The Different Types of Docks

For a lot of people, a dock is just what is used to walk out on the water and do whatever activity is planned. So if the time ever comes for them to own their own dock, they are pretty much clueless on the right type of dock for their body of water. Picking the right type of dock is a decision that is left to many factors such as water fluctuation, climate, water depth, and many others. If you purchase a dock that isn’t recommended for your water, you’ll end up unhappy quick whether it is due to stability or maintenance issues.

Types of Docks

There are several types of docks that all work great for their intended use. The two main types of docks are floating and stationary. A floating dock will adjust with the water levels as they rise and lower, while a stationary dock is built to remain in a fixed position. There are other types of docks that are sub-categories of the main two, such as boathouses and modular dock systems such as EZ Dock. While this can make the decision a little more complex, the choice really depends on the water level. Determine if your body of water fluctuates or remains level, then base your decision from there.

Floating Docks

If your water depth is over 10′ Feet, you will need a floating dock. More than likely the water is too deep for pilings to be installed, and the water probably fluctuates often. If a stationary dock is installed in water that is too deep, the water will push the dock in when a wave crashes in or snow melts and quickly bend and twist the frame. There are many options available when designing a floating dock, such as wood, aluminum, or steel. The best long term options are steel and aluminum. Floats are attached to the bottom of the frame to keep the dock floating. Decking includes many options as well, such as aluminum, PVC, composite, wood, concrete, or Thru-Flow. For stability, concrete is the most durable and stable option. The only decking not recommended is wood, due to rotting other option will last a much longer time.

Custom Steel Floating Dock

Modular Docks

If you’re looking for the easiest dock solution, a modular dock system such as EZ Dock will be best for you! With modular docks, you’re able to design your dock to any shape or size you want, and have the ability to add more over time. EZ Dock is a floating dock system. It’s as durable as steel docks due to the solid 3/4″ thick construction, meaning it can handle anything mother nature throws at it. The best feature of EZ Dock is the lack of maintenance. With EZ Dock, you’ll never have to worry about rotting, rusting, or splintering. Just simply get out on the water and have a great time!

Stationary Docks

Stationary docks are built on top of pilings that have been driven and fixed into the body of water’s floor. For small ponds, lakes, and rivers this is the best option for residential docks because it won’t require maintenance or upkeep, and will be left alone year-round. As stated earlier, a stationary dock requires water that doesn’t rise or lower. Regions with a lot of snow aren’t recommended because as snow melts, it will push the pilings apart which can also crunch the dock’s decking and frames.


With any kind of dock, it’s possible to build a permanent fixture to give you a home on the water. A boathouse will give you a place to store your boat, as well as having a place you could live out of if you wanted to. Boathouses are usually located on open water, such as a river, but can be built anywhere. Boathouses can be equipped with any fixture you’d have in a house, such as a kitchen, bar, lounge, and more.

Designing a dock is a complicated task that is best handled by the experts. If you’re interested in a new dock, feel free to contact us to request a free quote, and our team with over 30 years of experience will reach out and help you design the dock that will perfectly fit your needs.

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