Category Archives: Decking

4 Inch Ipe Decking

Best Decking for Extreme Climates and Projects

Building a deck in a climate that sees extreme weather such as extreme heat, extreme cold, hurricanes, lots of rain, ice and snow requires some extra planning to ensure your deck will last and resist unwanted movement such as warping, cupping, bowing and twisting.

Dry Climates

In dry climates like Arizona, wood decking materials will shrink due to the lack of moisture. All building materials will expand and contract with temperature and humidity changes. Composite decking materials generally expand in the warm temperatures and shrink in the cooler temperatures.

Wet and Humid Climates

Climates like Florida that see extreme heat, rain, humidity and hurricanes are some of the harshest environments on homes and the materials they are built with. Constant rain and humidity will cause wood decking to expand, composite materials will also tend to swell in these climates.

These climates also tend to promote the growth of mold and fungi, especially in the areas that do not see full sun all day. This can also lead to faster degrading, rot and decay of building materials.

Extreme Sun and UV Rays

Many areas such as Florida, Arizona, California and more see extreme sun and UV rays. The UV rays from the sun are one of the harshest elements that attack many materials and building materials like decking are no exception.

The UV rays will fade most materials including wood which will eventually turn gray and composites can significantly fade from their existing color that you loved originally.

Extreme Cold, Ice and Snow

If your area gets very cold and see lots of ice and snow in the winter and then hot and humid temperatures in the summer.  Your deck is going to see the widest ranges of extreme conditions which means the most expansion and contraction.

Material Selection

All of these different climates can be harsh on building materials especially horizontal surfaces like decking. There are materials that have proven to stand up to these harsh climates better than others.

South American hardwood decking such as Ipe, Cumaru, Tigerwood, Garapa and Massaranduba have proven to last up to 75 years in some applications.

These hardwood decking species have shown to work in every climate from the dry dessert to hot and humid Florida all the way to cold and snow covered Buffalo, NY.

Sizes

The most common decking size is 5/4 x 6” which will have a finished dimension of 1 inch thick and 5.5 inches wide.However just like hardwood flooring the wider your deck boards are the more likely they will be to cup.

Use Narrower and Thicker Boards

The narrower a board is the less likely it is to cup so using narrow boards such as 1×4 (finished at 3 1/2″ wide), is not only more stable but it can save you money and give a more interesting look.

Thicker boards such as 5/4 x 4 (finishes at 1” thick and 3 1/2″ wide) are also more stable then 1 x 4 (finishes at 3/4” thick and 3 1/2″ wide) it’s a quarter inch thicker and gives you more stability.

Sawn Lumber Differences

Quarter Sawn Decking:

Quarter sawn decking comes at a premium due to the labor it takes to mill each plank. To mill quarter sawn wood, each log is sawed at a radial angle into four quarters. Then each quarter is plain sawn. This method of quarter sawing does leave some waste, but much less than rift sawn lumber.

This method of sawing produces a plank where the tree’s growth rings are near, or totally perpendicular to the plank’s surface. Quarter sawn decking offers even more stability and the following benefits:

  • Decreased expansion and contraction on the plank’s width
  • Twisting, cupping, and warping resistance
  • Ages evenly over time
  • Chances of surface checking are significantly reduced
  • More resistant to moisture penetration
  • More character beauty with ray flecks

Are Your Project Conditions Less Than Ideal?

We recommend a minimum of 18 inches of unrestricted air flow underneath your deck. Unrestricted means plenty of air can flow underneath your deck so it’s not completely sealed off with skirting.

Closing off the underside of your deck or not allowing enough air flow will change the moisture level on the underside of your deck boards while the top surface gets air flow and heated by the sun.

This creates two different climates for your deck boards and will cause the top of the deck surface to expand and contract at a different rate then the bottom and this will lead to cupping.

That being said some homeowners have projects like boat docks and ground level decks that can not meet the ideal conditions but still want a beautiful hardwood deck.

In these cases, even though we don’t recommend it unless you can create the ideal conditions we suggest using 5/4 x 4 decking or 5/4 x 4 quarter sawn decking. You should also take as many precautions as you can to mitigate any moisture issues or differences underneath your decking.

Oiling the underside of your deck boards before installing them can also help reduce moisture absorbing into your deck boards.

