Blog

stress relieving tub for Minneapolis

This minimal tub is dedicated to a very kind client and her family of Japan lovers.
Apparently, she and her husband have stressful jobs and commute for more than 2 hours everyday.
They recently made a trip to Japan: “We felt physically, mentally and emotionally so much better after soaking every day while in Japan.
We very much want to improve our lives by doing this at home – to be surrounded by your natural and beautiful wood and aroma.”

The tub specs are as follows:
internal dimensions: Dia 767 x Depth 630mm
external dimensions: Dia817 x H740mm




As per the client`s request, here are some photos of the tub being constructed with passion and dedication.
The individual planks are cut and planed. Then, they are assembled in an approximate shape, pulled together and finished to create a perfect barrel.

A craftsman used to build rectangular tubs would not succeed in creating a round one: you need maybe less precision but more sense of balance.
Actually he keeps saying: do not trust the measure tape, trust your feelings!



Sushi counter for HK

Well, it looks like the edge of a huge bathtub but it is actually a sushi counter!
The wooden blocks of laminated hinoki wood are covered by a 7mm layer of solid quarter sawn thick veneer so it looks like solid lumber without the cracking and deformation problems that solid wood would have.
Besides, a trunk of such a dimension that can show straight grain on 2 sides probably exists only within the walls of the famous Ise Jingu Shrine…

Very close to the hinoki trees of Ise Jingu, we were very lucky to find a quarter sawn lumber more than 7 meters long. This way we could make the full length with the same plank: it means that the wood veins run seamlessly from one end to the other.

For the shipping and assembly we split the counter in sections.
After joining together the blocks, the counter will be treated with kihada ichiban, a full penetration water repellent. This product is based on the nano technology and (for reference imagine the Goretex fiber used for trekking and outdoors wear) prevents the large H2O molecules to penetrate inside while letting out the aroma and lets the wood breathe.

8 tubs for HK restaurant

Until now most of our production was directed to end users, anyway recently more Bartok ofuros are installed in commercial projects.

This time a restaurant in Honk Kong will employ 8 large round tubs (each seats 6 people).
We dealt with the architecture office in charge of the design and the order process was smooth and carried out with professionalism.

image2

The view of our warehouse in these days is really surreal…
We completed the first lot of 4 which will be shipped in a container.
The second lot is due to be delivered in august.

Here are the specs:
* material: japanese knotless sawara wood round shape bathtub
* size: Dia 2000mm x H730mm (600mm deep)
* details: SUS metal straps. Internal bench. Iron brand at center top.
Next time I go to Hong Kong I will definitely want the experience!

electric re-heat systems

Do you know of any electric re-heat systems for your soaking tubs?

Thank you for your interest in our japanese bathtubs.
You should use equipment available in your area.
I would recommend to contact a SPA equipment dealer/installer near you.
An ofuro can be treated as a regular spa/hot tub.
The equipment sizing will depend on the capacity of the tub.
I found this compact heater without tank (post-heating).
http://www.pahlen.com/our-products/heating-electric-heaters/electric-swimming-pool-spa-heater.html
Of course it should be coupled with a small pump for recirculation and with a cartridge filter if you wish.
Since ofuros are made of solid wood, you can open holes for inlet/outlet almost everywhere.
Please let me know of any other question/problem.
Best regards,

hydroterapy and overflow

Hi,
I just had a meeting with the water filtration/circulation technician.
1. Do you recommend to install hydrotherapy jets with 6-persons hinoki tub?
2. How do you suggest we deal with the overflow?

1)As you know, japanese onsen are usually not equipped with jets.
Often there are some shallow “bed type” jacuzzi tubs for individual use.
Some people may feel that japanese bathing has a precise ritual and aesthetics and does need the bubbles. Others may appreciate the jets as an upgraded and more luxurious japanese tub.
This choice depends on your clientele and on the services that you offer in your establishment.
If you decide to use jets, there is no incompatibility with wooden tubs. Anyway we would recommend you to ship us the nozzles so we can seamlessly embed them in the locations as per your instructions.
Many small air outlets on the bottom of the tub (air-blower) are not recommended as they weaken the structure of the tub.
2) Overflow: of course the whole floor will be waterproof and with a floor drain.
I suggest 3 options:
a) to have a gutter 10mm deep x 100mm wide all around the tub with a floor drain inside
b) to provide the tub with a top overflow cut and direct the water towards a side of the tub equipped with a floor drain
(see example here: http://www.bartokdesign.com/japan/7-custom_ofuro/ofuro_for_new_zealand.php)
c) to insert the tub into a recessed floor area equipped with the drain. The water can be recessed just 10cm to cover the bottom apron or can be recessed up to the top border, it depends on your layout.
(see example here: http://www.bartokdesign.com/japan/0-blog_news/hinoki_slanted_bathtubs_in_res.php)

air and water jets for ofuro

We are an architectural firm in New York City and currently working on a project for a client in Connecticut. The client likes your hinoki tubs. Are these tubs only available as soaking tubs, or is it possible to build them with air or water jets?

