What is the best way to purchase Ipe decking (approx. 750 sq. ft) Is it safe to purchase over the internet? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
It depends on where you are. Several 'internet' companies have been recommended here. I got lucky and found a local guy (Stoughton, Mass) that had free delivery, let me select the boards I wanted, and accepted returns (leftovers). In my opinion, that's worth paying a little extra (vs the internet guy), although in this case he was priced less than the internet guys (about $2.00 per square foot, as I recall).
Give East Teak a call,,,George or Wayne..800 338 5636..I do a lot of business with these folks,,good material, good prices, quick delivery,good people,in 3 years of dealing with them I have never had a bad board,,,John Hyatt deckmastersllc.com
I couldnt find T&G Ipe on Long Island, so I ordered from Banner Elk in Georgia. 120 nine foot pieces shipped with only 2 that were a little banged up. Price wasnt terrible either. A search should bring up the Banner Elk website.
In New York,,Advantage Lumber,,full service mill like East Teak,,,ipe galore,,,877 232 3915 Rob Pelc,,,John Hyatt deckmastersllc.com
I read here that ebty clips cant be used for 3/4" ipe...is that the case? no such info ofund on the ebty site...
Noppers,,not good to use ebty on 3/4'' material, John Hyatt deckmastersllc.com
why not ebty on 3/4" ipe? I did...I also glued the boards down . 3 years and no problems..
I talked with the reps at ebty, they said it's OK to use the clips with 3/4" ipe, but to set the bottom of the clip flush on the joist to set it as low as possible. Obviously, it will be more visible than when used with 1" boards.
John: have you tried it with 3/4 and been unhappy with the results?
What about air circulation under Ipe decks to prevent warping? I have been told that the deck needs to be 4' off the ground or to install a fan for circulation. My proposed deck will be about 1-2' off the ground.
Also - bottom line best fastners for Ipe?
Thanks in advance for your help.
On the height of the deck, I'd like to know that as well. I need to put in a deck that's about 11" off the ground, and was thinking of ipe as well. Specifically because of the lower height and the accompanying decrease in ventilation.
Anyone heard about the 4' height mentioned by the poster above? What could I expect with about 11" of clearance?
Hey guys,,,ventalation is a must for any decking material, and vastley over looked,,we use screen vents for cross ventlation,,on the clips,,they dont really fasten the decking to the joice,,thats why the co calls for counstruction adhesive underneath,,to make up for uneven or warped joice,,not for holding power,,using them is a gamble,sometimes they work,,but when they dont as in the wood shrinking or warping causing the clips to pop out of the slot,,you just spent all that time and money for nothing and you end up going back and face fasting and even when they do work the clip and the screw still show and the gap needed is a little much,,which brings us to the bottom line best way to fasten any decking,,face fasten,,if you dont want the screws to show pre drill twice and install plugs,,a lot of sanding true,,but it always works,, I have several 1x6 T & G Ipe decks out,,no screws showing this way at all,,two of them worked there way out of the grove,,5 of them dident,,George ( east teak ) an I still havent found out why some work and some dont,,one of his was 14' off the ground and went crazy,,I have several porches with 1x4 t&g ipe out with the normal 2'' off the slab, hardley any ventlation at all,,doing fine after 3 years or so,,so now you know almost everything I do,,using the clips with 3/4 material is twice the gamble as using 1'' or 11/2'' material, this is what I have seen over the 10 years or so I have been puting down Ipe,,,John Hyatt deckmastersllc.com
Wow, thanks for all the information...I was thinking about using clips, but may just use screws from the top as usual. I'm not a big risk-taker for the long term, and seeing screw heads in the surface of a deck has never really bothered me.
As to ventilation, well, as you say, you get all you can.
What do you recommend for joist/structural material for ipe decks? I've seen some brownish pressure-treated wood (non-CCA), is this sort of thing recommended, or have you had better experience with other alternatives?
Roger,,the ss trim head square drive screws we use all but disapear in the countersink,,using ipe plugs ( we make our own on the drill press) takes a little less time than the clips after you get into it,,If you can get cca, use it for your frame,,I really dont know what type of preasure treated we are going to be using after all the cca is gone,,a couple of my deck building buds have had health problems with the new copper acq material and we dont know how long it will last,there is also a borax treated coming out but it will leach out from ground contact,,dont even get me started on the whackos who got cca outlawed..anyway as long as I can get cca I will continue to give a 10 year warrenty on the frame of my projects,,but when its gone I am droping back to one year,,,John Hyatt deckmastersllc.com
Thanks again for the information. I hadn't heard about problems with the copper acq...According to what I've read, copper acq also requires stainless steel fasteners.
Bill98765...do you have the number and/or address of the stoughton, mass. ipe distributor? or any other local massachusetts distributor? Thanks
sure .... i guess the free pencil they gave me is paying off for them ... it's right here in my hand:
Downes & Reader Hardwood Inc
Evans Drive (off Central St)
Stoughton, MA 02072
If you use a proper hidden fastener such as the Ipe Clip fastener than there is no risk taking. I've been working with Ipe for about 7 years, the best way to go is pregrooved lumber (grooved on both edges for fasteners) with ipe clips. Not only is this method faster than screwing and plugging but it also gives you a much nicer and cleaner looking finish.
After researching many composite type decking products, my search became very confusing until I stumbled upon Ipe or Ironwood as I've seen it referred. This wood is absolutely beautiful and hard as concrete! I'm sure it will hold up very well here in sunny Southern California.
I should also mention that I purchased my lumber package from a company called Bannerelk Trading in Atlanta, GA after picking up a sample from a local supplier here in L.A. The local supplier's sample was fairly lightweight and also lighter in color. This contradicted all of the info. that I researched about this wood. There is a statement at the Bannerelk Trading website mentioning how wood from northern Brazil is darker and more dense than southern Brazil wood. When it arrived it met all of this criteria. They also had all the fasteners, oil and other items to help my contractor install the product.
WHAT A GREAT PRODUCT!
Here is a link that might be useful: BannerElk Trading Company
Okay, everyone is talking about Ipe so much. I do a lot of work on my boat, using teak and Honduran Mahogany. Both of these woods cost a fortune. I can't imagine the cost of the lumber for an Ipe deck. What kind of board foot cost is it?
skregg,,it all depends on how you buy it,you could look around this site and find some recomendations, if fact theres one up there^^^^...John
Skregg - I paid less than $2.00 per square foot to do my deck using 4/4 1X4 Ipe ... was cheaper than doug fir ... Bill.
Skregg, don't drop it overboard .. it'll sink like a rock !
Ok, I educated myself on Ipe, I'm very excited that such fine lumber is available at a relatively inexpensive price. My wife wanted TREX *cough* *gag*, for its low maintenance and splinter free wear until we saw Ipe. I love the way the Ipe looks with the dark Mesmers stain on it using the clips, totally gorgeous, the wife agrees. Anyway, how much maintenance is really required to keep that dark luster? Assume half day sun exposure in NJ. Is a fresh coat of Mesmers every 2 years all that is required?
I have never used Mesmers so I am intersted in how it works as well. John Hyatt deckmastersllc.com
How does a New Jersey guy wind up with a product, which was started with this tag line... " Made in Utah For Utah"
Messmer's. Facts about Messmer's. First let me preface by saying, congratulations. I am certain your deck looks fantastic. Now. You live in a high humidity area. Correct?I am from NY originally. Having acknowledged that, you know that mold and mildew can be problematic in your geographic location. Messmer's is primarly Linseed Oil. It Always has been. Now, Linseed only is very high in fatty acids, and these fatty acids are the feast of these creatures. Suprficially this is not a problem. HOWEVER, Ipe is very dense and if it becomes impregnated with mold, you will have a horrible mess on your hands. And the only cure at that point will be intensive chemical treatments.
Set yourself up for success . lose the Messmer's Look for a similar color offered from another manufacture and them work backwards checking off your needs. There have been an introduction of topcoats with mold and milewcides incorporated into them.
Thanks Dramerica,,,I get really worn out raking other finishes over the coals,,,the best finish for out door projects I have found after trying everything I could get my hands on is TWP 100 series,,two things to stay complety away from, anything with thomphens on the labal, and any behr product,,,John Hyatt deckmastersllc.com
By the way, anyone is welcome to send me an email if you have questions about Ipe. I can't promise that I'll get back to you promptly as we're swamped! (4-6 week lead time)
Outdoor Dreams, Inc.
Well Geoffrey,,wellcome aboard,,,!!! John
I am just finishing reinstallation of an Ipe deck and want to pass along my experiences. Initially, I used a contractor and consulted with local experts to make sure the job was done correctly, but we made several mistakes. The gorgeous, picture perfect deck that he built was a mess just four months later.
My contractor sealed the boards with Australian Timber Oil after sanding with 60 grit paper and cleaning each board with acetone. Our local timber yard (Truitte and White) recommended this procedure. After four months, the finish was gone! This is consistent with what Geoffrey reported. DO NOT SAND BEFORE SEALING.
