Tropical decking materials are a premium choice if you’re interested in constructing an eye-catching, durable, high-end decking project (see Part 1). If you’re thinking about installing a tropical hardwood deck, but you’re not sure you’re able to afford Ipe, the most popular of the tropical hardwoods, there are still several other desirable alternatives out there on the market for you to consider.
Cumaru: More Cost-Effective than Ipe Without Compromising Quality
Cumaru is an exceptional tropical decking material which offers many of the same benefits as Ipe, though perhaps not to quite the same degree as Ipe. Many home and business owners, however, find it a great alternative when Ipe proves to be over their budgets. When Cumaru is handled correctly, it tends to offer very impressive results on all sorts of exterior projects.
You should always be careful to acquire your tropical hardwood decking materials from a reputable dealer and have your decking installed by someone who knows how to properly treat the wood for best performance. In the case of Cumaru, it’s important to allow ample time for drying and acclimatization of the wood before installation. If you skip this crucial step, you could end up seeing significant checking over time.
A thickness of 5/4 is highly recommended, since Cumaru tends to be less stable than Ipe. Cumaru comes in a variety of shades, ranging from yellow to brown. You can talk to your dealer about your personal color preferences to see if they have your favorite color in stock. Color will be affected based on the climate and soil quality of the wood’s source location.
Like its tropical hardwood cousin, Ipe, Cumaru tends to be weather-resistant and long-lasting. If you like durability at a lower price than Ipe, Cumaru would be a wonderful choice for your next tropical decking project.
Jatoba: A Beautiful Tropical Hardwood That’s Known as “Brazilian Cherry”
Jatoba is an absolutely gorgeous red-colored tropical hardwood that’s been increasing in popularity in recent years. Its hardness level is quite impressive. One of the hot trends being employed by customers who choose Jatoba is the indoor/outdoor flooring blend concept. Because Jatoba works well on both interior and exterior projects, you can actually use it for both your decking and your indoor flooring for a smooth transition from your outside to your inside space. Like Cumaru, Jatoba is also a cost-efficient alternative to Ipe.
Teak: A Traditional Wood That’s Surprisingly Versatile
Teak has been used in shipbuilding for many years. Recently, it’s become an increasingly popular choice for both interior flooring and decking projects. A growing number of property owners who are looking to add a touch of class to their residences or commercial properties are opting for both the elegant look and extreme durability of teak.
Working with a reputable lumber dealer is an essential component of a successful decking installation. Make sure to speak to someone who has plenty of experience and knows how these various tropical hardwoods respond in different weather and surroundings. They’ll be able to help you decide on the right decking materials to use, based on your preferences and budget.