Thank you for your interest in our hinoki products.
The tubs are made in japan using the traditional Edo carpentry technique.
They can be converted to jacuzzis but we cannot supply this equipment from here.
It is better and cheaper to do it on site (all the best spa equipment is american, such as Pentair, Waterways, Hayward, Jandy etc.)
In this way there is no problem for maintenance/replacement parts. Please try to contact a local pool/spa equipment supplier and ask for their advice.

Basically our tubs are made in solid wood and is very easy to open holes anywhere is needed to apply the jets.

We are looking forward to working with you and remain at your disposal for any question.

lead time and bubbles

Hello, I am designing a showroom for *** that opens 8/11, but
would need to have the tub here in New York by mid-July. What is you
lead time? We are creating a Spa lifestyle and need to simulate it like
it actually works. We will put water in it and need it to bubble. Please
let me know as soon as possible.

Thank you for your interest in our japanese bathtubs!
We need about 3 weeks for production and 1wk for shipping with ocean
freight so the timeframe is very tight.
Please let me know the sizes you are looking at and we will provide a
quotation and drawing for your reference.
About the bubbles, we cannot supply equipment because of the difficulty
to provide assistance, spare parts etc.
We recommend to use spa equipment available in the US (Waterways,
Hayward, Jandy, Pentair, Certkin etc!)
Check with a spa equipment company what they recommend for a tub with 1
1/2″ thick bottom. Of course the wood thickness can be partially reduced
on the back if needed (with a trimmer, around the blower noozle socket)

We are looking forward to working with you and remain at you disposal
for any question/problem.

work in progress on round tubs

We are now working on an order of 8 tubs for an Hong Kong restaurant.
The first lot of 4 will be shipped in july and the second lot in august.

IMG_20150611_110739

I wonder if the customers will enjoy the hot water while eating? Or will take a bath while enjoying the landscape after the meal? I will keep you posted.
I am sure it will be a highly successful formula as the “japanese style” is really rocking in Hong Kong as well as Singapore.

IMG_20150619_080413.jpg

leaving water in the tub?

I am an architect in NYC.
I have a project on Long Island for which your tub could be a great feature.
I have one concern that I wonder if you could please address so I can decide if we should move ahead and get into the details.
I have heard that traditionally these types of tubs are meant to be left with water in them. This would make sense for a wood vessel made of separate pieces of wood (such as a wooden boat). I did not see any reference to leaving water in your tubs. I would like to know from you: what is the tradition and recommended maintenance routine for your tubs?

Thank you for your interest in our japanese bathtubs.
There are some precautions to be taken when installing a wooden bathub.
The main point is to maintain a balanced relative humidity between 40 and 60%, which is by the way also an optimal environment for pianos, antique furniture, and of course human beings!

For this reason you should avoid elements that can dehydrate the wood:
– floor heating under the tub
– heating elements in the bathroom in general
– central air conditioning
(most types include a humidity control battery)
– expose the tub to direct sun radiation
– leaving the tub unused for an extended period of time

Good practice is:
– use the tub at least 3 times a week. This routine restores the optimal wood humidity.
(Also, while the tub is full of water, you can use heating and AC or expose the tub to direct sun radiation

Acceptable practice is:
– leave some water inside the tub and cover it.
This should be done in case the tub is left unused for one week or more.
Anyway you should still not use heating or AC as the humidity of the wood of the external side of the tub will differ from the humidity inside and may cause the wood to warp.
Since leaving water inside the tub may cause stains and originate a water-line, we recommend to leave a bassinet with water inside and place it inside the tub. If the tub is covered, the humidity will be trapped inside and will be enough to keep the wood hydrated.

I hope this answered your question.

We are looking forward to working with you and remain at you disposal for any question/problem.

about pop-up bathtub drains

Hi Iacopo,
Would it be possible to place the pop-up outlet (or any outlet for that
matter) to the centre but along the side of the tub?

Please note:
1) We cannot install pop-up drain fittings.
Basically, there are no standard fittings for a thick bottom plank such as a wooden bath.
Even if we were to modify a socket and adapt it, we could not be responsible for mechanical problems, spare parts etc. so we prefer to stick to a rubber plug type.
If you prefer, we also have a spherical shape available.
http://www.bartokdesign.com/japan/0-blog_news/spherical_drain_plug_1.php

2) Yes, we can place the drain on one side, please note that we recommend an offset of 55mm from the internal wall face.
On the other hand, if you are planning to attach the drain to the plumbing using an elbow, the “feet” under the tub will interfere with it. If you let us know the direction in which the elbow will be pointing, we will calculate the offset and place the drain accordingly.

Back to top