If you have talked to a deck builder, he may have extolled the virtues of ipe wood decking. Also known as ironwood because of its nearly indestructible nature, this is a truly amazing and beautiful decking choice. But if your contractor did not mention the following 9 reasons why you should choose ipe wood decking for your next outdoor living experience project, maybe you are talking to the wrong decking guy.
Did you know that ipe (pronounced EE-pay) wood carries the same fire rating as concrete and steel?! That is right, this Central and South American wood has been given an ‘A’ fire rating. It also boasts a Janka hardness score of 3,600, meaning it is fireproof and incredibly dense.
Believe it or not, ipe can easily last 50 years, and even more than a century. As far as longevity is concerned, ipe wood decking is the ling of the outdoor living experience.
Not too many deck owners consider the safety of their materials when having a deck built. Ipe wood decking is one of the safest decking options available. Its friction co-efficiency makes it extremely slip-resistant, even when wet. It is so resistant to slipping that it over-qualifies the Americans with Disabilities Act Requirements for safety.
This is just one way in which this incredibly versatile hardwood is friendly to mother nature. The natural, rich oils which resist fungus, mold, rot and boring insects that are found in ipe wood mean that no chemicals need to be added to make your deck beautiful and long-lasting.
This natural wood is simply beautiful. Your ipe deck immediately says “class and luxury”. Let’s face it, you are building your deck for fun and functionality, but you want it to be beautiful as well. The natural olive brown to reddish finish ages to a rich patina of silver grey when left untreated. Your gorgeous IPE deck will be unrivaled in warm, natural beauty, and will draw compliments and looks of envy from your friends and party goers for decades.
Even in brutal Texas weather, ipe wood decking will never crack or warp. That means virtually no maintenance, and no replacement costs.
We mentioned above that ipe wood decking is used in the Atlantic City Boardwalk, and also at Disney World. I am pretty sure your outdoor living project will not get near the wear, tear and traffic that those 2 tourist destinations enjoy every year.
Many California marinas also use ipe exclusively, including San Diego’s Shelter Island Marina and San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf. The Coney Island Boardwalk even chose IPE as its decking material of choice. Those are some pretty good testimonials right there. (Did we mention that ipe wood was used in the building of the Panama Canal as well?)
Aside from not needing any chemical treatment, ipe wood decking is environmentally friendly in another regard. Since it lasts for decades, you may never have to replace it. That means a smaller impact on forests over time.
And Dallas Deck Craft is proud to report that the ipe wood we use is certified by the FSC (US Forest Stewardship Council) as a responsibly harvested ‘Green Product’. This means that sustainable and renewable harvesting practices are used so that forests retain their natural value.
Is ipe wood decking more expensive than some other choices? You bet it is … but only up front! This nearly indestructible wood can last 50 years easy, and even more than 100 years in some cases. That delivers what might be the lowest cost-for-life investment of any decking material.
For the discerning Dallas, Rockwall and Collin county homeowner and the perceptive deck builder, ipe decking is the best choice. Why? As a finished product, it is rich, resilient, and beautiful. As a material, ipe is naturally resistant to rot, abrasion, insects, molds and extreme weather. It is also flame-resistant, and it does not float. This beautiful exotic lumber is up to 5 times harder and 2 times denser than other hardwoods, and yes, it is harder than nails.
It is a primary choice for builders and interior designers and you will find this tropical hardwood in first-class commercial projects and upscale homes all over the world. In fact, that’s ipe hardwood you see outside the Treasure Island Hotel in Las Vegas, the famous Atlantic City Boardwalk and also the boardwalks of Disney World and Coney Island.
Ipe (pronounced as ee-pay) is commonly found in South and Central America, specifically in the Brazilian rainforests. These trees can grow up to 150 feet tall with a diameter of 6 inches. It is also called as Brazilian walnut and ironwood (in reference to its toughness).
