Category Archives: Decking

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


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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.

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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

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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:

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

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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

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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

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12 Ways to Save Money on Hardwood Decking

Purchasing exotic hardwood decking such as Ipe Wood, Cumaru, Tigerwood, Massaranduba, Garapa, and other Brazilian hardwoods doesn’t have to break the bank. The market knows that these woods will outlast the majority of buyers out there and the popularity has soared in recent years. As demand for these amazing lumber species have grown, prices have increased as well. Here are some quick and easy ways to save that are often overlooked by buyers trying to educate themselves. Also, call our hardwood decking hotline for free quotes and our latest and greatest deals!!! 1-877-232-3915

  1. Short Length Boards: As long lengths up to 20 foot typically demand a premium, using 3 foot to 6 foot decking not only saves money but can also make the design much more interesting. This balcony deck design was constructed utilizing five foot long Cumaru (Brazilian Teak) decking shorts. Pricing is listed at the bottom of our Cumaru page: Discount Deckingdiscount decking2. NARROWS: Wide boards in any hardwood demand a premium, so using narrow boards such as 1×4 (finished at 3 1/2″ wide), can save money and again give a more interesting look. An added benefit is stability as a wide board will have more tendency to cup than a narrow board. Using narrow boards saves money and yields a more stable deck. These are some Cumaru narrow deck boards coming off the production line at our mill in Brazil. Look through our decking price list to find these sleek and narrow deck boards Narrow Deck Boardsnarrow deck boards3. Non-Standard Widths: Using the size that your carpenter friends all use can cause you to loose out on an overlooked bargain. The US uses some 3.5″ and a lot of 5.5″ wide deck boards, but in Australia, for example, the standard deck board size is often 120 mm wide.That is equal to 4.72″ and also equals a bargain for you. Occasionally we bring in sizes that are standard in other countries but not yet known locally. If the logs we are cutting yield less waste for these foreign standards then we cut to that size and pass the savings to you. Lumber distributors often frown on stocking or promoting these sizes as it messes up their inventory systems and makes more paperwork. Luckily for you we like challenging the status quo, as long as it means saving our customers money. These different sizes can also give your deck a more unique look than standard US sizes. In this case our 120 mm (4.72″) is also more stable than the wider 5.5″ standard US board. This is some 120 mm Massaranduba decking shown in the picture, but we often do other sizes and species in cost savings sizes. Note that this Massaranduba (Brazilian Redwood) wood starts out red but turns a deep chocolate brown like Ipe after being exposed outside for a few weeks. See some pricing here: decking sizes4. B-Grade: B grade decking may have small blemishes such as pin knots, some sapwood in small spots, swirly grain, or other similar character marks. Many of our customers say that “B” stands for “Beautiful” as these boards look much more interesting to them. We will also add that it leaves money in your “Bank” as there is a nice discount for purchasing this grade. Stock of these bundles are constantly changing so check out our specials page and call us for your best deal. Specials Pageb grade decking

    5. Secondary Species: All the high end builders know about the amazing Brazilian Ipe wood, but there are other exceptional performers out there that haven’t been widely promoted yet. These other hardwoods have been time tested in extreme climates around the world. We use the word “Secondary” only because we haven’t spent millions of dollars to market these species yet. These woods are currently less expensive, yet still at the top of their class for durability. One specie that looks very similar to Ipe is called Itauba. This wood is several times stronger than oak and is used in several countries as decking, siding, and deck tiles. It has been used in Brazil for centuries for fence post and other projects where good rot resistance is required. The picture below is without any oil, but after a quick oiling it looks very similar to its famous Ipe cousin. Other secondary hardwood options are Tigerwood, Cumaru, Massaranduba, and Garapa decking. Check out some Itauba pricing here: Itauba Decking PricesItauba Decking

    6. Bargain Bundles/Closeouts: Who doesn’t like a bargain? There is a super secret page with hidden deals on our website…..Ok, we didn’t really try to hide it, but our website is thousands of pages long so many customers don’t stumble onto our bargain page. These good deals are there for a variety of reasons including: overstock of a certain length/specie, special buys, over-runs, canceled or delayed orders, returns, freight damage, or sometimes we just plain forgot that we had an extra bundle hidden in the corner. Check out these money saving deals here: Specials Pagecheap decking

    7. Free Shipping: Maybe Amazon was onto something, so lets see if anyone likes free shipping. With our four locations strategically located we are one of the only hardwood decking companies that can offer free shipping on selected items. Even though our normal freight rates are Cheap, Free beats Cheap every time! Check our free shipping page to see what items currently are on Free Shipping Special here: Free Shipping Items

    Free Shipping Decking

    8. Deck Tiles: These little modular deck squares can save a ton of labor as they snap down over a ugly concrete patio or covered porch in minutes. Not only saving you labor money, but also saving you from purchasing and constructing a typical deck frame to support deck boards. The connectors lock them together and they can be uninstalled just as easy if you ever want to move. We manufacture these in a variety of sizes and different exterior grade hardwoods. The applications are near endless as we have supplied these for both commercial and residential projects on Patios, garden areas, rooftops, porches, etc. If you have a medium to large size area you can also save more money buying by the pallet. The pallet bundle pricing is at the bottom of our deck tile page: Deck Tiles Pricinghardwood deck tiles

    9. Volume Purchase/Wholesale quantities: If you have a huge project you can save even more money by calling our wholesale department. Our wholesale department supplies volume shipments to a variety of resorts, municipal jobs, and housing projects worldwide. We ship full truckloads or containers. Wholesale dept 941-388-9299wholesale decking

    10. Metric Sizes: In between the US standards of 3/4″ (19mm) and 1″ (25mm) deck boards is a European standard of 21 mm thickness. We have brought this size into the US for years and our repeat customers love it. It offers nearly the stability of the thicker 1″ board, but closer to the price of the thinner 3/4″ board. Our 21 mm boards measure 0.827″ thick which is too confusing to remember so we brand this as 1×6 Plus®. So save some money over the thicker boards with this Euro bargain. Learn more about this size here: 1×6 Plus Metric size Pricesmetric decking

    11. SMR® Select Mill Run Grade: Our SMR Grade is a proprietary Advantage grading. It is not always available in all items, but when it is grab it up because its always a deal. If it doesn’t quite make our first grade but is better than the B grade it often ends up in these bundles. It even beats many competitors premium grade. Check out an example of Advantage SMR deck tiles here: SMR Deck Tile Pricingselect mill run

    12. Coupons: Sign up to our monthly Newsletter and get exclusive discounts and be the first to know about coupons, flash sales, new product announcements, and design ideas. Signup here: Newsletter Signup Page (We respect your email inbox and only send one or two emails a month)

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