Ipe wood, also known as Brazilian Walnut wood, is one of the densest naturally occurring hardwoods in the world. It is 3-times denser than cedar wood and are found in South America and parts of Central America. It does not float in water and resists fire much longer than other softwoods.
It is durable and therefore, a popular choice for outdoor decking and siding. It can also be used indoors for flooring, window framing and cabinetry. This wood needs to be kiln-dried to get rid of any moisture to prevent warping or cracking before it is used indoors.
Despite all of its features, Brazilian Ipe wood is hard to work with because of its strength, density, and weight. This also makes it unsuitable for intricate carving. It is also difficult to paint on due to its high oil and tannin content. However, it looks beautiful on its own.
Given below are the factors to look at to select high-quality Brazilian Ipe wood decking material:
- Hardwood Grade: Hardwood is graded based on its appearance. The grading is done based on the number of defects in a board. This is determined by the amount of clear surface area on its poorest looking side. Choose the wood with the highest grade.
- Weight and Density: Heavy woods like Brazilian Ipe Wood are identified by their weight and grain pattern. Choose the one that has the best density and suits your budget. Each tree has a unique grain pattern which gives a distinct look to the wooden boards from the same species. The grain pattern also determines the strength of the wood. A piece of lumber with a tighter pattern is stronger than the one with loose grain pattern.
- Appearance: Color and texture give personality to wood so choose the one that matches your overall décor.
- Sustainable Source: When buying new wood a good approach would be to find out whether the lumber is coming from a sustainable source. The seller must propagate responsible forest management and buy only from sustainable sources.
Price: Exotic varieties of the wood are popular these days. However, it would be wise to buy from a reputed seller who offers a good price. As a rule, always check the market rate of the particular type of wood you are looking at before purchasing it.