Clearwater BIG bathroom sale

Just two days to go until The BIG bathroom sale at AlbionBKE!

The britton, Burlington and Clearwater sale starts in two days on September 22.

These distinctive bathroom collections are like no other. Appealing to a wide range of tastes and price points, refresh your bathroom with a classical and traditional style, or a sleek and modern feel.

You can take a closer look at britton, Burlington and Clearwater’s fabulous designs ahead of the sale by clicking below:

britton – stylish and modern bathrooms

Burlington – classically styled bathrooms

Clearwater – fabulous yet simplistic bathrooms

Which is your favourite?

Like us on Facebook for more updates during the sale.

BIG bathroom sale

Full details have been added to the Bathroom sale page. Follow the link below for details.

The BIG Bathroom Sale is on it’s way!

It might be the biggest cliché you love the hate, but there really has never been a better time to buy your dream bathroom.

Eager to know what products will be in the sale? We’ll be teasing one or two here on our blog and on our Facebook page next week.

The sale starts in 8 days on September 22 until November 18.

Can’t wait for the sale and want to start planning your new bathroom now? Please give us a call and we might let you in on the details early…

induction cooking boiling water

The pros and cons of cooking with induction come up quite a lot at AlbionBKE. (You could say customer requests have reached boiling point). So, we’ve put together this handy induction hob buying guide and answered your hot topics.

 

Q. Are there different types of induction hob?

Yes! And the differences aren’t talked about enough. There are three kinds of induction hob you need to be aware of when deciding on what’s right for your cooking needs.

  1. Plug-in: The less disruptive option, ideal for replacing a gas hob as there’s no extra electrical expense. It does the job and is ideal for everyday standard cooking.
  2. 20-amp induction: you’ll need a 30 amp supply of electricity for this (6mm cable). You’ll find your rings reach temperature a little bit faster with the extra bit of juice.
  3. 32-amp induction: the most expensive but most versatile option. Some come with flexi-zones, which allow you to join two or more heating elements together — ideal for heating larger pans or griddles. This powerful induction hob uses a standard cooker cable (6/10mm cable). This means you’ll get the greatest power – and fastest cooking – out of your induction hob.

Q. How does an induction hob work?

An induction hob has a surface made from ceramic glass. Underneath the hob are induction coils made from copper wire. The coils create a magnetic field as soon as you supply a cooking zone  with electricity.

Q. Will I need new pans for cooking with induction?

Cooking with induction may require new pans. Your pans must have a ferrous metal base to use induction (some aluminium pans have a metal encased base). To check, see if a magnet (grab one off the fridge) will stick to the bottom of the pan. Place a pan without a metal base on the induction hob and it won’t detect it so will remain cold.

Stainless steel, aluminium, copper, glass or hard anodised will not work unless they have an induction plate built into the base.

Cast iron cookware and any pan made from some form of ferrous material will work.

The pan must have a flat base, to ensure good conductivity. It must also be close in size to the induction ring.

You can also look for an “induction compatible” symbol which looks like this: 

Q. How easy are they to use?

All induction hobs are touch sensitive with the power controlled by either pressing an up or down arrow or sliding your finger along a power bar. The heat selected is usually output on the hob as a number making it easy to select where you need to be to cook the perfect dish. Once you get the hang of it you’ll be able to set the correct number depending on what you’re cooking.

Q. Is it safe to use?

Yes. Electrical and magnetic fields are found on all devices driven by electricity. Such as washing machines, vacuum cleaners and hair dryers. There are internationally recognised limits and standards that all manufacturers adhere to.

If you remove the pan the hob stops cooking and will switch itself off automatically after a short period of time. Additionally there will be an indicator showing which ‘ring’ has recently been on and that it may still have some residual heat. If you worry about those little fingers touching the buttons you can activate the child lock feature.  

Q. Is cooking with induction something I can afford?

Let’s not beat around the bush here. Induction hobs will cost you more to buy than traditional electric or gas. It’s like buying a smartphone over a basic mobile phone — the technology is more advanced. But the price of induction is inching downward. You have to think about how induction enables you to cook any type of dish faster. Add that to the potential savings you can make on your energy bills and you’ll start to see your return on investment.

