Author Archives: theipeguy

Ipe Decking vs Cumaru Decking

Are you looking to compare Ipe decking vs Cumaru decking?

You’ve probably heard a lot of positive feedback about the durability of Ipe wood decking. Ipe wood has been used on some very famous projects like the Coney Island boardwalk, the Brooklyn bridge, the boardwalk in front of Treasure Island in Las Vegas and the Famous Disney Boardwalk Resort in Orlando, FL to name just a few.

Many of those receive millions of people walking on them each year as well as some very harsh weather and climate conditions. These commercial applications demand the very best durability and longevity from the building products they specify.

If a material such as Ipe wood did not last then these establishments would be forced to shut down and rebuild every 15 to 20 years which can cost a busy establishment millions of dollars in lost revenue. Ipe wood has proven to last in the most demanding applications for 70+ years.

The proven performance of Ipe wood has driven up the demand which has also lead to a steady increase in price over time as the demand continues to increase. We have seen prices of 5/4 x 6 Ipe Decking increase 22% over the last 10 years.

How Does Cumaru Decking Compare to Ipe Wood Decking?

Cumaru wood has nearly identical properties as Ipe wood. The janka hardness of Ipe is 3,680 and the janka hardness of Cumaru is 3,540 so Cumaru is almost as hard as Ipe.

Cumaru also looks very similar to Ipe. Cumaru will start out looking reddish brown with some boards having more of a yellowish brown color to them. However once the Cumaru is oiled and the UV rays hit the Cumaru for a week or two it will darken up and even out and resemble the look of Ipe more.

Watch this video we made to see a nice comparison between Ipe and Cumaru:

Here are some pictures of Ipe wood decks and Cumaru wood decks so you can see how similar they look.

Below is a picture of an Ipe wood deck:

ipe wood

This is a picture of a Cumaru wood deck:

cumaru decking specs

Whats the Price Difference Between Ipe and Cumaru?

At the time of writing this our 1×6 Ipe wood price is: $3.09 per linear foot

While our price for 1×6 Cumaru is $2.15 per linear foot. That makes Cumaru nearly 36% cheaper than Ipe wood.

Click here for our current price of Ipe wood and here for our current Cumaru price

 

Cedar Decking vs Tigerwood Decking

Read This Before Installing Cedar Decking on Your House!

One of our customers just installed this Tigerwood deck for his clients who previously had a cedar deck. Their cedar deck was installed for a little over 20 years and required constant maintenance with power washing and sealing with a waterproofing sealer.

Although cedar has moderate rot resistance it is still a softwood that requires a waterproofing sealer especially on horizontal surfaces like a deck where the water sits on the surface longer. Tigerwood decking and other South American hardwoods offer a much longer lifespan, so the contractor advised the homeowner this would be a better option than going with cedar again.

Western red cedar has a janka hardness of 350 lbf opposed to Tigerwood which has a janka hardness of 2,170 lbf. To put it simply the janka test is a measuring system to determine the hardness of wood and the higher the number the harder the wood.

The hardness of Tigerwood gives the wood a very tight and dense grain structure which makes the wood very smooth. It also has excellent resistance to rot and decay as well as being highly resistant to wood boring insects. Tigerwood is so hard that wood boring insects can not chew through it. Opposed to cedar on the other hand which has shown to be somewhat prone to wood boring insects.

Cedar usually contains knots and a rough surface with slivers due to it being a softwood the grain is more prone to surface imperfections that make it less desirable to walk on barefoot. You can sand cedar to help with this however as time goes on the grain can raise again and slivers and splits can reappear.

Clear cedar is available at a premium which does not contain knots and will give you a more desirable surface than common grade cedar.

Tigerwood on the other hand offers a very smooth surface free from knots and slivers and is naturally resistant to rot, decay and wood boring insects. In addition the maintenance on Tigerwood is significantly less than cedar.

Cedar Deck Maintenance

Cedar decks need a waterproofing sealer which will eventually peel off leaving you with sanding or power washing the old coating off. Then you must reapply at least two coats of new sealer to ensure everything is coated.

Tigerwood Deck Maintenance

With Tigerwood if you want to maintain the beautiful color you simply oil it with a UV oil meant for hardwoods such as Ipe Oil. This basically keeps the sun from bleaching the color out of the wood and turning it grey.

