Terrace : Cumaru vs IPE


Terrace in exotic wood :

Cumaru vs Ipé, which one to choose?

    Summer is coming and so are the sunny days! Meals with family, aperitifs with friends, relaxing in the sun... there are many opportunities to enjoy them and the terrace is THE place for all these appointments. That's why in this article, we talk about exotic wood decks and more precisely about the two stars of the moment; the wooden deck of Cumaru and the wooden deck of Ipé.

Both originating from South America (Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru), Cumaru and Ipé are two very similar exotic wood species. Although they are less well known than other exotic woods, they are THE current trends. In fact, they are very often used to build our decks because they are resistant to many climates, humidity, insects, mold and mildew, and intensive traffic. So Cumaru or Ipe decking? What is the difference between these two exotic woods, which are very similar and which one to choose? We'll tell you everything.


Density, strength and durability :

Also called "iron wood", Cumaru is a wood that has a very high density* (between 1000 Kg/m3 and 1100 Kg/m3, almost 4 times higher than oak), which makes it very strong and durable over time. It is not very sensitive to scratches, shocks and very frequent passages. The lifespan of a Cumaru terrace, if well maintained, can be up to 30 years.

Colors :

The colors of Cumaru decking are multiple and unique. However, there are two basic shades; the "Cumaru rosa", which tends to be reddish brown, and the "Cumaru amarillo", which tends to be yellowish brown.

But whatever the base color, with time and prolonged exposure to UV rays, these deck boards will acquire a patina and may show a nice silvery gray tint.

Price and maintenance :

Depending on the thickness of the boards chosen, the price varies. The greater the thickness of the board, the higher the price. It can go from 30€ to 80€ per m². However, it remains on average 20% to 30% lower than the Ipé.

As far as maintenance is concerned, it is very simple. We recommend a low pressure karcher cleaning once a year. Then, two solutions are available. Either you let it fade naturally, or you preserve its original color by applying a varnish (also called saturator) twice a year.


Density, strength and durability :

Ipe has such a high density (between 1050 Kg/m3 and 1200 Kg/m3) that if immersed in water it would sink. It is a very solid and stable wood that is often used to make exotic wood decks, but also pool copings. It also resists well to bad weather. It is said to be unalterable. In fact, it is estimated that the lifespan of an Ipe deck can last more than 50 years, when properly maintained.

Colors :

In terms of colors, here again the shades are multiple and unique. They can vary between yellow-brown and red-brown. Here again, the slats become grey with time and UV exposure, revealing a light silvery veil.

Price and maintenance :

In terms of price, there is a difference compared to its competitor. Indeed, depending on the thickness of the Ipé wood slats, the price can range from 40€ to 90€ per m².

To maintain a terrace in ipé wood, we recommend cleaning it at least once a year with black soap and a brush. This will remove as much dirt as possible and make it less slippery.

Afterwards, just like its competitor, you can let it naturally grey or maintain its colored tint with a special varnish.


Color, maintenance and resistance; on these points, these two exotic woods are a match made in heaven.

As far as durability is concerned, advantage to Ipé. For the price, advantage to Cumaru.

It is therefore very difficult to choose one or the other. Cumaru can be an economical alternative to Ipé if you only take price as the main criterion.

Nevertheless, they are two exotic woods of very good quality that will be able to give you full satisfaction.

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