Ipe and Brazilian Decking Product Comparison
Ipe (Brazilian Walnut) is olive brown to black often with variegated striping. Texture is fine to medium, grain straight to irregular. It is one of the hardest woods on the planet and an extremely popular choice for decking in Europe, Asia, and the United States. - Janka 3680# (Oak 1360#)
Garapa (Brazilian Oak) is honey-yellow with a slight ribbon aspect that becomes light brown with age. The grain is irregular and interlocked and has a medium texture. Janka 2820#
Tigerwood (Muiracatiara) is light maple color quickly weathering to reddish with black “tiger stripes.” It is mostly straight grained with coarse texture. The Tiger name derives from the variegated brown to violet-colored heartwood with irregular black streaks. It is far harder than any domestic hardwood species. Janka 2160#
Cumaru (Teak) has a beautiful grain and is extremely hard and durable even compared to most other Brazilian hardwoods. The cherry color offers a pronounced grain pattern with more consistent color than yellow or champagne Cumaru. This decking is becoming extremely popular in the US. Janka 3540#
Apitong is better suited than any other wood in the world for trailer decking because of its durability, affordability and sustainability. Brazilian Apitong (aka Angelim) and Malaysian Apitong (aka Keruing) are both marketed for this purpose.
Handling and Storage: Ipe is supplied partially air dried and should be stored out of direct sunlight and allowed to stabilize and acclimate to the installation environment humidity levels before installation. It is best to allow for groundside ventilation in the design as proper air circulation is necessary for long term stability of Ipe. When installing, allow 1/16" gap between the deck boards for circulation of air. When Ipe is fully seasoned, shrinkage of approx. 1/16" on 4" wide boards to 1/8" on 6" wide boards may be expected.
Cutting and Drilling: Use name brand carbide tipped saw blades and for smooth cuts due to the hardness of Ipe. Pre drill a pilot hole and countersink when using screws as fasteners.
End Sealing: Ends should be sealed immediately after cutting using a clear aqueous wax end sealer to reduce end checking.
Fastening: Coated or galvanized steel fasteners may be used, but they tend to have a shorter life span and may cause staining of the wood. Stainless steel screws are considered the best and they will also eliminate potential chemical reactions or staining at the fastener location.
Insects: All Brazilian decking is Resistant to Termites, Pine Beetles, Marine Borers.