Ipe vs. Composite Decking

by Kai
(Santa Rosa, CA)

I read over and over again that composite or synthetic decks are more expensive than pressure-treated pine decks.

But what about the cost and maintenance of top quality wood (such as Ipe) versus top quality composite or synthetic materials?

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May 14, 2011
Ipe decks cost more but last longer with less maintenance
by: Editor - Rich Bergman

You raise an interesting point because composite and synthetic decking materials are easily 2 or 3x the cost of pt pine decks. And ipe is generally more expensive than any other wood. But ipe requires only a regular staining - if you want to keep it from going grey - or else it weathers to a silver color.

Ipe is probably the closest material to no maintenance. It has been used on the Atlantic City boardwalk and a visitor from New York told me recently they just repaired an old bridge in the city where the sidewalks were made of Ipe boards and the bridge was about 100 years old.

So that is pretty good value - if - you plan on staying in your home for the long haul. Most people just can't affored the initial outlay of cash. But in my mind, Ipe is the gold standard for a wood deck and it beats composite and synthetic decks by a long shot.

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