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What's the difference: Nordic Pine or Robinia Wood?

If you’re in the process of researching your next play equipment purchase and can’t decide on whether to choose Nordic Pine (aka engineered timber), or Robinia then here’s some guidance to help you make that choice.

Ultimately the choice between Engineered timber playgrounds and Robinia playgrounds depends on factors such as budget, desired aesthetics, maintenance requirements, sustainability goals, and specific project needs.

Explore HAGS Wooden Playgrounds

Nordic Pine

Pine play equipment has a natural aesthetic that makes it a perfect addition to city green spaces and rural environments. Wood also has great educational value and can form part of a stimulating outdoor learning program designed to encourage both children and adults to discover and value nature.

Why is pine equipment so strong and durable?

Material Composition: Nordic pine, also known as composite wood or engineered wood, is made by combining several ‘layers’ of wood often with the grain running in different directions to provide increased strength. HAGS utilise a triple laminated system that provides an enhanced level of structural loading perfect for constructing complex playground structures.

Consistency and Predictability: Nordic pine provides a consistent and predictable material, as it is manufactured to meet specific standards. This allows for precise construction and design.

Strength and Durability: Nordic pine can be designed to have high strength and durability properties, often surpassing natural wood. It can be engineered to resist warping, rot, and insect damage more effectively.

Sustainability: Nordic pine can be made from recycled materials, reducing waste and promoting sustainability. It may also require fewer trees to be harvested compared to natural wood options.

Low Maintenance: Nordic pine is typically low maintenance, as it is less susceptible to decay, rot, and insect infestations. It may require occasional cleaning and inspection for any signs of wear or damage.

Bild på trä | HAGS

Our nordic pine consists of three sections
joined together - a method that increases strength
and reduces cracking.

Bild på trä | HAGS

Machined grooves allow the wood to expand
and contract without cracking.

What are the environmental benefits of Nordic pine?

  • Wood is a renewable raw material, which makes it one of the most sustainable materials.
  • All of our wood products come from forests that are traceable.
  • Our wood cutting process is fully computerized and reduces the amount of waste.
  • We only use water-based biodegradable solvents that do not have a negative impact on the environment.

Maintenance and recycling of wooden play equipment and outdoor furniture

  • Wood is a natural material and tends to shrink in dry conditions and expand when moist. Minor cracks and splits may occur over time but this does not affect the structural integrity of the equipment and is nothing to worry about.
  • Under normal conditions, our wooden equipment can last more than 20 years. We recommend that our customers regularly inspect their wooden equipment for debris such as sand or leaves, clean it with a mild detergent to remove dust and residue from air pollution, and refresh it with an extra coat of paint every 3-5 years to keep it in top condition .
  • As all our coatings are biodegradable, the wood parts can be burned or recycled and no specific disposal process is required.

Balansgång | HAGS

Pine floor


Lekhus | HAGS

Pine panels and window frames


Hinderbana | HAGS

Pine posts


Robinia Wood

Robinia wood has a number of unique properties. Many types of wood have a limited lifespan in contact with soil. Here Robinia wood is different as it has a lifespan of up to 32 years in contact with the ground - thanks to natural resistance to decay. 

Steel and Robinia wood are both strong materials that can last a lifetime. These properties of the two materials make them a perfect combination while being aesthetically pleasing, making them suitable in both an urban or natural play environment. The steel feet keep the wood above the ground and protect against rotting, as well as preventing the wood from being damaged by lawnmowers.

Find out more about Robinia wood

Natural and Authentic Appearance: Robinia wood offers a natural and authentic look, with its unique grain patterns and rich colour. It provides a more traditional and rustic aesthetic that some prefer over the engineered timber's appearance.

Strength and Durability: Robinia wood is known for its exceptional strength and durability. It is naturally resistant to decay, rot, and insect attacks, making it a satisfactory choice for playground equipment.

Environmental Sustainability: Robinia wood is often sourced from sustainably managed forests, ensuring the long-term health and regeneration of the ecosystem.

Maintenance: While Robinia wood is generally durable, it requires some maintenance to maintain its appearance and extend its lifespan. The vibrant brown/yellow colours often seen in marketing materials is often replaced with a greyish tone after several years in the field. Regular inspections, cleaning, and occasional treatments may be needed to prevent decay or insect infestations.

Cost: Robinia wood is generally more expensive compared to engineered timber due to its durability, natural properties, and availability. The cost may be a consideration when selecting playground materials.