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100% natural tub-1

Of course all our tubs are natural: we only use wood and do not treat it with any chemical or coating agent. How can you make a tub which is more natural than a wood tub?
Actually we do use some bond inside the joints of our tubs. We prefer epoxy bond instead of urea based products because it is long lasting and safe for the health.

Anyway this time we received an interesting challenge.
We were required to build a 100% natural tub (actually 2 tubs), without the use of any synthetic material. We had to resort to the knowledge and wisdom of our carpenter`s father who dedicated great passion and almost 3 weeks of work for this project. It was really a great chance for passing down the ancient tecnique (and art) to the younger generations. It was more than 50 years since he last used the this construction method!
Read some more details in the next entry.

asnaro tub for Tribeca

wood tub parts

More than being just a tub these project was about building prefinished asnaro parts for a masterly conceived bathroom in wood and marble. Everything was designed with care for the detail while aiming at the balance of the composition.

When good design and quality craft meet, something wonderful sees the light.

There is a bench with marble base and a asnaro wood grate for the seat.
Then there is a step in asnaro to integrate in front of the alcove containing the tub.
Two doors close the tub alcove and as they open insidewards, you will be surrounded by wood while you enjoy the soak…

Japanese bathing

The tub is a roomy L2082mm x W1041mm x H965mm with two inner seats.(see photo below!). It is built to integrate in a niche and to create a ledge flush with the two asnaro doors. We evaluated different options, finally decided to build the tub and the ledge in one piece. In this way it is solid and there is no worry about assembly on site. Dimensions were checked accurately; then should an adjustment should be necessary, it is easy to shorten the ledge on the back or the side. If you can use a circular saw, you can do it.

soaking ofuro

Here it is! the mellow, peaceful, relaxing, feeling of being inside an asnaro tub… I wish we could start filling it up with hot water!

asnaro tub for Brussels

Japanese soaking

This tub is in quarter-sawn knotless grade and has one internal removable bench.
size:L1200mm x H700mm x W700mm (external dimensions)
Our client is a very nice and enthusiastic person and could not wait to see the tub, so he removed the protective plastic wrap… Not too bad, just put back the wrap and be sure to keep the tub wrapped until installed in order to prevent damage caused by dryness.
ofuro

Other accessories include a lid (tub cover) with handles.
It is split in 2 halves so it is easy to lift and move. By using a lid you can prevent the water to cool down thus enjoy longer and more ecologic baths…
The client also requested a bench of the same width of the tub which can be used as a step or a seat for relaxing or getting dressed. We just had the some nice material in the exact quantity and lenght for making one bench of this size, so we could charge only the craftsmanship for this item!

Asnaro tub installed in Paris

asnaro-in-paris

Here it is, our tub installed in a landmark attic in the bellybottom of Paris.
The creative decoration of the bathroom with a revisitation of the stone garden theme show how a natural wooden bath can go well both in traditional or contemporary settings.

The floor in iron-wood wraps up to finish the ledge of the tub which is built-in type.
In the large bath area there is also a shower-box and extra long vanity counter.
It looks like I could spend hours in this oasis before ever thinking of getting back to the outside world…

Interior design and realization by:
Espaces Parisiens Planning
37, rue Galilee
75116 Paris – France
tel. 01 40 70 08 47

oval tubs for Oregon

oval ofuro

Here are twin oval-barrel shaped hinoki tubs – 1520 x 670 x H710mm (ext. dimensions).
We used stainless steel bands to contain the water pressure. The client at first required copper bands, but it would be too weak so we proposed stainless braided wire which is solid and not too difficult to assemble. We reached the compromise with stainless steel bands: the look is very nice, but – boy – they had to be slowly hammered one by one from the bottom up and it took forever!

Another peculiarity of these tubs is that the bond for laminating vertical planks was replaced with 100% natural rice starch. See the blog for more details ->
http://www.bartokdesign.com//0-blog_news/natural-tub-oregon-2.php

Central Italy: hot water in the tub II

italian-hot-tub01

Let me report the wise comment of our client (and friend):
“I am confirmed in the belief that Japanese were thousands of years ahead of us westerners: in the age when we were using perfumes to hide our odors and (in the rare occasions we were washing), we were using underwears and busts to hide our body, japanese were…

…bathing.

Naked. Alone or in good company. Clean in the mind and in the body.”
Also in this case, I cannot but agree…!

