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hinoki tub in michigan

Japanese bath

Straight hinoki wooden bathtub: 1220 x 865mm x 610mm deep. A very nice natural pattern for this simple composition.

maintenance 4

Several years ago I purchased a tub from Japan and it came with a container of a kind of cleaning/conditioning fluid for the tub, which included a hinoki oil base.
Do you offer, or know where I could obtain, something similar?

Cleaning liquid: I am sorry, we do not have this product. In Japan,
as in other countries, hinoki oil is available for aromatherapy in different formats, including a liquid emulsion to be poured inside the hot water to have a hinoki-tub-like aromatic effect.
This is not used for cleaning. Hinoki wood contains within its fibers the resinous product commonly known as hinokitiol. Usage of cleaning products such as detergents or waxes/oils will clog the natural wood pores thus sealing inside the hinokitiol. If you want to take maternal care of the tub, you may wipe it with a towel after use which will prevent any darkening caused by mold.
Then keep a hygrometer inside the bathroom and avoid the relative humidity to drop below 50%.

UPDATE 2008.08.01
See also our news and products page. We have now a natural oil extract which can be used to clean, protect and regenerate the tub.

filtering system for hinoki tub

how are the modern Japanese recirculating water through a heater?
Or are they mainly designed for one session of hot water?

Thank you for your interest in our japanese bathtubs.

The japanese tub is a very simple, low tech, minimalist box made out of wood. For this reason it is also very flexible and can adapt to different uses.

In our experience, most of the private clients drain it after use. Anyway one session can be extended for a whole day with the use of tub covers and by adding hot water at need.

Most of the business users add on site recirculating/filtering systems in line with a heater. We do not supply this systems ourselves for the following reasons:
1) US or european makers of pumps/cartridge filters/ozone systems etc. are more advanced than products available in japan
2) Considerations about maintenance and spare parts
3) It is very easy to open a hole in solid wood with the pitch and diameter matching your equipment.

I hope I answered your question. Our tubs are custom made to fit the particular needs/sizes of each site and most of the solutions are evaluated case by case.
Please do not hesitate to contact us for any question or problem.

Please find below a scheme kindly participated by a client. (Wabi Sabi Culture – Pescara – Italy)

Ofuro Filtering System at Wabi Sabi Center.jpg

order and payment 5

My builder also enquired if it would be possible to get something like a VAT registration statement in respect of Bartok Design in Japan, if such a thing exists in Japan (it can be in japanese, I can get it translated locally). Or is this information going to be contained on the invoice? This is becase – I assume – since the tub was produced for export, there would have been no VAT or equivalent sales tax chargeable in Japan, but it will fall to be paid by me once I take the house with the tub in it from the builder. The builder would like some sort of documentation to support this.

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order and payment 4

May we use credit cards?

updated on 2009.4.27.
Yes, we will accept payments thru PayPal.

certifications 3

We are looking into your tubs for a remodel in the state of New York in the US. The building inspector has told us that the tub needs to have ASME plumbing approval (American Society of Mechanical Engineers). Do the tubs meet this standard? Can they be made to?

Thank you for your interest in our hinoki products.
Sorry, we do not have an ASME sticker. We had 2 cases in the past of exports to Canada requiring a CSA sticker. I think that the client explained the details and could convince the inspector.
This is the first case I hear of such a requirement for the US.
You should keep the line that a hinoki tub is not a hygenical fixture (bathtub), it is rather a health equipment (soaking tub). We are at your disposability, should you have any problem.

UPDATE 2009/1/1
We had two more cases in the US of the building department requiring ASME approval. (California and NY State). In both cases it was explained that the tub is for soaking (like a hot tub) and not for washing. This solved the problem.

certifications 2

The shipper told us that the customs may require what they called a PHYTO Certificate. It was explained to me to be a declaration by the producer of the imported goods which type of wood the product is made of, that the wood used was not treated by any dangerous chemical substance and that it is free from pests. Have you heard of such a requirement before?

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certifications 1

I visited your website. I really like the look and healing properties of your tubs. And, the craftsmanship seems outstanding.
After reading about the hinoki wood and the few places it can be found, I was curious if the hinoki wood you are using is farmed or old wood.
Is there concern about depleting it? Here in the Northwest United States much of our cedar is gone — to the point of great environmental concern.
I know Japan is protecting its forests as well. I’m curious about the current situation with the hinoki species.

We use both cultivated and natural wood. It depends on the type of project, size, quantity etc.
In any case, all the wood comes from sustainably managed areas, some are FSC certified (FSC tands for Forest Stewardship Council).
Hinoki is a coniferous tree and the growth takes about 20-25 years before being commecially exploitable. Farmed wood has the advantage of having few or no thru knots for an optimized usage of the material.
Japanese farmed coniferous wood is a story with lights and shadows.
Back in the 60`s and 70`s, millions of acres of mixed aboriginal woodland has been destroyed to make space for the more commecially exploitable farmed wood for construction.
To add insult to injury, during the 1990`s a weak dollar promoted imports of cheap 2×4 material from Canada, so that japan forestry entered a deep crysis.
After overproduction caused a drop in price, many forested areas ceased to be maintained or were abandoned all-together.
This created a new problem: man-made monocultured-crop forests are not stable ecosystem and the lack of maintenance causes landslides and other disasters.
The bottomline is that there is no point in crying over the poured milk: now the only thing we can do is to use this overstocked farmed wood to bring some relief to the mountain problems and maybe end up saving also some north american cedar forest (or what is left.)

construction 4

May I ask why the corners of your tubs are ‘T’ shaped? Can you make mitred joints?

While hinoki is impermeable when cut parallel to the wood grain, transversal sections are 6~8 times more vulnerable to water infiltration.
The traditional joint allows for full coverage of the plank head. Also, plugs and SUS screws can be inserted deeply in the joining plank, making the tub extremely solid and durable.

No, we will not make 45° mitered cuts. It is a weaker joint and is not a proper detail for a hinoki tub. I wish that tubs with mitered corners were not misleadingly called “Japanese tub”…

UPDATE 2008/06/20
We developed a model of tub which retain the constructive traditional details while providing an clean “minimalistic look”. This was achieved with thicker wall planks. See also the examples below:
http://www.bartokdesign.com/7-custom_ofuro/hinoki_tub_for_surrey_2.php
http://www.bartokdesign.com/7-custom_ofuro/hinoki_tub_for_manhattan.php

construction 3

Is it possible to have the bath fabricated from Teak wood? If not..which wood that you use wood look good next to teak..perhaps with a stain to bring the wood darker and closer to the Teak?

Our company is specialized in japanese hinoki wood and other softwoods of the cypress family such as sawara or asnaro-hiba. We will not build a tub in teak or any other imported hardwood.

If a tub should ever be built in teak, it should be uretan coated as it would produce an unpleasing smell and anyway it has not therapeutic properties.

About staining hinoki: again, one of the main points of having a japanese wood tub built is the aroma and the natural feeling of untreated wood. By using a stain, these 2 elements would be spoiled.

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