Timber in playground equipment

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Timber and wood products are widely used in children's outdoor play equipment. This is mainly because timber is a versatile, warm, robust material, which fits well into this environment. It is more 'friendly' in the playground context than many alternative materials and has been shown to be preferred by users as well as specifiers.

This Wood Information Sheet (WIS) discusses some of the more important factors to consider when purchasing or designing playground equipment components of timber or composite construction and wood-based sheet materials. The variety of equipment is such that a complete guide to specification of timber for components is unrealistic and anyway would inhibit innovation. Maintenance, both routine and remedial, is important with frequent and sometimes demanding use of playground equipment exposed to the weather. Guidance specific to the timber and associated components of playground equipment is included.



  • Details and specification
  • Materials
  • Inspection and maintenance


This Wood Information Sheet was reviewed in September 2021 and minor amendments were made including the addition of a new section on service life and changes to natural durability following an update to BS EN 360. These changes include amendments to Table 2 and updated guidance on metal fastenings.


Suggested Reading

Maintenance treatments for external timbernavigation-arrow

The maintenance of external timber commonly serves two purposes: the continuation of certain performance requirements and/or the continuation of a desired visual appearance.

This sheet provides guidance on the use and maintenance of timber finishes in external environments. It offers a number of best practice suggestions on the available...

01/01/2012 |  Choose and Use  

Surveys of timber frame housesnavigation-arrow

Professionals undertaking surveys of timber frame buildings should have an understanding of the overall design and typical detailing employed in this form of construction.

The approach to surveying a timber framed house is no different from that used for other methods of construction. There are many similarities with brick...

26/05/2021 |  Wood Information Sheet  

Are all roof battens the samenavigation-arrow

Philip O'Leary makes the case for using 'BS 5534' roof battens.

Article from the TRADA Timber Industry Yearbook 2013

01/01/2013 |  Magazine Article