as a project-oriented collection.

Acquawhite’s versatility allows you to mix different styles in the same space, without the combination becoming chaotic. The design of this collection, which consists of a complete series of baths, totems, washbasins and worktops, allows products to be combined with elements in varying materials, textures and colours. A thoroughly personal space, where delicacy and the avant-garde coexist in perfect harmony. It has a soft touch that is similar to natural stone, so it invites you to relax and enjoy Acquabella’s bathroom features.

DL: How do you think the focus on hygiene will change bathroom design?

RH: Hygiene and design must go hand in hand in the ‘future normality’, even in our new collection we bet on aseptic white: a sense of order and cleanliness. We also comply with the antibacterial certification ISO 22196: 2011. I can see more and more design details adhering to this requirement as hygiene and design become fundamentally entwined. Together with storage space and the creation of a staycation space, now more than ever, we will see the home as an essential place to relax and disconnect.

DL: Acquawhite includes a variety of different ranges, to suit all audiences, which is your favourite range and why?

RH: Vars is my favourite one because of the design and because I love visiting the Vars ski resort in France, in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, the Hautes-Alpes department, in the Briançon district and Guillestre cantón.

Lech bathtub is my favourite too as I have always loved the oval design for freestanding bathtubs

DL: What key trends can we expect to see next year and does Acquawhite reflect these?

RH: I believe that we are at the total forefront, always respecting tradition. Our products are eye-catching and in turn, combine design and the ability to adapt to any space, guaranteeing quality, durability and comfort for the bathroom.

As explained before Acquawhite integrates design, longevity, hygiene, cleanliness, relaxation and comfort, so I think the combination of textures in the Acquabella collection combined together with Acquawhite covers all possible trends.

To find out more about Acquabella visit the website.