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ofuro longevity

How resistant is the wood? Do these baths last a lifetime or do they need to be replaced after a certain time?

Also, could you please give me an idea of the cost and lead time?

Wood is a natural material so we cannot say it lasts centuries but a tub installed indoors and maintained carefully will still be nice after 30 years.

There are 3 elements that may spoil and accelerate the aging of wooden bathtubs.

a) dryness (the tub should be used often or some water should be inside to prevent damage in case of heating/air conditioning/long absences)

b) dampness (excessive humidity may cause stains and mold spots. use natural ventilation after draining the tub. If there is no window, padding the tub with a towel or placing an air circulator in the bathroom for 30 minutes will prevent problems)

c) soap (soap or soap foam will clog wood pores and create the premises for mold proliferation. if soap gets in touch with the wood just rinse thoroughly)

said that, consider that ofuros installed in luxury hotels (with heavy use) usually are replaced every 10 years – not for functional problems but to upkeep the image 100%.

About the lead time, consider about 3 months + 2 weeks for air shipping. We can try to match your schedule if you have tight time requirements so please let me know.

For the price, I will need to know which size you choose. Let me also know your address so I can verify the shipping cost door to door (note that VAT will be billed to you directly once clearing customs.

We are looking forward to working with you and remain at your disposal for any question/problem.

Ofuro and Longevity

I am interested in a custom size Ofuro wooden bathtub for the refurbishment of my bathroom in Amsterdam, however I would like to check whether this will be the right solution.

I have read somewhere that the wood dries out and may crack if the Ofuro is not used regularly. Is this correct and if yes, how often at a minimum do you recommend that the Ofuro should be used / filled with water?

The second question is, provided that the Ofuro is taken care of properly, how many years does it typically last before it needs to be replaced?

Thank you very much and kind regards

Thank you for your interest in our Japanese bathtubs!

First question:
We use only hinoki wood from the Kiso Valley – Nagano prefecture (or Asnaro wood from Aomori prefecture) from old growth forests.
Lumber 300+ years old dried with natural ventilation is very stable and will not warp/buckle/crack unless in extreme conditions.
Wood is still a natural material so you understand that it cannot compared with steel or acrylic.

To prevent cracking we ask to respect 3 conditions:
1) do not use heating or air conditioning in the bathroom while the tub is empty (or if you do take some precautions-> see below*)
2) use the tub regularly, at least 2 times a week. Daily use is preferred. (if you are away for extended periods, take some precautions-> see below*)
3) we supply a complimentary hygrometer. Keep an eye on it. (if the relative humidity is below 50%, take some precautions-> see below*)

*) keep some water in the tub and cover it. Alternatively, place a bucket with some water inside in the tub and cover it.
**) if you use the tub daily, you do not need to worry about point 3)

—————————————————————————

Second question:
If properly maintained a wooden tub can last 30 years or more.
In hotels or ryokans (japanese inns), bathtubs are replaced every 10-15 years.
Japanese climate is extremely humid, therefore in our experience tubs installed in Europe do not face some of the problems typical of wooden bathtubs (insurgence of black spots, stains.)

We are looking forward to working with you and remain at you disposal for any question/problem.

ofuro resistance and longevity

I am interested in a custom size Ofuro wooden bathtub for the refurbishment of my bathroom in Amsterdam, however I would like to check whether this will be the right solution.

I have read somewhere that the wood dries out and may crack if the Ofuro is not used regularly. Is this correct and if yes, how often at a minimum do you recommend that the Ofuro should be used / filled with water?

The second question is, provided that the Ofuro is taken care of properly, how many years does it typically last before it needs to be replaced?

Thank you very much and kind regards

Thank you for your interest in our japanese bathtubs!

First question:
We use only hinoki wood from the Kiso Valley – Nagano prefecture (or Asnaro wood from Aomori prefecture) from old growth forests.
Lumber 300+ years old dried with natural ventilation is very stable and will not warp/buckle/crack unless in extreme conditions.
Wood is still a natural material so you understand that it cannot compared with steel or acrylic.

To prevent cracking we ask to respect 3 conditions:
1) do not use heating or air conditioning in the bathroom while the tub is empty (or if you do take some precautions-> see below*)
2) use the tub regularly, at least 2 times a week. Daily use is preferred. (if you are away for extended periods, take some precautions-> see below*)
3) we supply a complimentary hygrometer. Keep an eye on it. (if the relative humidity is below 50%, take some precautions-> see below*)

*) keep some water in the tub and cover it. Alternatively, place a bucket with some water inside in the tub and cover it.
**) if you use the tub daily, you do not need to worry about point 3)

—————————————————————————

Second question:
If properly maintained a wooden tub can last 30 years or more.
In hotels or ryokans (japanese inns), bathtubs are replaced every 10-15 years.
Japanese climate is extremely humid, therefore in our experience tubs installed in Europe do not face some of the problems typical of wooden bathtubs (insurgence of black spots, stains.)

