Cumaru Decking Blog

8 Things to Know About Adding a Cumaru Deck

You’ve decided to use cumaru hardwood for your deck. Here are 8 key things you should know about the requirements, costs and other considerations for building with this gorgeous tropical hardwood.

Cumaru Deck

Outdoor living has become a buzz word in the design world, with outdoor kitchens being voted as the most desired amenity according to the American Institute of Architects Home Design Trends Survey. This makes sense since extending your living space outdoors is a nice way to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air from the comfort of your home. Yet without an inviting space, it’s hard to want to spend time outside. So, a beautiful cumaru hardwood deck is a great way to turn your backyard into a perfect oasis for entertaining or as a solo retreat. If you’ve chosen a cumaru deck, you probably are already familiar with all the, advantages of using cumaru: its fire rating (same as concrete and steel), mildew and mold resistance, eco-friendliness, and longevity. Still, here are a few things you should know about your new deck.

  1. Did You Buy the Right Type of Cumaru?

    Cumaru is a kiln dried wood. Drying cumaru properly is important because it gives the wood stability, which will determine whether or not your deck will warp. Cumaru decking boards are dried specifically for exterior use. There is also cumaru that is kiln dried for interior use, but if you use cumaru that was intended for interior use outside, it will expand and ruin your project. The same goes for using cumaru decking for an interior project – if the cumaru was kiln dried for exteriors but is installed in an interior, it will shrink. So, it is important to specify you are building an exterior deck when ordering your cumaru and asking some questions about how the cumaru was dried.Cumaru
    Photo Credit: Gonzalo Mardones Arquitectos from Instagram.

  2. Materials Used for Structure are Important

    If you picked cumaru hardwood for your deck, it’s probably because quality and aesthetics are important to you. To protect your investment, it is important to build the underlying structure using top of the line hardware. We recommend using hardware that was specifically designed for use with tropical hardwood. For example, DeckWise makes special stainless steel screws, hidden fastener clips for hardwood decks, as well as cumaru plugs (in two options: smooth or ribbed) for face screwing decks. The plugs are made of cumaru and are easy to glue over stainless-steel screws to create a seamless look across the deck.
    We highly recommend Simpson Strong Tie for all wood connectors. The structural integrity of your deck will not only extend the deck’s life, it will also ensure a safer and stronger deck. So when you place your order for cumaru, make sure you also order all the hardware required for the installation. One of our associates will be more than happy to assist you in the calculation and give you a free quote. Feel free to contact us today.

  3. Plan out Lighting, Shade, Accessories before You Begin.

    They say that the right lighting is everything, and for decks it is no different. Ambient lighting will set a relaxing mood outside. Good lighting is also important for safety. After all, you really don’t want to go up or down your cumaru stairs without stair or railing lights! Lighting over or around your deck will extend the amount of time you can spend on your deck too. For example, if you plan on grilling on your cumaru deck, you should consider how you will light your grill (no one wants to hold a flashlight over you while your barbecue). It’s important to talk to your deck installer about your lighting plan so that later an electrician does not have to tear out some of your cumaru deck boards. Talk about safety lighting, ambient lighting and functional or task lighting before having your cumaru deck installed.Cumaru WIth LightingPhoto Credit: Benjamin Scheid C.B.C. on InstagramJust as important as considering how your deck will look and feel at night, it is equally important to think about it during the day, especially the hottest part of the day. Fortunately, cumaru does not get hot in the sun the way some composite decks or metal decks do, which is a great reason to choose cumaru in and of itself. Finding the right way to provide shade over your cumaru deck is important not only for your comfort but also to protect your deck. Harsh sunlight does not damage cumaru but it will fade the color from its brownish red to a silver gray. Consider installing a cumaru pergola over your deck or part of your deck or otherwise look into sun umbrellas.Cumaru

  4. You will need a permit.

    All cities have rules and regulations that govern whether you can build your deck and how it should be built. A trip to your local building department can save you a lot of time and money and you don’t want to have any surprises after you’ve had your cumaru deck built. The city does not have different rules for a deck built of cumaru versus using other materials, but they will tell you what setbacks and variances are required from your property line to the sidewalk or road. They will also send an inspector out to check the framing under your deck, which is a great step to ensure the safety and longevity of your cumaru deck.

