Ofuro Soaking Tubs have been used by the Japanese for centuries to alleviate both physical and spiritual maladies.
Western and European cultures view bathing as a way to clean the body, but the Japanese see bathing or soaking in hot water as more of a spiritual ritual that cleanses, rejuvenates and heals the mind, body and spirit.
This ancient technique of total immersion in hot water takes away tension, stress, soothes muscular pains and stimulates blood circulation.
Click Here to view our most frequently asked Ofuro Soaking Tub questions.
The health benefits of this oriental soaking tradition, along with its ability to increase the quality of one’s life and well being, hasn’t gone unnoticed and consumer demand in Western Cultures for Ofuro Soaking Tubs has grown exponentially over the last twenty years.
Our Ofuro Soaking Tubs are custom crafted using the same quality, attention to detail, shapes and styling of traditional Japanese soaking tubs. Traditional Ofuro Tubs come in a wide variety of sizes and depths, but only two shapes; square or rectangular.
Each Ofuro tub is custom made and painstakingly crafted from the finest, hand selected woods available. Our master craftsman began as a woodworking apprentice in Japan many years ago and we’ve been perfecting our own style of Ofuro Soaking Tub ever since 1976.
The Japanese call the wood that they make traditional Ofuro tubs from “Hinoki”, but most Western cultures call it Port Orford Cedar. We offer customers three different wood options for Ofuro Soaking Tubs:
1. Port Orford Cedar – Traditional
2. Alaskan Yellow Cedar – Slightly More Durable
3. Teak – Rich & Exotic
Port Orford Cedar Ofuro Soaking Tub Sizes, Please call or email us to schedule a consultation!
Alaskan Yellow Cedar Ofuro Soaking Tub and Teak Ofuro Soaking Tub Sizes, Please call or email to schedule a consultation!
Differences Between Ofuro Soaking Tubs & Western Bath Tubs
Differences Between Ofuro Soaking Tubs & Western Bath Tubs
1. Soaking, Not Bathing – Ofuro Tubs are meant for soaking, relaxation and rejuvenation, not bathing. We strongly recommend not using soaps and shampoos as doing so will undesirably stain the wood.
2. Tub/Water Depth – The average water/tub depth in Western bathtubs is approximately 12″ and you can’t realistically submerge your entire body in hot water even when lying down. The average inside depth of our Ofuro Soaking Tubs is 26″ – 28″ and we can easily adjust the inside depth up or down depending on your specifications.
3. No Overflow – Unlike our bathtubs, Ofuro Soaking Tubs do not have an overflow. Ofuros are designed to overflow over the top of the tub and onto the floor. Not having an overflow allows the tub to be much deeper, but it requires that the floor underneath the Ofuro be completely waterproofed with a central floor drain installed.
In addition, traditional Ofuro tubs are typically drained onto the floor, although you can plumb it to drain into a standard drain pipe.
Our special “Flip Drain” can handle the tub draining. The Flip Drain is a stopper that fits onto the flush mounted bronze drain, and is included with Ofuros that do not have a re-circulation heating system. We also offer an automated electronic drain valve as an option.
Soaking Tubs are traditionally very small, don’t have air jets or massage features and accommodate just one person. These tubs are filled with hot water and then emptied at the end of the evening.
The majority of westerners prefer their tubs to be much larger and they want the ability to customize their soaking tubs in much the same manner as you would a regular wood hot tub.
Our master craftsmen excel at creating Ofuro Soaking Tubs that meet the expectations of Ofuro traditionalists as well as customers who prefer a more Westernized Ofuro experience.
From an “Options” standpoint, most of our domestic customers add circulation, filtration and heating systems as well as therapeutic jets.
Adding circulation and filtration systems allows soakers to re-use the water in an Ofuro numerous times instead of draining it after each use. The plumbing fittings that we use on Ofuro Soaking Tubs are custom made and flush mounted to the tub with clear-coated bronze fittings. If desired, these fittings can also be plated with chrome, nickel or even gold.
We’ve spent almost 40 years perfecting our craft and Roberts Hot Tubs Ofuro Soaking Tubs now rival the finest Japanese products. We take great pride in hand-selecting each individual piece of wood that goes into making an Ofuro.
We construct our Ofuros in such a manner that when complete, each side appears to be made of a single board, with no seams or indication as to how the sides are joined together.
Most importantly, and unlike many of our competitors, our development process keeps our Ofuro Soaking Tubs from seeping, weeping, dripping or leaking even a single drop of water.
What Size Ofuro is Right for You?
All of our Ofuro Soaking Tubs are custom made to order, so there are no standard sizes.
We make the tub to fit your individual desires, taste, depth and space.
We’ve built about every size you can think of, so if you can imagine it, we can make it!
The “typical” inside depth is 26″ to 28″ where upon you sit on the floor, but it’s not uncommon to make them as deep as 48″ to allow for bench seating. The thickness of the Ofuro’s walls are generally dependent on the depth.
As the depth increases, so does the wall thickness. Up to 28″ deep the thickness of the sides is a full 2″. Over 28″ and up to 36″ deep, the thickness increases to 3″. Anything over 36″ deep, the wall thickness increases to 4″.
