Asian soaking tub

CarolAugust 21, 2005

We will be building a house in the near future (hopefully) and I am contemplating an asian soaking tub in the master bath. Does anyone have one of these? What do you think of it?

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I had initially been looking at getting a Japanese soaking tub , but ultimately decided not to after I sat in a few (which I'm VERY glad I did (I flew up to San Jose from San Diego just to try some out, as there weren't any in my area to check out and I didn't want to buy somthing without sitting in it first). I was interested in them because of their size - often as small as 40 inches round to 48 inches square - and beacuase I thought that I would be more comfortable in a seated position, rather than lying down (I have a bad hip). It turns out that that was not the case, and I found them to be less comfortable than a regular tub.

Here are some of the ones I was considering and that I saw up in Fremont:

Neptune Nagano (40 inch hexagonal)

Neptune Osaka (52 inch round)

MTI Furo I and Furo II (48 inches square)

Hydrosystems Fuji (40 inches round (single) or 40 by 60 double)).

Americh also has two japanese soaking tubs with the same dimensions as the Hydrosystems tubs called the Beverly.

There are many others, but this should get you started. I didn't find any of these to be as comfortable as I had hoped, but maybe they'll work for you...

    Bookmark   August 22, 2005 at 11:11AM
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We don't have it yet, but my husband wanted one and we chose the Americh Beverly 4040 because of its size and cost. We're on a tight budget and this one worked well with our design and wallet. We did sit in a 6040 at a showroom near us and it is VERY deep. Think hot tub. It truly is for soaking and not lounging.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2005 at 11:36AM
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nherold, did you find that tub comfortable? I couldn't find any such tubs to be comfortable when I sat in them, but then again I never tried the Americh...

    Bookmark   August 22, 2005 at 2:29PM
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We have the Americh Beverly 4040 and love it. I wanted a deep tub with a seat, like a hot tub. I hate trying to soak in a regular tub where the water doesn't even cover your whole body and you're constantly slipping down. It's so comfortable to be able to sit up and read a book and have a cold drink while relaxing in the tub.

The only thing I might do differently is to get the Luxury series (6 jets) instead of the basic Builder's series (4 jets). Also, if we weren't so space-constrained we would have gotten the bigger Beverly, so that two people could comfortably soak together.

If you do get a soaking tub, there are a few things you should ensure first:

* That your floor joists can handle the load. It's a LOT more water than a regular tub.
* That the tub will fit through your doorways. You can't necessarily slide it in on its side that way you can with other tubs.
* That your hot water heater can heat enough water to fill it. It's not a huge problem, b/c our hot water heater will need to be replaced soon, but for now, we have to settle for soaking in moderately warm water.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2005 at 12:14AM
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We sat in the tub w/o water 'cause we were in the middle of a showroom :-), but it seemed like kali described - that deep down, covered-to-your-neck hot tub position (it's got a pretty vertical side). I'm not the soaking type, but DH is and I can definitely see him in there for hours enjoying doing nothing until the water gets too cold. Lucky for us the master bath is the ONLY part of the house on a slab. Otherwise, we wouldn't have risked the extra weight.

Kali I'm jealous that you got even 4 jets. We are going very basic and getting the tub only.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2005 at 2:59PM
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Don't be jealous. Honestly, 4 jets aren't worth the additional cost. They make the water dance, but they're not really positioned to be "therapeutic." With no jets at least you can use bath oils or bubble bath.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2005 at 4:20PM
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In hindsite I would have loved one of these with no jets at all. We have a jacuzzi and when it's full it barely covers my...well, you know, and it just drives me crazy that all of me is not underwater.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2005 at 4:40PM
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We have a 48" long x 30" wide x ~26" deep fiberglass Japanese soaking tub. We went to a place called "Tubz" in Fremont CA (a warehouse showroom) and tried them all out (without water, of course). My DH is tall, so this step was important as some were clearly much better than others.

