timberholdings_main_purpleheartPurple Heart (Peltogyne spp)

A beautiful Brazillian species, well known for it distinctive purple color. Over time, this wood darkens to a rich brown and will turn a darker silver color if allowed to weather in exterior applications.

Purple Heart has long been sought after for its unique color for decorative use in flooring and furniture inlays. What many people don’t know is that Purple Heart, while appearing exotic, is actually one of the worlds most naturally durable and highly stable wood species. If left to weather, it becomes fairly indistinguishable from species like Ipe and Garapa. This is important to recognize for commercial applications like boardwalks and truck decking or in exterior residential applications where the wood will be left to weather to a silver grey patina.

Unfortunately, some people in the residential market have a difficult time accepting a purple installation on their homes, even temporarily. It is important to remember though that it is only temporary, as Purple Heart is an outstanding, naturally durable-performer and should be strongly considered.

Suitable Applications

While carbide-tipped blades are suggested to deal with this wood’s strength, it turns beautifully, is easy to glue and takes finishes well. Purple Heart is a great choice for turnery, marquetry, cabinets, fine furniture, parquet flooring, tool handles and billiard cues. This wood also works well for chemical vats, heavy construction, ship building, truck flooring and sill plates. This wood also does great for both commercial and residential decking.

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Iron Woods Purple Heart is available in a full range of decking profiles and dimensional lumber sizes to meet your design needs.

Mill Rough up to 3”x8”x20’
Surfaced up to 2.75”x7.75”
Bright Sawn up to 2.75”x7.75”
Custom Profiled to 6”x11.5”

Strength & Durability

The heartwood of this species is naturally and highly durable in resistance to decay fungi. Purple Heart is very resistant to dry wood termites, but has little resistance to marine borers, making it better for non-marine projects.

How does Iron Woods Purple Heart compare to other lumber and decking products?

Purple Heart CCA-Treated Pine Composite Decking
Type Hardwood Softwood Plastic Wood
Maintenance Low High Low
Decay Resistance High Varies Varies
Strength High Medium Low
Movement in Service Low High High
Fire Rating Class High Varies Low
Weight per cu. ft. 58lbs. 35lbs. 60 to 64lbs.
Bending Strength 19,200 9,900 to 14,500 1,423 to 4,500
E-modulus 2,270,000 1,170,000 to 1,510,000 175,000 to 480,000
Shear Strength 2,220 1,370 561 to 1,010
Hardness 1,860 690 940 to 1,390

Residential Deck Installation & Maintenance

Purple Heart 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 be applied to maintain its beauty. Consult our installation guide, available at your dealer, for more outdoor finishes and hints on working with Purple Heart.

Iron Woods Purple Heart decking is supplied as partially air-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.

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

These spans are are designed for Purple Heart 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 1/8″ gap between 6″ wide deck boards and a 1/16″ 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 Purple Heart, 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 Purple Heart 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 Woodsdealer) in order to reduce end checking.

To maintain its 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.