  5. No One Likes Weeds so Prep The Area under Your Deck

    If you are installing your deck over dirt, make sure you spray with an herbicide and cover the ground with a black fabric or plastic covering to make sure unwanted weeds don’t begin to appear from under your deck. It is much easier to take care of unwanted roots and plants before building the deck! A beautiful cumaru deck with greenery coming through the boards is not a scenario you want to encounter. You could even go one step further and put gravel under your deck which has the added benefit of deterring animals from forming a nest underneath the deck.Cumaru Decking

  6. Maintenance

    How often and what type of maintenance your cumaru deck will require depends on where you live, whether the deck is covered, and if the deck is near the ocean or a pool. If your cumaru deck is exposed to direct sunlight for more than 4 hours a day, if your cumaru deck is under a tree that drops a lot of foliage, and/or if your deck is near water, your will probably have to service your deck at least twice per year. Your cumaru deck will need to be pressure washed and re-oiled about every six months. If your cumaru deck is under a pergola or otherwise under a covered area it might only require staining every two years. When installing your cumaru deck, you should evaluate and observe the area where you are planning on installing the deck to make sure you take the light and environmental factors into consideration.Sanding Of Ipe

  7. The Color of Cumaru will Change over Time

    The beautiful auburn reddish color of cumaru is one of the factors that make it such a popular choice for decking. However, with sun exposure, cumaru will “bleach”, which means it will turn a gray color. This silver patina as it is called happens to ipe and teak wood that is exposed to the sun as well. The silver patina color is beautiful and very natural looking and does not change the longevity of your cumaru deck. If you like the silver look, your deck will not need much maintenance. Pressure washing should be all the maintenance your cumaru deck requires. If however, you wish to retain the original color, you will have to have your deck oiled regularly. Again, the structural integrity of the boards is not affected by leaving the cumaru oiled or unoiled, as cumaru is naturally resistant to mold, mildew, insects, and will not easily scratch or splinter. The difference between the brown or gray cumaru is simply a matter of aesthetics.Cumaru Color

  8. The Value of Your Home will Increase

    Adding a cumaru deck is a great way to increase the value of your property. For one thing, by adding a deck you are essentially increasing the living space, especially if you add an outdoor kitchen, outdoor seating, fire pit or other accessories. By specifically choosing cumaru as your decking material you are choosing a luxury building material. Adding a cumaru deck is a solid investment in your home, both for your personal enjoyment as well as for the resale value of the house.

So enjoy the sunshine, the fresh air, and all the outdoor festivities on a beautiful cumaru deck. It is a wise choice that will guarantee little to no maintenance, especially from insects, mold, or fungus. Please let us know if we can help you in any way, and know we will always give you the best price on cumaru. Contact us today!

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Cumaru – A Trending Hardwood Among The Stars.

Cumaru, or Brazilian Teak, is a beautiful hardwood that comes from South America. Aside from its unquestionable aesthetic beauty, cumaru is praised for its durability.  It has a life span of over 60 years, even when exposed to all the exterior elements.  All these advantages couples with the fact that it is a natural and renewable resource has made it a popular hardwood to use in luxury projects.  Many famous designers and movie stars are choosing cumaru for their homes.  Even city’s have taken notice of this amazing tropical hardwood and chosen to use it for public works projects.

We invite you to explore the beauty of cumaru and be inspired by these beautiful projects:

Jennifer Aniston’s Home

Architectural Digest featured Jennifer Aniston’s Beverly Hills home, designed by Stephen Shadley, and reported that the eaves, floors, and walls were all made of cumaru.  Aniston chose this hardwood because it could be harvested from fallen trees, so it was an ecologically sound option, and because of the warmth and richness of the color and texture.

Jennifer Aniston Cumaru Home

Image by: Architectural Digest.  Photography by Peggy Sirota and Scott Frances July 1, 2017

Giorgio Armani’s House in Antigua

When fashion’s top designer, Giorgio Armani chose a type of hardwood for his villas overlooking Galley Bay, he chose Cumaru.  Part of the allure of Caribbean Island living is the indoor-outdoor experience that can be enjoyed all year long, and Brazilian Teak is the perfect wood to achieve that goal.  Architectural Digest reported that Armani’s wood beams throughout the house are in cumaru, to complement the island feel and the ceiling fans.

Armani Antigua Home

Photo Credit: Architectural Digest. Photography by Durston Saylor November 11, 2016

This visually impacting wood was used throughout the interiors, stairs, and decking.  In fact, cumaru is a great choice for exteriors and interiors, especially in tropical climates, like Antigua’s. It’s hardness and natural oils prevent it from rotting or splintering, both very important to keeping bare feet safe.

Armani Antigua Home II
Photo Credit: Architectural Digest. Photography by Durston Saylor November 11, 2016

Interested in a deck made of cumaru?  We can provide the best quality cumaru at the most competitive price.  Contact us today for a free estimate.

DJ Khaled’s Miami Beach Mansion

Modern and minimalist, these are the top trends in Miami these days, and they were not lost on star DJ Khaled when he purchased his five-bedroom mansion.  One of the first things you see throughout the exterior and interior of the home is the beautiful cumaru wooden ceilings.

