What Are Floating Docks?, What Are Floating Docks and How Do They Work? Learn below.

What Are Floating Docks and How Do They Work? Learn below.

Floating docks are what they sound like: docks that rise and fall with the water. This type of modern docking solution contrasts with traditional fixed docks, which are secured below the water with piling. 

But how does a floating dock work? What are the different types, and what are their advantages over stationary docks? Let’s discuss the answers to these questions and more.

Floating Docks vs. Fixed Docks

Fixed docks are immobile and permanent while floating docks are buoyant and rest on the water’s surface. 

Fixed docks are the most reliable and stable in places where the water level stays the same throughout the year. But if you want to put a dock in water where the tide level often rises and falls dramatically or the water freezes each season, floating docks may be the perfect solution.

Like traditional fixed docks, floating docks can be made of a variety of different materials. They also come with different bells and whistles than fixed docks and may be foldable or are composed of modular units that can be stuck together in different ways to form different shapes.

Boat Docking

Some homeowners may be concerned about stability when docking boats on floating structures. But floating docks are more sturdy than you think, though there are a few considerations to keep in mind that make them different from fixed or permanent docks.

Boats docked on a floating structure should be in an area that experiences minimal wake or movement from other boats. They should also have an adequate ladder securely installed to aid in getting in and out of the water. While they can rise and fall with the water, buoyant structures such as these should also be kept from areas of heavy water traffic for maximum stability.

Types of Floating Docks

Different materials for floating docks are suited for different budgets and different environments. All floating docks should be constructed of durable, buoyant material, so it’s important to source your supplies from a dedicated supplier. At Decks & Docks, we’re experts in floating docks and can help you find the material that works best for you.


Aluminum is one of the most-used metals in the world—and for a good reason. It’s incredibly lightweight but rugged enough for use in industrial applications. 

A floating dock made of aluminum is lightweight (sometimes lighter than plastic) but rugged enough to endure impacts from boats or storms much better than plastic docks. 

These structures can cost more money than plastic docks, but it may be worth the money to get a dock that’ll last you longer.


Wooden docks are what most people think of when they hear “boat dock.” Using high-quality lumber will give you a beautiful, timeless structure that floats naturally, can be any shape and is highly durable. 

Wood does require regular upkeep to last long. You’ll have to sand, stain, seal, and power wash the structure. Lumber structures also can be more costly and heavier than other materials. Wood is best for homeowners who can commit to their maintenance.


Composite materials give you the best of both worlds: the durability of synthetic materials but the beauty of natural lumber.

Composite lumber consists of a hardy synthetic core and a natural wood cap. They have a realistic wood-grain texture, tough shells, and can come in almost any color to match your home. For homeowners who want the aesthetic of a wood dock with fewer risks of rot or mold, the composite may be the right option.

Benefits of a Floating Dock

  • Easy to remove or reposition. Floating structures are easier to reposition or take out of the water, which is helpful in winter when water freezes over. Fixed docks are more permanent and cannot be moved without completely dismantling them.
  • Great for storm-prone locations. These docks rise and fall as the water does, which means they’re more resistant to being submerged and battered by winds.
  • Affordable. Floating docks are more affordable than you’d think. They also require less labor to install, fewer pieces of hardware, and fewer accessories—which brings down the cost significantly.
  • Fast and easy installation. A floating dock can be installed in just a day by a skilled professional. That means you and your family can start enjoying time on the water right away!
  • Customizable. Floating docks made of different modules can be adjusted for different shapes and layouts. You can call a professional to help, or handy homeowners can readjust their docks themselves.
  • Great for the family. Kids of all ages will love playing on the water—and a dock is a great way to get them outdoors and into the sunshine.

Want to learn more? Contact us today

Floating docks are a durable, convenient, and cost-effective way for families to enjoy more time out on the water.

At Decks & Docks, we’re the experts when it comes to providing the materials you need to get the job done right. Whatever your needs or questions, contact us today and a member of our team will be happy to help.