Author Archives: theipeguy

How to Seal Ipe Wood

Ipe wood does not need to be sealed like traditional softwoods such as redwood, pine and cedar.

These softwoods have an open grain structure that allows water to penetrate deep into the wood cells like a sponge.

As a result softwoods need a waterproofing sealer that forms a top coat to keep water from penetrating the wood.

If softwoods are left unsealed for prolonged time periods they can deteriorate and rot much faster.

Homeowner sanding deck stain and sealer off an old cedar deck

These top coats will flake and peel off after only a year or two. Then ideally you would sand the entire deck and apply another sealer on top of the deck.

This is a lot of maintenance and what most people think of when it comes to sealing a wood deck.

What Maintenance Does Ipe Wood Require?

Unlike softwood decking Ipe wood does not require a waterproofing sealer to keep the wood from rotting.

Ipe is over 3 times harder than Teak and if you leave Ipe untreated it will turn a beautiful silver grey.

Grey Ipe Wood Deck
Grey Ipe wood deck

When Ipe turns grey it still shows the beautiful wood grain and maintains all of its durability and will still last up to 75 years or more.

Ipe is so dense and contains a natural oil that if you tried to seal it like you do a traditional wood deck it would peel right off.

Maintaining The Color of Ipe Wood

Ipe Oil
Ipe Oil applied to Ipe wood decking

The sun will bleach the color out of most materials and wood is no exception. UV rays are what causes wood to turn grey outdoors.

To stop Ipe wood from turning grey we recommend applying a special oil that’s specifically formulated for hardwoods like Ipe wood.

This is what most people mistake when they think I have to seal my Ipe wood.

The oil keeps the sun from bleaching the rich brown color from the Ipe wood. It’s basically like sunscreen for your Ipe.

Ipe Oil will not flake or peel off like a sealer on a traditional wood deck so it’s much lower maintenance.

Ipe Wood Maintenance Instructions

Maintaining your Ipe wood is typically very simple and these steps will help you keep your Ipe wood looking good for many years.

Step 1 – Wash your Ipe wood deck

You want to make sure our deck surface is free from dirt, debris, pollen and etc… before applying the oil on your Ipe wood.

Follow all the instructions on the can of Ipe Oil. You want to make sure you have adequate weather with the right temperatures and no rain in the forecast.

If needed you can pressure wash your deck with a wide angle fan tip nozzle. Do not use a concentrated fine tip as those can even damage concrete.

Step 2 – Apply the Ipe Oil

After allowing your deck to thoroughly dry you can apply the Ipe oil using a brush or roller. Make sure to follow all the instructions on the can of Ipe Oil.

This process goes pretty fast since the oil spreads very easy and saturates the Ipe wood evenly.

This is not like water sealing cedar or pressure treated where you need to brush it back and forth to work the sealer into the grain to make sure everything has a top coat.

Ipe Oil has a viscosity very similar to water and Ipe wood is so dense the roller will easily coat the boards.

Step 3 – Wipe up any excess Ipe Oil

Ipe wood is so dense it will only soak up so much of the Ipe Oil. You need to go back with a clean rag after 10 minutes and wipe up any excess or wet looking spots.

This will keep your Ipe deck from getting tacky. After that you can dispose of the rags properly (follow the instructions on the can) oil based rags balled up often can start on fire.

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Concrete Porch Wood Deck

How to Build a Deck Over a Concrete Porch

If you have an old concrete porch that looks dingy and unappealing you are probably considering building a new deck over the top of your old concrete porch.

There’s a few considerations you need to think about before attempting to take on this project.

First make sure your concrete porch is structurally sound

Some old porches have hairline cracks that contribute to the old dingy look of concrete but they are still structurally sound.

If you live in a climate that has freezing temperatures it’s a good idea to seal any cracks with a good concrete caulk to prevent water from seeping into the cracks.

Water trapped in the cracks can freeze and create structural damage.

Inspect your concrete porch to ensure it is sloped away from your house and water drains properly.

