Category Archives: Decking

Best Wood for Outdoor Use

Do you have an outdoor project you want to build and want the best wood for outdoor use?

When most people think about exterior grade wood they think of pressure treated pine and cedar. Both of these woods require annual maintenance with a water sealer that will peel off.

How about a wood that…

Won’t rot, won’t leave you scraping, sanding and sealing every year and can last 75+ years outdoors.

There are several Exotic lumber species that hold up outdoors better than Teak, are more attractive looking than Teak and are significantly cheaper as well.

These species are Ipe, Cumaru, Tigerwood, Garapa, Massaranduba

These wood species have proven to last 75+ years outdoors with no maintenance on commercial applications such as the Coney Island Boardwalk.

In addition these wood species are:

  • 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
  • Knot free
  • Will not give you slivers
  • High scratch & slip resistance
  • Can outlast composite material
  • Twice as strong as Oak
  • Time proven on many commercial projects
  • More durable than teak
  • Great for decks, docks, gazebos, benches, tables, siding, fencing
  • Comparably priced with composite decking choices
  • Not hot to walk on like composite material

Check out these projects built with these durable species of outdoor wood


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The Ritz Carlton in Naples Florida Adds Advantage Ipe Wood

Resorts such as The Ritz Carlton often call us looking for the best wood for their exterior living spaces.

For resorts like this our first recommendation is Ipe wood decking and that what they decided to use.

The resort did have pressure treated pine and found that was not holding up in the harsh Florida sun. The grain on the pine would raise and people could trip or get slivers and it was becoming unsightly.

The Ipe wood they ordered from us compliments the beautiful Oceanfront views and will allow their patrons years of exterior beauty and enjoyment without the maintenance issues they experienced with the pressure treated pine.

Stop by and check out their lovely restaurant while enjoying the Oceanfront views they have an awesome Sunday brunch a swanky pool area, beautiful beach and now lots of beautiful Advantage Ipe Decking.

If you have a resort or commercial application and need the best exterior wood give us a call today or stop by the Ritz Carlton in Naples first to see our wood in use

We supply materials to not only resorts like this but also small backyard projects around the world. If you need a board, a bundle, a truckload, or more please give us a call. 1-877-232-3915

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What’s The Best Decking for a Log Cabin?

Log cabin porches and decks receive some severe wear and tear and can require more maintenance than the actual log cabin itself.

The most important choice you can make for your porch or deck for your log cabin is the decking material itself. There are many options nowadays and there are pros and cons to all the choices.

The first issue with a horizontal surface such as a porch or deck receives a fair amount of foot traffic which will add to the wear and tear.

The second is mother nature and depending on where your log cabin is located you can have snow, rain, hail, freezing rain, and extremely hot summers.

Rain, snow and ice laying on your deck or porch will accumulate more on horizontal surfaces and will take much longer to dry opposed to your log walls which the rain runs down and dries very fast in comparison.

Many log cabins have covered porches and are tucked in the woods so they have many shaded areas that will eventually lead to algae growth (yes even on composite materials).

Decking Material Options for Your Log Cabin

1. Pressure Treated Pine

pressure treated deck log cabin

Pressure treated pine decking is one of the most abundant and common decking material options. This is mostly due to the cost, pressure treated pine is the cheapest option available.

Pros:

  • Most affordable option
  • Real wood matches the log cabin appeal
  • Can be stained to match your log cabin
  • Easy to install

Cons:

  • Requires annual maintenance with a waterproofing sealer that will eventually peal off.
  • Softwood will eventually rot
  • Will eventually splinter

2. Western Red Cedar

cedar deck repair

Cedar decking is usually a popular upgrade on a log cabin because cedar is known to have some natural rot resistance. Even though cedar has some resistance to rot it’s still a softwood and therefore does require a water sealer.

In the picture above you can see it still splinters and will rot which is why the deck board above is being replaced. The waterproofing sealer will eventually flake off as seen in this photo.

