When it comes to high quality decking, Ipe is typically considered the finest option, but the lesser-known Tali is a great sustainable alternative.


Ipe, an ironwood from South America, is well-known as a top-of-the-line option for decking. As one of the hardest and most durable woods in the world, Ipe is a great choice for a deck that will wear well and last a very long time. Ipe is naturally resistant to rot and decay, and a deck made of Ipe can be expected to last 30-75 years.

Ipe is dark brown in color, with shades that vary from reddish to olive to almost black. It has a uniform structure with a mahogany-like grain.

Due to its excellent performance and attractive appearance, ipe is in high demand. Sustainable sourcing is a must for ipe decking.


Tali, sometimes called Sasswood or African Ipe, is a sustainable decking solution from West Africa. Tali is in the same durability class as Ipe, with very good overall durability and resistance to termites and fungi. Although lesser-known here in the United States, Tali is a very popular decking choice in Europe. Like Ipe, it is long-lasting with a uniform structure and mahogany-like grain. Tali has a score of 2920 on the Janka hardness scale, which is very hard, but lower than Ipe’s score of 3510. Both are considered very hard and durable.

Tali is plentiful and responsibly harvested. Tali is one of only a few decking hardwoods to carry FSC certification.


Both Ipe and Tali are extremely durable decking options with very good termite and fungi resistance, and both exhibit a mahogany-like grain and uniform structure. Ipe is the harder of the two, and also the more popular here in the United States, while Tali, more popular in Europe, offers an SC certified alternative with similar performance.