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What is Ipe Wood?

Ipe (pronounced “ee-pay”), also known as Brazilian walnut, is an exotic and breathtaking material from South America. Structures made using Ipe wood are durable, long-lasting, and naturally resistant to rot, abrasion, and environmental conditions. As you can imagine, Ipe is an extremely popular exotic hardwood to build with. It’s one of the highest quality materials you can use to construct something like a deck. Typically, Ipe is medium to dark brown in coloring, similar to Mahogany. Its durability, coloring, and affordability have made it a great alternative to teak lumber. Something that really sets it apart is its longevity. You’ll find that most Ipe wood is guaranteed to last at least 20 years with no preservatives, a rare feature to find in most wood species. Because of its long lifespan and brilliant looks, Ipe is becoming increasingly more popular in recent years for interior and exterior construction.

How is Ipe wood used?

Oftentimes, Ipe wood is used for decking, flooring, and furniture. Decking is probably the most common use for Ipe because of its durability and sustainability. Installing a deck using materials that you know will combat harsh weather and high traffic is incredibly desirable. This in-demand product is also resistant to water damage and requires little upkeep to stay looking fresh and new. It’s a great material to use for boardwalks or marinas due to its ability to withstand large amounts of weight and water.

Ipe is not an easy wood to build with. Its hardness makes it difficult to work with without the correct tools. Its density and undeniable strength make it an exceptional material to build furniture with. Structures like chairs, tables, or stools need to withstand a lot of weight and movement, and Ipe makes that entirely possible. Additionally, Ipe is great for outdoor furniture as well. Given all of its beneficial assets and chemical advantages, Ipe is one of the best wood species on the market for building indoors or outdoors. 

Benefits of Ipe Wood

Besides Ipe wood being heavy and requiring specific tools for installation, it has some of the most sought-after benefits that wood can provide. Beyond its beauty, we wanted to delve into the specifics of just why it’s so great. 

First off, Ipe wood is fire resistant. Unbelievable, right? It is one of the safest materials to use to protect your home from natural disasters. Many folks like to implement fire features into their outdoor spaces, and Ipe decking is a great way to ensure nothing goes terribly wrong. 

An important feature of Ipe that tends to go unseen is its sustainability. Ipe is 100% natural and eco-friendly, perfect for those looking to do their part anywhere they can. As we previously mentioned, Ipe doesn’t require any preservatives or additives to help it last. For the eco-conscious, Ipe is entirely safe to use in any interior or exterior space and doesn’t need any chemicals to keep it that way. 

For decking purposes especially, Ipe wood can hold up against mold and pests. This resistance is crucial when considering implementing a wood species in an outdoor setting. If you live in an area where the weather fluctuates often, Ipe is good at combating the cold, humid, dry, and stormy climates of all kinds. 

Ipe wood is three times harder than cedar wood. Cedar is one of the most popular materials to build with and is used in many of the same applications as Ipe. Comparable in price, Ipe is a better material for longevity and durability than cedar is. Of course, there are pros and cons to them both, the option is ultimately up to you which you’d prefer to go with. For structures that will receive a high amount of daily use and exposure to elements, we’d recommend considering Ipe as your number one choice of building material.

Ipe’s lifespan is really its claim to fame. With guaranteed longevity of over 25 years, you can rest assured that your deck or floors are perfectly fine for decades to come. The maintenance is minimal and if no repairs or damages affect the wood, it should stick around for quite some time. 

Speaking of damage, Ipe is resistant to all kinds of harsh weather and should hold up to intense environmental exposure. Conditions like rain, hail, strong winds, and high levels of sunlight are all factors that usually play a role in the depletion of building material. Ipe though is able to resist it all. Ipe is one of the densest wood species to ever exist. Its density and hardiness make it tough enough to stay perfect in the roughest of weather elements. 

Lastly, Ipe is resistant to scratches. This is extremely desirable for those looking to entertain or with big families and animals running around. Scratches are a common flaw in many species of wood used for decking. Ipe’s sturdiness makes it strong enough to resist almost any kind of scratch. This way, you can sit back and relax knowing your housing structures are good for the long run and won’t decay after years of use. To learn more about the advantage of Ipe, give us a call and we’d be happy to get you in touch with a specialist to get started today!