Building a dock with IPE/Treated Yellow Pine

In talking about Composite Decking, we felt as though it was important to add Lumber Decking into the mix as well. Afterall, it still remains the most popular option when it comes to building a dock. Although there are several types of lumber available, we will focus on two in particular: IPE (EE-Pay) and treated yellow pine.


IPE is a hardwood that is grown in the Brazilian rain forests. “IPE” refers to not one, but seven different tree species native to South and Central America. It comes in all sorts of very attractive colors and is known best for its durability, density, and hardness. In fact, IPE is so dense, that it often has to be pre-drilled before the pieces are connected – some compare it to that of steel! Perhaps this wood is admired due to its lifespan (30+ years) or maybe because it is naturally resistant to rot and insects. Regardless, there are several benefits of using this type of wood. Let’s take a look at a few more…

  • IPE is mold, fire, weather, and as mentioned earlier, insect resistant. This hardwood received an A-rating from the National Fire Protection Association making the use of fire safer than most around this type of wood.
  • IPE naturally resists mold and fungal growth. The wood’s tight grain and natural oils (tannic acid) help to keep water out, which prevent these two pests from growing on the wood.
  • Due to its durability, IPE is scratch resistant. Along with that, this lumber is also slip resistant making it much safer than the other woods to walk/run on.
  • IPE lumber requires little to no maintenance. Although it is more expensive to install up front, IPE will pay for itself in the long run. Keeping your IPE dock in great condition is quite simple – sweep away any leaves/debris and use a wood cleaner once or twice a year to maintain ideal brightness. You will also want to consider protecting your deck by using a UV Coating. Decks and Docks carries Penofin Hardwood Formula, which will aid in the conservation of the wood throughout numerous waterfront conditions, while also maintaining the wood’s original color.

Treated Yellow Pine:

Moving right along, the use of pressure treated lumber is very traditional. Treated yellow pine is natural in appearance and tends to compliment every nautical setting. Unlike IPE, treated yellow pine is a softwood lumber that has been chemically treated to resist rot, decay, and termites. This material has remained the king of decking materials in the low country due to the low cost incurred throughout the construction process. Treated yellow pine is a great option for residential projects and comes with many benefits such as…

  • Treated yellow pine is cost effective. Although this lumber costs less than IPE upfront, it is important to consider the maintenance incurred throughout the years. This type of wood will require upkeep if you want to maximize the lifespan of your dock. Light power washing is recommended, along with staining or sealing every few years. Don’t let this scare you away though – this option is great if you’re looking for a strong, reliable, and budget friendly dock.
  • This decking material is insect resistant. The toxins within the wood help to fight away the termites and other wood-boring/wood-damaging insects.
  • Treated yellow pine is naturally attractive – it blends in with mother nature extremely well, making the dock look like it was meant to be there. It is an eco-friendly choice, and can be stained, sanded, or painted if desired. Along with this, treated yellow pine is easily modifiable and can be cut on the job site if needed, making it easy to work with.
  • Durability – treated yellow pine is better able to resist dents, scratches, and wear and tear than most other types of wood. This type of decking comes with an ease of repair. If the wood gets damaged, it is usually inexpensive and relatively easy to fix.

Extensive Dock Building Experience

Our team at Carolina Dock and Marine has extensive experience using many different types of materials in building a dock. The material that is best fit for your new dock will depend on factors such as, color, use, maintenance requirements, and price. Call us today to discuss your project needs – we will be sure to give you the utmost professional advice and will help you to conquer the project of your dreams. We look forward to chatting with you! (843) 557-1234.