Cooking with induction Mereway Kitchens

Image credit: Mereway Kitchens

Mereway Kitchens Segreto range

It’s about time someone unravelled the myths surrounding cooking with induction. How does an induction hob work? Is it really cheaper than gas or electric? Can I use it with my existing pans?

Here’s everything you need to know about your new kitchen investment before you make the switch.

1. Top-notch fast food

carrots and peas boiling in a pan

Speed is one of the greatest selling points for induction cooking. Thanks to some pretty cool technology, your pans will heat up quicker which means it takes less time to cook the foods you eat every day — 25 to 50 percent less time, in fact.

Induction removes the middleman – flames and electric – to transfer heat to the pan. It uses electromagnetic activity to generate heat directly in the pan instead.

That means it takes less time to sear your steak to medium, bring your soup to serving temperature and brown your onions.

2. Stay in the heat of the moment

Generating heat directly in the pan means more heat gets to the food and less of it warms up your kitchen. As you’d expect, this comes with increased energy efficiency with an added bonus of increased personal comfort when you cook (i.e you’re less likely to work up a sweat while cooking). So you can cook a romantic dinner for two in more than just your apron — some may call this a downside, others call it a blessing in disguise.

Steak with gravy and vegetables

No energy was wasted in the cooking of this steak

At the time of writing, that means lower electricity bills compared to an electric hob and a healthier environment.

Notice how I didn’t mention gas cooking? Let’s bust that myth….

Right now, gas is still cheaper than induction. To put this into numbers, the average annual running cost of a gas hob is £16, electric a staggering £50 and induction is a middling £34.

3. Safety first

Hand touching induction hobThere are no open flames and cooking surfaces cool quickly. So you can wave goodbye to one of the most dangerous places in the kitchen. Hot surfaces no longer pose threat to little hands or pesky paws. Plus, no flames mean no chance of grease fires. Or, the occasional mishap with tinfoil when you pull your tray of chips from the oven.

The heat is instantly under control. Since the heat is created in the pan itself, induction hobs don’t get all that hot. The pan’s response to turning off the ring is almost instant. As soon as you turn off the heat the pan cools down.

4. Be the head chef every night

vegetables on induction hob

There’s a reason you’ll hear the likes of Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver say they prefer gas to electric. It’s because gas burners are more responsive. But what they don’t mention is that induction hobs are just as responsive as gas to a turn of the dial. Gas has less choice. You’re stuck with the lowest heat you can get out, which, even on the smallest ring, often isn’t low enough to create the perfect slow-cooked bolognese.

With more settings, induction makes cooking delicate sauces or just keeping food from burning much easier. You can use a built-in electronic timer to make overcooking your food a thing of the past. The rings switch off automatically when the timer goes off. Now that’s smart cooking!

5. Bang! And the dirt is gone

Woman's hand cleaning induction hob with cloth

Get your dinner to the table faster, with less wasted heat, less forehead sweat, less risk of burning yourself and a less intensive cleanup exercise after. A spitting pan, a pasta sauce splatter or a boiled over mess will not burn on. All you need to do is give it a quick swipe of the sponge — it can be as easy as an ad for Cillit Bang.

You can avoid the cleanup altogether by placing a tea towel or kitchen roll under your pan. Yes, I said it and no it won’t burn. If your pan boils over, then the mess is absorbed. It’s amazing what technology can do these days…

6. A hob for the design-conscious

Mereway Futura Tobacco Oak kitchen

Image credit: Mereway Kitchens

Looks are important when planning your new kitchen. You spend a lot of time in there — a lot of life’s important conversations are started in the kitchen.

With induction, you no longer are bound by the same dated design. An induction hob is designed to blend into the decor of your kitchen seamlessly and look like it’s part of the worktop. There’s a degree of flexibility and a contemporary feel.