We went this route because we'd used such a tub while visiting Japan, which was awesome. In general, we love it and would do it again. It uses much LESS water than the more usual jacuzzi-types, and is very comfortable.

We use it much more than we would one of the really big water-hog tubs. Ours doesn't have jets, and I think that's a good thing having heard the horror stories of what nasty little bugs can inhabit the piping of jetted tubs in which the dirty water is recirculated through the (uncleanable) pipes.

The downside is that it's really a one-person tub. Two can fit, but not very comfortably. Also, my tall DH can't really stretch out his legs in it. That doesn't stop him from spending many happy hours in it soaking until the water gets too cold...

It's a very good idea to install solid grab-bars around the tub to make it safer to get in/out. You may also have to arrange for an overflow in these as they may not have one like a "normal" tub. Ours is installed so that if it overflows it'll drain into the shower.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2005 at 5:19PM
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5 years ago we were going to replace our nasty little tub with a decent one for soaking in, only to find this would mean replacing tile etc etc. We went with a softub and have been delighted. The first year we had it on the upstairs landing, but I didn't like the noise at night, so come summer we just rolled it out to the outside. Third year we moved it into the gazebo and ran an electric line oout there. We used it 3 - 5 times every week, summer and winter and loved it. competely self contained portable unit. We got a 4 person one so the two of us could soak in complete comfort - never took a bath in house after that. shower for clean, softub for soaking.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2005 at 5:08AM
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Sallyjavalon, what is a softub?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2005 at 9:41AM
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DH and I got an MTI (better picture) without jets after sitting in one at tubz. We've used the tub twice now and love it (we've only used it twice because the bathroom remodel isn't done yet ...). The tub uses alot of water, but is enjoyable even if the tub is only partially filled and fills quickly with the Grohe Atrio tub filler.

SallyJavalon - I considered a softub for outdoor use if we didn't go with a soaker in the master bath. It never occured to me that I could use one inside. How do you empty a softub?

Moonsma - Here's a list of tubs you can check out =)

Hydrosystem's Fuji
Kohler's greek
Neo Metro Collection's Soho-Bath
THG's Yoko
Ann Sacks' Onzen
Neptune's Tokyo
Neptune's Osaka
Neptune's Nagano

Victoria and Albert's Sorrento
Americh's Beverly 6040
Americh's Beverly 4040
Kaldewei's Kasatsu
Cabuchon's soaking tubs
A site with some installation pictures of a tub that fits in the "standard" size tub space.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2005 at 1:11AM
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Re softubs - there is info at I stumbled across them totally by accident. The water is emptied by syphoning it off - out the window when it was in the house; onto the ground when outside. it should be emptied about 3 times a year. We dumped about a tablespoon of chlorine powder (for pools & spas)after every use. The motor that circulates the water heats the water, so electricity use is very very reasonable. The downside for inside is that the circulating pump cuts in every few hours for a few minutes, which is why I objected to it being right next to the bedroom. the downside for putting it in the gazebo was leaping through the snowdrifts in your bathrobe and skidoo boots in January.
It sure worked for us and our lifestyle.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2005 at 6:19AM
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Okay, we are trying to get the masterbath figured out and i know i want a soaking tub but not sure which one--i like the Kohler Greek but it's only 24" deep whereas most other soaking tubs are 32" deep--can anyone say which they like best if you have tried both and why? (there isn't really anywhere around here where we can go try them out). i like the idea of a seat so i am leaning towards the Beverly4040 which is 32" deep...

any opinions?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2006 at 1:58PM
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My DH and I drove to Tubz today, and tried out so many tubs. As many of forum members said, actually sitting in tubs is so crutial to make decision. Those measurements in cagtalogues feel so different depends on how tubs are contoured, shaped, etc. We were so glad that we followed the recommendation in this forum.

Well the place was AMAZING! Hundreds of tubs, and many TOTO toilets, and big open space. I took off my shoes, and sat in one tub after another after another...

