Japanese soaking bathtubs are quite different from Western-style tubs. One of their most important characteristics is the fact that they have a deeper construction. Also, the sides are usually square instead of being sloped like the tubs we use today.
Originally, the tubs were made of wood but now they’re often made of plastic of stainless steel. Modern models can also be made of acrylic.However, wooden tubs can still be found and they have a more relaxing effect.
The Japanese tubs are meant for relaxing and warming oneself and not usually for washing. Top of the range models feature a re-circulation system which filters and re-heats the water. These deep-soaking tubs are often shorter than the usual models but, because they don’t have the low construction of Western-style tubs, they are still very relaxing and comfortable.
Japanese tubs are also known as ofuros. They can be square or rectangular and are typically crafted of wood. Traditionally, the wood of choice is hinoki but other more durable options can also be used.
There are three main differences between the ofuro and the wester-style tub. As we’ve already mentioned, the Japanese tubs are for relaxation and meditation so soaps and shampoos are not used as they may stain the wood.
Then there’s the water depth and the over-flow. Ofuros don’t have an overflow and the water goes onto the floor. However, it is possible to make a few changes.
Such a tub could be a good choice for small bathrooms or for bathrooms with a spa-like design, meant to be serene and relaxing. It’s easy to create a beautiful interior décor having the tub as a starting point. You can continue with the Asian influence or you can create a décor with an organic and zen feel using materials like stone and wood. Luxury Japanese tubs are still made of expensive woods and they can be fitted with Western-style fittings.