Choosing decking material is critical when it is time to enhance your outdoor spaces. However, hardwood options vary and can be complex, primarily if the wood is sourced from multiple locations. Among the most popular hardwood decking options are Ipe and mahogany, which provide durability without compromising aesthetics. If you are still determining which hardwood material to choose for your deck, Los Angeles Cable Railing can help. Proper installation is critical to avoid moisture buildup and subsequent damage, regardless of your preferred material.


Ipe wood is one of the longest-lasting and most challenging decking materials and is acquired from the Tabebuia tree, known as the Brazilian walnut. Ipe is a tropical hardwood that adjusts well to dry weather, high humidity, and excessive moisture. You can find genuine Ipe wood easily since it is sourced from a single tree species. Here are traits you should know before using this wood for decking.


Ipe decks can last over 40 years, depending on how it is installed and the area’s weather conditions. There should be ample spacing in the boards to breathe between and under the timbers. In addition, preventive measures against excessive moisture or shade go a long way in ensuring it dries. Besides regular oil application and cleanings, Ipe wood requires minimal maintenance.


Ipe wood, nicknamed ironwood, is more rigid than mahogany. This makes it difficult to cut and install, resulting in a higher installation fee than other types of wood. However, the wood expands and contracts based on environmental factors, causing it to pop the screws. The wood’s hardness makes it resistant to scratches, decay, fire damage, termites, and slippery surfaces. Ipe is extremely hard, sometimes compared to an attractive wooden concrete form.


Mahogany is a popular hardwood that offers a range of options for creating an appealing deck. Not only is it easy to install, but it displays attractive patterns that enhance the overall aesthetics of the premises. Genuine mahogany is different from other hardwood varieties like Philippine mahogany, and it can be tricky to determine which is the real deal. Genuine mahogany types include Fijian, Swietenia macrophylla, and Honduras. Here are traits you should know before investing in a mahogany deck.


While mahogany is easier than Ipe wood, it can last up to 20 years, depending on the installation and weather conditions of the area. To enhance longevity, mahogany decks require regular maintenance, including staining or oil application. If you delay routine inspections and care, your deck will likely deteriorate faster due to water damage, insects, and decay.


As mentioned, mahogany is less hard than Ipe but is still resistant and durable to everyday use. Unlike Ipe wood which is hard to cut and install, mahogany is easily cut and installed. Most hardwoods expand and contract when exposed to adverse weather conditions over time, and mahogany is no exception. Hence, routine inspections and maintenance can help maintain a sound deck frame and ensure the board installation screws are intact.

Before choosing decking material, contact a professional for advice. Please schedule a consultation today with our Los Angeles Cable Railing experts to learn more about cable railing and other decking materials.