Last year I wrote a post (and here) on a deck we’d built which we finished with Ipe (a sustainable hardwood). It still gets read pretty frequently by people searching for info on Ipe decking – almost 300 times since then. Since what I wanted to know when we went for it was not what it looked like when it was new, but what it looked like after a year or more, I thought it would be useful to do an update post.
The answer is it looks pretty good. We re-oiled it recently (royal we – Sa did it all), and it looks pretty much exactly how it did when new, though maybe a little darker (note that photo in last post was taken when it was wet, and it gleams then and now when wet – it’s not become duller!) :-
The wood has survived direct contact with the soil as well (along the front two edges) – we wanted a really clean junction between the lawn and deck, and reasoned that if Ipe can be submerged for years in canals, then it could stand that – so far inspection shows no damp issues.
Before we oiled it it was somewhat greyer, and you could see tiny very short cracks in the surface – nothing it felt worth worrying about, but interesting to see the difference to softwood. You can see the detail in the shot below (this is before oiling) – but even at this range the cracks are not visible, showing how small they really are). You can also see one of the 11 Micromark decklights we put in, every one of which has failed through mosture ingress – the only irritant from this job.
So, overall we’re really pleased we went for Ipe and would do it again in an instant. The only caveat I’d have is that mentioned in the last post – it’s really hard, and requires much more work to put down.