He did not seal the underside as several experts told us this was not necessary. After four months, the boards began to cup. I learned from Geoffrey that this was caused by moisture seaping into the boards from underneath, causing the bottom to expand more than the top. It is an obvious outome when you think about it! SEAL BOTH SIDES.
You must wax every freshly cut end of Ipe. Otherwise, cracks will quickly appear. My contractor tried to be careful but he forgot quite a few and each and every one that he missed developed several cracks from one to three inches long four months later. If you are having someone install Ipe, I would check the boards myself to make sure each has been waxed. You can tell because the wax works its way slightly into the board and is visible from the top. If there is no wax, the color is uniform to the very end. It is not hard to remove single boards and wax them, after the fact. Once you notice cracks, they are much harder to fix and your contractor may be long gone. WAX FRESHLY CUT ENDS
Finally, he used an expensive undermount system that was clearly not working. The screws were very short and could not prevent the cupping. The treated lumber was already beginning to corrode the metal strips after four months. AVOID UNDERMOUNTED SYSTEMS
Here is how the problems were solved. As my contractor was gone, I hired a laborer to help me. We cleaned the boards with clorox and brightened them with oxalic acid. (You can buy pricy brand products which are essentially these chemicals.) We resealed with Messmer's this time, both sides. It has a powerful smell, so be sure to wear a mask! We removed all the short screws and turned the boards over to bake in the sun for a week. The excess moisture was reduced and the cupping disappeared. We cut off ends that were badly cracked. We turned each board back over and drilled from the top two 3/8" holes near the edges and over each joist. Trim Star screws worked easily and quickly. We tried to use these screws without countersinking and wooden "mushrooms" arose that were rough and unsightly. Other screws I tried were harder to install. I tried several samples on a piece of scrap Ipe. A great tool is the Bow Wrench. It is so easy to use and let's you install boards without a helper. Most boards are a little warped and you need to line them up against the adjacent board (with 1/8" gap). The Bow Wrench pulls the board straight and holds it steady, quickly and simply. It does not require that you hold it down with your leg, as does the Board Bender.
The final stage will be to insert Ipe plugs in the holes which are all lined up very nicely since we drew pencil guide lines with a long ruler. The deck gives the appearance of strength and craftsmanship with all this care.
Other problems are annoying, but I see no way around them. As opposed to redwood, Ipe is very heavy which is more fatiguing to work with and wears out drill bits and saw blades. I bought the best, and they still wear out quickly.
I hope to save others the headaches I have had with this material. It is beautiful and strong but there is a lot of misinformation out there about how to handle it.
Way to go Plate!! just one question...you want a job??John
We have now inserted the Ipe plugs and the finished look is very satisfying. There is a new wood glue available, called Titebond III, that should prove very useful. It is an improvement over the standard premium wood glue Titebond II because it sands like a dream and is more water resistant. Gorilla glue does not sand as easily and foams so much that it can push the plug out.
We sanded the plugs and treated again with Messmer's. It was interesting that the newly sanded areas (#40 grit) are very slow to take up the oil, as opposed to the unsanded wood right next to them. For the life of me, I cannot figure out why sanding wood with rough sandpaper makes it more impervious to oil. Can anyone explain this? Until we figure this out, many people will continue to make the mistake of sanding their decks before oiling. What a waste of labor!
Ipe is a dense oily wood. Exposed surfaces of the wood will eventually lose much of the oil due to sun, rain and wind. When you sand, no matter the grit, you scrape off the dried out wood exposing fresh oily wood, which in turn keeps other oils from penetrating. As per John Hyatt, in other posts, don't sand ipe before treating. The same thing occurs with teak, and I imagine any other oily woods.
The stock of Ipe' that I got has a few water stains,scratches, etc. on it. How would you reccomend treating the wood to get a nice smooth and even finish if it shouldn't be sanded?
I'm working on a IPE deck that is a few years old (South Carolina). The area that is exposed to the sun in bleached out very badly. The builder told me they did not treat it with anything, but in the unbleached area water beads up a bit. Homeowner wants the "wet" look...ie...when it is wet from rain and looking like the areas that are not bleached. Cna I use Tung oil ot teak oil on it to restore? ANY HELP WOULD BE APRECIATED...TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE! Thank you!
SBR, I agree, I'm conused as well... If I have a recently built IPE deck (been exposed now for approx. 4 monhts) with stains, scuffs, etc., how do I even out the surface before treating it with a stain/sealer? I too was thinking I needed to sand the whole deal...
Could I sand and then wait 2-3 months before sealing? Or should I pressure wash instead with chemicals?
Guys it dosent hurt ipe to sand it,thats one way to get the silver off,another way is to use a stripper and an oxilic acid wash,we never use a power washer on a deck but a lot of folks do. There is no reason to wait for anything but the right weather to put the finish on. John Hyatt
We removed old deck over our garage and want to replace it with an ipe deck. I want to use ipe 2x4s as stringers then put on 1x6 ipe boards. How much ventilation is necessary and how can I get it if I only have a maximum height of 2 1/2" to work with?
2x4 preasure treated stringers will be fine for 1x6 ipe,and the 1 1/2'' all around will be enough ventilation. John
Thanks for a very helpful post.
I have an ipe story from hell. I have a small 1st floor deck (17x10 ft) on an renovated old house and there was a leak on the flashing next to the entryway onto the deck. As part of the old deck would have to come off anyway, we decided to remove the pressure treated 3' boards and replace with beautiful ipe 5' boards. The contractor and I agreed that we would use the invisible EBTY biscuit & angled screw approach. Since this would be very slow, and I wanted to learn how to do this anyway, we agreed he would start the first two boards and I would do the rest until the final board against the side of the house. Problem is...he never came back! (He left me his nice dato saw though, and some other stuff). The trouble was, by the time we realized he was not coming back, it was December, and it had started to snow and didnt stop until April, AND WE HAD NOT YET SEALED THE BOARDS! By May, the boards clearly had shrunk, and there was now a variable 1/2 inch gap between the boards, and some of the biscuits are about to pop, not to mention the cupping going on!
What the hay am I going to do? It seems that my options are the following:
1) reverse the process and remove all the boards, then start over (doable given the glue job?)
2) try to squeeze the boards (not likely, since one side of each board is screwed in, and the last board would have to move some distance!)
3) go over the whole thing with another set of boards (this may work...would not have to deal with the non-parallel framing that is in there now).
What say ye all?
Could use some help.
I too am considering using IPE for a new deck, but have been reading through the above and now wonder if I am making the right choice. Too boot, my wife read in consumers report that IPE is the lowest rated material, so I have an uphill battle there as well.
I am a very versed carpenter, so actual build and install is not an issue, though I prefer not to drill and plug each fastener. Is it required to pre drill even without countersinking the fasteners? I have read about a dual thread style that is used for composit that is supposed to eliminate the mushrooming. Any advice?
Also, is there a concern with the use of IPE in Michigan? The deck will be on the north side of the house, about 10" off the ground.
Finally, while I read that TWP is a good product, does use of ar any other sealer turn the IPE deck into a higher maintance deck? My wife does like the wet look.
I am hoping there are some details to answer all of the above, as I hate the idea of composite or plastic...
p.s. good places in Michigan to buy IPE? I have heard stories of what was thought to be IPE is not...
Read earlier posts re: Consumer Reports opinions.
There are many good decking materials; to my mind, it comes down to personal taste. I like Ipe because it is dense and resists denting and scratching, it is smooth and resists checking, it naturally resists rot and insect decay, and it is beautiful.
You don't need to seal it to protect it, just to preserve its color, which I plan to do, because, like your wife, I like that look. But the Atlantic City boardwalk and the Brooklyn Bridge bikeway done in Ipe are not maintained with a finish, and develop a beautiful silver patina.
Haven't done it yet, but finishing every couple of years with a large paint pad doesn't seem that much effort to me.
I ordered my Ipe online; it arrived in a week as promised, from East Teak Trading Company, George Guy. I asked him about the plugging too, as he doesn't sell plugs. He used to estimate high-end deck projects for wealthy clients, and said 90% of them simply countersunk the small-head finish screws flush. Frankly, being from Chicago where structural members are often used as architectural elements, I think it looks great. And after all, IT'S A DECK.
Good luck on your project.
CR mag is a liberal based mag..they dont base the articles on fact,just what they see as good for the planet,,rating preasure treated pine way above ipe is an example of the kind of ideas they are using this rag for.John Hyatt
Thanks for the feedback!
Do I need to be cautious that when I buy the material it may or maynot be IPE? I have heard of there materials being sold as IPE that are a different species of wood.
Recommendations in Michigan??
