We have had lots of questions about what is KD (kiln dried) Ipe Decking and when it is needed. We wanted to provide a resource to learn if KD Ipe Decking is best for you and your needs. First, we want to define each product specifically.
What is AD Ipe Decking?
AD Ipe Decking is short for Air Dried Ipe Decking. This means that the decking has been allowed to sit and Air Dry naturally to about an 18% moisture level. You will see that KD is dried in a different manner.
What is KD Ipe Decking?
KD Ipe Decking is short for Kiln Dried Ipe Decking. This means that the decking is dried in a kiln, which is similar to an extremely low temperature oven for decking and lumber. This has allowed the decking to be dried to a lower percentage than AD decking, usually 10-18%.
Do you need KD Ipe Decking?
The necessity of KD Ipe Decking really depends on where and when you are installing your decking. If you are installing in the summer in an extremely dry climate, you want to get the driest decking possible and allow it to acclimate further then install it at your location. So, for some projects, this means specifying KD Ipe Decking.
If you are able to install in the winter or wet season where you can allow your decking board to acclimate longer, you can probably go with AD Ipe Decking. KD Ipe Decking is usually harder to find and a higher cost than AD Ipe decking, so you should incorporate this into your planning and purchasing.
Equilibrium Moisture Content Level
To understand what the wood in your location is usually at when it comes to percentage of moisture content, we put together the
Chart below for reference, which includes some larger cities, where Ipe is popular in the US. You can see the swing of moisture content through a normal year and how much acclimation might be needed if you purchase AD Ipe Decking.
You can also see in the chart below how proper acclimation time for your wood is very important or the wood will most likely shrink after install. For example, if you install 18% moisture Ipe Decking in New York City, it will have to acclimate down to 12.6% even in the moistest time of the year, so the wood is naturally going to shrink a certain percentage. If you let it acclimate, then install it, the wood will have much less size change after install.
|Type of Ipe||Moisture content average level|
|Air Dried Decking||About 18%|
|Kiln Dried Decking||10-18%|
|Kiln Dried Lumber||6-8%|
|City||High Equilibrium Moisture Content||Low Equilibrium Moisture Content|
|New York City||12.6%||11.0%|
For more information on monthly equilibrium moisture content for many more cities, check out this great resource: Equilibrium Moisture Content of Wood in Outdoor Locations in the United States and Worldwide
Do we have KD Ipe Decking available?
We do have a supply of KD Ipe Decking when needed and those sizes include 1×6 in stock and more size on order. If you think you need KD Ipe Decking, please call us to discuss if is the best product based on your location, installation, and season of your installation.
We hope that this post helped to give you some more information about the differences between KD and AD Ipe Decking and what might be best for your location and install. Feel free to comment below or contact us if you have any questions.