Induction won’t burn a hole in your pocket

Let’s not beat around the bush here. Induction hobs will cost you more to buy than traditional electric or gas. It’s like buying a smartphone over a basic mobile phone — the technology is more advanced. However, the price of induction is inching downward. You have to think about how induction enables you to cook any type of dish faster. Add that to the potential savings you can make on your energy bills and you’ll start to see your return on investment.

Simmer down and talk to our team about making the switch today.

AlbionBKE Showroom Burton on Trent

This month, B&Q announced the permanent closure of its Homefit service by December 2018. Meanwhile, our complete kitchen and bathroom services remain as simple as ever. Here’s our view on why choosing local means better customer service.

Your local fitters will thank you

While it may seem like I am paid to say this, the fact remains that your local fitters are probably chuffed with the news. It is their full time job, their living, the thing that gets them up in the morning — and they’re no longer competing with one of many multi-billion pound companies taking a slice of the proverbial local-fitting pie.  

When a friend shares a picture of their newly fitted kitchen or bathroom on social media, you pause to study the pictures as if it’s a new Picasso painting. We all do it — either out of intrigue or sheer jealousy at their creation. You take a moment to appreciate the quality of the work.

But how many times do you see a company like B&Q post a picture of Joe Bloggs’ new kitchen down the road?

Local fitters use social media in this way to build trust with their customers. It’s why we proudly share our fitter’s handiwork on our Facebook page at all given opportunities. Here’s a bathroom we completed for one happy customer earlier this year:

Bathroom fitted by AlbionBKE

Speaking from experience (more than 12 years of it, in fact)

Our Managing Director, Dave Jarvis, experienced the B&Q Homefit service firsthand a good decade ago (before AlbionBKE’s inception) but ask him about it again today and the stories will keep on coming. He had a poor customer experience that left him out of pocket wondering what possessed him to upgrade the kitchen in the first place.

Disgruntled ex-customer feelings aside, Dave developed a sixth sense. He knew a good fitter from a bad one from the beginning. It’s one of the many reasons why AlbionBKE leaves its customers with a feeling of balance between affordability and great customer service.

Delivering the moon on a stick

B&Q have a select number of kitchen and bathroom suppliers. What you see in store, give or take a few online exclusives, is what you get. We’ve done some counting and AlbionBKE has access to 2 million kitchen and bathroom products. Yes, you heard right. 2 million. We’re Burton’s largest independent bathroom and kitchen provider.

You’ve heard of the phrase “promising the moon on a stick”? Well AlbionBKE can deliver that moon and it won’t cost you the earth (delivery is even free if you’re in the local area).

You could walk out of our showroom with every brochure we have, but we would recommend that you back your car up to our front door. You can come into the showroom when you want, we’ll design your dream kitchen or bathroom, give you some personal advice and guidance to go away and think about – along with a handful of brochures – while we get to work on your quotation.

Kitchen worktop samples stand

Just look at all these kitchen worktop choices. Photo credit: Chris Upton Photography

You’ll deal with one of our seasoned sales team and we’ll recommend one of our experienced fitters. Have your own fitter you would like to use? We’ll treat your installer like he is one of our own. Your delivery will arrive at an agreed time and with a friendly face at the wheel — who you may have already met during your visit to our showroom. None of this third-party delivery nonsense directing the driver to your door. We’re local and we don’t do vague four hour delivery slots.

Making home improvement accessible for everyone

AlbionBKE’s motto is not only about making things easier for our customers, but making your kitchen or bathroom a place that you love.

From bijou bathroom spaces to specialist bathrooms for disabled people and others with specialised needs, no matter the challenge, our team’s combined industry experience of over 50 years can make your dreams a reality.

Not only do we want to be the leading home improvement company locally, but we will make sure that our services remain simple, easy and affordable, like we have for the last 12 years.

You could say we do everything and the kitchen sink. Pun intended.

AlbionBKE showroom kitchens

Photo credit: Chris Upton Photography

So if you like what you’ve seen on our Facebook page, and you like our way of thinking, come and pay us a visit. We can’t promise the playful puns will stop, but we can promise you’ll walk away feeling you’ve received excellent customer service.

