In the modern bathroom, for many years there has been an unspoken struggle between the necessary practicality and design delights, which no, no, and put something out of the ordinary in it. One of the striking examples of this kind is a bathtub made of solid natural wood. For some reason, it is believed that water and wood are incompatible. Let us recall the ancient tubs, barrels and troughs. And what material was the Russian bathhouse made of? So, we can consider a wooden bathtub a distant descendant of their archaic ancestors, confidently looking into the future..
Oddly enough, it is those materials that are now considered exclusive and unusual, at the dawn of the birth of the bath culture, were just the norm for creating baths. For thousands of years, they were made of stone, wood was a widespread consumer goods. Over time, it was replaced by materials more suitable for this purpose, as it seemed, finally and irrevocably…
Of course, wood is not very suitable for making plumbing, but the general tendency to sacrifice more functionality in favor of a spectacular appearance has returned an array of valuable species of trees to circulation. The change in the general worldview, the desire to bring more naturalness into your life and, of course, the fashion for everything natural, also played a role. As a result, the tree proved to be a great bait for the spoiled consumer. The opportunity to have a rare and stylish, truly iconic item in your bathroom fully compensated for some of the impracticality and difficulty in leaving.
Not just wooden, but stylish
For the last few centuries, almost all ships that plowed the vastness of the Earth’s water surface were made only from the massif. It is the centuries-old experience that the manufacturers of modern wooden bathtubs have adopted. For their manufacture, only those types of wood are taken that are highly resistant to moisture from nature, such as solid teak, mahogany, wenge, larch, that is, those that have historically been most appreciated by shipbuilders. Expensive and complex modern technology, with the help of which the baths are protected from the harmful effects of moisture, is the fruit of the development of the treatment of the hulls of ships and yachts. A special chic is to preserve the tree in its pristine beauty, to keep visible coverings to a minimum. Smooth and streamlined, these bathtubs are created from tightly fitting fragments, smoothly polished and in some cases additionally varnished, as a result they form an absolutely solid structure. The beautiful texture of the solid wood becomes an additional decorative factor. Naturally, each manufacturer keeps the details secret..
But some secrets still leak.
The baths themselves often resemble graceful boats or yachts. An interesting fact – one of the Italian factories, at one time producing yachts, retrained in the production of baths!
It is very logical that this particular form has become one of the most beloved by designers. Such bathtubs are especially good for bathrooms designed in such popular styles as Zen, ambient, minimalism. They not only elegantly complement the interior, but are designed primarily to concentrate all attention on themselves and are the main style-forming factor in the room as a whole. Typically, such a bath is installed in the middle of the bathroom, often on the podium, so that it immediately attracts the attention of anyone entering.
Another fairly common type is massive rectangular bathtubs made of solid natural wood or specially processed plywood. It would seem that at first glance they should not be very comfortable, but this is not so. To make a person feel comfortable inside such a rather rigid and deep rectangular structure, a smoothly curved bed with a headrest is placed there..
Bathtubs of this design look more than stylish and are usually kept in strict minimalism. Most often they are part of design collections, where, in addition to them, there is also a wooden sink, shower tray, wall panels and accessories, which allows you to create a completely complete look of the bathroom space as a whole..
The third, most common type of wooden bathtubs, is radically different from all previous ones. First of all, the fact that the main thing in them is not a stylish, modern design, but something directly opposite to it. They are deliberately archaic, rustic, which attracts no less and sometimes more than refined, but coldish minimalism. These are indeed the direct heirs of the very primitive tubs and baths in which mankind was washed on all continents throughout history..
The manufacturing technology of this type of bathtub is both simple and complex. On the one hand, these are direct descendants of the barrel, since they represent the bottom and sides of separate boards, fastened together with copper or brass hoops. Moreover, tightness is achieved mainly due to the precise fit of all parts to each other, while the use of modern sealants is an auxiliary factor. The method of moisture-proof treatment of wood here is about the same as that of barrels, it is not for nothing that the most famous manufacturers of tub-barrels like the Blumenberg factory were born from cooperage workshops..
The shape of the baths of this design is usually round or oval, which is due to the peculiarities of production. The baths are very reminiscent of their prototype, they seem to be hypertrophied barrels. In general, for example, a modern version of the ofuro bath is practically no different from those in which samurai basked in their time after their hikes.
By the way, baths and fonts, created in the image and likeness of a barrel, are equipped with hydro and air massage, which makes them even more attractive. And, what is especially pleasant, first of all, they are not a designer whim or a stylish interior decoration, but rather a utilitarian thing intended for constant use in normal mode. But do not flatter yourself – barrel baths, unlike simple barrels, are by no means cheap.
Disadvantages and undeniable advantages
The sensations that water procedures give in the gentle and natural progenitor’s embrace of a wooden bath are incomparable. It really is something worth going for some expense, some sacrifice and effort. What can be compared with the pleasure of touching the skin of a polished precious wood … The pleasure is enhanced by the subtle aesthetics of what is happening. The aura emitted by a living array cannot be imitated or faked. Contrary to popular belief, it has now become technically possible to integrate hydro and air massage systems into a wooden bathtub, as well as to equip it with chromotherapy. Nevertheless, a number of rather strict restrictions still exist..
As you know, the functions of the bath in our homes are often far from limited to their intended purpose and are somewhat expanded, that is, they not only wash themselves in it, but also bathe four-legged friends. Well, in the case of a wooden bathtub, all this is simply impossible..
Even the choice of cosmetics should be approached with extreme caution. The valuable product must be looked after and cleaned strictly in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. Actually, for major hygienic ablutions, it is generally preferable to have a separate shower cabin, and leave the bath solely for pleasure and relaxation and, if possible, not operate it in a hard mode. Strange as it sounds, it is too good for its direct purpose, that is, just to wash in it….
This is not to say that wood, along with cast iron, acrylic and steel, is now a common material for making bathtubs. Still, this is a slightly different position, delicacy. However, a bath made of wood can no longer be considered a special exotic, a rare exception to the generally accepted rules, as it was a few years ago. And if quite recently there were only one or two models, each of which was an exclusive curiosity, now manufacturers of expensive plumbing fixtures have formed a fairly large offer, and in a variety of style solutions. This, of course, is expensive and will always be expensive, but if you wish, there are no other obstacles to possessing the desired item!