Ipe Decking

Written by Rachel Arieff
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Ipe decking is one of the finest decking materials known to date. Manufactured from the South American ironwood tree, this kind of decking is so durable and long-lasting that it is the top choice for boardwalks, park benches, industrial floor surfaces, and even tool handles. In fact, the legendary boardwalk of Atlantic City is composed of Ipe.

With two to three times the hardness or most durable woods, Ipe can even sit in direct contact with the ground without decaying. It has been reported that after decades of exposure to the harsh outdoor elements, Ipe decks showed none of the deterioration common to most woods, including cracking, warping, splintering, or rotting. In addition, Ipe shows an inherent resistance to even the worst wood-eating parasitic bugs, such as termites and borers.

Ipe Decking Options

This is a wood that, like many synthetic and composite decking materials, practically needs no maintenance or treatment with special wood sealers. The truth is that, in addition to its extraordinary durability, Ipe is also quite a beautiful and distinctive wood. For this reason, many people do choose to apply a sealer to Ipe decking in order to preserve its natural red-to-russet hue.

Left untreated, Ipe will perform just as well against the elements due to its characteristic density and high oil content. However, it will gradually change in color, from a warm reddish hue to the glowing silvery tone that you recognize on many of the nation's boardwalks. It's a testament to Ipe's durability that, more than two decades after it was first constructed, the Ipe decking of the Atlantic City boardwalk shows no signs of deterioration.


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