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hinoki tub for manhattan

Japanese bathing

The picture does not fully convey the beauty and peculiarity of this tub!
The request was a large tub L1800mm x W1000mm x H690mm (depth=600mm) but with the simplest – minimal detailing.

We had to employ a thick top border frame (100x60mm!) but turned it in a simple line with the following concept:
– Two sides were built fully as the top beam border (60mm thick)
– as the tub is set against a free standing ledge with the faucet, in this case the short faces become the main side.




Other accessories include an japanese style tub cover and an outside bench in hinoki wood which can be used both as a step and for relaxing after the bath.




The finishing is done in line with the natural/minimalist concept of the architect: almost invisible wood dowels for the joints and natural oil to seal and protect the bottom plank
and base area from humidity.

hinoki lumber for surrey

We were requested to supply hinoki timber (rough saw cut) to be used by the local joinery to build doors and furniture. At first we offered a quote in cultivated hinoki from Yoshino (Nara Prefecture).
But – HEY! – the client required all the wood to be quarter sawn to match the coordinated bathtub color and grain.

We checked our stock and asked all our dealers and acquaintances but it is difficult to obtain such quantity of natural timber of such quality and knotless on 4 sides…!

Finally we agreed on a smart solution. We were provided a detailed order of all the small pieces and parts needed for construction. This allowed us to better optimize small cuts we had and to be able to offer better lumber for a much – much lower cost.
Each piece was marked with a number which refers to a detailed list and to the drawings.

It was hard work, but when the reasult is so satisfactory, we forget all the fatigue.

hinoki tub for surrey

soaking tub

We had the honour and the pleasure to deal with a top class construction company for this project.
An extracomfortable L1560mm x W950mm x H845mm hinoki tub was designed and built to retain all the archetypical simplicity and grace of hinoki.

To obtain this box-like design we opted for an extra thick wall plank (50mm in place of the normal 35mm) and used only quarter sawn cut.
This detail allowed us to do without the top frame border.
Also, the corners of the tub are simply “L” shaped in place of the traditional “T” shape (see picture below.) Of course this was possible only because of the thick plank which gives more structural stability and width to set the dowels. Waterproofing and protection of the side of plank in the joint is also assured with this detail.

The architect office required us the bottom sleeper to be recessed like a base molding, to match the design of the rest of the room and cabinetry.
I am looking forward to see this installed!

Japanese tub

crack in the tub

I also have a technical question: What happens if, due to excessive heat the wood happens that a horizontal crack appears in the floor of the tub? Is this repairable in a manner or another? Please let us know.

(here below we are reporting extracts of the full correspondence for your reference)

About the the horizontal crack: please send me a detailed picture.
Is it in the joint between planks or in the middle of a plank?
How long/wide is it?
Do you think it leaks water?
when did it appeared?
Did you leave the tub dry for long periods?
Once we see the picture we will be able to give you better advice.

Concerning the crack, I went back to the site this morning and took some shots I am sending to you herewith.
To answer your questions:
– it seems to me that the crack is between two planks
– it is the total width of the tub’s bottom floor
– it is something like 1mm to 1,5mm wide
– yes, it leaks water unfortunately
– it appeared to us two days ago
– yes we left the tub dry sometimes, and moreover, a week ago we put in service a floor heating that is underneath the tub but also around it. It might have dried the air in the room. Added to a very warm summer here.

Timing of that problem is quite bad since we were ready for handing over the project to the owner client the 1st of september.
Thank you for your advice.

I see: the problem is definately the floor heating.
In general every heating system in the bathroom is bad for the bathtub. It dries up the wood especially if it runs for many hours a day (like central heating systems).
Of course it depends also on the width of the bathroom and height of the ceiling, in any case, we recommend to keep an hygrometer in the bathroom and check regularly.
Floor heating is even worse for the wood tub because the heat tends to concentrate towards the floor and the humidity is washed away systematically as hot air moves upwards.

I recommend to use an underwater epoxy sealant. It should be pushed into the crack with a spackle, to fill it up completely. You may finish the last 1mm with underwater epoxy putty which has a color similar to wood. I could sent you this material by EMS mail but it takes over a week (now customs are full because of holiday period tail).
If you need to repair before sept.1 , try to look for this material locally and let me know if you have problems.

Also, remember not to use the heating when the tub is empty. If you need to, fill the tub with 10cm of water and use the heating without fear.

Thanks for your detailed answer.

I think it would be wiser if you send me the underwater epoxy sealant, and the underwater epoxy putty, that you have already used, and that has already given good results.
If you can do it as soon as possible, and send me the invoice for immediate payment, I would appreciate it a lot.

I checked with my carpenter and he recommends no putty, just make the epoxy fully penetrate. It has a greish color.
after it is dry, you can sand or plane it.
This morning we sent you an EMS parcel. Please let me know if you could fix the problem.