Once you’ve inspected the porch to make sure it’s structurally sound you can usually put a wood deck over the top of your concrete porch but there’s a few things you should know first.

Do not attach decking materials directly to the surface of your concrete porch.

Attaching deck boards directly to your concrete porch would lead to excessive mold, mildew and early deterioration of the deck boards.

It would also create two different moisture levels in the deck boards. The bottom of the boards would be wet while the tops of the boards would be exposed to wind and sun so the top of the deck boards would be dry.

When you have varying conditions like this your deck boards would cup and would not stay flat. This would cause the surface to hold water and make your new deck undesirable to walk on in a short matter of time.

Not all Decking is Created Equal

Most people think composite decking is the best decking material. Many also believe once it’s installed they’ll never have to do any maintenance to their new deck.

This is not the case in fact if your read all the reviews on Google for most major brands you will read thousands of complaints from homeowners.

Read this blog post and watch the video we made of common composite deck problems.

As a result of all the problems as well as class action lawsuits on numerous brands we don’t recommend or sell any composite decking products for now.

Best Decking Material for Concrete Porches

Our hardwood decking has a lifespan up to 75+ years when installed properly. The woods we recommend are Ipe, Cumaru, Tigerwood, Garapa and Massaranduba.

We recommend a minimum of 18 inches of air space underneath our standard decking to allow the material to breath properly on all sides of the deck boards.

Some homeowners will install 2×4 pressure treated sleepers 16 inches on center to the top of their concrete porch with concrete screws.

This only gives you one and a half inches of air space between the concrete porch and the underside of the deck boards.

For most materials this really is not adequate airspace and you could see cupping issues still or early deterioration of your new deck boards.

If you decide to try this method you should try to find narrower deck boards like 4 inch wide decking opposed to the standard 6 inch wide deck boards.

Narrower boards are less likely to cup, you should also consider thicker deck boards since thicker materials are usually more stable as well.

A few other considerations that could help if you choose this method.

You should consider coating your concrete in a sealer or concrete since concrete wicks moisture it can add more moisture to the underside of your deck boards.

This can lead to faster rot and decay as well as cupping. It’s also a good idea to wrap your 2×4 pressure treated sleepers in a joist tape since they will be fastened directly to your concrete.

There is an easier method however to put a new wood deck directly over the top of your old concrete porch.

Hardwood Deck Tiles Can Be Installed Directly Over Concrete

Advantage hardwood deck tiles are made from South American hardwoods proven to last up to 75 years or more. They are one of the few products you can install directly over old concrete patios and porches. 

Installing the deck tiles is simple with DeckWise deck tile connectors you simply just click them together.

Most homeowners can cover their old concrete porch in one afternoon. Installation is easy when using Advantage deck tiles and DeckWise deck tile connectors.

They come in a variety of beautiful hardwood species that are up to 3 times harder than teak. In addition they are naturally slip resistant and naturally resistant to rot, decay and wood boring insects.

Before and After Concrete Porch Makeover

This homeowner had an old concrete front porch that had a large crack down the center.

While the front porch was still structurally strong it was not visually appealing. The homeowner purchased our 20 x 20 Cumaru deck tiles to resurface his old concrete front porch.

The results look incredible and the install only took him a few hours on a Saturday afternoon. Deck tiles are the easiest DIY way to build a deck over an old concrete porch.

Concrete Porch Wood Deck
Concrete front porch makeover with Cumaru wood deck tiles

Buy Hardwood Deck Tiles Online

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Best Wood For Outdoor Benches

If you are looking to build a new outdoor wooden bench or resurface and old outdoor bench read on as we’ll cover the best woods you can use for your bench.

Outdoor benches are most commonly made with pressure treated pine or cedar. The problem with these species is they are soft woods that generally require annual maintenance and application of a water sealer.

Softwoods like pressure treated pine and cedar have a open and somewhat porous grain structure which can tend to absorb water almost like a sponge.

While these woods do have some resistance to rot and decay and can last many years if properly maintained.

Many people find the maintenance to be too much work, so their outdoor bench gets neglected as shown in the picture below.

