From hand-held showers to digital shower solutions: showering pleasure then and now


Showers are synonymous with showering enjoyment. For almost 70 years, they have been a key part of the history of the bathroom and today are playing an increasingly important role. As a specialist for showers and shower systems, Grohe maintains a competence centre in Lahr (at the edge of the Black Forest), where the company’s experts continuously develop unique innovations. Using new technologies, Grohe showers are about to convert the formerly purely functional bathroom into a personal feel-good oasis. The current offering has something for everyone, encompassing multi-sensory solutions with light, sound and steam as well as diverse, attractive and ergonomic styling. Having evolved from an attachment to the tub filler into a modular system for digital shower solutions, the significance of the shower has clearly grown over the last few decades. Here is a look back over some of the important steps in its development.  

1956: The hand shower as part of the bathtub filler

Die Brause hat noch keine Eigenständigkeit erlangt. In den späten vierziger Jahren, als die Friedrich Grohe Armaturenfabrik gegründet wird, sowie in den fünfziger Jahren ist sie meist Teil der Badarmatur. Entsprechend gestaltet sich auch ihr Design. Analog zu den Drehgriffen der Armatur besteht auch ihr Griff aus Keramik, um die Nutzer vor Verbrennungen an heißen Oberflächen zu schützen. Heute setzt Grohe hierfür auf die CoolTouch-Technologie, bei der eine separate, innenliegende Wasserführung verhindert, dass die Chromoberfläche zu heiß wird. 

1979: Relexa: The new generation of showering

Der entscheidende Durchbruch ist geschafft und der Traum vom einzigartigen Duschgenuss verwirklicht: Grohe bringt sein Relexa Brausenprogramm auf den Markt. Duschen soll fortan nicht länger nur der notwendigen Körperreinigung dienen, sondern bietet gleichzeitig Entspannung, Revitalisierung und Wasserspaß. Die Brausen sind mit einem rutschsicheren Griff ergonomisch gestaltet und in mehreren Designstilen erhältlich, die zu unterschiedlichen Badezimmereinrichtungen passen. Zum Programm gehören Hand und Kopfbrausen sowie Brausestangen und Accessoires. 

1980: Relexa Nessie hand shower makes showering great fun for kids

Designing showers in accordance with target groups’ preferences plays an increasingly important role in the development of showers. To make showering more attractive for kids, Grohe designs its Relexa Nessie hand showers, styled do look like a friendly sea monster. The colourful plastic showers form part of the Relexa system, which combines different heads and spray patterns to suit the preferences of each family member. Whether it is a hand shower with Champagne spray, a pulsator shower with massage spray, a Kneipp shower or Relexa Nessie – the showers can easily be replaced and clicked onto the hose for maximum diversity and a truly personalised showering experience. 

1983: Relexor, the first shower and massage system

Wellness and fitness are the buzz words of the time. In response to the healthy lifestyle trend, Grohe develops Relexor, a product that massages the back with two counterwise rotating brushes that can be oriented towards the different parts of the body. The brushes are driven by water pressure, with the user choosing between wet and dry massage. The entire device is designed for comfortable operation: Just take off the hand shower and join the hose to the Relexor. The system is fixed with three screws, is easy to clean thanks to its smooth surfaces, and the brushes can be replaced easily in next to no time. 

2001: Freehander brings a new kind of freedom

The new millennium sees Grohe with a new technological innovation. Two rotatable shower heads on a swivel attachment make it possible to convert the Freehander from an overhead shower to a side shower in next to no time; matching spray patterns are available in each position. The normal spray of the overhead shower has a refreshing, cleaning and relaxing effect, while the Pulsator spray from the side massages the back. Moreover, the shower’s Stop and Eco functions facilitate the economical use of water and energy. 

2003: Relaxation and massage with the Aquatower 3000

2003 showering becomes three-dimensional. The Aquatower 3000 is the shower system with the largest number of functions, made by Grohe. From refreshment to relaxation, the shower system offers everything users need to recharge their mental batteries. The Aquatower 3000 consists of a head shower, a hand shower, four side sprays and a thermostat. Different spray patterns offer great diversity, adaptable to any time of day and any mood. The thermostat allows the temperature to be set precisely in an instant, helping to save water and energy. The Aquadimmer, which is still used in shower systems of the Westphalian manufacturer today, makes it easy to switch between the different showers and control the many possible combinations. 

2005: Grohe with Rainshower shower systems

Having introduced the large Rainshower head showers in 2003, Grohe adds matching Rainshower Classic and Cosmopolitan hand sprays in two different sizes and with several spray patterns in 2005. The sleek, minimalist Rainshower systems are the next innovation and mark new advance in the design of shower systems. Much slimmer and more elegant than their predecessors, they want to make the shower an optical attration in the bathroom. 

2010: Rainshower Icon adds a touch of colour to the shower

The Rainshower line-up continues to grow, as showers with even more striking, award-winning designs join the family. Among them are the Rainshower Icon, Eco and Solo models in the geometric forms of a ring, lozenge and circle. Especially the Rainshower Icon with its ring form caused a lot of attraction. Grohe launches a collection with coloured spray faces, which is about to bring fun and freshness to the bathroom: the Rainshower WaterColours Collection. 2011 sees the launch of the Rainshower NaturalColours Collection with spray faces in soft natural colours, especially well suited for stylish spa bathrooms. 

2011: Power&Soul – a simple click does the trick

With its “one-click showering” control on Power&Soul showers, Grohe presents another innovation. Four buttons on the shower head allow users to choose between four individual spray patterns as well as seven spray pattern combinations. The new Bokoma Spray uses the power of the water to produce a “breathing effect”; eight dynamic nozzles open and close once every second to gently massage tense muscles. Other spray patterns include the soft Rain Spray, the aerated Rain O2 Spray and the powerful Jet Spray.  

2013: F-digital Deluxe provides an experience for all the senses

Grohe’s shower development activities culminate in the F-digital Deluxe modules, which perfectly complement the sleek, minimalist design of the Rainshower F-Series launched in 2010 and offer additional feel-good functions for the shower. F-digital Deluxe allows the user to bathe the shower cubicle in a warm light or to fill it with pleasant steam – to the sound of his or her favourite music. A docking station for an Apple iPod permits easy control of all functions - coloured and dimmable LED light, music and the intensity of steam - using the app. 


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