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Ipé 1st Grade Smooth Decking 21 x 145mm

(exc VAT) (inc VAT)
Price per linear metre £9.99 £11.99
Price per square metre £66.60 £79.92

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One of the hardest woods on earth, Ipé is the ultimate choice for decking due to its tremendous strength (measuring 3680 on the Janka scale, 3 times harder than Oak). Due to its hardness and natural ability to resist decay, Ipé will provide many years of service.

At a glance

  • Last few lengths remaining
  • Rich dark brown colour
  • Fantastic durability - one of the hardest woods available
  • Smooth all round with eased edges
  • Kiln Dried - for an excellent finish quality and improved stability
  • Ideal for commercial and residential use

Please ensure when ordering that you make an allowance for wastage. We recommend adding an additional 10-15% over and above your initial requirements.

One of the hardest woods on earth

Ipé (pronounced ”ee-pay”)  is a tropical hardwood with unique performance characteristics that has earned a reputation as one of world’s toughest and best performing wood species.  Its incredible durability, dimensional stability and attractive appearance make it particularly well suited for decking and other exterior applications.


The general appearance of Ipé heartwood is a lustrous rich reddish-brown colour, however closer inspection will reveal colour tones ranging from light to very dark olive brown, often with distinctive thin veins of lighter or darker striping.

Ipé has a fine texture with a closely and narrowly interlocked grain.  It has a low to medium lustre. It has very few knots or other irregularities, and those that are present tend to be very small and infrequent and do not detract from its clear appearance.

Strength and Durability

There is no other wood species commercially available that offers the same level of strength and durability as Ipé Hardwood Decking.  It is widely recognised that an Ipé deck can last in excess of 25 years, however the reality is that it could last far longer.

Both TRADA in the UK and the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory have classified Ipé as ‘Very Durable’ (25 year service).   This is the highest rating available.

Density & Hardness

Ipé is an incredibly dense and hard wood species.  With a Janka hardness rating of 3680 it is almost three times harder than Oak. It's dense cell structure contributes to its natural ability to resist attack from insects, decay, and moulds.

Ipé is very heavy with an average weight of about 1024 kg per cubic metre. Being particularly dense and hard Ipé is resistant to abrasion and therefore well suited for use as decking in high traffic areas.

Dimensional Stability

Ipé is relatively easy to season; it dries rapidly with minimal checking, twisting or bow.  The total shrinkage is remarkably low for a wood of this density and the rate of movement in service is also low.

Fire Resistance

Although no UK data currently exists, tests in the US have proven that Ipé has the same fire rating as concrete and steel.  Ipé has been ASTM-E84 tested to National Fire Protection Code, Class A, Uniform Building Code, Class 1. This is the highest rating.

Storage and Handling 

For best results store your Ipe decking out of direct sunlight and do not expose it to weather before installation.  Keep the boards off the ground by stacking them flat on timbers placed on the ground; this allows air to circulate around the stack.  Cover your deck boards with a waterproof breathable sheet to protect them from sun and rain until you are ready to install them.

Cleaning and Maintenance 

Your Ipe deck will benefit from regular cleaning.  Brush the deck with a stiff broom to remove dirt and dead leaves, and ensure that the gaps between the boards are clear of organic debris.  Clean the deck periodically with Multi Wash by Sansin® to remove grime and mildew.  Ipe decking can be pressure washed, but it is important to select a low setting to prevent the wood fibres on the surface from being damaged.

If your Ipe deck is weathered it is possible to restore the natural colour with Wood Cleaner by Sansin®.  This product will remove weathering, mould, algae, mildew and iron stains and prepares the surface for recoating. 

If an existing finish or stain has broken down it can be removed using Paint and Stain Remover by Sansin®.  This product will remove most failed oil-based or latex finishes, extreme weathering, water stains, mould and mildew and restore wood to its natural colour.


Ipe decking can be crosscut with good quality chop saw using a tungsten carbide tipped blade.  Ripping can be done on a standard table saw, using a good quality, well-aligned fence and a tungsten carbide tipped blade.  When drilling, always use the highest quality drill bits available. If screwing through the face, use a countersink bit with a positive stop to ensure that all the screw heads end up at a consistent depth.  Screws can be lubricated to make installation easier.

