What Is Ipe Wood?


Ipe is an extremely high-density hardwood species native to much of South and Central America. Pronounced /E'–pay/, it has also been referred to as Brazilian Walnut and Ironwood. While there are many subspecies of Ipe wood the best subspecies grow naturally, primarily in Northern Brazil.

Ipe is the benchmark material for all exterior hardwoods. Ipe hardwood is so resistant to fungi, decay, and termites that it is the species that all other decking wood is compared to. Ipe hardwood is such a resistant and durable species that it has historically been used not only for premium outdoor living spaces but also railroad ties, truck flooring, industrial flooring, boardwalks, docks, and other challenging outdoor projects.


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What's So Special About Mataverde® Premium Ipe Decking?


For the discriminating user, Mataverde® Premium Ipe Decking is the ultimate decking solution for those who want the very best: a real-wood, all-natural, inherently beautiful deck. Ipe hardwood decking outperforms every known decking material on Earth, and stays beautiful naturally.

The Mataverde® brand name is your assurance of quality. A deck built with Mataverde Ipe can provide you with years of comfort, satisfaction, relaxation, and peace of mind. It is no surprise that it is considered the "best of the best" decking materials.

Ipe wood is extremely hard, strong and scratch resistant, which is why it has been used on such high traffic projects as docks, marinas, boardwalks, municipal walkways and public esplanades for decades. In fact, Mataverde Premium Ipe Hardwood Decking is so reliable, it is covered by a 25 Year Limited Warranty.


Want to see real-world proof of how well Ipe performs? Watch the results of our in-house test showing how Ipe peforms compared to other wood decking species. We performed a real-time test of 15 years of outdoor exposure at our New London, CT Headquarters. 

Ready to price out your project?

Contact us by clicking below and we will put together a customized quote for you.


Color and Graining of Mataverde® Ipe Hardwood

ipe hardwood decking boards


All real wood decking materials have naturally distinguishing coloration, unique character marks, and graining variations. Some decking wood species show more natural character than other woods. Mataverde® Premium Ipe is one such spectacular exotic hardwood decking species.

Mataverde® Premium Ipe hardwood displays a wide range of colors, graining and natural beauty. Typically there will be a full spectrum of color ranging from tans to olive browns, to reddish to dark browns, with this hardwood species. The spectacular graining variations and exotic “figuring” found in Ipe are similar to the variations of color and graining you would find in a hardwood floor inside your home. 


ipe deck pool cape cod


Ipe wood exhibits a wide range of character and striping. The exotic graining, quarter-sawn figuring and striping will differentiate every Ipe deck board. No two pieces are ever exactly alike. The  variety of color, graining and figuration make an Ipe deck a one-of-a-kind work of art right in your backyard.

RELATED: Ipe Decking vs. Other Wood Decking Materials, how well does it perform?

Want to see the beauty of Ipe hardwood used in recent projects? 

Click here to visit the Ipe Decking Photo Gallery and the Ipe Decking Projects Gallery




Mataverde® Ipe Hardwood Appearance Options

Ipe wood will last for an exceptionally long time in outdoor applications. But it is still wood, and all natural woods will behave and perform differently, especially when they are used outdoors. As exterior woods age many processes happen during their initial and life-long exposure to the elements. Here's what the typical life cycle aging process looks like for Ipe hardwood:

Natural weathering process exterior Ipe hardwood.jpg

Would you like to learn more about the low maintenance needs of Ipe? Download the free guide "How Hardwoods Weather" now.

2021 Guide To How Woods Weather Download Now

Mataverde® Ipe Physical Characteristics 

and Mechanical Properties

Ipe has many amazing physical properties and characteristics that make it one of the longest lasting natural wood species on earth.  This species ages both beautifully and gracefully. It lasts so long we are very comfortable offering you a 25 year limited warranty against decay and insects for Mataverde® Ipe decking and wood siding materials.  

dauphin riverside deck

Mataverde® Ipe has natural resistance to cracking, checking, twisting, cupping and splintering. It is extremely stable, hard, and dense. It withstands all types of punishment. Ipe wood is known to have the highest durability rating of any decking product on Earth and is naturally decay resistant throughout all the fibers of the wood.


Ipe is rated as very resistant to attack by decay, fungi, and termites. When properly cared for it is not uncommon for this decking material to last 40-50 years or longer.


Ipe has a Janka hardness of 3,680 lbf (more than triple the toughness of red oak). That's why it has an unparalleled resistance to scratching and gouging. There simply isn't a stronger wood decking material.


