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Comparing Vinyl and Wood Playsets — Patiova — Playsets

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Comparing Vinyl and Wood Playsets

February 2, 2021

When approaching buying a playset, one of the more difficult things for someone to make a decision about can be whether to go with a wood set or vinyl set. For those people, we put together this handy guide to ensure that you can make an educated decision and choose the set that’s the right one for you. Let’s dive in!

So first of all, let’s get into what the actual differences are before looking at the specific advantages and disadvantages of each.

  1. Composition

    Wood playsets are generally made from southern yellow pine wood. This type of pine is a renewable resource. It has excellent strength and weight properties, which also makes it ideal for constructing playsets.
    The vinyl playsets, on the other hand, are constructed of wood with a PVC (also referred to as vinyl) sheath on the outside. This gives the fresh, clean look of vinyl that lasts for years with minimal fading or cracking. UV inhibitors are mixed with vinyl to minimize any potential for fading or yellowing.

  2. Maintenance

    When it comes to maintenance, vinyl playsets have the edge by quite a margin. While wood playsets need extensive periodic maintenance, such as an annual coat of finish or sealant, vinyl playsets require nothing apart from occasional washing to clean any accumulated dirt off.

  3. Durability

    Durability on the other hand is a much more level playing field. A good vinyl playset can generally last 15-20 years, and a good wood playset can last about the same. However, that is dependent on the wood playset being maintained at least reasonably well. If maintenance is neglected, a wood playset will not last as long.

  4. Flexibility

    One advantage that wood playsets have is a bit of additional flexibility when it comes to customizations and additional attachments. While vinyl is also highly customizable, there are some specific configurations and combinations of items that are more difficult to use or put together with vinyl sets than with wood. Wood still has a bit of an advantage when it comes to flexibility and customization.

Consideration of these different areas should give you a comprehensive and straightforward look at what to consider about your own expectations and needs. While there isn’t a wrong choice, and wood and vinyl are both excellent options, it’s still worth considering the differences to ensure that you’re getting the right set for you.