Ipe wood has the same A-1 fire rating as steel and concrete, which means that it is highly flame-resistant compared to other woods. It has also been awarded the highest decay resistance rating of High 50+ Years, although the material can actually last longer. It is ideal for outdoor decking especially in areas with extreme weather conditions such as Dallas, Texas.
Aside from the facts stated above, here are some more reasons why deck construction professionals choose ipe wood for outdoor decking.
Aside from decking, there are close to limitless possibilities for which ipe can be used. Some of these are:
While ipe presents so many benefits when used for decking, many builders find it quite challenging to work with. With the right tools, however, ipe decking wood is a great material to use.
Ipe is like redwood, it has natural oils that keep insects out and it is ideal because it is highly resistant to molds, mildew and decay. However, ipe also has a high tannin content that makes it difficult to paint or finish. It is not as malleable as other woods, either, so it is not suitable for intricate woodworking.
Here are some tips to help a deck builder get the most out of ipe.
Application—air dried ipe wood is best for outdoor use. For indoor projects, kiln-dried ipe is better to avoid cracking or warping.
Drilling—it is highly recommended that you use high-quality drill bits to drill into the wood. Ipe is very hard, so you would need to pre-drill before attaching pieces together.
Cutting—to prevent splinters when cutting, it is best to use carbide saw blades.
Installation—use stainless steel screws or hidden fasteners when attaching pieces together. Installation is a vital part in making sure that decking problems are avoided. Ensure that the deck boards are properly straightened and the right fastening systems are used. And don’t rush the process!
Finishing—because this kind of wood has an abundance of natural oils, water and oil based finishing won’t produce the best results. It is therefore recommended that you test apply different products on some sample boards to achieve the desired results.
Whether you are a deck builder or a homeowner, you will surely appreciate the many benefits of using ipe decking wood. It is durable, resilient, beautiful, and meant to last for generations.
You are in the right place if you are looking for the ultimate resource on ipe decking. Here, you will find first-rate and well-researched information about one of the world’s best decking material, ipe.
But why should you know more about it?
In this unstable economy where unemployment and foreclosures are rampant and the future is still uncertain, “staycation” is quickly becoming not only a favorite word, but a lifestyle choice for many people who opt to stay in their homes for entertaining and vacations.
Many homeowners are spending less on vacations that require traveling but are spending more on upgrading their homes for a more practical re-evaluation of their lifestyles. These days, we see more homes with porches and decks, and educated homeowners are investing on high quality products like ipe decking for living space expansion that last longer instead of choosing low-quality materials for a quick fix.
And they are right, too. Your backyard can be turned into a relaxing oasis where you and your family can make unforgettable memories for many years to come.
There are many options available for patio material and outdoor decking, but the most preferred material by discerning homeowners is ipe decking. Considered as a “ironwood,” ipe is a top choice because of its innumerable outstanding properties.
With an A fire rating—same as steel and concrete—ipe also has a Janka Hardness of 3,600, which means that it is fireproof, extremely tough and durable.
It does not require any chemical treatment because it is very dense and rich with natural oils that makes it resistant to common wood problems such as rot, fungus, mold and boring insects.
You don’t get just 25 years from ipe. With proper care and maintenance, ipe can last 50 years to a century. You can;t find any other decking material that has the same properties such as ipe.
Also known as ironwood, ipe is a tropical hardwood native to Central and South America that grows up to 150 feet within 30 to 35 years. It is commonly used for home and boat decks, furniture, boardwalks, docks, and piers.
In this definitive guide, we explore the unique properties of ipe, including being awarded the highest decay resistant rating of High 50+ Years.
Ipe also has a friction co-efficiency that is more than the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, making one of the safest decking options for being slip-resistant even when wet.
Above all these characteristics, the fact that makes ipe really stand out is its natural, warm and rich beauty that spells luxury and class. It starts out with an olive brown to reddish deep tones, and when left untreated it ages to a beautiful patina of silver grey.
