Ipe Decking: Is an Ipe Wood Deck Right for You?


Ipe Decking 2022

If you’re looking for a deck that will last, look great, and is easy to maintain, Ipe decking might just be a perfect choice. This decking material is extremely durable and known for being resistant to rot and mildew. It’s also naturally insect-resistant which means less time spent on maintenance! 

In addition to these benefits, an Ipe deck can be customized in size and shape to fit your needs, has the potential for added space with the addition of an extended deck, and will make your backyard feel like an extension of your living room. Not convinced just yet? A lot of homeowners are looking into installing a new Ipe wood deck in 2022 due to the material’s durability and sleek look.

Here’s what to know about Ipe decking, how to decide whether or not it’s the right kind of decking material for your home, and how to choose the right Ipe deck builder.

What is Ipe Wood Decking?

Ipe wood is also called Brazilian walnut wood (you might find it online as Brazilian Ipe wood). It is an exotic hardwood from the South American country that’s made its way to the US to become one of the most popular, durable decking material solutions.

This beautiful hardwood has been used for centuries in the construction of boats, furniture, and cabinets. Ipe’s durability makes it an excellent choice when you want to build something with long-lasting quality to last through tough times. It’s the main reason why we use it here at LA Decks. We believe in the quality and durability that Ipe wood decking offers our customers. This is particularly true for those looking to build decks and patios that are closer to the ocean and receive lots of humidity and sea salt.

On top of Ipe wood’s durability, though, is the added benefit of the stunning style. Color choices vary between browns or reds depending on where they are grown. However, professional deck builders are able to help you achieve the color you’re looking for. This will help ensure that your new Ipe deck blends in seamlessly with your other patio or deck furniture and fixtures.

Why Choose an Ipe Wood Deck

As mentioned above, most people choose to install an Ipe wood deck because of the material’s durability. Ipe wood decks are up to 8x more resistant than California Redwood. Aside from the mere durability of this Ipe wood, other benefits of using it when building patios and decks include the fact that it’s:

  • Natural: Ipe wood is a great alternative to composite decking. Why? It’s made of 100% real wood, rather than the plastic-based materials and wood pulp. It also doesn’t create any by-products that can harm the environment.
  • Insect-Resistant: Because Ipe is Brazilian, tropical wood, it is naturally insect-resistant. This means that it’s not only great for installation in homes, but that you don’t have to treat the wood with harmful chemicals in order to protect it.
  • Fire-Resistant: Yes, Ipe wood is fire resistant! Not only that, but it’s perhaps the most flame-resistant decking material currently on the market. This is great news for residents of Southern California who are becoming more and more aware of just how important it is to protect your home from wildfire damage.
  • Cost-Effective: Ipe wood boards actually aren’t as costly as most homeowners seem to think. Ipe wood can last over 40 years without experiencing deep damage that needs to be pressure treated. During the lifespan of an Ipe wood deck, you might have to replace pressure-treated wood about five times. The cost of replacing, repairing, and maintaining a regular wood deck far exceeds the initial cost of installing Ipe decking.

Another prominent thing to note about this type of wood is how slip-resistant it can be. Its grain pattern interlocks tightly together making slip-resistant surfaces possible without sacrificing comfort underfoot. For our clients in West Los Angeles who live along the coastline, this is particularly important. It helps ensure that even with a few drops of sea breeze, their deck won’t be slippery for them or their house guests.

Where to Get Ipe Decking Materials

If you’re looking to buy Ipe wood, you can visit the Ipe website directly. However, due to the nature of working with Ipe wood, it’s best to work with professional deck builders instead of trying to install the hardwood yourself. Why?

Keep in mind that Ipe wood is an exotic hardwood. When you bring it on-site, it can take some time to acclimate to the new temperature and environment. You also have to factor in the use of spacers or stickers in between boards. This is required so that they can breathe and dry naturally as well, among other things. 

In short, installing Ipe hardwood isn’t as straightforward as going to Lowe’s, buying the boards, and nailing them together in your backyard.

How Much Does it Cost to Install an Ipe Wood Deck?

Purchasing Ipe wood boards is less expensive than the total cost of installing an Ipe wood deck, obviously. And, it’s often where people seem to get confused about pricing. Not only that, but the importation of Ipe wood is now heavily regulated by the government. This is really why prices tend to fluctuate quite a bit. Essentially, each board must be traced to its origin and tested for quality. This process leads to higher production costs that deck builders unfortunately also have to pass on to their customers.

What else affects the cost of Ipe wood? The size of the boards can also influence the price of this type of wood. And, depending on the time of year, the price can fluctuate as well.

Keep this in mind when requesting a quote for an Ipe wood deck. Just because your neighbor had their Ipe deck built for a certain price 18 months ago doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to get the deck at the same price. Nor does it mean that the deck building company is trying to pull more money out of you! Often, it simply means that the price of the wood itself has gone up. The company, therefore, has to also increase its prices slightly.

How to Choose the Right Ipe Deck Builder

Investing in Ipe decking is a great investment for any homeowner with the space and budget. Why choose an Ipe deck? These durable, beautiful woods offer superior water repellency and rot resistance as well as high-impact strength against termite infestation without all of the harsh chemicals that you would find in traditional treated lumber. 

Contact us today to learn more about our custom project pricing so we can help you plan your perfect backyard oasis!