Production sites in Central Europe: LAUFEN ranks as one of the leading international bathroom manufacturers. That is no coincidence: LAUFEN draws its bathroom and ceramics expertise from the experience and tradition of its production sites.
Almost 130 years of expertise in Bathroom Culture: The Keramik Holding AG LAUFEN was founded on 4 July 1892 as a pottery factory in the town whose name it bears, Laufen, in Switzerland (canton of Basel Land). Laufen was chosen as the site for the pottery factory due to its hydroelectric plant, natural clay deposits, a railway hub and an artisan tradition in the material. Keramik Laufen AG, as the first national company, has been producing ceramic for the Swiss bathroom market since 1925.
In 2007 the oldest faucet manufacturer of Switzerland, Similor (founded by Charles Kugler in 1854), was acquired by Roca and two years later, the faucet factory went into operation in Laufen, producing LAUFEN faucets.
By building an advanced logistics centre and high bay warehouse at the headquarters in Laufen, and installing the latest production systems in various European factories, LAUFEN has been setting its course of continued growth since 2006. Since 2006 Keramik Laufen AG has also been entitled to bear the label of the Swiss Energy Agency for Industry (EnAW). This label is only awarded every two years and marks its bearer as a company actively committed to voluntary climate protection.
Ceramic manufacture in Gmunden can look back on a rich tradition - "Gmunden ceramics" is still a byword today for outstanding craftsmanship and quality. The Steingutfabrik AG Gmunden-Engelhof was founded here in 1924. Together with the Wilhelmsburg factory, the company changed its name in 1960 to Österreichische Sanitär-, Keramik- und Porzellan-Industrie Aktiengesellschaft (ÖSPAG). In 1967 the Keramik Holding AG Laufen acquired a majority shareholding, and in1999 LAUFEN became part of the Spanish Roca Group.
Bathroom ceramics from Gmunden are primarily characterised by their outstanding quality that is certified to the international ISO 9001 and fulfils all technical test standards (EN). The factory specialises mainly in the manufacture of intricate ceramic elements. Environmental protection also plays a key role, LAUFEN Austria AG is certified to ISO 14001 and assessed according to the provisions of the EMAS regulation. LAUFEN Austria AG was awarded the EMAS Environment Prize 2007 for its outstanding environmental achievements.
Industrial ceramics production in Znojmo stretches back to 1878 - it was the first mechanical factory of its kind on the continent. Initially mainly high-quality dishes and majolica were manufactured in large quantities, then after 1920 production focused on ceramic washbasins, bathtubs and sinks.
In 1995 the Swiss Keramik Holding AG Laufen took over the Keramické závody Znojmo (Ceramic Works Znojmo) and integrated it into Jihočeská keramika v Bechyni (South Ceramics in Bechyně) which LAUFEN had already acquired in 1991. In 1999 the two manufacturers merged to become Laufen CZ with headquarters in Prague, the same year that Laufen became part of the Spanish Roca Group. Since then, Laufen CZ has been active in the Czech and Slovakian market with the LAUFEN, Roca and JIKA brands as well as in many other markets in central and eastern Europe. Today, the state-of-the-art factory in Znojmo produces superior bathroom ceramics, the quality of which is certified to international ISO 9001 standard.
Bathroom ceramics have been produced in the Bechyně factory since 1961 - an important economic mainstay of the town on the Lainsitz that is also home to the oldest vocational school of ceramics in the Czech Republic. Its good reputation led to the Schweizer Keramik Holding AG Laufen taking over the factory known as Jihočeská keramika Bechyně (South Bohemian Ceramics Bechyně) in 1991. In 1999 Laufen became part of the Spanish Roca Group. And both companies became a part of it.
In 2002 the factory merged with LAUFEN CZ s.r.o. factory in Znojmo to become LAUFEN CZ with its headquarters in Prague. The high-quality bathroom ceramics, today produced in the state-of-art factory in Bechyně, are certified to international ISO 9001 quality standards.