Ipe Wood Decking

What is Ipe Wood?

Deck Builders Columbus is the area’s expert in using the finest decking materials on the planet. Ipe (pronounced EE-pay) is the highest quality wood money can buy. Also known as Brazilian walnut, this exotic hardwood is 8 times harder than the California Redwood and is guaranteed for 20 years without the use of preservatives! The lumber is naturally resistant to mold, rot, fire, decay, and insect damage. Coming in a number of colors from rich brown to shades of red and amber, Ipe wood is truly a beautiful choice for style and longevity. If you are looking for a premium hardwood deck, Ipe is the best place to start.

Ipe Deck Installation

Due to the contrasting grain patterns and fine texture, Ipe wood is extremely versatile and can be used for any project you are looking to complete. Even next to the pool, it offers a safe and slip-resistant surface that far outweighs the looks of concrete. Although the technology of today allows for the use of composite materials, there are many benefits to building with natural wood over plastic. Here are some of the differences:

  1. 100% All-Natural – As compared to composite decking, Ipe contains no chemicals or plastics. 
  2. Hardness Rating – With a Janka hardness rating of 3,680, Ipe is known as one of the top 10 hardest woods in the world. This incredible strength allows for it to maintain dimensional stability and withstand damaging external forces.
  3. Durability – Even in the extreme weather conditions, this lumber stands the test of time. The natural properties of the wood make it resistant to just about everything, leaving your deck looking great for decades to come.
  4. Board Repair – As opposed to composite decking, each Ipe plank is a slightly different color. If a board needs replaced, it can be done quickly and leave no evidence of repair. 
  5. Cost – With all the extraordinary benefits that Ipe wood offers, you would think the cost might outweigh the benefits. However, the cost effectiveness is actually superior to that of other materials. Known to last from 40-70+ years, no other material comes close.

Ipe Deck Maintenance

There are two ways you can approach maintaining Ipe wood decks. Whichever option is decided upon, the strength and durability of the wood will remain. The main difference between approaches is with regard to color maintenance.

1. UV-Protectant Oil

The first option for maintaining Ipe wood is to utilize UV-protectant oil. This solution help keep the UV rays at bay by absorbing them into solution, while allowing natural light to pass through.

As a result, the rich, natural colors are preserved for a longer period of time. These applications are to take place once per year, with a cleaning every 2-3 years. If you are looking to highlight the natural colors and beauty of the wood, UV oil is the choice for you.

2. Leave It Be!

The other option is to leave the deck as-is. Again, this will not impact the wood’s ability to resist the elements as the only difference is in the color. For some, maintenance once per year is too much. For others, the resulting color changes from a lack of maintenance is actually preferred!

Without applying oil, Ipe board colors will undergo a “greying” process which leaves a beautiful reclaimed look of silver and grey.

Deck maintenance is perhaps one of the most important considerations before purchasing. Ipe wood happens to be one of the lowest-maintenance products available. As a part of our initial consultation, Deck Builders Columbus will recommend materials that make sense with your expectations.

Deck Builders Columbus Ohio performs free estimates for deck repair and other services
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Ipe Wood Deck built in the backyard of a Columbus, Ohio home

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Ipe Wood and Composite Decking in Columbus

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