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JLeslie's avatar

What do you think about Japanese style bathrooms?

Asked by JLeslie (47252 points ) September 21st, 2013

My question really has to do with the tub and shower for a master bathroom. When I was in Japan I really liked the bathtub in the wet area with the shower. When you step out of the tub you are basically in the shower are still. You can enclose the entire area in glass or with a wall. In America we tend to put the bathtub in a place of prominence in the grander of bathrooms, directly in front when you walk in the bathroom.

Also, Japanese soaking tubs are usually shorter, but deeper, so more of your body is immersed, and you are in more of a sitting position than laying down. Any thoughts on that? You can use a standard American style tub or soaking tub in the “wet area” set up.

I’m interested in your opinions. Would having the tub in the shower room turn you off if you were buying a home?

This link shows some examples.

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22 Answers

DWW25921's avatar

That sounds really cool! I think I could go with that! Tubs are boring.

glacial's avatar

I’ve never seen the need for a separate bath and a separate shower. I like the shower/clawfoot tub combo that I’ve had in every building I’ve ever lived in. Having a grand, separate bath just seems ridiculously excessive to me.

That said, I think I would find it even more irksome to have a separate bath within my shower area. It increases the shower area, sure, so you could swing a cat in there if you really needed to, but then do you have to wipe down the bath every time you take a shower? It’s my experience that people who have separate, glassed-in showers spend a lot of time and effort worrying that their shower area might show signs of someone ever having showered there.

filmfann's avatar

I love the sitting tubs, but they use a lot more water than the American tubs.

JLeslie's avatar

@filmfann Do they? The tubs are shorter and deeper. I didn’t attempt to calculate the cubic feet. I just assumed it was similar.

@glacial separate tube, or even shower only bathroom, are better for most people as they get older. Getting in and out of a tub can be very difficult or more dangerous than just walking into a shower. In fact the guest room that will be used by our parents will be shower only. They are all in their 70’s.

For sure the separate tub and shower in a very large bathroom can be seen as a lot of extra unnecessary space, but my husband and I do know we want a large bathroom. But, I really appreciate your answer and honesty.

yankeetooter's avatar

Those are some cool bathrooms! I am now hating my standard apartment-issue bathroom. And I love the deeper tub area for soaking!

LuckyGuy's avatar

We had those in our house and apartments when we lived in Japan. We still mostly took showers in the tub. While we could have showered outside tub it just was too much of a mess to clean up and wipe down afterward. The floor grout got dirty and would show foot prints if we showered out there.

On the other hand one of the most things I can remember is giving our young (4 -6 years old) kids $0.99 cans of cheap shaving cream and letting them squirt it all over the place and themselves before washing off. 25 years later they still think fondly of it.

I imagine adults could have fun with it too. ;-)

Katniss's avatar

Those are some pretty tranquil looking bathrooms. I think it’s a great idea. I’d love to have a bathroom like that.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t wipe down my shower or tub every time I use it. Is that what most people do? I squigy the shower glass walls a little after a shower.

Coloma's avatar

I love the design, but..I am also a fan of asian decor and architecture in general.
However..I prefer deep and long tubs. I love my baths!
I had a tub like those in a resort on Taiwan a few years ago, it was nice, but I do like to lie back in my bath so I would go for the basic design with a longer tub with extra depth.

CWOTUS's avatar

As an occasional visitor to India, I think I prefer the bathrooms in some houses there (which works fine in the subtropical areas I have visited) which simply have a shower in a corner of the bathroom. No divider. No curtain. No glass doors or anything.

The major problem, as @LuckyGuy has pointed out, is that much more of the floor tends to get wet, requiring a squeegee to clean the surrounding floor after each use. (Construction execution is also critical, because I’ve seen places in India where the shower area is actually the high point of the bathroom floor, so the water from the shower runs all the way across the floor to a drain. That’s just silly.)

This wouldn’t work at all in temperate zones where we don’t always walk around barefoot in the winter, and wouldn’t want to chance getting wet socks or slippers when walking into the bathroom. When it’s “always summerlike” and you’re always barefoot in the house, getting your feet wet (in clean water!) in the bathroom isn’t a major pain in the ass.

But if you’re only going to use a tub occasionally, I do like that arrangement. My question would be “access” for an older person who has mobility and strength issues. It could be difficult to climb out of that tub. That’s why I like some of the “walk into” tubs (with doors!) that I’ve seen advertised for the American market lately.

