How to Install Ipê Wood Flooring on a Porch
By: Allen Lyle
Ipê is a dense, tropical hardwood which grows in South America. Ipê makes a great flooring material for porches and decks, since the wood is naturally resistant to moisture, fungus, insects, and rot.
When installing ipê flooring:
- Predrill all screw and nail holes due to the hardness of the wood.
- Use stainless steel screws or nails for installation.
- Slope the flooring slightly, so rainwater will run off of it.
- When using tongue and groove lumber, leave a small gap every few rows of flooring to allow for expansion.
Watch this video to find out more.
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- How to Build a Wood Deck on Your Home (video)
- Foundation and Framing for a Back Porch Addition (video)
Allen Lyle: This is a beautiful tropical hardwood. It’s called ipê. Very dense, very heavy. It is moisture resistant, fungus resistant, resistant to insects; and there’s no chemical treatment whatsoever. It’s just a beautiful wood. And you can see, it’s going to be a great expanse of it, so it’s going to look great. Hey, Joe. Quick question for you. Why are you not running the deck boards all the way out? Instead of the border?
Joe Denson: Strictly an architectural thing. The architect put it on the plans like this. It’s the design that the homeowner wanted to match to the front porch. So we decided to go with the border. We’re going to run a border on the interior, and then we’re going to fill everything in, giving it a nice clean look.
Allen Lyle: How tough is it putting it in there? Because I know you can’t just pop a screw or nail into these things.
Joe Denson: Well, we do have to countersink and pre-drill everything. And it takes a lot of forethought on it to get everything lined up right. But once you start going, it’s not too bad.
Danny Lipford: The countersinking in the trim boards is done with a Forstner bit to leave a clean hole that can be plugged later. The deck boards themselves are tongue and groove planks, but they also have to be pre-drilled on the tongue side before each is secured with long stainless steel screws. About every four rows, we’re adding spacers between the boards. Even as dense as ipê is, it will expand and contract at least some, and this space will allow room for that without buckling. These guys have it down to a science. And that’s a good thing, because there are a lot of holes to drill and a lot of screws to drive.
When you look at this floor, it is a very unique floor. One that’s gonna hold up really well. You can see the design here with a little accent band running down the middle. But, here’s something that might throw you off. Look, what a bow we have in this floor. Well, actually, that was intentional and really a good idea. Because, we started realizing how we needed to create a little bit of crown in this floor, so that when the rain blew in, it would get off the floor as quick as possible. That’ll keep the floor from deteriorating as quickly, keep it from being a slip hazard, and just overall keep the porch looking better for a lot longer.