Central Italy: hot water in the tub I

These pictures seem to have been taken from Kyoto or Nara…

(It is actually from a rural stone-masonry lovely house in the beautiful Appennine mountains.) I will skip any comment, it would fade anyway in the emotions that come out from the images…

hinoki tub for Texas


Japanese bathing

This tub (size:L1000mm x W1040mm x H985mm) is in quarter-sawn hinoki-knotless grade and has one internal seat.
The bathtub is also equipped with a spout which will be mounted recessed in the wall.
The area of installation did not allow a longer tub, so it was opted for a short but wide and roomy shape. In this conditions, it is comfortable to take a bath from a sitting position, hence the internal bench. Additionally, the tub is deeper than standard, so it is possible to enjoy the hot water up to your shoulders even while sitting on the bench.
(Be aware that you will need over 200 gallons to fill up the tub…!)

At last, note the custom bench/step outside of the tub matching the width. This can be used as a step to enter the deep tub at ease. Also, we recommend to use it as a bench for relaxing before and after the bath.

soaking tub

hinoki tub for Switzerland

Japanese bath

This tub was coordinated by a very talented and professional architecture office in Switzerland. When we saw the drawings, there was just nothing to add or modify and we could start manufacture immediately.

Without being huge, this tub has majestic proportions and we could keep the design simple by using a 50mm extra thick plank for the front instead of an otherwise neccessary top frame border.
The tub is in knotless quarter cut hinoki (sizes L1570mm x W900mm x H685mm) and has an internal bench. Note also the copper apron detail at front which furnishes extra protection to the head of the bottom planks, and is almost completely hidden by the floor duckboards.

soaking tub

new product: hiba oil

hiba-oil

We always receive the same question:

Q. How should I maintain/clean the tub?

The answer is always:

  1. Ensure good ventilation in the bathrom.
  2. You may wipe the tub dry after use if you want.
  3. Never use soap or detergent to clean the tub.
  4. Do nothing, just enjoy the tub.
  5. If you find some stains you may remove them with alcohol or other stain remover – only applied on the spot – rub gently and rinse thoroughly.

The tub needs love and care more than maintenance.
If you use it often (preferably daily), keep an eye on the hygrometer and take care of small stains as soon as you spot them, you tub will have a long and happy life.


Anyway, our clients feel this is not enough. They want to do something. They want to be proactive and show concretely their affection for the tub.

Over the years we tried vegetable base detergents, non-oil oils and ecologic cleaners.
They were sticky or just meaningless and we continued to recommend just – pure love – to take care of the tub.


But yes, we finally found a product we can recommend for cleaning and rehidratating the wood. It is an oil base product from the same line as the ones used for aromatherapy.

See our product page for specific information and use instructions.

Japanese people do not use hiba oil for clenaning wooden bathtubs but it has amazing applications in our everyday life. Here below are some detailed information about Hiba oil:

FIELDS OF USE

  1. MEDICAL:
    Hiba oil is used to prevent nosocomial infections, especially those caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
    It is also used to treat eczema (atopic dermatitis).
  2. SANITARY:
    Hiba oil is used together with Squalane (a natural moisturizing factor) in soap and shampoos particularly indicated for delicate skins.
    Hiba water (a byproduct of the distillation of hiba oil) is used as a fragrance in bathing salts.
  3. AGRICULTURE:
  4. Hiba oil is used to prevent plant diseases originated by mold (wood moulder disease, root rot disease etc.).
    In apiculture is used with good reasult to prevent and fight chalk disease (Ascospharera apis)
  5. FOOD PRESERVATION:
    Hiba oil is used for conservation of fresh (not frozen) melon, strawberry, mushrooms.
    It is also used as a natural flavouring agent for candies and other foods.

PROPERTIES

  1. BACTERICIDAL:
    It prevents conditions for the development of mold and fungi.
    Hiba oil has a wide spectrum of action against many different families of bacteria and is especially effective to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
  2. MIND STABILITY:
    Hiba oil has a proven relaxative qualities. Stress relief has been laboratory tested on Guinea pigs.
  3. INSECTICIDE:
    Hiba oil has an insecticidal action against thermites and cockroaches. It is also used as an insect repellent against fleas and mites.
  4. DEODORANT:
    Hiba oil smoothes strong smells.
    It is specially effective against smells originated by body activity (ammonia, aminoacid base).

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