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normwantabe
ipa decking

Hi, We're putting in an ipa deck next month and I have a few questions I hope someone out there will have the answers to. 1) hidden deck screws, which is best the "claw" or the "bisket" version? 2) does the ipa need to acclimate to our enviroment? 3) do you have to seal ipa with a water repellent? Any advice would be most appreciated. Thanks normwantabe

sabo4545
Re: ipa decking

I have not worked with Ipe yet but also am planning on putting it on my deck and front porch. It is an extremely tough wood so I don’t think the claw type fastener would be able to penetrate the wood, it would probably just bend the tangs. I’m not sure about it having to acclimate I would say it probably would already be acclimated if you bought if from a local supplier. You do not have to put a water repellant on it and like many other woods would turn silvery-grey over time.

Sherry
Re: ipa decking

You can use the Tiger Claw fasteners on Ipe. There are different fasteners for different woods -- use the TC-4 Hardwood fastener. Here's the link:
http://www.deckfastener.com/products_tc4.asp
I don't know if they are better than the other type of hidden fastener but they should do a good job.

Sealing Ipe is not absolutely required but it is recommended to protect it from UV. You should store the Ipe out of direct sunlight and let it acclimate. Check out the following website and be sure to read the installation instructions.
http://www.ipe-wood.com/tech.html

This stuff is incredibly dense, incredibly strong, and incredibly hard.

Good luck on your project.

normwantabe
Re: ipa decking

Hey SherryH,

Thanks for your info. We used plastic biskets to attached the ipe decking. the wood is fantastic and extremely hard we also had to rout out a groove along the side of the plank (this worked better than using a bisket cutter - too many measurements). Normwantabe

erikdane
Re: ipa decking

I just finished having an Ipe deck built; and, based upon numerous recommendations I would suggest not using the hidden fastener system. On the gardenweb.com website there has been quite a bit of discussion on problems with the hidden fastener systems.

I suppose it matters on your location, and the thickness of your decking, as most of the problems seem to be reported from people who live in areas with a high variance in temperatures; and those who use the thinner decking.

Our deck is face screwed 1" decking and has shown very little cupping. Although you can countersink the screws and plug them, we decided against plugging, and the screws are not that noticeable. You can see them, but they don't distract from the deck at all.

For a little more information and some pictures of the 95% completed deck, just go to http://www.freestategolf.com/ipe.htm

jclapps
Re: ipa decking

I know this is late, but I put in an ipe deck last year. I used the biscuts on groved ipe boards. It worked very well and creates a nice "screw free" surface - more like a porch.

I also oil it once a year to give it back its brown color.

-- John

normwantabe
Re: ipa decking

John,

Thanks for the input, we used the hidden hangers and now I'm faced with finishing or not. I've gotten conflicting info: don't finish with an oil because you can get a blochy effect unless you finish all sides = too late it's installled. What is your experience? did your ipe hold the oil or did it reject it. HELP..... I've orded penofin to finish now I'm completly confused.:confused:

trilemma
Re: ipa decking

We used Ipe for a 750 square foot pool deck, three porches, a hexagonal seating area, and two sets of stairs. I saw Norm's comment on leaving it unfinished. We used Messmer's initially. I should say that we live in Stuart Florida. The Messmers finish gave it a slightly colored finish that quickly broke down and would have necessitated a recoating every six months. I did see someone suggest oil and wondered which type of oil and would it soak in? Lastly, I am curious as to how Norm would suggest cleaning Ipe if you leave it natural. Would the 1 to six water bleach ratio work? I used hidden deck fasteners and a biscuit joiner in one area. I bought a drill press and cut plugs for another area, another area is tongue and groove and lastly, a 12 by 14 viewing deck is flush screwing. All of these worked well.

trilemma
Re: ipa decking
jclapps wrote:

I know this is late, but I put in an ipe deck last year. I used the biscuts on groved ipe boards. It worked very well and creates a nice "screw free" surface - more like a porch.

I also oil it once a year to give it back its brown color.

-- John

John,

I just wondered where you live in the country, what type of oil and how it has held up. If you only put the deck in last year, presumably you have only done it once. How long did it take for the oil to soak in/dry off/dissipate?
Thanks, Peter

normwantabe
Re: ipa decking

Trilemma,

We live in the northeast and just put an ipe deck(facing south with sun exposure all day), Like you we used the hidden deck biskets to attach our deck boards. I liked the unfinished look but my husband want to have it finished, I used Penofin penetrating oil for hardwoood (this stuff was made to handle ipe)(penofin.com or 1800penofin). It darken the wood and has a matte finish, offers great uv protection. I did notice that the oil penetrated well but in some spots I had to dab additional oil because of blotchyness. I wouldn't use bleach on the wood, it has natural properties to fend off mold, mildew, bugs and rot. Penofin does make a product that addresses the aging effects of the sun. I don't plan of using the penetrating oil again, we're just going to let it age from now on. Also ipe does age in color, but I think its an attractive silver and not that horrid grey like cedar or pressures treaded wood. One of the reasons we invested in ipe is it's "no care" qualities. I never want to finish a deck again as long as I live, it took three days a sore butt and arms to finish a 500 sq ft deck. With your multi level deck, sounding like a small village, finishing it would either kill or bankrupt you depending on if you did the work or hired someone else.

Best of luck and enjoy you terrific deck

trilemma
Re: ipa decking

I suppose I am a nut case because I am about to do the coating myself and mentally, I have convinced myself to do this annually and here is why.
Having just installed tongue and groove ipe on my second floor porch I am reminded visually of the deep beauty of this wood that is hidden elsewhere through age as the wood earned that interesting gray patina. Originally I applied Messmers to the wood and did not like the look, nor did I like the finish as it degraded. I ordered the product sold by www.restore-a-deck.com to clean the wood in two stages. I plan on lightly pressure cleaning and then adding woodzotic.
After 5 years of the Florida sun, the wood has small surface cracks as though it is craving some sort of finish. I used Ipe because it tends not to splinter like pressure treated. I would say that the wood needs a pressure clean every two years or so anyway so I think the extra effort will be worth it. I will let you know how it looks after a year or so.

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