Category Archives: Tips

Tropical Hardwood Needs Acclimation

It is vital for the success of any project using Tropical Hardwood to Acclimate!

Getting the wood ready to install–acclimate your Ipe wood!

Ipe wood needs to acclimate to the local conditions (humidity and temperature).  This is true of any hardwood. This means it needs to sit near where you will be installing it to adjust to its new climate.  Leave it there for a least seven (7) days, or longer if you are in a drier climate. Don’t store Ipe wood for any more than 28 days without checking with us at Ipe Woods USA for additional handling tips.

How to acclimate your Ipe wood–a list of do’s and don’ts

  1. We recommend you store Ipe wood on blocks of wood.  Do not sit Ipe wood anywhere directly on or near the ground or on a block of concrete, so it can acclimate.  It must be stored a minimum of 12 inches away from the ground to let the boards underneath get enough ventilation. If it is not interacting with the environment, it is not acclimating!
    Proper Hardwood Acclimation
    Wood stacked for installation.
  2. Cover Ipe wood with plywood during the acclimation process.  Do NOT cover the Ipe lumber with any tarp or any plastic. These trap water and moisture and can create stability issues.  Ipe must be kept dry until it’s installed.
  3. Air Ipe wood outside.  Never store it in an enclosed space, such as a garage or any other enclosed area.
  4. Proper ventilation is best achieved by separating the rows of boards with wooden shims.  The more air can move around the boards before installation, the more acclimated the wood will be for your project.
  5. We mentioned this above, but never store Ipe lumber for more than 28 days without double-checking with us at Ipe Woods USA.

See also our decking installation page


A Lifetime Investment

The great thing about choosing Ipe wood for project(s) is that it’s one and done.  Whether it’s decking, siding, fencing, or any of many other options, Ipe lumber is so tough, and durable resistant to water damage and molds, that replacing it is the last thing you’ll have to worry about. I mean it’s so tough you need to hold a hardcore hockey match on it for it to see much damage.  Or else drop a bowling ball from about ten stories high on to it.  (You may just break the ball instead.)  You spent the time to research costs and pricing, made your decision, and there it sits, the apple of your eye, and maybe the envy of the neighborhood.  If you’re lucky, you’ve just become the Jones’s that everyone is working to keep up with.

But even a lifetime investment needs attention to stay looking as good as it did the day you first put it in.


You’ve got a couple choices when it comes to your Ipe decking (let’s stay with decking just for the sake of convenience, but this applies to whatever you’ve used your Ipe wood for.)

You can either let it just age without staining it.  If that is the case, it will ultimately fade to a silvery grey, shade much like teak.  Even that choice will require you to reseal it once every year or two.  (Don’t go any longer than two years between resealing.)  Yes, Ipe is amazingly impervious to water damage and rot, but it still needs to be treated with care.

The other choice is to restain the lumber.  Restaining the Ipe wood will keep it looking beautifully dark for ages.

You can’t lose either way.  It’s just of question of what you prefer.


Always stick with the KISS formula:  Keep it short and simple.  You need to start with the basics.

No matter which way you go you will have to clean your Ipe decking before either restaining or resealing.

To clean the deck you’ll need to use some bleach to get all the junk off.  It’s easy to do and you can find a formula for it here.

Don’t use a sprayer to wash your Ipe deck.  Go old fashioned and get down on your hands and knees.  Make sure you don’t forget your knee pads when you’re doing that.

Once you’ve cleaned the lumber, let it dry for at least a day.

When that’s finished stain or seal away to your heart’s content.

You can’t lose no matter what choice you make.