Ipe vs. Cumaru: Which Is the Better Decking Material?

By Ben Nystrom, 04/23/12

For many years, the exotic hardwood decking species Ipe has been the gold standard for exterior hardwood decking. This stable and durable material has been employed in such high-profile applications as the famous Boardwalk in Atlantic City and the walkways in Las Vegas’ Treasure Island casino. Ipe is a beautiful, check-resistant material, but as a widely-admired and well-respected material, Ipe commands a high price on the market.

Ever-keen to expand the customer’s options in the hardwood exterior decking field, we at Nova USA are excited to share a lesser-known exotic hardwood decking material with you. This hardwood species is sustainably harvested from the same forests that produce Ipe. In fact, for many years Cumaru was mixed in with Ipe as two variations of the same wood.

Nova Blog Photo
Over time, the hardwood industry realized that Cumaru benefits from a different drying method than Ipe. When Cumaru is treated appropriately, its durability, stability, and resistance to checking compare favorably with those of the better-known (and more costly) Ipe.

At present, Cumaru import rates are considerably lower than those of Ipe: America uses a tenth as much Cumaru as Ipe. As word of this comparably-durable exotic hardwood decking begins to penetrate the larger hardwood exterior decking market, though, that figure seems bound to go up.

With a rise in demand for Cumaru likely, can a rise in price be far behind? Now is the time to get on the Cumaru bandwagon. Contact your Nova USA Wood representative today to learn more.

By Ben Nystrom, 04/23/12

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