Questions & Answers

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does Ipe last outside?

With proper maintenance, Ipe decking can last up to 75 years or more, making it one of the longest-lasting decking materials available.

What is the best alternative to Ipe decking?

There are several alternative decking materials that offer similar durability and aesthetic appeal to Ipe, including Cumaru, Garapa, and Tigerwood.

Does Ipe decking need maintenance?

Yes, Ipe decking requires regular maintenance to keep it looking its best. It should be cleaned regularly and oiled every 6 to 12 months to protect it from weathering.

Do you need to sand Ipe?

Sanding can be used to remove surface stains and discoloration from Ipe decking, but it is not always necessary. If sanding is required, 60-80 grit sandpaper should be used, and care should be taken to avoid over-sanding the wood.

Does Ipe wood crack?

Ipe wood is very dense and has a low moisture content, which makes it resistant to cracking and splitting for thinner boards that are used for decking and fencing. However, timbers that dry faster on the outside than the inside can be more prone to cracking. Also, if the wood is not properly maintained, it can crack or split over time.

Does Ipe split easily?

Ipe wood is very dense and has a low moisture content, which makes it resistant to splitting. However, if the wood is not properly maintained or is exposed to extreme weather conditions, it can split over time.

Is Ipe hard to install?

Ipe decking can be challenging to install, especially for those who are not experienced in working with hardwoods. It is important to use the correct tools and techniques to avoid damaging the wood during installation.

Does Ipe turn gray?

Yes, if left untreated, Ipe decking will eventually weather to a silver-gray color. However, regular cleaning and oiling can help to maintain the wood’s natural color.

Does ipe wood sink in water?

Ipe’s specific gravity can range from 0.91 to 1.12, which means that some pieces of the wood may float while others may sink.

Is Ipe stronger than teak?

Ipe is generally considered to be stronger and more durable than teak. It is also more resistant to decay, insects, and rot.

Can Ipe wood catch fire?

Ipe wood has up to a Class A fire rating, which means that it is highly resistant to fire. It is one of the most fire-resistant decking materials available. However, like most materials, it is not completely fireproof and could catch fire under certain circumstances.

Is Ipe harder than oak?

Yes, Ipe is generally considered to be harder and denser than oak. It is one of the hardest and most durable hardwoods available.

Is Trex a Ipe?

No, Trex is a composite decking material made from a combination of wood fibers and plastic. It is not a type of hardwood like Ipe. Trex is not a natural product and Ipe is.

How thick should Ipe decking be?

The thickness of Ipe decking can vary depending on the specific application and load requirements. However, most Ipe decking boards are between .75 inches and 1.5 inches thick. It is recommended to use 5/4 material that is 1” thick for residential projects.

Is Ipe better than cedar?

Ipe is generally considered to be stronger, more durable, and longer lasting than cedar. However, cedar is a more affordable and readily available option that can still provide a natural and attractive look.

What is the best material for outdoor decks?

The best material for outdoor decks will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Some popular options include hardwoods like Ipe, Cumaru, Garapa, and Tigerwood.

Is Ipe deck expensive?

Yes, Ipe decking can be expensive. It is one of the most durable and long-lasting decking materials on the market, but its premium quality comes at a premium price.

What is better Trex or Ipe?

Answer: Both Trex and Ipe have their advantages and disadvantages. Trex is a composite decking material that is low-maintenance and easy to install, while Ipe is a natural hardwood that is extremely durable and long-lasting. The best choice for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. However, most high-end designers and contractors will tell you Ipe is a superior product in almost every aspect. Ipe also feels better in the sun, lasts longer, and does not have the cheap plastic feel to it like that of Trex.

What is Ipe decking?

Answer: Ipe decking is a type of hardwood decking made from the Ipe tree. It is known for its strength, durability, and natural resistance to decay, insects, and rot.

Is Ipe the best decking material?

Answer: Ipe is one of the best decking materials available. It is extremely strong and durable, and it has a natural resistance to decay, insects, and rot. However, it can be expensive, and it requires regular maintenance to keep it looking its best.

Should you pressure wash ipe wood?

Answer: No, pressure washing can cause damage if not done carefully. A low-pressure setting and wide-angle spray should be used if attempted which is not recommended, and the pressure washer should be held at least 12 inches away from the wood. A better solution is a deck cleaner and brightener made by Messmers.

How toxic is Ipe sawdust?