Routing or planing can be done with either high speed tungsten carbide cutters. The feed speed should be fairly slow. 


A dust mask and eye protection should always be worn when working with any wood.  Avoid the inhalation of wood dust.  We recommend a dust mask with an activated carbon filter. Some people may have an allergic reaction to hardwood dust.  Remove wood splinters immediately to prevent infection.


To ensure its quality, Ipe decking from Silva is carefully manufactured, graded and inspected at source.  It is inspected again during the order picking process prior to despatch.  However, Ipe decking is a natural wood product and is subject to variations in weight, density, colour, grain and performance. Ipe decking is subject to dimensional changes as the moisture content in the wood fluctuates with humidity in the air. Swelling, shrinkage, checking, and other movement of individual pieces are normal occurrences in wood decking.

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Installation & Advice

Deck Board Spans

21 x 145mm Ipe decking should be installed with joists spaced at 400mm centres.  When installing the boards diagonally the joists should be spaced at 300mm centres.

Deck Board Spacing

21 x 145mm Ipe decking should be installed with a 5mm gap between the boards.  The space between the boards allows for air circulation and slight expansion with changes to the humidity level.


It is important to allow adequate air circulation underneath the deck to prevent cupping and warping of the boards.  It is recommended that a vapour barrier is used on the ground to prevent moisture from absorbing into the underside of the deck boards.


There are a number of different options available for fastening deck boards to the joists.  We recommend screwing through the face of every board using 5.0 x 60mm Countersunk Stainless Steel Screws. Fix two screws into every joist at quarter points on the deck board (36mm from each edge).  We recommend that pilot holes are drilled prior to inserting the screws.  This is particularly important at the ends of the boards to prevent splitting. 5.0 x 60mm Countersunk Stainless Steel Screws will flex slightly as the wood expands and contracts as the level of humidity changes with the changing of the seasons.

For a cleaner finish we suggest recessing the screws and using Ipe plugs to hide the screw heads.  Plugs can be cut from off-cuts of decking using a relatively inexpensive drill attachment called a plug cutter. 

For a cleaner finish we suggest recessing the screws and using Ipe plugs to hide the screw heads.  Plugs can be cut from off-cuts of decking using a relatively inexpensive drill attachment called a plug cutter. 

Hidden Fasteners

There are a number of hidden fastening systems available.  None of these products are as reliable as screwing through the face, and it is likely that there will be some additional movement of the deck boards when using hidden fasteners.  If using a hidden fastening system it is essential to allow adequate ventilation beneath the deck and to coat the deck boards with an appropriate finish on all sides prior to installation.

Hardwood wrench

The longer the deck board the greater the tendency for it to be slightly bowed. To overcome this, most professional deck installers will carry a tool called a Hardwood Wrench, or Bow wrench, which enables the user to easily straighten a bowed board single handed as it is installed.  The Bow wrench is relatively inexpensive and can save a lot of time, so it’s worth buying even if you only use it for one project.  It can also he hired from some tool hire stores.

End Sealer

Ipe decking from Silva Timber is end-sealed during the manufacturing process to help prevent splitting and checking on the ends of boards.  We recommend that if the boards are cut during installation then the exposed end grain should be sealed as soon as possible.   A clear, water-resistant wax such as Osmo Wax End Sealer should be used.


1st Grade Smooth

There is no official standardised grading system for Ipé Decking, however manufacturers generally adhere to the internationally recognised National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA) grading system.  The standard quality of Ipé commonly available throughout Europe is known as FAS grade.  It is also known and described by some suppliers as ‘First and Seconds’, ‘Prime Grade’, ‘No. 1 Grade’, ‘First Quality’,  ‘First Grade’ and ‘A Grade’. 

Regardless of the title attributed to it, the most important factor to consider when buying Ipé is the quality of production. Ipé decking from Silva Timber is carefully sourced from selected mills to ensure the highest levels of quality and consistency.  The material is 100% heartwood with no open defects on the surface.  Small tight knots, occasional pin holes, and other small, non-structural defects are allowed on the back side and edges.

Read more about Ipe Grading

  • FSC
  • PEFC
  • Trada member
  • Responsible purchaser
  • Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau
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