I don't know your market, but I called many, many lumber yards in the Philadelphia area. None stocked it, but could "get it", which means they'll pay the same shipping charges you will if you order it from a reliable Ipe source. Get a quote from several reputable suppliers shipped to your area. You can save a few $ if you have a flatbed and can pick it up at a nearby terminal, but keep in mind how heavy it is! The terminal where I picked it up couldn't pick up the 5,000 pounds, so we broke the band and loaded each piece by hand, about 1-1/2 hours of tough work for 4 of us.
In addition to East Teak Trading, BannerElk Trading(trimscrew.com) has gotten good reviews here, and there are others to find if you scan back a bit in the post log. Ipe Depot (Advantage Lumber) certainly knows Ipe and is a good supplier, but is having trouble with deliveries currently. They and East Teak were within pennies of each other; George @ East Teak could deliver in a week, so he got the order.
The wood arrived well palleted, beautiful consistent quality, and without a single damaged board. I wouldn't hesitate for a minute to order it from them, and many of the pros around here agree.
Good advice above, esp re consumer reports. If you believed them a couple of years ago, you would be driving a Fiat. Unanswered questions:
- yes, you have to predrill, even if you don't countersink. Ipe will split or the SS screw will shear off. Double thread screws don't change a thing. Alternative is EbTy type system, but it must be done carefully with tight gaps and it doesn't save any time, just looks good.
-Ipe is great in New England, so I am sure it will be fine in MI. North exposure might grow a little moss, but you can get rid of that with some very dilute bleach.
- I think the wet look is better on t shirts than decks, but not everyone agrees. See this forum for advice on coatings and application technique. I always try to talk people into living with the silver grey soft look. It matches teak furniture beautifully after a year or two.
- I remember seeing ads from some place on Seven Mile Rd in Detroit that had competitive Ipe prices, but I don't know the source. The big suppliers who ship have good reputations.
I live north of the Ann Arbor, MI area and I looked all over for a good source. The best locally was ipedecks.com (Public lumber Co. in Detroit- I believe off of 7mi as someone said). Anyways, they are 1.75/ft and up for longer lengths (prices are on the Web site). I got mine delivered from George at East teak in the lengths I ordered for 1.74/ft. It arrived in three days and I was amazed by that. I figured it would cost me more in gas and to rent a truck/trailer big enough to get all of it, as it was 3000lbs for about a 400 sq ft. deck with fascia. I had a buddy help me unload the wood from the truck as it comes on a common carrier called Conway. It took us about 30-40 min and we were only taking about 2 boards at a time- one for the 18'ers. Not nearly as bad as I imagined. I stacked it on pallets in the driveway so had about 20-30 feet to carry it. I am not done yet and I will post pics of my progress so far. The stack has been dwindling and I am to the point I may realize (choke) I am going to be short some boards. I most likely will have to run to Public lumber to get what I need to finish the fascia as it will only be a few boards. A few of the boards were damaged on the ends and I filed a claim with conway about a week ago but have yet to hear back. The driver noted 10 boards in all and they will send a check for up to $250 without sending an inspector. This is a good thing becasue I wasn't going to wait so I cut those long boards down where I could and used them for shorter boards, which I'm sure is why I'm now short some.
Overall, George at East Teak rocks. He was a big help with my estimations and the ordering was smooth as silk, and as I said- FAST!! I went with him becasue I checked all the others everyone mentioned, and he was the best price/service as everyone said! Thanks John and others!
I don't know where you live but I can give you some other info about where I ordered TWP100 and the CCA (hard to get) for my structure. Good luck man.
Oh, Lumberliquidators.com is in Detroit also but I heard some negative stuff about them (not specifically the local one though). I also looked at Messaranduba (do a search on this forum) also called Red teak (on Lumber Liq. but is not related to teak). I also heard negitives and decided for the difference between 1.35+ and 1.74 I should go with the real deal. VERY NICE STUFF.
I recently installed an IPE Deck at my beach house in N. California. I planned to wait a few months before applying Australian Timber Oil from Cabots on the deck.
Unfortunately, a sloppy Deck Railing installer got metal/grease on the deck (on approximately 15 boards) and it has penetrated the surface of the newly installed epe. We're having stainless cable installed for the railing.
It appears that the only way to remove these stains is by sanding. I have a few options that I'd like to explore.
Besides sanding, are there any solvents available to remove the metal/grease stains?
If sanding is the only way, can I just sand the boards with the stains? (Will this cause a disparity in the look long term?)
If I do sand, how long should I wait prior to treating the entire deck with Timber Oil? (I've read the posts regarding not sanding Epe.)
Advice will be appreciated as I have alot invested in this deck and its natural beauty has been tainted by this careless worker...
I noted with great interest the post above about not cleaning with acetone and sanding. It later turned out that it was the sanding which interfered with sealant/stain absorption. I understand that.
My problem is that I used candle wax to ease the SS screws in for top fastening. The wax shavings melted very quickly and soaked into the raw wood. Now I have to remove it to get any sealant penetration. Am I safe scrubbing it with an acetone soaked rag? (Yes, I have a respirator with new cartridges and good vinyl gloves). As long as I don't sand it, it seems that the acetone would only remove more surface oils, either from the wood or the candle wax. That should IMPROVE sealant penetration, shouldn't it?
I'll be appreciative for any input on this question.
As I mentioned in an earlier post: DO NOT SAND IPE IF YOU WANT TO OIL! It is perfectly fine to sand if you intend to let the wood weather to the silvery patina and want to keep it that way. However, sanding will remove the nap and will decrease the penetration of the oil. You would be lucky to get 4 months of the "rich appearance" compared to 12-16 months if you don't sand.
To remove stains caused by metal/grease, try Oxalic Acid. The same reason that it will remove stains caused by Carbon Steel, you don't want to get this stuff on Steel furniture, railing, or anything else that you don't want a bad reaction. To prevent getting busted for plagiarism, I copied this info from the Bannerelk Trading Co. Ipe install tips. Speaking of which, they carry the Oxalic Acid and a pretty potent non-bleach cleaner.
Here is a link that might be useful: BannerElk Website
I did some further checking today and one retailer recommended Xylene or MEK. That made me think of Goof Off, which is composed of toluene and xylol. Goof Off label says that it is good for grease, gum and CANDLE WAX!
I will try it tonight and then post my results. I expect it will work fine. A gallon of Goof Off is $20 at Home Depot, and should be enough to clean an entire deck. Hopefully, it will also help for the wax sealant used to seal the ends of cut Ipe boards, which bled through to the top.
Now, another question: If I use Cabot's Austrailian Timber Oil for a finish on a new deck, do I have to wait for it to weather before finishing it? I am afraid that if I wait a month or two (as some Cabot's application instructions say), that the Ipe will have started to go silver already. If I clean the deck with solvents, why can't I apply the sealing coat right away?
Thanks for any help.
There is no reason to wait for anything but good weather to put the finish on any deck. John
I have a question regarding brazilian redwood, which I believe has many of the same properties as ipe'.
I am using it for the first time to build a deck. I bought the trimstar screws from Banner Elk as others have recomended, ( great choice by the way) and Anchor seal to coat the ends.
My question is this : If I want to put a breadboard around the perimeter of the deck, mitering the corners, should i put the anchorseal on the mitered ends or should I do as I normally would, and clean the ends and then glue and join them together.
I want the miters to stay as tight as possible but want to elinminate excess checking.
What do you guys do ?
Anyhelp would be great?
If this question was answered already I am sorry. I'm new here.
The logic behind Anchorseal is that it seals in what moisture is in the wood and prevents it from escaping the ends, which causes checking (hairline cracks). Obviously, as the wood stabilizes to your environment, the moisture will escape through the face & back, but not those precious end cuts. Polyurethane glue or exterior grade liquid nails SHOULD create the same type of barrier to prevent moisture loss at your mitre joints. Good Luck. -- I'm a big fan of those Trimstar screws as well!!
Outdoor Dreams, Inc.
Don't anchorseal any surface you want to glue. A biscuit joiner makes the height allignment perfect on miters or any end joint. To get a good looking miter, test fit and adjust the cut angle to get it right, then use two biscuit slots with standard compressed wood biscuits, clamp and glue with Gorilla (polyurethane) glue. It will foam up a little and you might have to scrape to clean up, but it will stay solid and closed. I put the final screws in after gluing mitered corners.
