Ipe Technical Data


This Brazilian wood species is renowned for being the most stable. As the timber dries it will exhibit very little checking, twisting, or bowing. It is also recognized for its strength and durability as well as it’s natural resistance to rot and decay. It is ideal for high moisture applications and performs well in low level applications without preservatives or additional treatments.

IPE is widely used in commercial applications such as boardwalks, piers and park benches. More recently it has become a popular choice for residential customers wanting the beauty and warmth of a real wood deck due to its low maintenance, attractive colour, and extremely smooth surface.

At approximately 69lbs/cubic.ft IPE is a dense and heavy timber to the point where even when dry it will generally sink in water. It is also fire resistant with a Class ‘A’ Rating.

Ipe has many common and trade names including Brazilian Walnut, Bethabarra, Tajibo, Mataverde, Pau Lope, and other trademark names.

Ipe Technical Data

How does Ipe compare to other lumber and decking products?

Ipe CCA-Treated Pine Composite Decking
Type
Hardwood
Softwood
Plastic Wood
Maintenance
Low
High
Low
Decay Resistance
High
Varies
Varies
Termite Resistance
High
Varies
Varies
Strength
High
Medium
Low
Movement in Service
Low
High
High
Fire Rating Class
High
Varies
Low
Weight per cu. ft.
69lbs.
35lbs.
60 – 64lbs.
Bending Strength (in psi)
25,400
9,900 – 14,500
1,423 – 4,500
E-modulus
3,140,000
1,170,000 – 1,510,000
175,000 – 480,000
Shear Strength
2,060
1,370
561 – 1,010
Hardness
3,680
690
940 – 1,390

Deck Ventilation

Good ventilation for any deck is essential for long-term stability and to minimize cupping. Proper ventilation allows air to flow in from outside the deck area, under the joists and through the gaps between the deck boards.

Fastening with Screws

We recommend high-quality Stainless Steel trim-head screws for most applications. Though coated screws may also be used, lower quality coated fasteners can cause black staining. Pre-drilling a pilot hole is essential and countersink to avoid splitting, even when using self-drilling screws. Screws can be hidden with pre-made Ipe Plugs.

Hidden Fastener Clips

There are many brands of Hidden Fasteners available – our research has led us to supply only one. Ipe Extreme Clips are in-stock and we supply both styles that work with 3/4” thick boards and those that are 1”+

We do offer a service whereby the Ipe boards can be ‘pre-grooved’ to match these clips – or another style of clip if you so wish. There is an additional charge for this service – and we actually recommend not grooving the entire length of each board, but instead using a Biscuit Cutter or Router Bit to cut a groove only where necessary (over each joist).

Allow a 1/8″ gap between deck boards for drainage and airflow. End-to-end butt joints are installed without a gap. Decking may shrink approximately 1/16″ on 4″ wide and 1/8″ on 6″ wide decking. In hot or dry areas you may experience additional shrinkage.

Residential Deck Installation & Maintenance Storage & Handling

Ipe decking is most commonly supplied Air-dried but Kiln-dried lumber can be ordered if necessary. When storing the wood, keep it out of direct sunlight and before installation allow the wood to acclimate and stabilize to the area’s humidity before installing.

Some air-dried boards may exhibit marks from strips used in the drying process. In most cases any marks or water spots will blend if a sealer is applied and in most cases they will dissipate during the next year as the colour naturally fades.

Cutting

We recommend carbide-tipped saw blades and high-quality drills for smooth cuts.

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