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Grohe vs Hansgrohe: what are the differences and similarities between the two German premium manufacturers?

Grohe logo
Grohe logo (photo source: wikipedia)

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Hansgrohe Logo
Hansgrohe Logo (photo source: Wikipedia)

Grohe and Hansgrohe – pretty much everyone has heard of these two German brands. They stand for high-quality faucets and elegant design made in Germany.

But there is often a lack of clarity as to how far the two manufacturers are connected or distinct.

Some even ask themselves whether Hansgrohe and Grohe are two brands from the same group. To shed light on the differences and similarities between the two brands, let’s take a closer look in this article.

Bitter Rivals

To put it straight: the two brands do not belong to the same group. In fact, exactly the opposite is the case.

The two premium manufacturers of bathroom and kitchen faucets are two completely independent businesses and even arch rivals in their sector.

In 2010, Hansgrohe even used the leniency program in an EU antitrust case against the so-called “bathroom cartel” – of which it was a part itself – to escape punishment. Other members of the cartel included Grohe among others.

This procedure shows that they are fighting with tough bandages – even against their own family.

Common family history

The similarity of the two names does not come by chance, because everything started with the company Hansgrohe.

Hans Grohe and his son Klaus
Hans Grohe with his son Klaus (photo source: www.hansgrohe.com)

Hansgrohe was founded in 1901 by Hans Grohe in Schiltach in the Black Forest and quickly specialized in the production of metal products for the sanitary area, especially showers and drains.

In 1936 the international expansion began. In the same year Friedrich Grohe, the second eldest son, left the company.

This decision turned out to be a momentous step a short time later, more about it in a moment.

In 1975 Klaus Grohe – Friedrich’s half-brother and the youngest son – took over the management of Hansgrohe.

Family dispute leads to the emergence of Grohe – Friedrich Grohe follows his own path

As mentioned earlier, Friedrich Grohe left Hansgrohe, allegedly because of internal disputes.

But Friedrich did not leave it at his resignation; in the same year he took over a sanitary products factory in Westphalia and started the production of bathroom accessories – the Grohe company was thus born.

At this time, though, Hansgrohe and Grohe were not yet the fiercest competitors because the products were still different.

But when Hansgrohe also started producing faucets in 1981, the competition was perfect.

grohe headquarters duesseldorf
Grohe Corporate Center in Düsseldorf (Quelle: www.grohe.com)

Facts and figures: Hansgrohe and Grohe in comparison

Hansgrohe – the innovative father of the industry

Hansgrohe now makes almost € 1.1 billion in sales (as of 2017), has 37 branches worldwide on all continents and employs 5,000 people, 60% of them in Germany.

In its history, the manufacturer has registered approx. 2,500 patents, among others for the automatic overflow, the shower rod, the shower with adjustable jet types and the kitchen faucet with pull-out spout.

Today Hansgrohe is 68% owned by the US American Masco Corporation and 32% by the Klaus Grohe family.

In addition to the Hansgrohe brand, the Axor brand also belongs to the company.

Grohe – the worldwide giant

The Grohe company is even bigger: in 2016 it generated a turnover of 1.3 billion € with 6,000 employees worldwide (40% in Germany). It has representations in 150 countries.

Grohe is now a stock corporation and has been part of the Japanese Lixil Group since 2014.

The company has already been awarded the Honorary Prize for Corporate Design and Design Management by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Grohe or Hansgrohe – which faucets are best?

You are not sure which of the two manufacturers you should choose?

Or is it even worth spending more money on an expensive branded faucet?

Find out more about the products of the two industry giants on the following pages. Among other things, we take a look at the technologies used in the faucets.

We also shed light on the question of what is behind the good reputation of the two brand manufacturers. Click here for the articles (currently in German only, English versions coming soon):

Grohe fittings
Grohe fittings (source: www.grohe.de)
How good are Grohe faucets really?
hansgrohe fittings
Hansgrohe shower fittings (source: www.hansgrohe.de)
Hansgrohe fittings under the microscope

Are Grohe & Hansgrohe compatible?

This question can be answered from two angles – from a technical as well as a visual viewpoint.