JLeslie's avatar

These answers have all been very helpful.

I live in Florida, so socks and slippers are only warn about 2 months of the year. But, I do think I am going to have carpet in my bedroom, so feet wet would still be a consideration. I like the walk into shower with no doors set up also, but I probably will not go with that idea. If I could do it behind a wall, with a window to the outside I might, but I won’t have a way to build a double exterior wall where the people outside won’t be able to look in. I hate feeling closed in in a shower. I see showers that are not so big, three walls and just a glass door and I hate just looking at in let alone being inside of it.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

Those gorgeous glass walls are called “frameless shower enclosures.” They look fabulous in catalogues and bathroom design centers, but the reality is very different. The gaps around the door can’t be sealed, so water seeps out. Also, the glass needs to be squeegeed after every use, to prevent unattractive water spots and streaks.

Note the large marble tiles on the bathroom floor, outside of the shower. They look great. When they’re wet, or when someone steps out of the shower with wet feet, they become slippery hazards. Traditionally, bathroom floors have small tiles in close patterns; the little tiles, surrounded by plenty of grout, make the floors safe.

My mother-in-law redecorates a room whenever she’s bored. Last year, she had a perfectly nice, functioning bathroom torn out and replaced it with something similar to @JLeslie‘s photos. Every time someone takes a shower, the bathroom floor gets flooded (I don’t mean a little bit of water, but a huge puddle that needs to be mopped-up). When bare feet land on the wet, marble floor, it’s much like stepping onto ice. There have already been a number of bad falls.

snowberry's avatar

@SadieMartinPaul We are in a rental house like that. I fell several times before we put carpeting in the bathroom that completely covers the floor. We couldn’t find a square of carpeting of the dimensions we needed, so we bought a bunch of throw rugs and pieced it together with sticky stuff for the bottom of the rugs to keep them from slipping around.

The kitchen floor is just as bad, but we are Nazis when it comes to cleaning up spills there, and we wear shoes in the house which helps too.

JLeslie's avatar

I know I said it already, but the answers here have been great. Very very helpful.

I won’t have marble in there, not to worry. Most likely ceramic or porcelain tiles, which is what I always have in bathrooms. I might even put a “handicap” bar to help get out of the tub. There are decorative ones now. I don’t need one, but I think it is a good safety measure. I had columns in my last bathroom on either side of the tub, and I always wound up holding onto one just in case, to steady myself.

@SadieMartinPaul In my house, two houses ago, it was supposed to have a seemless shower enclosure, but the builder changed it after many people had complained of water going everywhere. By the time they got to building our house it was modified. The double sliding doors can be seemless and that functions fine. I didn’t have any doors on my last shower. It was seemless or, I guess soddered? Glass front and then you could enter from either side. It was a double shower. I never had trouble with water escaping, there was a slight rise as you stepped into the shower, you stepped over it, just maybe two inches, and the shower was large enough I guess that it wasn’t a problem. Although, the problem with an open shower is they can be quite cold in cold weather in a large bathroom.

gailcalled's avatar

seamless; soldered

Judi's avatar

I think it would be awesome. Especially if the tile had an Asian flair.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I salivate over the thought of a Japanese tub. I love soaking in them. The idea that showering outside the tub is a hassle because it leaves too much to clean is not exactly true in Japan at least. We had a small wooden platform to stand on. I have no idea what kind of wood it was. It was very well made, so there was no chance of splinters.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

Give me a good, old-fashioned combination of a shower curtain and liner. They keep the bath and shower warm during the wintertime. They give me some privacy Paul needs to come into the bathroom while I’m bathing. I can redecorate, and give the bathroom a whole new look, simply by replacing the curtain. The fabric does a great job of absorbing the noises that usually reverberate off a bathroom’s hard surfaces. Best of all, if the curtain and liner get dirty, I simply toss them into the washing machine.

JLeslie's avatar

@SadieMartinPaul I will have one small bath with that very set up. I like being able to change the curtain liner for cheap. I use that little bathroom when I have a cold to loosen the congestion by running a hot shower and creating a steam room. The smaller bathtub is fast to fill. There are definite advantages.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake Did you ever look under those wooden platforms? Gag me!
I am a hairy guy and all that hair gets down there and… bleeech!

JLeslie's avatar

Gross. I always wondered about the wood platforms. I never would put that in a bathroom, and I had not even thought of the hair problem.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Maybe Japanese are hairless but we Gaijin are not. Gross indeed.

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