I just completed a 12x16 porch over a 16x20 deck and 1st want to thank all of those who contributed to this forum as I used much of the information to make decisions on how to build my porch. I used 1x6 IPE purchased locally in Boston Ma at a cost of 1.75 LF and secured it down by face screwing using trimstar #8 SS screws purchased from Banner Elk. I pre drilled using cobalt bits and dipped the end of each screw into the end sealer (also purchased from Banner Elk)prior to securing. This method worked very well as I figured why use soap when I have the end sealer-which is a slippery wax, right here and it will seal the drill hole anyway. The screws went in with very little effort, In fact I had to be careful not to drive them too far. The heads are really small and really not noticable at all. One recommendation is to use the SS screws with the star drive not square drive. I was running low on screws and bought SS trim head square drive screws locally and they strip really easy so I stopped and ordered more from Banner Elk. Also as straight as the IPE is, it can be crowned and it very hard to straighten on shorter (Thanks to all-specifically John, Outdoor dreams and deckman
Well, the Goof-Off did do a good job of cleaning the wax stains, and the Cabot's Austrailian Timber Oil uniformly took to the wood just fine afterwards. So, I expect it will do the job for grease stains as well. One warning however, the Goof Off leaves the Ipe much darker than before. I'm now going to experiment on scrap to see if Oxalic acid will lighten the wood somewhat after I clean with the Goof Off.
Other caveat: Goof Off is not a good idea for spot cleaning because of the darkening. If you use it, use it all over the deck for uniformity. I only wish I had read the suggestions for dipping screws in Anchorseal or as someone else suggested, a bit of toilet bowl wax ring on screw instead, before I installed my deck. The candle wax does ease the entry of the screws but flakes all over the place, causing the wax stains when it melts. Sigh.
On the issue of sanding Ipe vs. not sanding Ipe before finishing. I experimented with scrap and the Cabot's absorbed just fine on both sanded and non-sanded portions of the same plank. No color difference or spotting at all. I'm going to use 80 grit and then 120 in an orbital sander to clean up after I treat with the Goof Off.
As I say, I'll post my results on the oxalic acid and whether it lightens the wood meaningfully. I'm taking it slowly before I do anything. Part of my problem may be my choice of Amberwood color on the Cabot's. I chose it because I read a post that said with lighter colors, you will still get greying, and I want to keep the wood's color. Anybody have any input on that? Can I use a lighter shade of the Cabor's Austrailian Timber Oil without risking greying of the wood?
Thanks to all.
All of my experimentation has been pretty unproductive. I have tried in various combinations: using Goof Off to remove the wax stains; not using it; sanding the Ipe to remove the wax stains instead; goof Off followed by Oxalic Acid and then Amberwood Austrailian Timber Oil; Goof Off followed by sanding, followed by Oxalic Acid and then the Timber Oil, and ignoring the wax stains and just using Oxalic Acid followed by Timber Oil.
Result: Everything comes out looking the same very dark shade with no spotting. I suspect that if I painted the Amberwood Timber Oil on a cow, it would look like dark stained Ipe decking.
Much ado about nothing in my book, but I still do not have an answer to my question about the Ipe decking greying after the use of lighter colors of the Cabot's Austrailian Timber Oil. Can anyone clue me in on that?
Remember, use a little wax from a toilet seal ring to lube the SS screws, not wax. Also, not soap, which absorbs water and will facilitate rot.
Did you use the, Amberwood Timber Oil...if so...how does it look? Did it really darken the wood and does it show the grain?
Just bought our IPE today. We want the deck to go grey, but after reading the posts think we will still use one of the sealers that lets it go grey (Seasonite). I've read here that it allows the deck to aclimate more slowly.
One of the posts recommended sealing both sides of the wood (to prevent cupping?). Have many of you done that or think it necessary (my deck is very low to the ground -I can't get under it, so I would have to do it beforehand).
I seem to remember some people recommending that you also should glue the IPE decking down (I'm going to be using hidden fasteners). Is this a good idea? Does it do any good? If so, any glue you've had good luck with?
Bill, with the clips the info you get tells you to use counstruction adhesive,thats because its heavy bodied and makes up for the space the clips leave inbetween the joists and for uneven pt framing,its not going to help as far as fastining the decking to the frame or with any movement in the frame or with movement in the decking. John
Any thoughts on the need to seal both sides of the IPE (in my case, before it goes down - with Seasonite)?....see my first email (2 up).
I'm after no/low maintainence and want my IPE to weather gray (no chemicals please) - but I'm having trouble seeing what the weathered product looks like to be able to choose exterior fiber cement siding colors to compliment - any suggestions?
I built a deck, fence and entry way with gates out of Ipe. I used Waterlox (tung oil) marine grade satin as my finish. After three months, the vertical is holding up, but the horizontal is not. What finish should I switch to? I have read allot about TWP 100, Messmer, Cabot's Australian oil, Penofin and Sikken. For a very high humidity, salty and hot area (Hawaii), what's the best product? Also, can I apply over the Waterlox or should I sand or should I use chemicals to remove waterlox?
Also, this deck is in NC, so I was concerned with using Messmer's UV-Plus, since I've read there may be a humidity-related problem. Any experience with Messmers and ipe????
If Messmer's UV-Plus is made for Utah's climate, I find it hard to beleive it will stand up well in a high humidity climate like Hawaii or North Carolina? Also, check out Penofin's website www.penofin.com. They claim they have tested their product against all of the major competitors and their product will outlast all of them due to it has the the lowest solids in its class and it will penetrate deeper into the wood. Anyone have any experiences with Penofin?
my home is 100 yards from the Atlantic Ocean I just did the 2nd floor deck stair in IPE & penofin exotic, I will post pics
I just had a 300sq ft deck installed in the back yard. We asked the contractors to use ipe decking, with mahogany rails. It turned out great. I am going to finish it with Messmers UV for Hardwoods myself. Unfortunately it looks like the contractors did NOT seal any of the ipe decking with wax after making each cut. After reading some of the previous postings I am worried that our great looking deck (only 2 days old) will end up with splits and cracks. Any suggestions on what we can expect or what we can do?
I had foyer/greenhouse built from ipe columns and trim in a post and beam style.
At the reccomendation of the carpenter I waited a to seal wood (admittedly even longer than he suggested) to let the wood dry etc. Now the color is fading quite a bit in some areas. We really like the dark ipe color and would like to restore the color in places that have faded. Any reccomendations for a preparation that can do this
For a finish I was planning to use Messmers but may use one of the other brands people have talked about here.
almost done its looking real nice
Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.tixx.com/ipedeck/ipe/index001.html
Well, here is a late follow up on my Ipe deck and for the benefit of those to follow, I will reveal my trials and tribulations and pose some questions. I finally went with Cabot's clear Austrailian Timber Oil, which looks much better than the Amber, which darkened the wood too much.
I swept, then used xylene to clean off the wax stains (did the entire deck for uniformity), sanded and then applied the Timber oil with a roller, then rubbed it in with cotton cloths.
It looked great, but there was a problem, and I wonder if anyone else has had a similar one with Timber Oil and Ipe. After drying, as soon as the surface got wet, the finish turned pale, dull, rough and permanently stained wherever the water hit. I thought it was residue of dirty water at first and washed it and scrubbed. No, it was the water.
I called Cabot's tech team and got what I consider a bull story. They said I should have used their "Problem Solver Deck Cleaner" to remove mold, mildew, etc before finishing. The label said to use it for damaged, moldy, mildewed surfaces, etc., not for EVERY application.
Well, this was brand new Ipe and was spotless. There was no trace of mold, mildew, any infestation or rot. That wood was perfectly sound by all appearances, touch or sanding, and had no mildewy smell. They then told me it was "invisible mildew," and of course not their fault. I suspect this is really an incompatibility between Ipe natural wood oils and Timber Oil. Anyone else have this problem or hear of it? By the way, the same stains resulted from tap water for watering plants as for chlorinated pool water.
Cabot was helpful and quick to offer to replace the Timber Oil for free, and pay for the Problem Solver cleaner too. TOO quick, making me suspect they have gotten these calls before. The cure they recommend is to strip the deck (450 sq. ft) with a power washer, which I did, and then use the problem solver to sanitize it.
I have done that, but not applied a new finish yet. Here is where I seek input. Anyone else had this problem? What I fear is that the reason this "fix" may work is not because it's removing any "invisible mildew," but because it is removing the surface layer of Ipe natural oils, thus allowing an application without any chemical reaction between the Timber Oil and the peculiar oils and chemical composition of Ipe. But what will happen when the oils from deeper in the planks wick to the surface? Ifear the same water damage will occur again and I will have to strip and refinish a THIRD time.
Can anyone make any sense of this? I just don't buy that "invisible" mildew story. By the way, the Timber Oil absorbed into the Ipe perfectly upon application. Only after fully drying and getting wet with water did any problem show up.
I have talked with a retired flooring and decking contractor at a building supply store and he suggested going to a home brewed 50-50% mix of Linseed Oil and Gum Turp, letting it absorb 15-20 min and scraping or rubbing off excess. I tested some on some Ipe and it looks fine. Any thoughts on this? Anyone else ever use this recipe on Ipe?
I am just afraid to trust the Timber Oil again, with all the resultant wasted time. Any thoughts and the benefit of your experience would be appreciated.
