3 Things You Didn't Know About Ipe

Can I tell you something new about the Brazilian Hardwood Ipe? It's a dense topic this week on TimberTips!


If you've built or are looking to build a hardwood deck, then you have most likely looked into Ipe. It's the most popular and most durable hardwood decking and siding product used in the U.S.

But here's three things you may not know about Ipe.

First, although Ipe is extremely dense it will still expand and contract depending on the climate, so space your boards accordingly. The boards will be expanding in hot and humid weather then contracting in colder dry temperatures.

Second, if you've ever heard someone say that Ipe is so dense it sinks in water, they are telling the truth...sort of. The reason Ipe might sink in water is based on a characteristic called specific gravity: anything below 1 will float and anything above 1 will sink. Ipe can range from .91 to 1.12 specific gravity, which means some will sink and some will float. Still, we don't recommend building a row boat out of Ipe.

Lastly, even if you let Ipe go gray for years, you can still bring back the original, rich color of your outdoor project. The gray is only surface level, so some power washing and light sanding combined with a good UV Inhibiting Oil like Ipe Oil will bring that color right back. If you want to know what the Ipe will look like oiled, wet it down with water and that will give you a good idea.


Be sure to subscribe to the TimberTown YouTube Channel and click on the notification bell to be the first to get the latest TimberTips video!