Projects that used our 4 inch wide decking for their projects

4 Inch Ipe Wood Decking
5/4 x 4 Ipe Decking was used because the deck is low to the ground, skirted off and sits directly on top of a blue stone paver patio.
4 Inch Ipe decking
Ipe Decking and Blue Stone Patio
4 Inch Ipe Decking
4 Inch Ipe Decking and Blue Stone paver patio
4 Inch Tigerwood Decking was used because the deck was skirted off and sitting on top of concrete.
4 Inch Tigerwood Decking
Ipe Decking Steps built using 4 Inch Decking because the deck sits directly on top of a concrete slab and has limited air flow underneath.
Ipe Wood Planter Bench
Ipe Wood Planter Bench
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Ipe Decking Cost

Ipe wood

If you are searching for the cost of Ipe decking you have come to the right place. For nearly 30 years we have been transparent about publishing all prices and all costs associated with ordering Ipe decking directly on our website.

You can find the most up to date pricing here: Ipe decking prices

Looking for the Cheapest Price on Ipe Decking – Read This First!

Ipe decking is one of the most well known decking materials. It’s one of the only proven decking materials to last up to 75 years in some of the harshest commercial applications such as The Coney Island Boardwalk.

As a result of its durability and beauty, Ipe wood prices have steadily increased over many years due to the increase in demand as well as many other factors such as fuel costs, increased government regulations to ensure sustainable logging as well as increased importing costs to get the Ipe wood into the USA.

As the leading importer of Ipe decking we are the only American company that owns our own lumber mills in Brazil.

We opened our own mills in Brazil for many reasons including being able to ensure the highest quality Ipe decking is being shipped to our customers.

We are also able to ensure all logging is being done legally and sustainably as our staff in Brazil are working everyday to ensure all aspects are legal and sustainable.

Being the largest importer also allows us to offer the best pricing on quality Ipe decking. We have seen others offer Ipe for a cheaper price to entice a customer on buying “cheaper Ipe”. Be warned that not all Ipe decking is equal.

Some will offer cheaper prices on the decking while everything else is more money. We are also one of the only Ipe decking sellers that consistently offers free shipping on many items.

We also do not have any minimum purchase quantities on Ipe wood. Some sellers impose expensive minimums so they can focus on making more profit and not be bothered with a smaller order.

We are glad to package and ship $100 worth of Ipe so you can build planter boxes or an Adirondack chair.

Yes it costs us more money to package these smaller orders but we are happy to do it so we can prove and show our commitment to customer care and satisfaction no matter how much you spend.

We have even seen some sellers that are drop shipping Ipe selling other cheaper species as Ipe and charging a premium for it. They have no control over what they are selling since they are a middle man with a website and don’t own any inventory.

These sellers simply have other brokers ship you what they have left over and could not sell to their own customers.

The people that fall for that found they got what they pay for… “Cheaper Ipe Decking” or sometimes not Ipe at all but some other cheaper specie.

We welcome all of our customers to stop into one of our 4 US factories to view what you are going to purchase ahead of time. We also welcome wholesale buyers looking to purchase large quantities to tour one of our Brazil mills.

Make sure you are going to buy from someone that is very transparent and willing to show you their operation and what you are purchasing.

Ipe Decking Grading Standards

For nearly 30 years our customers have come to rely on the quality of Ipe decking that we have consistently delivered.

We pioneered the grading standards of Ipe and are the only ones to offer (SMR®) Select Mill Run® Ipe decking.

SMR® Grading is Ipe decking that we sort because it does not meet our standards for our premium Ipe but it is not B grade either. So we created SMR® which is a grade between the premium and B Grade.

We offer this grade as a cost savings for those customers that don’t mind a little more character but want to save some money on their Ipe decking purchase.

Below is a picture of our SMR® Ipe deck tiles. They are very beautiful and just as durable as our premium Ipe wood decking.

select mill run

If the cost of Ipe decking has really got you sweating we took it one step further. We also offer B Grade Ipe decking which offers you a significant cost savings on your Ipe.

Our B grade Ipe exceeds most of our customers expectations since our grading standards are the highest in the industry.

Watch this short video below to see what a customer built with our B grade Ipe and see what he has to say.


Ipe Wood Discounts

Having 4 factories in the US and 2 in Brazil gives us a large quantity of Ipe wood that we offer at huge discounts.

We have a lot of short length materials and odd lots of Ipe wood that are perfect for many projects but do not meet our most common requested sizes.

We sell these Ipe wood boards and many other species for prices up to 50% Off. Check out our Ipe decking discount prices

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Wood Boat Dock

What’s The Best Wood for Boat Docks?

