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Brazilian hardwoods
Old 06-23-2008, 03:44 PM   #1
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Brazilian hardwoods

I'm replacing my redwood deck and looking at decking materials. One guy has recommended a composite called Crosstimber, but in checking around deck builders seem to hate it as much or more than trex.

I am interested in two particular woods: ipe and cumaru. I think that though expensive, these woods could be a good choice. Anyone have experience with either?
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Old 06-23-2008, 03:49 PM   #2
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How many trees have to die to yield a brazillion hardwoods just so you can build a deck?

Some people are not thinking green...
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Old 06-23-2008, 04:28 PM   #3
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Ipe is very durable. We actually put it in a bathroom where it gets wet all the time and has held up beautifully. Can't vouch for exterior use, but I have heard very good things. It is also very nice to look at and pretty expensive at least short-term.
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Old 06-23-2008, 04:51 PM   #4
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I used a composite product called Evergrain. It looks as good today as it did when I installed it a few years ago- at 7000' elevation in NE AZ- with high altitude sun, rain, snow, etc.

It is my understanding that you can buy Ipe from sustained harvest, environmentally concious, eco-friendly, socially responsible, certified "Green" suppliers that will make even the most ardent tree-hugger happy. And since Ipe will last your lifetime, I think it is an environmentally responsible long-term choice, since it won't have to be replaced it as often, and contains no additives, preservatives or artifical colors...
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Old 06-24-2008, 12:19 PM   #5
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It is my understanding that you can buy Ipe from sustained harvest, environmentally concious, eco-friendly, socially responsible, certified "Green" suppliers that will make even the most ardent tree-hugger happy. And since Ipe will last your lifetime, I think it is an environmentally responsible long-term choice, since it won't have to be replaced it as often, and contains no additives, preservatives or artifical colors...
Thanks for your input. This is exactly correct. The tree farms for these woods are renewable uses of forest land that avoid clear cutting and burning used in soybean and cattle production.

Who put the jerk in knee jerk anyway?
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Old 06-24-2008, 12:26 PM   #6
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Who put the jerk in knee jerk anyway?
I was attempting, obviously without success, a word play on the term 'brazillion' - as in "Wow, that's a lot of boards. Just how big is your deck?"

A swing and a miss... but then I'm often amiss.
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Old 06-24-2008, 03:21 PM   #7
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Oh, I get it now. Good one!

If I replace my deck, I'm considering something plastic. Not for environmental reasons, but for longevity/lack of care (so my deck won't rot -- get it? nudge, nudge, say no more). Haven't looked into it.

I'm going to pressure wash/treat/stain mine this week (maybe).
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Old 06-24-2008, 03:24 PM   #8
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Oh, I get it now. Good one!

If I replace my deck, I'm considering something plastic. Not for environmental reasons, but for longevity/lack of care (so my deck won't rot -- get it? nudge, nudge, say no more). Haven't looked into it..
Have you found one that looks fairly natural or at least nonplastic? The ones I have seen seem to reflect light and look highly synthetic, but maybe there are better products around. They are practical, though.
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Old 06-24-2008, 03:26 PM   #9
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but then I'm often amiss.
I thought that was you.

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Old 06-24-2008, 03:31 PM   #10
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I thought that was you.

What the audience doesn't see in this photo is what you and Lazy were doing with your left hands...
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Old 06-24-2008, 03:41 PM   #11
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Have you found one that looks fairly natural or at least nonplastic? The ones I have seen seem to reflect light and look highly synthetic, but maybe there are better products around. They are practical, though.
Yes, you're right. I really haven't looked into it yet. I'm sure nothing would compare with the brand new redwood deck look, however, if you compare it with what the deck will look like in 5 years, the comparison might be better.

This is what my deck looks like right now:

DeckBefore.jpg

and I had it professionally stained in 2001. But I got free Thompson's Deck Wash and Cabot Deck stain at the dump, so check back in a week.

Around here the pine needle get between the boards and cause rot.

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Old 06-24-2008, 03:47 PM   #12
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A friend of mine used Ipe for their deck two years ago and it really looks great, even in our climate. It is supposed to last a very very long time without maintenance.

I thought another issue with plastic is the inability to use it for the structural portions of the deck.
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Old 06-24-2008, 04:34 PM   #13
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From what I've seen, if I were going to be in the place long term, say 7-10 years, I'd take a chance on ipe. It requires little maintenance, is less prone to everything bad, tends not to shed splinters and it looks great.

The hype I heard is that it lasts at least twice as long as pressurized traditional wood decking, but the cost is high so you'd want to do the arithmetic. I'd be willing to pay something for the look of it, too.
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Old 06-24-2008, 05:54 PM   #14
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The cost of Ipe is about the same as the composite stuff according to the contractor (for what that is worth/he didn't know crosstimber was wood-based, tried to sell it as man made). I haven't checked the PVC/non-composite stuff other than some people rave about it.

Actually redwood is only about a grand less to use on my deck (~500 sq ft). And Ipe supposedly lasts a long time even untreated. We may move closer to the beach in a year or two after we retire so I kind of don't want to spend a lot more than necessary and probably don't care a whole lot about how it holds up 15 yrs down the line. Still shopping for builders and looking at materials. Maybe some of that old growth redwood from up TBone Al's way would look good. What's a few spotted owls anyway? (kidding)
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Old 06-24-2008, 06:15 PM   #15
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The reason Al is spotted is all those bug bites...
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Old 06-24-2008, 06:32 PM   #16
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Maybe some of that old growth redwood from up TBone Al's way would look good. What's a few spotted owls anyway? (kidding)
Spotted owl grilled over old-growth redwood...excellent choice for your first meal on your new brazilian hardwood deck.
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Old 06-24-2008, 07:19 PM   #17
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Ipe gets high marks on the woodworking boards I read, but they say its tough on saws.
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Old 06-24-2008, 07:28 PM   #18
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Brazilian hardwood and a Brazilian wax might fit well together.
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Old 06-24-2008, 07:53 PM   #19
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Spotted owl grilled over old-growth redwood...excellent choice for your first meal on your new brazilian hardwood deck.
Amen - Oregon timberland morphed into vacation plots over 30 yrs.

heh heh heh - not a big fan of Spotted Owls. Our factory treated Thompson deck (Home Depot) 12 x 34' finished in 2000 went in Katrina. Looked good before it went.
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:03 PM   #20
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My BIL is a contractor who does all sorts of building including decks. He loves the composite products. We used them in my new fences and they look absolutely great.

Shop around. I found a beautiful fence picket for $3.37 when some lousy looking ones were $8 a pop.

Only complaint I have is that it looks too perfect. I wanna throw some dirt on it and hit it with a hammer a few times here and there.

I built a deck on my wifes old house 5 years ago using a home depot composite board, not trex. Just some standard composite product they were selling that looked like redwood but had little ribs on the top side for traction, it was cheaper than redwood by a buck or so a plank. Nailed/screwed/cut like wood.

Deck still looks exactly the same today as when I made it.
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