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construction 2

Do hinoki wood tubs leak?

Hinoki tubs do not leak but may weep when the water is kept inside for a long time or due to condensation. Waterproofing of the floor is not required, but recommended. Anyway I would suggest to use materials such as stone or tiles under the tub.

repairing a hump in the wood

The tub was delivered yesterday.
Thank you ever so much for everything again.
We, however, made a few mistakes and I would like therefore to ask you for some additional advice.
First of all, we forgot to read the paper attached to the plastic cover of the tub (we were so excited, like little kids, to open our present !!!), we realised afterwards that we should have left it wrapped in, since the bathroom is not yet ready. What should we do (humidity level, dust etc.) ?
Also, there was a small accident while opening the crate. The damage I mentioned to you on the phone was only on the crate, and there was no trace of damage on the tub itself, so that is resolved. However, we used a hammer to loosen the side boards of the crate, and the hammer must have rebounced and hit the top edge of the tub on both sides, at the height of the brand. I’ll send you the pictures when I get them on my computer from my neighbour. That means that we will probably have to sand down the whole top of the tub all around to make the marks disappear. Is that the right thing to do ? Are there special instruction for that matter as far as making the slanted edge, and/or treating the wood once sanded ? Is the wood treated, or is it only treated at the bottom ?
Everything would have been perfect, were it not for our impatience and uneducated use of that hammer…
With my warmest regards,

Please note:
1) for the plastic wrap, if it is still usable, wrap again the tub and use generously wide tape to seal the openings
If the wrap is badly damaged, you should get some new one from a home center. Close with tape.

2) For the hammer marks: I will need to see the pictures.
Wood swells when it is wet and there is the possibility that it slightly returns back if you blot it with a wet cloth (not just dump, make it dripping wet) or by pouring water on it for at least 1 hour.
If the wood is not returning, you can apply the dump cloth on the damaged area and press it with an iron (cotton-high temperature, apply intermittently for few seconds).

A third option is to sand it. The wood is not treated (excepted for for the bottom plank head). I think you should be able to sand only the faces which are damaged and not the whole top.
The corner fillet (mentori) should be made with a hand plane but this tool is difficult to use. You may employ a sander but be aware that the corner will become roundish instead.

maintenance 3

Which is the optimal humidity level for a wood tub? Can I use one for outdoors?

You should pay attention to the following:
The wood is a natural material and is well preserved in a balanced environment. A moisture percentage of 50% is recommended.

  • If there is scarce ventilation and the humidity is often over 70% your tub is likely to develop mold stains (which can quite easily be removed)
  • On the other hand, if the environment is too dry (below 40% relative humidity) the tub may crack and cause leakings.

The dryness effects can be mitigated by using the tub daily or leaving it full of water when you leave home for longer periods. Dryness is harmful for wood. Avoid direct and prolonged sunlight exposure and if you have heating system in the bathroom, keep an eye on the hygrometer.

Yes, you can install the tub outdoors, but please avoid as much as possible direct sunlight exposure, expecially when the tub is empty.

maintenance 2

Are your japanese hinoki bath tubs mold resistant? How do I clean it?

Hinoki wood has a unique natural protection against rot, mold and fungi, but you should use some common sense. If the bathroom is not ventilated or if you leave the bathtub full of cold water on a daily base, some stains may appear overtime. No need to worry. Just pour abundant warm water on the area until well absorbed by the wood. Then wipe gently with a cloth sprayed with alcohol for disinfection. The stain will disappear completely.

ADDED 2009.04.22
For toughter stains you can use -wisely- also some bleach for clothes. Wash abundantly with water after application.

maintenance 1

How long can I leave the water inside the tub? Do I need to dry it after each use?

The water should be removed when all the members of your family enjoyed their bath. Of course you can leave the water inside until the next day but unless you live in a very dry area, leaving water all the time of course can facilitate the insurgence of some mold stains.

Anyway, best practice is to empty the tub everiday (or at least twice a week if you have a recirculation system), quickly wipe the bathtub with a towel to remove the excess water. Then ensure there is a good natural ventilation (a bathroom with a vindow is strongly recommended) so the wood can adjust automatically its degree of humidity.

order and payment 3

What kind of payment schedule is common for the purchase?

Every tub is made to order. We will require a 50% deposit (made by wire transfer to our bank in Japan) to confirm the order. The 50% is calculated on the price of custom made items. Within 30 days we will build the tub and send you by email the photographs of the complete tub / accessories.
Then we will require the balance 50% payment + packing charge + accessories if any (es. bucket, chair…) + transportation charge, as it was shown on the quote.
If you prefer you can use a forwarder you know and we will omit the shipping expenses.

order and payment 2

Is the cost inclusive of transportation?

Yes. Each personalized quote includes pick-up in Japan, freight, terminal charges and delivery up to your door (unless you specify otherwise).
The price may not include sales taxes. In most cases you (the coinsignee) will have to fill in a customs application (it can be done by fax) which costs 200-250 US$ and includes sales tax. You will not have to pay any other charge.

order and payment 1

Can you ship to the United States? How long does it take?

Yes, we do ship to the US and to many other countries worldwide. In most of the cases we use air freight. Once the order is confirmed with a deposit, we start to custom build your bathtub. We guarantee the delivery to your home in 6~8 weeks from confirmed order. Shipping is done in a sturdy wood box and it contains the bathtub unit already in one piece for troublefree installation.

equipment 4

Do you only make ofuro, or do you also provide disinfection systems, recirculation pumps, and everything I need for a commercial ofuro?

To be honest, building a tub is more similar to naval carpentry than a normal plumber job. We do not supply any machine or pump equipment of any sort.
I recommend to find locally a pump and cartridge filter. If you replace the water every 3 days or so, you might skip the filter. About the disinfection: do not use chlorine.
Ozone seems to be popular, personally I would recommend a salt chlorinator. Please ask a pool equipment dealer near you. I had a client who used ‘Aquapure’ in a small pool and was very satisfied. It is a product available in the US. See: http://www.jandy.com/html/products/chlorinegenerators/aquapure_faqs.php

equipment 3

Your site recommends ‘pure warm water’ Is a high salt content okay? My image is the salt pools I sat in at Spa LaQua. I am thinking of Israel Dead Sea Salts, or another healthy salt.

There isn`t any direct problem about using salty water in a hinoki bath as long as:
1) once tub is emptied, it should be generously washed with normal water to avoid oxidation and staining
2) we will use stainless screws and plates, so no problem.

Anyway we do not have experience of this and do not know what it will happen in the long span. It may be OK, I do not know. You would have to try at your risk. I feel that salty water would at least alter the aroma and therapeutical properties of hinoki, but this might be just our prejudice.

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