Albion BKE is 12 years old today

 

SAVE THE DATE: Saturday 9 – Sunday 10 June

How time flies…Our 12th birthday is this weekend and you’re invited. we are holding competitions, discounts, special offers, freebies and even cake for all visitors!

Our open weekend is the perfect time to add a touch of luxury to your kitchen or bathroom. Pop in and get a quote and we’ll enter you into our raffle to win a hamper.

– We’re giving away a FREE wine cooler for the first customer to order a kitchen on our open weekend.

Visit us this weekend

Opening Times:

09:00 to 16:30 Saturday

10:00 – 16:00 Sunday

Summer bathroom

Updating your bathroom can add as much as 3% to the value of your home. Here’s 5 ways to make a big splash in your bathroom this summer, without splashing the cash.

Light can bring a whole new perspective to a room, so don’t be surprised when you start to view your bathroom in a different light — both literally and metaphorically — in the summer months.

You don’t have to change your bathroom every time the sun rears its head. No one has the time, energy or money to do that. But you can still draw inspiration from hot seasonal trends to create a cool, fresh and luxurious space.

We’ve fitted some pretty idyllic examples of refreshed bathrooms and shower rooms for AlbionBKE customers in recent months that embrace a fresh and stylish aura.  

Here’s how to make a big splash in your bathroom this Summer, without splashing the cash.

1. Keep your cool

bathroom fan with clock face

Now that’s one smart fan!

These days, you don’t have to worry about working out how to install a new extractor fan that’s in keeping with your bathroom space. It’s time to replace that old, off-white bulky extractor fan with a new one.

There’s a bunch of new slimline styles and finishes to choose from, like chrome, black, lighting

disguised as an extractor, self opening and closing – the list goes on. I’m sure that smart-extractors that sense the steam or unwelcome smells aren’t far from production either.

 

It’s not easy to change where there’s an existing extraction location in your bathroom (because of, you know, the giant hole in the wall), but with so many styles to choose from, you can keep your cool and keep it looking stylish where it is.

Lastly, it’s important to remember to keep your extractor fan clean and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. While it’s not always high on the priority list, it does make a big difference.

2. Spend less time removing the beach from your bathroom

Taking the kids, grandchildren or dogs for a day out to the beach, camping, or any other outdoor activity — all results in the same feeling. You’re apprehensive before the day even begins that you’re the one who will have to clean up the house as you return home and the day’s activities do their worst to the floors, walls and furniture.

Your bathroom can start to resemble the splattered drippings of a Jackson Pollock painting. There are two simple changes that will make your clean up operation feel like less of a mission: wall to ceiling tiles and Aquastep flooring.

3. A bath (or shower) big enough for the family

#Flashdog

We’re sure a third change to Flash detergent may also help… #flashdog

It may seem like a little silly at first, but have you ever imagined what you really look like when your family pile in the bathroom for bath time? Here’s some things to consider:

  • Does your bath have high sides that make it difficult to reach into the bath to help a child wash?
  • Do you have tiles that go high enough to stop water splatter hitting the paint work?
  • Is your bath big enough for those romantic evenings when it’s just the two of you?
  • Lastly, is there enough space to wash the dog?

If you answered ‘no’ to any of these issues, there’s a seriously easy fix. Use our free home design service and we’ll help you measure up your bathroom. We’ll find those extra few inches of space for a bigger bath or shower cubicle that could make all the difference to your daily routine.

Of course, you could always get rid of your bath or shower altogether and replace it with just one or the other. Our advice is to keep a tally of how many times you take a shower versus a bath to make the best decision for you.

This small slice of shower room luxury was installed by us this year, and is a great example of how soaking in the tub can be overrated:

bijou shower room4. Less fuss, more flush

Toilet flushing accounts for a third of water used in your home. Switching to a dual flush toilet conserves up to 80% of water compared to a traditional toilet. In numbers, we’re talking the difference between 14 litres per flush and 2.6 litres. While we’re not here to throw statistics at you, this is undeniably a win-win for your water bill and the environment.