Do,,,Not,,Use,,,Linseed oil and Gum Turp,,,That idea is from the stone age,,trust me on this one,,I think I understand your finish problem Bill,,I am thinking Cabot is full of shitt,,any finish you have to wipe down is going to have problems down the road,,Man this late in the season with winter coming on,,just let it lay,dont do anything until the spring,,let the weather have its turn on it, and regroup when the warm weather comes. John
I'm havinig the same problem you mentioned above with Messmer's! Where ever the sprinkler hits, or the dew stays on the longest before drying (like over each joist), the stain has seemingly washed away! And in only a couple of months since installation!
I want the wood to look stained not natural. Is this Messmer's stain really not water resistant? What is on Ipe'?
Did you sand the deck? If so, that will result in less penetration of the oil. Sanding will remove the nap on the surface of the wood.
I used Cabots natural timber oil on my ipe deck too. Looked great at the start, but like many products can't seem to handle the Canadian winter. Had about 6" of snow on the deck which just melted away... took some of the oil with it, and the complete deck seems lack-luster and almost stripped of the cabots. Some "greyish" spots showing up, but they go away when water is added, so who knows what these are?
I imagine the snow actually lifts and abrades the oil away. I've had similar problems with coverings for the cedar deck I had previously. IPE is great though. Also put Ipe on the front porch, and steps. 5/4 ipe on the steps, and two coats of oil. Seems to be holding up well, despite the salt, snow and constantly being wet. I don't think maufacturers make ANY type of coating to withstand super-cold weather. Any one else with Ipe in a cold climate.
I don't know what the deck will look like after the winter.
Maybe I'll power wash it and try the Cabots again.
Here's a question though. Power washing tends to destroy the likes of P/treated and cedar... how does it work on Ipe?
Does it hold true, and remain smooth?
I'm not adverse to greying, but I do like the color!
happy new year!!
New kid on the forum. Have really enjoyed all the Ipe postings from all of you. I'm going to be building my own deck on my new house this spring. I'm an above-average DIY carpenter with good tools, lots of patience and three complex decks under my belt. I have designed a 300+ sq. ft. deck and will use Ipe. The local building inspector wants more info on Ipe before he approves my design. I'm using 2 x 10 ledger boards and rim joists with 7 to 9 ft 2 x 8 joists 20" on center. 5/4 decking will be diagonal. The code enforcer has no info on the weight and strength of Ipe. Does anyone know where I can get manufacturer buiding specs for Ipe that give recommended joist size and spacing for diagonal decking?
Thanks for your help.
Fred your span seems ok but everything depends on how you conect,might want to start a new topic with this one. John
This has been touched on in other posts but was wondering what peoples opinions were of using 5/4 vs 1 if the application is 16 inch centered joists using the ipe clip. I have seen comments on cupping concerns or that you will see the clips much more readily with the thinner boards. also will it have a flimsier look? Thanks in advance for your comments.
Outdoor dreams says:
"Now onto the finishing. Roughly 95% of my clients want to keep the color and it's Messmers that I use. It's important that the deck is clean before BRUSHING (not rolling or spraying)for max. penetration. DO NOT SAND BEFORE APPLYING THE OIL as you will have to re-coat in two months. Seems as thought the oil doesn't penetrate as well after sanding. I will typically send a crew back in 16 months to re-coat. Really good stuff! (I've tried them all)"
my question: what do you do if you need to sand the "light striations" Click here for other post on this
I guess one just accepts the fact tha if they sand, and then use Mesmers, they will have to sand again in a couple of months, at least for the first round?
(liked this thread so I thought hijacking it wasn't a bad idea. Hope Gary_Dronen doesn't mind too much.)
This link should give the inspector everything he needs.
Here is a link that might be useful: Ipe Technical Data
I'm about to place my order for Ipe planks to resurface my deck. The old PT boards are badly splintered and the rusted nails are popping out. The PT frame underneath looks fine and I had planned on leaving it in place. I'm not sure how old it is. Given the long expected lifespan of Ipe, should I be doing something to the frame to ensure it last as long as the decking? I'd really like to avoid replacing the frame too. I've read about clear penetrating epoxy sealer (CPES). Would something like that be appropriate here?
I'm stuck! There is so much MIS-information about hardwood deck maintenance out there, I was hoping for experienced experts to provide their opinions. My problem is a 2-year old brazilian redwood deck near Phila, PA which I chose over Trex, still hoping for low maintenance to keep rich color. The deck gets lots of sun, and of course cold, snowy and icy winters! After installation, I finished the deck as instructed by my supplier with Cabot Australian Timber Oil. It looked great - for a while.
After 4-5 months, patches of gray started to appear, in addition to a ton of checking and slight cupping. I then used Cabots wood cleaner and refinished with the Timber Oil again. Over the winter, I watched as the gray patches re-appeared, eventually taking over most of the deck. The finish in the exposed areas simply did not hold up. So now what?
I spoke with several experts, including Cabot, but got conflicting opinions. Cabots suggests sanding and stripping, then resealing with their new SPF finished, not the Timber Oil as they say it really doesn't hold up on hardwoods. Yet I've read other threads saying that sanding then finishing is NOT the way to go due to the wood's oil reducing the efficacy of the finish/sealer. So I would welcome your experienced suggestions for the next appropriate steps: Sanding? Stripping? Cleaning? Refinishing? Products?
Just sick over this after the expense and effort it took to get here. Any help is VERY much appreciated! Thanks.
I was asked to review some suggestions for a client from posts. I am amazed at the incorrect advice in every single post. You need to understand the whole story before you can treat a deck made from IPE. How high off of the ground is it going to be? How is it going to be fastened? What type of finish do you want? Some finishes need sanding some do not. You must coat all sides with some finishes not with others. You must sand with 36 git with some finishes 120 with others. The best you can hope for in a finish on IPE is 2 years on Horizontal and 3 on vertical surfaces. You can not suggest a product until you know what type of preperation is going to be used. I specialize in coatings and have over 20 that can be used on IPE. Each customer will have a different product based on their situation. Ipe is the most beautiful decking in the world when done correctly. It is a nightmare if you cheat on finishing or preperation. If you believe that you can get quality products from a home center then IPE is NOT for you.
I installed an Ironwood Ipe deck last summer. The deck is 16" to 18" above ground on pressure treated Doug Fir with good ventilation. The boards arrived pretty marked up so I sanded (120 grit). Following the conventional advice, I sealed all cut ends with Anchorseal, being careful not to get the wax on the flat surfaces. I sealed the deck surface (all four sides) with Transparent Redwood Penofin as it was one of the top recommendations by the Ironwood folks. Despite my care in sealing the cut ends, the wax appears to have soaked into the wood to the point that there is an inch or more of discoloration at the ends of many of the boards. The wood turned silver during the winter (before it stopped raining) and now it has mildew stains. I'm planning to use dilute Oxi Clean (non-chlorine bleach) to get rid of the mildew, sand again with a coarser sandpaper (80 grit?), and apply more Penofin (I still have three gallons from last summer). I hope that will eliminate or minimize the wax stains. Any other suggestions? A better cleaner than Oxi Clean? Better stain/sealer than Penofin? All advice appreciated.
First, thanks to all of the professional contributors in the above posts. I understand the value of your time, and appreciate the information which will hopefully avoid some of the nightmares some members have experienced.
I'm designing a small IPE deck here in Southern California, and have two questions to begin:
1. The deck is to be built very low (like 4") over an existing patio slab. I had intended to use PT sleepers directly onto the slab, but it sounds like I might run into a ventilation problem. Would I be better off taking the slab up (ugh) and using posts and blocks as a foundation for the joists? Maybe I could cut gaps on the slab sides of the joists to allow for water and air circulation? Would fake wood like TREX or others of it's ilk be a longer-lasting choice for the sleepers?
2. I'll be constructing a bench integrated into the deck, and I'll want to bullnose the front edge of the seat. Can I do this with any decent router? Are ther special router bits I should plan to use?
3. I reserve the privilege of asking more entry-level questions, OK?
Thanks, and if you ever need digital photography answers, don't hesitate to ask!
Paul its a different deal building off a slab then building off the dirt that low. One way to go>> rip 2x6 in half use the 2 3/4''doubled up stock for your joists and posts. install the posts with tapcons every 3' that way you have all sorts of drainage and ventalation. John
Hang on- I'm a little confused.
First, thanks for you answer , and I'm hoping for a little clarification.
Posts? Do you mean mount the deck on posts that are attached to the slab with tapcons or redheads into the slab, then use the 2-3/4 as joists? The posts would keep the joists from laying directly on the slab? the posts would have to be short- really short- to keep the deck as low as possible.
Every three feet- like a grid?
Thanks, and I appreciate you patience.
Yup,really short,most of the time the slab is placed with fall away from the house so they probley will get higher as you go. I have a way of doing it but one easy way would be to put a pt block right next to the little post, tapcon to it and screw to the post.Remember double up the 2 3/4 meterial. J
Greetings and thanks to all the folks that have posted in the past -- I've learned a lot reading through the previous posts.