We are looking forward to working with you and remain at you disposal for any question/problem.

ofuro in Paris weather

Dear Iacopo,
Thank you for your email. We were living in Tokyo for six years. After living in different countries, now we are back to Paris.
It is our dream to have an ofuro in our bathroom like in the onsen.
I have  some questions for you:

1. How do I measure the bath, which size I have to choose? My husband is 185cm tall. I need a bath only for one person comfortably.
2. You said that I need a hygrometer to measure humidity, where can I find that?. My bathroom doesn’t have a window direct because is inside our bedroom. Do you think is possible?
3. How long will this ofuro last?

Please note:
The hygrometer: we will send you one together with the ofuro free of charge.

No problem if you have the ofuro in your bedroom ensuite.

Just be aware that air conditioning/heating will affect the tub mode and may dehydrate the wood. To prevent it you should use the tub regularly (2-3 times a week) and/or protect it with an airtight cover and place a bucket full of water inside so it can keep the air moist inside the ofuro.

About the longevity of the ofuro: please refer to our FAQ.

https://bartokdesign.com/?s=longevity

Please let me know if you have other question/problem.

Best//

iacopo

durability of different woods

I was told that sawara has poor durability compared to hinoki and kouyamaki is better durability,… can you clarify? which is better for longevity and mold resistance and cracking?
Hinoki contains more aromatic oil than sawara so in a test environment it can be said that it is more resistant… Anyway the secret to have a long lasting ofuro is love and care. Like a nice pair of leather shoes: it is smart to prevent problems with a constant even if easy maintenance. In case you need to repair a problem it will be costly and time consuming and you will never be able to restore the original condition 100%. It does not matter too much which type of wood you use. Just avoid contact with soap and dry condition. And ventilate well to avoid mold. It is that simple.

A gentle personality: Sawara

Sawara Cypress
The sawara cypress tree (Chamaecyparis pisifera) is very similar in appearance to the hinoki cypress tree. It grows slowly but can reach a height of up to 50m. As one of the Five Trees of Kiso it is highly-valued wood though it ranks below the hinoki which means there are more growing naturally in the forests of Japan. Both hinoki and sawara are sensitive to pollution which means they’re grown away from urban populations.

According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species there is no cause for alarm, the tree is well-represented and is classified as ‘Least Concern’. This is good news for wood-lovers and conservationists. Nevertheless, our suppliers manage the entire forest carefully with regard to the longevity of this eco-system.

Properties of Sawara
Sawara has a warm cherry-like color, a beautiful straight grain and is very aromatic. The beautiful fine color of the wood reflects the pure environment in which the trees grow. Sawara appeals to those who think hinoki is too pale. Sawara shares the same rot-resistant qualities as hinoki and is used in the construction of shrines and temples and of course ofuro bathtubs.

Sawara is becoming a very popular material also among the Japan-lover community because of its color and reasonable price.

remote control system for ofuro

Our current tub has a section on the side with filter, pump, heater, cleaner, and controls. I would prefer to have a remote system that would drain the tub after use into a temperature controlled, insulated holding tank, that would have a pump to refill the tub just before using. I saw that you had a drawing of a similar system. Would it be possible to get an email link with the people who did or used that design? We also would like a cutout on the top of the tub for controlled overflow to a drain.
How would you recommend doing that in such a way that it looked good and the water wouldn\’t stain the tub? Ideally everything I do will last 50+ years (except for the electronics – which is unrealistic for now).
Thanks in advance
About the equipment part (pump, filter, disinfection system, post-heating etc.) we cannot supply it.
You will have to ask a spa equipment company in maui to custom make for you a system. I hear that most people use ozone purifiers for wooden tubs.

About filling, heating and recirculating systems (very common in japanese households) we cannot supply it as we would not be able to do the maintenance/send spare parts. So again, you will have to have a custom made one. You can set up very easily a system with solenoid valves and magnet switches or software controlled (LAN) automation.

About the longevity: we treat the tubs with a water repellent full penetration product which add to the natural hinoki performance against rot and mold. Said so, I think that you should consider a life-span of 10-15 years for a tub used outdoors.

We are looking forward to working with you and remain at your disposal for any problem/question.

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