Pros:

  • Real wood matches the log cabin appeal
  • Can be stained to match your log cabin
  • Some natural rot resistance

Cons:

  • Requires annual maintenance with a waterproofing sealer that will eventually peal off.
  • Contains knots and will splinter
  • Will eventually rot

3. Composite Materials

composite deck fading

Composite decking materials have become widely known as low or no maintenance decking options that mimic the look of wood. Some home owners have had success while others have had issues with mold, crumbling deck boards and fading to name a few.

Many brands have had recalls, class action lawsuits and several have gone out of business leaving home owners stranded with warranty claims. Composites have come a long way so make sure you do plenty of research and look online for reviews for the brand you are interested in before going this route.

Pros:

  • Less maintenance than softwoods
  • Does not require staining or water sealers
  • Easy install

Cons:

  • Many people have reported it is very slippery
  • Very hot to walk on barefoot
  • The sun will make it fade over time and there’s little you can do once that happens,
  • It’s typically the most expensive option
  • Many log cabin owners think it does not belong or look as good as real wood.

4. Exotic Hardwood Decking

Tigerwood log cabin deck

Tigerwood Deck on a Log Cabin

Exotic hardwood decking is some of the hardest wood available and is known to last 75+ years outside with little to no maintenance.

It’s been used on many commercial applications like the Coney Island board walk, the Treasure Island boardwalk in Las Vegas and many more.

These woods are naturally slip resistant, naturally resistant to wood boring insects, resistant to mold and algae, knot and splinter free and has a Class A rating for flame spread.

In addition they are some very beautiful woods that will really compliment your log cabin and give your deck that WOW factor.

Pros:

  • Less maintenance than softwoods
  • Does not require staining or water sealers
  • Longest proven lifespan
  • Insect resistant
  • Rot resistant
  • Mold and algae resistant
  • Class A rating for flame spread

Cons:

  • Does require a UV oil to keep the sun from fading the wood to grey
  • Comparable or slightly cheaper than composite
  • Due to the hardness of the wood everything must be pre-drilled

 

 

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Swim Spa Deck Built With Ipe Wood

swim spa deck

A swim spa can be a great addition to your home. However before you purchase a swim spa you need to consider a deck built around it.

A custom deck built for your swim spa will make accessing and using your new swim spa easy and enjoyable it can also reduce the risk of a slip and fall injury.

This is a Master Spa 15 Deep Swim Spa that a California homeowner purchased. They were looking for the best decking material to build a deck for their new spa.

Whats the Best Deck for a Swim Spa?

We strongly suggested Ipe wood for the deck surrounding their new spa. Here’s a few reasons why Ipe wood works so well for swim spas:

  • Our Ipe wood has natural slip resistance and has been ASTM-C1028-89 tested so our Ipe Decking exceeds the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements for Static Coefficient of friction in a wet environment
  • Ipe is naturally resistant to mold, mildew and wood boring insects
  • Approximately seven times harder than Cedar, ASTM-D143-94 tested; our Ipe decking stands up to the harshest conditions imaginable.
  • Barefoot friendly since it does not give off splinters

These are a few reasons why our customer chose Ipe for their new swim spa deck and railings.

Swim Spa Deck Ideas You Might Like:

The homeowner designed the swim spa deck to allow simplified unrolling of the spa cover. This is achieved while standing on the 3-step side. You can easily fold and unfold the cover on the spa while walking the entire length of the spa.

ipe swim spa deck

Take note of how wide the top platform is, this is an important detail. When you are taking your cover on and off you are usually focused on the cover so a narrow step would leave you more likely to trip.

The wide platform reduces the risk of tripping over a narrow step while taking your cover on and off. One other detail you’ll notice is the height of the top platform.

Your walking platform should allow you to fold up your cover without being hunched over and this deck was designed with that in mind as well.

The upper deck allows for easy spa access and features a wide bench for removing your sandals as well as a nice place to set your towel and smart phone.

The railing is stainless steel cable to maximize the views of the garden. The posts are powder coated which will offer years of maintenance free railing. The top handrail is Ipe wood to match the decking and provide a nice slip resistant grip.

