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Newspaper Article, The Record

Ipe - Tropical Hardwood

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Ipe

Ipe also commonly referred to by the brand name Iron Wood, is becoming more widely available in deck construction. Resistant to decay, termites and wood borers, this type of wood is well suited for exterior deck construction.

It's tight grain makes it impervious to water, has very few knots or sapwood. Each board is almost perfectly clear. Variations in wood tone and colors are to be expected, Ipe and can range from a rich brown to a golden tan color.   

Very little maintenance is required. A clear finish can be applied to preserve the natural color. If left unsealed, it will weather to a silver patina.


Performance Characteristics

Hard woods such as Ipe naturally resist wear, rot and splintering. A very durable product, these woods have been used in commercial applications such as the famous Atlantic City boardwalk.  


Lumber Grades

Considered a premium lumber, boards are straight with virtually little or Knots and blemishes.


Life Expectancy

Boards that have been in place for 26 years show virtually no sign of decay or infestation of insects. Some brands comes with a 25 year transferable warrantee.


Average Cost

Average cost is about $26 per square foot, not including the substructure. Cost for 5/4x6 decking is about $5.25 per square foot


Installation

Hardwoods such as Ipe will have to be drilled prior to nailing or screwing. The wood is so dense that nails and screws would have a hard time penetrating it.

Shrinkage between deck boards is minimal and small spaces should be maintained when installing the decking. A 1/4 - 3/16 of an inch space between boards should be adequate for most installations. Fasten boards with screws to aviod problems such as nail heads popping up above the boards and loosening up over time. Drill and plug screw holes with wood dowel or use hidden fasteners for best results.


Safety Concerns

Use protective clothing, dust mask and eye protection when working with wood.


Summary

Ipe is as hard as oak and will hold up well with little maintenance. Pre-drilling is necessary when using hardwood such as Ipe.

Ipe - Tropical Hardwood
Ipe
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