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！
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)
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.