From Planning to Installation
1. Check with your local county code before starting your new deck project. The codes vary from county to county.
2. Order a few extra boards. Our material isn't cheap, but shipping on just a few boards can cost you a lot of money due to the fact that truckers have a minimum that they charge for delivery.
1. Let a person available to unload the wood at the job site. Warehouse deliveries should have a forklift available. The truck driver is not responsible for unloading the product from the truck. Deliveries that takes more than 30 minutes to unload will be overcharged by the shipper. So be prepared to quickly unload the truck.
2. Let your wood acclimate to your job site, for 7-10 days before installation. Stored in a shaded place, do not cover with plastic sheet. Cover with cardboard if is possible, that's a fine way to protect from the sun and let air circulates around the wood. The wood needs ventilation. Use stacking sticks between the boards and that it is off of the ground. If you store your wood in a garage, make sure to have ventilation for air circulation.
1. Application: Ipe decking is available in air dried lumber. Air dried lumber is intended for outdoor use for decks, benches, docks, play yards, or other outdoor furniture.
2. Cutting & Drilling: Due to the very hard nature of Ipe, premium carbide tipped saw blades are recommended for cutting. Brad point drill bits or fastener bits provide cleaner holes than standard HSS twist bits.
3. End Sealing: Our Ipe decking is shipped with the end grain sealed with a clear wax to prevent any end checking. Fresh cuts should be sealed within 24hrs with end grain sealant. The end grain sealant is simply applied with a paintbrush and dries clear.
4. Fastening: There are three typical methods of fastening Ipe decking to other structural members:
Ipe Clip ® Fastener Method: The Ipe Clip® fastener system uses high strength plastic fastening biscuits that insert into slots cut into the edge of the deck board which then rests on top of a joist. A stainless steel screw (supplied with each clip) is then screwed down into the joist. We recommend the Ipe Clip® fastener system as many other hidden fastener systems install from the bottom side of the deck, requiring screwing into the bottom of the deck board. With the Ipe Clip® fastener system no screws or holes show from the surface. The Ipe Clip® fasteners are fiberglass reinforced so that they are one of the strongest ways to fasten Ipe Decking.
- Face Screw / Plug Method: Countersink 3/8" holes into face of deck boards. Predrill 1/8" pilot holes completely through the deck boards. Screw the deck boards down with stainless screws. 3/8" Ipe plugs are then glued into the holes with waterproof glue (i.e. Gorilla brand glue, Epoxy, etc.) Plugs are then knocked off with a chisel and sanded smooth.
- Finish Screw Method: Stainless steel #8 trim head screws are screwed into the face of the decking. Recommended two per joist. The trim head screw is very small and only slightly noticeable. Our Torx drive screws resist striping much more than the standard square drive.
5. Gap Spacing: We recommend allowing 1/16" gaps between deck boards for water drainage and wood expansion / contraction. This also allows for proper air circulation. Average shrinkage is approximately 1/16" on 4" wide boards and 1/8" on 6" wide boards.
6. Finishing: Because of Ipe's natural density and its alkaline characteristics, many oil and water based finishes will not dry properly when applied. We recommend that you test any product on several sample boards to determine compatibility. The finish we recommend is Messmers UV Plus finish. Other possible finishes include CWF Flood Finish, Sitkens Deck Finish, and Penafin. Applying a finish minimum every two years (depending upon your local climate) will keep the beautiful dark brown color. If you decide to let your deck weather it will turn a silvery gray. We recommend that you apply a coat of finish initially after deck installation, regardless of the final color desired. This will ensure that the Ipe retains its oils and stability.
7. Gluing: If the need arises to glue your Ipe, waterproof glues, such as Gorilla brand polyurethane can be used with satisfactory results. Epoxy glues are also very suitable and can be dyed to black, brown or other colors to match your Ipe deck. Epoxy produces a very strong waterproof bond, particularly important for gluing posts.