New build boost

And best news of all, sales of ensuites and cloakrooms are only likely to grow, as the house build market slowly returns to form. All new homes, by law, must have a downstairs sanitaryware facility and they often feature an ensuite, as standard, too. Tim Wood of Mereway Bathrooms comments: “The current trend among house builders is to offer atleast one bedroom with an ensuite fitted as standard. The rule of thumb tends to be a four bedroom property should have one bathroom with one ensuite, a five or six bedroom property should have one main bathroom and include two ensuites.”

He adds: “It’s also not unusual for executive new build homes to have nearly as many bathrooms as bedrooms. And, with 80,000 new homes projected for build in 2010, it demonstrates a huge potential for the ensuite market.” New build homes also boost the opportunity for short and longer-term refurbishment opportunities. As Helen Clark says: “All new dwellings built after 1999 must have sanitaryware facilities on the ground floor We can therefore look forward to home owners shortly updating these rooms 10 years on.” And Kevin Oakes, sales and marketing director at Jax Bathrooms, agrees that the new build market will be key for continued sales: “The new build sector is likely to have a major and positive impact upon this market. Couple this with the home improvement market and the next few years should be a very promising period.”

Vessels add value – basins that is!

The use of furniture in the cloakroom or ensuite also offers designers and retailers the opportunity to trade up in sanitaryware. As Brian Grey of Ideal Standard explains: “One area open to growth and increased value opportunities is the trend towards vessel basins that sit upon some form of countertop or furniture. lt offers retailers a major opportunity to generate higher value sales by switching from lower value, conventional pedestal basins to semi-countertop or vessel basins and combining them with high value bathroom furniture”. He continues: “By topping these off with single lever monobloc mixers, retailers can provide the perfect solution to create stylish cloakrooms and ensuites.”

Second in command

With economic conditions forcing consumers to stay in their homes for longen it has spurred the growth of the ’nester investor’ refurbishing houses to add value. It has been well- documented that additional bathrooms can boost house prices and so both cloakroom and ensuite sales have benefitted from this demand.

Marketing manager of Ideal Standard International, Brian Grey comments: “One area for optimism is that consumers are taking the ‘don’t move, improve’ route to better homes. Additional bathroom facilities certainly add value to a home but more importantly provide real benefits for a buyer’s family.”

To meet this trend for fashionable secondary bathroom facilities, manufacturers have now created a range of smaIIer scaIe products. Designers can now choose from a raft of products for use in cloakroom and ensuites. Differing usage demands But while cloakrooms and ensuites share the properties of small bathroom areas benehting from refurbishment, they boast different purposes. Jayne ReiIly-Fountaine, director of NI Bathrooms, explains: “AIthough cloakrooms and ensuites are generally grouped together; they have completely different functions, CIoakrooms tend to serve a more practical purpose. In contrast, ensuites are created to add finesse to the design of the master bedroom.” So, while it is likely that a cloakroom may include a WC, basin with vanity, plus a towel rail; an ensuite will additionally include furniture and showering facilities. Howeven their similarity lies in the simple fact that both may be used by house guests and so must boast that ‘wow’ factor Technical manager of Vitra, Darren Paxford explains: “Home owners have become increasingly more aware of the quality of their personal space – particularly the bedroom/bathroom combination which is now identified as a part of the home for reflective enjoyment, pampering and also luxury. “The cloakroom has come into its own as more people use the home to entertain and the cloakroom now needs to be furnished to set the mood and ambience of the home.”
Featuring fashionable furniture Mirroring the furnishing of master bathrooms, the most style-led cloakrooms and ensuites will now feature furniture. It not only provides the practicalities of storage, to reduce clutter in these small areas, but adds to the value of the sale. Marketing director of Utopia Bathroom Group, Helen Clark says: “The consumer now expects to incorporate storage into the cloakroom, so a washbasin unit with either a mirror or mirrored cabinet above is ideal.” And Tim Wood, area sales manager bathrooms for Mereway agrees, adding: “Around 50% of ensuites, today, will include some type of furniture. Smaller units, reduced depth furniture and smaller basins, dedicated to smaller bathroom spaces, including cloakrooms and ensuites, are what manufacturers
are offering designers.” Certainly Georgina Spencer; marketing manager of Roca, says the demand for small-scale storage is refiected in the company’s sales figures. She says: “SaIes of our Senso Square range have increased in 09/10, showing that consumers are looking for design-led storage.”

