If you're tired of the same old design and decor in your home, why not try something new? A Japanese-style bathroom can offer you a completely different take on what is normally a run-of-the-mill room in the house, and it can offer you a spa-like environment for relaxation and contemplation. Here are the key elements you need to assemble an authentic Japanese-style bath.
Key Contractors Involved
One of the nicest things about putting together a Japanese bathroom is that you don't have to spend a lot of money on subcontractors. If you can hire a plumber and a carpenter, you're pretty much set.
The configuration of the elements of the room are different in a Japanese bath than in an American one, so having a plumber who can work with those changes is key. Also, most of the decorative elements are likely to be wood, and you'll need a carpenter who can do a quality job there.
First, the layout of your bathroom will probably be unlike your current design. In a Japanese bathroom, the toilet is in a separate room, and the bathroom is truly for bathing. You will need to create two rooms: a WC, or water closet, for the toilet and a bathroom for the tub and sink.
Bathtubs in Japan are often smaller than in the US, although you can certainly install a large one. They also usually have a hand-held shower unit, rather than a stand-up shower. The idea is to soak in the tub and savor life, rather than rushing through the cleansing process in a shower.
Tubs are generally made of one of four materials: stone, copper, wood, or white porcelain. They can be freestanding in the center of the room, like old-fashioned tubs in the US, or they can be built into a wooden platform. The floors of the room are frequently wooden as well, although occasionally stone is used too. The wooden flooring often blends into wooden walls of the same material for a very Zen, spa-like feel.
The bathtub plumbing is a relatively easy job in a Japanese bath because the piping is usually exposed or easily accessed under the wooden bathtub platform. The sink is often a stone or ceramic bowl that sits on top of the vanity, not recessed within it.
Plumbing services and fixtures, like faucet handles and spigots, are simple in Japanese baths. They don't have much adornment, and may blend into the surrounding decor.
Many homeowners find they can design Japanese-style bathroom decor on their own because it is so spare and minimalist. Typical elements, outside of the sink and tub, include a towel ladder for hanging bath towels (a wooden ladder-like structure propped against the wall as a rack) and wooden benches for sitting. Teak and mahogany are common woods used.
Other decor elements include:
- elements from nature, such as seashells, bonsai trees, or tree branches
- unobtrusive lighting
- mostly straight or rectilinear lines
- lack of clutter and clean surfaces
- small traditional items, like candles, statuary, antique artwork, and baskets
If you want a unique bathroom concept with relatively few materials and services, try a Japanese-style bath. You may like your new space so much, it will become your home's most-visited room.