Old Pressure Treated Pine Bench with Peeling Stain

Stripping the old stain off an old bench like this one can be a lot of work getting in between all the bench slats. These benches often get neglected and have paint or stain peeling off the majority of the bench.

Once this occurs the wood is left unprotected and when it rains the wood usually stays saturated for an extended time period making them often undesirable to sit on.

In addition these softwoods can give off splinters and eventually get attacked by wood boring insects which can also make them not pleasant to sit on.

Is Composite Plastic Lumber Good for Outdoor Benches?

In our years of experience selling exterior lumber for decks and other exterior projects we’ve seen too many complaints from homeowners to make us comfortable selling any plastic lumber for now.

Every week we get complaints from homeowners who installed a composite plastic deck a few years ago that need to replace their entire deck because it’s failing and the manufacturer won’t honor their warranty.

Crumbling Composite Decking

If you want to read more about all the issues homeowners have faced with these products just Google search “composite decking problems”, “composite decking complaints” or “brand name decking reviews”.

You’ll be able to read about plenty of issues homeowners have struggled with so as a result of all this feedback we generally stay away and don’t recommend these products.

The 5 Best Woods for Outdoor Benches

Ipe (pronounced EE-pay) is an all natural hardwood that is more than three times harder than teak. It has shown to last up to 75 years or more on many commercial applications such as the Coney Island boardwalk and the Brooklyn bridge.

Ipe Wood Bench

This hardwood is one of the strongest woods in the world and naturally resists wood boring insects. Ipe wood does not splinter and will not get incredibly hot like plastic lumber.

In addition it’s also naturally slip resistant, has a Class A rating for flame spread, is scratch resistant and naturally mold and fungi resistant. It’s also so dense that it does not absorb water.

All of these excellent natural properties make Ipe wood our number one recommendation for not only decks but many outdoor projects such as outdoor wood benches.

You can view our current Ipe prices here: Ipe Wood Prices

Cumaru Wood

Similar to Ipe Cumaru wood is nearly identical in terms of properties and durability. The main difference is the color color ranges from a golden tan to a reddish brown.

Cumaru Deck

You can still expect all the same excellent properties as Ipe.

This excellent wood is also low maintenance, resistant to wood boring insects and naturally resistant to rot and decay without chemicals.

One other benefit to using Cumaru is the price can be upwards of 40 percent cheaper compared to the price of Ipe wood. You can view the current Cumaru wood prices here: Cumaru Wood Prices

Tigerwood Exterior Lumber

This beautiful wood also comes from South America and is incredibly durable and beautiful. You can expect a 30+ year lifespan with Tigerwood.

Similar to the other woods we listed above Tigerwood is also resistant to wood boring insects, mold and mildew and does not splinter. This is another excellent low maintenance exterior wood material that works great for benches, decks, fences, siding and more.

Tigerwood Decking

Garapa Wood

Also known as Brazilian Ash this incredible exterior hardwood is one of the finest quality hardwoods that features a fine-grain that is light yellow to a warm golden hue.

Garapa is naturally resistant to rot, decay and insect attack and offers a 30+ year lifespan. Garapa’s proven exterior durability make it an excellent choice for outdoor benches, decks and more.

Garapa Deck

You can find more info and pricing here: Garapa wood prices

Massaranduba Wood

Also known as Brazilian Redwood Massaranduba is much more durable than California Redwood, has a longer lifespan and requires much less maintenance.

In fact Massaranduba is over 7x harder than California Redwood. With a janka hardness of 3,190 compared to California Redwood which has a janka hardness of 420.

California Redwood is a softwood and requires annual maintenance of applying a water sealer to keep water out of the grain of the wood to prolong its life and prevent rot and decay.

Just like the first four species of exterior hardwoods that we recommended, Massaranduba naturally resists rot, decay and wood boring insects.

In addition Massaranduba is also a very low maintenance exterior hardwood and offers a 30+ year lifespan. This makes it great for many projects such as exterior wood benches, decks, siding and more.

