Grohe Faucets Review & Rating Updated: 05/18/23
241 Covington Drive
Bloomingdale, IL 60108
1226-1230 Lakeshore Rd
E. Mississauga, ON L5E 1E9
58675 Hemer, Germany
Footnotes:1. Grohe warrants "all mechanical parts [and finishes] to be free from manufacturing defects in materials and workmanship .. for as long as the original purchaser owns their (sic) home."Read the Gohe warranty for faucets purchased after July 1, 2020.Learn more about faucet warranties.
This Company In Brief
The Grohe of today is not the German luxury faucet manufacturer of just a few years ago. Grohe as a brand and as a company has undergone and is still undergoing tidal changes.
In the not too distant past, Grohe was a family-owned German faucet company selling well-designed, good quality faucets manufactured mostly in Germany.
Today it is the subsidiary of a giant Japanese building products conglomerate that manufactures Grohe faucets for the North American market in Mexico, China, Portugal, and Thailand.
The staid but reliable, engineer-driven company of the 20th century is gone. In its place is a new company that is very bottom-line-oriented with a crushing need to greatly increase revenue in the short term to pay an enormous debt even at the expense of brand viability in the long term, and with few options for doing so that do not undermine product quality.
The story of Grohe's recent history is a cautionary tale of how not to grow a faucet brand.
In the not too distant past, Friedrich Grohe & Co. AG was a family-owned German faucet company selling well-designed, good-quality faucets manufactured primarily in Germany from parts and components sourced mostly within the European Union.
|Artweger GmbH & Co. KG||Austria||$3.2|
|Cisal Rubinetteria SpA||Italy||$1.4|
|Duscholux Holding AG||Switzerland||$1.9|
|Hansa Armaturen GmbH||Germany||$16.9|
|Kludi GmbH & Co. KG||Germany||$6.4|
|RAF Rubinetterie SpA||Italy||$0.3|
|Roca Sanitario SA||Spain||$47.4|
|Villeroy & Bosch AC||Germany||$87.5|
Today the 108-year-old company is owned by a Japanese conglomerate that manufactures virtually all of the faucets destined for North America in Mexico, China, Portugal, and Thailand.
A Grohe faucet is no longer a German faucet. It is still a German-designed faucet but one that has never deen Germany or been touched by an actual German.
Founded in 1911 as Berkenhoff & Paschedag, the company was purchased by Friedrich Grohe, the son of Hans Grohe, in 1936.
It was renamed Fredrich Grohe Armaturenfabik in 1948, Fredrich Grohe AG in 1991, and Fredrich Grohe AG & Co. KG in 1998 after being acquired by BC Partners and privatized.
In 1962 Grohe astutely pulled off a coup of sorts by obtaining exclusive rights to produce the Moen single handle cartridge faucet for the European market.
The move greatly increased its market share.
Fredrich Grohe AG is headquartered in Hemer, Germany but is owned by Grohe GmbH which has its corporate offices in the nearby city of Dusseldorf. Grohe GmbH is in turn owned by Grohe Group S.à.r.l. based in Luxembourg, primarily for tax purposes.
Grohe Group S. à. r.l. is owned by the giant Japanese holding company, LIXIL Group Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo with 80 thousand worldwide employees. LIXIL bought Grohe from BC Partners in a leveraged buyout in 2014 for a reported $4.13 billion.
LIXIL Group is itself a very new enterprise, formed in 2010 by merging the Japanese toilet and sanitary ware maker INAX Corporation, with building materials manufacturers: Tostem Corporation, Shin Nikkei Co., and Toyo Exterior.
Japan's aging population and very low birth rate have resulted in a rapid decline in new home-building in Japan and a year after year decrease in the sale of building products including decorative bath wares. LIXIL hopes to make up the difference by expanding rapidly into growing European and American markets through acquisitions.
It purchased in 2012, and with its purchase of Grohe, it is now one of the largest faucet companies in the world, possibly the largest. Its single surviving challenger is the American company, Masco, the manufacturer of
Grohe's Asian and Mexican Subsidiaries
Grohe owns two large Asian subsidiaries as well as production facilities in Portugal and Mexico:
- Joyou AG, acquired in 2011, is a holding company listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange that owns sanitaryware manufacturers in China, including Joyou Sanitation Technology Industrial Co. Ltd. and Zhongyu Sanitary Technology Ltd. in Hong Kong. It was founded in 1979 by Jianshe Cai to manufacture faucets.
