19 Apr 2008

Can you tell your Grohe from your Hansgrohe?

I have been dimly aware for a long time that there is a very good German manufacturer of showers and taps and had seen them referred to as Grohe. Or was in Hansgrohe? Or maybe both. To tell the truth, I hadn’t thought that much about it until today when I noticed that the Grohe website I went to didn’t look much like the Hansgrohe catalogue I had in my hand. Something amiss on the corporate branding department.

Turns out they are two separate companies with a common history. Thanks to Wiki Answers for this slightly confusing explanation.

The brief history seems to be like this:
Hans Grohe founded the company. Later the son sold the brand to an American corporation and set up his own company again. This time round he cannot use Hansgrohe, so he used the brand Grohe instead. As for which is better, I have not had the chance to compare them.
But based on first touch alone, Grohe taps are somewhat smoother when turning them on/off compared to Hansgrohe, but the price is very much different!
Hansgrohe is the original company created by Hans Grohe. His son created Grohe and made Hansgrohe specialise in showers and Grohe in mixers (or faucets). Then Klaus Grohe, current CEO of Hans Grohe took control of the company and Grohe got sold (and has been sold numerous times). Hansgrohe is still owned by the Grohe family, but Klaus's side! The showers and taps by Hansgrohe are the best, no question.

If you read this twice, it strikes me that it’s in fact two different accounts of the same events. The writer of §1 and 2 seems to prefer Grohe whilst the writer of §3 seems to be a Hansgrohe supporter.

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