Building Around Water? Use Ipe!

Many people like to build decks around their swimming pools or hot tubs—or maybe they need to build a dock, or even a bridge.  All of these projects have one thing in common: being near the water increases the risk of a wet surface, leading to potential slips and falls.  As a result, one of the chief concerns for such a project is how slip-resistant the building material is.

Ipe Pool Deck

So what makes a material slip resistant?  It all begins in the cell structure.  Ipe’s cells structure, which is extremely dense, manifests in a very tight, closely packed grain pattern.  This fine texture of interlocking grain gives your foot a good tractional surface to walk on.

But just exactly how “anti-slip” is Ipe?  Well, the wood was ASTM-C1028-89 tested, and the results were good.  In fact, Ipe exceeded the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements for Static Coefficient of Friction in a Wet Environment.

The advantages of Ipe around water don’t stop there, though.  Perhaps more so than any other kind of deck, a deck built around a pool or hot tub is likely to see a lot of bare feet, and who likes splinters?  It turns out that the same qualities that make Ipe slip-resistant also make it resistant to splintering.

Visit to learn more about Ipe’s safety features.

5 thoughts on “Building Around Water? Use Ipe!

  1. There is a company in the msewdit that has branded Ipe as Ironwood™ , so that would be the same wood. However, there numerous botanical species that are known as Ironwood. Typically when it is related to Ipe, the botanical name refers to Tabebuia spp.

  2. How does ipe behave when getting hot tub water spillling on it? Will the wood warp or change colors from the chemicals?

    • Ipe is naturally water-resistant, so the water itself will just dry up, leaving a chemical residue that can just be cleaned up for appearance’s sake.

  3. Does it make a diference if I use 3.5″ wide IPE boards or 5.5″ around a pool, do one is more recomended than the oder in terms of warping etc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.