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Know about Wood

Wooden Climbing Frames and Swing Sets: 

Timber is a very a popular choice for active outdoor toys. For reasons of affordability and the environment, softwood rather than hardwood is used by all wood playset manufacturers. Each piece of timber is unique, bearing its own knots, cracks and variations in colour.

A little information about our FSC® Certified Pressure Treated Pine Wood Swings, Climbing Frames and Sandpits.

TP chooses FSC certified Pine or Spruce from the Baltic States. Playsets made from Chinese Fir, native to China, are also readily available in the UK. You will immediately tell the difference between the two woods. TP Pine is characterized by its light, golden colour and is very distinct from the Chinese fir, which tends to be stained a reddish-brown. If you held a similarly sized piece of TP Scandinavian Pine in one hand and Chinese Fir in the other hand, you would note immediately the TP Pine felt much heavier. The TP wood is denser; its growth rings are closely packed together compared to the Chinese alternative. Guarantees on TP wood products vary by range; please check individual products for detailed information. Chinese Fir is not pressure treated, a surface stain is generally applied that will require renewal. We recommend you carefully check the maintenance and warranty requirements for any wood play frame before you buy. Over time, without staining, TP wood will mature to a silvery grey colour that blends well into your garden and will provide years of fun for your children.

Types of wood we use.

Round Wood:

Round timbers tend to come from younger smaller trees and are complete tree poles, stripped of any bark and other rough materials but subject to no further processing apart from the application of a suitable environmentally friendly preservative. Our round wood frames are rustic in appearance, the heartwood that they are made from naturally has cracks and splits. These cracks will change over time due to atmospheric conditions. When wet, the wood will take in water, swell and the cracks will close-up (not disappear) and when dry the wood contracts and the cracks will open-up.

Whilst this can sometimes seem alarming, the round timber frames are designed and dimensioned to ensure these natural characteristics do not have an impact upon the structural integrity of the frame. All our wooden play frames are rigorously tested by an independent test house and fully comply with the relevant toy safety regulations. Because of the natural characteristics of such wood products, it is vital that parents check their play frame regularly to identify any splintering or lifting of the surface layers of the wood or any exposure of rough wood due to changes in cracks and splits. Affected areas must be rubbed down using coarse sandpaper to restore a smooth, safe surface.

Very occasionally these characteristics can develop to a point where replacing the pole may be required. Most commonly, this is confined to where a significant crack runs directly through a fixing point. Concerns regarding splits and cracks should be directed to . Your email should ideally be accompanied by photographs that illustrate your concern to enable the Quality Control Team to assist you.

Square Wood:

Unlike round wood, squared wood tends to be derived from large, far more mature trees. It is removed from the much larger mature tree poles and includes very little, if any, heartwood in its profile. Squared wood then undergoes a significant manufacturing process. The wood is planed and smoothed to be made ready for the cutting and drilling of each of the dimensioned parts required to make a square wood playframe.

Therefore, although cracks and splits will be present and can appear over time due to changes in local atmospheric conditions, the incidence of these splits and cracks will be far fewer than with round wood so maintenance will be less. However, a diligent maintenance regime is strongly recommended and full instructions are given with every frame. So cracks and splits are not considered as ‘faults’ in our wood frames. They are unavoidable natural characteristics that are taken into account when we design our products.

What is the difference between Round Wood and Square Wood?

TP offer two types of wood play frame: the rustic round wood frames and the more refined square wood frames. Round and square wood frames are visually very different and this reflects the age and part of the tree the wood for each frame is derived from.

Obviously, these significant differences between round and squared wood, in terms of the type of wood and the manufacturing processes they undergo, is reflected in the price of the frame. Round wood frames are cheaper than squared wood frames.

Without doubt, round wood frames offer great play value but are likely to require more maintenance than squared wood frames to ensure safe play. Adherence to maintenance schedules is the responsibility of the purchaser of the frame as is ensuring the frame is sited appropriately and used in line with age and weight instructions.

If you would prefer a lower maintenance product, we may wish to consider a galvanised steel frame where consistency of material can be guaranteed. Maintenance will still be required but not to the extent that is required with a round wood frame.

TP Prefabricated Panel Playhouses

TP playhouses are a great addition to your garden. Perfect for imaginative play and can be assembled quickly. These houses come in a variety of designs. Some are pre-coloured and treated, others are un-treated giving you and your children the opportunity to be creative and pick the colours you like or take your children shopping and let them pick the colours they like best. Watch their faces light up as the playhouse is transformed! Full instructions regarding treatment are provided with every playhouse.