Raincoast Builder

Ipe Compare

Western Red Cedar
Pressure Treated Lumber
Bending Strength (psi)
Hardness (lbs)
Specific gravity
Durability of Wear Surface
Extremely hard and dense
Very soft surface that scratches and dents easily
Soft surface. Typical knots and imperfections result in poor surface condition and appearance.
Decay, Insect Resistance
Highest natural rating for rot and insect resistance with NO TREATMENT. Rated by the US Forest Lab for 25+ years
Only the highest grade of Heartwood is rated "acceptable", sapwood & second growth is significantly less decay/insect resistant.
Impregnated with toxic chemicals. Knots may not be thoroughly treated and may be more likely to rot or be destroyed by insects.
No preservative required
Application of chemical preservative recommended
Treated chemically, usually warrantied for 20-30 years
Solid hardwood look with little or no knots, long lengths, very refined look. Resistant to shrinking, splintering, twisting, cupping, and checking.
Rustic softwood appearance. Lesser grades contain knots Resistant to splintering, twisting, cupping and checking
Very rustic appearance Pressure treating increases brittleness and makes pine more susceptible to splintering, shrinking, and checking.
Turns to a soft silver patina with time. Little/no maintenace.
Difficult to maintain original color. If left natural, blackens and grays.
Weathers to a pale green, with knots showing strongly
Superior fastening with stainless steel screws or nails. Will not pull loose or pop-up.
Galvanized nails often split wood, starting decay from water penetration. Tannic acid may react with galvanized nails, corroding fasteners and causing black stains. Nails can pop up
Galvanized nails often split wood, causing decay from water penetration. Chemical treatment may react with nails, corroding fasteners and causing black stains. Nails can pop up.
Extremely strong. Natural fire resistance: Class A-1 NFPA and UBC
Limited strength. Burns easily
Copper chromated arsenate treatment is toxic and banned in many areas. Splinters and saw dust should be avoided. Not for use around pools, except as substracture. Burning produces toxic fumes.

For the full study results please see Comparative study by US Forestry Laboratory on durability of various woods for the full study results.

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