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A Handy Glossary of Terms used in Wooden Playhouse Descriptions

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Here at the Wooden Playhouse guide you will find a huge and varied selection of wooden playhouses, all available online for delivery in the UK.  But as you browse the wide and extensive range, you may find some words or expressions you're unfamiliar with.  To help you, we've put together this useful glossary of wooden playhouse terms - so if you do find something in a wooden playhouse description you don't understand check back on this page - the chances are you'll find an easy to understand explanation.


A basecoat is a preliminary treatment of preservative applied to a wooden playhouse prior to the application of a final decorative/protective finish.

Decorative/Protective Finish

A final coating of preservative and or paint or woodstain applied to a playhouse in addition to the manufacturer's basecoat treatment.  See our article on Decorating and Protecting your Wooden Playhouse for more information.

Dip Treated

The majority of wooden playhouses will be dip treated in a water based preservative prior to delivery.  As the name suggests, this consists of dipping the timbers in a preservative.  The resultant treatment will maintain the quality of the wood during storage and delivery but further treatment will be required to avoid subsequent deterioration.  For more information see our article on Decorating and Protecting your Wooden Playhouse.


E71 is a European Standard specifying certain minimum requirements which require to be met by children's toys sold within the EU (including the UK).  These requirements apply to wooden playhouses.  For more information see our article on Wooden Playhouse Safety Regulation Explained.

Eco Base

A pre-formed base for your wooden playhouse, usually comprising recycled plastics or similar material.   For more information see our feature; A Base for your Wooden Playhouse.

FSC Approved

FSC stands for the Forest Stewardship Council, an independent, international organisation.  Although its name might be a bit of a mouthful, the aim if the FSC is quite straightforward - it is to promote responsible management of forests worldwide.  If timber is FSC approved you can be sure it comes from a properly managed source.


A nominal measurement given in relation to wood size is the initial size of the wood  before finishing  by planing and/or sanding to give a smooth surface.  As the finishing process removes some of the wood the final size will be slightly less than the nominal measurement.


OSB stands for Oriented Strand Board, a sheet of board formed by compressing small strips or flakes of wood tightly together and binding them with resin under heat treatment.  The result is a strong rigid sheet material, water resistant and widely used in the manufacture of wooden playhouse roofs and flooring.

Piano Hinge

A hinge running the full length of a door or window and leaving very little space between door and post (or window and frame) when open.  This type of hinge is sometimes used in wooden playhouses to reduce the risk of trapping small fingers.


Shiplap is a type of wooden cladding which overlaps on the outside to form a weather resistant facing.  Shiplap is widely used in the construction of wooden playhouse walls.


Styrene in the context of  wooden playhouse glazing is a tough transparent plastic type material.  It is resistant to shattering and is generally safer than standard agricultural glass such as that often used in sheds and summerhouses.


Tanalisation is a process in which timber is impregnated with preservative under pressure.  The result is that the preservative penetrates deep into the wood giving a long lasting treatment and resistance to decay and rot.  Tanalised wood is sometimes used in wooden playhouse floor bearers

Tongue and Groove

Tongue and groove is a method of joining wooden planks along their length by the insertion of a tongue or protrusion running the length of one plank is inserted into a groove in the other.  It is widely used with shiplap planking in the formation of wooden playhouse walls, roofs and floors.
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