- The acquisition was supposed to give Grohe enhanced manufacturing capacity in some of the most modern factories in Asia and enhanced access to China's growing luxury bath wares market through Joyou's over 3,000 distributors along China's south coast.
- What it ended up giving Grohe was a close brush with bankruptcy. See "Joyou Insolvent", elsewhere on this page.
- Grohe Siam, Inc. owned by Grohe in partnership with Haco Group Co., Ltd, manufactures faucets and other decorative fixtures in one of the world's largest sanitary wares factories in Klaeng on Thailand's south coast.
- Grohe recently invested $18 million to expand its manufacturing capacity by thirty percent, celebrating its completion on November 17, 2017. It now has the capacity to manufacture single-handle faucets and cast, machine, and finish zinc components for distribution to Grohe assembly plants worldwide. (Grohe's video tour of the new factory.)
- Grohe Portugal: Componentes Sanitários, Lda with 750 employees produces several lines of kitchen faucets. Most production is sold in Europe but an increasing number of Grohe faucets made in Portugal are showing up in North America.
- Servicios Grohe Mexico S. de R.L. de C.V., Grohe's maquila near Monterrey, Mexico, transplanted from Onario, Canada in 2015.
Canada was until recently the primary source of Grohe faucets sold in North America. Grohe manufactured "American style" and stainless steel faucets in Mississauga, Ontario.
In 2015, however, Grohe dismantled the entire Canadian factory and trucked all of its machinery to Ciénega de Flores, just outside Monterrey, Mexico where it has set up shop in an assembly plant abandoned by its sister company, It appears that most of Grohe's faucet assembly for the North American market now takes place in Mexico.
According to Dr. Ulrike Heuser-Greipl, formerly the senior vice-president, public and investor relations for Grohe AG, the Canadian plant was closed
" … because of its limited productivity compared with our other production facilities. It was not in a position to attain the level of efficacy of its sister facilities within the Grohe Group, meaning that it, unfortunately, didn't meet our growth strategy requirements."
— which is corporate-speak for "it's cheaper to manufacture in Mexico."
Grohe left behind its 300 veteran Canadian workers, and it will take a while to train a fledgling Mexican workforce, so not only will production be down but the quality of Grohe's Mexican faucets will be suspect for quite a while. Eventually, however, this plant is expected to become Grohe's main source for faucets sold in the U.S. and Canada.
In addition to manufacturing faucets in its own facilities, Grohe buys finished faucets, in the box and ready to sell from outside contract factories in Asia and Mexico, including:
- Delmei Sanitary Ware Co., Ltd., an manufacturer in China. Delmei also manufactures faucets for brand faucets sold by RONA in Canada but that relationship appears to have ended.
- AS Maquila Mexico, S. de R.L. de C.V., a subsidiary of whose 4,000 employees manufacture vitreous plumbing fixtures. The plant also inherited faucet production in 2014 after American Standard closed its faucet factory in Monterrey, Mexico (now occupied by Grohe). It is now American Standard's primary producer of faucets for export to the U.S. and Canada as well as supplementing the production of faucets by Grohe's assembly plant in Monterrey.
There may be other outside manufacturers that we have not been able to identify. This should not be taken as the complete list.
The association with AS Maquila Mexico may be temporary, ending when the new Grohe Mexican factory gets up to full production. But, a lot depends on the market and circumstance within the company. With Grohe's troubles with Joyou, the additional production capacity may be necessary for a while yet.
American Standard Brands and Grohe are essentially the same company now, so we expect an increase in consolidated manufacturing is in the cards for both companies but we anticipate it to occur in China and other parts of Asia, not Mexico.
The Grohe Family feud
Until 1998, Grohe and were owned by the same family: the descendants of Hans Grohe (1871-1955) who founded Hansgrohe in 1901 along with his son, Friedrich, in the village of Schiltach in the Black Forest. Friedrich left after buying his own company in 1936. His firm eventually became Fredrich Grohe AG.