What I learned from this is many of deep tubs with "seat" style (pre-shaped bench like gap in the tub) are comfortable, but actually ended up not too deep. You sit on the "seat" part which is raised from the bottom of the tub, and though it has 35" depth from the bottom, your shoulders are well above water because of this raised seat.

For this reason, Neptune's Osaka, Tokyo, Nagano, Americh Beverly, for me was not deep enough!! I liked flat-bottomed, deep (26") tubs with nice back support/slope. For us, it happned to be the brand called "Water Dance" (may be Tubz' own brand?). They did not have Kohler Greek, but for me 24" is just not deep enough for me.

It is just my opinion, but hope this helps.

I heard many people fly long distance to go to Tubz. Now I know why. Right now, with this obsession (I only mean my obsession), I felt like I was in Disney Land. I know this is bad...

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 5:10AM
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thank you! we are in indiana so flying out to tubz just isn't practical for us :) but i would love to! So what are the measurements of your tub besides the 26" deep? i want one that is about 4' long and 4' wide. good to know about the seat and being up out of the water, etc. so maybe the kohler greek would be best--only 2 inches shorter than yours, i think i could live with that!! :)

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 12:00PM
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Between Beverly and Kohler Greek, it is a tough choice. Beverly4040's "seat" has 8" hight from the bottom, leaving 24" from the seat to the top. Probably water depth from the seat is 16"-18". I do not know Kohler Greek, but I would think it is a just a bit deeper. So you can get info on the water depth and how "angled" the side of the tub is. When it is straight, the water feels shallow, naturally.

When I sat in tubs, surprisingly, one inch difference in the water depth felt quite a change.

The tub we are going to get is 60x36x26. The side is nicely reclyned, rather than straight in Beverly and Greek, so it feels even deeper. They do not have 4' option. I know that is the important factor. They start from 5'.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 2:02PM
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Just wanted to follow up and say i went for it and got the Kohler Greek tub! it's FABULOUS! i haven't officially tried it out as our bathroom is framed out but that is about all...i have sat in it in our living room though! it's only 4' long but a deep 24 inches and i love it! i can't wait to break it in! thanks for all the help/links, etc.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 12:43PM
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How straight are the walls in the Kohler Greek tub? Are they comfortable for reclining a bit, or do you need to sit straight up?

    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 11:43PM
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It's not straight has a bit of a recline but it comes with this fabulous cushion! i thought it would be some cheap, blow up thing, but it isn't...actually very nice. The cushion helps make it very comfy but it is more upright than reclining. you can see pics of it at

    Bookmark   March 12, 2006 at 11:02AM
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I'm considering the Kohler Greek tub as well. To aarmstro99 - by now it should be installed. Do you still like it?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 8:28PM
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Has anyone tried the Danish teak tubs? We are very inerested in these for soaking, only (i.e., get in clean--enjoy--depart soaked). We have constrained space, so like the dimensions of the smaller tub.

Here is a link that might be useful: Teak Tubs

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 7:02AM
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I just got off the telephone after a wonderful, informative conversation with Bill and Leslie at SeaOtter Woodworks in Alaska. Beautiful product, helpful folks and Bill, at 6'5" like my husband, loves his rectangular ofuro. I think the Danish teak tub just got axed for an Alaska Yellow Cedar ofuro!

Thanks to everyone's helpful advice and links, above, which helped me to research alternatives to our original plan.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sea Otter Ofuro Soaking Tubs

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 4:25PM
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Thanks for the link to Sea Otter. I am in the process of remodeling my master bath. Since I am a Japanese, I have been looking for a Japanese style tub. I love the tubs they offer!!! Of course, prices are great, too!

Have you got a tub from them yet? How do you like yours? Love to hear your opinion!


