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Exotic Hardwood: Ipe

Posted: Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Exotic Hardwoods IpeIf you love the rustic look of railroad crossties or wonder how the handle of your hammer has stayed in such great shape over the years, then Ipe is the hardwood flooring choice for you. Beyond the beautiful, rustic appearance, Ipe offers one of the most stable and durable wood floorings options available.

From the tropical areas of America and Brazil, Ipe is sometimes referred to as Brazilian Walnut even though it has no relation to the American Walnut. It is a low-luster wood, often with an oily appearance. The color ranges from olive-brown to black with irregular grain. Because its natural environment is the rain forest, thorough drying of this wood is crucial prior to installation. Clear finishes work best to showcase the natural beauty of this sturdy wood. It glues and finishes with a quality appearance.

Ipe is the perfect fit for that office space or home that welcomes heavy traffic or for industrial areas that prefer the look of hardwoods over tile or concrete. The Janka hardness of Ipe is 3,684, which is over 91 percent harder than merabu. Due to its sturdy and durable nature, Ipe can be moderately difficult to work with when using hand tools. It can have a blunting effect and nail holes need to be pre-drilled prior to installation. This stability and durability of Ipe prevents water decay and insects.

Readily available, Ipe can be purchased unfinished or pre-finished for solid, nail-down installation. It can also be easily found in engineered for with veneer finishes for installation on concrete surfaces.

Ipe can be difficult to work with due to its hard properties and durability. However, if you are looking for wood flooring that resists water well and promises a long-lasting, natural beauty, then Ipe is an obvious choice.