Answer: Ipe sawdust can be irritating to the skin and eyes, and it can cause respiratory problems if inhaled. It is important to wear protective equipment when working with Ipe wood, including a dust mask, safety glasses, and gloves. Once installed we know of no other problems anyone has had.

What is the problem with Ipe?

Answer: The main problem with Ipe is that it can be expensive and difficult to work with. It is also a dense wood, which can make it challenging to cut and shape.

Do termites eat Ipe?

Answer: Termites are not known to eat Ipe wood, as it is a very hard and dense wood. However, they can still damage Ipe decks by building their nests underneath the boards.

How often should Ipe be oiled?

Answer: Ipe decking should be oiled every 6 to 12 months to maintain its natural color and helps protect it from weathering we recommend Messmers UV Plus or Ipe Oil.

How do you keep Ipe looking new?

Answer: To keep Ipe decking looking new, it should be cleaned regularly and oiled every 6 to 12 months. A high-quality deck cleaner and brightener should be used to remove dirt and grime, and a high-quality oil should be applied to protect the wood from weathering.

Do you need to seal the ends of Ipe?

Answer: Yes, the ends of Ipe decking should be sealed to prevent moisture from penetrating the wood and causing cracking or splitting.

Is Ipe hard to maintain?

Answer: Ipe decking requires almost no regular maintenance to keep it looking good. It should be cleaned regularly and oiled every 6 to 12 months to protect it from weathering if you want it to stay darker and not turn grey.

What is the lifespan of an Ipe deck?

Answer: With proper maintenance, an Ipe deck can last up to 75 years or more.

Is ipe wood slippery when wet?

Answer: Ipe decking can be slippery when wet, especially if it has not been cleaned or oiled recently. To reduce the risk of slips and falls, a non-slip profile can be added to the lumber prior to shipping from our mills.

How much does Ipe cost?

Answer: Random lengths are generally about the same price as small boards. Starting at $4.05/linear foot for specific and random lengths. However, for longer boards, such as the 20′ ones, it starts at about $5.95/linear foot. When comparing prices, make sure you compare the cost of shipping also, as the wood is so dense and heavy that it even sinks in water.

How much does Ipe Cost?

Answer: Additional cost considerations should include fastener kits for $119, sealer for $27.99, and UV Plus Finish for $74.99.  Other than that, a small Ipe deck can be as little as $400 or more than $50,000 for larger projects. You can see a more detailed explanation on our blog. If you want to see, the exact pricing, go to our Ipe decking prices page.

What is Ipe?

Answer: Ipe is one of the densest, most fire-resistant, and most durable woods available. Ipe is considered the highest quality natural product you can build a deck with.

Is Ipe the same as Brazilian Walnut?

Answer: Yes, These are the same woods. You can learn more on our blog about the many names of Ipe. Brazilian Walnut also is a misleading name because it comes from not only Brazil but in other countries in Central and South America.

How do you pronounce “Ipe”?

Answer: Ipe is one of the densest woods available and probably the nicest for outdoor use. It will last up to 75 or more years and is great for use on decks. It also keeps bugs, fire, and heat away from it. The wood is so dense it will sink in water.

Ipe wood is a top choice for outdoor decking, siding, and fencing due to its exceptional durability and longevity. With a Class A fire rating, it is just as safe as steel or concrete, making it an ideal natural option for fire-prone areas. The natural weathering process gives Ipe a unique weathered look, but it can also be treated to maintain its original color. Ipe is also known for being the hardest wood commonly used for decking, and it can last up to 75 years with proper care and maintenance. When it comes to kiln dried vs air dried Ipe, both options are suitable for outdoor use, but kiln-dried Ipe has a lower moisture content which can make it more expensive. Ipe is often referred to as Brazilian Walnut, Ironwood, or just “Ipe”, but it is the same high-quality hardwood regardless of the name. To clean Ipe, consider using a specialized cleaner like Messmer’s Wood Cleaner, and to protect its color, a UV coating like Messemers UV can be applied. Overall, Ipe is the best wood for outdoor applications, and it’s worth considering if you want a durable, low-maintenance, and beautiful wood for your project.

Disclaimer: The answers provided in this question and answers page are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. It is recommended that you consult with a licensed professional or expert in the field before making any decisions or taking any actions based on the information provided here. We make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability with respect to the information provided. Any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk.

Ipe and Garapa Decking, Siding, and Fencing.