IPE Decking

Natural, Long Lasting Beauty: Getting to Know IPE Decking

IPE Decking

IPE (pronounced ē-pay) – Tabebuia serratifolia – is a South American hardwood that is one of the hardest woods on earth (3 times harder than oak!). Due to its hardness and natural ability to resist decay, IPE provides superior service when used for decking, patios, piers/boat docks, outdoor furniture, walkways, and poolside benches and decks.

Lewis Lumber deals exclusively with suppliers who have documented their compliance of the Lacey Act (US Federal law to prevent illegal procurement of log and lumber products).

IPE has a natural, rich, dark brown color and left unstained it will gradually age to a lighter  brown with gray overtones. However, IPE can be stained to retain its rich, dark brown color or it can be stained to give it a glossier finish. No matter how you choose to finish your deck, IPE requires no chemical preservatives to keep it smooth and splinter free and its naturally safe.


Other Benefits of IPE Decking

  • Knot free
  • Decay and termite resistant
  • Due to the density of the wood, it will not cup, bow, or twist like treated pine.
  • Durability rating of 25 years plus by the U.S. Forest Products Lab.
  • NFPA UBC I fire rating — same as steel and concrete!
  • Competitively priced as compared to cedar, redwood, or composite decking (TREX).


IPE vs. S. Yellow Pine CCA

IPE Treated Pine
Bending Strength 25963 psi 13100 psi
Work to Maximum Load 22 in-lbs/cu. in. 11 in-lbs/cu. in.
Shear Strength 2048 psi 1390 psi
Weight 62 lbs/cu. ft. 36 lbs/cu. ft


Decking material is available
in the following dimensions

5/4 x 6″ 2″ x 2″ 2″ x 4″
2″ x 6″ 2″ x 8″ 4″ x 4″

All dimensions above are available in various lengths.

Other Sizes also available.


Suggested IPE Spans

Nominal Size 40 PSF 60 PSF 100 PSF
1×4 32″ 28″ 24″
5/4 x 6 42″ 38″ 32″
2 x 4 62″ 56″ 48″



IPE is an extremely dense tropical hardwood with excellent durability and performance characteristics. When properly installed, IPE, will provide many years of service. IPE is rated very resistant to attack by decay fungi and termites by the USDA Forest Products Lab.

IPE is supplied as partially air-dried and is suitable for outdoor use.IPE should be kept dry, covered and stored out of direct sunlight. It should be allowed to acclimate to local humidity conditions, and stacked on blocks up off the ground, with thin strips placed between layers to allow for adequate ventilation. By acclimating IPE to Local conditions, prior to installation, your decking will be more uniform. Due to naturally occurring alkali present in IPE, which gives IPE its long lasting durability, avoid prolonged inhalation of sawdust, wear eye protection and wash up thoroughly after handling.

Installation, Cutting, and Drilling:
A gap of 1/16″ between deck boards is recommended to aid in air circulation; shrinkage of 1/16″ on 4″ wide boards; 1/8″ on 6″ wide boards can be expected, after installation, when lumber is fully seasoned. The use of carbide saw blades and premium drill bits along with, pre-drilling and countersinking before screwing or nailing is recommended due to high density of IPE.

End Sealing:
Seal all ends immediately after cutting with “Anchorseal” or equal in order to reduce end checking.

We recommend stainless steel fasteners to provide longer service life and eliminate potential chemical reaction or staining of the wood. We do not recommend galvanized or coated fasteners due to shorter service life of these types of fasteners; as they will wear out before IPE does.

Due to its natural durability, IPE does not require any sealer-ever. Like all wood, IPE will age to a silver patina over time. Some installers use a pigmented water base sealer with U/V inhibitor to maintain the rich walnut color, which will need to be reapplied as needed.
We carry Bush Oil and Penofin these products can be used on a variety of our wood products to protect the wood and bring out the natural wood characteristics. Please contact us for more information.

These spans are designed for minimal deflection of the deck surface. IPE has been tested and rated fire-resistant without any additional treatment. (NFPA CODE, CLASS A and UBC CODE, CLASS 1)


Suggested Installation Tips

  • We suggest using pressure treated pine for joists and any other unseen structural parts of your project.
  • You will find it easier to pre-drill all screw holes before attaching decking to joists. IPE is so dense that it ss virtually impossible to drive nails or screw through it without pre-drilled holes.
  • At Lewis Lumber Products we stock everything you will need for your IPE project — the lumber, joist hangers, non-staining screws, and stains.



Lewis Lumber deals exclusively with suppliers who have documented their compliance of the Lacey Act (US Federal law to prevent illegal procurement of log and lumber products).

More than just a lumber company, Lewis Lumber Products is dedicated to providing the highest quality lumber products, including FSC® products to meet your needs.

Lewis Lumber Products

Lewis Lumber Products
P.O. Box 356
30 S. Main St.
Picture Rocks, PA 17762-0356
USA Phone: (800) 233-8450 / Fax: (570) 584-4466
E-mail: [email protected]