Ipe decking – About
Ipe or Ipé (pronounced “ee-pay”), also called Brazilian walnut, is a beautiful exotic wood from South America, mainly from Brazil. It is medium to darker brown in color, often with color and tones variation, which makes it very appealing. Ipe Wood Lumber is used for decks, siding, and fencing. It has an extremely long life in the outdoors. It can last up to 75 years, longer
Ipe wood decking is an environmentally responsible choice which naturally resists rot, decay, insects
Our Ipe wood is harvested from naturally sustainable forests only. It has very high wear durability in daily use and is resistant to splintering and checking. Its longevity passes all other decking material choices, woods and composites included.
Ipe wood general Characteristics:
Dark brown or reddish-brown walnut
Common Uses Decking, flooring, siding, docks, interior wall panels, sunrooms
Origins: South America (specifically Brazil) and Central America. The Tabebuia tree can be found in a diverse number of areas.
Ipe Decking Names: Common Name: Ipe (pronounced EE-PAY)
Scientific/Botanical Name: Tabebuia spp. (Lapacho group)
Additional Names: Ironwood, Brazilian Walnut, Ipe Brazil, Greenheart, Madera
Ipe Decking Technical Info
Weight: Ipe wood decking has specific gravity of 0.85 to 1.08. Air dried density is 66 to 75 lbs. per cubic ft. A 3/4″ thick finish material weights approx. 4.5 lbs. per sq ft.
Drying & Contraction (green to kiln-dried): Radial 6.6%, tangential 8.0%, volumetric 13.2%. Small movement after being milled. As the weather changes, average movement for an air-dried deck board about 6″ wide is roughly 1/16″.
Hardness Rating: Ipe hardwood has a Janka Hardness Rating of 3,680 lbs with air-dried decking and 12% moisture content. When tested (ASTM-D143), an Ipe deck is approximately eight times harder than California Redwood and three times stronger than Teak. Ipe decking holds up even in harsh climates and extreme conditions.
Fire Resistance (Canadian norms): Tested by Underwriters’ Laboratories Of Canadaon Ipe Wood Canadademand,Ipedecking has passed the Intermittent Flame Test and The Spread of Flame Test for the CAN/ULC S107 equivalent of ANSI /UL 790 (STANDARD METHODS OF FIRE TESTS OF ROOF COVERINGS) and has been qualified as ‘Class A’, and therefore admissible as a rooftop finishing in non-combustible building class requirement buildings.
Fire Resistance (USA): Ipe was tested by the National Fire Protection Agency (ASTM-E84). Ipewood decking received the highest classification for Flame Spread: Up to Class A, Uniform Building Code, Class 1.
Termite Resistance: U.S. Naval ResearchLaboratory-Highest Rating
Slip Resistance: Our Ipe decking exceeds the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements for Static Coefficient of friction in a wet environment. Ipe wood decking has also met all ASTM-C1028-89 test requirements.
Strength: Three times stronger than Cedar, our inventory of Ipe decking exceeds all existing code requirements for exterior constructions and has been ASTM-D143 tested. An Ipe deck will be able to structurally handle many square feet of snow!
Durability: If left untreated, Ipe wood decking will last 40+ years. When a deck oil or finish is applied to all four sides prior to installation, an Ipe deck can last up to 100 years.
Ipe decking maintenance tips
Ipe deck boards can be oiled periodically to maintain and enhance its natural colour and beauty or could let it age to a beautiful silver-grey patina colour. This very dense wood requires no sealers or treatments for durability.
Because of its hardness and strength, Ipe decking is one of the easiest wood decking materials to maintain. Due to the manufacturing process and shipping methods, the ipe deck boards may arrive with a somewhat “dirty” appearance. Water stains, scratches or marks from sticker or breather strips may be visible. Simply install the decking as received, once installed, generally, you can use an orbital 5″ electric palm sander with #80 grit sanding paper to sand the visible imperfections, and lightly sand the rest of the deck. Then blow or sweep the dust away.
No Maintenance let your Ipe deck naturally age
You can leave your new Ipe decking with its original natural colour. Within a few months, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) will transform it
To keep and enhance the ipe boards natural colours
You could decide to preserve and enhance the ipe natural colors of your deck, then yes, we recommend a periodic or annual oil maintenance. For better results you can apply maintenance twice a year: once in the spring and once just before fall. This will ensure a faster project and easier
Oil application on ipe, Stain or varnish pad applicators are very efficient, they spread and wipe as you go on for a faster application. You can also use a brush, apply and remove the excess. Always follow instructions as recommended by the product manufacturer.
Please Note: Always take the necessary measures to be protected from dust or injuries when working with wood (cutting or sanding). Wear protection glasses, gloves and a dust mask.
Ipe decking Installation Guidelines
Ipe decking storage and acclimation: To maximise outdoor performance in north America (Canada), Ipe decking is air dried (AD) between 15% and 18% average moisture content. Once you receive your Ipe, before the installation, the Ipe deck boards should be acclimated and stabilized to your climate and site conditions. (Few days or more are recommended) Ipe should be kept dry, covered and stored out of direct sunlight until installed.Do not store directly on the ground or concrete. Instead, choose a level, protected area. Place a tarp, plastic sheeting or other moisture barrier on the ground or concrete. Stack the deck boards evenly on bolsters, enabling air to flow from below. If exposed to the elements, cover the sides and top as well.