Dj Kahled home miami beach

Photo Credit: Douglas Elliman

The tongue and groove cumaru cladding for the eaves of modern Miami homes has become very popular, especially given how little maintenance is required to keep the wooden color.  With little sun exposure, the cumaru used on a ceiling is less likely to suffer from sun-bleaching the way it does for a deck.  It also gives a warm tone to an otherwise very stark and square house.

Cumaru ceiling

Photo Credit: Douglas Elliman

Cuamru is also a very popular choice for ceilings that cover exterior areas such as bars or outdoor kitchens.  The warm color of cumaru and the interlocking grain make it ideal for tying nature and natural colors into the house. It gives a cozy and luxurious feel to any outdoor space.   If you are interested in learning more about which types of beams are best for tongue and groove ceilings, please contact us for a free quote.


Private luxury homes are not the only places you will see Brazilian Teak.  Lately, cities have chosen this exotic hardwood for big projects too.  The durability of cumaru makes it a great choice since it guarantees the integrity of the structure and the safety of all. It is a long-term investment that makes sense given that cumaru structures last for over sixty years.  If you visit Plaza 33 in New York City’s Midtown you will see beautiful cumaru benches to relax on.  Cumaru was chosen for the bleacher steps thanks to its durability.  The planter benches that surround the space are also made of the beautiful Brazilian teak.

Plaza 33 NYC

Photo credit:

It seems that Cumaru’s popularity spans from West Coast to East Coast with stars in Los Angeles, New York and Miami all choosing Brazilian Teak for their projects.  The astonishing color tones of Cumaru, ranging from light brown to a deep maroon, are one of the top reasons that celebrities and designers have chosen this tropical hardwood. The longevity of the wood and its unique hardness are amongst the reason’s cities have chosen cumaru for their development plans.  All in all, cumaru is a fabulous tropical hardwood that is worth investing in.  Interested in learning more?  Contact our sales team and we would be happy to give you a quote or just answer some questions for you.

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Why Choose Cumaru over Ipe?

Why Chose Cumaru Over IpeChoosing what material to use for your deck can be hard given the amount of options out there.  Once you delve into the world of decking, you’ll find plastic options, recycled material options, domestic woods, tropical woods, and all possibilities are at a different price point and give different guarantees.

If you decide you want a real wooden deck your contractor will usually give you two options a) pressure treated deck b) ipe deck.  Option a will be a lot more economical, but will have a lot of problems with splinters, termites, rotting, which means the deck will probably only last around ten (10) years.  Option b has a lot of advantages, such as being rot resistant, scratch proof, won’t splinter, does not require a lot of maintenance, and is one of the most durable woods on earth, lasting up to 70 years. You’ll probably love the idea of using option b until you hear the price.

Fire RatingCumaru is another option that might be the happy compromise you were looking for! It has all the amazing properties of ipe wood but at a lower cost.  So if cumaru and ipe are so similar, what exactly makes them different?

Cumaru has lighter color than ipe.  Cumaru has quite a bit of color variation, which means it can range from a golden brown to a reddish-brown coloring.  If you do not oil or otherwise maintain cumaru, it will get “sun-bleached” and turn a silver patina color just like ipe, but when first installed ipe is a darker color than cumaru.  That said, depending on the type of oil or sealer used, cumaru can be stained to look darker.

The international standard on how to measure wood’s hardness is using the Janka hardness scale.  Basically, the Janka hardness test measures how resistance a sample of wood is to denting and wear.  Ipe has one of the highest rankings, but cumaru is not far behind.  Cumaru has a 3,330 lbf (14,800 N) whereas ipe has 3,510 lbf (15,620 N), which is only a 5% difference.  Compare that to the 380 lbf (1,690 N) hardness of pine, and you can see that cumaru is very durable and hard.


Janka Hardness Scale

Like ipe, cumaru is incredibly durable, thanks to its tight grain and natural oils that keep fungus, rot, and insects from attacking it.  It has some other great advantages (like ipe) such as not overheating in the sun, not splintering, and not bending.  In fact, as compared to ipe, cumaru only has a 2% bending difference.

The biggest difference between ipe and cumaru lies in the price.  Cumaru is a more cost-effective option.  Generally, when buying cumaru you will save about 30% as compared to ipe. That can make a big difference, especially if you have a larger area to cover.

PriceOverall, cumaru is an excellent choice as a decking wood.  It’s strength, hardness and stability make it suitable for all climates, which is why it is seen especially often in tropical and subtropical areas. It is also a great choice for siding, rain screens, louvers, boardwalks, and pergolas. The decking boards come in many different sizes and can be easily milled for tongue and groove applications.  It is a robust and beautiful wood that can be trusted to last and give you a great value for your money!

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