Dock Piling 101: Everything You Need to Know About Dock Posts

Dock pilings are an essential component of any dock, pier, or similar structure. They’re used to stabilize the structure and provide a foundation for the water to flow over. You can find piles in many different sizes depending on your needs, but they are typically made of wood, concrete, steel, or fiberglass. In this blog post, I am going to discuss everything you wanted to know about dock pilings.

What is a Dock Piling?

A dock piling is a large post or pole driven into the ground to provide stability for structures built over water. Ensuring that you have quality dock pilings is essential for maintaining the integrity of your dock.

Piles are typically made out of concrete, steel, or fiberglass and have different sizes depending on what you need to do with them. Dock pilings provide a stable foundation for structures built over the water like docks. They also help regulate shoreline erosion by preventing waves from washing away sediment that accumulates at the bottom of the section being protected or eroded. When a pile starts to fail, it’s essential to replace it as soon as possible because once piles start failing, more piles will follow suit, which could lead to an entire structure falling.

What Materials Can You Use for Dock Posts?

As I mentioned previously, you can make dock posts from wood, concrete, or fiberglass, and there are advantages and disadvantages to each one.


Wood pilings are probably the most common type of piling due to their relative ease of installation, availability, cost-effectiveness, and durability. Wood is also the preferred choice in many lakeside communities because of its natural beauty that blends with the surroundings.

How long do wood dock pilings last? Wood posts are typically rot-resistant, which means you don’t need to replace them as often as fiberglass or concrete ones. However, this does come at a price – wood pilings will tend to bend over time under pressure from waves, so you’ll have to replace them like any other piling material periodically.

Suppose your dock requires more height than the traditional ground level. In that case, you need to install taller piles made out of better materials such as steel or iron pipes before using untreated lumber because these metals won’t corrode and rot away as wooden logs would.

Some of the best wood for dock posts include cedar, cypress, and redwood because they are rot-resistant and relatively easy to work with.


Another popular choice for dock pilings is concrete because it’s durable and long-lasting. If you’re not concerned about natural wood aesthetics, concrete pilings are a great option because you can make them to any size or shape you need for your dock — this is something that wooden piles cannot offer due to their more rigid nature.

If the water in your area has strong currents, then it’s best if the weight of your piling material outweighs its buoyancy to avoid bending too much during high tides.


Another great option is fiberglass, which is usually the cheapest option to choose. Fiberglass is not a good choice if you’re in an area prone to storm surges or high winds. Still, it can be more aesthetically pleasing than wooden pilings because it comes in many colors and shapes while also being less expensive than other options like concrete.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Dock Piling?

Probably the most important thing you want to know is how much your cost is going to be. Since there are so many different types of dock pilings, the cost is not set in stone but it will vary depending on what you need and where you’re located.

The average price for a pile replacement can range anywhere from $200 – $600 per piling which means that if you have 10 piles, you’re looking at $2,000 to $6,000 total. That being said, your costs are dependent on who does the work as well as where they do it (if they come out onto your property) or how much labor is required at their location (such as yard duty). 

Repairing, Replacing, and Removing Dock Posts

There are a couple of things to remember when repairing, removing, or replacing dock pilings. First, make sure the pilings are correctly sized. Second, remember to account for slope, height, and width of your dock’s surface, water depth at low tide (if applicable), as well as any other contingencies like distances between piling groups or a net deck. This is especially important when figuring out how to repair dock pilings.

Third, when it comes time to replace old pilings with new ones, make sure you’re installing them in pairs – one on each side of the pier. And lastly, remember that all caissons should be built so they can withstand scouring from waves and currents; this will help extend their lifespan, too, while improving your dock piling restoration. Remember that if you’re asking, “how much does a dock piling cost,” it will depend on the material you use and how many pilings you need to purchase.

Dock Piling Accessories

Finally, if you’re interested in making the most of your dock pilings, you must consider some dock piling hardware.

  • Dock piling lights – these will help you see what you’re doing when it gets dark and make your pier more visible. Consider solar dock piling lights if you want to save on your dock piling cost.
  • Dock piling bumpers – these bumpers will help you avoid damage when loading and unloading and help prevent any movement or shifting.
  • Dock pile covers – these will protect your pilings from the elements (especially snow or other inclement weather).
  • Dock piling sleeves – these are a great way to protect your dock pilings, and they also make them easier to move around.
  • Dock piling wraps – these will provide the same protection as a sleeve, but you can also use them to cover up any unsightly or rusting dock pilings.
  • Dock piling caps – these caps are great for protecting your pier’s deck from damage, and they also make it easier to move around on slippery surfaces.

Can you DIY Removing or Installing Dock Pilings?

Yes, you can DIY dock pilings. It’s not easy but it’s definitely doable if you have the right equipment.

You can either use water jetting for sandy soil where it’s easier to dig deep holes with high-pressure jets of water that cut right through solid earth like butter, or set them in concrete footers if your bed has too much clay content because this will make things more stable. While these may require some special tools and help from others who are good at carpentry work—you’ll be able to enjoy fun on the waterfront years later.

One tip to remember is that most home improvement stores will allow for the rental of a water jetter. You may save yourself money in the long run and avoid buying an expensive tool that won’t be used often enough to warrant such an expense.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use schedule 80 PVC as a dock piling?

No, schedule 80 PVC is not a good option for piling because it’s tough to drive into the ground. However, that doesn’t mean that some people have had success with using it.

How much does a dock piling weigh?

Dock piling weight will depend on the type of material, the length of the piling, and the piling diameter.

How much does it cost to install a dock piling?

Dock Piling cost will depend on the type of piling and the contractor, but in general, it can range from $200-$300.

How much does it cost to replace one dock piling?

The cost of replacing a dock piling will depend on the type. A pile can range from $200-$300, but you should consider other expenses as well.


In the end, it is important to know that dock piling is an integral part of any dock, pier, or similar structure. You know now that it can be tough to navigate the world of dock pilings, but hopefully, this post has helped shed some light on the subject by answering many questions about dock pilings. With a little bit of knowledge and care, your dock will last for years to come.

If you have more questions about Dock Piling, contact us today and one of our experts will help you out!