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Characteristics of wood


Ipe decking wood, terrace wood, beams or joists? We sell it all. Ipe wood is the best choice of wood. There is no better hardwood than Ipe. This type of hardwood comes from Brazil and has a long durability of 30 years or more. Ipe is a very stable hardwood and is therefore suitable for every conceivable application. Ipe is the best wood. That’s why we have an extra wide range of this type of hardwood. Ipe has a brown and light brown colour, has a uniform structure and is fine-grained. This wood is hard-wearing, strong and won’t move.

What is the best wood choice according to the Advisory Team?

As Advisory Team, we will advise you to always choose Ipe hardwood. Ipe is the best wood for every application possible. This species is very stable, has a beautiful colour and a long durability. Ipe wood has never caused us any issues. This type of wood is synonymous with long carefree enjoyment. According to us, Ipe has the most beautiful look.


Jatoba is one of the better types of hardwood. Jatoba also comes from Brazil and is used a lot in the timber industry and as floor wood. This type of wood is hard but is easy to process. Jatoba is stable, fine-grained and has an even brown colour. The durability is 30 years or longer. Pre-drilling is also necessary for this type of wood.


Building a fence or terrace out of Bankirai wood is a good choice. Bankirai comes from Indonesia and is a strong type of hardwood with a brown to dark brown colour and a straight grain. Bankirai is quite hard-wearing and has a solid wood structure, pre-drilling is necessary to prevent wood from splitting. This type of hardwood does not absorb moisture quickly and remains therefore stable. It has a long durability of approx. 30 years or more.


This type of hardwood is the best type from Africa. Mukulungu decking boards are exceptionally stable because of the very fine texture of the hardwood. This type of wood is very fine and straight-grained, has almost no moisture absorption and easy to dress to a smooth finish. Mukulungu decking boards have an even light brown colour, are hard-wearing and have a durability of 30 years or longer. This type of wood is hard, therefore pre-drilling is necessary to prevent the wood from splitting.


Hardwood usually refers to wood from deciduous trees, unlike wood from coniferous trees. Sometimes hardwood is also called Tropical hardwood. Hardwood comes from forests in South America, Africa or Indonesia. These trees are very big and have large diameters.  The wood is very compact which makes it very strong and durable.

The English term ‘hardwood’ refers to deciduous wood whereas coniferous wood is called ‘softwood’. This can be confusing because in most cases, it doesn’t always say something about the hardness of wood. In general, deciduous trees grow slower which is why their wood is harder than the wood from coniferous trees. The durability class of wood tells something about the life expectancy of the wood. The strength class tells something about the maximum load. Hardwood always comes from tropical rainforests, thus not from Europe.


At Hardhout Discount, we make high demands on the durability class of our wood. Good quality of the hardwood results in a durable and functional end product. A lot of our woods are also selected according to the wood strength. For several applications, a high strength class of the wood is required for the quality of the end construction. By selecting woods according to these two classes, we can guarantee quality and durability.

The durability class of wood varies from 1 to 5, of which 1 is very durable and 5 not durable. Azobé / Massaranduba and IPE and Itauba decking boards are in class 1 according to the durability class chart. This is very durable wood, stable and well suited for ground, road and water applications. The durability classes are ranked in the table below.

Class Durability Life expectancy
1 Very durable + 25 years
2 Durabe 15-25 years
3 Sufficient/Moderately durable 10-15 years
4 Slightly durable 5-10 years
5 Barely durable <5 years


All of our products arrive by container in the port of Rotterdam. In order to let the products ventilate properly, the products have slats between the wood. We either go abroad ourselves or import via wood importers. Therefore packaging may differ. We always deliver your wood packaged so your wood is better protected against damage and dirt. Especially in the summer when it’s hot and dry it is important to keep the wood straight. After processing, the screws will hold the wood in place properly.


Movement of wood is the distortion in wood caused by moisture. Wood can swell or shrink when it absorbs and releases moisture, and in some cases it can wrap or crack. Wood can expand through moisture absorption and shrink through moisture loss. Unlike for example metal, wood does not really change shape under the influence of temperature, but mostly through moisture. As a result of shrinking and swelling, wood can wrap or crack, especially when the wood is not properly fixed or when there are big moisture differences inside a wooden object. Abnormal shrinking can sometimes take place in wood. For example, reaction wood formed in a tree to resist long-lasting pressure and pull forces will show abnormal behaviour when it shrinks or expands. Also a fuzzy grain can cause this. The abnormal movement can be extreme.

To counteract the effects of wood movement, it is possible to take various measures depending on the type of wood. For example, these days wood is often dried in controlled conditions to minimalise the moisture differences inside the wood during the drying process. Fixing wood in a way that there is enough space to move often also helps.


Length, maximum permissible  1.5% 
Width, maximum permissible  4.0%
Thickness, maximum permissible  6.0%


Types of hardwood such as Angelim Vermelho can contain swelling substances. For Angelim Vermelho this can lead to brown spots on boards or posts. This happens mostly because of weather influences (rain or sun). Eventually they disappear again by the same weather influences. Please note that hardwood can also lead to spots on metal and stone and that these spots don’t disappear very quickly. Unfortunately we cannot prevent this as this is part of the natural process of hardwood.


Hardwood can contain pinholes caused by wet wood borer. These borers however do not occur anymore in sawn / dried wood. The holes that appeared do not affect the product’s quality.


Hardwood is suitable to place directly in the ground. The durability class of hardwood is always tested in ground contact. All of our hardwood products fall into class 1 or 2  which means they will last a minimum of 15 to 25 years. (based on the fact that it’s in contact with the ground, without ground contact the durability is obviously even longer).


  1. Do not compromise on the amount of posts when placing a deck, fence (garden fence) or sheet piles. It is very important that you have a good foundation for a good end result.
  2. Use the correct prescribed screws for decking boards. We have the correct screws in stock, be careful when using other screws, hardwood can affect and break certain screws due to the natural substances in the wood. Wood is very strong, do not underestimate this.
  3. Hardwood can move, as already mentioned above, so keep gap between the boards in mind and keep enough distance from the existing constructions.
  4. It is important that you ventilate properly, make sure there is enough space between the ground and your decking boards so the wood can ventilate and can wick excess moisture away to prevent it from mould and deterioration.

Hardwood Discount online BV is not responsible for the final results of your constructions. In doubt, always engage an engineering expert for supporting structures. Note! You cannot lodge a complaint for processed wood.