• Tue. May 28th, 2024

What is the Difference Between a Deck and a Dock?


Jul 6, 2022

While a dock is usually a permanent structure, a deck is often movable. You can use a floating dock for fishing or boarding a boat. You can customize your dock’s appearance by choosing different decking materials. Floating docks require more maintenance than piling docks. You should consider the maintenance costs and the life of a floating dock.

Floating docks

There are several differences between a floating dock and a deck, but their main benefit is their practicality. Unlike a fixed dock, a floating dock rises and falls with the water level. Because they are not set, they do not disrupt the ecosystem by absorbing sediment or submerging electrical systems. Floating docks can be easily hauled away for storage and placed back in place when needed. Floating docks are more convenient for hosting parties and gatherings, and some types of water bodies are shallow enough to allow them to remain in the water throughout the winter.

A critical difference between floating docks and decks is their shape. A floating dock comprises a decking material that floats on a lower float. Floating docks are available in more than 40 standard sizes but can also be custom-made. In addition, some floating docks are made of different floats, allowing them to flex and move when the waves hit them.

Wood decking

The choice between wood decking and plastic docking depends on your personal preferences and budget. There are numerous benefits to hardwoods over composites, but you should consider the downsides of each before deciding which is best for your project. While the latter is typically cheaper, exotic wood is renowned for its long life and beauty. 

Although hardwood has a more excellent resistance to wear and tear, softwood decking requires frequent cleaning and maintenance. Both types of decks and docks West Palm Beach require regular sealant treatments and require periodic inspections. Depending on the type of wood used, treated wood can be challenging to care for, requiring regular cleaning and staining. In addition, pressure-treated wood contains Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA), a chemical that can leach dangerous amounts of Arsenic into the soil and nearby water.

Aluminum decking

While you may have noticed that your dock has a different look from your neighbor’s, you may be wondering what makes aluminum decking so unique. While this is a common question, the answer is quite simple: aluminum is resistant to rust and is highly durable. Unlike wood, aluminum never needs to be stained or refinished, and its natural appearance makes it an ideal choice for docks. In addition, the material can be powder-coated to create an authentic wood grain pattern.

One of the most critical factors in deciding between aluminum decking and wood for a dock is durability. A dock that is constructed of wood will warp and rot over time. Aluminum is lighter and requires less maintenance than wood and composites. Wood also retains heat and requires constant care. Aluminum, on the other hand, is a durable choice for docks. It also makes a beautiful walkway or boardwalk.

PVC decking

What makes PVC decking so popular for docks? Its low maintenance requires only the occasional cleaning. Unlike wood decking, which is susceptible to rotting and mold growth, PVC is remarkably resistant to moisture and mold. This means that the decking material will not need staining or additional maintenance, even if exposed to water. There are no other maintenance requirements besides regular inspections.

Composite and PVC decking is both remarkably durable and low-maintenance. They’re great options for docks where temperature fluctuations are unpredictable. Composite decking, however, is more expensive than PVC and more challenging to install. Aluminum decking is another excellent option for docks if you’re not comfortable maintaining a wooden dock. If you’re unsure about taking care of your dock, aluminum is the best choice.

Pressure-treated wood

The choice between pressure-treated wood for a deck and rotting wood for a dock is based on the aesthetic and durability of the wood used. Pressure-treated pine is inexpensive and durable enough to last for around 20 years, but you must apply a water sealant every year to prevent saturation. Pine decays after a few years and can become hazardous to walk on. In addition, pine is a softwood, meaning it is susceptible to mold, algae, and insect attacks.

Pressure-treated wood tends to warp and split. It is available at almost every lumber store in North America. Pressure-treated wood is also the most economical option, as it is abundant and renewable. Unlike pressure-treated wood, it is resistant to termites. Moreover, some producers even offer a lifetime warranty. Whether pressure-treated lumber is best for your project depends on how much you want to spend and the aesthetics you prefer.