Ipe Decking Compared to Red Cedar Decking

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Compare Ipe Decking to Red Cedar Decking

Ipe decking and Western Red Cedar decking are two beautiful and natural wood decking species that exhibit color ranges from light to dark brown. While both of these beautiful and natural decking material options are real wood species, the performance and maintenance of Ipe decking and Red Cedar decking are worlds apart. Ipe decking is a high density tropical hardwood with amazing durability and resistance to the elements while red cedar decking is a softwood species that is nowhere as durable as Ipe.



From an appearance standpoint, Ipe decking shows colors from light tans to olive browns to nearly black tones with many shades of brown for a full range of tropical color variations. Ipe decking also shows exotic graining and figuring, adding to its character and natural variations. Red cedar decking also shows color ranges from tan to darker browns but with a lot less graining variation. Higher grades of Red Cedar decking are available as ‘clear’ and have very few knots, while lower grades of red cedar decking have lots of knots and a very rustic appearance.

Maintaining softwood decking species like red cedar decking with a stain, paint or sealer every year or as needed is very important if you want your decking to last and not rot or deteriorate. On the other hand, Ipe decking can last for decades and decades with no maintenance whatsoever. That’s one reason why Ipe wood decking is so popular for projects from boardwalks and walkways to backyard decks. 



See the incredible results of our 15-year field test to discover our how ipe wood decking, mahogany decking and other species would handle New England's worst weather conditions. 

Ipe decking outlasts all other wood decking materials including mahogany decking


Ipe wood decking is a high density hardwood decking material that can span great distances at a very high strength level. Ipe decking lumber is also naturally resistant to splintering, fire, insects and decay without any chemicals or additives. In contrast, red cedar decking is a softwood decking material that requires regular maintenance to keep it looking good and not rot. Cedar decking is not resistant to insects, fire or splintering.

For a wealth of valuable information about all of the popular decking material options, please download our highly acclaimed white paper, "The Ultimate Guide to Selecting the Right Decking Material", by clicking the link below. This FREE Decking Guide answers lots of questions about a wide range of decking materials including their strengths and weaknesses.


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