The Structural Values Of Brazilian Hardwoods

July 9, 2019 By

Why use tropical hardwoods for your decking project?

Tropical hardwoods are among the hardest, most durable products you can use for your outdoor deck. These long lasting species are dense and resistant to scratches, rot, and insects. Here’s what you need to know before you choose your wood.

Durability: In general, tropical hardwoods can last from 30-50 years. In addition to this amazing longevity, they are so dense that they can easily withstand damage from pets, children, weather, and incidental wear-and-tear.

Low maintenance: While a UV protective oil finish will help to maintain your deck’s original color, as natural woods age, they weather to a beautiful silver-gray patina. Many homeowners enjoy the natural look of this weathering process but consider applying a finish to your deck annually if you don’t mind the extra maintenance.

Variety: There many different types of tropical hardwoods. Here at Hardwood Decking Supply, we sell ipe, batu, garapa, cumaru, and tigerwood. These species provide a variety of looks to suit every project, at a variety of prices to suit every budget. Whether you’re looking for the renowned hardness of ipe, the stunning stripes of tigerwood, or the strength and affordability of batu, you’ll find something that’s perfect for your home. No matter what you choose, you can be confident that your finished deck will be durable and long-lasting.

What about the downsides to using tropical hardwood?

There are a few things to take into consideration. First, tropical hardwoods are slow-growing species that are imported from countries like Brazil, so their prices are higher than those of domestic species.

Secondly, tropical hardwoods are heavy! You will face challenges when lifting and working with this wood due to its density. Plus, since these species are so hard, they require special tools, like carbide-tipped saw blades, and special construction methods, like pre-drilling screw holes.

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Ipe: Ipe is the hardest of the Brazilian hardwoods. It is regarded as the most sought after and best exterior decking material available because of its durability, hardness (3,680 lbs on the Janka Rating), long life expectancy of over 50 years, and beautiful rich dark brown hue.

Garapa: Garapa is a naturally durable and scratch-resistant Brazilian timber. This hardwood, which is often compared to ipe, is chosen for its durability, kiln-dried performance, and value. It has beautiful hues of light yellow to a honey golden brown color, which lighten to a silvery gray with age.

Cumaru: Cumaru is the second hardest Brazilian hardwood, almost 3 times harder than oak and a more economical choice for your exterior deck than ipe hardwood decking, while still maintaining premium quality. Cumaru is a smart choice for residential deck projects because it is resistant to insects, mold, mildew, and decay, and has a life expectancy of 50+ years.

Tigerwood: With its reddish-brown color and unique tiger-like dark stripes, tigerwood is unlike any other hardwood. This durable wood is the third hardest of the Brazilian hardwoods and is naturally resistant to rot and decay. It has a typical lifespan of 50+ years.

Batu: With its reddish-brown color, batu is a great way to attain the classic look of genuine mahogany without the high price tag and costly upkeep. Batu, like most tropical hardwoods, resists rot, decay, and pests, and with its strength and durability, can last well over 39 years.

Questions? Not sure what type of hardwood is best for your deck project? Call our decking experts at 866-452-2573.

We’ll help you make the best decision by taking the specifics of your project into account, along with other factors like budget and climate. Our goal is to provide you with all the information you need in order to build a deck that will delight you for decades to come!


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