Ipe Advice Please

jennygladMay 4, 2009

I am having a 650 sft screened porch built on my house. It will be raised about 12ft off the ground with the lower level screened as well. I have decided on Ipe as my decking but am tron between the t&g and the traditional decking. I like the modern look of the decking compared to the t&g (which I thing has a country look) but do think it is silly for me to use the decking on a screened porch? We live on the water with a lot of humidity and I am going to have plants on the porch.

Also, I am hearing a lot of you guys say that you do not like clip system. I like how it looks without the nail or screw head exposed. What is your advice?

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Do Not Use the Clips when installing Ipe. J.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 4:35PM
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I went T&G with my garapa and it looks incredible...hidden screws. They run the boards through a planer when they do the T&G (at least east teak does) so the boards are super smooth..

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 6:54PM
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Ipe is a good choice.

"I like how it looks without the nail or screw head exposed."

This is called blind fastening and there are 2 tried and true methods for achieving this look: T&G material, or counterbore each screw hole and fill with wood plugs.

Understand T&G = tongue and groove. The top and bottom surfaces of the board are normal, planed smooth to a uniform thickness, the edges are milled; tongue on one side groove on the other.

The sides of each board mate T to G. The deck screws are hidden in the grooved edge of each board, the groove also holds down the tongue of the next board. T&G material is the only way to blind screw 100% invisible (all the hidden fastening systems on the market are actually visible in the gaps between the boards). Plugs are another fine method of hblind fastening, but the plug is still visible. You can select the plugs for color variations and line up the grain of the plug with the rest of the board and they will be nearly invisible.

Avoid all the hidden fastening systems. If a contractor insists on using one, find someone else. People have been building fine decks for hundreds of years without these new hidden systems and the advent of such systems has added no value to the bottom line product.

Think of the hidden fastener system as a middleman between the decking and joist. He raises the cost, slows down production, and provides an inferior product. Then he flakes and splits town when the customer really needs him to come through. (a few months down the road when the boards start cupping) Eliminate the middleman and go directly to the source. Put your customer (the deck board) directly in connection with your source (the joist).

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 7:10PM
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Very well said Aidan. J.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 5:21AM
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Hi all:
I received the following proposal of an IPE deck that I'm planning to build:

"the deck will be built as follows: pressure treated 2 x 10's for the floor joists, bolted to the house and anchored to the new footers. Then 1 x 6 groowed Ipe installed on top for decking with hidden anchors, and 1 x 6 for the fascia. The Ipe will be continous with no seams."

Does this mean he's planning to use the "hidden system" as per discussed above? Can anyone please kindly explain? Thanks a lot!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 8:16PM
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J you need to ask your Contractor these Questions.

John Mon

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 9:23PM
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