Ipe Wood or Cedar: Which is the Best Decking Material?

When it comes to building a deck, you will end up feeling stressed if you have no idea about your preference. There are composite, Ipe wood, iroko, cumaru, balau, and cedar. Perhaps two of the most popular choices would be ipe and cedar. Cedar is a quality wood that is highly resistant against insect attacks, decay, and rot. However, it still requires regular maintenance in order to maintain its flawless feature. Ipe, on the other hand, is a hardwood that is not only resistant against rot, insect attacks, and decay but also to fire.

Choosing Between Cedar and Ipe Wood

Both decking materials come with their own advantages. To make an informed decision, you need to analyze the level of maintenance needed, strength of materials and their grain.


Softwood decking materials such as cedar will need sealing, painting and staining annually especially if you want it to last a lifetime. Ipe Wood has a high level of resistance against outdoor elements and weather conditions. In case you are someone who prefers low maintenance, Ipe will definitely provide you with the best choice. Despite of the fact that it is virtually maintenance-free, we still recommend you to conduct a periodic maintenance of your deck.


Ipe is also known as ironwood due to its unprecedented strength. The strength of the material is crucial in terms of deck building. Cedar has a good resistance against rot and decay but will require regular maintenance. Ipe wood has an excellent resistance against weather elements, rots, and decay. In case you noticed, most of the backyard decks and the boardwalks are made from this hardwood material. It is at least 5 times denser compared to the pressure-treated cedar.


Ipe Wood is available in an array of tropical shades, brown, black and light tones. It has a unique figuring that adds to the natural appeal and character of the hardwood. Cedar is also available in a range of color but with a limited figuring. If you are looking for decking materials that has the premium look, ipe will be your best solution. It is also offered in long lengths that will create a seamless and consistent appearance.


Usually, the grain of the cedar is unremarkable and regular, whereas the Ipe wood has exotic grains that create that natural and authentic charm.

Ipe can last more than 40 years depending on some circumstances such as weather condition and maintenance. In contrast, Cedar wood has a lifespan of more than 10 years even if it is maintained regularly. The initial cost of cedar may be less compared to the Ipe wood, but with the recurring cost of maintenance you will end up paying more. If you want to improve the value of your property, you need to choose the premium decking material. There is no question that Ipe will provide a better value of your investment. There is just no way to compare hardwood and cedars with regards to its durability.

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