Pros and Cons of Ipe Hardwood Decking vs. Composite Decking

Are you planning to build a deck? It’s important to compare the pros and cons of different materials. Two of the most popular choices for decking are hardwood and composite.


Composite Decking

Composite decking is made from a combination of polyester or plastic and wood fibers. It is a popular choice for decking because it is durable, low-maintenance, and affordable.

Composite decking is available in various colors and textures, and it can be molded to create a variety of shapes.


Pros of composite decking

  1. Low maintenance – Composite decking doesn’t require the same level of upkeep as natural hardwood. It’s also fade-resistant and won’t rot, crack, or splinter.
  1. Durability – Composite decking is designed to withstand the elements. It’s tough enough to resist mold, mildew, scratches, and stains.
  1. Comes in a variety of colors – You can choose from a wide variety of colors when you opt for composite decking. This means you can find a shade that complements your home’s existing color scheme.


Cons of composite decking

  1. Can be slippery – When wet, composite decking can be slippery, so you need to be extra careful.
  1. Not eco-friendly – Composite decking is made from a combination of wood fibers and plastic. This means that it’s not as eco-friendly as natural hardwood.
  1. Repair issues – Plastic is easy to damage, and you cannot sand or fix a damaged “board.”  Replacement “boards” color will not match weathered one. 
  1. Can be expensive – Composite decking can be more expensive than natural hardwood.


Ipe Hardwood Decking

Ipe hardwood is a type of Brazilian Walnut. It’s one of the hardest woods available, making it an ideal choice for decking.


Pros of Ipe Hardwood Decking


  1. Extremely durable – Ipe hardwood is one of the most durable materials you can choose for your deck. It’s resistant to scratches, dents, and fading. If properly taken care of, it can last up to 75 years.
  1. Natural beauty – Ipe hardwood has a beautiful, natural grain that can add style and sophistication to your outdoor space.
  1. Easy to sand or repair.
  1. Eco-friendly – Ipe hardwood is a sustainable resource. When you choose this material for your deck, you can feel good about making a green choice.

Perhaps the only downside to using Ipe is that it is one of the more expensive decking options. Although the cost and quality are both high, the price tag may be a deterrent for some homeowners. Ipe hardwood decking also needs to be sealed and stained on a regular basis to maintain its natural beauty.

When it comes to deciding between Ipe hardwood and composite decking, there are pros and cons to consider for each option. It’s important to think about your budget, the maintenance required, and the look you want for your outdoor space before making a decision.