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Brand Story


From humble beginnings in 1872 when US businessman, John Pierce, opened a tinware shop in Massachusetts, Ideal Standard has deep and rich history that brings this iconic business to where it stands today.

Opening offices in London and Paris in 1896, the American Radiator Company (as it was then), rapidly grew to become the world’s largest supplier of heating equipment. Following more impressive mergers in the late 1890s, Standard Sanitary Manufacturing Co. was born.

By the early 1900s, such was Standard Sanitary’s success that the company evolved to become the largest supplier of plumbing goods in the world. By 1929, Standard Sanitary had factory units across North America and Europe, and was one of the first bathroom manufacturing companies to lead the pioneering trend of bringing both practicality and stunning aesthetics to indoor bathroom spaces, to include manufacturing in Hull from 1936.

Standard Sanitary and America Radiator Co merged in 1929 to form the American Radiator and Standard Sanitary Corporation. Surviving the great depression of the ‘30s, and dedicating most of its resources to the war effort from 1939 – 1945, the company suffered a few stormy years. By 1946, however, American Standard celebrated its first 50 years in business.

By 1957, due to the rise of the EU common market, Europe became the most profitable segment of the American Standard business. For these overseas markets, in 1961 American Standard began to trade under the name that we know and love today: Ideal Standard. By the end of the 1970s, following the withdrawal from cast iron, the company entered the acrylic bath production market and continued to leverage the pioneering designs of its European partners, to revolutionise the bathroom and sanitary ware industry.

In the late 1980s came the acquisition of Sottini, then in the ‘90s, American Standard made its biggest single acquisition of the century; the UK’s Armitage Shanks and the Italian brand, Ceramica Dolomite from Blue Circle. By the mid-noughties, Ideal Standard perfectly captured their share of the wellness and luxury product market, with the introduction of clear-water filter taps and luxury bathroom ware. In 2007, American Standard sold its three main worldwide businesses to a global private equity firm and in that same year, Ideal Standard International was formed, with headquarters in Belgium.

Ideal Standard UK, as we know it today, became an independent presence for the UK market with a new brand design and vision bringing the digital age into the bathroom. The company continued to lead the way in design innovation with new product and collection launches, and has since won several prestigious design and concept awards for its innovation in the sanitary ware space. Ideal Standard has worked with some of the best known designers and architects in the world, to develop beautiful, sustainable and environmentally sound products.

By 2012, Ideal Standard International operated in 20 countries with more than 11,000 employees, and continues to produce the highest quality products with the consumer at the very heart of the business. By using the most innovative design methods, highly skilled craftsmanship and continuously seeking out the next new adventure in production of the finest sanitary ware, Ideal Standard will continue to grow its presence across the UK, Europe, Middle East and North Africa.

Now primed to embrace the next phase of growth and innovation, it is this world-leading business – rich in history, and combining the worthy traditions of the past with the contemporary, award-winning designs of a digital future – in which Ideal Standard welcomes its next generation of employees.

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