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Archive for the ‘Bathroom’ Category

May Design Series 2014 – Kitchen and Bathroom, London

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Excel London


This year’s May Design Series – the UK’s international furnishing fair, took place at London ExCel from the 18th- 20th May, with Kitchen and Bathroom designs a key aspect of the event, along with a focus on Furniture, Lighting, Décor and the DX design platform, which showcased the latest in creative thinking and innovation.

The event itself welcomed over 400 brands both British and International, with design guru Ab Rogers responsible for bringing us a show that is like no other in its delivery of a wealth of products, materials, designs and concepts, with industry leaders also reflecting on a variety of trends, challenges and opportunities.

Kitchen and Bathrooms gave us the latest in innovative products with luxurious and contemporary design, with this year’s exhibitors including:

  • Italian kitchen designers Arredo3, with their 30 years of expertise reflected in the sleek modern contemporary designs which offer optimal functionality together with workmanship of the highest quality.
  • Envirotech Bathing showcased their latest shower range, offering leak free showering through pioneering design that integrates the walls into the shower design itself, removing the potential for seepage through grout or silicon, with Envirotech also manufacturing their shower enclosures and accessories in the UK.
  • JIS Europe Limited were also at the exhibition, known as the original company behind the 100% stainless steel heated towel rail and radiator.  JIS Europe offer a 25 Year Guarantee on their durable ranges of duel fuel, central heating and all electric rails and radiators that are environmentally friendly and made using ethically sourced materials.
  • The Vintage Fridge Company brought fantastic examples of vintage refrigerators and ice boxes for those looking for something totally different as a main feature in their kitchen.  As well as specialising in these refurbishments, the Vintage Fridge’s mother company offer expertise in reclaimed original cast iron radiators.

New for this year was “Big Thinking for Small Places” allowing for advanced design and industry trends to be incorporated even in the most restrictive of spaces.  Solutions from Ideal Standard, Roca, Crosswater and Kaldewei were amongst those featured including slim basins and compact toilets as well as versatile bathroom storage solutions, making the most of every last inch of space available.

Next year’s date for the May Design Series is 17th-19th May, which will again be hosted at London’s ExCel.


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How the Modern Toilet Has Evolved

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

The 13th April marked the birthday of Joseph Bramah who was born in 1748 and was a famous inventor best known for developing the hydraulic press. As well as being a locksmith, Bramah also played a key role in the improvement of toilet design having patented design changes in 1778 which included a hinged flap that sealed the bowl and alleviated the problem of the water freezing during the cold winter months.  With examples of his work still in operation at Queen Victoria’s Osbourne House, we reflect on how modern toilets evolved into the sleek design and water efficient models that are in use today.

With evidence of flush toilets in their earliest form dating back to 3100 BC early designs featured toilets made from brick and stone, and with the development of basic sewers many toilets were built directly above the running water to enable the removal of waste as was the case in Roman times, although this luxury was only available to those of the affluent classes.

In 1596 John Harington invented Britain’s first flushing toilet, which featured a flush valve and wash down bowl, which allowed the water to be released from the tank and empty the bowl in the process.  Harington installed the device which he named Ajax in his manor in Kelston in Somerset, as well as an installation at Richmond Palace for his godmother Queen Elizabeth I.

Alexander Cummings held the first patent in 1775 for his flush toilet, and his S shaped plumbing design was later modified by others to produce the U and J shape.  Cummings solution featured a sliding valve in the bowl outlet, effectively solving the problem of stench travelling up from the sewer below.

In 1851 George Jennings installed the first public toilets at Crystal Palace at the Great Exhibition.  With a charge of 1 penny over 827,000 visitors used them, with the service including a shoe shine, towel and comb and most importantly a clean seat. The following year Jennings patented his designs for improvements in traps, valves and pumps in water closets.

By the 1880’s with further underground pipe networks developed to improve sanitation, Thomas Crapper was producing flush toilets with improvements made to existing designs through the syphon system replacing the floating valve and reducing leakage in the process.  During this period Frederick Humpherson from Chelsea based Beaufort Works demonstrated the first flush-down toilet, with Thomas Twyford producing the first one-piece ceramic model, which incorporated the internal designs of George Jennings.

By the early 1900’s patents were issued to Thomas MacAvity Stewart for his vortex-flushing toilet bowl, with Philip Haas developing the flush rim toilet in addition to recycling mechanisms for which he was also granted a series of patents.

With duo-set cisterns available for the first time in 1980, the work of Australian Bruce Thompson whose designs featured 2 buttons with the 2 flush options, significant savings were able to be made on water usage, and this set the standard for the highly economic models that are so popular today.


