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Ipe Decking vs Trex

First, we should mention that the two are not really comparable in the sense that Ipe can be used for all aspects of a structure. So Trex should never be used for decking infrastructure. This is simply because Trex is not strong enough. Trex is only good to lay flat or use as railings. So a “Trex” deck still is only as strong as the wood that is used to support the actual Trex. To see this by the numbers look at the “strength” in the chart below and “crushing strength”.

This is why Ipe is the best option for high humidity and near pool, water or hot tubs.

Fuzzy Trex after only a few years.

  TREX IPE WINNER
Hardness N/A 3,680 (EXTREMELY HARD) IPE
Weight 60 lbs/ft3 69 lbs/ft3 IPE
Bending Strength 3,280 lbf/in2 25,660 lbf/in2 IPE
Stiffness 412,000 lbf/in2 3,200,000 lbf/in2 IPE
Fire Rating Class B Class A IPE
Life Span Unknown (see pictures below) Warranty says 25 years. 75+ Years IPE
Ipe Trex®Select Trex®Enhance Trex®Transcend
Sand-Free X  NO  NO X
Stain-Resistant X X X X
Fade-Resistant With Oil  NO X X
Scratch Resistant X  NO  NO X
Mold-resistant X X X X
25 Year Life 75 Years X X X
Splinter Resistant X X X X
75 Year Life X  NO  NO  NO
Insect-Resistant X  NO  NO  NO
Easily Repairable X  NO  NO  NO
Can Restore if Faded X  NO  NO  NO
Class “A” Fire Rating X  NO  NO  NO
Load Bearing X  NO  NO  NO
Natural Wood X  NO  NO  NO
Requires No Maintenance X  NO  NO  NO
 
Cost Per Linear Foot 1×6 3.06 2.56 2.49 4.02
Initial Cost 500 Square Foot Deck 3338.46 2792.96 2716.59 4385.82
Cost Per Year* 44.5128 111.7184 108.6636 175.4328

Summary:

Unlike Ipe Decking, Trex loses color with age that can not be regained through treatment. It is soft and not load bearing, it can get extremely hot in the sun. It can support mold growth, especially where there is high humidity or rainy climates. Trex is more susceptible to fire. There can be a “fuzziness” to it over the course of time due to wear.

Really the only reason you should choose Trex decking instead of ipe decking is if you want to save a little bit of money or want a color that is not available in natural wood.

 

 


This video compares real Ipe to Azek
*Costs based off prices from national retailers. Some boards may be pregrooved. Information is accurate to the best of our knowledge.

Information on Ipe Decking, Siding and Fencing.

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