Great Alternatives to Ipe

The most common reason we see for people looking for alternatives to Ipe is price. If you are looking for an Ipe alternative this article is for you. Ipe is the king of hardwoods, the reasons for that are numerous. But what are the best alternatives? Here are two of our favorites and why.

Garapa

From a density and longevity standpoint, we prefer Garapa. It is a great wood and is substantially less expensive than Ipe. So what are the pros and cons of Garapa?

Garapa Pros:

  • Less Expensive
  • Extremely Durable
  • Long life span can exceed 30 years

Garapa Cons:

  • Color is yellow, but it will turn grey if allowed. Also can be treated to darken the color.
  • Somewhat plain looking as the wood doesn’t have many age rings or contrasting color characteristics.

Cumaru

Cumaru is a beautiful wood, but in our experience, it is less stable around water than Ipe and Garapa. In fact, we have seen it prone to cupping especially in the 1×6 size. While this usually happens when moisture and/or water are near it.

Cumaru Pros:

  • Beautiful exotic look
  • Less expensive than Ipe
  • Durable
  • Life span can exceed 25 years

Cumaru Cons:

  • Not as good around water
  • Less density

In the end, ll of the woods no matter if it is ipe, garapa or cumaru are great choices. But there is only one king of hardwood decking and that is Ipe.

Leave a Reply