What’s the Difference Between Tigerwood and Ipe Wood?

Ipe wood is harder and stronger than Tigerwood. Ipe wood is the most popular choice for exterior applications such as decking, while Tigerwood is suitable for the interior, such as furniture.

Ipe is more resistant to rot and insects, making it a better choice for extreme weather and moisture. Both the woods hold excellent properties, so it isn’t easy to choose one of them. In this blog, we will know the difference between these two kinds of wood to help us choose them for our project.

What is Tigerwood?

Tigerwood is highly durable and weather-resistant and commonly grown from Mexico southward to Brazil. Tigerwood is also known as Goncalo Alves and Jobillo. It is often used in flooring, cabinetry, and furniture because of its strength and resistance to decay.

What is Ipe wood?

Ipe wood is durable, stable, and naturally rot-resistant, which comes from the Handroanthus spp. family. It is native to Central and South America. Ipe wood is also known as Brazilian Walnut, Lapacho. 

It is a popular choice for exterior application and furniture because it is naturally resistant to weather and rot. It is famous for its reddish-brown color.

Difference Between Tigerwood and Ipe Wood

#TigerwoodIpe Wood
Scientific nameAstronium spp. Handroanthus spp. 
Tree Size100-130 ft (30-40 m) tall100-150 ft (30-46 m) tall
Janka Hardness 2,170 lbf (9,640 N)3,510 lbf (15,620 N)
Weight57 lbs/ft3 (905 kg/m3)69 lbs/ft3 (1,100 kg/m3)
Crushing Strength10,770 lbf/in2 (74.2 MPa)13,600 lbf/in2 (93.8 MPa)
WorkabilityModerately easy to work with.Difficult to work with.

The Durability of Tigerwood and Ipe Wood

Tigerwood is one of the most durable hardwoods for furniture and outdoor applications. Tigerwood can last 40 to 60 years for interior spaces and 25 to 30 years when used outside with regular maintenance.

Ipe wood is also highly durable for decking and outdoor projects, with a lifespan of up to 40 to 50 years or more with regular maintenance.


Tigerwood is widely used for durable flooring, furniture, cabinetry, and carving. It is easy to finish and turn well, making decorative wooden objects such as tools, handles, and sports handles popular.

Ipe wood is often used in outdoor decking, docks, siding, and other exterior applications because it is a natural resistance to rot, decay, and insect damage. It is one of the most popular choices to make a bridge that will last for centuries.


Tigerwood is usually medium reddish brown with dark brown to black streaks. Tigerwood usually turns a darker color over time when exposed to sunlight.

Ipe wood can range in color from light olive to dark chocolate brown. Ipe wood has more brown/black streaks than Tiger Woods. The color of the wood gets dark with age. Both species have interlocked and irregular grain patterns with a fine, uniform texture.


Tigerwood and Ipe wood are naturally rot-resistant, making them the perfect wood for outdoor purposes. They are naturally rot-resistant due to the content of natural oils in the wood. These natural oils or chemicals are formed during the tree’s growth, which protects the wood from insects.

These oils keep the surface of the wood oily so that the moisture stays away from the wood. Both species do not accept stains well due to the oily surface.

Which is dense, Tigerwood and Ipe?

Ipe wood is dense and heavier than Tigerwood. Ipe wood has a Janka hardness of 3,510 lbf, while Tigerwood has a Janka hardness of 2,170 lbf (9,640 N). Being extremely hard, Ipe and Tigerwood are less prone to dents and scratches.

Working Properties of Tigerwood and Ipe Wood

Ipe wood is more challenging to work with as compared to Tigerwood. By the way, working with both woods is not easy because both are very hard and heavy. Both wood species have a wavy or interlocked grain, which makes them challenging for beginners.

Woods can quickly dull saw blades and other cutting tools. So it is also important to use proper safety equipment when working with this dense wood.

Availability and Sustainability of Tigerwood and Ipe Wood

Tigerwood and Ipe wood is readily available in lumber and board form. So they can be used for various construction and decorative purposes. However, the availability of both wood can vary depending on location and the demand for the wood. 

Tigerwood and Ipe wood are not listed in the CITES Appendices and IUCN Red List. Both woods come from sustainable forests that are managed regularly.

Cost Differences Between Tigerwood and Ipe Wood

Tigerwood and Ipe are both premium hardwood options known for their durability and natural properties. However, Ipe wood is more expensive than Tigerwood. Ipe is the more popular, durable, and high-demand wood species.

Ipe decking can cost anywhere from $4 to $8 per square foot (without installation), while Tigerwood decking typically costs around $3 to $5 per square foot. However, the price varies depending on many factors, including location and quality of wood.

Which is Better for Furniture: Tigerwood vs. Ipe?

It isn’t easy to say which wood is better for furniture, as both Ipe and Tigerwood can make durable and attractive furniture. 

But if you are still confused about which to choose between Ipe and Tigerwoods for your next furniture project. Here are some key differences to help you choose the right one.


  • Tigerwood has a unique and striking appearance with a distinctive stripe. It can add character and warmth to any space.
  • Tigerwood is a moderately hard wood, which makes it easy to work with.
  • It’s also more affordable than Ipe.


  • Ipe has a rich, warm color that ranges from dark reddish-brown to olive-brown. Its natural color gives excellent results after finishing.
  • Ipe is a very dense hardwood, which makes it highly durable and resistant to wear and tear.
  • It’s naturally resistant to rot and decay, making it an excellent outdoor furniture choice.

Which is Better for Flooring: Tigerwood vs. Ipe Wood?

Ipe wood is a better choice for flooring because it is dense and hard than Tigerwood. Its extreme hardness makes it less prone to dents and scratches. Ipe wood can withstand moisture for a long time.

Another reason to choose Ipe for flooring is that Ipe wood is widely available and is finished well.

Which is Better for Decking: Tigerwood vs. Ipe Wood?

Ipe wood is more famous for outdoor projects such as decking, fencing, and shelters. Because it has excellent weathering properties and can easily withstand extreme weather and moisture. Ipe decking requires very little maintenance compared to other woods.


Tigerwood and Ipe are both popular hardwoods that are most commonly used for woodworking because both are strong and durable options for outdoor decking and flooring projects. These woods are used based on their properties.

Finally, the choice between Tigerwood and Ipe will depend on personal preference and the project’s specific requirements.