bathtub in Carolina climate

we live in the states, in North Carolina, and we have weather similar to Japan, i.e. hot and humid in the summer, and cold and dry in winter. What effect does that have on the wood?

Well a climate similar to japan you will need to:
1) in summer: provide a good natural ventilation. Once you empty the tub, wipe it with a dry cloth and leave the windows open.
A wet climate may cause mold stains. On the other hand, this problem is minimized because we use a water repellent. See the documentation on our HP:

2) in winter: avoid using heating equipment in the bathroom when the tub is empty. Use the tub often (at least 2 times a week) and if you leave for an extended period, leave a bucket of water inside the tub and cover it to increase the air relative humidity. Keep an hygrometer near the tub and assure that humidity does not drop below 50%.
If the climate is too dry, there is the risk of the wood drying and eventually cracking.

eco-scrooge outlet tub(sold out!)

sorry, sold out!

Are you into energy saving, recycling, waste reduction?
Would you choose an organic vegetable soup over an overstuffed hamburger?
Do you enjoy a hike on the Rokies more than window shopping on 5th Avenue?

Than, this tub is for you!

The front planks have a nice gradation and are joined in such a way to enhance this quality, like a rainbow.
All the material is beautiful asnaro wood and comes from the same lot, which was partially used for another project. But how could we make it so cheap?
We could considerably reduce the cost by using some AB grade material.
Note from the pictures below that there are 2 flush knots in the top frame border we used.

Of course this does not affect the quality of the wood, actually the eco-scrooge who lives inside you will enjoy the skillful inlays as the mole on Marilyn`s beautiful cheek!

I cannot really explain in writing how silky is this tub`s inside. If you have a chance to visit Japan, consider dropping by at our warehouse in Yotsukaido (near Narita airport).
This tub is worth a trip!

Here are the details:
size: L1300mm x W800mm x H630mm (external
dimensions) 640mm(depth)
quality: asnaro wood.

1) AB grade tub (masame cut) : 390,000. JPY
2) Packaging: 1500x1000x830 plywood box: 39,000. JPY
3) Pick up and delivery to Tokyo port or Narita air port: 10,000 JPY

For the payment, we accept Credit cards thru PAYPAL or contact us for wire transfer information to our bank account in Japan.

Click here: (ofuro drawing) to download it in acrobat format.

Do it again Sam – ofuro in Toronto

This client, looking for a tub for his home renovation in Canada, found our “Stretch your legs” asnaro tub featured in our outlet corner. Well, the tub was already sold out but we offered to make a new one at the same price!


Asnaro wood tub AB grade (quarter sawn)
Dimensions are: L1350mm x W800mm x H635mm (ext. dim.) 550mm (deep)
The bottom of the tub is finished with a copper apron and the joints are realized with wooden dowels.


Accessories include a wooden bucket and 16m2 of wainscoting in hinoki knotless planks L2000mm x W105 x t12mm

cutting planks


A block of quarter-sawn lumber is split in planks for making a bathtub. The thichness is 45mm: once it is planed it will be 42mm finished.


hinoki ofuro in the fuji TV morning news

a beautiful japanese ofuro. Who`s taking a bath here?
and, what is the cameraman doing with my hinoki bathtubs … ?

Last week I was interviewed for fuji television, the media coverage of the “new wave of the japanese bathing culture” is rising … and there I am in the spotlight again 🙂 !



they filmed in high vision the grain of our beautiful kiso valley hinoki.
Ikeda san was not so happy about entereing in the ofuro together…
But the hinoki fragrance made him relax almost instantly



The VTR will be broadcasted on 4/25 in the morning news on Fuji television (national programming) and will also contain an interview with a client from L.A.
I will keep you posted!

Hinoki Ofuro for Upstate NY

It sounds like a sweet match: a cabin in the Adirondack mountains and a japanese
soaking tub…
According to the client, the bathroom will have a traditional Japanese washing station and the tub will be free standing with water able to spill over all 4 sides.
We first made a quotation for this project about 6 months before and were pleased to be contacted again, as the sitework is progressing and reaching its final stages..


