Ipe vs Redwood | Color, Appearance, Durability, and Workability

Ipe (Handroanthus) is also known as Epay and Brazilian Walnut. It is native to Central and South America. Ipe is widely used as an ornamental tree for parks and residential areas. Its colorful flowers attract everyone. Apart from decoration, Its timber is widely used for flooring, decking, veneer, and many other applications.

Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) is a subfamily of coniferous trees and is native to Coastal northwestern United States. It is also known as Sequoia and Coast Redwood. It is known for its excellent strength, durability, and density as well as for its long height. Redwood trees can live for thousands of years. It is a versatile wood, it is used for beams, posts, decking, exterior furniture, and many more purposes.

#Ipe woodRedwood
Scientific Name: Handroanthus spp.Sequoia sempervirens
Tree Size:100-130 ft (30-40 m) tall200-300 ft (60-90 m) tall
Tree Diameter:2-4 ft (.6-1.2 m)6-12 ft (1.8-3.7 m) 
Average Dried Weight: 69 lbs/ft3 (1,100 kg/m3)26 lbs/ft3 (415 kg/m3)
Janka Hardness: 3,510 LBF (15,620 N)450 LBF (2,000 N)
Color:Reddish-brown to darker blackish brownLight pinkish brown to a deep reddish-brown
Durability:Great DurabilityModerately Durable
Workability:OverallEasy to work
Uses:Flooring, decking, exterior lumber, veneer, etc.Veneer, construction lumber, beams, posts, decking, exterior furniture, etc.
Difference Between Ipe and Redwood

Ipe vs Redwood Color and Appearance

Ipe Wood Color and Appearance

The color of Ipe wood can vary from reddish-brown to a pale olive-brown or dark dark brown. The color depends on its location and environment. The presence of many wood colors makes it difficult for common people (who do not have good knowledge of wood) to recognize it.

Ipe wood has a fine to medium texture. Sometimes the grain varies from straight to irregular or interlocked.

Redwood Color and Appearance

The color of the heartwood can vary from a light pinkish brown to a deep reddish-brown. While the color of sapwood is pale white/yellow. Generally, straight grain is found in redwood which gives a uniform look. Very rarely there is wavy or irregular grain.

Ipe vs Redwood Uses


Uses of Ipe wood

Ipe is used as an ornamental tree. The flower of Ipe is in many colors such as pink, yellow, white, and more.

The hardness of light ipe wood is 3,510 LBF(15,620 N), which is much higher than many other hardwoods. All woods with higher hardness are considered better for flooring and exterior applications. Because having more hardness reduces the chances of getting scratches, dents, and insect attacks. In the United States, Ipe wood is mainly used for decking and flooring.

If we talk about the use of Ipe in medicine, then Ipe bark is used in various ways to relieve certain symptoms of cancers. You can easily find ipe bark in South American and many other markets.

Redwood Uses

Redwood is suitable for both interior and exterior applications. For interior application, it is widely used for veneer, furniture, door and window frames, and for exterior application, it is suitable for beams, posts, decking, exterior furniture. But redwood needs more care than ipe wood for exterior applications.

Redwood has a very high decay resistance. So that the furniture made by it is durable for many decades with low maintenance. Experts believe that wood from old-growth trees is more durable than younger trees. That’s why you should always choose the wood of the old tree.

Redwood is not considered suitable for flooring. Because it is not very rigid. Its Janka Hardness is 450 LBF (2,000 N). Which is much less than Ipe wood and many hardwoods. Woods with low hardness are more likely to get dents and scratches from animals and furniture.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t use redwood for flooring. You just have to take care of some things like regular maintenance and care.

Ipe vs Redwood Workability


Ipe is hard as nails. It is extremely dense and hard. It is difficult for carpenters if they are trying to saw and nail it. So we can say that the workability of Ipe Wood is not very good. Before applying the nail and screw, pre-drilling is required. Carpenters say that it takes them a long time to work on ipe wood.

Due to the heavyweight (69 lbs/ft3 (1,100 kg/m3)) of Ipe wood, many difficulties have to be faced in working at heights and transportation.

On the other hand, if we talk about redwood workability, then it is quite easy to work with hand tools or machinery. Due to irregular grain, sometimes it can be difficult while using a wood planer. But still, the workability of redwood is much better as compared to Ipe wood.

Ipe vs Redwood Durability

There is no doubt that Ipe wood is more durable than redwood. Ipe wood can easily withstand bad weather in low maintenance. That’s why many owners prefer to choose Ipe rather than redwood for outdoor applications.

Redwood is moderately durable to very durable regarding decay resistance. Like Ipe wood, it can also be used for exterior applications. But it needs a little more care than the Ipe wood.

Ipe vs Redwood cost

wood cost

Ipe is an expensive wood species. On average, Ipe timber costs $3.50 to $5.00 per square foot. Which is more expensive than cedar and redwood. If you want to choose Ipe for decking, then its price ranges from about $ 9 to $ 20, in which the labor charge is also included.

While Redwood timber prices are from $2.25 to $5.00 per board foot and Redwood decking costs start from about $7 per square foot. However, Ipe is more expensive than many kinds of wood. Whereas redwood gets you at a lower price.

The price of wood keeps on changing due to their demand. If you order Ipe or redwood from another country, then its price increases even more.

Which is good firewood: Ipe vs Redwood?


Ipe wood is a very valuable species. Not everyone wants to use it as firewood. However, it is very dense and heavy due to which it does not split easily and it does not burn easily in the beginning.

Redwood firewood is soft and light in weight. Therefore it burns out quickly. Coast redwood has a low BTU value (20.1 million BTUs per cord). Due to the low BTU value, it produces less heat. It splits easily and is usually straight-grained.

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