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wood wainscoting for your bathroom

A great way to complement a hinoki bathtub is with wooden wainscoting.
There are two options to choose from. Narrow [top left] and wide [top right].
The wood paneling is packed and delivered like this:

installed like this:

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and looks like this:

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VTR of Yoshiaki visiting ryokan in Kiso

Here is another short VTR that Yoshiaki took in Kiso valley when visiting the ryokan of a friend.
The place is located in Nagano-ken, Kiso-gun.
The name of the ryokan is: NEZAME-SANSHI (=purple mountains). This is because the mountains surrounding Kiso in all directions turn to purple at sunset.

I hope you enjoy!

ofuro tubs video

We prepared a short VTR about our japanese ofuro tubs.
How do you like it? We welcome your comments!

bartok tubs in their new homes!

Our wonderful customers have graciously sent us photographs of their installed and fully functional bathtubs. In both big and small, traditional and modern spaces, the tub fits in perfectly creating a relaxing atmosphere that anyone can enjoy.

hinokibuth

Shoji Doors Shipped

Our client decided on option B, the doors with a contemporary feel. Below are the products ready to be shipped.

japanese shiji

Shoji doors are usually made with rice paper, however, rice paper is delicate and doesn’t fair well in humid environments, like a bathroom. We recommend to replace the paper with a synthetic material that looks like paper call warlon. This fascinating material is used for many interior applications in Japan today. (Warlon website in Japanese only)

japanese shiji

Above are the rails that are to be fitted above and below for the doors to slide.

japanese shiji

And for the final touch wooden wainscot paneling, and Japan has been brought to your home!

Shoji Doors for Japanese Style Room

We had a client who wanted a comprehensive Japanese look for his room. The image above was taken from the bedroom facing the bathroom and closet. Our client wanted to used traditional Japanese shoji doors to separate the spaces.
I sent my client the following two proposals:

Option A is classic Japanese but involves more pieces. This design includes a column and beam casing which separates the closet doors from the bathroom doors and the top storage from the full sized doors.

Option B is simple and more contemporary. There are no exposed columns so the doors look like parts of a whole and because there is no beam the ceiling will feel higher.

Options A and B can also be mixed and matched according to one’s vision.

Toto – Japan’s Leading Innovator for all things Bath

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Toto was founded on May 15, 1917 then known as Toyo Toki Co. Ltd. Toto is an innovative company, always thinking towards the future and focusing on the needs of the market. Toto now has offices on three continents.
Please click here to view Toto’s full online catalogue of FRP ofuros. This catalogue is in Japanese please view the images and model numbers and contact us with any questions.
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Health Benefits of Soaking in Warm Water

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Soaking tubs have seen an upward trend in popularity in the last decade, and for good reasons: recent research has proved that water is a natural healer. Soaking in warm water has similar benefits to exercise without over exerting the heart. The temperature increases heart rate but also dilates the blood vessels thus increasing blood flow to the extremities of the body without raising blood pressure.
Being in warm water is different from sitting in a sauna or a steam room for one very simple reason, buoyancy. When submerged in water your body can relax easily because it is essentially weightless. The warm temperature releases endorphins which eases tense muscles and stimulates nerves along the spinal cord which clams the endocrine system and internal organs. As a result, soaking can help fight insomnia, back aches, joint pains, and migraines, to name a few.
Sitting in warm bath several times a week will relax your body, ease your stress and you will feel more energized as a result. Try a soaking tub, and your body will thank you for it!

How is a Japanese ofuro different from a regular bathtub?

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Soaking in a bathtub every evening is part of the way of life for many Japanese. A part for cleaning the body from the dust of the outside world, a bath before going to bed is relaxing and warms up the body to stand even a long and cold winter night.
Japanese bathrooms are built so that there is a separate area for washing hair and body before entering into a warm bath to soak and relax. Because the bath water is not used of cleansing, the tub doesn’t have to be refilled for every member of the family.
The Japanese are also masters of efficiently using space and of course they apply this skill to their bathrooms as well. Ofuro tubs are shorter in length than regular western tubs but they also have greater depth, which means one can soak in a sitting position with warm water up to their shoulders. Many ofuros come with built in benches so that you can sit in a comfortable position and enjoy your bath. In addition the smaller size not only tends to use less water but the reduced surface area keeps the water warm longer.

japanese style ofuro.gifTraditional Ofuro

western style bath.gifWestern Style Bath

best of both bath.gifPostwar Ofuro

Although traditional Japanese ofuros are made out of hinoki wood, nowadays most of bathtubs for normal homes in Japan are made of synthetic materials such as acrylic or FRP. The size of these tubs tend to fall between traditional Japanese tubs and western style tubs. FRP Ofuros and are easy to maintain, but most importantly they don’t have to be built into your bathroom, rather just placed on the floor, like a large bucket.

As mentioned above, the japanese style bathroom consists of the bathtub itself (yo-bune or ofuro) and the washing area (araiba). The araiba is an area in front of the tub equipped with a shower and a faucet and with a floor drain. The user would sit on a stool and take time soaping and scrubbing the whole body. Then he/she would use the shower – or scoop some of the water from the tub to rinse the body before entering in the ofuro.

For this reason, the bathroom itself needs to be waterproofed as if it was a large walk-in shower. These bathrooms can be realized in concrete blocks, waterproofed (FRP, asphalt, PVC sheet) and finished with tiles, wainscoting, etc.

Alternatively, in Japan it is common to use Unit baths made as a shell of FRP cladded inside with printed panels or tiles. The Unit baths are light weight and can be installed in 1 or 2 days. Another advantage is that their structure is very thin so they are compact and highly space-efficient.
Common sizes are 1300x1600mm, 1600x1600mm, 1600x2400mm, 2100x3000mm and anything in between.
Bartok design is not exporting unit baths but we are at your disposal for any question about waterproofing or creating a wet room to enjoy fully the advantages of japanese style bathing. Do not hesitate to contact iacopo at japan@bartokdesign.com

tub installed in Tokyo

Here are some pictures of a beautiful hinoki bathtub installed in Tokyo.
click on the pictures for an enlarged view!

hinoki wood japanese bathtub

hinoki wood japanese bathtub

hinoki wood japanese bathtub

hinoki wood japanese bathtub

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