Aside from the benefits explored in our article here, ipe is well-known for being resilient against even the toughest weather, just like what we have in Texas. Your decking will be exposed to the elements all year round, so you should choose a material like ipe that does not warp or crack. You shouldn’t have to replace something you don’t have to, right?
It’s no surprise that ipe is the material used for the Atlantic City boardwalk, the Disney World boardwalk, and the Coney Island boardwalk. There are quite a number of California marinas that use nothing but ipe, such as San Diego’s Shelter Island Marina and San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf. Just imagine the thousands that stomp on those boardwalks every day for years, and the harsh elements that batter those marinas.
And did you know that ipe was used in the building of the Panama Canal?
When you invest on a wooden decking, you would want it to last for decades so you won’t have to replace it repeatedly. So it just makes sense to go for the leading material that is proven to be durable, long-lasting and beautiful such as ipe decking. You don’t invest just to have a headache.
On top of that, you will enjoy your luxurious ipe decking knowing that you are using a responsibly harvested green product certified by the FSC. This means that the forests are kept renewable using sustainable yield forestry practices and selective harvesting that retains the value of the forest.
In the Texas counties of Dallas, Rockwall and Collin, Dallas Deck Craft is the “staycation” expert and the go-to professional builder who knows ipe decking. We know ipe decking like the back of our hands, and we use our skilled hands to make sure that your deck will be the ultimate oasis you have always dreamed of.
More and more homeowners are choosing to have their outdoor decks constructed with exotic, tropical, imported woods. This isn’t just a stylistic choice either—in many cases, these woods offer a lot of functional benefits in addition to a unique, aesthetically appealing look.
Two such woods are ipe and red balau. Let’s explore each wood and discuss why you might want to use one or the other for your outdoor wood deck.
Ipe (pronounced “Ee-pay”) has become quite popular in the past ten or so years, and for good reason. It’s a tropical hardwood from the rainforests of Brazil, and ipe decks have garnered so much attention stateside as a result of its beautiful appearance and extreme functionality.
The wood is very, very dense, and therefore it can last much longer than standard wood types when properly treated.
To give you an idea of how incredibly hard ipe wood decking is, the pieces will often come pre-grooved for hidden fasteners before your contractor installs the deck. While technically an exaggeration, the wood has often been compared to steel and called ironwood.
There are some other benefits of having an ipe deck to consider as well:
Red balau, comes from the tropical rainforests in Malaysia and is another very dense wood that’s become popular in recent years due to its extreme durability and attractive price.
Red balau is often compared to teak with the exception that balau is much cheaper and much more durable. Balau is often used in projects which require wood to be resistant to water, like bridges or watercraft ramps and boat docks.
Since red balau is a naturally oily wood, it must be properly sealed with oil, otherwise it can dry out and/or absorb spills quite easily. Modern sealants do a good job of protecting the wood but when the wood density it needs to be reapplied often. Red balau decking construction is a great option for homeowners looking to extend their living to the outdoors.
Also like ipe, properly sealed balau is highly resistant to scratching and scuffing. The density of the wood also helps prevent infestations from wood pests, weather damage, and mold.
Decking made of balau also offers homeowners a considerable range of appearance options, as the color of the wood can range from a pale off white to a dark brown, depending on species. The grain is generally coarse and beautiful when finished.
Even though ipe and red balau woods are both imported and shipped in from Brazil and Southeast Asia, respectively these woods are surprisingly affordable. Homeowners looking to improve the value of their property with an affordable investment should be aware that installing an outdoor wood deck is one of the most cost effective ways of raising a home’s value, not to mention it provides an added extension to the outdoors.
High density woods are becoming more popular for their longevity, strength, and comparatively low-maintenance needs. Replacing properly treated ipe or balau as a result of pests or weather damage is practically unheard of.
Whether you decide to go with ipe or balau for your outdoor decking project is largely a matter of preference and current wood pricing. Either of these fine imported tropical woods will serve as an excellent long-term investment into the value of your home.