LED lights were built into the steps to illuminate the steps as well as add some elegance. The deck substructure is constructed of clear redwood and was designed to allow removal of the spa side panels for future maintenance of the spa if needed.

 

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How Long Will Ipe Wood Last?

When someone first hears about Ipe wood and that it can last 70 plus years outdoors with no chemicals they don’t believe you. However it’s true and proven to last 70 years and longer.

Ipe wood

In fact Ipe was used on the Coney Island boardwalk and lasted for 70 years before it was ripped up. It was then reclaimed by a furniture maker to build this cool lounge chair that resemble the iconic Cyclone roller coaster on Coney Island.

Cyclone Lounger

CYCLONE LOUNGER

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

Now if Ipe wood can last 70 years on the Coney Island boardwalk which has seen as many as 14 million people in one summer. How long do you think it will last for your deck or outdoor project?

The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory tested Ipe wood in the ground for 15 years to check it’s resistance to termite attack. They gave it the highest rating because there was no damage from termites.

Ipe is on of the best termite resistant woods without the use of chemicals. If you are looking to build a deck, fence, pergola or other outdoor project that you want to last a lifetime give us a call 1-877-232-3915 or buy ipe wood online

 

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How To Cover an Old Stucco Ceiling

One of our great customers Pro Quality Carpentry completed this job and had to share how beautiful it turned out.

nickel gap ceiling

The previous ceiling of this screened in lanai was old stucco that was looking dingy and had cracks. The home owner hired Pro Quality Carpentry to renovate their outdoor space and make it look more appealing.

Pro Quality recommended our Tigerwood in a nickel gap tongue and groove profile that we custom milled for them.  Tigerwood is an exotic hardwood that’s incredibly durable as well as exceptionally beautiful.

Tigerwood is naturally resistant to rot and decay and offers a 30+ year lifespan without chemical treatment.

The Install Process Was Simple

First Pro Quality Carpentry started by installing wood furring strips to the existing stucco ceiling and made sure to attach the furring strips to the wood support trusses underneath the stucco.

Next they installed our Tigerwood nickel gap tongue and groove and fastened to the furring strips with stainless steel screws through the tongue to leave the ceiling free of faster holes.

Here’s Another Picture

Tigerwood nickel gap

 

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How Much Does Ipe Wood Cost?

Ipe Deck NY

Ipe wood is well known among builders, contractors, architects and even homeowners because its proven to last 70+ years outdoors with no maintenance.

Due to the proven longevity of Ipe Wood many professionals specify it for their jobs. As a result this drives up the price. Over the last 10 years we have seen the price of Ipe wood increase over 20 percent.

During the same time frame we have other species that have slightly decreased in price such as Cumaru which is very comparable to Ipe.

Currently for 1 x 6 Ipe wood decking our price is $3.09 per linear foot and for 5/4 x 6 Ipe wood our price is $4.46 per linear foot. Check out our webpage for the most current Ipe Prices

How to Estimate How Much Ipe Wood You Need to Purchase

Hardwood decking like Ipe is priced by the linear foot and most deck projects are calculated by the square foot. This makes estimating and pricing the amount of Ipe wood you will need a little challenging.

We have linear feet to square feet calculators built into our decking pages that will help you convert linear feet to square feet.

As a general rule of thumb if you are using a 6 inch wide deck board and you have a 500 square foot deck you need a little more than double in linear feet since a 6 inch wide board has a net finished width of 5.5 inches.

To be exact you would need 1091 linear feet for a 500 square foot deck if you use 6 inch wide deck boards. Don’t forget to add in some boards for waste and cuts that you may incur when building your deck.

Following this information will help you get an accurate price for an Ipe wood deck. If you find the price of Ipe wood a little higher than you were hoping please contact us. We have other species that are similar to Ipe but cost less.

We speculate that in the future the prices of Ipe will continue to rise as they have. This is one reason we have stocked a steady supply of other species that are nearly identical to Ipe such as Cumaru.

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