Garapa (Apuleia leiopcarpa) – Garapa is beautiful! It features a rich honey golden-brown color range that will be the highlight of your landscape. Available only as 100% Clear All-Heart for long-lasting durability, without any unsightly knots and sapwood streaks that detract from its attractive grain patterns.

This Brazilian species is often chosen for its beautiful light golden yellow color, durability, fine grain, kiln dried performance, and value. Garapa slightly darkens upon exposure to UV.  Garapa is also known as Brazilian Ash in the flooring trade.

This wood is the best performer of the lower cost alternatives to Ipe decking. When left to weather to a natural silvery-gray patina, its grain patterns are virtually indistinguishable from Ipe. Plus, Iron Woods® Garapa residential decking is covered by a 15-year warranty.

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Strength & Durability

Garapa is stronger than most decking materials. Like other hardwood decking products, a 1×6 easily spans standard 16″ framing. Garapa is available in most common decking and dimensional lumber sizes to create a matching deck and railing design.

Garapa is scratch-resistant! It’s much harder than softwood or composite decking, keeping your deck’s surface smooth for many years. Garapa is so durable and rot resistant it’s backed by a 15-year warranty.

Suitable Applications

Garapa is a dense hardwood decking that resists rot, decay, splinters and scratches naturally, without any chemical treatments. This fine-grained hardwood is often used in flooring, siding, window frames and boat building.

When you compare the characteristics of Garapa, it’s easy to see why Garapa is the clear choice over other similarly priced decking materials and a great value option to Iron Woods Ipe.


Garapa is available in a limited range of sizes and profiles. Custom sizes and profiles are available.

Decking – 1×4, 1×6, 5/4×4, 5/4×6, 2×4, 2×6, 2×8
Tongue and Groove Porch Floor – 1×4, 5/4×4
Post and Hand Rail – 4×4, 2×2, 2×4, 2×6
Siding and Ceiling – 1×4, 1×6, 5/4×4, 5/4×6
Ship Lap Truck and Trailer Decking – 2×6, 2×8
Timbers – Available by special order only.

Residential Deck Installation & Maintenance

Garapa is a low-maintenance decking. It naturally weathers into light silvery gray tones – there’s no need to apply annual sealers. To enjoy its warm golden-brown hues, a simple application of an outdoor finish can be periodically applied to maintain its beauty. Consult our installation guide, available at your dealer, for more outdoor finishes and hints on working with Garapa.

Iron Woods Garapa decking is supplied as kiln dried lumber and is for outdoor use only. Store the wood out of direct sunlight and be sure to keep it dry and off the ground. Allow the wood to acclimate and stabilize to the installation area’s humidity before installing.

Garapa will naturally slightly darken on exposure. Due to this, there may be lighter colored areas underneath banding. These will darken and blend in with the rest of the board after exposure.

We recommend carbide-tipped saw blades and high-quality drills for smooth cuts.

These spans are are designed for Garapa to allow for minimal deflection of the deck surface. For maximum spans and engineering data, you can contact us.

Load Size
Board Size 100psf
1×4 16″
1×6 16″
5/4×6 24″

Allow a 3/16″ gap between 6″ wide deck boards and a 1/8″ gap between 4″ wide deck boards for drainage, airflow and expansion. Kiln dried decking may expand 1/8″ on 6″ wide boards during times of high moisture. Expect some shrinkage in width in hot or dry areas.

Adequate ventilation of the deck is essential for long-term stability and to minimize cupping. Proper air ventilation allows air to flow in from outside the deck area, under the joists and up through the gaps between the deck boards.

For screws, we recommend a high-quality, stainless steel trim head screw. Though coated or galvanized screws may also be used, they generally cause black staining and have a shorter service life. To install Iron Woods Garapa, you must pre-drill a pilot hole and countersink to avoid splitting and then fasten with the stainless steel screws, which are available at Iron Woods dealers.

Seal Iron Woods Garapa immediately after installation to reduce the potential for surface checking. If installing over a prolonged period or during hot weather sealing after each phase is recommended. Be sure to seal all ends immediately after cutting with Anchorseal clear wax end sealer (available from your Iron Woods dealer) in order to reduce end checking.

To maintain a golden brown color, use a transparent, penetrating oil-based sealer with UV inhibitors in a trans-oxide pigmented tint and reapply annually or as needed.

If you prefer a natural, silvery-gray appearance, use a clear oil-based sealer for the first coat and then simply let the wood weather to its natural gray color. If you want to return silver-gray wood to the original color, use a “wood brightener.” Careful power washing and/or sanding can help to remove the grayed wood.

“First Coat” Iron Woods may be available by special order. These orders come prefinished with “First Coat” for those customers desiring to take the guesswork out of their first application of wood sealant.

Download a more in-depth, printer-friendly PDF Best Practices Guide.
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How does Iron Woods® Garapa compare to other lumber and decking products?

Garapa CCA-Treated Pine Composite Decking
Type Hardwood Softwood Plastic Wood
Maintenance Low High Low
Decay Resistance Medium-High Varies Varies
Termite Resistance Medium Varies Varies
Strength Medium-High Medium Low
Movement in Service Low High High
Fire Rating Class High Varies Low
Weight per cu. ft. 54lbs. 35lbs. 60 – 64lbs.
Bending Strength (in psi) 12,900 9,900 – 14,500 1,423 – 4,500
E-modulus 1,834,780 1,170,000 – 1,510,000 175,000 – 480,000
Shear Strength 1,475 1,370 561 – 1,010
Hardness 1,631 690 940 – 1,390

See how it compares to the rest of our line