There are a number of great natural wood products to use for decking and siding, and they all have unique characteristics and qualities. One of our preferred woods at The Decking Superstore, however, is the beautiful and extremely long-lasting species, ipe (pronounced: E-pay).
Ipe, or Brazilian Walnut as it’s sometimes known as, is one of the most popular materials for both decks and siding as it is an incredibly strong hardwood. In fact, not only is it hard, ipe is actually the ninth hardest wood in the world according to the Janka hardness scale (a test that measures a wood’s resistance to denting and wear). What’s more, ipe was also tested by the US Naval Research Laboratory for its resistance to termites. Samples of the wood were kept underground for a full 15 years where it completely resisted termite infestation for the entire duration; a feat no other wood species has ever duplicated.
What makes ipe decking and ipe siding so highly sought after, however, is their incredibly good looks. Ipe heartwood (the central part of the tree trunk) ranges from a warm olive brown color to a very dark brown, and often has distinctive brown and / or black stripes in the grain. Ipe decking and siding often possess yellow deposits as well, which are found in the wood’s pores and add to ipe’s visual appeal. The texture of the wood is medium to fine and is usually straight grained but can also be irregular and interlocked. The sapwood of ipe, which is the outer portion of the tree through which water passes from the roots to the leaves, tends to be lighter in color but is also stunning to look at.
A wood as tough and durable as ipe that also has a beautiful, exotic appearance is an obvious choice for applications like decking or as siding for your home. In addition to being long-lasting (in the right conditions ipe has been known to last 75 years and more), the wood is also naturally resistant to mold and rot and can withstand even the harshest weather conditions. As a testament to ipe’s durability, it’s worth noting the world-famous Coney Island Boardwalk in Brooklyn was originally made of ipe and lasted more than 25 years before it need replacing- a pretty incredible accomplishment given the enormous volume of foot traffic it gets on a daily basis.
If you’re thinking of a new deck or siding replacement, one of our top recommendations is ipe decking and ipe siding. Its natural toughness mean repair and maintenance costs will be lower, and you’ll have a beautiful, exotic deck for a long, long time.
All our ipe is sustainably harvested from certified growers and is available in a variety of lengths and dimensions. For more information on this superwood, contact us at The Decking Superstore.