People and jobs 5

Alape has announced Udo Happe, former joint MD of Kaldewei UK, as head of export. His appointment forms part of the company’s international expansion plans and Happe will be charged with increasing its current export share of 42%. He is responsible for Alape’s retail and project business and will be supported by European sales manager Ute Ehli and overseas sales manager Hans-Jorg Salzwedel.

Appliance manufacturer Gorenje has recently welcomed Gary Lee as its customer services manager Lee has had a varied career having spent 15 years in the Royal Navy, with tours of duty providing back-up for UN forces. Following this, he spent 10 years in the car park industry, working for NCR as national operations centre manager.

People and jobs 4

Expanding its UK operation, Amica has announced Peter Sherwood-Clarke as its national accounts manager He has 22 years’ experience of working with major domestic appliances, having worked for Swift, Portway and most recently Miele as area sales manager: Sherwood-Clarke’s role will be to drive sales, develop relationships and progress opportunities for the brand in independent electrical and kitchen sectors.

Heritage Bathrooms has appointed David Savage as general manager succeeding David jones who has left the company. He joined the business in 2006 as operations and supply chain manager with responsibility for operation and distribution facilities. In his new role, Savage will lead the national sales team and drive business growth through a focus on customer service excellence.

People and jobs 3

Rebecca jones has joined the Formica Group as marketing manager for the UK, Ireland and central regions. She has joined the company from International Paints (Akzo Nobel) where she gained 14 years’ experience. jones will be responsible for the regional marketing teams and managing the Formica and Axiom brands, starting with the launch ofthe 2010 Specification Collection.

Midlands-based Jax Bathrooms has appointed Larry Rivenden as national sales manager He has been employed to deal with the interest and demand from kbb, from new and existing retail customers. Rivenden has over 20 years’ experience of the bathroom market and joins the company from Merlyn Industries, where he held a similar role.

People and jobs 2

Utopia Bathroom Group has appointed Andrew Walker as national sales manager for the contracts sector and Andy Purthill as area sales manager for London, Surrey and Berkshire. Walker has 12 years’ experience in the bathroom industry, with the last 10 spent at Porcelanosa Midlands where he was commercial sales manager Purthill has worked in the industry for 20 years and has joined from distributor N.Froy & Sons in West Sussex.

Following expansion and investment into the new build business, the PJH Group has appointed George Keegan as business development manager for the public sector Previously having worked for Arrow Distributors and the Bernstein Group, Keegan has over 30 years’ experience in the industry. He will be tasked with expanding the public sector side of thr PJH New Build division.

People and jobs 1

Twyford Bathrooms has appointed Mark Winfield to the position of marketing manager for the UK. Previously head of product management, Winfeld joined Twyford Bathrooms straight from school. He has had various marketing roles in the company and brings his knowledge, experience ofthe organisation and products to his new role. Winfield aims to strengthen the brand and grow it into new markets.

London showroom Urban Interior has employed Clare Gauci as senior bathroom designen She has worked within the interior design industry for the past five years, having been employed by a high-end interior showroom in London for the past three. She will be co-ordinating and managing design projects from start to finish, ensuring clients’ needs are met.

Delay to light switch

Regulations which will enforce the use of more energy efficient lighting in England and Wales, due to take effect from October, have been delayed. The revised Part L regulations will bring the next step towards the challenge of zero carbon homes. House builders, specifiers and developers may welcome the delay which will provide time for further preparation.

Every new build house, extension or loft conversion which requires planning permission must have lighting schemes which are 75% energy efficient. The 75% threshold is also widely expected to become a target for all homes (old or new) by 2016. Three out of four bulbs in the home will need to be energy efficient’ and the definition of energy-efficient’ bulbs has been upped. For a bulb to qualify as energy efficient it must produce 45 lumens per watt instead of 40 lumens per watt. This means that few bulbs comply as being ‘energy efficient; other than fluorescent lighting or LED lights. Lighting expert John Cullen will be holding a free seminar on energy efficient lighting at its London showroom on September 21.

Moores group get EMS report

Moores furniture group has received its latest EMS report.  The assesment looksat its place in the environment, as well its environmental objectives. In particular, it noted the companys energy, waste segregation and water policies and the development and implementation of its recycling systems. Moores’ efforts in encouraging its contractors and suppliers to establish an EMS of its own was also recognised, along with its environmental planning throughout manufacturing and installation processes. The report stated: “Environmental planning is encouraged throughout the product life cycle, from the assessment of product design through to the recycling initiatives being considered for
replaced products”.