Archive for the ‘Interior Design’ Category

Installing Hardwood Flooring – Part 2

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

When we last left you, you have already gotten the directions to get this party started. Now comes some of the really important stuff. Hop to it!


This is just another way of saying “arranging the planks.” You want to mix things-up, so spread-out your hardwood flooring into a couple of bundles. Put them in some order – like the really dark ones there, the next shade down over there, the medium and light hues over there. This will allow you to keep from turning the surface into slabs of single colors. An additional tip: Place their tongues from those piles in the same direction.

Kids in the Hall

Those who are doing a hallway along with a room should start in that area right off-the-bat. That way you’ll be able to meet the hall with the soon-to-be resurfaced room. You may be forced to slam ‘em together edge-to-edge. That the case? Cut a piece called a spline. You want it to be wide enough to snuggle betwixt the slot in the hall, around halfway into its groovy neighbor. Simply slide the groove of one side to the splined tongue.

Kissing One Plank to the Next

You don’t want the seams to align, right?

Stick the first board to the wall foundation you created in part one. You may need to take a half-foot from the top so that the seams will be staggered. Use a ½ inch spacer at the end where the top of the plank meets the walls, then start joining the wood. Make a couple of pilot holes in the tongues. Nail and countersink them, but not through the face. The tongues are where you hammer the fasteners. Row-by-row follow this practice. After you get the third row down, it’s time to simplify things by using the flooring nailer. Fiddle with the air pressure to ensure that you countersink the nails.

Remember, you always want to keep a ¾ inch spacer between the wall and the edge of the plank. And mind the seams so they don’t make a little-bitty creek-spaces across the horizontal surface.

Got a board that’s warped or bowed? Set them aside. Best bet, when you’re almost finished, take them back to the place you purchased them and get replacements.

Something’s in the Way

So, you have a fireplace, floor-to-ceiling beam or some other obstruction. Easy to fix. Cut the planks to wrap around the difficult points.

When you run into a corner, jig sawing is required. Cut to fit. Leave a ½ inch expansion gap at the end of the plank and a ¾ inch space along the edges.

Final Rows

You’re now going to leave the flooring nailer portion of the show. Drill a slew of pilot holes. Do not connect them to the sub-surface until you’ve put all of the planks in place. Obviously, unless you are extremely lucky, you’re going to have to do some cutting. Use your table saw for this part. After these modified planks are in place, stick a little scrap wood on the wall to squeeze everything in order. You’ll end-up face nailing and countersinking so everything stays steady.

Trim Job

Being mostly done with the floor, reattach the molding and baseboards. The baseboard should be flush with the floor. Attach it with nails and lay down a sheet of paper on the surface of the hardwood. Atop the paper (so that you leave an ever-so-slight gap) nail the shoe molding to the baseboard.

Nice work! Just don’t ever tell your neighbors that you did it yourself. Print out Parts 1 and 2 of this post and wish them good luck. You don’t want to end-up doing this for them unless you and they are interested in a relationship that may lead to doing something, somewhere else other than the freshly laid floor.

Ipe Cumaru Tigerwood Garapa comparison chart

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

See the below chart. To link to this chart use the code below.

Click the image below to enlarge.

Strenth Tests for Ipe Cumarau Tigerwood Garapa

Ipe Wood comes from the tree Tabebuia

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

The wonderful disease and insect resistant wood from the Tabebuia genus trees is used for decks, outdoor furniture and other exterior structures because of the durability and weather-resistance. Called ipe in some locales, the tabebuia is found from Northern Mexico to Northern Argentina and all places in between, including the Caribbean Islands. The 100 species of this genus grow as shrubs and trees of up to medium size. They are planted along boulevards as ornamentals because of their flowering beauty. The flowers often appear on leafless limbs before the foliage grows again after the dry season hiatus.

The demand for the ipe wood in the USA has caused environmental concerns and efforts are being made to control the harvesting of the tabebuia, particularly in the Amazon, where much of the marketable timber grows. The famed Coney Island boardwalk in Brooklyn, New York is of ipe wood. The life-cycle of the ten-mile long boardwalk is about 25 years and is then replaced with more ipe wood. The Wildwood, New Jersey boardwalk was partially replaced in 2008-9 with ipe wood. In the Amazon the density of ipe wood trees is only one or two trees per acre so the Coney Island boardwalk required the searching for and harvesting of the trees from more than 83,000 acres. Fortunately, the tree adapts well to farming and much of the ipe wood now used comes from cultured plantings.

Spurred on by environmental organizations, the illegal harvesting and exporting of ipe wood has been greatly curtailed. Buyers may ask for and receive certification of the origins of the lumber they purchase, assuring compliance with the new international regulations. Almost all of the ipe coming into the USA is legally harvested, much of it coming from the aforementioned tree farms.

In addition to the fine hardwood and ornamental values, the bark of some species of tabebuia trees has medicinal properties. Shredded and brewed in a tea that is used during flu season and for easing “smokers cough,” the bitter brew contains curative flavonoids that reportedly are very helpful. The bark from some species is used in topical applications as an insect repellent or antibiotic.

