IPE Wood Furniture

It is summer time and there is no better place to spend a good portion of it than with your family in the back yard. In order to do that, every year people all over the country look for the perfect outdoor furniture. While it may have proven elusive in the past, the hunt is over. If you are looking for beautiful, durable and weather proof, then look no further. Outdoor furniture made from Ipe wood delivers all of this and more.

This tropical hardwood is widespread throughout South America and Central America. It is found in a variety of places from ridge tops to riverbanks and is also easily grown in managed forests as well. This commercially valuable tree is not an endangered species and most of the stock that arrives in the United States originates from forests, which bare the Forest Stewardship Council certification. Stock receiving this certification helps encourage sustainable forestry practices and offers the best remedy to exploitive deforestation.

Dark brown in color, the heartwood of Ipe is often beautifully striped with alternating light and dark striping. This natural dark color can be retained by applying a treatment of deck oil that contains UV protection. If preferred however traditional weathering will gradually change the color of the wood to handsome gray patina.

The incredibly dense cell structure of this tree is what conveys some of its most valuable properties. With a natural resistance to insect infestation, fungi, water damage and warping, this wood makes an ideal material with which to build outdoor projects. Tests conducted during construction of the Panama by the United States Naval Research Laboratory the United States Forest Products Laboratory found that wood left in the ground for 15 years was still without any termite infestation. Ipe was also tested by the United States Forest Products Laboratory which gave the wood its highest rating as well and found that the heartwood is very resistant to attack by decay fungi and mold, lasting as long as 40 years without any treatment and up to 100 years with just a single treatment of deck oil applied to the surface.

It is not only the durability of the wood that is so incredible; this wood also has amazing safety features. When used for decking around pools and hot tubs, it is incredibly slip resistant when wet. This hardwood exceeds the Americans with Disabilities act requirements for Static Coefficient of friction in a wet environment, providing an extra layer of protection in areas where falls can be dangerous. In addition to slip resistance, decking made from the heartwood of this tree is also very resistant to splintering which is a plus for using in seating and flooring.

With so many items today considered disposable, it is a refreshing change to find a product that can be expected to last a lifetime with such little maintenance. Ipe furniture is affordable as well and cost much less than other tropical hardwoods. When compared to the amount of money it will take if less durable furniture is bought and replaced over the course of a lifetime, furniture made from this incredible hardwood is a deal.

Ronnie Tanner is a contributing writer at Everlasting Hardwoods. He writes about Ipe Furniture and other industry specific topics.