Five Reasons Ipe is the Best Decking Material
Even though wood is not the only material used for decking, it is the most popular choice. There is a wide choice of lumber that can be used for deck building, depending on the weather conditions of where you live, how large a deck you want to build, and what your budget for the project is. However, if you are looking for the best wood for deck building there is only one choice: IPE. Ipe or Brazilian walnut as it is sometimes called is the hardest tropical wood. It is used to make decks, siding, docks, and any other outdoor structure. Here are the top reasons why it is the best choice for deck building:
1. Lasts for Over 50 Years
Ipe, or Ipê, (Pronunciation: Eee-pay) has been used in commercial boardwalks and decks that were installed more than 50 years ago – a testament to its longevity. Because of its density (it sinks in water) ipe can withstand all types of threats such as extreme weather, sunshine and thanks to its high tannic acid content, it will not rot, mold, mildew, or be affected by insects. Ipe comes from the Amazon Rain Forest where it is constantly exposed to heavy rainfall and insects, so it has adapted over the years to become resistant to all those threats.
The longevity of ipe is one of the reasons so many architects and designers choose ipe. As a long-lasting material, it will not need to be replaced. Also, ipe is naturally dense and resistant, which means that unlike softwoods or domestic wood, it does not need to be chemically treated in order to be preserved. Ipe can be bought with chain of custody certification or with The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification to guarantee that the trees were sourced and harvested responsibly. If you check out the CITES Appendices (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora you will see that ipe is not on the list, nor is it listed by the IUCN Red List of Threatened species.
3. Increases your home’s value
An ipe deck will add extra space to a home and is an element of architectural interest that will increase the curb appeal of a home. It will help extend the living area outside, creating an outdoor area for relaxation or entertainment. Ipe decks are found in all mayor luxury resorts from the Maldives to the Turks and Caicos, any high-end beach resort will use ipe hardwood for its decks and boardwalks. Any world traveler will instantly recognize an ipe deck, which will give your home an immediate tone of wealth. High end guests who see ipe decks associate it with luxury and opulence.
4. Safe Against Weather Exposure
Safety is important when it comes to decking materials because they are more exposed to the elements than indoor items. Ipe wood the same fire rating as concrete or steel, which makes it a very safe in case of a grilling or smoking accident. Also, Ipe wood does not crack or splinters over the years, which means it is safe for bare feet to walk on. Another great feature, especially for feet, is that unlike PVC or Composite Decking, ipe wood does not absorb the sun’s heat and so it will not scald bare feet.
5. Comes in all different lengths and sizes
If you buy Composite Decking or PVC you will only be able to work with certain board lengths. With ipe wood, you have a choice of board length, width, and thickness. Many carpenters and deck installers complain that they are limited when they have to work with composite decking because it does not generally cut well or can lose its guarantee if cut. Different facia boards have to be purchased. By contrast, ipe comes in all sizes imaginable, and can be milled to any specifications.
Quite simply, Brazilian ipe look is the best type of wood for decking. Considering both the building qualities of the wood and the prestige it gives to any space, it is a choice product.