Ipe (pronounced "eee-pay") is a Brazilian hardwood that's well known for its beautiful brown and amber tones. And while it's a relatively strong wood, it suffers from significant problems when used in decking and outdoor spaces:
- Ipe requires more frequent maintenance than other natural woods. Without regular cleaning and annual staining, the color can begin to turn gray.
- The hard nature of Ipe wood makes it a time intensive and costly deck option. Pre-drilling is required.
- As a natural wood from Brazil, it's significantly more expensive to import.
- According to Greenpeace, unregulated harvesting of Ipe trees may be causing irreparable damage to the Amazon.
Why TimberTech Decking is a Better Material
- Great looks: Recent advancements in composite and capped polymer decking let us closely mimic the rich, gorgeous color and grain patterns of natural Ipe.
- Easier maintenance: Ipe will quickly lose its original look and turn a silvery color if not maintained properly every six to twelve months, which can cost $400 to $600 or more. TimberTech decks only need a quick cleaning with an ordinary hose.
- Better warranties: Ipe warranties are generally quite limited. TimberTech decks have a 30-year Fade and Stain warranty, including protection from splintering, cupping and more.
- Cost effective: Many TimberTech products are less expensive than Ipe. And that doesn’t include the costs of staining and maintaining Ipe, which can add up over time.
- Lower installation costs: Ipe is very dense and can tear up sawblades. Even nail guns can’t be used, so predrilling is always necessary. With TimberTech products, your blades won't be ruined, and you don’t have to predrill. It's easier to install, so labor costs are much lower.
- More sustainable: Ipe wood starts as a beautiful, slow-growing tropical tree. Unfortunately, there's some controversy about whether Ipe is harvested responsibly. In general, TimberTech is more eco-friendly. In fact, over the past five years, we have built more than 740,000 engineered decks, saving approximately 900,000 trees. We focus on creating outdoor spaces that help prevent deforestation.
If you want the look of Ipe hardwood but without the drawbacks, consider your options from TimberTech. We offer several Ipe look-alikes, specifically TimberTech Pecan, TimberTech Tigerwood, AZEK English Walnut, and AZEK Mahogany. Many people can’t even tell the difference. And, if you’re looking for a weathered Ipe, AZEK Dark Hickory is the perfect match.
Even better, get a FREE SAMPLE shipped directly to your home!