IPE (pronounced “E-pay”) decking is one of the toughest, longest lasting woods available. Imported from Central and South America, IPE is also called Brazilian Walnut and is revered for its incredible strength. IPE is three times harder than cedar and as resistant to fire as concrete and steel. IPE decking can have a 40+ year lifespan when cared for properly and is resistant to rot, most insects, and splintering.
IPE, or Brazilian Walnut, is one of the densest woods known to man. Parts of the iconic boardwalk at Coney Island are actually made of IPE and have remained intact since the boardwalk was built. IPE is sometimes referred to as Ironwood (a trademarked name) because of its incredible hardness.
Besides its hardness, which allows IPE to resist the elements, the wood also contains a natural oil that acts to repel insects and water. IPE is ideal for coastal applications, resists mildew, and is guaranteed to last a minimum of 25 years even in the harshest of conditions.
The Benefits of an IPE Deck
IPE is not useful for intricate woodworking because it is too hard to cut, shave, and mold. It is, however, an ideal wood for use in exterior applications. Its high density and oil content make IPE particularly resistant to rot and insects and also make it resistant to splinters and other common failures of softwoods. Though expensive to install, IPE is often cheaper than alternatives over longer time periods because it requires almost no maintenance and lasts for so long. The only real drawbacks to IPE are its high upfront cost and the fact that special tools are required to work it.