IPE Decking Maximum Suggested Joist Span is 24″ c/c. when using a 5/4″x 6″
IPE Decking Maximum Suggested Joist Span is 16″ c/c. when using a 1″x 6″
*Confirm all local building codes for applicability. Consult a structural engineer for load bearing or commercial applications.Pressure treated wood, cedar and metal are recommended for joists and any other unseen structural parts of your project. You can protect the top of wood joists with a membrane for a longer longevity of your structure.The use of carbide saw blades and premium drill bits along with, pre-drilling and countersinking before screwing or nailing is recommended due to high density. To avoid pre-drilling and the visual appearance of the nails, we highly recommend the use of a hidden deck fastener system. For Reference: (www.ipeclip.com)
Ipe is so dense that it’s virtually impossible to drive nails or screws without pre-drilling holes to avoid splitting, even when using “self-drilling” screws. If you will not be using a hidden fastener system, you may find it easier to pre-drill all screw holes (to the screw shank diameter) before attaching decking to the joists.
Ipe deck boards fasteners: We don’t recommend the use of common plastic fasteners or side angled screwing.
Ipe deck boards are available with pre-grooved sides, in order to install your deck floor using invisible fasteners as Ipeclips extreme
Ipe boards Installation – High-quality stainless-steel screws and fasteners are recommended.
Galvanized/coated or steel/iron products generally cause black staining and have a much shorter service life than the Ipe wood. Proper fastener length is typically the wood thickness times a minimum factor of 2.5. For example, use a 2″ long screw with 3/4″ decking. Use two screws to attach decking to each joist.
A minimum gap of 3/32″ between deck boards is recommended to aid in air circulation and drainage. End to end butt joints
Screw and Plug alternative method: Pre-drill and
When cutting use an end sealer like Ipé Seal™ to seal the end grain cut. Ipé Seal™ is a wax emulsion sealer proven to increase the structural integrity of hardwood decking. Designed to prevent end checking (drying splits) in freshly sawn logs, lumber, turning blanks, and other exposed wood end and face grain.
Ipe decking handling precautions
Ipe wood contains a naturally occurring alkali, which gives its long-lasting durability. Care should be taken when working with Ipe as the fine yellow dust produced in most operations may cause dermatitis in certain individuals. Be sure to avoid prolonged inhalation of sawdust, wear eye protection and wash up thoroughly after handling.
Ipe Decking Fasteners "Ipeclips"
How to Apply Ipe Seal at an End Grain Cut
Ipe Boards Expand and Retract with Ipeclip
Hardwood Wrench Deck Board Straightening
Adequate ventilation of an ipe deck
Adequate ventilation of an ipe deck is essential for long-term stability and to minimize cupping.
Decks designs should allow for adequate cross ventilation underneath the deck to ensure stability, prevent cupping and surface checking, it will minimize the natural movement of the wood. We recommend a minimum of 18″ of open air under joists along with open sides for proper cross ventilation. If you install skirting around the perimeter of the deck it is imperative that the skirting does not prevent cross ventilation. Do not allow standing water to collect under the deck. Ensure that the ground is adequately sloped under the deck to eliminate standing water under the structure. Installing a decking above a concrete pad is NOT recommended. Decks should never be installed directly over concrete due to moisture retention. Any wood decking installed over a new or aged concrete pad will cause the deck boards to cup and/or crown.
For a better a stable performance of your ipe deck boards, when lack of ventilation or/and near sources of humidity, to prevent cupping or warping: ALWAYS SEAL THE UNDERNEATH FACE OF IPE BOARDS! (you can use a wood sealer or oil)
In this illustration, the left deck is inadequately ventilated, while the right deck is well ventilated.
Ipe Decking FAQ
What is ipe wood decking?
Ipe (Brazilian Walnut). Pronounced e-pay, also called Brazilian walnut, is a beautiful exotic wood from South America. Ipe wood decking is one of the hardest and most durable timber species in the world. The color ranges from dark brown, olive-brown, reddish browns to caramel with wide variation in grains. It is naturally durable and resistant to rot and decay, making it an excellent choice for exterior applications like Ipe Decking, Ipe Siding,
How long will an ipe wood deck last?
There is nothing better than Ipe wood for decks. Because of its natural structure and extreme qualities, Ipe lumber isn’t susceptible to any of the common wood problems that plague other wood species. Ipe wood decking can last easily over 50 years, you can either maintain it with a simple coat of oil once a year, to keep it colorful or if you prefer the silver patina look, you could let it naturally age, don’t apply anything and just let it weather out. You can’t go wrong with an Ipe wood decking with a 50 + year and longer lifespan.
What’s the color of ipe wood decking?
Ipe wood decking can vary from batch to batch and board to board. the wood is natural. Ipe color can vary from rich browns with red and amber hues, and ranges from
Do ipe decking requires maintenance?
Ipe decking doesn’t require maintenance, you can let it age. like all wood species, Ipe hardwood decking will
What is the ipe decking price?
Ipe wood is a commodity like all woods, so pricing changes based on availability, quantity, and the market. Ipe wood Canada is direct importer that can provide competitive pricing. So please contact us today. The price of Ipe wood decking is higher than pressure treated pine or
How to install an ipe deck floor, face screw or hidden fasteners?
You can use both,
HIDDEN FASTENER CLIPS as Ipeclips extreme. Designed for exotic hardwoods, the