Are you planning to live in your house for many years?
Ipe wood is an excellent solution for those householders who appreciate quality, beauty, and durability.
Flooring and furniture made of ipe will last a lifetime with proper care.
Ipe (also known as Brazilian hardwood, Brazilian walnut or ironwood) is a South American hardwood.
It mostly grows in Brazilian rainforests and other areas of South and Central America.
Ipe tends to be one of the tallest plants in the Amazon region. It can grow up to 150 feet.
Ipe's coloring ranges from chocolate brown to olive green.
When left untreated, the wood turns to a silvery gray color.
Though, it can be easily restored to its natural color with minimal effort.
This material is commonly used for decking, flooring, exterior lumber, tool handles, veneer, etc. It is resistant to splintering, shrinking, and twisting.
Ipe wood resists flames like concrete and steel.
Due to its hardness, ipe can be polished like brass. This wood can even sink in water like cast iron.
What are the benefits of Ipe wood?
Ipe hardwood is resistant to insects, molds, rot, decay, and even fire. Unlike other decking materials, this hardwood doesn't require preservatives, toxins and chemicals to be treated. This wood has the highest durability rating. Outdoor furniture and decking made of ipe last more than 25 years, whereas indoor wooden objects with the right oil treatment may last up to 100 years. Thus, you won't have to replace the ipe decking for a considerable period of time.
Ipe is 2 times harder than hickory, 2 - 3 times harder than white oak, 70% stiffer than hard maple, and more than ten times harder than cedar. Despite the fact that this hardwood is at least as durable as teak, it is less expensive. You can purchase it almost anywhere in the US. The material is usually available in standard dimensions: 1x6 and 2x4 m.
Due to the inherent strength, ipe furnishings can be slenderer and more sophisticated than redwood, cedar, or pine units. You can be sure that deck chairs won't tip over in high winds.
Ipe decking offers such advantages as:
Are there any cons?
Ipe is difficult to work with. This wood has high cutting resistance during sawing because of its high density. This wood is harder than nails; consequently, the pieces of ipe often have to be predrilled for screws. Ipe can be difficult to paint and glue. That is why proper surface preparation is recommended before gluing.
All exterior surfaces collect contaminants and dirt. Outdoor surfaces require periodical cleaning and proper care. Ipe wood is not an exception. Keep ipe decking clean from leaves, tree droppings, and other dirt. Sweep debris off the deck and clean the surface with special wood products. If the decking is dry and clean, it's in a good condition.