Teak

Burmese Teak
(Tectona grandis)

One of the most valuable of all woods due to it’s scarcity and difficulty to harvest and transport, teak is prized for the construction of expensive boats and yachts.

Because of its decay resistance, teak is used extensively as exterior decking, mill-work, trim and windows. It’s also used for garden furniture, park benches and many marine applications.

Teak is a very hard, heavy, strong wood, distinctively oily to the touch. It is resistant to insects, fungus, and termites won’t touch it! It is also resistant to rot and moisture damage.

When first cut, teak is a tawny green color, streaked with dark brown and gold. The color quickly changes to be a dark golden yellow, olive or light to dark brown.

Teak is native to India, Burma, Thailand, Indochina, including Indonesia, particularly Java. Also Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and the East Indies. Although commonly grown on plantations, this type of farm grown teak is not suitable for hot tubs.

Alaskan Yellow Cedar

Alaskan Yellow Cedar (Cupressus nootkatensis)

The Alaskan Yellow Cedar is found only on the western slopes of the Pacific Coast Range from Southern Oregon to Alaska. It likes moist climates, and thus it is only found along coastal areas.

Due to the colder temperatures and high rainfall of its local climate, Alaskan Yellow Cedar grows very slowly with closely packed growth rings and very little distinction between early wood and late wood rings.

It’s exceptionally dense growth ring pattern averages 43 growth rings per inch. Alaskan Yellow Cedar is one of the most beautiful of America’s durable and less publicized softwoods and is the hardest known cedar in the world.

The density and consistent color add a high degree of stability throughout the tree. Alaskan Yellow Cedar is highly resistant to rot and insect infestation as well as being an extremely hard wood.

Alaskan Yellow Cedar is a clear sulfur-yellow in color, has a fine texture, a straight grain and when freshly cut, has a pungent odor frequently described as “raw potatoes.”

Prized for its strength, stability, natural resistance to weather rot and insect infestation, Alaskan Yellow Cedar is used for stadium seating, park benches, exterior cabinet work, decks, marine landscaping, building boats and some very fine hot tubs.

The consistent grain structure means Yellow Cedar is easy to work with by hand or machine. It grows slowly, but it’s common to find very large heavy Yellow Cedar timbers that produce strong and wide boards.

Alaskan Yellow Cedar is a prime choice for hot tubs, saunas and pool house construction, since the wood thrives in wet environments. It is commonly found in Japanese designs for gardens, architecture and Japanese Soaking Tubs.

It’s light weight and high strength allows it to be used in small and intricate construction, but the timbers are large enough to be used in large gardens, gazebos and outdoor structures.

 

Western Red Cedar

One of the lightest in weight of the commercially available softwoods, Western Red Cedar is the giant of the cedars and is the largest and most abundant of all cedars.

It grows in managed forests in the southern coastal region of British Columbia and some of the moister interior valleys.

It also grows throughout the Pacific Northwest of the US.   Western Red Cedar resists warping, twisting, checking and is renowned for its high impermeability to liquids. The heartwood is soft in texture and varies in color from a light straw shade to a dark reddish-brown.

The cellular composition of this species of cedar, millions of tiny air-filled cells per cubic inch, provides a high degree of thermal insulation. Its slow growth, dense fiber, natural phenol preservatives give it excellent weather-resistant properties and make it ideally suited for exterior uses such as houseboats, decks, siding, posts, fencing, shingles, shakes and of course our most popular hot tubs.

Western Red Cedar Round Hot Tubs

Roberts Hot Tubs western red cedar and redwood* hot tubs are individually crafted from the absolute thickest and finest clear, all heart, vertical grain wood available (a variety of other cedars, including Alaskan yellow cedar, are also available).

The tubs are constructed from full-sawn 2 x 6 clear, all heart, vertical grain staves and the bottom are 1-3\4″ net thickness, making them considerably thicker than most others (our Timber Tubs are even thicker). This extra thickness adds greatly to the life-span, and virtually eliminates any possibility of future warping of the wood. Most importantly though, the extra thickness give our tubs up to twice the insulating value of thinner tubs.

The tubs are constructed from full-sawn 2 x 6 clear, all heart, vertical grain staves and the bottom are 1-3\4″ net thickness, making them considerably thicker than most others (our Timber Tubs are even thicker). This extra thickness adds greatly to the life-span, and virtually eliminates any possibility of future warping of the wood. Most importantly though, the extra thickness give our tubs up to twice the insulating value of thinner tubs.

