Category Archives: Do-It-Yourself

Best Wood for an Outdoor Table

Ipe Wood Outdoor Table

If you’re building an outdoor table you want to build something that will last for many years to come without degrading and tons of maintenance.

Not all woods are created equal.

Some woods when used outdoors and exposed to harsh weather and UV rays will degrade quickly. This leads to splinters, rot and decay and you’ll eventually have to rebuild your outdoor table.

The most common wood that people build with for outdoor use is pressure treated pine.

Pressure treated pine is the most affordable option available, as a result many people build outdoor tables such as picnic tables with it.

The downside of pressure treated pine is that it’s a softwood that requires annual maintenance with water sealers. Eventually the weather and UV rays will degrade the pressure treated pine.

You will experience checking, splinters and even rot and decay eventually. You can expect a 15 to 20 year lifespan if you properly maintain your outdoor table each year.

If you’re looking for the best wood than pressure treated pine is not the best choice.

Cedar is the next most common wood option for outdoor use.

It’s known to many as a premium wood compared to pressure treated pine. It does offer some natural resistance to rot and decay.

However Cedar is still a softwood and will rot, decay, splinter and have all the same problems as pressure treated pine. This will also need a waterproofing sealer applied each year.

You can also expect a lifespan of 15 to 20 years if the proper maintenance is done each year.

The Best Wood for Outdoor Use and Tables

Deck with Fire Pit and Pavers
Deck built with Ipe wood

Ipe wood (pronounced EE-pay) is a South American hardwood that has proven to last on many commercial applications such as the Coney Island boardwalk for 75+ years with no treatment.

Here are some of the outstanding benefits of Ipe:

  • Lasts up to 75+ years
  • Low maintenance
  • Termite Resistant
  • No knots!!
  • Tight grain = No worry of slivers
  • Can outlast composite material
  • High density resist scratches
  • Nearly twice as strong as Oak
  • Better than teak
  • Environmentally friendly
  • One of the strongest woods in the world
  • Up to a Class A fire rating for flame spread
  • Mold & Fungi resistant
  • High slip resistance

We also recommend a few other species that have very similar properties to Ipe and offer different grain and colors.

The following woods are also extremely durable outdoors and are more affordable than Ipe.

Cumaru, Tigerwood, Garapa and Massaranduba

This outdoor table was handcrafted using Ipe and Tigerwood and it’s absolutely stunning.

Outdoor Table made with Ipe Wood and Tigerwood

If you are looking to build an outdoor table that will last a lifetime these woods will not disappoint you.

You can purchase them directly online from our website. We also have many deeply discounted shorter length boards that work great for outdoor furniture.

Since we primarily sell a lot of long length boards for decks we sell the shorter boards for a deep discount. Click here to see our discounted hardwood decking

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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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Best Wood for a Horizontal Fence

Are you looking for the best wood for a new horizontal fence?

Horizontal Cumaru Fence

Certain woods will require more maintenance than others and can be susceptible to rot, decay and insect attack.

The woods that are commonly prone to those issues are softwoods such as pressure treated pine, cedar and even redwood.

There are certain hardwood species however that are more durable than teak and cheaper.

The top species of wood that we recommend for a horizontal fence are:

  • Ipe
  • Cumaru
  • Tigerwood
  • Garapa
  • Massaranduba

These woods excel in harsh climates such as the hot Florida sun, the dry Arizona desert as well as cold and snowy Buffalo, NY. Woods such as Ipe have been proven to last 75+ years on commercial applications such as the Coney Island boardwalk.

These woods are also naturally resistant to rot, decay, fungi and wood boring insects can not chew through them. In addition they are low maintenance and incredibly beautiful.

Building a horizontal fence from one of these beautiful species of wood will have your friends and neighbors admiring your new fence for years.

Take a look at many of these beautiful horizontal fences our customers have built with some of our wood:

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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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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 very little 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

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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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Brazilian Cherry Deck Tiles

Our Brazil plant started manufacturing Brazilian Cherry deck tiles to add to our existing deck tile line. Brazilian Cherry is an extremely dense and durable wood that will last for many years and offer low maintenance just like all our other exotic hardwood species.

Like many of the Brazilian species Brazilian Cherry will start out lighter in color and after a short amount of time in the sun the wood will darken to a rich red cherry color. Our deck tiles are constructed with solid wood backing which is stronger than most of the plastic backed tiles on the market and we only use stainless steel screws in all of our tiles. Our deck tiles are so durable you can place them directly over an old concrete patio or on a rooftop deck.

These will be shipped from our Brazil manufacturing plant to our four factories located throughout the US for shipment direct to our customers homes and job sites. No job is too big or small. Call us today 1-877-232-3915 or buy deck tiles online

Brazilian Cherry Deck Tiles

 

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