Completely lost, oil then preserve, pre-laying preserve?

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  • #84


    I am looking at installing an Ipe deck this summer, only 5.5m x 3m but after searching for so long, I have no idea what steps I need to take in order to fully protect it.

    I intend to lay the boards out flat, in my garage for 2 weeks prior to laying to let it acclimatise on some sort of bearer prior to laying but after this, I’m confused.

    I know that I need to treat any ‘cut’ ends of the boards with some sort of preservative, but do I need to oil the boards first, if I go for a clear oil (because I want to keep the natural colour of the Ipe), does this drive the moisture out or if not, does the oil just provide a cosmetic finish?  Is that the job of the preservative to drive the moisture out and the oil not required because I don’t require it to colour it, in that case, should I just five all the boards a coating, whilst still in the garage, whilst just touching up the sawn ends during installation?

    Any help would be appreciated and I’m here to learn.




    Sounds very much like you want to the absolute best job there can be… good to see.

    I would install your decking fully and then to the OWATROL routine.

    Soak your deck in water then apply a neat coat of Prep-Deck, jet wash off after 30 minutes or so, this will remove the Mill Glaze and Open the pores of the timber, whilst wet then apply Net-Trol, this will neutralize the prepdeck and remove any water staining.

    Allow to dry full, perhaps 2 days

    The when applying our your quality decking oil, OWATROL D1 or D1 Pro, allow to fully soak in and don’t do what 99% of contractors do and thats wipe on and wipe off…. soak soak soak, the oil is best in the timber and not on the timber… when it stops absorbing the oil wipe off the residual in one single motion and move onto the next area…

    Messing with the timber prior to installation will only lead to an unhappy chappy as you will scratch and mark the boards whilst cutting etc…

    You don’t need to preserve Ipe… its bomb proof

    Are you installing smooth ipe boards with predrilled and countersunk holes with stainless screws or are you using a side fixed system?


    Thanks for the advice, very grateful. I was intending to go with smooth Balau as it is a lot cheaper than the Ipe in the UK, but I got my glass and mini posts for a fully frameless balustrade at a ridiculousy good deal (off eBay somehow) so cecided to go all in with the Ipe. Will be using hidden fixings so just got to decide whether to go for 90mmx19mm or 140mmx21mm boards, not sure if I may get a cupping problem on the larger ones though. I have just checked and I can get all of those pre-requisite liquids easily enough so feel a little better now. You say that with the Ipe, that I shouldn’t need a sealant or preserver, does that mean the I can just use the OWATROL on the cut ends and on top of the boards and I should be ok?


    Glad you are going to use Ipe. be wary of side fixing using plastic clips for obvious reasons, Ipe clip extreme and stainless clips are best.

    Cupping will always happen but much less on narrower boards up to 100mm.

    With respect to Ipe and its specific density, pretty much nothing will soak in to it, hence the oiling operation I advised earlier. You can certainly use the oil on the ends or a proprietary wax based product. In my experience the wax crumbles in the winter and peels away in the summer, especially when the moisture gets behind it.


    Brilliant, thanks


    One last question if I may? As long as the edge of the board is routed and advertised as suitable for hidden clips, could I use the Ipe clips extreme for kiln dried boards? I think the spacing is 7mm? It’s just that 2 of the places that I am thinking of buying from advertise their own favourites, one of them being the Artichoke clip, but these look a bit like flimsy plastic.


    Each manufacturer has a different dimension clip and so the pre-routed groove has to be specific to each clip.

    The gap is pre-determined by each clip… 7 is excessive for any clip.

    Buy plastic, buy twice and I have not heard of the Artichoke clip, must be another new one. 

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