Category Archives: Decking

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.

 

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

 

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

 

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.

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