From a technical point of view, you have to be very careful if you are already using a flush-mounted faucet with a built-in unit, such as the iBox from hansgrohe:

hansgrohe-ibox
hansgrohe’s “iBox” makes valves disappear into the wall

As long as you stay with products from the same manufacturer, they all fit on or into the flush-mount unit without any problems.

However, if, for example, you have the installation unit from hansgrohe and then want to change the rest of the faucet to Grohe, you may very quickly encounter compatibility problems – the new faucet simply does not fit on the old box.

With surface-mounted faucets, though, things are much simpler. You can always happily switch between various manufacturers.

As long as you stick to the same basic installation method – that is, do not switch from single hole to three-hole faucets – everything should fit perfectly.

You can then simply use the existing holes in the washbasin, sink, bathtub or shower.But to be on the safe side, be sure to check the dimensions of the new faucet before you buy.

Whether or not the products of the two manufacturers match visually depends ultimately on your individual taste. From our point of view, most Grohe and hansgrohe faucets harmonize very well with each other, because both brands rely on simple, elegant, timeless design.

Which Faucets Are Cheaper, Which More Expensive?

There is no general answer to this question – both Grohe and Hansgrohe have products with very different pricing ranges in their portfolio.

Both brands - Hansgrohe and Grohe aim for high-end products and luxury in your bathroom
Hansgrohe & Grohe are premium suppliers for well-being & luxury in the bathroom (Image source: Roberto Nickson)

In principle, the two brands are definitely in the premium range and thus also in the upper price segment to be found.

However, both manufacturers also offer surprisingly inexpensive models, for example single-lever mixers for the washbasin for well under €100.

A special feature is the luxury brand Axor, which belongs to hansgrohe and offers almost exclusively noble designs in the top price segment. There is nothing directly comparable at Grohe.

For a direct price comparison, the sheer size of the product range of both companies makes it even harder, so that a direct comparison is only halfway possible on the product level.

And since both manufacturers attach great importance to making their faucets as unique and unmistakable as possible, it can always be argued theoretically that apples are compared with pears.

Yet, a closer look at most of the models of one manufacturer reveals a very similar or at least comparable model in the other’s portfolio – a consequence of the fierce competition between them.

Use our product overview below to get an impression of the prices in a direct comparison.

Hansgrohe & Hansa – Not a Common History

By the way, there is no connection between the Hansa & Hansgrohe brands other than the fact that the companies are also competitors. Otherwise there is no historical connection between the brands beyond the same first 4 letters of the names.

Hansa Armaturen GmbH is also a traditional German manufacturer based in Stuttgart. Meanwhile the company belongs to the Finnish Oras Group.

Hansa has made ” Experiencing Water” its motto for its sanitary fittings and, like Grohe and Hansgrohe, also offers high-quality faucets for bathrooms and kitchens.

The 3 best products from Grohe & Hansgrohe

Hansgrohe products, like Grohe products, stand for the highest quality made in Germany. Yet the product range of the two manufacturers is so enormous that the choice may be very difficult.

We have therefore put together the 5 most popular faucets from Hansgrohe and Grohe in the following overview, grouped by manufacturer.

Only those faucets that are bought very frequently on a regular basis and receive consistently positive customer ratings will make it into the Top 3.

Hansgrohe Top 3

Hansgrohe Raindance Downpour AIR Showerhead
Hansgrohe Raindance Downpour AIR Showerhead
hansgrohe Allegro E Premium 1-Handle Tall Stainless Steel Kitchen Faucet with Pull Down Sprayer in Steel Optic
hansgrohe Allegro E Premium Stainless Steel Kitchen Faucet with Pull Down Sprayer
hansgrohe Talis S Modern single lever Bathroom Sink Faucet in Chrome
hansgrohe Talis S Tall Bathroom Sink Faucet

Grohe Top 3

Grohe Concetto Single-Handle Pull-Down High Arc Kitchen Faucet, Starlight Chrome
Grohe Concetto Single-Handle Pull-Down High Arc Kitchen Faucet
Grohe Shower Set Pressure Balance Valve Starlight Chrome
Grohe Shower Set Pressure Balance Valve, Starlight Chrome
GROHE Eurosmart Cosmopolitan Widespread 2-Handle 3-Hole Bathroom Faucet
GROHE Eurosmart Cosmopolitan Widespread 2-Handle 3-Hole Bathroom Faucet

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