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FAQ Japanese ofuros and soaking tubs

FAQ - Japanese Soaking Tubs

 

 

What is an ofuro?
An ofuro is a bathtub.  The concept began in Japan - a DEEP, hot soaking bathtub.  Zen Bathworks customers appreciate the beautiful modern aesthetic of a hand-crafted, warm, natural wood tub. The simple beauty and traditional design combined with unusual depth offer the bather a bit of luxury that is easy to use. The lemon/ginger scent of the Hinoki wood is aromatherapy at its best. Traditional, organic wooden ofuros offer a silent steaming refuge from the artificial pressures of society. We have a reverence for wood!

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How deep are they?
Deep! Almost twice as deep as typical bathtubs.  We understand the importance of a deep bath.  Zen Bathworks wooden ofuros are a full 22" deep. Finally you can sit and soak with water up to your neck. Check the specification sheets available from each product page for specific tubs.

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Is installation difficult?
No. In fact, Zen Bathworks ofuros are generally very simple to install. Free-standing installations are easiest and our ofuros have a fine finish on all sides. Alternatively you can place the tub in a corner, alcove, or recess.  See our many photos and blog for examples.

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Do you offer design services?
Yes. If you would like some help designing for one of our baths we can help. Start by browsing our gallery of photos for ideas. You can hire us to provide some room design ideas, concept and shop drawings.  Call 888 810 7717.

How does the ofuro drain?
The ofuro includes a custom "toe tap" drain made of solid brass with a choice of finishes. The drain has standard 1.5 inch pipe thread. Overflow drain systems are available as an option.  Tell me more about drains.

Can I use bath salts or oils?
Yes. Bath salts like epsom salt will have no effect on our tubs. Used in moderation, essential oils are fine as well. Soap is okay however most customers prefer to use the ofuro in the traditional way - for a hot soak after showering. Simply give the tub a quick rinse after each use. Note that we do not recommend the ofuro for use as a combination "shower" tub.

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Are your ofuros water tight?
YES of course!  Zen Bathworks rectangular tubs are water tight. Our tub walls and floors are engineered and vacuum-pressed to create a completely stable and incredibly strong tub design. Wood tubs built by others do not use our methods thus may leak and are not recommended. 

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Can an ofuro be installed outdoors?
Yes. Even though our tubs are designed for indoor use, our construction techniques result in a tub that is so strong it can stand up to most anything that Mother Nature can dish up.  We recommend either Red Cedar or Teak for outdoor tubs. Turn one of our ofuros into a simple outdoor bathtub.

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What is the best way to heat the water for my ofuro?
The best, simplest and healthiest way to provide hot water to an ofuro is to use your home hot water system just as you would with a standard bathtub. We recommend the new efficient fast recovery heaters or a tankless "on-demand" type heater if capacity needs to be increased. A tankless or "on-demand" water heater provides hot water just as you need it. The two biggest advantages are unlimited continous hot water and reduced operating cost. Most US homes have storage tank water heaters that are inefficent and of limited capacity. There are several very good models of "on-demand" heaters available. Paloma and Aquastar are two very good manufacturers.

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How long will the water stay hot?
A LONG time! Zen Bathworks wooden ofuros have thick walls and floor, and since wood is a good insulator, your bath stays hot!  Long enough for an extended soak - for an hour or more. To heat up the tub a bit to extend the bath, simply add a small amount of hot water to the tub. Your wood tub holds heat much longer than other materials. No "tub heater" is necessary!

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Can I reuse the water in my ofuro for another bath?
This is common in Japan because the bather washed thoroughly before using the tub. Zen Bathworks wooden ofuros hold heat so well that two or more bathers can enjoy the tub in the same evening.   If you want a larger ofuro and prefer to reuse the water for several days, then we can help set up the tub as a hybrid between an ofuro and a hot tub. This means adding spa equipment so the water can be reheated and sanitized. For normal sized tubs this is not recommended.  Only consider this option if you are sure you need a larger tub and want to run it like a hot tub. 

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How do your tubs ship and how much does shipping cost?
Most Zen Bathworks ofuro tubs ship for FREE to most locations in the USA. We build a very substantial crate to protect your tub during shipment. The crate will be delivered by common carrier to your address.  We make all the arrangements. More on shipping.

Is assembly required?
No.  All Zen Bathworks ofuros come assembled and ready to install.  All that is needed for installation is a drain connection and a faucet set.  Zen Bathworks wooden hot tubs ARE available in kit form if you need a tub that can be assembled on site.

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How heavy is the ofuro when it's full of water?
See the detail page on each of our tubs for full specifications including dimensions, water volume, weight and moreTo figure the weight of a filled tub on your own, a good estimate is 10 lbs per gallon in the tub, so 100 gallon tub would be approximately 1000 lbs.

Are they easy to maintain?
YES! Fill, soak, drain.  It is that simple!  Complete care instructions are included with the tub.

Do I need to keep water in the tub?
NO. Zen Bathworks tubs are designed to be left empty. No hassle. Tubs of inferior design by other manufacturers often need to be kept filled - Not ours! (keeping a tub filled inside your home is a bad idea for many reasons - extra water vapor, mildew, child risk ...)

Do I  need to use spa chemicals to keep the water clean?
NO! The best way to insure clean water is to use the tub as a normal bathtub: Fill, enjoy, drain.  Done.

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What size ofuro do I need?
There are many factors to consider here. First, Zen Bathworks ofuros are very spacious inside.  The typical ofuro is much deeper that what most people are used to. Because of the depth, you don't need as much length or width. Your physical body size, water availability, room design, and expected use are all important factors to consider. Download our spec sheets on the product pages or contact us for additional help on sizing a tub.

Are custom sizes available?
Yes!  Contact us by email or call (888 810 7717) to discuss your needs. 

What is your order cancellation policy?
See terms and conditions here.

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Do you have a guarantee? 
Yes. Zen Bathworks wooden ofuros are guaranteed for a full 3 years against defects in material or workmanship.