Tatami is a rush-covered straw mat with cloth woven ends forming a traditional Japanese floor covering.



Tatami mats are made from woven straw and provide a warmth and softness to a room. The dimensions of tatami are 900mm x 1800mm x 55mm thick. These dimensions form a measuring tool from which rooms and houses are designed around in Japan.

When designing a new room around tatami one would allow the room size to accommodate 900mm x 1800mm multiples. These can be made up in different pattern formations to a 900mm increment. A floor rebate of 55mm to the adjoining floor would be left to allow the floors to meet flush.


To fit tatami to an existing room, one would either build two walls out to make the room work to these increments or build a timber infill section as a framed border to the tatami. A step would also need to be incorporated.


The Japanese shoji & tatami company is also involved in incorporating Japanese elements into a western home, such as the addition of a genkan, Japanese bathrooms, tatami rooms/tearooms and shoji screen partitioning or backlit wall inlays.

he genkan is a Japanese-styled entry, which is lower than the main floor level where people leave their shoes on entering the house. The Japanese bathroom combines a sit-down shower and sunken baths for soaking. Tatami rooms or tearooms are found in every house in Japan, incorporating tatami floor covering and shoji screens to partition the room from the rest of the house. This room doubles as a guestroom where futons can be laid out on the floor. The shoji screen makes an easy divider between rooms and utilise the space effectively by sliding out of the way when not in use.


It can be cleverly used to divide a hall from a room and reversed to create a hall. When built into a wall and illuminated from behind, it not only warrants room but create a stunning visual feature.