Decks - 1 x 6 IPE adequate ?


We are building a deck in Texas and have not used IPE ( Brazilian Walnut) before.
The lumber yard says it is strong enough for the top decking boards that will sit on 2 x 8 pressure treated joists at 16" on center.
Does anyone have any experience with this wood or know of a reference source that might help ? Or should we go to 5/4" thick material which is much heavier and about $1. a foot more ?
Thanks -

The American Forest & Paper Association “Prescriptive Residential Deck Construction Guide” specifies all decking material must be dimensional 2" or greater or ‘span rated’. I can see where the density & strength of IPE might be acceptable to your local AHJ however.
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my 2 cents
i wouldn’t take the job unless these items were agreed to

  1. regardless of where you live go with the 5/4", when allowed by the AHJ, the extra $$ now, will pay off later
  2. all fasteners and metallic hardware should be addressedwith your contractor prior to construction and the use of isolation membrane is a must for assured longevity of all hardware

i know i have just increased your initial cost but you’ll have a deck that should be problem free for a long, long time with periodic preservative/sealer treatment application being the only maintenance factor

Great wood. You just better be prepared for how hard this wood is. Saw blades will dull very fast and you sure aren’t going to nail or screw it unless it is pre-drilled. If you are going to use IPE, I would suggest you go with the hidden fasteners that attach from the sides of the boards directly to the joist. Get the boards with the groove already cut in the sides. If you do surface nail/screw, you shouldn’t use galvanized fasteners or they turn the wood black. Stainless is the way to go.

Pronounced Eeee-pay. This stuff is like steel, James. Steven’s right, it will dull saw blades. I used to reclaim this wood from berths in San Pedro. It came from Taiwan as boat cradles for yachts. It’s also called “apitong”. It’s actually a tropical mahogany. There are a number of sub-species and the names don’t really matter. They use it to line the floors of semi trailers. Hard as a rock and heavy as hell!

Note- it checks badly in the sun. Looks great at first, then goes downhill fast. It will be real splintery. I would not use it for deck planking for that reason. Anyone going barefoot on that deck will be sorry.