Ipe has an amazingly high bending strength of 23,360 psi. That means you would have to apply 23,360 pounds of pressure, (or the weight of two average male elephants), per square inch to break a board. Because of its strength, this hardwood decking can out span virtually every wood species on Earth and will exhibit only minimal flex or "bounce" when you walk on an Ipe deck.


Ipe wood has a density of 1.04 g/cm3 (it will actually sink in water)


Mataverde® Ipe has been tested and received a Class A fire rating. The ASTM testing conducted on Mataverde Ipe hardwood also meets the same requirements as the IBC (International Building Code) and the ANSI/NFPA (American National Standards Institute/National Fire Protection Association) for a Class A fire rating.

The natural fire resistance of Ipe wood makes it a great choice for decks that are near fire pits, chimneys, outdoor fireplaces, charcoal grills and more. Cigar and cigarette burns are not a problem with Ipe decking.

Builders, Architects and Homeowners

have been relying on the strength, hardness and durability of Ipe hardwood lumber and decking materials for many years.  Wherever there is a sincere desire to use the best all natural outdoor wood products available, Ipe high density hardwood is the material of choice the world over. See more at Ipe Project Ideas by clicking here.

Trying to find the best decking material for your project? Download your free guide,

"The Ultimate Guide to Selecting the Right Decking", now.

2021 Ultimate Guide To Selecting The Right Decking Download Today

Ipe Decking Installation Tips and Techniques


Ipe decking and steps at night Providence Pedestrian Bridge


Ipe is such a hard decking material, special techniques and fasteners have been developed to make installing it better and faster than ever. There are several decking installation methods to choose from. The traditional method of installing Ipe is to pre-drill the deck boards and then fasten the decking with stainless steel screws to the deck joists. 

Another faster installation method for Ipe decking is to use the Ejector screw. The Ejector screw securely fastens your Ipe decking to the deck joists without pre-drilling.

If you do not want to see screw heads exposed on your deck boards, a hidden fastener can be used. The Mataverde hidden deck fastener makes for a quick decking installation and for a beautiful Ipe deck that will last for many, many years to come.

Click here for additional information and installation techniques for Mataverde Decking and other high-density exterior hardwood decking species.

Looking for deck ideas? Need some deck design inspiration?

Download the "Deck Design Ideas E-Book" 

61 pages featuring over 150 deck design ideas.


2020 Deck Design Ideas eBook DOWNLOAD YOURS TODAY

Mataverde Ipe Care & Maintenance

Ipe hardwood decking can be a very low maintenance material. Always remove debris and dirt off your deck with regular cleaning. Keeping your deck clean actually extends the life of the decking and looks beautiful at the same time.

If your desire is to keep the original coloration and appearance of your deck or other outdoor Ipe project, a coat of rosewood oil finish such as Penofin Hardwood Formula Oil Finish with a UV protectant, or similar product, is highly recommended. An annual maintenance coat of the oil finish is suggested to maintain the original look of your hardwood decking.

Will You Let Your Ipe Deck Weather Naturally

Allow your deck to silver? Or preserve the warm tones?

Ipe is beautiful either way.

Ipe deck weathered to silvery gray patina


Natural weathering of Ipe hardwood decking develops a silvery patina making it a low maintenance choice for decking.

A rosewood oil finish on your Ipe deck darkens and enhances the rich colors and natural graining of Ipe hardwood.

To weather or not to weather? It's a choice between low maintenance, or even lower maintenance!

Learn more, download the

"Guide to How Woods weather" now.

2021 Guide To How Woods Weather Download Now

How easy is it to maintain an Ipe hardwood deck?

 Click here to learn more about the care and maintenance options for Mataverde® decking

RELATED:10 Solid Reasons Deck Builders Choose Ipe Decking

How Does Ipe hardwood decking compare to other decking options?

Ipe hardwood decking is an all natural sustainable decking material that totally outshines virtually all other decking material options, wood decking, composite decking, plastic decking, and more in nearly every measurable performance rating.

 See how Ipe hardwood decking compares to Red Cedar and other wood decking options here.

 See how Ipe hardwood decking compares to Composite decking and other Synthetic decking material options here.

 How Does Ipe hardwood decking compare to Redwood decking?

 How Does Ipe Decking compare to Garapa Decking?

 How Does Ipe decking compare to Cumaru Decking?

 Compare Ipe decking pricing to Other decking material pricing


For a fantastic comparison of all the most popular decking material options,

Download the "Ultimate Guide to Selecting the Right Decking" today.

Download Your Copy of The 2021 Ultimate Guide To Decking Now 


Ready to get decking prices for your project? 

Request a free Decking Quote today.