Archive for August, 2009

What wood should I use to replace my dock?

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

When looking into replacing docks, many materials will be mentioned, but one far surpasses the others in terms of durability and visual appeal. Ipe wood is a natural hardwood grown in South America, with a tight grain and rich color. The way in which this hardwood forms makes it particularly resistant to environmental damages or wear and tear. It grows naturally fire resistant, and is most unwelcoming to insects, mold and fungus. This means the wood does not need to be treated to remain beautiful even in salt-water areas for generations to come. This dense, tight grain in the wood also prevents it from warping or splintering even in damp conditions. If you enjoy the quality of your waterfront, Ipe seems the only choice for docks.
Native to rainforests, the Ipe wood products available for your dock are environmentally friendly. Grown for harvest in ecologically safe farms, Ipe has been used for centuries in South America. Many instances of waterfront uses of Ipe have been in place and visually appealing for over eighty years. Why go to the trouble of replacing composites or treated woods over the years when Ipe can last a lifetime? The industry standards for durability max out at 25 or more years, Ipe exceeds this measure by leaps and bounds. The environmental impact of selecting Ipe cuts down on toxins from sealers, reduces waste from replacing docks every fifteen years and gives your waterfront the designer’s touch of warm, rich hardwood. The choice is obvious, Ipe is by far the most economical, practical and aesthetically pleasing option.
While the initial cost may be higher than other materials, this is balanced against the longevity of the investment. As Ipe docks are known to outlast their owners on most occasions, it will save on future headaches at replacement projects as well. You don’t need to go through the process of contacting builders and applying for permits again if you choose well the first time and use Ipe for docks, boardwalks and other waterfront installations. With a bare minimum of maintenance, Ipe docks will remain beautiful and sturdy for generations. You deserve the wonderful feel of hardwood underfoot as you enjoy the water, step off your craft onto the warm Ipe deck and enjoy knowing that this feeling can last forever, or at least your nice new Ipe dock will seem to.

What is Ipe?

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Ipe is a tree that grows in the rainforests in South America. With a dense, tight grain the wood of Ipe trees is highly prized for a long-lasting hardwood that lasts generations even in outdoor uses. The way in which this tree grows is what makes for such beautiful and durable wood products. Highly resistant to fire, termites, mold and fungus, Ipe decking is a very wise choice for boardwalks, docks, decks and patios. Durable and lasting outdoor furniture can be crafted from this fine material as well. With it’s dense internal structure, Ipe does not warp or bend like others woods. Highly resistant to environmental wear and tear, decks made of Ipe will remain beautiful long after other materials have faded or failed..
While it’s rainforest origins may be off-putting, rest assured that Ipe is a very environmentally friendly choice in hardwoods, even when compared against composite materials. Harvested from carefully maintained farms, the Ipe wood products on the market are produced with concern for the earth. The longevity of a well-crafted project using Ipe will attest to it’s green nature. Expectancies for decks made of Ipe exceed the maximum standard of 25-plus years by far. Many installations retain their charming appeal in excess of fifty years. Not having to replace your deck in the future saves trees, and money when looked as the investment that an Ipe deck truly is. Certainly, the initial cost may be higher, but the lasting beauty of Ipe wood will prove to be an economical choice over time.
The rich color of this unique hardwood will bring elegance to your design. By using Ipe, you’re ensuring that your carefully designed deck, waterfront or other outdoor space will remain a place of beauty for many years to come. Highly impenetrable to mold, fungus and insects, this durable and environmentally sound choice in hardwoods is the wave of the future. Bask in the compliments regarding the visual appeal of your new addition, and then tell them about what a sound choice you made for the earth as well. Your wise selection will be thanked year after year by the lasting appeal of a Ipe wood deck. Tested against hurricanes, Ipe holds up to most any natural forces that can be found. Retaining it’s wonderful shade, Ipe will be a beautiful addition to your outdoor spaces for generations to come.

IPE, the exotic beauty

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

IPE (ee-pay): the long lasting Brazillian outdoors hardwood.

Commonly referred to by the brand name Iron Wood, this organically fire resistant building material holds a US Forest Lab rating for 25 plus years durability. With a naturally tight grain that stands up against water, decay, and woodborers, IPE is well suited for docks, decks, and other exterior applications.

