hair in the tub

We do enjoy our hinoki tub, although we have had some minor cracking with some black growth on the outside of one of the corner joints. We’ve also found that hair and skin cells seem to stay floating on the surface even though we always shower before entering.

I am sorry you are having some problems with the tub.
About the dust staying afloat, I do not think it is a problem of the wooden tub, although chances are that when you drain the tub, small particles attach to the wood more easily than it would be in the case of an enamel or acrylic tub.

I think you can get rid of these light particles in 2 ways:
1) letting the tub overflow from the top
2) using a thin net to skim the surface of water

About the mold and cracks, please send some pictures, I`d be glad to advice.

sealant for tub

I am enjoying my tub, which is installed on a deck outside my house. I was wondering if it is OK to put some sort of sealant on my tub, like the kind of sealant one would apply to teak wood, for example. Or, should I just leave it as-is and cover it up to make sure it doesn’t age too much because of the sun, etc.

I am glad you found a good solution for the tub.
If you apply a coat on the wood note the following:
– The tub will loose its natural “soft” touch
– The tub will loose its aroma and its skin-soothing properties
– You would have to seal it inside and outside (including bottomside) to prevent unbalanced behaviour
– Due to the oils contained in the wood, the coat may not stick uniformly and may detach. Consult also with the maker of the coating product.

Generally we recommend to use it untreated or apply a natural oil to hydratate the surface of the wood.

Additionally there are also some non chemical clear wood treatments which last one year and provide extra protection against mold.

Please let me know if you need some product.
If you have a specific problem, please send pictures of the tub and the installation conditions.

Thank you. If I do not treat it, will it deteriorate more quickly than if I treat it? I like the way it is but am worried about it deteriorating. I am having a cover made for it to keep it out of the weather. However, it got quit a bit of sun last year and cracked in some places. It does not leak, and the cracks are probably natural and not a problem. I like the way it looks now that it has aged for one year. I just wanted to make sure that I’m not supposed to be treating it with something. If there is a natural oil that I should apply, please let me know.

It is not necessary to treat the tub and usually japanese people do not apply anything.
In case you want to restore the original shine you can apply our hiba oil with a cloth, like you would do waxing a pair of leather shoes.

for purchase please refer to:
and for more specific information to:

Please keep the tub protected from direct sunlight and if you cannot, leave the tub full of water to prevent dehydratation and cracks.

installation in niche tip

I am measuring the niche where I will be placing the hinoki tub. How precise should the dimensions be?

We build with a tolerance of +/-1mm, anyway be aware that wood is a natural material and tends to shrink and expand with the change of seasons.

If you place it against a wall, be sure to leave a 10mm clearance all around to ensure air circulation (see details page).

Leaking tub

Hello Bartok Design,
I am a specialty contractor in Seattle Washington and a Japanese friend of mine who has a Hinoki Ofuro says that it leaks. I took a look at the tub and all the boards look in good condition, but my friend says that the water leaks between the boards at the seams.
Your website mentions in the question and answer section that cracks can be fixed, but it changes the asthetics of the tub.
Does the tub need to be taken apart and resealed or is there a way to stop seam leaks with some other product? Any information that you could give to help save this wonderful tub would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks you for your mail.
Hinoki tubs do not leak unless there is a crack in the wood.
Cracks are caused by dryness. They can be repaired with a sealant:
1) simply clear silicon: it allows movements of wood and it becomes invisible as the crack closes again after normal humidity level has been restored.

2) epoxy putty: it is water resistant and with color similar to wood. But as it is hard, wood balance becomes altered.

Another cause of leaks is poor joint construction. There is not much you can do about it apart for caulking all the inner corners (floor and walls.)Use mildew-proof clear silicon.

It is very difficult to disassemble the tub and most surely you will have to replace some parts. It might be worth the work if you create double tongue/groove rims at every joint but again, the main problem is whether it can be taken apart without damage or not.

hinoki tub ! SEPTEMBER SALE !

