Garapa on the left and Ipe on the right

Ipe Decking vs Garapa decking: Which is the right 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 Garapa, which is the best wood choice? Since we carry both woods we can 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.

WoodGarapaIpe
Janka hardness1,6313,680
Average weight54 lbs/ft369 lbs/ft3
Bending strength12,900 lbf/in225,660 lbf/in2
stiffness2,257,000 lbf/in23,200,000 lbf/in2
Crushing Strength9,030 lbf/in213,600 lbf/in2
Cost $-$$$$$$$$$$$

Garapa Decking

eDeck - Galli Garapa Deck 2

Ipe Decking

Ipe:

  • 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 defect free
  • Little to no warping
  • Requires pre-drilling and or hidden fasteners
  • Has a 40+ year life span as a deck wood

Garapa:

  • Originally a golden yellow color. When it oxidizes it turns to a beautiful amber tint.
  • Silvers with age
  • softer than Ipe but harder than cedar, composite, or pressure treated woods. It is as stable as Ipe.
  • A little lighter than Ipe but not significantly
  • Requires staining to keep from turning the natural gray ?
  • Class A Fire rating same as steel
  • Medium to High rot resistance but less than Ipe.
  • Insect and Rot resistance similar to Ipe
  • Less expensive than Ipe
  • Has a 25+ year life span as a deck wood

We like to say is that garapa is really your best budget option when it comes to hardwood decking,  but Ipe Decking is still the standard for toughness, beauty, and life span. But that said the golden color of Garapa is really beautiful and very popular in modern architecture. We also like to offer our Cumaru 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.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Ipe vs Cedar

Ipe vs Composite

Comparing Decking materials

Please let us know below in the comments if you have any questions or feel free to contact us!

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