Although easily cut and drilled with standard carbide wood working tools, IPE is a true hardwood and requires pre-drilling before fastening. It comes in standard lumber sizes, weathers (when unfinished) into a beautiful silver-gray, and resists movement damage. Being basically free of knots or sapwood, each board is almost perfectly clear. When correctly sealed, it can be expected to maintain a vibrant brown to golden tan color. Very little maintenance is required.

The variety of furnished lumber sizes is sufficient to fit any project. Standard decking size is 4/4 (3/4” net thickness), and when placed on 24” centers will provide a one hundred pound live load rating. IPE is considered premium lumber and has been used in commercial applications such as the Atlantic City boardwalk.

So how does IPE stack against other outdoor lumber products?

· Pressure-treated lumber – is usually pine or fir that has been infused with chemicals that make it rot and insect resistant. If not kept sealed, stained, or painted it is susceptible to quick weather damage. Inexpensive but easy to warp and splinter, PT lumber requires much care in pre-construction board selection.

· Naturally resistant species – such as cedar, redwood, and cypress do not require pressure treatment. Note, however, that the natural resistance is limited to the core of the tree. The outer, cream-colored sapwood of the tree is no more rot resistant than a toothpick. Unless sealed or stained, the sapwood portions of these lumbers will weather to various shades and grays. Most of today’s market will include much sapwood.

· Exotic species – in which stands the IPE, are more durable, more difficult to work, and more expensive than the previously discussed lumbers. But for those who seek that special look, IPE with its greater beauty, a 3-5 times increase in life span, and a stronger damage resistance factor is competitively priced.

Building hint: use the inexpensive lumbers for the less exposed understructure, and then go for the gusto with the exposed.

Using Ipe for a Deck vs other common woods

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

The Advantages Of Ipe Decking

A deck can be a wonderful addition to your home, a place where friends and family congregate during get togethers or where you can unwind at the end of a long, hard day of work. More than just a place to set up a couple of lounge chairs and a table, though, a deck can be a true extension of your home; in many ways, decks extend the livable space of your home, offering you a whole extra area to spread out. Since it can be such an important part of a home, the way that a deck is designed matters a lot – and few materials offer better characteristics than Ipe.

The Practical Benefits Of Ipe

In terms of durability and construction, you simply can’t do much better than Ipe. This hardwood has many natural qualities that other woods can only hope to replicate through artificial means; for instance, Ipe requires to preservation treatment yet will outlast any other material you can find. Through years of exposure to UV rays, insects and pests, the weather and other natural elements, Ipe comes through with flying colors – and retains its natural color and appeal, too.

The hard, dense nature of Ipe lends itself well to high quality deck construction. Where other woods require constant maintenance to keep them intact and presentable, Ipe can be installed and then not worried about or fussed over. The yearly hassle of having to stain and treat other types of material is not an issue with Ipe, saving homeowners a lot of money – and freeing them from the annoyance of using harsh chemicals and other treatments just to keep their deck from rotting away.

The Aesthetic Qualities Of Ipe

Beyond the excellent construction and durability offered by Ipe, its aesthetic qualities are unmatched by any other material. Ipe naturally has a rich, attractive color that goes well and enhances virtually any home or its landscaping. The fine grain quality of this gorgeous wood makes it a pleasure to behold; no matter what style you are envisioning for your deck, there’s no question that Ipe can meet – and exceed – your expectations. Ipe decking offers an elegant ambiance that will make this the favorite part of your home.

Friends and family who stop by to visit – or who come to attend a gathering at your house – are certain to exclaim at the gorgeous quality of your Ipe decking. Many will be convinced that you have used a material that has been enhanced with stains and other treatments; imagine their surprise when you tell them that the wood is all natural and untreated. The sheer texture of fine grain Ipe will have many guests insisting that it must be artificially created, too.

Out of all the materials you can choose to create a deck for your home, Ipe is far and beyond the finest choice. Without the use of chemicals and other unnatural, harsh treatments it glows with unbeatable beauty. The durable nature of this wood will allow you to enjoy your Ipe decking for years to come. Ultimately, Ipe decking is an investment in quality that you will be glad to have made.

