Purple Heart decking lumber is another one of over 100 hardwood species that thrives in South America. All of the species that survive in the wet climate of the long rainy seasons in South America are durable and highly resistant to rot and insects. If the hardwood comes from South America, it is extremely durable.
Purple Heart is billiard table PURPLE before being exposed to sun and weather. It quickly turns a reddish brown in less than 10 days after installation. The grain is pronounced and there is a gentle color variation from board to board. Costing considerably less than ipe, Purple Heart is a very popular decking lumber. Some find Purple Heart more desirable than ipe because of the consistent color from board to board. Ipe boards vary greatly from light brown to black to tobacco. Purple Heart boards are also very stable making installation easy.
Purple Heart rates 3450 on the janka scale. Ipe is at 3600, Tigerwood at 2160 and Oak at 1230. See a comparison of other woods in the janka scale listed under the “Documents” tab at BWDepot.com. This janka suggests that it will last as long as the most durable woods in the world like ipe and cumaru, which are rated to last up to 100 years.
Even though kiln dried, Purple Heart has a unique characteristic unlike most other hardwood decking. The boards display light lines of sap at the grain lines, which dry up within the first 2 weeks after installation. This sap makes the grain lines more pronounced. Though sticky, the sap does not stick to your feet. Oiling the boards with good deck oil like Messmers helps reduce this affect.
The boards below are Purple Heart before they turn color and after they turn.