26th July 2018

Japanese Bathing Meets UK Wet Rooms!

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Post by Wetroom Materials

Bathing in Japan serves a significantly different purpose of taking a bath here in the UK. Of course, Japanese bathing culture is very much focused on public baths, whereas most homes in the UK have a bath in the bathroom. The Japanese have a culture of public bathing that most other countries do not adopt.

The Japanese Use Bathing For Relaxation, Not For Cleansing

That’s the significant difference, and it is significant. A Japanese person would be horrified at the notion of soaping down in the bath and wallowing in one’s own dirty water. The practice is to wash the body first outside the bath and then immerse oneself in the hot bath water for a long, relaxing soak. There are two basic types of public bathing facilities in Japan – the sento or public bathhouse and the onsen, which is natural hot spring bath. There is quite a strict but simple routine to be observed in these public amenities but primary amongst them is the need to wash before entering the hot bath. In fact, some people have a wash, then go for a soak, then emerge for more thorough wash before returning for a longer soak.

The Wet-Room Bath-Room Combination

When considering that Japanese approach, one can see the sense of it, especially when the bathing is communal. It is an attractive proposition for us here in the UK also. We like adding “smellies” to our bath water but when we then wash ourselves in that mixture, body oils and suchlike inevitably soil the environment we have created. Maybe it would be better to copy the Japanese and remove the offensive elements before climbing into the bathing water?

This is why there is a growing trend amongst wet room users to fill the bath before taking a shower. And one of the enjoyable benefits of a wet room is the freedom to walk straight from the shower into the bathtub. A totally integrated and unified bathing experience.

Japanese Minimalism Makes For Clean Lines

It may be a side effect of living in such a densely populated country, but in many aspects of Japanese culture, stimulating the mind takes equal priority with physical stimulation. For example, the concept of a rock garden or garden of small stones is a peculiarly Japanese innovation. They take a great deal of pleasure in delicate aesthetic effects that would normally pass right over our western heads unless we were looking out for them.

That’s why recent innovations in wet room design with elements such as linear drains and frameless glass panels can be used to emulate the Japanese approach. Scandinavian design elements also verge on the Japanese in many regards, but provide a different effect.

Wet Room Guide For Architects

It may seem a novel idea to design along Japanese lines but the essence of a great wet room is to provide superior visual appeal to match the physical pleasure of the showering/bathing experience. We have prepared a guide for you to download The Architect’s Wet Room Design GuideInspire and delight your clients while avoiding leaks and common problems. We hope it will both tempt you to experiment with wet room concepts and ensure that your designs are successful from the practical perspective.

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