How to Choose Materials for Your Park Playground
Building a playground for a park requires many variables to make it safe for the children that play on it. You need it to be sturdy and stable as well as free of jagged edges. So what materials are suitable to fulfill these criteria? This overview of how to choose materials for your park playground can help you as you make plans to construct one.
Decide on Materials for Different Parts
No single material is going to be the optimal choice for every last component of the playground. Therefore, you should learn about the different materials at your disposal and which one is best suited for specific roles in the playground’s construction. Support bars and beams may be made of metal, which can stand up to physical forces and remain unaffected by outdoor elements with the application of a weather-resistant coating. Metal is also appropriate for the chains on swings.
Wood is popular for playground equipment because it has a pleasing, organic appearance. It can also be cut into countless shapes to form various structures within the playground. With this material, though, you do need to make sure you perform maintenance to stop deterioration from water and decomposing organisms.
Plastic is a reliable all-around material for playgrounds. You will see it used in slide construction as well as many other peripheral pieces. It can also form the main climbable structures of the playground in certain forms, such as plastic lumber. This specific type of plastic can be cut into planks and boards just like wood and is resilient enough that you can make decks out of it. Furthermore, plastic in general is appealing because it comes in many vibrant colors that children will be drawn to.
Consider Ground Cover Materials
Another part of how to choose materials for your park playground is deciding on ground cover materials. These aptly named materials are what compose the ground surfaces on a playground. They come in two broad versions: loose materials and unitary materials.
Loose materials are those such as mulch, sand, and wood chips that are not firmly attached to anything and are made up of many small pieces that fill the inner boundaries of the playground. They are easy to install and provide enough cushioning for kids to run and jump around on. You should remember to even them out and/or replenish them periodically, as certain areas may become thin when they are worn down by children’s activities.
Unitary materials are solid and attached to the ground. The most common type you may be familiar with is a rubber ground cover. Unitary ground covers are more expensive and difficult to install upfront but are easier to maintain afterward.
For a secure, solid playground building material, use the plastic lumber offered by Bedford Technology. We are among the best recycled plastic board suppliers, and we manufacture products with playground applications in mind.