The Advantage of Tatami Flooring



Tatami mats are made with all natural vegetable plant by-products. No trees are cut down to manufacture a tatami mat except perhaps for the paper underlay. Sustainability issues for trees can become very significant. While hardwood flooring may withstand significant wear and tear compared to the tatami mat covering, it is usual in Japan to reuse the internal straw padding by changing their covering once every 15-20 years.

They are easy to lay down unlike other flooring solutions and require much less planning and skill to do so. As rooms in Malaysia are not based on the tatami measure, what may require planning is if the tatami layout left an unlaid corridor around the room. In that case, you may wish to fill the corridor with hardwood or place 3.5 cm high quarter-round trim along the corridor. Once laid down, the mats can be easily reconfigured if necessary to give a different look, which cannot be done with most other flooring. There are no nails to puncture the subfloor, and no glue fumes such as from vinyl tiles. If the subfloor is well installed, the lack of hardwood floor nails means no squeaky floors.



Tatami mats are used in many martial art judo in Japan where students practice breakfalls and body throws onto them. Unlike any other flooring, you won’t suffer even a bruise when thrown onto a tatami mat. Active children and baby rooms are perfect settings for tatami mats. There is no extra expense for exercise mats. Your tatami room is also your yoga and meditation room.

With 3.5 cm thick bundles of tightly bound substrate, the trapped air within acts as sound absorbers. Classified as a vegetable by-product, these mats are able to absorb moisture in the room on damp and humid days and release excess moisture when days are dry, acting as a temperature regulator.

Just as there are many choices within other flooring alternatives, tatamis are not restricted to the green rush mat commonly found in many older Japanese homes. With the innovation of specialized Japanese paper, more and more new covering designs are being introduced each year.Tatami Imports takes great pride in introducing tatami mats to Malaysia. We believe its time has arrived as concern for the environment increase and people seek a more simple and healthy lifestyle within the home.


The ideal settings for a tatami room are children’s bedrooms or minimalist rooms with little or no furniture. They are not recommended for moist basement floors to avoid risk of moulding. Generally, the Japanese do not wear shoes on tatami flooring because they cause more wear and tear than bare feet or feet with socks on. For hygiene reasons, shoes that are worn outside the house are never worn inside the house where bare feet treads on.Tatami rooms are generally very minimalist, but most living rooms with tatamis in Japan do contain at least a kotatsu and za-isu which is a low table with heating underneath and seats without legs, respectively. Since it is not customary for most North Americans (excepting most Asians) to sit on floors, leg bases may be a good protection for the tatami mats as the pressure from small legs may cause permanent depressions and even tear the covering.

While it may appear a bit hard for some, many Japanese people do sleep on tatami floors. All you would really need to be comfortable is a good pillow.