When choosing a material for your playground design, you have two main options in conjunction with plastic: wood and metal. One isn’t necessarily better than the other. Instead, it comes down to the needs of the client, where the playground will be installed and the overall aesthetics you want to achieve.
Both wood and metal playground equipment can be found. Discover the benefits and what to expect from each and which material is best for your project.
Wood Playground Designs
Did you say wooden playground equipment? Yes, but…it depends on the wood. Wood can also be an excellent option for playgrounds because it’s environmentally friendly, ecological, and renewable, which appeals to many landscape architects. If your plan is to build a natural playground that incorporates its surrounding habitat, wood is an excellent choice. It can be formed into many different shapes and is able to support both tall and heavy structures.
Because untreated wood is susceptible to rot, you should only use treated wood. New to the industry in the US, but sold for many years in Europe, Lappset’s Flora line is northern pine wood from Finland. This material is used to being outdoors in the four seasons, and it is treated with environmentally friendly preservatives. It’s exceptionally strong and durable, with a lifespan of 10-20 years or more. Lappset Flora utilizes metal footers for product integrity.
Using this northern pine wood from Finland gives you a variety of design possibilities—from playground structures and towers to fitness and obstacle course-type activities. Designers can create extraordinary, themed destination playgrounds with the Flora line from Lappset. Nature-inspired Flora playground equipment allows you to play in an exciting forest even in a city.
Metal Playground Designs
Another material you can pick for your playground is metal, a sustainable material with unlimited possibilities. The cool thing about metal is that it gives playgrounds an industrial appearance, whereas wood is more natural looking. If you want to pull off an architectural design with bold colors with modern twists and turns or a sleek modern city look, metal would be the preferred choice.
Like wood, metal is also a strong material for playground equipment. But it, too, requires maintenance in terms of checking for rust and sharp corners. Metal can get hot in the summer so add plenty of trees throughout your design or consider shade structures for coverage. With proper attention, you can expect metal playground equipment to last for decades.
Again, the possibilities are endless. The sky is truly the limit. You can create tall play towers, large sea creatures, dinosaurs, and more. These robust modern metal custom playground designs can serve as a city center attraction or give a community an artsy look and feel drawing visitors from far and wide.
There is no “best” option to choose from – wood or metal. Both are great materials that are strong, durable, and long-lasting, providing you take care of them appropriately. When your public playground is due for maintenance, use this time to check wood equipment for rotting and splintering, and check metal equipment for sharp edges and rust. With proper maintenance, both products will hold their integrity.