Grohe descendants inherited shares in both firms but the two enterprises always operated as separate organizations, often in competition. They fought over the brand name "Grohe" for several years, finally reaching an understanding that gave Friedrich Grohe AG the Grohe brand name while Hansgrohe kept the Hansgrohe name.
The family feud quieted down in 1998 when the family owners of Grohe AG sold the majority of their shares to BC Partners, a London-based investment group.
Hansgrohe remained family-owned until 2002 when a majority stake in the company was sold to That sale largely ended the family competition once and for all.
Some Grohe family members still own shares in the two firms but they are minority shareholders and are no longer involved in any significant way with the management of the companies.
In addition to buying finished faucets from external sources, Grohe also contracts with outside suppliers in China and Taiwan for parts and components, including:
- Seagull Kitchen & Bath Products Co., Ltd. in Guangzhou, China. Seagull also makes finished faucets for
- Sunspring Metal Corp., Ltd. of Taichung, Taiwan, the worlds largest consumer of ZAMAK, the zinc/aluminum alloy, colloquially called "pot metal", used in inexpensive faucet parts.
- With a large factory in Taiwan and two more in China, Sunspring is a major supplier of faucet components and fittings to such diverse faucet manufacturing companies as
Sunspring has the ability to manufacture complete faucets, in the box and ready to sell but there is no evidence that it provides Grohe with more than faucet parts and components. With the expansion of Grohe's in-house zinc production in Thailand, we expect imports from Sunspring to drop off in the near future.
As late as 2004 Grohe sourced 80% of its faucet components from European suppliers. No longer.
Almost all faucet components are now made in Asia. With the acquisition of Grohe by LIXIL Group, expect the number of Asian-made faucets and the amount of Asian content in Grohe's faucets to continue to increase.
Mexico and China are the major producers of the mid-level and economy Grohe faucets that make up an ever-increasing proportion of the Grohe faucets offered for sale in North America. Customs and import records show a very substantial increase in faucet imports from Asian factories over the past five years.
Grohe's Faucet Designs
Grohe employs a large in-house design team headed since 2005 by Paul Flowers, which is pushing the somewhat dated and dowdy line of faucets into more contemporary forms.
Grohe's International Design Awards
|EcoX & EcoY|
Grohe designs have won an impressive number of international awards including the iF Design Award, over 15 Red Dot awards and a half-dozen or so coveted Good Design awards from the Chicago Athenaeum.
In the past, Grohe's designer faucets were made, at least initially in its Lahr, Germany factory. After any bugs were eliminated, manufacturing might then be moved to overseas factories. The popular LadyLux faucet, for example, started in Germany but has not been manufactured in Germany for years.
The company may still manufacture a few faucets in Lahr — its sole remaining German faucet factory — mostly low volume high-end designer faucets and faucets with special finishes — and its 3d printed faucets will be manufactured (if that's the word) in its research facility in Hemer. But, in a cost-cutting measure initiated by former CEO David J. Haines, the Lahr workforce was reduced from 1,400 to 600 in 2013, and large-scale faucet-making ceased. The Lahr plant now makes mostly shower components.
Grohe's main European faucet plant is now in Albergaria, Portugal.
Before 2019 we could find no evidence that much, if any, of the faucet output from either of these European facilities reaches North America. Most appeared to be sold within the European Community.
But, this has changed over the past three years. An increasing number of Grohe faucets for sale in North America are marked "Made in Portugal".
Grohe Faucet Components
The company uses its own proprietary Eurodisc® ceramic disk mixer cartridges in most of its single handle faucets. These are acknowledged in the industry as some of the best made. The cartridges include a Teflon® coating that Grohe calls SilkMove® technology.
According to Grohe, the Teflon® makes the cartridge smoother and easier to operate with more precise control. What is not certain, however, is the durability of the Teflon coating compared to other recent cartridge innovations.
Grohe's testing laboratory in Lahr, Germany routinely puts sample Grohe cartridges through a daunting series of tests in some of the hardest, most mineral-rich water in the world to simulate 15 years of household use.
Eurodiscs also did well in independent tests conducted in 2007 by TÜV SÜD against nine other proprietary European cartridges. (Download TÜV SÜD test summary.) TÜV SÜD, founded in 1866 in Munich, is one of the oldest and most respected testing and certification laboratories in the world. If TÜV SÜD says it's so, then it is almost certainly so. We have not, however, seen comparisons to some of the better-known non-proprietary European cartridges such as those made by Flühs Drehtechnik, GmbH or Kerox Kft.