Japanese Ofuro Soaking Tub FAQs
Q. What sizes are available?
A. If you can imagine it, we can make it (almost). We have no “standard” sizes and most every Ofuro we have made over the last 20 years has been customized to the needs and desires of the client in one way or another. We’ve made them as large as 7′ x 5′ x 4′ deep , and as small as 2′ x 2′ x 2′. Although we have made them as long as 7′, currently the largest Ofuro we’ll make is 5′ x 5′ or 6′ x 4′.
This is due to a decrease in stability as the size increases. The “typical” depth is 26″ to 28″ where upon you sit on the floor. It’s not uncommon though, to make them deeper, up to 48″, and have a bench for seating.
As the size of the Ofuro increases, the thickness of the walls increase as well. Up to 28″ deep the walls are 2″ thick. Over 28″, up to 36″ a thickness of 3″ is required and over 36″ the thickness increases to 4″. If forced to give a “typical” size, 3′ x 5′ x 28″ deep is somewhat common.
Q. How is the size specified?
A. Due to our unique manufacturing process, it’s important to understand how the “specified size” relates to the actual finished size. Length and width refers to the overall outside dimensions, meaning the inside length and width will be smaller due to the thickness of the sides.
The thickness of sides range from 2″ to 4″ thick, depending on the overall depth of the Ofuro (up to 28″ deep, 2″ thick sides, over 28″ to 36″ deep – 3″ thick. Over 36″ deep, 4″ thick). The height refers to the actual inside depth, meaning the overall height will be higher due to the thickness of the floor and the added height from the small joists the Ofuro sits on.
With our optional slopped backs, length and width measurements are determined at the top of the Ofuro. The slopes are at a fixed 15 degrees (this angle can not be changed) and the bottom dimensions fall where they may.
Q. How do they drain and overflow?
A. In order to obtain maximum water depth for the most enjoyable soaking, Ofuros don’t have an overflow like the typical American bathtub. While we have on occasion installed “conventional” overflows, the preferred style allows the Ofuro to simply overflow over the top. This of course requires that the Ofuro be installed on waterproofed floor with a center drain.
For draining there’s a few options. If the Ofuro is being filled and drained for each use, included is a custom, 1″ MPT, flush mounted, bronze drain fitting. The location of the drain can be specified to exactly match your plumbing layout, and it includes a lever operated stopper. An optional fully electronic drain valve is also available.
Ofuros with a recirculating heating system or that are fully jetted, can have the above configuration as an option, but more frequently the draining is done through the plumbing. A “T” with a valve is simply installed into the added plumbing.
Q. What different woods can an Ofuro be made of?
A. The vast majority of Ofuros are made either of hinoki or teak. Other woods that have been used are yellow cedar, western red cedar, Spanish cedar and others. While hinoki is more traditionally Japanese, teak is slightly more durable and less prone to staining. Due to the majority of the production costs being labor, the type of wood you choose has little or no effect the overall cost of the Ofuro.
Q. Can they be located outdoors?
A. Yes, however there are some special considerations. If located outdoors the Ofuro has to be completely shaded from direct sunlight. We also don’t advise anything larger than 5′ x 3′ going outside, and teak is without a doubt, the preferred wood of choice.
Q. Can I use soap in an Ofuro?
A. No. The Ofuro is intended specifically for soaking and soap will cause permanent staining to the wood.
Q. How is the wood treated?
A. Our Ofuros are made of all wood with no finish applied to them. We do not recommend any type of finish, nor can we even suggest one.
Q. How are Ofuros heated?
A. Most residential home do not have enough hot water supply to fill an Ofuro. With every cubic foot of water being 7 gallons, smaller Ofuros hold about 100 gallons and a “typical” 5′ x 3′ x 26″ deep Ofuro holds about 160 gallons.
Some instantaneous water heaters can fill an Ofuro, but most people chose to add a small recirculation (pump) system with an electric “spa” heater. Adding a filter and ionizer to this, one can reuse the water for up to a week without the use of standard hot tub chemicals. Using a small amount of chemicals the water can last up to 3 months.
Q. Can they be outfitted with jets?
A. Absolutely! Just like a normal hot tub or spa an Ofuro can be jetted. Just like the drain fittings, the jets are a custom clear coated solid bronze fitting. The location of the jets needs to be determined before construction of the Ofuro is completed as they must be installed during the construction process.
Also, keep in mind that jets require plumbing on the exterior of the Ofuro. It will almost certainly be preferred to cover/hide this plumbing with some type of deck or surround, build on site.
Q. How much does an Ofuro weigh when filled?
A. The weight of a filled Ofuro is determined by simply calculating its size in cubic feet, and multiplying by 65 (equals total pounds weight). Since most Ofuros are sized by inches (outside length x outside width x overall outside height), it can be easier to determine the weigh based upon cubic inches. Total cubic inches, divided by 26.5, will result in the overall weight went filled in pounds.
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Ofuro Soaking Tubs – Experience the Healing & Rejuvenating Powers of Soaking