Most types of wood are naturally brown in color, but if you want a lighter hue, garapa wood is a good choice, as it is a durable building material, too. Garapa is an exotic lumber that is also known as ‘Brazilian oak’, and it can be used alone for your deck or in combination with another Brazilian hardwood of a darker color, like Ipe, in case you want to give a unique look and feel to your structure. It is hard and dense, so it will require some special tools and working methods to build your deck. Take note of these things when working with garapa:
- Use high-grade or specialized tools – Garapa is rated 2280 lbf on the Janka hardness scale, and this makes it harder than oak and maple. For the best results, consider having tools that are designed to cut and work on harder, denser woods. That way, you can achieve smoother and consistent finishes, and simplify your labor.
- Make sure the wood is ideal for your application – Before installation, talk to your architect and get to know the building codes in your area, to make sure that garapa wood is suitable for your project.
- Consider leaving it for about seven days – Let garapa wood sit in the area where you plan to build your deck for a week before installing it. That way, it can acclimate itself to the local humidity levels and temperature. Just be sure not to leave it directly on the soil, grass, or over a concrete surface. Keep the materials elevated around 12 inches away from the ground and that the bottom part is well ventilated by placing them on blocks of wood. Never cover with a tarp or a plastic, as these materials can trap moisture and make the material unstable. Instead, use a sheet of plywood to cover the unused garapa. Likewise, avoid storing it in an enclosed space, like a garage.