Wanted to see if I might get a bit of advice on my own project. I am constructing a fairly large 30x30' deck adjoining our house that calls for 1x6 (nominal) IPE decking. Because of the size of the deck, the decking is laid out in a "picture frame" style, with miters at each of the corners. However, my neighbor (who is a finish carpenter)has warned me about attempting to mitre with IPE, claiming that the joints will open up (which is OK, within limits) and that they will open up inconsistently (i.e. more shrinkage at the tail of the cut than the head). He recommends using a "basket weave" type joint. Has anyone out there had experiences in mitreing ipe (good bad or otherwise?)
Also had a question regarding fasteners -- for aesthetic reasons I was hoping to use hidden fasteners. Based on what I have read I am now reconsidering this goal because a) I am using 1x rather than 5/4 material, and b) the deck is very close to the ground in portions (7" clearance in certain spots). Has anyone had success using fasteners in this situation, and if so, is there any difference between the EBTY and the IPE clip systems?
Thank you (in advance) for your help...
Done the right way ipe miters do not move,your trim guy has never worked with it, the clips cause more problems then they claim to fix not a lot of differance between the two your thinking about. Man we have got to start a new topic with this one,95 posts is a little much. J
I'd like to put in another plug for George Guy over at East Teak Trading as an IPE supplier. He had the best pricing and was very helpful in steering me away from some bad ideas :) I ordered about 1050 linear feet (1" x 6" decking and 5/4" x 6" rail cap) of IPE material from him last week and the shipment just arrived today. The boards look great. Just an overall pleasureable transaction.
Also, a HUGE THANKS to all who have posted here. I've learned a ton about IPE and the dos and don'ts. I hope I can translate those lessons into a good looking deck :).
I want to wax the cut ends, is there a way to not have the wax wick up the surface of the ends, so the sealer will look uniform? Any experience using just the CLEAR TWP100? Or the Penofin Natural? I do not want to darken too much.
I dont use the wax at all. No clear or natural finish has any uv protection. John
I used the Penofin Natural (brown label) on new ipe last month, looks great, but it's screen porch that doesnt get a ton of sun, so hoping to get away w/ transparent.
hi- Superdeck has an exotic hardwood stain that is waterbased and according to them will penetrate better than oil based stains. They have a colorant in the hardwood stain which eliminates the grey effect. Has anyone used or heard of this product- it is the company that is associated with Ducksback.
I've been reading your posts about what to do for UV protection (protect from greying). I accidentally came acros this solution but be forewarned it requires lotsa work.
I had ipe installed on my front porch a few months back and bought something call EHT by Wohlman (Exotic Hardwood Treatment). The can labeled it as "Natural" so I did not test treat an area to see what it would look like before I left it with the installers to coat on the newly applied decking. BAD IDEA. When I cam home from work, the installers had already finished the ipe with this EHT crap. And let me tell you, it looked like crap. It had this caked on appearance and was an ugly reddish brown color. You could not see any of the beautiful wood or grain that I paid big bucks for. I was pissed!!!
I called Wohlman technical assistance and they told me that I could take some of the stain out by using lacquer thinner. So with a little elbow grease I took some of the stain out using some lacquer thinner. After using the thinner, I could see my beautiful ipe, grain and all. It still had this ugly reddish tint to it though. It still did not look quite right. So, I applied the aussie timber oil (natural) on top, and oh man It is the most beautiful flooring I have ever seen!!! Each individual plank (it is tongue and groove) is a different color (the colors range from a yellowish green, to amber to brown). The floor on my porch looks nicer than the hardwoods inside the house.
So there yiou have it: EHT first, take some of the EHT off using lacquer thinner, then apply a coat of aussie timber oil. I'm hoping the dye of the EHT that was left on the wood after I took some of it off and the aussie tiber oil will combine to protect my ipe from the UV. Its been about 2 months now and there has been no fading/discloration. I'll keep my fingers crossed and keep you all posted.
I have read everything here and have the following comments:
1)If you can live with the no-maintenance silver patina you are way ahead of the game, because you will get one of the primary benefits of IPE. You are way ahead of the game. Spend your time doing more enjoyable activities!
2)With a no-finish policy, you also don't have to worry about repeatedly re-oiling BOTH sides of the wood to prevent cupping because if there is no finish on the top-side, the underside moisture absorption rates (given good ventilation)is the same. Another problem gone.
3) You can sand the deck nice and smooth to remove scratches and imperfections (including the plug tops) before the railings are mounted. Now you have a deck surface that will age/patina uniformly and is smooth as a baby's butt. Done.
4) Fastening with the "invisible" biscuit system, stainless retaining screws and using a heavy duty contractor-grade exterior adhesive for additional attachment back-up where the boards attach to the treated joists will give you a reliable attachment system (and a super solid feel) that will likely outlive you.
Waxing the cut board ends prior to installation is very important as are dust masks.
Do not use the biscuit system, no super solid feel will happen,do not use wax anywhere, and like how many posts can go into this subject??
All you good deck Folks have a drive safe real good Weekend!! J
We are building a second-floor, uncovered deck in Western Oregon - endless rains in the winter, very sunny and dry all summer. The deck will receive the full force of both, but I'm most worried about the sun because it will face west and a builder told us that sun is what causes cupping, warping, and weathering. We love IPE but are worried about using it in this environment. Anyone have experience with IPE in full sun?
Thanks for all the great postings, especially to all the pros who so generously share their expertise!
Ipe is fine in the full sun. John
I have done much research on IPE and am still confused on which is the best product to use. I am ready for decking in my house in the mountains of NC. My deck does have a roof over it. I am considering using the tonque & groove deck instead of the IPE clip method. Does anyone have any experience with the tonque & groove on a deck like this? Also is it also better to glue the boards down in addition to the fasteners? If so what glue would you use?
Man you might want to start a new topic for this one.
I have several projects out decked with T&G 3/4 x6'' ipe one of them is really low to the ground. Cross Ventalation is a must using this material.
We run a ss screw thru the T, slide the next one into it. Construstion adhesive is always used I like the 409 made by the liquid nail outfit.
I am so glad I found this forum. I'm pleased to gather all this great info about IPE of course I'm reading varied advice! as expected.
I'm considering IPE for a new construction "L" shaped wrap around porch flooring with the following parameters:
1. porch is well vented 36" off ground.
2. joists are running perpendicular to the house
3. there is no slope to the porch (home builder doesn't like the way it looks so out of wack!)
4. porch is southern and western exposure
5. I'm now lucky enough to live in temp. extreme central indiana!! (I miss CA) so we have cold winters and VERY hot humid summers
6. don't know the joist spans, probably 16"
7. I want the un-grayed look (sealed)
I always invisioned a T&G painted poch flooring, but am opening up to other options. I just don't want my porch to look like a deck! if you know what I mean.
I was researching and finding that IPE is not that much more than the cedar planks I was considering (pine T&G is out because of rot issues)
So... my questions are as follows:
1. Do you think I could consider IPE T&G considering I have no slope and the boards will probably run parallel to the house?
2. My contractor said he was going to top nail the Pine T&G (if we used that) so I assume he would do the same on IPE. Is this okay or necessary?
3. My husband wants a realistic opinion on maintenance. Do you really have to seal the underside too every year? (ewe, bugs under the porch!)
4. Is this a whole other level in skill for installation? Do you really recommend the IPE fastners? or are they not as good as top screwing?
5. I would consider 4" planks if T&G were not recommended. What is your opinion on keeping with the "porch" look?
6. When is the best time for installation? It is Jan now, house will be ready in August. How far in advance to order material to acclimate?
Thanks a 1,000,000 : )
I am thinking this is new constustion,that is not yet been built. Its better to run the decking at a 90 degree from the house not parallel to the house when installing T&G ipe this will add to the porch look,same way the old wrap around porches were built.
With my projects we use 1x6 T&G ipe,run a ss square drive 2 1/4'' screw thru the G ( corection ) with construstion adhesive 490 ( another corection ) I order the material with the G extended 1/8'' and the tops bevelved with a roundover from East Teak.
The install might require a sharp learning curve depending on your Carpenters skill leval. Using an 1/8'' bit we do the predrill/counter sink into the ipe not past the ipe into the pt frame. Drive the screw with an impact driver until it snugs up to the decking not past it.We also cut a 1/2'' slot in the T every 3' or so this slot will not show and neither will the screw. Done corectly the screw head will flush up to the bottom area of the G. Over driving the screw will result in faliure of the conection.
Ipe is some tough stuff, it is however moisture reactive cross ventalation is a must. As long as air is moving in and out under the frame and the install is right everything is fine. The very thing that makes ipe strong will make it tear itself apart with out these two things.
I have replaced the acclimate thing with Fans. After the decking is in place I recomend running a couple of big ell fans under the project for a week or so this moves out the water from the pt frame,and there is a lot of it,as it gases out in the first few important weeks.
