The Hard and Beautiful Truth About Exotic Hardwoods

exotic hardwood deck by Archadeck

exotic hardwood deck by Archadeck

Brazilian hardwoods– they are beautiful, strong, naturally resistant against insects and durable just to name a few qualities. Brazilian or exotic  hardwoods are quite popular in uses such as flooring, decking, furniture making, docks, pool houses, and even to finish out ceiling in structures like covered porches, sunrooms and some homes. Their exotic and intoxicating beauty is unique in its variation and veining as well as their coloring.


Massaranduba deck

Brazilian hardwoods include Brazilian Walnut (Ipe), Brazilian teak ( Cumaru), Brazilian cherry (Jatoba), Brazilian redwood (Masaranduba) and the unmistakable Tigerwood. The natural colors of each of these woods is so desirable and unique it doesn’t require any staining or color additive.

Ipe is possibly one of the hardest woods available on the market today. Ipe is rated to last an astounding 100 years!  Ipe has a class A fire rating which is same rating given to concrete as well as steel. Exposure to weather, including moisture has very little effect on the structural quality of the wood, this is why it is a popular choice among dock owners. Archadeck of Maryland recently focused on the use of beautiful Ipe in this blog story about an Ipe deck in Potomac MD.


Tigerwood up close-breathtaking

Tigerwood is another great option when considering exotic hardwoods. Tigerwood will not rot or decay over time. It is also quite disease- and fungus-resistant which make Tigerwood another viable option for use around a pool area, or area that is exposed to moisture. Another great article on Tigerwood was done by Archadeck of Austin, to read more just click the link below…

IPE Brazilian hardwood roof deck from Rhode Island Builder - Archadeck

Ipe Brazilian hardwood roof deck from Rhode Island Builder - Archadeck

Even though some hardwoods are better known to consumers such as Ipe and Tigerwood, there are many more of these exotic woods on today’s market. Exotics require different installation than a typical wood application. Pre-drilled holes are required to ensure the decking will not split due to the hardness and resiliency of the wood. All Brazilian hardwoods carry at the very least a 25 year guarantee. We do recommend treating the deck on a regular basis to maintain those rich warm tones. Eventually all exotics will weather to a beautiful silver patina over time.

IPE Brazilian hardwood deck with galvanized steel railing

Ipe Brazilian hardwood deck with galvanized steel railing

If you are interested in re-decking or new decking with Brazilian hardwoods. Archadeck has the expertise and experience of working with these exotics. We can design, plan and build your next outdoor structure. Contact us today to see the Archadeck difference. 888-687-3325 or email us at

Archadeck of Rhode Island endless deck and pool spa

Susan Lee at Archadeck of Rhode Island certainly had her work cut out for her when creating a custom deck overlooking the water that had an “endless” feel and also an “endless” pool spa. From the deck, the owners wanted to make it look as if the deck actually ended over the water.

Rhode Island endless deck looking over water ocean

Rhode Island endless deck looking over water ocean

They also wanted the pool spa to look as if it ended or blended into the water. It’s tougher to see from this elevation and since the spa/pool is covered how it looks endless but from that elevation, you get the same great endless feel that you do from the deck photo above.

Rhode Island endless deck and endless pool spa by Archadeck

The endless design effect in creating this design were a small challenge in comparison to the challenges presented when building the deck. Here is a look from below from before the deck was built.

Rhode Island Ocean Deck before picture

Rhode Island Ocean Deck before picture

Here were some of the challenges. Archadeck could not put any footings in the concrete walkway which was a difficult design because it cantilevers 6’. So they worked with a local engineer and the building inspector to come up with a structure that met their needs

The next architectural challenge was creating a crib for the pool spa which meant building a concrete crib for it to sit on and using a crane to lift it from the driveway to the deck.

Rhode Island pool spa picture

Here they are using the crane to place the concrete pool crib.

Concrete pool crib for endless pool spa in Rhode Island

What was nice is that the look from below was only enhanced by the beautiful stairs and lattice finish work that was done.

Rhode Island ocean deck stairs

Last but not least is one of the final critical components of Archadeck projects – selecting the best quality, best fit products for the job. Archadeck partners with many product companies to ensure the products used live up to the quality of the design and stand the test of time.

The decking is Ipe with Versatex Trim and Permalatt 3-D Lattice and DuraDeck Aluminum Railing.

For these Portsmouth RI owners, their new deck adds the magic and maximizes their entertaining opportunities for their summer home. They love the deck and enjoy their endless pool daily. The owners were great to work with and thankful that we as Archadeck were able to pull it off with the help of the drafting department and our great crew.

To contact Susan Lee at Archadeck of West Rhode Island, call (401) 397 – 6927.

What Is IPE And Is It Right For Your Deck?

You may have heard of decks made with IPE. You may have heard people gush about their durability and resilience. So what is it?

IPE (aka Ironwood) is one of the commercial names for a group of trees from the species Tabebuia. The trees typically grow from about 140-150 feet, but can reach heights of up to 200 feet. They can be found in Central and South America, but primarily grow in Brazil.

IPE’s tough, resilent properties have given it increasing popularity in the decking and outdoor furniture world. Along with being incredibly durable, it’s also naturally resistant to decay, wet conditions, and infestation by termites and borers. Additionally, it has a Class A fire rating-the same rating given to concrete and setel.

IPE’s heartwood is olive brown to black, and tends to feature striping. Its sapwood is much lighter, usually white or yellow.

To see examples of an Archadeck project made with IPE, click here.