Sawgrass Marriott Terrace

This project was completed in 2002 and utilized pressure treated framing with Brazilian Ipe hardwood decking and handrail system. The decking and handrail was fastened with stainless steel screws. The Terrace was constructed adjacent to the existing Marriott Hotel Lounge area over a retention pond. The Ipe wood used on this project was of the highest quality. It provides the look of a hardwood but stands up to the harsh conditions of the Florida rain and sunshine.


The benefits of Brazilian Ipe wood

Brazilian Ipe, also called Brazilian walnut, is a beautiful and richly-colored hardwood. It is commonly used for decking and outdoor furniture because of its high density and weight. It is scratch resistant as well as impervious to rot, insect infestations, and extreme weather conditions. It is even seen as an inexpensive alternative to teak wood, which is considered to be a luxury lumber. Brazilian Ipe is not only a hardwood, it is literally harder than nails. It is known to have bent nails and is even the same fire rating as steel! The rigid wood is known to last over 25 years with low maintenance.


Why we use stainless steel screws

When building a sturdy structure, something that's often overlooked is the fasteners that hold the job together. Stainless steel screws are often used in outdoor building because they are rust-free. They are often compared to galvanized steel but are, in fact, different. This allows them to stand up to the harsh elements, especially in Florida. We chose to use them not only because they will go through the very hard Brazilian Ipe wood, but because they will not wither or become weak overtime. The only time there is a risk for corrosion is if the screws were painted with a damaging material or if it were paired with an opposing metal. Some stainless steel screws come painted to blend in with different colored woods so you wouldn’t have to worry about painting them and accidentally ruining your screws.

Stainless steel Vs. Galvanized screws

Stainless Steel:

  • More expensive
  • Rust-proof
  • Can be used with metals and woods
  • More durable
  • Used in moist environments
  • Estimated to last over 100 years

Galvanized Steel:

  • Steel coated with zinc
  • Resists rust to an extent
  • Cheaper in price
  • Cannot be painted because it’s coated with oil
  • Will rust in 35-50 years
  • Food safe as it is used for trays, refrigerators, and baking racks