Ipe Wood for your next bridge design

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

Ipe wood is a relatively new type of wood that has been used for decking, furniture, and other uses. It comes from the hardwood tree of genus Tabebuia, found in places ranging from Mexico to the more southern Venezuela and Argentina, as well as in the Caribbean islands and Cuba. Hardwood from these trees is more durable, dense, and harder to warp. Ipe wooding has been known to withstand even hurricane force winds! It is also resistant to insects, mold, UV light, and thus is widely being used in place of other types of hardwoods. Ipe wood even has a Class A fire rating, which makes this wood as fireproof as other materials that have a Class A fire rating, like concrete and steel! Not only is it the practical choice for outdoor use, but it is also a beautiful wood, with a vibrant, rich color and fine grain quality.
Though Ipe wood costs more than other kinds of hardwood, you will certainly not regret making the decision to use it. Repair, upkeep, and replacement costs for other hardwoods will add up to more than the difference in original price, plus the hassle of making these repairs and replacements will cause homeowners much worry. Ipe wood, with its 25 years plus durability rating, will not give you these problems. Pine or fir hardwoods easily warp and require constant upkeep and repainting. Cedar, redwood, and cyprus, while insect and rot resistant, fade easily and thus also require constant upkeep. Ipe wood, on the other hand, is approximately twice as dense and five times harder than these woods, not to mention the fact that Ipe wood does not fade as easily and does not need to be re-stained. Though some of these types of hardwood are cheaper than Ipe wood, they are more susceptible to damage and fading than Ipe wood is. Cedar and redwood are priced about the same as Ipe wood, yet they are clearly inferior products.
Ipe wood is even environmentally responsible! Everlasting Hardwoods encourages sustainable and renewable forestry practices. With Ipe wood, toxic chemicals for weather and insect resistance and fading are not necessary.
For your next bridge design, consider using Ipe wood! It is not only beautiful but also strong and damage resistant, making it the ideal hardwood for small bridges of any kind.

What wood should I use for my deck?

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

What’s greater than a beautiful deck to enhance the appearance of your home, increase your home’s value and make your entire yard more functional? Barbecues with friends, quiet evenings watching the sunset, waking up to an early morning sunrise with a hot cup of something good – these are all reasons that compel homeowners to build wood decks.

Now, before you actually build your deck or buy one stick of wood, take a few minutes to drive around your neighborhood. Observe visible decks and ask yourself whether they enhance the appearance of the home, or detract from it. We’re not suggesting that you poke around people’s yards here. But, really, do your best to identify the types of wood these decks are made of. It won’t take long for you to realize what kind of wood is most popular, easiest to maintain, inexpensive and of poor quality, etc.

It’s a big job to build a deck. This is a project that requires the use of high-quality materials that are durable, reasonably priced, resistant to rot and pests, and easy to maintain. If you take time to build a beautiful deck with poor quality materials, the deck could end up being an eyesore in a very short time.
Some wood types most commonly used to build decks are:
•Western Red Cedar

Now these wood varieties have been used for building decks for years. They all have their benefits and drawbacks. Some have to be repeatedly maintained with oils and stains while others are less resistant to the elements. It’s becoming more and more common for people to use synthetic materials to build decks, but synthetics come with a whole new set of problems.

We’ve used them all for various projects. Suffice it to say that our winning pick is … not on the list. See, we like Ipe. Ipe is a simply amazing South American hardwood with an extremely fine grain and deep, rich color. We like it because it is:
•Bug resistant
•Rot resistant
•Very hard
•Extremely fire resistant
•UV degradation resistant
•Mold resistant
•Warp resistant
•Absolutely beautiful

Ipe is admittedly more costly than many other wood types, but it’s worth the investment. Ipe is a hardwood. It comes from a tree of the genus Tabebuia. When purchasing this product, which originates in rain forests, it’s important to be sure your product is harvested with environmental responsibility. Don’t be afraid to ask your Ipe vendor for information about how the wood is obtained. You can even ask for an environmental statement.

The benefits of using Ipe

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Ipe Decking is made from wood of the highest quality and durability and is commonly used on large commercial projects such as piers and boardwalks. Recently, Ipe has begun to be used on residential projects as well. Ipe Decking has many benefits far exceeding woods traditionally used for residential decking projects. Although it is more expensive than traditionally used woods, it lasts so long that it is well worth the start up cost. It is remarkable for its beauty, durability and resistance to almost all forms of weathering and destruction, including fire.

Ipe Decking is noteworthy for its beauty, with warm colors ranging from reddish-brown to russet. The grain of the wood is highly varied and intricate, making it a visual pleasure. While many types of decking have visible wear after only 5 years, Ipe’s beauty lasts 25 years and longer.

Ipe Decking is unique for its durablility, which is due largely to its density. Ipe weighs up to 69 pounds per cubic foot, nearly twice the density of woods commonly used for decking. Its excessive density gives the decking the ability to resist wear. Rot, damaging UV rays, termites, fire, chemicals and other forces that commonly wear out and destroy decking are naturally resisted by Ipe. Its density also means its possesses strength and hardness far exceeding traditional domestic woods. Warping, bending, splintering and movement while in use are all kept to a minimum.

Even on large commercial applications, Ipe Decking has a 25-year durability rating. Ipe’s ability to resist the tremendous wear that boardwalks and piers receive ensures the potential for an even longer life on residential applications. Not only is Ipe able to beautifully last for a long time, it requires little maintenance to do so. Labor required to apply preservatives and treatments can be eliminated, even when the decking is in contact with the ground.

If beauty and durability are important characteristics for you when choosing a decking, look no further than Ipe. Despite higher costs than other types of decking, Ipe possesses a much higher value and quality for the money. Your new Ipe Decking will be extremely durable, and maintain its remarkable beauty not for 5 or 10 years, but for 25 years or more.

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.