The oil is very easy to apply you can roll it on with a paint roller and wipe up any excess that hasn’t soaked in after 5 minutes. As the color starts to fade make sure your deck is clean and free from debris and reapply.

There is no stripping off the old finish or any flaking or peeling to deal with. If you prefer the grey look you don’t have to do anything other than cleaning debris such as leaves off.

cedar deck vs tigerwood

The contractor surprised his customers with this detail that they absolutely loved. He laser engraved their last initial in the center trim piece of the deck.

Hurricane Proof Boat Dock

Looking for a Hurricane Proof Boat Dock? You Need to Read This…

If you live in a Hurricane prone area and have a boat dock then you are probably no stranger to your boat dock getting damaged when a strong hurricane comes through. We receive calls every year during hurricane season from people who have had their boat docks badly damaged. Many of them had composite decking on their dock. Unfortunately the issue with composite dock materials is that they are very soft and flexible and break very easily.

When the waves start surging during a hurricane your boat dock will get rocked around and slammed with strong waves for what seems like countless hours. Most of the time the composite materials will break off as the waves slam your dock from every angle especially as the waves slam the decking materials from the underside creating a massive uplift force. The composite materials stand no chance and rip right off, break and get swept into the ocean.

Softwoods such as pressure treated, cedar and redwood are very soft and although more rigid and stronger than composite dock materials they too can eventually break off from the constant waves slamming into your dock.

South American hardwoods are some of the strongest woods on earth and have proven time and time to be a critical component of building a hurricane proof deck. Our customers send us pictures every year after the storm passes and they step out onto their new hardwood dock anticipating what they expect to be a dock that is badly damaged again. They are amazed to see little to no damage.

Here are some pictures from a customer after a bad hurricane came through. He had just installed our Ipe wood on his newly built boat dock. His dock was destroyed from last years hurricane season so after the hurricane season was over he wanted to build a hurricane proof dock. He did a little research and found our hardwood decking was some of the hardest most durable decking materials he could use on his dock.

There were only a few boards that came lose after the hurricane passed and he was amazed to even find all the boards were still on his dock and just needed to be re-fastened which did not take him long.

hurricane proof boat dock

hurricane proof boat dock

hurricane proof boat dock

hurricane proof ipe boat dock

hurricane proof boat dock

hurricane proof ipe boat dock

tigerwood barn door

What’s The Best Wood for an Exterior Barn Door?

You’ve probably searched endlessly online for exterior barn door advise and are probably tired of reading about people building interior sliding barn doors out of pallets or grandmas old bookshelf.

I’ve got good news for you…

Believe it or not some people actually build barn doors and put them outside on a barn. In this post we’ll discuss the most durable wood that will last outdoors without rotting and lots of maintenance and show you some exterior barn doors our customers have built.

The most durable woods you can build an exterior barn door out of are Ipe, Cumaru, Tigerwood, Massaranduba, Garapa, Angelim Pedra and Itauba. These are all South American hardwoods that are proven to be more durable than teak and at a much cheaper price than teak.

Some of these woods such as Ipe wood are known to last outdoors in the harshest climates for 70+ years with little to no maintenance in fact Ipe lasted on the Coney Island boardwalk for 70 years before it was ripped up an reclaimed to build new furniture which you can see here:

http://uhurudesign.com/furniture/216/cyclone-lounger

The 70 year old reclaimed Ipe wood on the Cyclone Lounger looks just as good as the new material we sell and that Ipe wood will probably last another 50 years.

Now imagine if you built your exterior barn doors out of the same wood one of our customer did just that so we interviewed him and made a video you must watch below. He loves how durable the Ipe is on his barn and he has one barn door left that is still pine that he needs to replace yet so you can see the comparison.

 

Here is another project one of our customers built these custom barn doors out of Ipe wood and a painted steel frame. He used short length boards which we sell significantly cheaper so he was able to save him self a lot of money and his barns doors will last many years.