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Tradeshows in February – 2014

Saturday, February 1st, 2014

AquaTherm Moscow 4-7 February

Official Website:

Venue: International Exhibition Centre Crocus Expo – Pavilion 3, Hall 13, 14, 15
Moscow, Russia

Opening Hours: 10am-6pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 10am-4pm Friday

Overview: AquaTherm is an international exhibition which focusses on industry sectors such as heating and ventilation, as well as environmental technology, water supply, sanitary equipment and air-conditioning.  With over 750 exhibitors taking part, World of water and spa will also be a key feature at AquaTherm Moscow event.

Exhibitors scheduled to attend include:

  • Electro Engineering Limited
  • Pipex Systems S.A.
  • REMS GmbH & Co
  • Samson AG
  • Valtec


PlumbexIndia – 20-22 February

Official Website:

Opening Hours: 11am-7pm daily

Venue: Bombay Exhibition Centre, Goregaon (East) Mumbai, India

Overview: PlumbexIndia is the only international show to take place in India which is dedicated to the plumbing industry.  With its 6th annual show taking place this year, PlumbexIndia is supported by global organisations such as World Plumbing Council, with companies such as Grundfos and KiTec also partners at the event.  CERA is sponsoring the symposium which takes place alongside the exhibition on the 20th February, with this year’s theme reflecting on Two Decades of IPA – Redefining Plumbing Standards in India.


AquaTherm Tashkent, Uzbekistan 25-28 February

Official Website:

Venue:  NEC UzExpoCentre, Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Overview: AquaTherm Tashkent will be held together with the UzBuild exhibition, resulting in one of Uzbekistan’s largest tradeshow events, which brings together manufacturers and suppliers from both the construction and HVAC industry sectors all under one roof.

With Exhibitors yet to be confirmed, product categories at the event include:

  • Green Building
  • Sauna and Swimming Pools
  • Sanitary Technology
  • Water and Waste Water Technology
  • Heating Technology and Equipment

Unicera Istanbul – 26 Feb – 2nd March

Official Website:

Opening Hours: 10am-7pm 26th Feb-1st March, 10am-6pm 2nd March

Venue: Tuyap Fair Convention and Congress Center, Istanbul, Turkey

Overview: The International Ceramic, Bathroom, Kitchen Fair welcomes over 350 companies and 65,000 visitors to this popular event.  With Manufacturers and Exporters of Kitchen and Bathroom Equipment and Accessories, Wall and Floor coverings, Sauna and Turkish Bath Equipment and Ceramic Processing Technologies exhibiting in this the 26th Unicera show to take place.

Exhibitors scheduled to attend include:

  • Alteo
  • Dune Ceramica S.L.
  • Fuccelli
  • Studor Ventech Ltd
  • Swarovski

Thomas Crapper & Company

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Thomas Crapper was an inventor, plumber and famous founder of Thomas Crapper & Co based in London.  Although some believe that he invented the toilet this is not the case, however he is credited with developing the modern bathroom concept and also for opening the first ever showroom to display such products as toilets, sinks and baths, located in Kings Road London.  With manufacturing taking place in Marlborough Road, Crapper’s showroom appeared quite shocking to some when it opened, at a time when the subject of toilets was something rarely openly discussed.

Crapper started his own business in 1861, following completion of his apprenticeship and time spent as a journeyman plumber.  In the 1880’s Thomas Crapper would become the recipient of his first Royal Warrant, having provided and installed all Prince Edward’s bathroom, plumbing and drainage requirements, when the Prince rebuilt Sandringham House in Norfolk.  Edward would later become King, and this connection with royalty would continue with Crapper supplying plumbing equipment at the request of George V, further enhancing his reputation as a supplier of the finest quality goods.  Installations of Crapper’s fittings also took place at Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace.

Crapper’s inventions and pioneering design would see him hold a total of 9 patents during his lifetime, three of which related to improvements for water closets including a floating ballcock, with water waste prevention a key focus. His patents also included a disconnecting trap, a drains fitting installed underground.  A less successful invention of Crappers was a spring-loaded toilet seat which used pulling rods to flush the toilet automatically, due to problems experienced by some users over time the device was not a commercial success.

1904 would see Crapper retired, with nephew George and business partner Robert Wharam then responsible for the business.  In the 1960’s the company was sold to John Bolding & Sons Ltd, who later went out of business.

Sadly, today marks the anniversary of the death of Thomas Crapper, who passed away in 1910.  However, the company now operates once again as an independent, following its acquisition by a collector of bathroom antiques.  The company was subsequently re-launched and today operates from Stratford-Upon-Avon, supplying authentic reproductions of Crapper’s famous Victorian fittings, and continuing Thomas Crapper’s reputation for the finest quality sanitary ware.

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Top Tips for A Cheap(er) 2014!

Friday, January 10th, 2014



It’s that time of year where we all look to save a little money. With January comes the stark realisation that we have over spent at Christmas, over indulged at New Year and need to have a bit of a clean-up in the finance department.

So we have compiled a list of some tips to help you get the most out of you water – how to save money and how to be more efficient.


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