Thank you very much for your product. We received them last wednesday, and the result seems good for the moment. No more leaks!
From the aesthetic point of view, the repair is ok. Sure the color is grey and you can see it if you know it is there, but it is not shocking at all. I will send you a photo tomorrow.
We have not used the hiba oil on the tub yet, but it smells so great in the water.

Knotty hinoki tub in stock (sold out)

We have a beutiful tub in knotty honoki wood and are giving it away at bargain price:
Please find below a quote for a L1300mm x W700mm x H600mm (external
dimensions) 520mm(depth) natural hinoki bathtub with ledge type frame at short sides:
(See enclosed pictures and pdf drawing)

Click the thumbs below for a larger image.

* * * Sorry, sold out! * * *

ofuro

Japanese bath

soaking tub

1) K grade tub (knotty) : (was 5200 US$) ->3600 US$ (1600 US$ discount!)
2) Packaging: 1450x850x800 wood box: 340 US$
3) Transport: I will ask for a quote for delivery at your door. Please specify also if you are in a hurry (air freight) or you can wait at least 30 days (ocean freight)
Notes:
The tub is new, it was never used, it was displayed in our “showroom” and was wrapped all the time in plastic sheet.
Of course, we can ship world-wide.
Payment conditions: 100% prepaid
We hope you will appreciate this offer and welcome any question you may have.

reference from england 2

I can recommend Bartok Design without reservation. Although the relevant construction project is still underway and I have not used the recently-ordered tub, I have seen it and the workmanship looks excellent. Having lived in Japan, I believe that your client is best served by a hinoki tub, instead of a locally sourced alternative. In our experience, Bartok Design were very co-operative, communicative and easy to work with. Let me know if you require any further information.
Regards,

hinoki tub for Geneve

Japanese soaking

We had some communication problem in the beginning because some mails were captured by the spam filter .
(IN CASE YOU DO NOT HEAR BACK FROM US, SEND A FAX OR CALL US.)
Anyway, once found the problem everything proceeded smoothly and we could ship this hinoki tub, custom size sunoko and accessories in record time.

Every detail such as tub size adjusments, wall joint, floor duckboard modular units were agreed together with the client.

reference from england 1

We just recently acquired the bath from Bartok for a new country house and consequently we have not yet used it, but I have had one in London since about 1995. Mine also came from Japan, from a maker called Kodai (as in, “past era”) who sadly seem themselves to have been consigned to the past, as they appear no longer to be in business.
We found Iacopo and Bartok on the web. He was much less expensive than local tub manufacturers and offered a genuine hinoki product constructed the traditional way, so we did no further comparison shopping. Having seen the tub, I can strongly recommend him. Also, he was very helpful and communicative, which is important because your builder likely will be unfamiliar with the idea and will need information and reassurance. He also sorted out the shipping, so this presents no big obstacle compared to local
alternatives.
My experience with the tub in London might not be representative, because I am there less than half the time and the tub is used only occasionally. As you might know, this is in some ways more wearing for the tub than continuous use, because it is usually quite dry. I think the average life expectancy is about 10 years, but after several years past that, mine still is in good shape.
I think the most important thing is to put the tub in a “wet room” because it will “weep” and the water should be collected and drained. This will enable a proper bathing experience anyway, because you can have showers and taps in the room but outside the tub, as in Japan.
I also strongly recommend incorporating a recirculation system so that you can keep the water hot.
So, you can see that the builder has to be familiar with the concept of a wet room (this is becoming fairly standard technology) and has to know a bit about spa recirculation systems.
For cleaning, Kodai supplied a solvent containing tree oil, which i quite liked, but with their demise I have not been able to find a similar product.
Absent this, when i empty the tub, I wipe it with a towel (no cleaning products) and sand it occasionally. This seems to work well.
My tub is in a reconstructed pre-Victorian house, and i just leave the sash window to the room slightly open. No special ventilation measures.
I hope this helps. I strongly recommend you get the tub and hope you enjoy it.
Regards,
D J

Wood bath-tub installed in Prague

hinoki ofuro

Our client was so kind to send us the photo of installed asnaro bathtub so we are glad to publish it here!
The asnaro wood paneling creates a warm atmosphere, a kind of “other world”, a natural corner.

I am sure here you can forget the cold of central european winters and re-energize body and mind…

I think the local contractor made a great job and the spout was partially recessed inside the wall as planned. Afterall no matter how our cultures may be different, working with wood and loving wood is definately a common heritage.

wabi sabi (II) – tub setting

The tub has been mounted, around is a wide hinoki duckboard.
The stone floor, the ceiling beams…
I can see everywhere passionate details and feel a magic atmosphere…
I am really overwhelmed by the emotions looking at these pictures.
It is central Italy but really feels like Edo period Japan. This is not just because the materials are original, but because the spirit, the concept of the project is authentic.
http://bartokdesign.com/wp-admin/options-reading.php
In the end, when man respects nature and put care and love in his acts, even different cultures touch and become one. I am sure that people entering in this ofuro will understand something more of the real essence of humanity.

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