What Wood to Use to Build a Dock

If you have property near a body of water it is nice to have a dock even if you don't have a boat. Having a dock for sunning yourself or relaxing by the water is a great reason to build one. Of course there are a number of materials that you can use for it but wood is the most common.

Western Red Cedar

Western red cedar is chosen to build docks for a number of reasons. Working with it is easier than others when it comes to cutting and shaping. It's a durable wood known for its stability, and it can stand years of exposure to various weather conditions.

Western red cedar looks beautiful. Its fragrance, although it may not be an important matter, is also quite wonderful and enhances the atmosphere while you're relaxing on the dock.


Cypress is also used for making docks because it resists splitting from nails and screws, making it ideally suited as a building material. The wood itself is lightweight, doesn't have many knots and the grain is usually consistent and closed with a moderate texture.

This tree also has a natural preservative making it resistant to not only weather but also insects. Staining the wood or painting it can easily be done because it doesn't bleed, or ooze sap from cut surfaces.

This wood has to be treated because over time it will change color to light pewter or gray. Cypress that has been treated at a mill will be clearly labeled.

Eastern White Cedar

Eastern White Cedar is durable and can withstand extremely high winds. This wood will last for many years with the least amount of maintenance. The wood also works well in harsher climates because of its natural preservatives.

This wood, like the others, has very few knots, thus improving the look of your dock. It has a fine grain, and you will usually find the wood in light brown colors. It does not need any finishing or treatments and over time will take on the look of a soft glaze.

Wirnani Garner

Wirnani Garner holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physical therapy and works in the medical profession. Her articles focus on health-related subjects, though Garner is proficient in researching and writing about a diverse range of topics.