Jul 24, 2012

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What is Ipe?

What is Ipe?

We, here at DeckWise® , have noticed there has been some questions lately regarding Ipe decking; questions such as “What is Ipe? What’s so great about it? How the heck do you even pronounce it?” These are all very good questions and, considering Ipe is not native to the United States, it’s quite normal not to know the answers.

Some of the confusion has to do with the pronunciation and spelling of this wood’s name, which is pronounced “ee-pay.” And, although you now see the correct spelling as Ipe, it has been searched many times through Google using the terms epae, epay, eepay, eapae and ipay.

Ipe is native to rainforests in South Central America. Although it’s known by a number of different names, Ipe and Brazilian Walnut seem to be the most popular. It’s trunk diameter can grow to six feet round and can grow up to 200 feet in height, which makes it one of the tallest trees in the Amazon. Famous for its beauty, the wood appears oily and has a medium texture boasting an olive brown to black color as the heartwood, and a whitish yellow as the sapwood. Once milled, it will eventually darken to a rich medium to dark brown.

Other qualities that make Ipe stand out above the rest have nothing to do with beauty, but instead, durability and performance. Ipe has been given a fire Class A fire rating, the same given to steel and concrete, and is impermeable and highly resistant to fungi and termites. According to the Janka Rating (which measures the resistance of wood to withstand denting and wear), Ipe is the hardest, most durable decking material available with a rating of 3,684, which makes it three times as hard as Red Oak. Because of this, Ipe has many different uses such as flooring, naval construction, bridge work, outdoor furniture, and of course, decking.

DeckWise® features many products designed to perform flawlessly with Ipe and other hardwoods such as Ipe Oil™, Ipe Seal™, Ipe Clip® Hidden Deck Fasteners, Colormatch Stainless Steel Screws and the Hardwood Wrench™. You can view more information about our products at DeckWise.com.

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