Hinoki wood tub AB grade (quartersawn) / L shaped corners
Dimensions are: L1400mm x W750mm x H640mm (ext. dim.) 550mm (deep) .
The bottom of the tub is finished with natural oil and the joints are realized with wooden dowels.
Accessories include an internal removable seat and traditional wood cover.

The corner joint is made in such a way that the water cannot reach the head of the planks (cut perpendicular to the wood veins) which is more vulnerable to water.


And here is the detail of the cover planks.


Ofuro featured on japanese TV!

Here are some strips from the program broadcasted last month on the japanese TV.

The carpenters father and son work on the corner joint by creating a precise tongue and groove


the convex part is hammered for a precise fit. Once the wood is wet the two planks of wood hug eachother thus creating a perfectly watertight joint


the bottom inner perimeter is completed with the insertion of a pad made of hinoki bark which has sealant and bactericidal properties.


most of our tubs are “copper bottomed” for optimal performance and durability. Here is our client from California enjoying the bathing ritual…


and here are other testimonials from the 17 countries wordwide where we have references.
Lastly, a reference from Rome-Italy, in an apartment just meters away from the Colosseum.


Our carpenter is so happy to see that his creations are appreciated by people living so far away…!


Please look here for an extract of the video:

Reference from Simi Valley

Hello Iacopo and everyone at Bartok Design!
I wanted to tell you that we are enjoying our beautiful bath accessories (stool, bucket, and ladle). The aroma of the wood is incredible and brings back fond memories of Japan. I cannot fully explain how happy we are, the craftsmanship is wonderful.
I also want to thank you for all the help with the shipping issues that we experienced. Transporting goods across the world is not always an easy thing and sometimes the carriers are very rough. Even though you packaged everything very well, they still managed to crush the container. However, when I reported this to you, I was immediately informed that you were shipping out replacements. There was no hassle or question, just your team taking every step necessary to ensure my satisfaction. I only wish that I get such incredible customer service here in California.
We will be remodeling our bathroom soon and I look forward to purchasing the ofuro and related items from you. You have more than earned the business through impeccable service and stellar quality. I am very excited for that day to come soon!
All our best from Simi Valley, California,

waiting for the show

Yes, today is the day. The primetime TV program featuring two of our ofuros used abroad will be on air tonight. But… WAIT A MINUTE!…
I was so surprised to see this full color advertisment on the morning paper!!


bathtub shapes, sloped ends and maintenance

1) I see that traditional tubs are square but for the ones that do have angled sides what angle do the sides/back come in? And is it comfortable to sit/lean back in?
2) I also see that the tubs are custom, so does that mean shapes can also be customized?
3) What is the best way to maintain the wood? Or what things are needed to be done to keep the tub maintained (no mold/mildew/leaking)?

1) usually we slope battered ends 15 degrees (from the vertical). This is usually a detail requested by clients/local designer as they think that it would be more comfortable to sit inside. Actually, because the water makes the body float, the back assumes a comfortable angled position regardless of the tub end. From a functional point of view, straight is same as sloped. I recommend to choose the sloped option if you like the look/shape or to save a couple of gallons of hot water. The bathtub cost is same for the two options: the straight back requires less work but more material, the sloped detail involves more work but less material.

2) Yes, shapes can be customized, anyway irregular or complex shapes are not recommendable because the water pressure would cause structural problems and leakages to unbalanced shapes. We can do square, rectangular, round, ellipse with straight sides, exagonal/octagonal (depends on the size, please consult)

3) please refer to our FAQ`s. There is really no magic solution as wood is best preserved in a well balanced environment. Use the tub often (everyday is best) to maintain an optimal humidity level and avoid cracks/leaking.
For the same reasons, be sure not to use heating systems or central air conditioning in the bathroom, when the tub is not in use (empty)
To avoid insurgence of mold, open the windows after the tub has been emptied and if the weather is very humid, wipe the tub with a bathtowel after use.

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