What’s Best? Wood, Metal or Plastic Playground Sets?
When shopping for playground sets you will notice you have three choices: Wood, metal or plastic. Wooden playsets are by far the best choice for several different reasons.
First of all wood is durable and can last for many years, which means that you get the most of use of it for your money. This is especially true if it is sealed with the right weather resistant treatments. Metal playsets get rusty and start cracking and degrading at the seams. Plastic also easily cracks, especially if older kids get on them and stomp around. Wooden playsets will just look nicely rustic and weathered after a few years whereas plastic or metal playground sets can really give your backyard the appearance of a junkyard.
Wood playground sets are also superior because they are so sturdy. Plastic sets are easily squashed and can look cheap. Metal sets get extremely cold and pose the risk of frozen hands and tongues stuck to metal but most wood swing sets consist of a tire hanging from a rope which makes it safer for small grips.
Furthermore wooden playsets can be firmly anchored into the earth whereas the metal ones tend to sway or rock a bit. The best ones will have through-bolts at the joints and recessed hardware that prevents small hands and clothing from being scratched and cut. You should also avoid hardware with over the bolts or joints and they can come loose and become a choking hazard.
Many manufacturers will allow you to add features to wooden forts like wood swing sets, slides, rock walls, swings, trapezes netting and tire swings to a basic fort-like construction. You can add components as you please which allows you to stay within your budget for the unit in the first place.
Many manufacturers are also offering features that adults can enjoy as well like hammocks and exercise rungs. This is not necessarily the case with metal or plastic playground which tend to be a bit more limited in scope. For instance metal and plastic playgrounds rarely come with a built-in dwelling like a playhouse or a fort.
Choose wooden playground sets made out of woods that are naturally resistant rot and insect invasions like redwood, cypress and cedar. You should also look for wooden sets that are approved by the American Society for Testing Materials; this means that the wood has not been treated with anything toxic. Finally, realize that the best wood playground sets are well polished or sanded so that your children don’t risk get splinters.