Ipe' Installation Instructions
Handling - Ipe' decking is partially air-dried lumber and is intended for outdoor use only. Acclimate your Ipe' to current humidity levels before installation by storing in a cool, dry place, out of direct sunlight.
Installation - Your deck should be designed to stand at least 24" above the ground and be open on at least 3 sides to promote adequate cross ventilation. 1x4 and 5/4 Ipe' decking may be installed on 16" o/c joist systems, and 5/4 Ipe' also may be installed on 24" o/c. Installing decks with a diagonal pattern may require narrower joist spacing. It is recommended that there should be a 1/8" gap between deck boards when installed. This promotes air circulation, allows drainage, and leaves room between the boards for shrinkage and expansion. The average rate of shrinkage is approximately 1/16" on 4" wide boards and 1/8" on 6" wide boards.
Cutting - Carbide-tipped saw blades and drill bits are recommended when cutting Ipe' decking boards. When drilling, bore pilot holes close to the actual screw or nail diameter. If using trim-head screws, it is recommended that you drill a slightly larger hole than the diameter of the screw head so it can countersink itself.
End Sealing - After crosscutting, it is recommended that you seal all ends with a clear aqueous wax end sealer to help reduce checking. We recommend "Anchorseal" by UC Coatings.
Fastening - Stainless steel fasteners are recommended because of their superior corrosion resistance, maximum holding power, and ease of use. Always pre-drill a pilot hole before driving screw fasteners in any application and countersink screw fasteners when face screwing deck boards. There are also various hidden-type, under-mount or clip systems, that may be used without causing unsightly surface punctures; and, eliminate the potential for water to pool or stand on the surface, leading to wood rot and deck failure. The DECKMASTER® hidden deck fastening system is a great example. Make sure you buy the appropriate size DECKMASTER® bracket for the deck boards you are installing, pre-drill and ask us for more information!
Finishing - After finishing your deck, clean the surface and allow it to dry for at least 2 days before applying a high quality penetrating oil-based sealer with UV inhibitors. We recommend applying U.V. Plus by Messmer's or Penofin's Bronze Label Hardwood Formula to keep your wood looking its best.
Within 3-6 months, follow up by applying another coat or when the Ipe' looks dry or weathered. These initial applications help saturate the wood fibers, adding protection to preserve your deck and make "maintenance" coats less frequent. Over time, apply this finish periodically to maintain Ipe''s rich natural color. If you prefer, Ipe' will also weather naturally without any oil to a silver gray patina over a period of time, thereby eliminating any finish maintenance. We do recommend that you at least apply an initial application of oil finish to your Ipe' deck after completion. Please feel free to call us with any questions.


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