Ipe Wood Barn Doors

Below is a man door and a matching hayloft door that were built for a barn out of our Tigerwood lumber. The pictures were taken without any oil applied to the wood, once oiled the grain will be enhanced and the Tigerwood will really look beautiful and will last for many years without rotting.

hayloft tigerwood door tigerwood barn door

Hardwood Trailer Decking – Brazilian Apitong

This week at our mill in Brazil they are finishing up some ship lap hardwood trailer decking. This hardwood trailer decking is made from Angelim Pedra which is commonly called Brazilian Apitong. Brazilian Apitong is used for most of the high quality flatbed trailers and lowboy trailers in North America. This wood can withstand years and years of excavators, bulldozers and all the harsh muddy and wet elements that heavy equipment trailers see in day to day operation. Brazilian Apitong can far outlast North American hardwood trailer decking which gives trailer owners more time to using their trailers to haul heavy equipment than ripping up old worn down and rotted trailer decking. If you are looking for the best wood for a trailer deck whether you have a small utility trailer or a fleet of flatbeds give us a call for some deals on trailer decking. 1-877-232-3915Brazilian Apitong

Deck Designs That Save You Money

Many homeowners are unaware that some simple changes to your deck design can save you upwards of 30 to 40 percent on your decking materials cost. When building a hardwood deck with Ipe wood or other exotic hardwoods many homeowners want to specify long length decking that will run the full length of their deck. We offer decking in lengths up to 22 feet long and those cost a premium mainly due to supply and demand.

As a sustainable lumber company we utilize every piece of a tree that we can and we can only get so many 22 foot boards out of a tree that are free from defect so when cutting slight defects out of these boards we are often left with shorter length boards that we sell for a discount.

Here is an Ipe wood deck that utilizes a design with shorter deck boards that will save you money. Using shorter length boards will also generally be easier to install since many long length boards have a tendency to bow leaving you or your contractor to try and force them into place using special tools like the Hardwood Wrench which is specifically designed to help straighten long hardwood deck boards that are bowed. Shorter length boards are more stable and less likely to contain any bow to them.

Ipe Wood

Another deck design that can save you money is using narrower deck boards opposed to the most sought after 6 inch wide deck boards. Using 4 inch wide deck boards are generally sold cheaper again mainly due to supply and demand and also yield from milling logs. You can obviously only get so many 6 inch wide deck boards out of a log and since we utilize every part of a log we often have a great amount of 4 inch decking that we sell at a discount. Of course you will need more fasteners with narrower decking however our discounts on narrow deck boards will make up for that added cost.

The other major benefit to using 4 inch deck boards is that narrower boards are more stable and less likely to cup or see movement. We recommend the use of 4 inch deck boards for applications that will see a lot of moisture, decreased air flow underneath the deck and harsh environments. In the project below our customer used our 4 inch Ipe wood decking and we pre-grooved it for them so they could fasten the decking with hidden deck fasteners. If you look closely this deck is close to the ground and does not allow for our minimum air flow recommendation so we advised them they would be better off using the 4 inch decking and their deck has had no movement,

4 inch ipe wood decking

Ipe Wood Shower and Jetted Bathtub

This is an interesting project from another one of our happy customers. They are so thrilled with the way the Ipe wood compliments their bathroom. Take note of the long Ipe wood boards that trim out the tile edges instead of using standard bull nose like most people do. If they had used bull nose tile to finish off their shower it certainly would not have such a beautiful contrast that the Ipe wood gives. Look closely and you’ll see they extended the tile past the glass door which seals off the shower elements from the wood, this should help their finish they applied remain intact for years to come.

The shower floor is simply a standard shower basin to match the jetted tub. They built a custom Ipe wood shower floor platform that sits inside of the shower basin which really gives it a designer look. Ipe is a great choice for this application since the wood has proven to last outside in extremely harsh climates for 75+ years. Ipe wood will not give off any slivers in your feet and is naturally slip resistant as well as rot resistant making this wood shower a project that can last a very long time.

This design also allows for the wood shower floor to be easily removed for cleaning or in case if something is dropped like jewelry or razor heads to love to pop off when you drop them. One other feature that many people like with an Ipe wood shower floor is you can build the wood surface so that its completely flat since the shower basin underneath is slopped for proper water drainage.

Ipe Wood Shower

They also wrapped their jetted bathtub with Ipe wood as well as a few wood accents like the trim around their window and vanity mirror. They have received so many compliments from friends and family and they are very pleased with how the Ipe wood accents their jetted tub. The durability of the wood has exceeded their expectations considering it is such a wet environment.

Ipe Wood Jetted Tub