An example of an Ipe Porch.

Ipe Decking vs Cedar decking: Which is a better wood for your deck?

It often comes up when designing and building a high end deck –  what is the best type of wood to use? Ipe vs Cedar, which is the best wood choice? While we are obviously huge fans of Ipe Decking, we wanted to provide all of the facts on the positives and negatives of each type of wood to use. It really depends on what you are looking for in the life of your deck and the final appearance. Below are the specs for each wood and the benefits of each.

Janka hardness1,5603,680
Average weight23 lbs/ft369 lbs/ft3
Bending strength7,500 lbf/in225,660 lbf/in2
stiffness1,110,000 lbf/in23,200,000 lbf/in2
Crushing Strength4,560 lbf/in213,600 lbf/in2
Cost $-$$$$$$$$$$$


  • Silvers with Age
  • Extremely hard
  • Heavy wood
  • Requires staining to keep from turning the natural gray
  • Class A fire rating (same as steel and concrete)
  • Twice as dense and 5 times as hard as pressure treated wood
  • Available in long lengths
  • Virtually knot free
  • Little to no warping
  • Requires pre-drilling and or hidden fasteners
  • Has a 40+ year life span as a deck wood


  • Silvers with age
  • Much softer than Ipe
  • Lighter wood
  • Requires staining to keep from turning the natural gray
  • Class B Fire rating
  • Mostly sapwood in modern cedar, so it roots faster than old first growth cedar from the past
  • More rot resistant than pressure treated wood but less than Ipe
  • Less expensive than Ipe
  • Has a 15-20 year life span as a deck wood

We like to say is that cedar is better than pressure treated,  but it is still a world apart from Ipe Decking when it comes to toughness, beauty, and life span. We also like to offer our CumaruGarapa or Massaranduba as less expensive options compared to Ipe. These still have extremely long life spans as decking products. There is no comparison to the natural durability of tropic hardwoods.

Please let us know below in the comments if you have any questions!

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