Info & FAQs - Ofuro Tubs
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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!
+ 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. Want yours even deeper? No problem. We offer custom interior depths up to 34"!
+ 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 for examples.
+ How does the ofuro drain work?
The ofuro includes a custom "Presflo®" drain made of solid brass with a choice of finishes. The floor drain has 1.5 inch straight pipe thread, which protrudes below the floor of the tub and beyond the installation nut, ready to connect to. Overflow drain systems are available as an option, and then provide a 1.5" slip joint connection directly below the vertical overflow tube. Tell me more about drains.
+ Can I use bath salts or oils? Soap?
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.
+ Are your tubs 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.
+ Are they made of solid wood?
We use solid wood, but make it 10 times better. Our tub walls and floor feature a proprietary engineered solid wood core. This is an advanced technique that uses vacuum-pressed laminations and waterproof epoxy to create a completely stable and incredibly strong tub design. Our corner and floor joinery and craftsmanship are second to none. Old style wood ofuros made with planks are highly prone to problems and are not recommended.
+ 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.
+ 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 water heater provides hot water just as you need it. The two biggest advantages are unlimited continuous hot water and very often reduced operating cost. Most US homes have storage tank water heaters that are less efficient and of limited capacity. Tankless water heaters have become commonly available and there are several reputable manufacturers.
+ 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!
+ 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.
+ 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.
+ 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 more. To 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.
+ 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 than 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. We recommend that you see our spec sheets on the product pages and use temporary materials (e.g. cardboard and tape) to make a mock frame-work of different sizes to physically visualize what size would be best for you. If after that you have questions, or contact us for additional help on sizing a tub.
+ Are custom sizes available?
+ What is your order cancellation policy?
+ Are Ofuros UPC listed?
Our Ofuros are not listed with any plumbing code organizations. They are custom, handmade, authentic wooden soaking tubs, with natural aromatherapy. This means the interior is a true natural wooden surface, not a wood core with synthetic topcoat sealer. Therefore they are not eligible to be added to lists of products that have been pre-certified as code compliant, such as UPC's list. However, since 2009 our proprietary unique design has proven itself without fail and not a single unit has ever leaked a drop in testing or in use. While plumbing code requirements can vary by state and even by county, customers from all of the 50 United States have purchased and installed our Ofuros successfully. If you are concerned about code restrictions take note there are a few different ways to install an Ofuro. See our Ofuro installation General Concept Diagrams. Click here to go to our Get Documents page.
+ Do you have a guarantee?
Yes. Zen Bathworks wooden ofuros are guaranteed for a full 3 years against defects in material or workmanship.
+ Why do I see the same Ofuro photos on the product pages of some of your competitors?
That's a good question. We're not entirely sure, but there is one thing we know for sure. All of the Ofuro and Cedar Hot Tub photos we display on our website are of tubs WE BUILT! We would never knowingly mislead our customers into thinking someone else's work is our own. As for why some of our competitors choose to do otherwise, we'll let you draw your own conclusions.
Up to date standard lead times are displayed on the Ofuro product page in the product description.