TÜV's testing is also becoming dated. Considerable improvement in ceramic faucet cartridges technologies over the past decade has resulted in much more robust and durable cartridges, including the diamond-like carbon disc coating used in proprietary PVD+™ cartridges by We don't know how the Eurodisc cartridge compares to these newer technologies. The testing has not been done, or, if it has been done, Grohe is not sharing the test results.
The cartridges used in Grohe's two-handle faucets are more of a mystery. They are brass stem cartridges that may be sourced from a variety of manufacturers.
We don't think they are made in-house because appears to use the same cartridge in its two-handle faucets, and it's unlikely these two European rivals are supplying each other with cartridges. We have never had a complaint about a malfunctioning Grohe stem cartridge, so we think they are probably well made. Certainly, the ones we examined were solid and impressive.
The Grohe Warranty
Finding an actual statement of the warranty is problematic. The "Limited Warranty" appearing on the company's consumer website is incomplete and does not meet the minimum legal requirements of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. The warranty on the Grohe website for industry professionals is more complete but differs from the language of the warranty on the consumer website. We found several versions of the Grohe warranty on the web, all slightly different. We have asked for a copy of the "official" Grohe warranty, but have not heard back from Grohe support.
The Grohe faucet warranty is on its face the standard "limited lifetime" warranty for the North American market. It guarantees against defects in mechanical parts and finishes for as long as the original purchaser owns the home in which the faucet was originally installed but applies only to faucet bought after January 1, 1997. (Before that date the warranty was for 5 or 10 years, depending on the part.)
Grohe Announces Printed faucets
Following the lead of its sister company also owned by LIXIL Group, Grohe has started printing faucets using what it calls "a unique formula of granules … exclusively developed by Grohe for their [sic] 3D metal printed located at its Hemer manufacturing site in Germany." In its press release, the company stated that
"The design of our new faucets Grohe Atrio Icon 3D and Grohe Allure Brilliant Icon 3D are beyond belief. They make the unthinkable possible," Michael Rauterkus, CEO Grohe AG, said. "What you see is the future of design. For consumers, it's the future of their own creativity and ultimate personalization. We believe that 3D metal-printing will revolutionize the water experience in the home. It's the ultimate blend of customization and industrial production.
The technology is almost entirely unproven and largely experimental. American Standard prints three models of its luxury faucet line which it expects to have on the market "within a year". Grohe has announced the technology but not the availability of the faucets that will be made using the technology or any pricing.
However, while the warranty appears to be a standard North American lifetime warranty, Grohe plays tricks with the warranty. For example, Grohe denied warranty coverage for a faucet purchased in 1999 claiming. …
The warranty is a limited lifetime warranty do [sic] to a manufactures [sic] defect, a faucet that has been working and installed in your home since 1999 is not considered a manufactures [sic] defect.
After the customer complained to the Better Business Bureau, Grohe agreed to send the customer "a one-time goodwill part" to satisfy the complaint.
What this exchange indicates is that despite the claim of a lifetime warranty on manufacturing defects, the warranty is actually, at most, 20 years because, according to Grohe, a faucet that has worked for 20 years cannot possibly have a manufacturing defect. It may be less.
If this is indeed Grohe's position, there is nothing to prevent the company from claiming that a faucet that has worked for 10 years could not possibly have a manufacturing defect or even a faucet that has worked for five years.
A written warranty, no matter how generous, is no guarantee of superior warranty service. It also requires a corporate commitment to fair and honest dealing with customers, and, based on Grohe's record, it appears committed to neither.
Grohe promises to keep parts on hand for discontinued faucets for just 10 years (15 years for internal parts). The company never does explain how it expects to honor its lifetime warranty after 10 (or 15) years without spare parts.
All of this suggests that while the language of Grohe's warranty appears to be a lifetime warranty, it does not actually intend to provide a lifetime warranty and the actual warranty is 20 years or less. A 20-year warranty is substandard in the North American market.
Grohe Customer Service
An even larger blot on Grohe's warranty is its after-sale customer service which is substantially below par.
