Tatami Mat: Make Your Room an Awesome, Serene Haven

Tatami Mat: Make Your Room an Awesome, Serene Haven

Tatami mat is an excellent way to instantly add Asian feel and look to your home.  Tatami mats have been around for centuries, serving as a standard furnishing for homes across Asia. Besides, they have steadily made their way into the Western décor styles.

Some things about tatami mats might have changed over the years, such as the size of the mats and the way they are used. Nonetheless, the overall effect of a tatami mat has remained the same.

Let us look at some essential information about tatami mats. This will help you in deciding whether they are right for you or not.

What’s a Tatami Mat?

Japanese-style room with tatami mats and paper sliding doors
Image Source: Sean K

A tatami mat is a kind of rush flooring used traditional Japanese homes. It is made of woven rush grass around a rice straw. Tatami mats are gentle but firm underfoot. They also normally emit a pleasant scent, especially on humid or rainy days.

First invented over 500 years ago, tatami mats were used solely by the nobility class at first. Other classes, like the Samurai and merchant class, started to enjoy the mats much later as their production increased.

You can use tatami mats in several ways, such as floor coverings, chairs or benches, as well as for sleeping on. These mats are also great for thermal and acoustic insulation.

In the West, these mats probably most familiar to any person who has been in a martial arts dojo. Tatami mats are normally accorded a special, nearly sacred, status in this place. However, their look, feel, as well as the scent make them a great addition to any space.

Empty Japanese living room interior in traditional and minimal design with Tatami mat floor and Japanese Shoji door
Image Source: Gee

Why Use Tatami Mats?

There are several reasons why you should consider investing in tatami mats as opposed to any other ordinary mats. Let’s explore some of the best reasons to buy tatami mats:

Environmental Safety and Sustainability

A tatami mat is made from all-natural plant by-products – rice straws. The rice straws are bound and stitched together by cotton threads. Then, the mat’s bottom is covered with paper.

The production of tatami mats involves no cutting down of trees, except maybe for the paper underlay. So, this promotes environmental conservation as well as the sustainability of trees.

Moreover, the straw padding used in tatami mats has no added chemicals. Hence, it is safe to discard back to the environment upon wearing out. Note that it may take up to 30 years before the straw padding wears out.

Natural, Safe Flooring

Tatami mats are a natural flooring solution, which doesn’t require adhesives and other engineered chemicals. All you need to do is place the tatami on the subfloor to decorate your home interior.

With other flooring options, such as vinyl flooring, glue plays an integral role. It is worth noting that most adhesives release toxic gases as they contain plastic resins. You don’t want to expose yourself to grave health risks.

Tatami and Shoji old Japanese room
Image Source: jpskenn

Ease of Installation

Unlike other flooring solutions, like hardwood flooring, tatami mats are easy to lay down. They require much less planning and expertise to install. Once laid, a tatami mat can be easily reconfigured to give the desired look. You cannot do this with most other flooring options.

With tatami mat flooring, you don’t need nails to puncture the subfloor. Likewise, you don’t have to worry about glue fumes such as from vinyl flooring. Moreover, if the subfloor is properly installed, the absence of nails means no creaky floors.

Room Humidity Regulator

Tatami mats have the ability to absorb moisture in a room on damp and humid days. Likewise, they can release excess moisture during the dry days, thereby serving as a temperature regulator.

Health Benefits

Beyond the functional and aesthetic properties of your tatami mat, it also has several health benefits. It is beneficial for relieving back pains and solving allergy issues that you may have with ordinary mats and beds. The mat promotes heat absorption for a more restful sleep, thanks to the pressed together straws structure.

Where Can You Use Tatami Mats?

 Interior of a Japanese room
Image Source: Paolo Gallo

In line with Japanese tradition, tatami mat can be an excellent flooring for a tea room, a relaxation room, a meditation corner, an exercise room or a yoga area. Likewise, active children rooms are perfect areas for tatami mats. You know why?

Unlike any other flooring, your child won’t suffer even a scratch when he falls on a tatami mat. In fact, this is why tatami mats are largely used in martial art dojos. Namely, martial art students usually practice break-falls and body throws on them.

You can also pile several tatami mats to make a seat or put them between a futon and bed platform. When used as a bed, tatami mat will give you support and comfort without compromising the aesthetics. Moreover, you can combine this mat only with a futon and place it directly on the floor for increased firmness.

Japanese room with tatami
Image Source: Eyetronic

Final Thoughts

Tatamis are much more than mats. They represent a lifestyle. However you choose to use your tatami mat, it will instantly create a pleasant aura in your home. It is an element of decoration that not only gives your space a serene and elegant touch; it also creates that unique Japanese feel in your interior. So, it is time you got yourself this amazing Traditional Japanese flooring solution.

 

Resources:

Tsunagu Japan

Zenvita

 



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