Dear friend,
Did you contact us some time ago with reference to a quotation for a japanese tub?
Is your project still on track?
Or did you just knew about us and wish to have a quote?
We are at your disposability for any question/problem.
Also, note that if you confirm your order in september, we will be able to apply a 7% discount on the quote for what concerns hinoki products! (no discount on the transportation cost.)
There will be an extra 3% discount (10% total!) for the first 3 tubs ordered in september.
Updated 090909: sorry, the extra discount has been allocated…
This offer starts today aug/25 and expires sept/30/2009 at 18:00 JST.
Please note:
* This offer cannot be cumulated with other discounts.
* This offer is valid only for bank transfer payments (no credit cards or paypal)
* This is Bartok design`s first promotional sale.
* We do not have plans to make it a regular feature and in case it will be repeated it will not be before august 2010.
* These conditions include a governamental 5% tax facilitation.

Contact us for further details!

response to question

Dear Mr. Torrini,
I can not thank you enough for taking the time to respond to my e-mail. I will use the information that you have provided to repair my friends tub. If I am unsuccessful, I will be coming to Bartok Design for a new tub. I will let you know how my endeavors turn out.
You have been very helpful, and YES, I would be pleased if you placed my question and your answer on your website. I have spent many hours looking over your site and I’m sure that I will spend many more. It reminds me of the time I spent in Kyoto working with carpenters building tea rooms (chashitsu).
Thanks again for your help and professionalism.

Lighting fixtures for Australia

We received a mail from our previous hinoki-bath customer.
Now she wanted to complete her renovation with japanese style lighting fixtures.

The japanese maker of course cannot offer support or guarantee overseas and we had to ask our client to sign a liability release paper.
Since we are a japanese company we can purchase at 50% off listed prices and transfer this advantage to our clients. Sales conditions vary case by case according to the quantity, makers and products.
Some items are order made and may require one month or more for production. Feel free to contact us for any question.

japanese tub found home in Suisse

Here are some photos that do not need many comments…
It is the simple and happy story of a japanese tub in search for a new home (and caring family)

First the arrival in front of a renovated ancient barn…how charming!


Then the installation in its pit (will it really fit? – this was one of the client main concerns.)
While waiting for the tap (not rady yet) the tub is left with few centimeters of water on the bottom to avoid any possible dryness damage. …(and to enjoy even more the asnaro wood scent!)

Lastly, a regenerating view on the garden. A perfect mix of eurpean and oriental sensations!

removal of stains.

Dear friends,
We love our hinoki tub that you built and that was installed in our home about a year ago.
The tub itself is fine, but the wooden slats on top have developed mold. Is there anything we can do to get rid of it?

For the mold stains, try to use some bleach, it should become clean again. ->

1) apply a small amount of bleach on a dump cloth and friction the mold spots. An old bath towel should be fine.

2) wipe immediately with a clean dump cloth.

3) repeat if necessary

4) rinse abundantly with the shower while wiping with a cloth to remove any bleach left.

This treatment does not harm the wood if you do it few times a year.

Also, I recommend to turn over (upside-down) the planks from time to time. This prevents the formation of mold and warping of the planks overtime.

In case you do not want to use the bleach or if it has scarce effect, the standard solution would be to use a planer. Also fine sand paper will do the job.

Let the wood dry well and use first fine paper (#240) to remove the wood skin. Finish with very fine paper (#400). Reember to follow the direction of the wood veins.

Please let me know if it worked out.

Asnaro tub for Suisse

Japanese tub

Knotless natural Asnaro bathtub.
The sizes are: L1314mm x W884mm x H730mm (ext. dim.)
The tub is equipped with a traditional cover and bath accessories.

We kept in touch with the client for about a year …Yes, sometimes takes time to find the best solution, don`t be afraid to consult with us from the first stages of your project.

Anyway there is another note that we will not easily forget: the tub was ordered with the bottom plank edge to be treated with natural oil. Due to a misunderstanding with the carpenter, he built it with the copper apron! … woops …

Luckily we could solve the situation with a luxury detail: we removed the copper and planed the edge to completely remove the indents of the nails. Then we inlayed a base molding and treated it with natural oil. It is a lot of work but it was worth it: the base molding hides the joints of the bottom plank and its exposed face is naturally resistant to water being the wood grain parallel to the cut.

As the proverb says, Every cloud has a silver lining!

soaking tub


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