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Wooden Playgrounds: Built for a Backyard Adventure

Backyard playgrounds are typically constructed from timber play equipment.  Wood is a reliable, Earthy material familiar to the average consumer and easy to put together for that reason. Homeowners tend to prefer wooden play equipment to plastic or metal structures due to its aesthetic compatibility with most backyard landscapes.  Wood is one of the only renewable resources used in playground construction, so it’s relatively cheap and accessible.   

Maintaining Your Lumber

While the renewability of wood playground sets is a positive feature in most ways, it does mean a little extra care is required.  The best wooden playgrounds are not left to break down and rot in the elements.  They’re care for by their owners.  This means sanding, staining, and finishing the timber once it’s assembled.

Sanding: Uneven surfaces and flaws in the wood will only become more noticeable as your stain the wood and apply the finish.  You should use 80- or 100-grit sandpaper to smoothen out the wood before treating it.  Also, make sure you sand in the direction of the wood grain.

Staining: Quality hardwoods such as oak, mahogany, or walnut may hold a consistent color, but since most playground sets are made of redwood or pine, wood should be stained to preserve a clean look and reduce blotching.  Gel stains are highly recommended for the widest range of wood types.  Simply apply the stain with a brush or cloth and remove the excess before it dries.

Finishing: A good finish will protect your wood from dirt, stains, and water damage.  Finish is best applied after the stain had dried.  There’s a variety of finishing options out there but Popular Woodworking Magazine recommends either oil-based polyurethane or wiping varnish.

If your wood is properly treated and assembled on a relatively dry plain with effective drainage, you should not have to worry about rotting.  The root cause of rot in wooden playground equipment is location.  Don’t assemble your kids’ wooden playsets in marshes, swamplands, floodplains, or areas with constant contact with water.

Best in Private; Less in Public

Wooden playgrounds are perfect for adventure seekers with a budget.  Unlike plastic and steel, wood is easy to come by and easy to shape.  It’s a fantastic solution for backyards and neighborhoods, but commercial wooden playground equipment is gradually going out of style.  Why is this?

Despite the best upkeep, wood will never be as reliable as plastic or steel when it comes to construction and maintenance.  Synthetic materials just last longer.  They’re also more predictable, and easier to design with CPSC guidelines and ADA-compliance in mind.

While some parents will inevitably feel more comfortable with the safe accessibility of plastic, not everyone will be able to afford this alternative.  For the most cost-effective solution, wooden playground equipment provides the durability and stability your children need to have a great time.

Continue to Upgrade offers a variety of playground equipment: wooden, plastic, or metal.  We cater specially to commercial-grade, plastic playground sets.   Most of the playgrounds are pre-designed and cannot be modified, but add on components, swings, and slides are available to upgrade, modify, and renew your current backyard experience. Upgrade your wooden playset over time and your children will continue to play and grow up with their friends at home.