Checkout these beautiful outdoor wood benches that were built with our beautiful South American hardwoods.

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Advantage Wood News!!! – Memorial Day 2020

wood newsAdvantage Wood News!!! – Memorial Day 2020

We have over 100 containers of Hardwood Decking currently on the water! We have a huge inventory of premium grade Ipe, Tigerwood, Cumaru, and other hardwood decking materials both inhouse and enroute.

Over 9,000 board feet of Gigantic Parota live edge table slabs are in our kiln being cooked! Kiln drying kills any hidden insects/larvae, hardens the wood cells, and stabilizes the wood. These monsters measure from about 30 inches wide up to about 5 foot wide! They make amazing countertops, conference tables, dining tables, desks, etc. Call our Florida sawmill to get first pickings once these bad boys are done. 941-388-9299

Walnut, Walnut Everywhere! Seriously, it has taken over our Florida milling department for a few days as we surface inventory of some of the most amazing Walnut we have ever seen. Bookmatched Flitches? YES!, Three or Four foot wide figure Crotches? YES! Dark Chocolate Color? YES! These are selling faster than we can load them onto our slab website and we have a 8,000 board foot pile of slabs to surface yet. Keep checking www.WoodSlabs.com or give our Slab department a call with your size requirements and we can find the perfect pieces for your project before someone else scoops these up.

Hardwood decking, siding, deck tiles, live edge slabs and more! Shipped direct to your home or job site worldwide.

What’s on the Mill?   Sawyer Dan and his team have been busy slicing up some very cool  Australian Beefwood Slabs.  Australian Beefwood is a very dense hardwood that makes great Bar tops, desk, tables, etc.  This species was first planted near our Florida sawmill in the 1860’s and has now become invasive.  Its narrow needle-like leaves are very acidic, and it grows in clusters which kills native species of trees and plants.  When growing along sandy beaches the exposed roots can trap and kill endangered sea turtles. This invasive tree will now live out a more peaceful second life as amazing furniture.

Wood News - Memorial Day 2020

www.AdvantageLumber.com
www.WoodSlabs.com
Florida sawmill 941-388-9299
New York Factory 716-827-3915
North Carolina Factory 704-471-9991
California Factory 562-205-1872

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Top 5 Best Decking Materials

If you are looking to build a new deck on your house, there are 5 different decking material options you need to consider.

These top five decking options are all natural hardwoods from South America that are more durable than Teak and much more affordable as well.

Our number one recommended decking material is:

Ipe Wood Decking

Ipe Wood Deck
Ipe Wood Deck

Ipe (pronounced EE-pay) is an all natural hardwood that is more than three times harder than teak. It has shown to last up to 75 years or more on many commercial applications such as the Coney Island boardwalk and the Brooklyn bridge.

This hardwood is one of the strongest woods in the world and naturally resists wood boring insects. It also does not splinter and will not get incredibly hot on your feet like plastic decking.

In addition it’s also naturally slip resistant, has a Class A rating for flame spread, is scratch resistant and naturally mold and fungi resistant. As you can see from the picture above Ipe wood is incredibly beautiful as well.

Ipe wood is our number one recommended decking material. It’s competitively priced against most composite decking materials if not cheaper. Ipe Wood Prices

Watch this short video to learn more about our Ipe wood decking:

Our second recommended decking material is:

Cumaru Wood Decking

Cumaru Deck

Similar to Ipe Cumaru decking is nearly identical in terms of properties and durability. The main difference is the color color ranges from a golden tan to a reddish brown.

You can still expect all the same excellent properties as Ipe.

This excellent decking is also low maintenance, resistant to wood boring insects and naturally resistant to rot and decay without chemicals.

One other benefit to using Cumaru is the price can be upwards of 40 percent cheaper compared to the price of Ipe wood. You can view the current Cumaru wood prices here: Cumaru Decking Prices

Watch this short video to learn about our Cumaru wood decking:

Our third recommended decking material is:

Tigerwood decking

Tigerwood Deck

This beautiful wood also comes from South America and is incredibly durable and beautiful. You can expect a 30+ year lifespan with Tigerwood.

