cumaru wood vs ipe

Cumaru wood vs Ipe Decking: Detailed Comparison

The industry has been dominated by wood decking for many years. Since the 1950s, tropical woods have created a name in the decking field. Ipe was one of the first woods that took the industry by storm, leading residential and commercial decking. 

There are plenty of significant projects showcasing the contributions of IPE, such as the boardwalk in front of Treasure Island in Las Vegas, the New Jersey boardwalk, and Brooklyn Bridge, to name a few. After some time, Cumaru also makes its entry, and the two have become the leading wood decking options. Here is a cumaru wood vs ipe rundown to widen your knowledge and familiarity with these two great options for wood decking. 

Cumaru Wood vs Ipe-Know their Origins 

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Ipe is also called Lapacho or Brazilian walnut, and the Cumaru is also known as Brazillian Teak. Ipe and Cumaru both originate from the tropical forests of Central and South America. The tropical exotic hardwoods are mainly found in the Brazilian rainforests. The area spans countries like Guyanas, Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru. 

Because of their exposure during the period of growth, these woods are dense and resilient. They can withstand different concerns like pests, fire, decay, rot, and water penetration, continuously boosting their fame in the decking industry.  

Cumaru Wood vs Ipe-Get to Know Each Type of Wood 

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Ipe wood is known for its enormous unique characteristics, making it a suitable material for interior and exterior applications. Ipe is like concrete in a beautiful wood form. This isn’t prone to insect attack, fire, decay, rot, and mold and is almost as durable as the concrete. 

This is a popular choice for premium decking and also works as a great siding on commercial projects and modern homes that require warm aesthetic and low maintenance and durability. Ipe can really do it all.

Cumaru wood, on the other hand, is a high-density hardwood species that grow and is responsibly harvested in the northern part of South America. Cumaru wood has been gaining more attention because of its unique appearance and beautiful graining. 

Cumaro wood is rated as highly durable wood with its good decay resistance and resistance to termites and dry-wood bores. This wood has excellent weathering properties and durability. In terms of workability, Cumaru wood tends to be challenging to work with due to its interlocked grain and density. 

This wood has high density, and even with no treatment, this is already categorized as an excellent choice for moist or humid settings or having direct contact with water. Cumaru’s natural color is deep reddish-brown to medium tan. You can consider staining your Cumaru wood decking to emphasize the wood grains more. This wood can last for more than two decades, so you don’t need to worry about wood deck replacement anytime soon. 

Cumaru wood vs Ipe Decking Features and Properties 

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Wood is considered the original and traditional material used for decking. Many experts prefer using woods because of their value-adding properties and capabilities. Wood indeed requires maintenance, but this has a more classic feel and looks than other wood materials. Among the woods highly suited for decking are Ipe and cumaru. This cumaru wood vs ipe rundown will give you a detailed comparison between the two types of woods and why they’re ideal for decking. 

  • Appearance and Color 

Cumaru is closely similar to Ipe.  Cumaro has two variations-the Cumaru Champaghe and Cumaru Rosa.Cumaru ranges from reddish brown to red color with interlocked, tight, and even grain. The red eventually turn to medium brown. This wood has been used interchangeably with IPE for long years now and delivers nearly all benefits provided by Ipe at lower costs. 

The appearance of Cumaru differs from the looks of IPE in many ways. Ipe’s grain patterns feature cathedral arches with alternating black striping. Camaru, on the other hand, features wavy or swirly grain patterns and rarely shows off black stripping. 

Furthermore, Camaru has a more consistent color from one board or another. However, there’s still specific variety, not as much as Ipe typically shows. Small light-colored striations are finally found in Ipe, but this is almost always present in Cumaru. Those tiny lines play an important role in giving Camaru the beauty and character that other materials don’t have. 

  • Durability and Strength 

Ipe and Camaru are almost identical in durability and strength. Ipe has Janka Hardness of 3680. On the other hand, Camaru earns up to about 3540, just 2% less than the Ipe. Such a marginal decrease in hardness is irrelevant. Camaru is as durable and strong as the Ipe. The significant differences are cost and aesthetics. 

  • Environmental Impacts 

Just like the Ipe, Cumaru isn’t listed in CITES Appendices or in the RED List of Threatened Species of IUCN. Cumaru has a quicker maturation date and a slight upper hand in the environmental impacts category. Both Ipe and Camaru species are a hundred percent natural, reusable, recyclable, sustainable, and biodegradable. 

  • Cost of Decking 

Cumaru decking offers better price tag than other wood decking options such as plastic and composite decking. Premium grade Cumaru decking is available at around $2.30-3.10 compared to Ipe with $3.20-4.10 cost. You can easily find dimensional woods in Cumaru; however, Ipe is more preferred when it comes to dimensional lumber. Camaru and Ipe are closely identical from the common eye in a short while. 


Cumaru wood vs Ipe decking has given people a more detailed comparison of the different aspects of these woods. Cumaru is a fantastic and practical decking option. This wood also guarantees cost-effectiveness, durability, low maintenance, longevity, and natural beauty. Don’t be turned off with its initial amber or red hues, as this just flattens out to medium brown when exposed to sunlight. Ipe can also be a viable option for decking. Its high density and durability are major reasons Ipe decking lasts long. 

There’s really no perfect option since the best wood for wood decking depends on personal preference and particular decking projects. However, these details on Cumaru wood vs Ipe can help you decide which decking option suits your needs and liking.



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