The benches are made from 2 x 12 clear, all heart, vertical grain wood and they net out at a finished thickness of 1 1\2″ thick by 11 1\4″ wide. The bench has 8 sections and is supported by 2 x 4’s which are attached to the sides of the tub. We call the bench a ‘full circle’ and no part of it touches the floor, thereby allowing your feet complete freedom under the bench. Less than a full circle may installed to allow for a standing area, and the bench can be installed at various levels to allow for people of different heights. All benches come complete with stainless steel screws for fastening to the tub.

The tubs come ‘knocked down’ and are easily shipped, and installed in any location by following our comprehensive step by step installation guide. As far as assembling the tub, most do it yourselfers can easily put them together in 1 to 2 hours (the complete system takes a bit longer).

We stock the more common 5′ and 6′ diameter by 4′ tall tubs, plus a few smaller two person oval shapes. We also offer 3′ and 5′ tall hot tubs, plus a number of other sizes and can rather easily make just about any size imaginable. The round, 4′ tall, straight sided tubs stands a total of 49.75″ high with an inside depth of 42.5″.

Our hot tubs are available in a wide variety of standard sizes (and prices), and we’re more than happy to make a custom size if so desired. The complete systems contain virtually everything necessary to put you into bubbling hot water (except for the water).

Oval Hot Tubs

Our oval hot tubs are individually crafted from the finest clear, all heart, vertical grain western red cedar. Alaskan yellow cedar and teak are also available.

Occasionally we also have a supply of Port Orford Cedar, aka hinoki, with which to make smaller oval soaking hot tubs.

The maximum variance between length and width of an oval hot tub is two feet. Anything larger has a great tendency to warp out of shape, and tends to look like a large cigar.

The largest oval hot tub we offer is 8′ long by 6′ wide. On the other end of the scale, we’ve also made individual soaking tubs smaller than 40″ by 30″. Typically the larger oval hot tubs are 4′ tall, but 3′ or 5′ tall is not uncommon. The smaller soaking oval tubs are rarely more than 4′ tall, and frequently as short as 2-1/2′ (24″ deep), allowing the user to sit on the floor, in traditional Japanese ofuro style.

The oval hot tubs are constructed from the finest full-sawn 2 x 4, or 2 x 6 clear, all heart, vertical grain wood. Both the staves and the bottom are a full 1-3\4″ net thickness (teak 1-1/4″), making them extremely stable and considerably thicker than most others hot tubs.

The extra thickness adds greatly to the life-span, and virtually eliminates any possibility of future warping of the wood.

Most importantly though, the extra thickness give our hot tubs up to twice the insulating value of some other thinner tubs.

The benches of an oval hot tub differ from the full circular bench of our round hot tubs. The smaller tubs generally have an individual bench at one or both ends (unless you choose an ofuro style oval tub that is shallow enough for you to sit on the floor).

As the oval tubs become larger a third bench is typically installed along one of the long sides between the two end benches. The largest oval hot tubs have a fourth long bench as well, making for seating all the way around the hot tub. No part of the bench touches the floor thereby allowing your feet complete freedom under the bench. All benches come with stainless steel screws.

The tubs are supported by 4 x 6 chine joists and held together by 1\2″ steel bands, roll threaded at each end, and include a cast iron coupler, two stainless steel nuts and most importantly a polyethylene sheathing which protects the band from rusting.

Oval hot tubs are available individually, with or without benches, or as complete systems which contain virtually everything necessary to put you into bubbling hot water (except for the water).

Smaller ‘soaking’ tubs come pre-assembled, while the larger tubs come ‘knocked down’ and are easily shipped, and installed in any location by following our comprehensive step by step installation guide.

The smaller oval tubs are an excellent inexpensive substitute for the traditional Japanese ofuro .

Teak Hot Tubs

True Burmese teak is one of the outstanding timbers of the world . It has been used in high quality yacht construction and furniture building for many years because of its beauty, durability, stability, strength, appearance and resistance to damage from water and numerous chemicals and acids. Along with these characteristics, it contains more natural oils than other woods, which gives it the ability to rejuvenate to its original color and beauty from a weathered condition. All these characteristics make it a perfect choice for use in a hot tub.

The hardness of true teak makes it much more difficult to mill and shape, but when finished the wood takes on a beautiful luster. Because of these valuable properties and its superior rot resistance and weathering ability, it is the choice of those who want the very best. Teak has proven to be the best choice of wood for hot tubs.

Perfectly clear (no knots), the finished thickness of our teak hot tubs is 1-1/4″. Each hot tub is individually crafted from the finest burmese teak available. The tubs come unassembled and are shipped, and installed in any location by following our comprehensive, yet simple, step by step assembly guide.