Select an Everlasting Hardwood for Residential Flooring

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Residential flooring has to be able to handle plenty of traffic and weight from an assortment of people and pets. Many people opt for hardwood flooring because, unlike carpeting, wood doesn’t retain bacteria, mites, fleas or dust. Hardwood flooring is good looking, durable and when sealant has been applied, cleaning with a dust or wet mop is very low maintenance.

There are numerous wood choices on the market today to use for residential flooring purposes. Oak has been a perennial favorite because it is among the hardest of woods, able to take the punishment of plenty of family traffic yet still be durable and beautiful. Color choices range from deep reds to white.

Maple wood is another durable choice featuring a hardness that resists scratches and marring. Color choices range from pale white to reddish brown.

For a flooring with a more rustic feel, pine is a less expensive choices than oak or maple. But because it is a softwood, it is not as durable as hardwood options and shows dents and scratches much more readily.

Teak has long been prized for its resistance to rot, fungi and mildew and is an excellent choice for areas in the home where dampness occurs such as kitchens and bathrooms.

Bamboo woods are gaining in popularity as an environmentally sound residential flooring choice. It’s prized for its exotic looking striped grain, and like teak, resists moisture and is a solid choice for humid climates.

One of the fastest rising stars of the residential flooring market is Ipe, also known as Brazilian Walnut, rated as the hardest and most durable wood choice available.

Ipe is an excellent hardwood residential flooring choice because liquid spills can be mopped up without soaking into the surace. Ipe is a hardwood that is decay, rot and insect resistant, making it a perfect choice for tropical and humid climates. In addition, Ipe is extremely fire resistant, an outstanding safety feature.

Color choices range from lighter golden browns to olive greens, and black and brown, although color uniformity can pose a problem. Because of its extreme hardness, installing Ipe requires special drills and saws to prevent the wood from splitting. But Ipe’s overall beauty and durability make it an outstanding residential hardwood flooring selection.

The Optimal Wood for Wharf Decking is Ipe

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

When it comes to choosing the right wood for wharf decking, nothing comes close to ipe. Pronounced “ee pay,” ipe is a beautiful, dense, dark wood that comes from the forests of Brazil. There are many reasons to choose ipe over other types of wood.

Natural beauty. With its deep, dark, almost blood red color, ipe stands out when compared to bland pines and cedars. Ipe gives a wharf a dark, dramatic look that many people will admire. Ipe is considered by many to look similar to mahogany, but ipe is generally darker and more consistent in color. Additionally, ipe ages in a much more desirable manner than mahogany. While mahogany becomes dull and bland as time passes, ipe ages in to a beautiful, gleaming silver.

Durability. While most construction grade woods last ten to twenty years with regular maintenance, ipe lasts upwards of twenty five years with zero maintenance at all. With proper maintenance, ipe can last as long as one hundred years. This is attributable to ipe’s ultra dense, hard qualities. And while certain wharf woods are susceptible to fire, water, or mold damage, ipe is almost completely resistant to these sort of hazards. Because many types of wharf woods in the recent past have become scarce, things like blended pine and mahogany are being seen in construction wood. These woods are generally very low grade and are barely construction worthy. Compare this to ipe which will always be made of whole woods.

Safety. Because ipe is not flammable and does not warp or lose its integrity to mold and water, there is a significantly reduced chance of any sort of wharf failure. In fact, ipe is so tough that its fire rating is comparable to that of cement or steel. Additionally, ipe does not splinter like the more common pine, so there is no risk of foot injuries with the simple act of walking barefoot on the wharf. Ipe is almost abnormally strong, and will never pose an integrity risk to a wharf. More common woods like teak, pine, and cedar gradually weaken over time and become damaged by water and mold. If this damage goes on for too long, the wood becomes irreparably damaged and must be replaced, which can be a gigantic job.

Ipe is such a desirable wood that San Francisco’s famous Fisherman’s Wharf uses almost exclusively ipe wood. The number one choice for wharf wood all over the world is ipe, and for very good reason. With beauty, durability, and safety, ipe can not be beat as a choice for wharf wood.