Some Folks might feel that ipe will shrink so its better to lay it up on stickers close to the job before install if a person belives this running fans thru the stack is a good idea for a couple of weeks. I have never seen the need for this but I still recomend runing the fans under the project after install even with the sticker lay up.
I have several T&G ipe projects out 5 years with no problems at all including my own at Butler Manor. My 16' x12'Butler deck was left completly exposed to weather like we are having now covered in ice,sunshine,rain,ice again for a year before I put the building on it. The T&G ipe looks the same as the day it went down.
I defently do not recomend pre finishing all four sides of any decking X 10000 with ipe. John
thanks for the follow-up I really appreciate your time. (spoke with George at East Teak) what a great resource.
I've got all the figures now, and I'm looking at 3 choices for flooring considering my budget. (in order from least to most, #1 being my choice) (sorry but IPE is out of the price range!)
1. Tigerwood T&G 1" x 6"
2. Garupa 1 x 4" decking
3. 5/4 x 6 Cumaru
Please give advice on these other hardwoods. Would you install them the same as IPE?
Unfortunately, the porch deck is already built. I could have the builder install blocking to change direction of joists, but I think that will get more costly in labor.
Can you please clarify the install you posted above.
1. what do you mean by Correction?
2. in the predrill, you are drilling only into the product? not into the PT too?
3. Then when you drive the screw, you are only into the IPE again? When do you drive it into the PT?
4. What does the 1/2" slot do for you in the Tongue?
Thanks again for ignoring my ignorance!!
Your good Prine..of the three I would go Garapa, I like 1x6 but for that Porch look of long ago it was 1x4. You will be fine on the joist layout I was just thinking bout the ol porches and the way they were.
Corection I am little fuzzi on,but the instal has got to be right. Pre drill into the decking not past the decking into the PT frame, the screw goes past the decking into the frame but not the predrill. Reason being the pt is soft enough no predrill needed,if the predrill goes into the pt the threads on the screw will have nothing to grab into and it will just spin around. Not to worry I have been doing this for a lot of years no reason for you to get it right away.
The 1/2 '' slot in the T I got from TimberTech T&G material years ago,they did it so I did it,simple as that. It looked like a good idea for a lot of reasons.Its like the silver bell Tiger replent, Dont See and Tigers around do ya?? so it must work!! The slot adds extra positive drain as well as some extra ventalation in my Carpenters Mind.
Garapa is the new kid on the block,I like the stuff. Its klin dried,straight grain as much as any S American lumber can be,all heart wood,a track record for long live,very stable and easy to work with.
Its not possible to explain on line all the things I have learned about S American lumber after all these years. Much depends on your Carpenters Skill Leavel. Dont get me wrong there are a lot of good Tradesmen out there I am defently not the only one. John
Thanks John again for your time
really we need to start a new thread for sanity reasons! -oh well.
I think I get it now.
My only unanswered questions are: , if I want to go with T&G (which I love) the Tigerwood is the only affordable option. Has anyone had expereince with this lumber? would you install it the same as you describe for IPE? do you need to seal the ends after cuts, like others suggest for IPE??
I know what you mean about the direction of the wood for the old porches, I love that perpendicular look, I only wish my builder was paying attention!! (although I asked him about it and he said he would have run the joists perpendicular to the house no matter which way the floor was going to go, becuase he felt it makes for a much stronger porch!)
Enjoy your day, stay warm, we are at 2 degrees, ugh!
thanks for the follow-up to my Tigerwood questions moved from here to thread "anyone use tiger wood" a great help in my decisions.
Did you mean to make the correction to say that you run the screw through the "Groove"?
I've never heard of that. Typically it is done through the "Tongue".
Mike, outdoor indoor total different things.
With a hardwood floor inside the house the idea is to jam that wood up as close as possible.
Installing T&G decking outdoors its the total 180, not jaming the wood together is the goal. I screw thru the G and just snug up the material.I order the material with an extra 1/8'' milled into the G. And of course the 1/2'' slot in the T for the Tiger Bell voodo,( another corection dont see ANY tigers around) if its not broke dont fix it, Im not going to change after years of installing it the way I do.
Side Note>>> I am begining to think I should not mention T&G ipe decking over here it is something I did on my own the learning curve was not all that radical for me but it might be for a lot of Tradesmen.
i have a customer that is interested in ipe decking
familiar with trex & 5/4 pt lumber...
any ideas on where i can locate ipe decking in the phily area... and any suggestions...
One good place>> East Teak 800 338 5636
Planning an IPE tiered deck 80 miles East of Mpls,MN any recommended supplers? Anyone with pictures of a screwed/plugged deck? My builder is planning on fastners but has never done an Ipe deck.
Read every post here and am going with Ipe for my deck re do.
two decks--larger one is 27' X 20' approx. PT under carriage is in good shape--16" on center joists.
I'm seeing 1"--5/4 and 2" Ipe deck boards from the internet suppliers
What is the best/recommended thickness for my outdoor un covered decks, please? (is it the 1 X material--is that strong enough?)
Man this thread should be put in book form.
3/4'' thick ipe is plenty strong over joists 16'' centers, of course the frame supporting the joists needs to be right. 1'' thick or 5/4 as its called would be nice but its way overkill and a lot more money.
Ipe has gone up in price from 03 wnen this started and is geting rare to get even from East Teak. One thing a person can do to lower the price is use 6'x 3/4 material. I have done this using 12' borders looks good.
John Hyatt www.deckmastersllc.com
I have seen on Ipe depot's website---24' long boards but only in 5/4 thickness--the longest for 1X (3/4" actual--I guess) is 20'
Is the 1X available in 24' lengths (or is that too long for this thin a material)
Design wise---24' would be ideal for my large 27' 4" wide deck---I could avoid any seams---by using the 10" boards (2) as a border on each side. This should cut down on waste--and of course, minimize the cuts
Does this make sense?
Just tried to call East Teak to inquire about this---getting no answer--not even an answering machine--even though it's Saturday morning----this seems odd (are they still in business?)
any input will be appreciated--John (and others)
East Teak 800 338 5636 on the weekends or after hours you get Judy telling you how to leave a message no telling why you did not get this.
Having 24' long boards on a web site and actually having them in the barn are two very differant things. I am sure you can order leangths as long as you want but you will have to wait,pay at least double, increse the shiping cost a lot no matter how thick it is. J.
My contractor has concerns about the long-term structural integrity of 3/4" t&g ipe (I know all ipe could have issues, but his questions concern this thickness for t&g). He has previously worked with ipe, otherwise really likes the material, and is comfortable with installation. He was wondering whether others have experienced the 3/4" t&g ipe coming apart more easily or other problems associated specifically with this t&g ipe thickness. He thinks a mere 1/4" alotted to each of the three portions of the t&g may be too thin. (He doesn't use the internet, so asked me to see what I could find out. B/c his supplier does not carry this thickness ipe t&g, he can't fully advise my contractor.)
APPLICATION here: We're replacing older 3/4" wood boards and have a strict 3/4" of clearance with which to work, unless he sands down the joists (labor that we'd all rather avoid). We don't have clearance even for clips/fasteners. I was considering the t&g b/c I wanted to avoid seeing nailheads/screws but, based on what I'm reading above, it appears the t&g might also need to be screwed down. Is this correct? If, indeed, the 3/4" t&g need also be screwed down to the joists, then what is the difference between using 3/4" t&g vs. just using regular 3/4" thick ipe boards (no t&g)? Finally, other than plugging the holes to avoid seeing any screws/nailheads, I guess countersinking the small head finish screws flush (are TrimStar still the best way to go?) is our best option? Please advise. (Re: ventilation, this small deck/landing is ~ 4 X 6 and is about 3.5' off of the ground. Steps down are to be built (with ipe) on two sides.) Thanks, in advance, for any wisdom/lessons learned that you can share.
Do not use the clips on Ipe x 10000 that low to the ground.3/4'' ipe is plenty strong over 16'' on center joists.I am not understanding ipe coming apart or the 1/4''alotted thing being to thin at all.
T&G ipe installed exposed to the weather requires ss screws placed thru the G. Screwing/ pluging will work as well. 3 1/2 '' ground clearance is fine as long as at least 3 sides are open to the air.
Its a good idea to start another topic this thread is way too old.
John Hyatt www.deckmastersllc.com
Thank you for your response, John. Just one follow-up: If we'll have exposed screws anyway, is there any benefit to installing the t&g vs non-t&g ipe boards here?
Not really they both will have the same look. Some Folks like the screw/plug look better with the plug detail it will however take more fasteners.
S&P would seem to be a lot of work but again, not really, East Teak sells the plugs,or make your own, with a Frostner bit/1/8'' predrill ( thru the ipe not the pt frame ) tightbond 111 and a Makita random orbit sander it goes pretty fast. And of course your Carpenter would not have to learn any new tricks. J.