The teak hot tubs are constructed of a tongue and groove method and are frequently conical in shape. The conical design allows for what many feel is a more comfortable sitting position and contains less water then the standard straight sided tubs. Straight sided teak tubs are also available.

Like all our hot tubs, the teak tubs are held together by 1\2″ steel bands, roll threaded at each end, and come with a cast iron coupler, two stainless steel nuts and most importantly a polyethylene sheathing which protects the band from rusting. The conical shaped hot tubs are a bit unique in that the staves (side boards) are notched to prevent the bands from sliding downwards.

The bench, made from the same thickness of wood as the rest of the hot tub, has 8 sections and is supported by 2 x 4’s which are attached to the sides of the tub. We call the bench a ‘full circle’ and no part of it touches the floor, thereby allowing your feet complete freedom underneath. Less than a full circle may be installed to allow for a standing area, and the bench can be installed at split levels to allow for people of different heights. All benches come complete with stainless steel screws for fastening to the tub.

Our hot tubs are available individually, with or without benches, or as complete systems. The complete systems contain virtually everything necessary to put you into bubbling hot water (except for the water). We offer a wide variety of sizes (and prices) and if desired, are more than happy to make custom sizes.

 

Japanese Ofuro Soaking Tubs

In Japan, no daily ritual is more uniquely important to the individual’s well being than the bath at the end of the day. The Ofuro has been used by the Japanese for centuries to alleviate both physical and spiritual maladies.

This ancient technique of immersion in hot water takes away tensions and stress, soothes muscular pains, and stimulates the blood’s circulation. Due to its ability to increase the quality of one’s life and health, this oriental bathing tradition has been gaining popularity here in the west.

Our Ofuro Soaking Tubs are Japanese traditional in shape, rectangular or square, and are painstakingly crafted from some of the finest, hand selected woods available.

While Japanese tubs traditionally use Hinoki, known in Western cultures as Port Orford Cedar, to build their tubs, we offer the slightly more durable Alaskan Yellow Cedar and the more exotic Teak.

There are 3 main differences between Ofuro Soaking Tubs and western style bathtubs:

  1. The first is that western style bathtubs are used for bathing, while Ofuro Tubs are strictly used for soaking and relaxation.  As such, soaps should not be used in the Ofuro. Doing so will undesirably stain the wood.
  2. The second difference is the water/tub depth. Western bathtubs are designed to lay down in and only partially cover our bodies.   Ofuro tubs are 3-4 times deeper and you can immerse your entire body while sitting for total relaxation. Our Ofuros have a typical inside depth of 26″ to 28″ and we can quite easily adjust this to your needs.
  3.  The third, and most notable difference is that Ofuro tubs don’t have an overflow like our traditional bathtubs which is one of the ways of accomplishing the extra depth. The design is such that the ofuro overflows over the top and onto the floor. This requires that the floor where the ofuro is placed to be completely waterproofed with a central floor drain installed.

Ofuros are typically drained onto the floor, but they can be plumbed to  drain into a standard drain pipe. Draining can be accomplished with our specialized “Flip Drain” or we offer the option of adding an automated electronic drain valve.

Because Ofuros are used as soaking tubs, they are filled with hot water and then emptied at the end of each evening.

The original style of Ofuro is very small, barely fitting one person, scrunched up. Many westerners prefer something larger, frequently much larger, and it is rare for a typical home has have enough hot water to fill an Ofuro without using up most of your home’s reserve hot water supply.

Although it may seem unconventional to the Ofuro traditionalist, our Ofuros can easily be set up similar to western style hot tubs.  A circulation system, including filtration and heating components (our typical hot tub gas heated system or, more commonly, an electric Spa Pak), as well as any number of therapeutic jets can be added.

All of the plumbing fittings we use that are attached to the tub are a custom made, flush mounted clear-coated bronze fittings.  If desired, these fittings can be plated with chrome, nickel or gold.

The size of these square, or rectangular baths can vary greatly according to your desires; from as small one-person tub to as large as you desire.

As these Japanese baths are all made to order, there are no standard sizes.  We make each tub to fit your individual desires and location.  The depth can be specified for your comfort.

After a stint as a woodworking apprentice in Japan many years ago, and many years of developing our own style of Ofuro tubs, our ofuros now rival even the finest Japanese products.

We carefully hand-select each individual piece of wood that goes into making an Ofuro. Our ofuros are constructed in such a manner that when complete, each side appears to be made of only a single board, with no indication as to how the sides are joined together.

Unlike others, even the Ofuros made in Japan, our ofuros do not “seep, weep, drip” or leak a single drop of water. In addition to our square and rectangular Ofuros, we also offer an excellent substitute in the form of small oval or round hot tubs.