Ipe Wood Decking Option:
Wood Property Comparison

(ipe tech data, ipe wood decking comparison with other wood decking options, in common usage for exterior decking applications)

Property Ipe
Bending Strength
22,560 7,500 14,500
3,600 580 690
specific gravity 1.06 .32  
Durability of Wear Surface Extremely hard & dense Very soft surface that scratches & dents easily Soft surface. Typical knots & imperfections result in poor surface condition and appearance.
Decay & Insect Resistance highest natural rating for rot & insect resistance with NO treatment -rated by the US Forest Lab for 25+ years Only the highest grade of Heartwood is rated "acceptable", sapwood & second growth is significantly less decay/insect resistant. Impregnated with toxic chemicals. Knots may not be thoroughly treated and may be more likely to rot or be destroyed by insects.
Preser-vatives does not accept preservative well application of chemical preservative recommended treated chemically, usually warrantied for 20-30 years
Looks Solid hardwood look with little or no knots, long lengths, very refined look. Resistant to shrinking, splintering, twisting, cupping, and checking. Rustic softwood appearance. Lesser grades contain knots Resistant to splintering, twisting, cupping and checking Very rustic appearance Pressure treating increases brittleness and makes pine more susceptible to splintering, shrinking, and checking.
Weathering Turns to a soft silver patina with time. Little/no maintenace. Difficult to maintain original color. If left natural, blackens and grays. Weathers to a pale green, with knots showing strongly
Fastening Superior fastening with stainless steel screws or nails. Will not pull loose or pop-up. Galvanized nails often split wood, starting decay from water penetration. Tannic acid may react with galvanized nails, corroding fasteners & causing black stains. Nails can pop up Galvanized nails often split wood, causing decay from water penetration. Chemical treatment may react with nails, corroding fasteners and causing black stains. Nails can pop up.
Other Extremely strong. Natural fire resistance: Class A-1 NFPA and UBC Limited strength. Burns easily Copper chromated arsenate treatment is toxic and banned in many areas. Splinters and saw dust should be avoided. Not for use around pools, except as substracture. Burning produces toxic fumes.

much of this information is from the USDA Forest Products Laboratory Wood Handbook

Link to: comparative study by US Forestry Laboratory on durability of various woods for the full study results.


US Forestry Service

See the link below for the complete study done by the US Forestry Service Research Branch comparing many different wood species