ABS Wood

Ipe Wood Decking for Beautiful Enduring Outdoor Projects

Any outdoor project should be durable and made with strong and high-quality materials to make sure that it can withstand the elements. Ipe wood decking is one of the most reliable and durable materials you can consider. Also known as 'Brazilian walnut', ipe is among the hardest woods known to man. Its hardness is about three times that of a baseball bat, making it a popular choice in building robust wooden structures in the US, Asia and Europe. Ipe is versatile and can be used for interior and exterior projects.


Ipe is known to be three times harder than oak, and it is dense enough to have an A1 fire rating, which is comparable to concrete. This wood is 3,680lbs in the Janka hardness scale. Due to its extremely dense nature, ipe wood decking may need to be pre-drilled before installing screws or nails into it. High-quality ipe wood decking is not treated with chemicals to deter bugs. It is naturally scratch resistant, too, and in case something drags across the wood, you can use an 80 grit on an orbital sander to remedy the surface.


American dock and deck builders can testify to the beauty and durability of this decking material, which can hold up to even the harshest weather conditions. An ipe deck is guaranteed to last for years. This is because ipe can naturally resist organisms that may cause conventional wood to rot or deteriorate. Hence, you do not have to worry about termites and water damage. With a UV finisher, you can maintain the beautiful grain and luxurious brown hue of ipe wood decking. Even without a finisher, ipe can hold up by itself. It can still last for decades while aging gracefully, forming a silver gray patina.


Ipe wood decking is a great investment. To get the best value, work with a reputable supplier that follows a direct to builder and consumer model. The absence of the middleman guarantees more savings for you. Be sure to buy premium grade ipedecking wood with minimal imperfections and bowing. Verify that the supplier responsibly harvests their ipe, and make sure that their harvesting methods are compliant with the Lacey act.


Ipe is more environmentally friendly than composites. Because it is a natural wood, once it reaches the end of its life, ipe will simply decompose and become part of the earth once more—unlike wood composites, which can remain in landfills for centuries.


About the Author:

This article is written by Bruce Master. He gained an interest in woodworking at an early age. Bruce Master started working with contractors in the 1970s as a salesman at Ace Hardware in Miami. Over the years he discovered and fell in love with Brazilian woods. He has built decks, docks and specialty items using many of the Brazilian woods. Today, Bruce loves his job as Operations Manager for ABS Wood, a Brazilian wood retailer.