page provides information about Ipe
and other woods that are commonly used
in outdoor furniture.
American hardwoods are collectively the
superior woods available in the world today,
and even among these woods, Ipe stands
as exceptional. The
physical properties of Ipe surpass any
commercially available. In addition
to unsurpassed hardness and density, Ipe weathers exceptionally well and
has a beautiful
feel and appearance. These qualities make Ipe the ideal
wood for use in outdoor furniture.
Ipe is already very popular in the
outdoor decking market, where it is the top choice for premium quality
decking. Many municipal boardwalks on the East Coast are constructed
of Ipe, and the famous Atlantic City boardwalk has used Ipe wood for decades.
This is because
Ipe wood has significantly lower maintenance and replacement costs over
to any other material.
is remarkably heavy. Our furniture pieces are much heavier
than comparable pieces
made from Teak or any other wood. This quality alone would recommend Ipe
strongly. Yet Ipe wood offers much more than density and heaviness. It
is extremely durable, making it a good investment. It is very resistant to
pests, decay and wood rot. Unweathered Ipe is a beautiful dark color, and
if fully exposed to sun, it weathers to a consistent and attractive gray
patina. Just as thousands of Ipe wood decks and boardwalks have proved, Ipe
wood furniture will stand strong for years under full weather and heavy use.
Perhaps best of all, our Ipe outdoor furniture
is reasonably priced. Advanced manufacturing techniques have made
it easier to work with this extremely
hard wood. This allows our Ipe wood outdoor furniture to be manufactured in a
cost effective way not previously possible. We are focused on achieving the
highest possible product quality rather than on spending large amounts of
advertising (and of course passing those costs on to our customers). This
allows us to keep our prices low on this exciting wood garden furniture.
Ipe wood will become prized as an outdoor furniture material. ipefurniture.com is
committed to offering top quality Ipe wood garden furniture
at low prices.
A Look at Other Outdoor Furniture Woods:
Teak is probably the most familiar wood used for
outdoor furniture. Teak has a long history of use
in outdoor furniture, starting when it made the
transition from being a wood used for sailing ships
to being used in traditional English garden
furniture. This historical reputation
was based primarily on Burmese, or old growth,
Teak. Today, most Teak wood comes
from Indonesian plantations and most Teak furniture
is made in Indonesia, an Islamic Southeast Asian
There are wide variations
in the quality of Teak outdoor furniture available
market. The hardness and density of Teak are
average, as seen in charts on the What
is Ipe page. Good
quality Teak does have physical properties, in
that make it a durable and attractive wood for
outdoor use. However, high quality Teak
furniture is very expensive.
You get what you pay for with Teak outdoor furniture.
Shorea / Balau
Shorea, also known as Balau,
is a Southeast Asian wood that has appeared on the market as a cheaper
alternative to Teak for outdoor furniture. This is primarily because there
is currently a more
abundant supply of Shorea than there is of Teak. Shorea has
physical properties of hardness and density
that compare well to Teak; its hardness is 1,480 - 1640 on the Janka scale
and density is 53 lbs. per cubic foot. However, Shorea is
considered to be an inexpensive substitute for Teak outdoor furniture, lacking
Teak's finer appearance and weathering characteristics. Shorea is typically
for plywood, structural framing, and other
applications. As a general rule,
inexpensive furniture is a combination
of inexpensive materials and an inexpensive
Regarding the durability of Shorea / Balau, the U.S.
Forest Service publication
Tropical Timbers of the World says, "Heartwood durability very
variable and should be classified as nondurable. Sapwood is very susceptible
to attack by
This wood is the least desirable of the Southeast Asian
woods being used to make outdoor furniture. It is typically the cheapest
alternative available, and again, you get what you
pay for. It has a hardness of 840 - 1,195 on the Janka scale, and a density
foot. While these measurements are similar to Teak, Nyatoh is a far inferior
wood in terms of appearance, feel, and weathering properties.
Regarding the durability of Nyatoh, the U.S.
Forest Service publication
Tropical Timbers of the World says, "Generally rated as nondurable
and has low resistance to termite attack. Sapwood liable to powder-post beetle
Familiar and abundant in the U.S., Cedar is
a softwood that is widely used for fencing, shingles, and other outdoor applications
because it has
inhibit its decay.
In terms of physical properties, Cedar is inferior to premium hardwoods,
as seen on the hardness and density charts on the What
is Ipe page. Cedar
is appropriate for outdoor furniture made in a rustic hand-hewn style, providing
a feel of classic Americana that will weather well.