Lee Roy Jordan Lumber

Tropical Hardwoods

Tropical Hardwoods

Tigerwood(Goncalo Alves)
Tigerwood, with its irregular brown and black streaks, has the most exotic look of any tropical hardwood decking. Although Tigerwood is striking in appearance, consumers should know that it is less stable than Ipe and many of the other tropical decking options available. One should also understand that the amount of streaking can often be inconsistent so some pieces may have little to no streaking and other pieces may have a good deal of streaking.
Uses
Tigerwood is commonly used for decking and siding.
Durability
Tigerwood, with a Janka hardness of 1850 lbs, is not near as dense as many of the other tropical hardwoods like Ipe and Cumaru. Although it’s not as hard as many of the tropical hardwoods, Tigerwood is still considered durable with regards to rot and decay so it is still a good choice for outdoor decking.
Maintenance
Unlike many of the other tropical hardwoods, very few people consider letting Tigerwood weather to grey. After all, most homeowners purchase Tigerwood for the exotic appearance and letting it grey would defeat the reason for purchasing Tigerwood. To maintain the rich exotic appearance, a Tigerwood deck must be periodically stained with a quality oil based stain.
Garapa(Apuleia Leiocarpa)
Garapa, also known as Brazilian Ash, due to its blonde to golden appearance is a good decking product when looking for a less expensive alternative to Ipe. This species is very common in the forests of South America so long term availability is not an issue. Like almost every other tropical hardwood, Garapa is less stable than Ipe but its fine grain and kiln drying makes it stable enough to perform well in service.
Uses
Garapa is commonly used for decking, siding and outdoor furniture.
Durability
Garapa carries a Janka hardness of 1210 which is quite a bit lower than many of the other tropical hardwoods. The fact that it’s not as dense as Ipe and the other hardwoods with a Janka ratings of over 3000 makes Garapa considerably easier to work with. Garapa still carries an expected lifespan in service of 25+ years if installed properly and well ventilated.
Maintenance
Depending on the desired look, Garapa may be stained to maintain the golden appearance or it may be left to weather to a silver patina. If stained, then a periodical maintenance coat will be required. Should one decide to let Garapa weather to grey, then the only maintenance would be cleaning the deck when deemed necessary.
Cumaru(Dipteryx Odorta)
Cumaru, also known as Brazilian Teak, is slightly less stable than Ipe but is very durable with regard to rot, decay and insect attack. Cumaru is mainly tan to reddish brown in color with interlocked grain and medium to coarse texture. Brazilian Teak is usually available in a variety of sizes and more affordable than Ipe, making it a popular choice for large commercial jobs like boardwalks and piers. Cumaru is also very abundant in much of South America and harvested from well managed forests.
Uses
Cumaru is commonly used for decking, siding, pergolas and outdoor furniture.
Durability
Cumaru carries a Janka hardness of 3540 lbs making it one of the hardest and most durable decking materials available anywhere. Like most dense tropical hardwoods, Cumaru dulls cutting tools quickly and must be predrilled and screwed rather than nailed when installing. Extremely resistant to rot and decay, Cumaru has been known to last up to 50 years on certain outdoor applications.
Maintenance
Cumaru can either be left to naturally weather to a silver patina or stained with an oil based stain to keep the rich tropical appearance that Cumaru is known for. If choosing the low maintenance option of letting the material grey out, it is common practice to stain the material once upon installation to reduce the amount of checking as the deck acclimates to the local humidity levels.