Mereway Bathroom

Vogue White Wood collection from Mereway Bathrooms

If you don’t want to replace your old toilet, then you can retrofit a dual-flush mechanism for as little as £15.

5. Smart storage, minus the dusting

The truth is, no one wants to have to repeatedly clean the talcum powder off an endless number of shelves in the bathroom, just because you need the storage space. Integrated units are the way to go to enjoy a dust-free bathroom for longer.

If you have a small bathroom, consider the space above the door frame for towel storage, or some stylish shelves under the bath. These simple changes will mean no more dashing to the bedroom for another bottle of shampoo, or grabbing your towel off the banister rail.

Back-lighting one or two shelves – or even a mirror – is the perfect way to add a designer feel to your bathroom, without spending a fortune.

Mereway bathroom Adriatic Mussel Collection

Adriatic Mussel Collection from Mereway Bathrooms

There’s never been a better time to add a touch of luxury to your kitchen or bathroom. Pop in to get a quote and you might just get a free cup of tea. There’s a warm feeling you don’t get every day.

Burton Mail Heroes Mum of the Year

We’re excited to announce that AlbionBKE is sponsoring Mum of the Year 2018 in the Burton Mail Heroes Awards! Here’s what our Managing Director, Dave Jarvis, said to the Burton Mail on the topic.

“It’s the mums who get to make the final call on a new kitchen or bathroom. I’d say 80 percent of those who walk through the showroom doors — you know who calls the shots,” jokes Dave Jarvis, Managing Director of Albion Bathrooms Kitchens Electricals (AlbionBKE).

“We’re sponsoring Mum of the Year in the Burton Mail Heroes Awards for the second time in 2018,” Dave explains. “I’ve had a lot of strong women in my life and I think mums deserve a lot more recognition than they get. That’s why I’m so proud that AlbionBKE is a sponsor of this award.”  

Dave Jarvis (right), Managing Director, with recent Facebook competition winner, Yvonne Mellor

Dave Jarvis (right) with recent Facebook competition winner, Yvonne Mellor

AlbionBKE — which is celebrating its 12th anniversary of trading in Burton this year — is known for offering great service with a smile, and a wide range of modern and contemporary fitted kitchens and bathrooms. It’s also Burton’s exclusive Euronics outlet, part of that company’s 6,000 strong European network.

The company works with leading appliance manufacturers — including Belling, Fisher & Paykal, Bosch, Siemens and Neff — as well as planning, designing and installing luxury locally-manufactured luxury kitchens from Mereway. “We can take you from the idea of your dream bathroom or kitchen to the reality,” Dave explains.

AlbionBKE is also proud to work with suppliers specialising in bathrooms for people with disabilities and others with specialised needs.

Two finalists and the winner of the Mum of the Year award will be honoured at the award ceremony on Wednesday, 4 July at Albion Football Club. Dave has his fingers crossed that they celebrate by visiting AlbionBKE on the Albion Gateway Estate and treating themselves to a new kitchen or bathroom.

“After all,” he says, “Shouldn’t the Mum of the Year have a lovely bathroom to relax in or a revitalised kitchen so someone else can cook her dinner?”

To nominate a mum or mother figure you know for Mum of the Year, simply fill out this form.

Published in the Burton Mail print and online on 11 May 2018. 

dining area of Summer kitchen

No, this isn’t a post about cleaning out the bins or having a fully-stocked pantry. It’s about getting your kitchen fired-up for entertaining this Summer.

It’s almost that time of year again: The house becomes more of a hotel for extended family get-togethers and spontaneous barbecues with friends and neighbours. But is your kitchen up to the task?

This isn’t about cleaning your cupboards or defrosting the freezer. It’s a practical guide on how to make your kitchen a space that works for any Summer occasion.

