If you are just starting to shop for a playset, all of the available choices may seem overwhelming. Initially, they may all look the same with similar features, but there are some big differences that should be taken into account prior to making a purchasing decision. Comparing the features and quality of the construction of the playsets is the best way to decide on the perfect playset for your family.
Similarities Between Woodplay and Gorilla
As you’ve probably realized by now, there’s no shortage of playset brands to choose from! So to prevent information overload, we’ll start by highlighting the similarities and differences of two popular brands: Woodplay and Gorilla.
Both Woodplay and Gorilla playsets have two styles: the traditional Playhouse (square base) and the Wide Angle Base (roomier). The Playhouse style has a sandbox, picnic table, or playhouse underneath the deck area. Wide Angle Base playsets typically feature the popular 360 degree tire swing under the deck area (occasionally the tire swing will be removed leaving the area wide open). Slide options include wave, straight, and tube slides ranging from 10’ up in length. The list of extra options and accessories is extensive for both Woodplay and Gorilla, and includes monkey bars, rock walls, climbing ladder options, swing options, binoculars, ship wheels, telescopes, and more.
Square Base Playset
Wide Angle Base Playset
Differences Between Woodplay and Gorilla
Wood type is a very important factor to consider when determining which playset to purchase for your backyard. Cedar wood is used for both Woodplay and Gorilla because it is rot, decay, and insect resistant. Premium Redwood is available on most of Woodplay’s playsets (smaller box kit sets are only available in cedar).
In addition to cedar, Gorilla uses Southern Yellow pine, or the optional Timber Shield finish in which timbers are coated with a protective, thick, green, polyethylene casing. The timber shield finish is touted as a zero-maintenance finish, but it can compromise the integrity of the wood over time. When the wood is wrapped, moisture is trapped without ventilation. Natural wood can absorb and release moisture, but the timber shield prevents moisture from being released causing it to rot and become unsafe.
Warranties are important for your peace of mind and to ensure your playset lives up to expectation for years of enjoyment. Gorilla offers a 10 year warranty on wood and structure components. Woodplay offers a 15 year warranty on cedar playsets, and a lifetime warranty on redwood playsets, which is something to consider if you know the playset will be getting lots of use.
Woodplay sets are engineered to be the most solid playset structures on the market. They have triple joint construction, which means large timbers are overlapped at the joints to secure 3 pieces of lumber together with 3 pieces of hardware. They also have notched angle braces with their wood-on-wood design to reduce the load on hardware and add structural support. Gorilla, on the other hand, uses powder-coated metal support pieces and corrosion-resistant hardware with the construction of the sets. This limits the amount of weight and stress on the joint components.
It’s also very beneficial to visit a showroom or department store to see the structures in person. When you take the time to do this, try the “Shake Test”, which is exactly what it sounds like: simply try to shake the playset. A high quality playset will not budge.
The final difference is that Woodplay playsets are sold by trained authorized dealers, providing skilled installation. Gorilla playsets are sold in department stores, so putting the set together is the customer’s responsibility. Having the sets installed by experienced trained installers ensures safety, and saves the customer hours of work.
Choosing the Best Playset for Your Family
As with any large purchase, it’s wise to do your research before making a final choice. At Recreation Unlimited, we have over 25 years of experience in the residential playset industry, and we’re here to help you make an educated decision. Should you have any questions about how to choose the perfect playset for your family, give us a call at (317) 773-3545, or better yet, visit our Noblesville showroom to see (and try) the playsets for yourself. We look forward to serving you!