Design Options


The following summary has been compiled to assist you in the design of your bathroom. These aspects should be considered: lighting; ceiling height; insulation; ventilation; safety; recycling; aesthetics; flooring and lining; external access; sound; glazing; privacy; comfort; cleaning efficiency; drainage; health; overflow; accessories; and the view out the window.

Reflected light offers a soft and more restful illumination. Incident light is direct and therefore more useful for cleaning. Natural light is very restful and calming. Where windows are restricted, a skylight is an alternative and even a glass ceiling for moon viewing while immersed. Light reflected from plants and a wood surface picks up subtle and beautiful colours. Stone reflects as well. Artificial light can be controlled with a dimmer and even installed in the garden to increase the sense of space at night and highlight the plants or water.

The ceiling height should be low in cold climates for warmth and high in warm climates for cooling and increased ventilation. A sense of space is a luxury but large bathrooms make it difficult to control their climate, particularly if there is considerable glass.

It is essential to control the heat loss from the bath and insulate the bathroom from the external extremes. Controlling ventilation near the ceiling allows steam to be a source of warmth or allows the flow of air to keep the bathroom cool. When not in use, the bathroom should be well ventilated for hygiene and the prevention of mould growth. Controls should be both simple and flexible.

Depending on the age and needs of the members of the household, the bathroom should be carefully designed to eliminate any risks to their safety.

Provision can be made for a simple and concealed means of recycling the bath water in the laundry, garden or elsewhere. All the practical and safety considerations should be attended to while achieving the most satisfying and beautiful design, a restful space that’s comfortable and inviting. Consider slate, cut stone or waterproof veneer for the floor. Only roughly textured ceramics are safe underfoot unless a wooden platform ( ‘sunoko’ ) is employed.

All surfaces should be non-slip, the surface of any mats as well as the mat itself. Consider the cleaning efficiency of the surfaces, particularly the floor.

A handshower near the bath allows for water massage both in and out of the bath. The orthodox shower recess can be retained as part of the ante-room of the Japanese bathroom for European-style ablutions where speed counts. A continuous-flow heater provides unlimited supply without storage costs and saving on space. Isolate any pumps, motors or heaters and/or surround them with insulation.

The music source should be protected from the effects of moisture. Water filling the bath can be noisy and can be eliminated by the use of a flexible, transparent and easily removed hose.

Glazing should be maximised if the garden warrants it and privacy is assured. Double glazing can achieve both sound and heat insulation in a bathroom as well.

Consider the comfort of alternatives for the level of the bath when installed, for example a step surround or set into a platform ( ‘island installation’ ).

A Japanese-style bathroom must be provided with ample drainage, discreetly designed and concealed. Consider the old-style plug and chain still used in Japan for pulling out the plug. It’s a deep bath to plunge an arm into. The pop-up designs are recommended. An overflow outlet can be installed near the top of the bath which connects to the bath outlet below.

The following accessories are available:
‘Sunoko’ cedar bathmat
Cedar bath cover (two parts)
‘Koshikake’ cedar wooden stool
‘Arai-oke’ ‘sawara’ washbasin, imported.
‘Te-oke’ ‘sawara’ ladle, imported.