Are you looking to build the ideal deck for your home? Thinking about what the perfect decking material would be? Ipe or Brazilian hardwood is the answer to your problem.
There are an estimated 30 million residential decks in the US. A good 10 million of them have only come up recently. We’re betting most of these decks use ipe wood for their materials.
Most people choose ipe wood because of its sturdiness and reliability. Get a decking material that can last your whole lifetime.
Read on below for the top 5 benefits of using ipe decking.
1. Low Ipe Decking Cost
In 2016, 25% of home remodeling projects focused on adding decks to already-built homes. One of the many reasons why ipe is a very popular addition to homes is its low cost. Ipe prices can even equal synthetic plastic deck material.
If you plan to DIY your deck, you can get the ipe wood boards for a cheaper price. Ipe deck boards could cost for as little to 3.50 USD to 5 USD per square foot. The added cost of labor could increase the total price to about 20 USD per square foot if you plan to pay professionals to build the deck.
Prices for random lengths are available in our shop. For example, a 1×4 ipe wood with eased edges can cost 2.24 USD per foot. Check out our price list for ipe wood costs at different lengths and functions.
The cost of ipe decking installation can vary with the size of the deck. A 200 to 500 square-foot deck can cost you around 7,000 USD. Smaller decks can cost only 2,000 USD or more.
Ipe wood can seem more expensive than most other wood materials. In the long run, it will be a great investment and will cost you less. We’ll further explain below the durability of the ipe wood.
2. Ipe Decking Has Durability and High Density
You want to create a wooden deck or porch that lasts for a long time. Ipe hardwood is tough as nails and has a high density. It’s not a surprise that it earned the nickname “ironwood”.
Ipe wood’s high density makes it the best decking material according to many deck makers. This dense characteristic makes ipe wood long-lasting and sturdy. Several resistances come from the high density of this redwood species.
Ipe wood has a Class A fire resistance rating. This is comparable to the resistance of steel and concrete against fire. The wood’s density, rugged surface, and natural moisture content help.
In the market, most wood materials do not expand like ipe wood. The contracting and expanding of ipe wood make it an adaptive material. Often, these changes will be due to the climate and temperature of the area.
As a note, excessive movement is a common problem with ipe decking. The reason is the wood still moves with changes in the temperature and humidity. The wood will compensate when it starts drying and can cause coupling, gaps, and buckling.
To prevent this, make sure that airflow on all four sides of the boards remains even. The boards and joints should have even spaces between each other. Also, allow some room for expansion and drainage.
3. Ipe Wood Is Sustainable and Eco-Friendly
Among the various typical decking options, ipe wood has great sustainability. As discussed above, it is very sturdy. This leads to fewer instances of deck wood replacement.
Compared to most wood types for deck boards, ipe wood can last much longer. With the right maintenance, it can weather the elements for over 75 years. In the case of termite attacks, it can hold out against them for up to 15 years.
Although we say that ipe has good sustainability as decking material, the source itself isn’t so much. Due to its widespread use in many construction projects, many are overharvesting it. In time, further sourcing of ipe could lead to its extinction.
This is why you must be smart and efficient in using ipe wood. This incredible hardwood has much use to us and will benefit future generations. All we need to do is to be responsible for the usage of our materials.
4. Retains Cool Surfaces
In its original state, Brazilian hardwood or ipe has high moisture content. Through the slow drying process, the moisture content level goes down. This is to prevent the ipe wood from cracking and splitting.
For months, the wood sits in a warehouse to readjust to its new environment and acclimate well. If you buy ipe wood, it’s best to consider one that is premium or select grade. This will ensure that the woods will have the least amount of separation and cracks.
As a tip, when you buy ipe wood, it’s smart to let them acclimate. Let the boards sit for a few days on-site before you cut them. The longer they get to adjust to temperatures, the stronger they’ll be when you start the decking project.
There are some options for ipe decking, including air-dried boards and kiln-dried lumber. Air-dried decking has a moisture content of 12% to 18%. This ensures that excessive movement and checking will not occur during elemental exposure.
The kiln-dried wood has a moisture content of 6% to 8%. This is essential in climate-controlled interiors. Kiln-drying ipe allows more stability and prevents moisture loss.
Since ipe hardwood has a natural capacity to keep less heat, it will stay cool in the summer months. Using ipe decking will be better than using composite and plastic decking. It also has a tendency to crack less, giving you fewer chances of getting splinters.
If you can’t get access to ipe, some Ipe alternatives include cumaru, massaranduba, and teak.
5. Low Maintenance
Ipe helps create the ideal deck for many homeowners. It has great aesthetic value, great efficiency, and incredible stability. Still, without the right maintenance, it can wear out faster than it should.
The great thing about ipe decking is that doesn’t need a lot to keep it in tip-top shape.
All you need is regular cleaning. Sweep it every day to clear out the sap, pollen, and leaves. Should debris remain, rinse it out.
Sealing your boards after constructing the deck will help in its longevity too. If you want to give further protection to the finish, you can oil your ipe wood. Remember to reseal your boards every few years.
Exposure to the sun will make the board colors fade. If you want to keep the color from fading, use a UV protectant on the boards. If you can get an awning to protect it from the high sun, do it whenever your budget allows you to.
All Hands on the Ipe Deck
That’s it for the 5 reasons why ipe decking is becoming a popular choice among homeowners.
Did you enjoy this blog post and/or found it informative? Feel free to visit our blog page for more articles on Ipe decking.
Thinking of getting treatments for a beautiful finish on your ipe deck? Check out our main page for our products and services on all things ipe! You can also contact us and fill out a form for a quote.