Posted by: Fonte Dei Marmi | March 29, 2010

Fonte Dei Marmi at KBB

Birmingham! the massive NEC exhibition centre on a massive industrial estate! Not Birmingham city centre as most people would expect.

I arrived at Birmingham International rail station after an impressively fast an efficient journey on one of Richard Branson’s Pendolino units, journey time was one hour and twenty minutes. The tilting train swept up the miles from Euston, giving one an incredible sensation of high speed, so fast it was impossible to read the names of stations as we flew past them. The fare was good value too, only £41.00 return on the day, dismissing all the hype about hundreds of pounds to go “on the day” anywhere north of Watford Gap!

A short walk from the station to the entrance of the NEC and then a long walk involving around half a mile involving four sets of escalators, two travellators (giant human conveyor belts) and then a two minute walk to the entrance, at last! we are here.

The conversation in the build-up to KBB was mixed; many companies deciding their pockets weren’t deep enough this year, and others dithering on a decision. My first impressions on arriving were that it was slightly less busy, then, meeting familiar faces and finding  many people gathered on stands further in from the entrance , my fears were allaid.

First stop was at Laufen to see my host for the awards dinner, Andy Jamieson. A fine fellow indeed and someone who can hold a table of ten in awe until the wee small hours!

Laufen had made an impressive effort to show off, and rightly so. The products being very smart and the stand very well presented. The products chosen were Laufen Mimo, LB3, Moderna plus and Alessi Dot in black. The Laufen Mimo suite with the 1400x800mm bath with a depth of 710mm was far more impressive in real life and is far more solid than a brochure picture would imply. Moderna plus was stunning; the furniture exceptionally well designed and built. I now see how the prices are justified by the quality finish using clearcoat.

Laufen also used KBB to showcase their new brassware ranges and they did not disappoint either. As an official Laufen Showroom, Fonte Dei Marmi have to think long and hard about what we will recommend and consider placing on display. We have many leading Brassware manufacturers in our portfolio and have to consider this before making room for new and untried products. We can see the quality is there:  “Ecostop” being a name for a soft stop feature on the taps, a safety device for children and elderly users, stopping the temperature from rising too high. These are not thermostatic and the handle just moves through this stop to receive hotter water temperature but one can feel the limiter as it turns.

Laufen LB3 brassware in appearance is slightly more statesmanlike but keeping in with modern feel of the other products.  Bolder and bigger seems to be where we are going here and I think they get away with it. Certainly pleasing on the eye and not complicated either – we will be placing these on display alongside the other established brands at Fonte Dei Marmi. Also on display “Quadriga”, “Twin” and “Fjord” brassware but there is also “Surf” and “Swap” brassware in the new ranges but not at KBB.

The Laufen LB3 sanitary ware comes in three ranges: “Design”, “Modern” and “Classic”. The striking suite as pictured is the Moderna Plus with white finished bathroom furniture. If I had a bathroom at home to do right now I would not hesitate to use this suite. Easy to clean, bright and WOW! all in one!

Andy Jamieson was not just a great host with more than one joke to tell but a mind of information when quizzed on Laufen products. We are lucky to have him in our showroom regularly, often hijacked by our customers who then get Laufen products explained to them by the man who makes it, customer service at its finest!

Next stop, Grohe, but that will be in the next blog post. Stay tuned.

Some of the many Laufen pictures that we took:

Laufen LB3 bathtub with step and handrail

Laufen LB3 bathtub with step and handrail

Laufen Living City with extended shelf 1500mm

Laufen Living City with extended shelf 1500mm

Laufen LB3 furniture

Laufen LB3 furniture

Laufen LB3 bathtub with LB3 brassware
Laufen LB3 bathtub with LB3 brassware
Laufen Alessi Dot in black

Laufen Alessi Dot in black

Laufen LB3 square wall hung WC pan

Laufen LB3 square wall hung WC pan

Laufen Moderna Plus suite

Laufen Moderna Plus suite

Laufen Moderna Plus suite
Laufen Moderna Plus suite
LB3 Classic basin

LB3 Classic basin

Laufen LB3 Classic with brassware and accessories

Laufen LB3 Classic with brassware and accessories

Laufen furniture and mirrored cabinet

Laufen furniture and mirrored cabinet

Laufen Mimo suite

Laufen Mimo suite

Laufen Mimo suite in black

Laufen Mimo suite in black

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