Among the many reasons to consider tropical hardwood decking, one significant factor is the impact that doing so has on the rainforests. Did you know that by purchasing exotic lumber, you’re actually promoting the continued health of rainforests? Or maybe you just want a deck that’s absolutely stunning and will stand the test of time. Combine the two, and you have a huge motivation on your hands. Lucky for you, J. Gibson McIlvain has even bigger lumber yards and inventories — complete with our own in-house millworks and fleets of trucks ready to ship any of these beauties your way!
Top-Selling Tropical Hardwood Decking Species
While Ipe is, by far, our most sought-after decking species, Cumaru comes in a close second, and then Red Balau and Jatoba aren’t too far behind. But those species aren’t the only options when it comes to tropical hardwood decking! If you’re more likely to blaze your own trail or choose the road less traveled, then you may prefer one of these less commonly appreciated species that still have plenty to offer.
Tropical Hardwood Decking Species 5: Tigerwood
Named for its brownish orange coloring, complete with dark, tiger-like striping, Tigerwood deepens over time to a reddish brown color that’s similar to other tropical hardwood decking species. Offering stability in a variety of climates, Tigerwood does require kiln drying. Used for both exterior and interior applications, Tigerwood is appreciated by those who like the contrast of its striking appearance. However, that variegation can make consistency difficult when it comes to lining up decking boards. The smooth texture can be both a bane and a blessing, too: it feels great on bare feet, but it can become slippery, especially when wet.
Tropical Hardwood Decking Species 6: Massaranduba
Sometimes referred to as Bullet Wood or Brazilian Redwood, Massaranduba’s density and hardness make it extremely durable. Each large Massaranduba tree can produce many decking boards with consistent grain. The deep, red color of freshly milled Massaranduba will mellow over time to a less exotic-looking brown. While not as hard as Ipe, this species is still quite durable. The biggest downside is that checking and splitting can be common during the drying process; we don’t recommend this species for use in especially dry climates. As long as your job site’s climate doesn’t pose a threat, we think you’ll find this lesser-known species a definite treat.
Tropical Decking Species 7: Garapa
Known as Brazilian Oak, Garapa is another South American species with density and hardness that makes it ideal for decking applications. Unlike most other tropical decking species, though, Garapa has a uniquely striking appearance with its bright lemon-yellow coloring. Stable and hard, many homeowners find Garapa more attractive with stain applied to make it look similar to Ipe and other tropical species.