How dassoXTR Decking and Siding Compares to Ipe

dassoXTR fused bamboo is the only exterior bamboo decking and siding material that can truly contend with popular exotic wood decking materials such as Ipe and Cumaru.

Here are just of few of the ways dassoXTR stacks up.

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Aesthetics

Strictly a buyer’s preference, aesthetics relates mainly to color choice. Both dassoXTR and the exotic woods discussed here can be stained to another color. But much like all exotic woods, dassoXTR will also turn gray or silver over time if a finish is not applied.

The only aesthetic variable hardwoods have that dassoXTR does not is “grade.” Grade is the visual appearance of the wood and is based on: color consistency (uniformity); character (lack of knots, splits, stain imperfections, etc.); length (longer more uniform board lengths) and cut ("quarter-sawn" boards are optimal). Generally, the higher the grade, the more costly the wood. But keep in mind that color and character are immutable properties of all wood. So a piece of wood decking you look at in the showroom will not always represent an entire deck’s grade.

In contrast, dassoXTR boards offer a homogeneous, consistent look. In addition, boards are available in a reversible profile that is smooth on one side and reeded on the other. This unique construction allows for a few different aesthetics: smooth side up for a sleek look, or reeded face up for a more textured style.

Sourcing and Environmental Friendliness

All exotic hardwoods in the United States come from U.S. companies that purchase material on the open market in South America. While some U.S. companies hold their exotic wood out as a unique brand, in reality, they typically only buy from one or two foreign companies with which they have long-term relationships. But ultimately, these U.S. companies cannot control the source. Illegal logging, which is a systemic problem in South America, can further taint the system, in spite of a U.S. supplier’s best intentions and assurances.

In contrast, dassoXTR bamboo is sourced from Dasso’s own sustainable bamboo forests and manufactured in Dasso-owned factories. And unlike most hardwoods, which must grow for 50 years or more before they can be harvested, bamboo is a fast-growing grass that can be harvested every 5-7 years. This makes bamboo one of the most environmentally friendly and sustainable building products available. So while Ipe trees are getting fewer and fewer, bamboo continues to grow and replenish at an amazing rate.

dassoXTR Exterior Bamboo Decking and Siding
dassoXTR Exterior Bamboo Decking and Siding
dassoXTR Exterior Bamboo Decking and Siding

Installation

With hardwood decking, the natural stresses within the wood often prevent some boards from staying straight. Usually, installing an exotic hardwood requires two or more people, where one installer is using a pull bar to force crooked boards straight, as well as cutting boards for grade and waste issues.

This is not an issue with dassoXTR, as all boards come straight – right out of the bundle, and all parts of the board are useable – so there’s minimal waste. All dassoXTR boards also come in standard six-foot (6”) lengths. While some installers prefer longer board lengths, most find that the 6” lengths make for easier handling and installation. In addition, all dassoXTR boards are side grooved for hidden fastening, but can also be face screwed and plugged.

When installing hardwood decking, boards must end on top of a joist. But dassoXTR’s unique tongue-and-groove end-match system offers another installation option. For some installations (16” O.C. joists or less), rather than joining boards atop a joist only, ends can also be joined in the space between the joists. This not only saves time and money on installation, but it also produces a stronger deck with a more random, flawless pattern and consistent coloration.

Regardless of whether you choose Ipe or dassoXTR, be prepared to go through more than the normal amount of saw blades and drill bits during installation, as both materials are extremely hard. Keep in mind that Ipe sawdust is an irritant and may cause skin problems such as dermatitis in some workers. And Ipe, unlike dassoXTR, can cause infections from splinters.

Weathering

As mentioned, both dassoXTR and Ipe (as well as all other exotic hardwoods) will change color when exposed to the elements. This color change, known as greying or silvering, can be prevented by applying a finish to the decking – either a penetrating finish or a protective surface film. Companies that make these finishes often also make “brighteners” to remove greying/silvering before finishing.

dassoXTR weathered bamboo

Both exotic woods and dassoXTR are susceptible to “checking.” This term describes the small splits and cracks that can occur when decking begins to dry out from extreme weather changes and humidity swings. But unlike most exotic woods, dassoXTR is pre-primed at the factory with a penetrating oil, which minimizes potential checking issues and splintering.

To learn more about dassoXTR finishes and maintenance, see “Maintenance of dassoXTR”.

Physical Properties

In comparing dassoXTR to exotic woods like Ipe – the most popular exotic hardwood used in decking – a fairly apple-to-apples comparison can be made using three standard measures of product performance (independent of the structure on which the deck is being installed). These include:

  • Modulus of Elasticity (MOE), which measures the material’s resistance to being deformed elastically (i.e., non-permanently) when a force is applied to it.
  • Janka hardness scale, an industry standard that rates the relative hardness of wood, measuring its resistance to denting and wear.
  • Decay and insect resistance testing.

Here’s how dassoXTR compares to Ipe.

Measurement dassoXTR Ipe
Modulus of Elasticity (MOE) 2,037ksi (3/4" thick) 3,010ksi (1" thick)
Janka hardness (lbs) 3,850 3,680
Resistance to Decay and Insects "Good" to "Excellent" resistance "Very resistant"

Its high MOE score tells that dassoXTR is very hard to bend and break. The high Janka rating means it’s hard to dent. And its inherent decay and insect resistance make it suitable for outside use.

Learn more

To learn more about the dassoXTR difference, see  How dassoXTR Bamboo Compares to Other Bamboo Decking.

dassoXTR siding sample box

Order a FREE XTR Sampler Box!

Each Sampler Box Includes:

  • One sample piece of dassoXTR
    Fused Bamboo® Decking
  • One sample piece of dassoXTR
    Fused Bamboo® RainClad Siding
  • dassoXTR Fused Bamboo® Brochure
  • dassoXTR Fastening System

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