Three Cost-Effective Ipe Wood Alternatives

Ipe is one of the hardest woods on earth and has long been the standard of hardwood decking. For decades, Ipe wood has been a popular choice across Asia, the US, and Europe. Exterior and interior designers and builders prefer to use Ipe because of its durability and beauty. Ipe wood has a luxurious brown color and grain, and Ipe decks last for decades as it resists termites and rot.

Because of its strength and durability, Ipe is high in demand. It is also on the expensive side. If you’re planning to build a deck that can make a statement without spending so much, here are three options that you can use as alternatives to Ipe.


Ipe’s density makes it durable and resistant to fire and bugs. This characteristic is ideal for hardwood decking. Cumaru exhibits similar attributes as it is almost as dense as Ipe wood. When it comes to looks, Cumaru is similar to Ipe in terms grain pattern with a slightly redder color.



Garapa is a perfect choice if you want to build a durable deck in a lighter color. Although it has a different color and grain pattern compared to Ipe, Garapa is almostas durable. Like Ipe,this type of wood is grown in rainforests, it naturally resists water damage and decay. It can last up to 25 years without preservatives. The appealing brown streaks in this yellow-colored hardwood become a beautiful russet golden brown through the years.


A reddish hue and tiger striping characterize Tigerwood. It may look different, but it performs similarly to Ipe decking in terms of durability and timelessness. Do note, however, that left on its own, this type of wood turns into a rustic gray as it naturally ages over the years. It needs to be oiled to keep the original color as much as possible. Clear sealers can also protect tigerwood deck boards from rain and dirt.


These three alternatives for Ipe woodare good choices if you want to use less expensive wood choices for your deck project. You can contact premium hardwood suppliers that supply across different continents. They can offer you top-quality hardwood options and can guide you throughout the installation process.


About the Author:

Bruce Master is the general manager at Advanced Building Supplies.  Advanced Building Supplies, aka ABSWood, specializes in a full line of Brazilian Hardwood products including Ipe, Garapa, Cumaru and Tigerwood. Exotic woods are a natural outgrowth for Bruce as he comes from a long line of woodworkers. His Grandfather and Father were both respected wood craftsmen and cabinetmakers. In addition to managing ABS, Bruce designs, plans, and installs his own decks. Before selling Brazilian Hardwoods, Bruce worked as a generalist at a huge Ace Hardware in Miami Florida that catered to an almost exclusive clientele of contractors working on Miami Beach.




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