When it comes to buying a playground for your children, one of the most important things to consider is the playground’s material. The two main materials that playgrounds come in are vinyl and wood, both having different benefits and drawbacks. To help you make an informed decision on the material of your new playground, read our overview of the differences between vinyl and wood playgrounds below.
A vinyl playground is made up of wood that has been treated with a non-toxic preservative to prevent rotting, and then covered with a polyvinyl polymer coating. The vinyl is then sealed with a UV protectant to prevent the material from fading in the sun. Due to their composition, vinyl playgrounds are a popular choice for all types of families.
Benefits of Vinyl Playgrounds
Vinyl playgrounds have a number of benefits, but one that stands out the most is how little maintenance they require. Once built, vinyl playgrounds need virtually no upkeep, aside from an occasional cleaning with soap and water. Since they are treated with preservatives that prevent rotting, there’s no need to worry about vinyl playgrounds decaying over time.
There is also an increased level of safety in vinyl playgrounds. The vinyl coating means that the structure will not crack or chip, so there’s no risk for splinters or cuts from sharp wood. Additionally, the durable vinyl coating prevents pests, like bees or termites, from nesting inside the wood and causing damage.
Drawbacks of Vinyl Playgrounds
While there are many things to love about vinyl playgrounds, one of the downsides to these structures is their price. Typically, vinyl playgrounds cost more than playgrounds made of wood or other materials, which, depending on your budget, could significantly impact your decision about which material to choose.
A second possible disadvantage of vinyl playgrounds is their environmental impact. Due to the amount of plastic content and chemically-treated wood used in making vinyl playgrounds, they may not be the “greenest” playground material. However, some vinyl playgrounds are made with recycled plastic.
Most wood playgrounds are constructed out of pressure-treated lumber, the traditional material for building many outdoor structures. Sold at a reasonable price point, these playgrounds can work with just about any budget and are sought-after by many homeowners.
Benefits of Wood Playgrounds
One of the main things that draws people to wood playgrounds is their appearance. These playgrounds are a timeless classic, and wood offers a more natural look that’s hard to come by with other materials.
Additionally, the pressure-treated lumber used for most wood playgrounds is more resistant to rot and decay than other types of wood. This type of wood also chips and cracks less easily, which minimizes the chances of your child getting splinters.
Drawbacks of Wood Playgrounds
Arguably the biggest drawback of wood playgrounds is their upkeep requirements. Unlike vinyl playgrounds which need little to no maintenance, wood playgrounds require regular upkeep in order to keep them looking their best. Re-painting, re-staining, and re-sealing wood playgrounds are all a must if you want to prevent them from decaying or rotting over time. When making the decision between a vinyl playground and a wood one, think about whether or not you’ll realistically be able to keep up with the maintenance involved in owning a wood playground.
Another potential downside of a wooden playground is its lifespan. If not properly cared for, wood playgrounds can degrade rather quickly. If you’re not planning on keeping your playground for a long time, wood is a viable option. However, if you’re looking for a playground that will last you and your family for years on end, you may want to consider a different material.
At the end of the day, there’s no right or wrong choice when it comes to the material of your playground. What matters the most is that you’re picking the best material for your children and family!
Ready to purchase your playground? Kings Acres has an assortment of both vinyl and wood playgrounds - browse our products now