Ipe Decking: What You Need to Know


Known for its superior properties and characteristics, Ipe (pronounced EE-pay) possesses renowned qualities and qualities. Harder than any other wood in the world, Ipe wood is known for its durability and longevity. Natural resistance to insect attack, mold, rot, fire, and decay are other properties. The heartwood of Ipe varies considerably in color from board to board, but is generally a rich brown with red and amber undertones. There are visible cathedral arches and contrasting grain patterns in the grain of Ipe wood decking. The fine texture and interlocking grain of Ipe make it a superior slip-resistant flooring material.

Also for the best composite decking, you can contact HR Composites for the best offers.

The versatility of Ipe decking is astounding. The durability of this material makes it an ideal material for commercial projects, such as beach piers and boardwalks and public benches. Additionally, its beauty, strength, and low maintenance requirements make it an excellent choice for residential decking.

A natural wood decking material of the best quality, Ipe is the best on the market today. Our Brazilian Wood Depot stocks this species as one of our most popular decking options as well. Discover the benefits of Ipe decking, how it can be used, and other useful information on this page.

Benefits of Ipe Decking

As a superior outdoor construction material, Ipe decking stands out for a number of characteristics that make it stand out.

  1. All Natural

It is a natural product, unlike composite decking, which is made of wood pulp and plastic, a non-recyclable material that pollutes our earth, or pressure-treated or reclaimed wood, which contains toxic chemicals that harm plants and wildlife. This product is ideal for repurposing, is biodegradable, and leaves no harmful byproducts. There are no chemicals or plastics used in this product.

  1. Hardness

Oak, with a Janka Hardness rating of approximately 1,200, is the second hardest wood in the world, after Ipe, with a Janka Hardness rating of 3,680. The hardness and density of Ipe are often compared to concrete. The hardness of this kind contributes to its dimensional stability, long lifespan, and natural weatherproof properties. With seasonal changes, pressure treated wood expands and contracts greatly. From the center outward, the process destroys the cell structures. At the same time, the rate of decay increases. Raised wood grain can also be produced by this movement, making it painful to walk on without shoes. Ipe, a tropical hardwood, lacks raised grain, which is common among pressure treated woods. The rigidity of composite and plastic decking will also be compromised over time due to expansion and contraction. Boards eventually droop between joists as a result of this. Despite being so hard, Ipe only expands and contracts a little. A key to Ipe’s amazing durability lies in its minimal movement.

  1. Longevity

Ipe has long been known for its ability to withstand extreme weather conditions. Hardness and density, as discussed above, play a large role in that. Its natural water resistance and resistance to rot and decay contribute to its long lifespan. Their ancestral forests receive 100-400 inches of rain each year. This is up to eight to ten times more rain than anywhere else in the United States. Due to this heavy rain, the wood has evolved to be resistant to mold, decay, and water penetration.

  1. Board Replacement

When it comes to alternative deck materials like PT or composite, many people fail to consider that board replacement can be a huge obstacle. Take the case of the hot contents of a grill being dropped on your deck and causing irreversible damage to the boards. Unfortunately, if your deck isn’t made of either Ipe or tropical hardwood, you will be disappointed. You will be able to tell when you replace a composite or PT deck board from the rest. Both materials fade with time. Therefore, the new boards stand out more from the rest. As a result, you’re left with a deck that looks patched together. Because tropical hardwoods differ from board to board, changing boards is no big deal. It may take a couple of months for them to blend in with the original boards, but before long nobody will recognize the new ones. Real, natural woods offer this benefit. Changing the boards on prefinished and engineered wood flooring is another common problem.

  1. Insect Resistance

The natural insect resistance of Ipe and other tropical hardwoods makes them popular for furniture. Chemicals are often used to kill wood boring insects in domestic lumber. Unlike their North American counterparts, Ipe insects adapted to forests with much more advanced wood-boring insects. Only a very small percentage of insects would be able to penetrate the wood fibers of an oak tree in its natural habitat, and certainly the domestic insects of the United States could not. In fact, most tropical hardwoods are not able to penetrate the wood fibres.

  1. Fire Resistance

In many states of the southwest, fires play a large role in construction material selection. In urban areas, large commercial construction projects also bear this out. Flame-resistant Ipe is simply the best decking material on the market. Besides steel and concrete, Ipe is one of the only materials that consistently receive an A Class rating from engineering rating organizations. The flame spread ratings of plastics, composites, and pressure treated lumber are typically the lowest.

  1. Forest Stewardship

Tropical forests of South America, particularly Brazil, provide the source of Ipe. We have good reason to be concerned about harvesting Ipe from the planet’s lungs. As a matter of fact, Brazil’s hardwood wood industry is one of the best protectors of forests from clear-cutting uses such as beef and agriculture. When Ipe is harvested and replanted in its natural habitat, both the organization that planted it as well as the local and federal governments protect its habitat. When forest lands are not managed responsibly, they are more likely to be used for cattle grazing and planting crops. Ipe and other tropical hardwoods purchased from conscientious hardwood dealers like Brazilian Wood Depot increase the value of natural forest lands.

  1. Cost

Despite popular belief, Ipe is not more expensive than other materials. In fact, the opposite is true. The life expectancy of pressure-treated lumber is approximately 5-7 years before it begins to rot and deteriorate. Typically, composite and plastic boards start to fade after a few years. Approximately 8 years after installation, a composite deck becomes unattractive and unusable. Depending on the environmental conditions, Ipe can last from 40-75 years. Ipe is far more cost-effective than pressure-treated or composite boards over the course of just one installation. Ipe decking typically has a front-end cost similar to mid-grade composites and lower than high-grade composites. A PT deck will cost less than an Ipe deck, but you’ll have to replace the PT boards five times. Do you think Ipe is the best-value decking material? It is often short-term, but it is always long-term.

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