    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 1:43AM
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just back from a visit to tubz and sat in all the tubs in the running. what i thought would do, didn't. check the foot well for feet size and distance from butt. think how it is to sit w/your feet right in front of you and only 8" or so below you--your hips are at a terrible angle for comfort. if you have back problems, get a straight sided model as reclining is TERRIBLE for the back (thow away those reclining chairs). also, if the foot well is too shallow, can you get more comfortable by stretching out a bit? even the osaka (which i had every intention of buying) didn't allow me to get comfortable.

the whole reason i'm getting a soaker is to soak ALL of me--up to my chin. check the distance from the seat to the bottom of overflow drain. water up to arm pit height just wasn't going to cut it. yes, it may be 32-36" deep but thats from bottom (feet) to tub rim

the yubune (mti) fit the bill. yep, its a monster and takes scads of water but thats why you have a tankless water heater, right? the backup tub is the 'egg' by yok zuna. its about the same size except less wide and is a one person tub. as both are acrylic and not jetted, i'm going to insulate the under cabinet portion w/spray-on expanding foam. yes, the tub will get a concrete footing all its own as i'm NOT depending on the tub deck to support all that water weight.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2006 at 11:45PM
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I just found this site tonight on New Year's Eve. Has anyone looked into the Takagi extra deep tubs made in Irvine, California? They are portable and weigh only 50 pounds. They are 26 inches deep and cost about $800.

I like the idea that you can put them in the garage or even outside and take them with you if you move.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 9:41PM
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I'm looking for information on converting one of these soaker/ofuro tubs to a mini-spa, i.e. no jets but with a pump, heater filter and ozonator. Has anyone done this? Has it worked well can you share with me sources of supplies design etc Thanks Mark R

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 10:18PM
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We are also considering the Beverly 4040. I had also been seriously considering Kohler's Greek bathtub but wondered about it having no seat. How comfortable can sitting on the bottom of the tub be? Can someone confirm that it has no seat and that you can sit comfortably on the bottom? I am 5'10" and don't think it'd be too comfortable for me.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2007 at 11:43PM
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I guess this is a bump :) I'm in the process of installing my beverly 4040 and we're having issues with the room available for the step up. My tub will be undermounted. Can any of you tell me about your step dimensions? I'm now looking at a 10" by 20" (10 deep) but the installers tell me I'm going to lose 3" of my space (making it a seven inch deep step, like a stair tread) that enough?

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 1:17AM
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igloo are you certain that you want a step?

We built a step for our undermount Ultra Bath (21" deep). The step lasted less than a year and we tore it out.

We found that a step really made getting into the tub more difficult. You stepped up 6 inches or so then had to put your foot down in the bottom of the tub. It's actually easier for us to step over the edge of the tub and in. The distance you have to step down is less if you haven't elevated yourself with a step. At one point (after knee surgery) I just sat on the top of the tub deck and swung my legs up and over.

I know your tub is configured differently but try to do a test run with a deep box and step up on a pile of books or something before you commit yourself to this construction decision.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 2:02AM
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I tested the tub out at a hotel in Oregon and they had a step for it. Ours is going to be up about 34 or 35 inches by the time it's set in it's foundation, which is a bit more than I can step up :) So I have to figure out something and a seven inch (top of tread debth) just isn't going to be enough.

But, I was considering a step for our 21" tub in the family bathroom and you just talked me out of it :) Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 12:28PM
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Yep, I see your problem! A nice deep tub is so wonderful...but getting into it can be a challenge.

Re: the depth of the step, I can tell you that the step we did have was about 7 or 8" IIRC. I know it had one full 6" field tile and a piece of another. We did find that that depth was more than sufficient.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 1:01PM
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We purchased the Ann Sack's Onzen soaking tub with optional jets and love it. The jets were worth the extra cost. Maybe the locations are better than tub mentioned above.

It is 41" square and 32" deep. It has 2 built in seats. After researching onzen tubs, I was not interested in a wooden one that we'd have to keep water in all the time.

