Once the facts about Ipe wood are known, it is easy to see why so many people are choosing this for their outdoor furniture. Ipe wood, pronounced EE-pay, is a tropical hardwood that grows predominantly in South America. Unlike Teak or Mahogany however, Ipe is can be easily grown in managed forests using responsible forestry practices.
Ipe has a beautiful warm color and a smooth even grain. It weathers to an attractive silver hue if left untreated. If treated with a coating of light weatherproofing oil it will retain its rich warm hue.
Ipe wood is also known by other common names such as Brazilian Walnut, Amapa, Cortez, Guayacan Polvillo, Flor Amarillo, Greenheart, Madera negra, Tahauri and Lapacho Negro. Some common trade names for the wood also include Pau Lope, Diamond Decking and Ironwood. In the wild, these trees can grow to heights of 150 feet with trunks growing as big as 6 feet in diameter. The average size in a managed forest is generally around 100 feet with trunk diameters of around 2 to 3 feet. The grain of the wood is fine to medium.
Ipe wood has many clear advantages over other woods that are commonly used for outdoor furniture. Ipe wood is naturally resistant to rot, decay and insect invasion. Although California Redwood used to offer these same advantages, researchers have found that only the heartwood of old growth Redwoods offer this protection. Because of irresponsible harvesting practices that were practiced for much of the early part of the twentieth century, old growth redwood is longer available.
Outdoor furniture constructed from Ipe provides superior natural protection from termites and other pests. With Ipe wood, there is no need to be concerned about dangerous chemicals and treatment processes to protect your investment, Ipe wood provides excellent protection without all those concerns. According to studies done by the United States Research Laboratory, Ipe wood left untreated in the ground was still insect free after 15 years! This resistance has earned the tropical hardwood the highest rating given to a wood. Without any treatment at all, Ipe wood products are guaranteed for 20 years and with a minimal coating of deck oil applied, the average lifespan is 100 plus years.
Ipe wood for decking is also a great choice. Decking made from Ipe wood is very slip resistant and has been ASTM-C1028-89 tested. This means that decking made from Ipe exceeds the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements for Static Coefficient of friction in a wet environment. This makes it the perfect wood to use around pools, hot tubs and saunas where there is normally a higher occurrence of injuries sustained because of slippery floors. Another plus for using Ipe in this environment is the woods very low tendency to splinter. Around pools especially, this is a great advantage.
There are so many advantages to choosing this hardwood over other products that even Atlantic City chose to go with Ipe wood when the famous boardwalk there need to be replaced.
Once the rewards of choosing Ipe have been explored, it is an easy choice to make. Ipe wood outdoor products are superior products that can be enjoyed for a lifetime.