Similar to the other woods we listed above Tigerwood is also resistant to wood boring insects, mold and mildew and does not splinter. This is another excellent low maintenance deck material.

Watch this video to learn more about our Tigerwood decking:

Tigerwood Decking California

Tigerwood Decking Prices

The fourth decking material we recommend is:

Garapa Decking

Garapa is harder than teak and is made for the outdoors.

Also known as Brazilian Ash this incredible hardwood decking material is one of the finest quality hardwoods available that features a fine-grain that is light yellow to a warm golden hue.

Garapa is naturally resistant to rot, decay and insect attack and offers a 30+ year lifespan.

Watch this video on Garapa decking:

You can find more info and pricing here: Garapa decking prices

Last but not least our fifth decking we recommend to our customers is:

Massaranduba decking

Also known as Brazilian Redwood Massaranduba is much more durable than California Redwood, has a longer lifespan and requires much less maintenance.

In fact Massaranduba is over 7x harder than California Redwood. With a janka hardness of 3,190 compared to California Redwood which has a janka hardness of 420.

California Redwood is a softwood and requires annual maintenance of applying a water sealer to keep water out of the grain of the wood to prolong its life and prevent rot and decay.

Just like the first four species of hardwood decking that we recommended, Massaranduba naturally resists rot, decay and wood boring insects.

In addition Massaranduba is also a very low maintenance deck material and offers a 30+ year lifespan.

Watch this short video on Massaranduba decking:

Current Massaranduba decking prices

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Ipe vs. Teak

Burmese Teak board shown above is genuine teak (not plantation grown)

Most people are familiar with Teak wood, it’s been well known to last outdoors without many of the common issues of softwoods.

Teak has exceptional resistance to rot and termites but it only offers moderate resistance to marine borers and the powder post beetle.

Since Teak is so well known for it’s exterior durability it has been widely used for outdoor furniture and boat building.

This has driven up the demand for Teak which then increases the price as well. Genuine Teak (Burmese Teak) is very expensive. Plantation Teak that is fast grown is significantly cheaper.

The high price point of Teak makes it out of the price range for many people especially for larger projects.

Teak Wood Lifespan

The lifespan of teak is known to be up to 50 years if properly maintained. If teak is left to turn a natural grey and not oiled each year you can expect teak in this condition to last 30 years or more depending on how harsh the climate is.

Teak Price Vs. Ipe Price

Due to the popular demand of teak over many years the price has increased substantially to the point that most people would find it not cost effective. Our teak price is around $40 per board foot.

Due to the high price of teak many people have used Ipe wood as a cost effective alternative to teak. Ipe is our top recommended alternative to teak it can outlast teak and Ipe is significantly cheaper.

Ipe is primarily sold for exterior decking, fencing, siding and many other exterior projects. It is priced and sold by the lineal foot. As of 2020 our starting price for 1×4 Ipe Wood is $2.13 per lineal foot.

A 1x4x8 Ipe Wood board would cost $17.04 that same board in teak would cost $110.00

Ipe Wood Deck
Ipe Wood Deck – Miami, Florida

Is Ipe Better Than Teak?

Ipe wood is a South American hardwood that is over three times harder on the Janka scale compared to genuine teak.

The Janka test is a measure of the hardness of wood. The Janka test was developed as a variation of the Brinell hardness test. The test measures the force required to push a steel ball with a diameter of 11.28 millimeters (0.444 inches) into the wood to a depth of half the ball’s diameter. The diameter was chosen to produce a circle with an area of 100 square millimeters.

  • The Janka hardness of Teak is: 1,050
  • The Janka hardness of Ipe is: 3,680

Other than Ipe wood being over three times harder, Ipe also has some other exceptional properties that make it one of the best exterior hardwoods available.

