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Unveiling the history of GROHE

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Being a global icon means to always think about the future. What does the living space of the future look like? What are the needs of tomorrow’s customers? As a successful company the goal is to always reinvent yourself and to stay relevant no matter how society changes.

GROHE has accomplished this goal. The brand has now been around for 85 years and is still shaping the future of water. But what is the story behind its innovation strategy? What experience led to this strong brand development? Let’s rewind history and dive into the time when GROHE enters the world...

Imagine… the time before 1936.

A time, when cities are rising fast. As a result of urbanization, suddenly new concepts are needed for clean water in private homes, businesses and hotels. Now, forward-thinking companies have the perfect chance to grow and evolve, but also to compete and unite in early partnerships. The professional future changes for many people.

Berkenhoff & Paschedag, a company specializing in ironworks, sees its chance to create a future with sanitary fittings. Also, small manufacturers, like Hans Grohe and Carl Nestler, decide to deliver clean water to urban homes.

Flash forward in time: The year is now 1936. The world is busy innovating itself, when the son of the manufacturer Hans Grohe chooses to set out on his own. Realizing the great potential, Friedrich Grohe takes over the ironworks company Berkenhoff & Paschedag, and a new era begins.

In 1948, the company acquires its new and final name: GROHE.

In 1956, eight years later, Friedrich expands the company. He purchases the Carl Nestler Armaturenfabrik, which is famous for its pioneering work in thermostat technology. At this point, everything is in place to release state-of-the-art sanitary fittings of outstanding quality.

… So, GROHE releases the Skalatherm. The so-called “thermostat of the people” is an automatic mixing valve with an integrated thermostat and offers a high degree of precision. Customers recognize the great accuracy and from now on only use that exact product in colour photo laboratories. Why? Because the labs require the water temperatures to be absolutely accurate due to the extreme sensitivity of the films being developed.

The early years of GROHE are dominated by industrialized manufacturing. Along with two-handled faucets, the company releases automatic flush valves.

But GROHE grows. And learns. And in the following years, GROHE begins to innovate its designs. Daring to be bold, GROHE moves away from the basics and towards forward-thinking products. The focus now: Anticipating the consumer needs and making solutions even better.

Since the Skalatherm was solely aimed at the domestic market, GROHE releases its second major product in 1968: the one-hand mixer. By allowing the user to adjust water temperature and pressure with a single valve, GROHE hereby achieves attention on a global scale.

The portfolio extends to…

Shower pleasure made by GROHE

In the late 1970s, showers are welcomed into the GROHE fittings family.

A shower massage system

1983, the Relexor enters the market as the first of its kind with two rotating brushes.

A way to clean shower nozzles

1995 GROHE presents SpeedClean.

No more “too hot to handle”

With the turn of the millennium, CoolTouch makes showers safer in 2002, ensuring the right temperature of thermostats.

Digital interfaces to control water usage

GROHE Ondus marks a true innovation in 2004.

Adding a whole new level to the drinking water experience

with the water systems GROHE Blue and Red in 2009.

Acquisition by LIXIL

In 2014, GROHE becomes part of LIXIL, the global market leader in the sanitary ware industry and also Japan’s leading provider of housing and building materials.

Unprecedented comfort in the shower

GROHE presents the push and turn shower control SmartControl in 2015.

The new clean

In 2016 GROHE opens up a new dimension of personal care with its shower toilet Sensia Arena

Before a drip becomes a flood

GROHE also breaks new ground with the smart water security system Sense and Sense Guard

3D metal-printed faucets

In 2019 GROHE launches Icon 3D and opens up for whole new opportunities of design and technology.

And a digital Experience Hub in 2021

Even after 85 years of constant innovation, GROHE once again proves its mission: Knowing, which products and services to provide to customers in order to fulfill their wishes. In 2021 GROHE accepts the challenge, launches the digital experience hub GROHE X and turns a crisis into a whole new world of opportunitiy.

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