Grohe America evidently prefers that its customers not contact it at all but, if they insist, then preferably by e-mail or voice mail. Grohe promises to respond to e-mails and voice mails within 24 hours. But, our experience is that it frequently does not respond at all, and rarely within 24 hours. Our test e-mails took anywhere from two working days to two months for a substantive response.
Giving up on getting information from customer service, we contacted Grohe media relations by e-mail. That message, sent on February 25, 2019, was not opened until July 17th, nearly five months later, and Grohe has not, so far, responded to the inquiry.
Telephoning is, if anything, worse. The average hold time to speak to a representative by telephone is 33 minutes and waits of more than an hour are not at all uncommon.
If your faucet needs a part and is out of service, this kind of delay is a real problem. Expect 5-20 days to get warranty claim resolution from Grohe, compared to 4-5 days for
If you do have the patience to wait for an agent, expect to be treated, at best, brusquely, and sometimes with outright rudeness.
Agents act as if talking to you is a major imposition on their valuable time and your warranty claim nothing more an outright fraud upon the company to be rejected if at all possible. We, frankly, have never experienced anything like it.
We rate Grohe customer and warranty service an abject failure. Only has ever gotten a lower score in our customer service tests, and then by just a whisker.
To understand the difference between first-class and worst--class customer service, try customer support and compare it to the service offered by Grohe. Like day vs. night.
Grohe's Better Business Bureau rating was for years never better than a D+ on a scale of A+ to F. The basis for the rating, according to the BBB, is that "Grohe America does not respond to customer complaints."
Having awakened to the fact that a poor BBB showing affects sales, Grohe has made a strenuous effort to improve its BBB score starting in 2016, first to a B- in 2018 then to an A+ as of the date of this report.
This does not mean that all complaints were handled to the satisfaction of the consumer, but merely that Grohe responded adequately to the complaint. Grohe America is not accredited by the BBB.
Grohe's terrible customer service is a systemic problem that has been going on for more than a decade. It can be fixed.
had the same sort of problems in the early 2000s and took a very large public relations beating but it made serious efforts to turn its customer support around, and now has one of the smoothest, most responsive service operations in North America.
So, it can be done. Grohe, however, seems to have no interest in fixing its customer service and has let the problem go on and on for years and years.
The Grohe Website
The company website for North America was at one time an example of how a website selling faucets should be constructed.
The information provided about Grohe faucets was very complete, including detailed specifications about each faucet, dimensioned drawings, exploded parts diagrams, 3D CAD models (universal .dxf format), and even a flow pressure diagram for faucets with varied flow rates. These were often in the form of .pdf files but at least they were available.
Unfortunately, all of that useful detail is now gone as of the most recent remake of the site..
There is still a downloadable .pdf "specs" document, but it is more a sales brochure than an actual specifications sheet, containing very few detailed specifications.
There is no dimensioned drawing, no link to installation instructions, no exploded parts diagram, not even basic specifications such as flow rate. The former links to CAD models are gone as are the flow pressure diagrams.
Where a faucet is manufactured is also missing, something most North American buyers would like to know, and most importers of faucets made in Asia and Latin America take pains to conceal — Grohe being no exception.
Testing & Certification
We think a purchase of a Grohe faucet should be carefully weighed at the moment. There are a lot of changes going on at Grohe, most of them not good. We don't know how the company will shake out in the end but the overall trend is not particularly hopeful.
Grohe does not sell German faucets. Its sell mostly Asian faucets with a German name.
If you are looking for a faucet made in Germany, you are in the wrong place. Grohe faucets are designed in Germany but no longer made in Germany, and have not been for a long time. For faucets made or at least assembled in Germany look to
faucets made in Mexico, China and Thailand that compare to Grohe include
We are continuing to research the company. If you have experience with Grohe faucets, good, bad or indifferent, we would like to hear about it, so please contact us or post a comment below. (Please note, we cannot answer questions posted in the comments below. If you have a question, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
1. BBB ratings represent the BBB's opinion of how the business is likely to interact with its customers. The BBB rating is based on information BBB is able to obtain about the business, including complaints received from the public. BBB seeks and uses information directly from businesses and from public data sources. For more information, see Overview of Ratings.