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.

 

Hot Tub & Spa Basic Use, Information & Tips

Here are some basic tips on using your hot tub or spa that are occasionally overlooked. They will help keep your water cleaner and clearer, and even save you some money!

Oil and soap based products are the number 1 enemy of crystal clear spa water. Never use regular household cleaners for cleaning your spa. These products contain soap or ammonia based products and are very bad for your water chemistry and if you don’t get all of the product out of the spa you could wind up with a very large “bubble bath”.

One of the most common causes of foamy hot tub and spa water is residual detergent in bathing suits. Try running an extra rinse cycle in the washing machine, or re-rinse swimwear by hand.

When not using your spa, keep the Air Control Valves closed. These are the valves or dials on top of the spa that allow air to mix with the water coming out of your jets. Besides these valves letting cold air into the spa water and increasing heating costs, this air can also be full of air borne debris and algae spores that can cloud your water and increases your chemical usage.

Personal hygiene products belong in the shower. Hair spray, hair mousse, styling gels, deodorant, anti-perspiration, sun tan lotion, excess sweat, make-up, skin creams of any sort and excess soap or dyes in bathing suits will cloud your water and clog your filter, reducing its life and increasing your maintenance time.

Floating oil-absorbing sponges  are fantastic at reducing the amount of clogging oils that are sent through your filter. Remember to squeeze them out occasionally and to replace them when they start to deteriorate or when they no longer float.

Make sure your filter cartridge is fully seated in the filter compartment. This ensures 100% of the water passing through the filter, rather than bypassing it. Remember to clean the cartridge once a month for maximum longevity and to replace it every 1 to 2 years. The fibers of the cartridge start to break down and deteriorate after a while and wont do an adequate job of filtration after a while. It’s a not a bad idea to have two filter cartridges on hand for your spa and use them on an alternating basis. This way, while one is being cleaned by soaking in a “Filter Cleaner” solution, the other one can be used in your spa to reduce the down time of your spa.

Make sure to test your spa water at least once per week and always after adding new water. Make sure that the pH and TOTAL ALKALINITY is within the proper ranges. This is MOST important. Either adjust the pH and Alkalinity manually each week, or use “pH Balance“. If you’re using a liquid test kit be sure to clean it after every use, keep the solutions out of the sun and to replace them ever year. Also, always get your sample water from at least 12 inches below the surface. If you’re using test strips be sure to replace them if they are 6 months past the expiration date.

One quick and easy way to vacuum debris from the bottom of your spa is to simply use a garden hose and siphon it out.

If you have an in-ground spa you know you should never drain the water if it’s rained in the last few weeks, or if the ground is wet (if you didn’t know this, glad you’re here). If you do it’s very possible that the spa will float out of the ground. But if you find yourself in that position and you need to change the water here’s a neat little trick. Drop a sump pump in the bottom of the spa, them spread a large sheet of plastic over the top of the water. As the sump pump removes the water, run water from a garden hose on top of the plastic. If the hose and pump are running at the same speed the water level wont drop and the old and new water wont mix.

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