Garapa is a hardwood that is primarily harvested in the Brazilian rainforest; although it also comes from other Amazonian countries including Bolivia, Peru and Columbia. This wood is known by a host of different names, the most popular alternative name in the US is Brazilian Ash.
Garapa is an ideal wood for decking purposes; it shares a number of properties with Ipe which is known as Brazilian Walnut. Both woods are known for their beautiful grain and rich color. Garapa wood decking is a very high density hardwood, much harder than any domestic North American hardwood. Not only is Garapa harder, it has superior bending strength, durability and is denser.
The common color of Garapa wood varies from a rich honey brown to a pale yellow; there are times when this color variation will be found in the same board. Although Garapa is a close relative of Ipe, Ipe wood tends to favor darker browns; almost olive to light brown. Garapa has less variation in its grain but maintains the rich look of many tropical hardwoods.
Garapa wood, along with Ipe is considered to be among the most beautiful and the most durable for decking. When new, Garapa wood is usually a soft golden yellow which over time turns into a beautiful silver tint. If a homeowner wishes to keep the original color there are a number of sealers and stains that can be applied. Once applied, the stain or sealer will keep the deck looking new for many years.
There are few woods that are harder than Garapa, it most certainly is considerably harder than mahogany or cedar and it is also very stable. If it is expected that the decking will take considerable foot traffic, Garapa wood decking is ideal as it is not susceptible to denting, scratching, warping or cracking; add these benefits to the fact that Garapa wood will comfortably last 25 years or more and you have a deck that will continue to look great and require minimal maintenance. Garapa wood is also rot resistant and resistant to insect infestation as well.
Garapa wood decking is less costly than Ipe, it is without a doubt the best budget option when you want to invest in a high quality, long lasting deck. Although a Garapa wood deck is still more expensive than mahogany or cedar the material will end up costing less over time due to the life expectancy. Garapa is one of the best value woods for use in deck construction.
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