Hi, John. What do you mean when you say it will take more fasteners to go the screw/plug route? (Sorry, just want to be able to tell my contractor all of this and have never been one to feign knowledge where I don't have it. I just always thought fasteners in this application referred to clips, and we won't be using those here...) Thx for your reply. (That's my last question, I promise! I'll let this thread die.) - Jean
T&G requires one fastener per joists, S&P needs two per joists.
I have recentley changed from square drive Stainles screws to Torx drive they seem to strip out the heads a lot less. If your project will take a few screws to put everything down a good place to buy ss screws>>Fasco Fastener 1 866 327 2633
Thanks so much, John. Catch you on a different thread in the future... - j
Hey folks- As much info as you could possibly need here but I actually have an issue unaddressed. We have a wrap around deck on the second floor of our house in Colorado. 2 years in after getting baked by the sun, heavy snow, rain and wind it's pretty much grey/silver all around. I started reading this thread with the intention of applying Mesmers but I'm thinking we'll stick to the natural effort free version. At this altitude the sun and weather would just speed up the wear. That said we are having issues with dust. We have scrubbed the deck with a brush after a late winter dust storm and sprayed it down with a garden hose a number of times but we are still seeing dusty foot prints tracking on to the walnut inside. Short of a power wash which seems like a bad idea I'm not sure the next option is. Any ideas what this may be from and how to address it? Thanks for all the knowledge. N
WE recently received an order of wood and the ends are starting to split. We didn't cut anything and they appear to be adequately sealed. The supplier is saying that it's because we stored it in our garage for 6 or 7 days but that's the same temperature and humidity as outside right now. Also, they want to send a complimentary can of oil but I hadn't planned on oiling this stuff, is that more essential than I thought? If so what oil should I use in the Southeast with humid summers and dry winters? I am wondering if the wood will continue to check and split this way or if it just needs a couple of weeks to settle in and then it's done. Thanks for any advice in advance.
Here is a link that might be useful: Wood Checking
Your wood looks totally normal. Those end checks are real minor. Oil won't do anything. The wood checks like this as it drys out, it will happen the most the first spring after install. Then as it reaches a stable state, the checks will mostly disappear as the wood shrinks dimensionally.
Now, get that deck installed before winter!
I disagree with Aidan. That's some sloppy looking Ipe. I have a local supplier...they let me pick out my boards...and they never look like that. If they did, I'd reject them.
Hopefully, you have to cut those boards down to size, and eliminate some of those problems. Ipe will check over time, but if you start with boards like that, they will only get worse.
I am inbetween both of you.
The material is not all that grate but its nothing that cant be worked with. The end checks are normal that one has a little grain flip but that can be worked with as well.
Steve you just spolied!!!! J.
I guess that I am spoiled, but only because I have a great lumberyard that spoils me. I just picked out 19 16 foot 1x6 Ipe...all nice boards...some beauties. No checking, and none of that strange figured quartersawn looking stuff, which I hate on a deck. When I tell them that I need 19 boards, they'll bring in 30 from their warehouse, and let me pick the best. I love those guys.
Anyway, I looked at his wood photos again, and I'm sticking with my opinion. The minor end checking is ok, if you can cut it off...but some of those boards are checked all over, and some have that ugly figure. That grain flip is a nasty toe cutter.
The funny thing is that all those checked boards are anchorsealed. So much for that myth. We never did buy into that.
griffse - Can I guess where you bought that from? Is your supplier Advantage Lumber (aka Ipe Depot)?
Thanks for all the great comments, I would like to get an opinion on these shots as well http://picasaweb.google.com/griffse/Scratches#
Jim, I am trying to work with the dealer (not very successfully) so I don't want to name the vendor right now. I certainly will once they either refuse to help or display great customer service. Have you had a less than favorable experience with Advantage?
There's a difference between checking & splitting, some of those ends look split to me, not normal checking. Most of it looked ok tho, a couple of boards with split ends & the one with the raised grain I might ask for replacements.
Keep in mind it's wood, it's not going to be perfect. That said don't expect any supplier to be able to deliver perfect boards, you just have to live with some imperfections. Keep that in mind when you order, anotherwords order a little extra. I know that's hard to do with the price of ipe, but it makes good sense to do so & you can always find something to do with an extra piece of ipe.
Now if you are going to your local lumberyard to pick up some boards & you are a long time good customer they very well may allow you to cherry pick the best boards & you can get boards that look perfect. Don't expect them to be able to do that for anyone who walks in tho.
Rule of thumb is to allow at least 5% for spoilage. I generally order 10% extra.
Some ends may just need to be trimmed. That board that has the raised grain should be tossed as part of your 5%.
I just looked at your 2nd batch of pics. When I buy a lot of ipe, I would say it is not uncommon to find all of those defects.
Those that we can sand down, we use. Some we cannot. Those boards with the funny rough grain are pretty common, unfortunately.
The question is, what percentage of your load was like this. If it is just a few boards, I eat it. More then 10%, I exchange it.
I buy a lot of ipe and I get very good pricing. In exchange, I return very little.
You asked about Advantage...I've never bought Ipe online, but in april, I built a deck for a client here in Brooklyn. They wanted to save $, and order their own decking (online). I reluctantly gave them the go ahead.
They needed 74 14 footers, and ordered 77, in case of bad boards. I told them that I could get more locally if they needed them.
They ordered from advantage. I was pleasantly surprised to find their boards to be of excellent quality. I found 74 good boards, and built a 14' counter with the other 3.
I was more than surprised...I was shocked.
I have used Advantage for a good portion of my jobs, and they typically have very good quality lumber. The few occassions where there were any issues, they simply had me email them a couple pictures and they sent out replacements fairly quickly. Ordering lumber online can seem a bit scary at first, but I have been more than happy with the service I have recieved from them.
At the beginning of next year I'll be in the market for about 2500LF of ipe decking. I was wondering if there were different grades of 1x6 ipe. One company has a import grade and a premium grade which is about a buck a foot more. Most companies seem to have only one grade.
I purchased some Ipe decking and my ends are splitting worse than Griffse. Is this normal as I have never built a deck with anything other than pressure treated? How much end split is too much?
I asked the company I bought it from, Eastteak.com, and they said end splitting is normal. I asked two different people there the same question and they both agreed….but obviously I am still concerned.
Will it continue to split? I did not use end sealant, should I put it on now or does that only work during construction?
Should I put a oil on to stop it? One coat..two coats.????and what type of oil is best? Could I use polyurethane to totally seal the wood? I was thinking marine polyurethane but a gallon of it is a bit expensive because it doesn’t seem that it covers a lot of square feet because the finish is thick.
End splitting is normal with any wood. Always order your boards a little bigger than you actually need to allow for cutting the ends off. You could reduce the dimensions of your deck a few inches at this point to allow for cutting the ends off instead of ordering longer boards/returning boards which will cost you more $.
Whatever you do don't put polyurethane on your ipe, it will peal in a short time creating a huge costly mess for you to clean up. Plus it does nothing to stop the uv rays from turning the wood gray.
A good coat of TWP is all I do on my ipe decks. Normally I use the rustic color in the 100 series, 116 I believe. Some of the other colors will work fine too, the pecan or dark oak.
With S. American lumber the apperance of checks and splits is a normal part of the drying process. They mostly disappear as the wood reaches a stable moisture level. The first season of drying the splits and checks look the worst because the wood is drying out most quickly at that time. When the boards shrink in width, up to 3/16" for a 1x6, the checks and splits close up, 99% disappear completely.
The end sealing is a total waste of time and money. The boards come with sealed ends for marketing reasons. Marketing of the sealer product.
We are a prime ipe deck exporter located in Bolivia and export to many different countries. What I read is all about drying and the relative 'moisture content' (also called MC) of the deck. The MC should always be in balance with the outside world. So in a wet surroundings, MC of 20% is okay, in dryer areas the MC must be something like 12%.
Issue 2 about decay, one should always ALWAYS apply a UV filter on top of the deck. UV makes your deck grey, no matter what wood, including deck. For more technical details and deck stain and cleaning see www.roquevalente.com
Here is a link that might be useful: deck stain
I HAVE RETURNED.been gone long time.
as john said,SCREW DOWN YOUR BOARDS WITH SS SCREWS.
my deck is only 3 ft off ground and this is my 4th year with no problems.
ipe dit shrink a little in width BUT you need ventalition.
i used 3 vents at bottom of deck near ground to get air in there.
YOU HAVE TO GET AIR IN THERE OR YOUR BOARDS WILL WARP.
i used 16 inch centers on the treated lumber joists.
boy, this new lumber [treated] is just GASTLY.it warps,cracks and twists and nothing you can do OTHER THAN LET IT DRY IN YOUR GARAGE FOR YEAR would help before putting down.
you should see cracks in my treated lumber,THEY ARE 12 FT LONG............