What Is Ipe Wood?

Ipe wood decking is an incredibly tough and dense hardwood species that originates from Central and South America. With various names such as Brazilian Walnut, Pau Lope, EPay, EPI, and Ironwood, it has gained a reputation as the go-to material for all exterior hardwoods. Its exceptional resistance to fungi, decay, and termites has made it the standard against which other decking woods are measured. Its durability has made it a popular choice for decks, docks, piers, boardwalks, outdoor living spaces, and numerous other challenging outdoor projects.
 Ipe rooftop deck and stairs



What's So Special About Mataverde Premium Ipe Decking?


If you are looking for the best natural wood for your outdoor project, Mataverde Premium hardwoods offer the perfect solution for your deck. Our real-wood, all-natural decking is not only beautiful but also outperforms every other decking material on the market.

With the trusted Mataverde® brand name, you can be assured of the highest quality. Mataverde Ipe is a sustainably harvested Brazilian hardwood, making it an eco-friendly choice for your backyard deck. Not only will it provide years of comfort, satisfaction, and relaxation, but it is also considered the top decking material available. An Ipe deck is truly unbeatable.

Ipe hardwood is incredibly durable, strong, and scratch-resistant, which is why it has been used in high-traffic areas such as docks, piers, marinas, and boardwalks for decades. In fact, it is so reliable that it comes with a 25 Year Limited Warranty, giving you peace of mind.


Download our free guide, the "Ultimate Guide to Selecting The Right Decking"

to see how hardwood decking compares to other materials.

Discover how remarkable premium Ipe wood really is!

Curious to see real-world evidence of Mataverde's exceptional performance? Watch our in-house test showcasing how well Ipe hardwood fared over a span of 15 years, alongside popular wood species like redwood, western red cedar, mahogany, Douglas fir, and pressure-treated southern yellow pine. Witness this long-term outdoor exposure test conducted at our New London, CT Headquarters.



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Color and Graining of Mataverde Ipe Hardwood

Ipe hardwood decking boards



Mataverde Premium Ipe wood stands out as an extraordinary exotic hardwood decking species due to its natural beauty and unique characteristics. This stunning hardwood displays a wide range of colors, from tans to olive browns, and even reddish and dark browns. The graining variations and exotic "figuring" found in Ipe are reminiscent of the intricate patterns and colors you would find on a luxurious hardwood floor inside your home. Every board of Mataverde Premium Ipe is a work of art, showcasing its mesmerizing color variations and striking grain patterns.



Ipe deck pool cape cod


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


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Ipe Hardwood Appearance Options

An Ipe deck will last for an exceptionally long time outdoors. 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 this hardwood species:

Natural weathering process exterior Ipe hardwood

Would you like to learn more about the low maintenance of exterior wood?

Download the free guide "How Exterior Hardwoods Weather" now.

Physical Characteristics and Mechanical Properties

Ipe is renowned for its exceptional physical properties and unique characteristics, making it one of the most durable natural wood species on the planet. This remarkable wood ages gracefully and beautifully, ensuring its longevity. We are so confident in its lasting power that we offer a 25-year limited warranty against decay and insects.



dauphin riverside deck


This remarkable wood species has a natural resistance to cracking, checking, twisting, cupping, and splintering. It is extremely stable, hard, and dense. It withstands all types of punishment and is naturally decay-resistant throughout all the fibers of the wood. Ipe is known to have the highest durability rating of any outdoor wood on earth.


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


Janka hardness of 3,680 lbs. (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.


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 can out span virtually every wood species on earth and will exhibit only minimal flex or "bounce" when you walk on it.


Density of 1.04 g/cm3 (it will actually sink in water)


Has been tested and received a Class A fire rating. The ASTM E84 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 makes it a great choice for outdoor projects that are near fire pits, chimneys, outdoor fireplaces, charcoal grills and more. Cigar and cigarette burns are not a problem on this species.

Builders, Architects and Homeowners

Users have been relying on the strength, hardness and durability of Ipe lumber 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 Ipe Project Ideas by clicking here.


Attention Decking contractors! Don't miss out on our complimentary "Contractor's Ultimate Guide to Decking." This comprehensive resource provides invaluable insights and tips to help you excel in your deck-building projects. Get your hands on this must-have guide today!




Installation Tips and Techniques


Ipe decking and steps at night Providence Pedestrian Bridge


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

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

If you do not want to see screw heads exposed on your boards, a hidden fastener can be used. The Mataverde Concealed Deck Fastener is a fantastic deck clip and makes for a quick decking installation and for a beautiful 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 species.

Looking for ideas? Need a little design inspiration?

Download the "Deck Design Ideas E-Book", 61 pages featuring over 150 design ideas.

Care & Maintenance

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

If your goal is to keep the original color and appearance of your outdoor hardwood project, a coat of 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.

Will You Let Your Wood Weather Naturally?

Do you want to allow your wood to silver? Or preserve the warm tones? it is beautiful either way.

Ipe deck weathered to silvery gray patina

Ipe decking with Penofin oil finish

Natural weathering of exterior boards develops a silvery patina making it a low maintenance choice for outdoor projects of all types.

A rosewood oil finish on your boards darkens and enhances the rich colors and natural graining of hardwoods.



How easy is it to maintain an outdoor hardwood?

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

RELATED:10 Solid Reasons Builders Choose Ipe

How Does Ipe hardwood compare to other material options?

It is an all natural sustainable decking material that totally outshines virtually all other deck material options, including softwood, composites, plastics, and more, in nearly every measurable performance rating.

For a fantastic comparison of all the most popular deck board material options, Download the "Ultimate Guide to Selecting the Right Decking" today.


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