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.

Bartok design ofuro featured on japanese TV program

Channel 19, a major TV broadcasting company in japan contacted with reference to our hinoki bathtubs…!
They run a very popular program: “Wafū Sōhonke” which would translate “total Japanese traditional house”. They make a show every week (with rebroadcasting on saturdays) about japanese traditional crafts. -> ->

They shoot 2 locations where our tubs are installed, in Italy and California.
I am also looking forward to see it and hear the clients`s comments !!

The program will be aired on 2/16, see more details here below:

Show Title:Wafu Souhonke – Produced by TV Osaka/Aired Nationwide by TV Tokyo
On air Every Thursday Night 9:00PM~

Aired Date: February 16th, 2012 (Thursday) 9:00PM 1.5hour Special
Cast: Takeo Chii, Hisako Manda, Takahiro Azuma and more
Show Summary) Through this show, we are reporting the “Heart of Japan” to our audience.
We want to reconsider “Japanese Culture” that we think we know, but we actually might not.

Project Title: Made in Japan Products That Are Found in the World-Part 2

Project Summary:
The skills and quality in goods created in Japan are kept by the Japanese craftsman and those are not only recognized in Japan but also in the world. Japanese products are utilized in unexpected places in the world. This project is a part 2 of a search of those unknown “Made in Japan” goods in the world.


using a wooden tub outdoors

Would it be okay to place a tub outdoors with its top at the level of the deck and its bottom resting on a concrete or stone slab?
We have termites in our area which is one block from the beach and thus fairly humid as well. Should we therefore use the Asnaro wood? When it’s wet, does Asnaro also have the pleasant aroma like Hinoki?

Yes, wooden tubs can be used outside but some precautions must be taken to protect it from direct sunlight and dryness.
There is no problem as long as the tub is protected with a cover from direct sunlight while it is empty. A soft spa thermal cover would improve also the situation in winter and prevent the risk of cracks caused by sudden drops in temperature.
For the termites, there should be no problem, you should build it into the deck in such a way that air can circulate around.
Asnaro has a nice and relaxing aroma as well, actually more intense than hinoki.

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