  • One of the strongest woods in the world
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Low maintenance
  • Up to a Class A fire rating for flame spread
  • Termite, Mold & Fungi resistant
  • No knots
  • High scratch & slip resistance
  • Can outlast composite material
  • Over three times harder than teak
  • Proven to last 75+ years on commercial applications such as the Coney Island boardwalk

You can view current ipe prices as well as get more information and free samples from AdvantageLumber.com

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Best Wood for Outdoor Kitchens

Best Wood for Outdoor Kitchens

Ipe Wood Outdoor Kitchen

Building an outdoor kitchen is a major investment. You want to make sure you are using materials that are going to hold up to the outdoor environment as well as the abuse of kitchen wear and tear.

You are probably looking at spending thousands of dollars on top of the line stainless steel appliances for your outdoor kitchen.

The last thing you would want is to spend a lot of time and money on an outdoor kitchen and have your grill in your outdoor kitchen rust out after 5 years and force you to redo your outdoor kitchen.

Many homeowners want their appliances to sit in cabinets or an outdoor bar built out of a beautiful long lasting wood.

Woods You Should Not Use for an Outdoor Kitchen

We suggest staying away from softwoods such as pressure treated pine, cedar and redwood.

These softwoods are all susceptible to rot, wood boring insects and are can catch fire quickly. In addition they require yearly maintenance with waterproofing sealers that will peel off.

This will leave you scraping and sanding all the wood and then reapplying the sealer each year. Waterproofing sealers help keep water from penetrating the grain of softwoods which would lead to faster rot and decay.

Additionally your outdoor kitchen will more than likely be placed on a concrete slab foundation. Depending on the design of your outdoor kitchen your cabinets or bar will be sitting on top of the concrete.

Concrete wicks moisture so softwoods sitting on top of concrete will rot faster at the base.

These are just a few reasons why we don’t recommend these softwoods for an outdoor kitchen.

Best Woods for Outdoor Kitchens

There are a few species of wood that we’ve found to be proven to perform incredibly well in outdoor environments such as outdoor kitchens.

These species are Ipe, Cumaru, Tigerwood, Garapa and Massaranduba. They all come from South America and have proven to last up to 75 years or more with very low maintenance.

Ipe wood decking and Ipe outdoor kitchen cabinets

Above you’ll see a picture of an outdoor kitchen built with Ipe wood deck boards. The deck is also built with Ipe wood decking.

Ipe wood decking is one of the most durable, long lasting decking woods available. It is more durable than teak and is more cost effective as well.

It is also naturally resistant to mold, mildew, rot and decay, wood boring insects can not chew through the wood, It has a Class A rating against flame spread, does not splinter like softwoods and it has proven to last 75+ year on commercial boardwalks like Coney Island boardwalk in New York.

Here’s another outdoor kitchen built with Ipe Wood:

The second most durable wood we recommend for outdoor kitchens is Cumaru which is also known as Brazilian Teak.

Cumaru is almost identical to Ipe it’s just got a little more color variation which ranges from golden brown to a reddish brown. Ipe is more consistent in color which is a chocolate brown.

Many people are drawn to Cumaru because it’s typically 30% cheaper and also a very beautiful and durable wood. It has all the similar properties like Class A rating against flame spread which makes it an excellent wood for outdoor kitchens.

While we don’t have pictures of an outdoor kitchen built with Cumaru wood most of the jobs we supply are used to build decks.

Just like Ipe wood is most commonly used to build decks both of these woods are great for a wide array of outdoor projects.

Here’s a picture of a deck built with Cumaru:

Cumaru Deck

Tigerwood Outdoor Kitchen

This is our 3rd most popular option for an exterior hardwood that is great for outdoor kitchens.

Tigerwood Outdoor Kitchen

Tigerwood is not quite as dense as Ipe or Cumaru but it’s still a very dense and durable hardwood that’s great for outdoor use. In fact Tigerwood is more than double the Janka hardness compared to Teak.

These 3 wood species are the best woods that we recommend for outdoor kitchens.

When building an outdoor kitchen with wood you can often use short length boards depending on your design of course.

We sell short length boards at a significant cost savings that can save you up to 50 percent. Click here to view these discounted hardwoods

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