Here are our top 5 recommendations to ensure the compliments roll in…

1. Get the right kitchen storage solutions for socialising

Even with your best efforts, your guests will ask you for something that isn’t out on the table already. When they go on the hunt, not only do you want every cupboard they go in to show-off your practical design choices, but you should also apply some logic to their location in the kitchen. Like, for example, storing things for the oven right next to it.

utensils stored next to oven in Summer

Photo by Nathan Kirkman

As the old saying goes: “a place for everything and everything in its place”

One of our favourite suppliers, Mereway Kitchens, offers a range of storage solutions to make your kitchen top-drawer. If you’re constantly struggling to find what you need in the kitchen, this is a really good place to start.

Pans can be expensive. And yet more often than not we stash them away like they’re on a timeout for arguing with the utensils. Stacking them one inside the other is old-hat and there are plenty of more efficient ways to consider:

Pans hung by their handles in a cupboard

The same goes for knives. But you’ve also got to think about keeping them away from small hands at your parties. Here’s our favourite solution:

knives stored under kitchen wall cabinets

2. Have enough seats without bringing the office chair out of the study

Let’s try to put an end to the seating plans, the pointing at seats and the counting on the fingers to decide who will sit where. Your seating should be designed to bring people together where possible.

Do you have a breakfast bar? If so there could be additional seating space hiding right under your nose…

While breakfast bars have become very desirable, you need to ask yourself: is it a practical use of space? Weigh-up how often you use it as seating and how often it is simply used as an extra worktop and you may have your answer.  

You could build your seating space into your kitchen island. Here’s our favourite use of space to get the most from your kitchen:

Pale grey and marble effect worktop kitchen with island It’s also a good idea to have a separate table for the children outside. Chances are, they’ll be out in your garden with the old toys that grandma brought round anyway.

3. Serving spaces for Summer soirées

Out come the serving dishes that you’ve retrieved from the back of your cupboards for the occasion and rapidly dusted. But, when your guests also bring their own side dishes too, you’ll quickly find yourself scrabbling for space. While there’s some pretty nifty storage solutions on Pinterest, we’d recommend an extra table for the occasion. There’s plenty of affordable DIY ways to create a table that you can easily store away in the Winter months. Here’s our top-pick:lady folding out DIY blue picnic table and bench

There’s another option to get more from your breakfast bar. Remember: it isn’t just for breakfast. Repurpose it during the summer as your ‘hydration station’, a space to present drinks dispensers, beverages and glasses/plastic cups. You get to show off your wise choice of worktop too.drinks dispensers on a table in Summer4. Make sure you’ve got an oven that can take the heat

Barbecues are no longer just about the burger. They haven’t been for a while. Your guests expect more sides and more variety – including gluten-free dishes. Some of which you know will have to be cooked in the oven. There’s also plate warming to consider. So is your set-up suited to the task of entertaining?

Neff supply some great built-in oven options for those who need something energy efficient and practical that makes ingenious use of the space. While the price ranges from budget to luxury, our favourite model is this super-easy-to-clean double oven:

Neff double oven with grill

5. Get even more space with a bigger project

So you may not have the space your neighbour has right now, but you can change that. You need somewhere for guests to take their shoes off, children to wash their hands, and go to the toilet without traipsing upstairs.

Our recommendation? Scrap that conservatory extension idea and extend your kitchen instead, or add a utility room for your washing machine. Keep your objective in mind: creating space that not only brings your garden and kitchen together, but that works for you.

dining area of Summer kitchen

We just love this stylish kitchen extension from Kelly and Darren in West London

Looking to start your kitchen project for the Summer? Turn your aspirations into a reality by coming to visit our showroom today or book a free home consultation.

If you’re still not done searching for your Summer-ready kitchen, there’s plenty more ideas on our Pinterest page to inspire you.

Albion BKE is pleased to announce that our new blog is now live!

Get the latest news, reviews and advice for bathrooms kitchens and appliances by Albion. Looking for ideas? Look no further! The Albion BKE blog will soon be full of inspiration, recent installs, hints and tips to improve your bathroom or kitchen.

We are just getting things started – in the meantime, please follow us on social media to get the latest updates from the experts at AlbionBKE.