If you are looking to build or rebuild a boat dock you want the most durable wood that will last a lifetime with very little maintenance.

A boat dock see’s some incredibly harsh conditions since they are so close to the water they are typically getting abuse from waves and are often constantly saturated with water.

Constant moisture is an enemy for all boat dock materials whether they are wood or composite. In fact constant moisture can lead to faster rot and decay, mold and mildew and leave you with excessive maintenance.

Boat Dock Materials Pros and Cons

Pressure Treated Pine

Pressure treated pine is the most common and affordable type of wood commonly used for boat docks.

The pros of using this material is the initial cost is the cheapest compared to other options. This material should last you 20 years or more with annual maintenance.

The cons are the annual maintenance that will be required. A Pressure treated pine boat dock will need to be sealed every year or every other year with a water sealer to keep the water from saturating the wood.

If this is not done it will lead to early rot and decay of your boat dock since pine is a soft wood. Soft woods are more prone to rot and decay, insect attack as well as mold, algae and fungi growth.

The regular maintenance costs will add up over the lifetime of your dock so make sure you plan for the square footage of you boat dock and how much water sealer you would need as well as the other materials needed (pressure washer, brushes and etc…)

Pressure treated pine is also known to splinter overtime which can be bad for a boat dock if you are using your dock with bare feet. Many boat docks also serve as a swim platform with a ladder built on.

Pressure Treated Pine Florida Boat Dock

The pressure treated pine boat dock above has weathered severely. Additionally the wood has splinters all over and is rotted in parts that had seen more water.

Cedar Wood

Another softwood option is Cedar which is considered an upgrade compared to treated pine.

Although Cedar is known to have some natural rot resistance but it still requires a water sealer applied every year or every other year to keep the water from rotting the wood.

cedar deck repair

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:

  • 25+ year lifespan
  • Can be stained
  • Some natural rot resistance
  • Not hot on bare feet

Cons:

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

Composite Dock Materials

Composite deck and dock materials have built a notion that it is maintenance free. For years composite decking manufacturers advertised their products as maintenance free.

Eventually there were some class action lawsuits that followed once homeowners found that these products were not maintenance free.

The truth is there is no such thing as maintenance free especially outdoors. Even inside you don’t have maintenance free kitchen floors so you should stop thinking maintenance free and realize that everything will require some maintenance.

On top of that some of these man made composites have held up well and some have completely crumbled causing more class action lawsuits for these decking products.

Composite Boat Dock Falling Apart

In the picture above the boat dock was built with a composite decking material. It has mold growing on the surface, the surface has been wearing off and is badly pitting which leads to more mold growth.

The outer skirting board is also badly deteriorating and crumbling.

Pros:

  • Low Maintenance
  • Made from recycled materials
  • Rot resistant
  • Most manufacturers offer 20+ year warranties

Cons:

  • Can be hot on bare feet
  • Many homeowners report that it’s very slippery when wet
  • Can not be refinished
  • Expensive

If this is the option you are choosing we advise you to do some Google searches for reviews on the brand you are interested in. For example ” Brand Name decking complaints” and “Brand Name decking problems”.

If you do your research on Google you will often find if other homeowners have had a lot of issues with those products.

Exotic Hardwood Boat Dock Materials

There are many South American hardwood products that have proven to last 75+ years with very little maintenance. These species we recommend are Ipe, Cumaru, Tigerwood, Massaranduba and Garapa.

These hardwoods are sustainably harvested and are naturally resistant to rot, mold, mildew and wood boring insect

In addition they do not deteriorate like softwoods so even after many years they are still safe to walk on barefoot. Also the wood is not hot to walk on barefoot like most plastic decking materials. This makes them some of the best choices for boat dock materials.

If you plan to build your new boat dock with one of these hardwood species you can save significantly by using short length boards

Pros:

  • Low Maintenance
  • Made from sustainable wood
  • Rot resistant
  • Proven to last 75+ Years
  • Resistant to mold and mildew
  • Does not get hot on bare feet like plastic materials
  • Can be refinished
  • Can be left to gray for the ultimate low maintenance dock

Cons:

  • More expensive initial investment
  • Requires annual oiling to maintain color

Special Deals on Boat Dock Materials:

https://www.advantagelumber.com/docks/

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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 very little 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
  • Safe to walk on barefoot
  • 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 very little 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, safe to walk on barefoot 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 compared to softwoods that deteriorate fast

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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