Guest Post: IPE Wood Decking: A Powerful Investment

The cost is tolerable if the quality is credible, especially when improving your decks and patios, but cedar and pressure treated lumber continue to disappoint you. When your budget for repairs are shooting up, and your deck remains a sore to the eyes, we often condemn the world for not being on our side…or so we thought. The discovery of an exotic South American hardwood called IPE proved to be a breakthrough not only for carpenters and interior designers, but for those of us who wish only the best decking for our homes.

It seemed, then, that Mother Earth knew beforehand that as our generation rises to a new power, we would need wood like IPE to sustain us.

Have never heard of IPE before?

If you are a cautious customer who researches every fact of the merchandise you are seeking, chances are, you have encountered IPE before, but under other names. Identifications that are more common are Greenheart, Guayacan, IPE Brazil, Amapa, Madera Negra, and Flor Amarillo.

Its Trade names used by Brazilian exporters are Ironwood™, Pau Lope™, and Brazilian Walnut, which is popular for having a superior mark in the Janka Hardness Rating. This is also one of the reasons consumers prefer this to the domestic American Walnut.

If IPE is that hard, it must also be hard to work with.

IPE may require a little more of the usual manpower used in decking because of its sturdiness. Fastening it demands the use of screw and nails made of stainless steel. Yes, IPE wood decking is more challenging than what most homeowners are accustomed to.

Why use IPE, then?

Even if you don’t believe in the saying ‘no pain, no gain’, it rings true, especially for this one of a kind lumber.

W. Red Cedar is not immune to decay and pressure treated lumber contains toxic chemicals that makes it susceptible to rot and damage caused by insects. Both demand chemical application for efficient preservation, are easily dented or splintered, weathers to undesirable colors, and burns.

IPE lumber undergoes no treatment. It was rated by the US Forest Lab to be immensely resistant to rot and insect attacks for more than 25 years. It does not accept preservatives, and morphs into silver or grey colors with little or without maintenance.

Most importantly, IPE is fire resistant. Burning IPE is like trying to burn concrete.

Using this tested material will save you a lot of trouble for a very long time – long enough for a second generation of your family to enjoy your investment.

The cost of durability

IPE may cost $5 to $7 per board, but a lot of other factors have to be considered as well. The size of the deck you will need done or renovated is one of your major considerations. If the working place is vast, a good advice is to discuss the thickness of your boards to your contractor. The incorporation of elaborate designs or other materials to your IPE or the decking process as a whole will be a little tricky, seeing as how it is deeply stressed how resilient this lumber is, but again, the rest is up to your contractor.

Take note when purchasing IPE

Illegal lumbering is prevalent nowadays, and with the growing popularity of IPE, many industries will be harvesting or trading this dishonestly. You will not want to be involved in any of those, so if you decide to go for IPE decking, be as critical as you can be about the manner in which your material was harvested.

It will be no wonder if poor imitations of IPE will be present in the market in the near future. The challenge for consumers will be to resist the nagging temptation to go for the cheaper options, although sometimes, it is going to be more practical.

The struggle in our priorities has caused the majority of us to be narrow-minded and shortsighted. Choosing quality materials that will enhance your investments may hurt your pockets now, but it will assure you and your family satisfaction once you see everybody else’s decks have rotted, and yours remain as superb as when you first had it made.

Author Bio: Amanda Cairos is an active blogger and shares extremely interesting home decoration tips that makes it easier for people to make absolute choice for hardwood floorings, wooden works and decks that they are looking for styling their beautiful home.

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

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