Ipe is Brazilian Walnut -an exotic hardwood that is naturally resistant to rot, decay and insect attack. Dock and deck builders have been using Ipe boards for decades because of its beauty, strength, and durability. You may have heard of it by its nickname "Ironwood." It earned this nickname because it weathers to a dark gray color if not treated and because it is the hardest wood known to man. By applying a clear oil treatment though, you can keep it's natural brown color for years. "By going with Ipe, the price of the deck will go up with any builder- because the raw material is harder and requires more labor on the job site, which means that the total cost of an Ipe deck is more expensive, ” says crew leader Joe. "Ipe decking will typically cost about 5% more than Cumaru and around 20% more than Azek."
"We do a lot of Ipe decks when a customer decides to go with wood," says Joe. "Because it's so dense, it is very strong and has a great classic look."
Ipe Decking Maintenance
Ipe decking will last for many years without being treated, however, we recommend you treat it every year for the first 5 years and then about every 2-4 years after that. This will keep your deck looking great, and maximize the lifespan of the decking. For treating the deck we recommend Cabot Australian Timber Oil. Cabot is available in several colors as well as a clear finish.
Once an Ipe deck is treated the maintenance is very similar to the PVC decking, the oil finish will repel all liquids and keep spills from absorbing into the wood, and make it easy to clean as well.
Prior to treatment or if you decided not to treat your Ipe deck, it will need to be power washed occasionally and may require some sanding to keep it clean and smooth.