Saniflo Q&A | Why Kinedo brand is entering wall panel sector

Marketing manager of Saniflo Amanda Mills talks about entering a new market with Kinewall and highlights the benefits for bathroom retailers

19 Feb, 24

Amanda Mills, marketing manager of Saniflo which manufactures the Kinedo showering brand, talks about entering a new market with Kinewall and highlights the benefits for bathroom retailers


Q: Why has Kinedo entered the wall cladding market with the launch of Kinewall and why now?

A: The Kinedo brand is built on the premise of an integrated, no leak shower solution with the range of all-on-one shower cubicles.

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Showering solutions such as cubicles and a range of cuttable trays, plus decades of manufacturing expertise in the bathroom and shower sectors, means Kinedo is well-placed to enter new markets in the bathroom sector.

The team at the Kinedo HQ in France worked with subsidiaries globally to research the wall panel market in order to provide a high quality, leak-free product synonymous with Kinedo credentials.

In the UK alone the market size is currently some £100 million, and it is, arguably, a less visible sector than other bathroom products and therefore has further scope for growth.

The manufacturing facility at Aquaproduction, Kinedo’s French factory in Nantes, lends itself to assembling, printing and varnishing the panels in-house to the same exacting standards as all its current products.

The timing of the launch is somewhat fortuitous, as there is currently a general lack of plywood for panel manufacturing due to political pressures.

The offer of an aluminium backed, low density Polyethylene (LDPE) product can efficiently fill the gap and is already perceived to be high quality, lightweight yet durable and strong.

Q: What research has gone into selecting the 70 decors and how long did it take from initial concept to launch?

A: In France, Kinedo has an Innovation and R&D team who have a brief to develop new products driven by two main principles:

1) Creativity – provide alternative ways to refurbish the bathroom and allow Kinedo to enter a new market segment

2) Simplicity – provide a solution that installers can easily implement

The wall panels fit the brief perfectly: refurbish a bathroom quickly, without having to remove old tiles, without major building work and using simple tools.

The designs were conceived by studying trends in the tiling, wallpaper and paint industries and market research with showrooms, customers and end users.

Kinewall was brought to the market in 12 months.

Kinedo | Kinewall by Kinedo

Q: What investment has gone into the production of Kinewall?

A: Kinedo has converted an area in the Aquaproduction factory, Kinedo’s French production plant in Nantes, to a full wall panelling workshop.

This area has been equipped with printers, varnishing machine, extractors, conveyors and a packaging area.

The production line alone was an investment of €650,000.

Q: What are the USPs of Kinewall and where is it price positioned?

A: With a price point for the mid-market, Kinewall has been designed for ease of installation as a one man job and can be applied on to wall or over existing tiles.

It is slim, measuring 3mm, is lightweight, available in a range of widths to suit a variety of bathrooms, cloakrooms and utilities, and can also be cut to size on site.

Kinewall can be used as a general wall covering or panels in a showering area or behind a bath and is temperature resistant from -50° to +80°.

It has been tested with scratch and grid, chemical resistance, scrub and ageing tests to ensure panel pattern doesn’t fade over time, as well as thermal shock and limescale resistance tests.

Saniflo Q & A | Entering the wall panel market with Kinewall 1

Q: Playing devil’s advocate, why should a bathroom retailer choose to buy waterproof wall panelling from Saniflo as opposed to a specialist manufacturer?

A: Kinedo is arguably a specialist manufacturer.

The company has the technology, has meticulously researched optimum materials for wall panels, invested in the best equipment, created one of the widest range of colours and patterns available and set up a specialist section within the factory to manufacture the panels.

Getting under the skin of the consumer was an important part of the production process and research undertaken on the panels and patterns demonstrated that consumers aspire to create a bespoke bathroom setting.

The sheer choice of panel patterns enables a level of personalisation and the panels can be mixed and matched.

Bathroom retailers will therefore be selling a product designed to match consumer preferences.

Q:  Why did you decide on an exclusive distribution agreement with Ideal Bathrooms?

A: This partner was selected due to the company’s distribution expertise, nationwide coverage, vast customer base and exceptional customer service.

It will stock 21 designs in the UK with the additional designs on a 4–6-week lead time.

The Ideal Bathrooms team is committed to supporting this partnership to help drive the awareness of the new brand to the UK market and this includes displays in a number of Wolseley showrooms.

Saniflo Q & A | Entering the wall panel market with Kinewall

Q: What support will Ideal Bathrooms and Kinedo offer bathroom retailers in terms of stock, training, displays etc?

A: Kinedo has committed to an extensive trade and consumer advertising campaign to support the launch of Kinewall and a comprehensive support package has been developed to support bathroom retailers.

In addition to the obvious brochures and website, there is a wide range of POS for showrooms.

These include full display board with 21 UK stocked designs, swatches, leaflets and dispensers, totems, posters, door wobblers and floor and window stickers.

The UK-based Kinedo team undertook extensive training in late 2023 which included technical and installation training.

Ideal Bathrooms staff were trained in the Kinedo showroom in Watford and at the head office in Milton Keynes at the back end of 2023.

Showrooms will have access full support from Saniflo and Ideal Bathrooms technical teams and this includes face-to-face training, video training and technical documentation.

Social media campaigns have been undertaken by both brands both before launch and post launch.

These will continue with installer successes, customer testimonials and consumer reactions.

Q: What will be the benchmarks of success of the Kinewall launch?

A: There are various benchmarks for success. The most obvious is units sold.

The knock-on effects of awareness of the whole Kinedo brand is also a marker for success and the uptake of the range of Kinedo products into showrooms.

This is a marathon not a race for Kinedo, but to date the signs of success are already very encouraging with exceptionally favourable reactions to the products from the trade and showrooms.

It is early days, but the next few months should also provide some end user success too.