FROM LOCAL FOUNDATIONS TO A 'GLOBAL PLAYER'

When the company LAUFEN was founded in Switzerland in 1892, sanitary conditions were well below today's standards and level of convenience -standards to which LAUFEN, the only sanitary porcelain manufacturer producing exclusively in Europe, contributed.

The history of some of the company's production sites goes back even further in time. Around 1878, the pioneer of the mechanized production of sanitary ceramics was a factory belonging to the Austrian monarchy. Not only tradition, but also the well-established situation of the various European manufacturing sites in their home markets of Switzerland, Austria and the Czech Republic, have helped lay the secure foundations of LAUFEN quality. The aim of LAUFEN back then and also today is to be a leader in technology, service and design. As early as the 1980s, the most efficient injection moulding technology in the field of ceramics processing was invented in Switzerland by LAUFEN, a breakthrough that constituted a lasting contribution to industrial production. Just as important for LAUFEN are the continuing developments in the field of design: Wall mounted toilets and floor-standing washbasins, for instance, have made a new aesthetic possible.

LAUFEN has now widened its expertise and its portfolio of sanitary ware, bathtubs, furniture and accessories by adding faucets to the product range. In 1854, Charles Kugler founded a small company for brass products in Lausanne. The first water and gas valves in Switzerland were produced here in 1863. Faucets have been manufactured at the Laufen site since 2009.


MILESTONES IN HISTORY OF LAUFEN

2014 LAUFEN explores new boundaries of SaphirKeramik through a collaboration with the highly innovative designers Konstantin Grcic and Toan Nguyen.
2013 With the development of SaphirKeramik LAUFEN  introduces a groundbreaking world-innovation and sets a new trend in bathroom design.  SaphirKeramik permits the creation of wafer-thin yet robust walls and tight-edge radii of just 1 to 2mm while state-of-the-art technology values are currently a minimum of 7–8 mm. SaphirKeramik becomes part of the successful cooperation between Kartell and LAUFEN and finds expression in the jointly created collection “Kartell by Laufen”.
2012 LAUFEN celebrates memorable 120 years of Swiss bathroom culture with an impressive installation at the Fuorisalone in Milan.
2010 LAUFEN develops from a sanitary ware producer to a „total bathroom manufacturer“: Today’s portfolio offers overall solutions for the complete bathroom ranging from ceramics, to furniture, bathtubs and showertrays, up to accessories and even faucets.
2009 The LAUFEN Forum opens its doors: The LAUFEN Forum is more than a showroom. It is the brand hub of the company, located at the headquarters in Laufen, Switzerland. Due to its concept of design and sustainable architecture, the architectural masterpiece has been recognised with several renowned design awards during the past few years. In addition to the displays of the very latest product designs, several temporary exhibitions and events related to topics of bath and architecture, attract visitors and make reality the values of LAUFEN as a brand.
2007 The oldest faucet manufacturer of Switzerland, Similor (founded by Charles Kugler in 1854), was acquired and two years later, the faucet factory went into operation in Laufen, producing LAUFEN faucets.
2003 LAUFEN invests significantly into the central European production capacity as well as into international highly renowned product development. Several innovations in design mirror the success of putting a strong focus on an intense cooperation between design and development. The first one piece floorstanding washbasin, designed by Stefano Giovannoni (ILBAGNOALESSI One) and launched in 2003, is just one of many examples.
1999 LAUFEN joins the Roca Group (at that time the second largest producer of sanitary ware worldwide).
1991 In the 1990s, LAUFEN expands its production capacity further, by acquiring two factories in Czech Republic. Today, all five production plants are well established in central Europe.
1990 LAUFEN puts a higher focus on design: Porsche Design was the first global cooperation partner for LAUFEN.
1980 LAUFEN develops the revolutionary Pressure-Casting method; a technology that sets new standards for the entire industry by reducing production time significantly. LAUFEN increases its productivity, capacity and product range.
1967 Two traditional production sites, Wilhelmsburg and Gmunden in Austria, join the group.
1964 Xaver Jermann, a LAUFEN employee, invents the first wall-hung toilet.
1959 Fritz Lischka creates the renowned design washbasin, called "Ultra".
1952 LAUFEN expands and starts its first international activities by acquiring the first factory in Brazil.
1950 LAUFEN invents its first ceramic combination toilet with integrated ventilation system.
1925 LAUFEN enters the sanitary ware business and become the first and sole producer of bathroom ceramics in Switzerland.
1895 A detail of the renown "Nautilus" toilet.
1892 The ceramic factory LAUFEN is founded and starts producing tiles and bricks.