Here is a link that might be useful: Onzen Soaking Tub

    Bookmark   August 19, 2007 at 9:26AM
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Is there any deep soaking tub which can also allow a person to stand inside it for shower? I suppose those with seats are not possible. How about the Kohler Greek?

    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 3:18PM
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We are looking for a bathtub that is not fancy but is 1. very deep and 2. can heat water internally (i.e. without adding hot water to water already in it). We had a bathtub like that when we lived in Japan years ago, but I have not had any luck in finding such an item in the U.S. Does anyone have an idea of who might carry such an option? I have already searched and Kohler and Takagi.


    Bookmark   November 17, 2007 at 2:16PM
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I have installed the Beverly 6040 Luxury Edition with Airbath and inline heater. It is sunk and undermounted so that it only rises 17.5" from the floor. I had never sat in it before buying it, but I find it confortable and more than adequate for two users at the same time. I had sat in the Beverly 4040 several years ago and found it to be a little too confining. I went with the Beverly 6040 because I could sink and undermount it. The height of japanese soaking tubs would overwhelm the small bathroom (10'2" x 6'3") where it is installed.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2007 at 6:12PM
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I have had a Hydrosystems Fuji 6040 fiberglass for years and find it wonderful... sitting in a dry tub in a show room isn't a very good way to judge the comfort, since when the tub is full of water your body is almost weightless and very little pressure is put on your body. I put my overflows on the deck of the tub, so as to get the full 32 inch depth immersion. This placement of the overflows means you must recess the tub an additional 6 inches into the deck and tile the recess to make it waterproof when the tub overflows during vigorous activity. I use two 50 gallon 40,000 BTU hot water heaters to fill the tub through a one inch copper line with ball valves and side spout. The filling takes about 5 minutes. I also have installed the Fuji in some of my apartment units and the tenants love them. Here in Venice Beach, California, the cost of filling the tub is about 50 cents total for the water and the gas to heat the water. Feel free to contact me for any questions.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 12:36PM
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I know this post is really old, but I feel obligated to add to it since it provided me with so much help! The feedback and lists here were invaluable in helping me decide on our tub, which ended up being the Victoria + Albert Sorrento. We've dry fit it and sat in it and all I can say is...I CANNOT WAIT for this sucker to work! It's a dream bath!

Good luck to all, and if any of you are still around, thanks keeping this thread up!


    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 12:00AM
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I'm putting a small soaking tub in my bathroom (Americh Beverly 4040, Neptune Nagano, or Hydrosystems 4040). I'd like to put in jets but am worried about gunk and breakdown/costly repairs. Do any of the folks with jets have these issues? Thanks! Also, all I have is a regular 60 gallon water heater, will filling the ofuro overtax my water heater?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 12:57AM
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This is in response to a question from Elysa on our V & A Sorrento soaking tub...

The material is great, it's probably a half-inch thick and feels kind of soft - a bit like soapstone. It's very white, so in terms of your decorating scheme you should think about a big white thing in the middle of your bathroom!

It holds heat like a dream, although this model holds so much water I think that contributes to the heat retention. Given how much water it holds, we have a tankless to fill it, and we don't use it all that frequently...probably once a month. We wouldn't use it more than that anyway, but I think it would get expensive if we used it daily!

It's incredibly comfortable - we wanted a footwell, didn't want to be scissored up in a flat-bottomed deep tub. It's huge, I can sit cross-legged it's so wide, but can still sit with my legs down in the well if I like (I'm small). DH is big, I think this is the first tub he's ever really fit in.

HTH, Deb

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 10:47AM
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you may want to check these out. They are acrylic and good quality deep and narrow is what i like acyrlic for easy clean up.[japanese%20bathtub]&creative=5531711168&gclid=CJz0g-G-_KgCFRG4KgodCTygSA

Here is a link that might be useful: signature bathtubs

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 5:22PM
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