Unlike traditional decks that are attached to the home’s structure, a floating deck is a different nook on its own because it has a defined and separated look away from the home.
They can be laid directly on the ground or in different surrounds including a bed of gravel or wood chips. If you are gearing for a floating deck in your home, you can find some notable floating deck ideas here.
Aside from floating deck ideas, we also narrow down here some building essentials that you should be aware of when it comes to this structure. Hence, without much ado, read on.
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What is a floating deck?
A floating deck is an independent structure and is also called a free-standing deck. As have been mentioned, they are called as such because they are not attached to any structure around the home.
They are an ease to install and build compared to traditional decks because they do not require digging for concrete footings, do not require ledgers, and no cuttings on the side.
Because of all these, you can do it DIY with less hassle on labor, saving time because you skip the digging and all the laborious tasks, and you could also save money, overall.
55 floating deck ideas
And now down to the core of this post. Let us go straight to some of the most remarkable and practical designed floating deck ideas that you can go for your home.
They are dispersed through categories for you to have more choices when it comes to these structures.
Low budget floating deck ideas
At some point, your bare backyard could aesthetically benefit more than just wood privacy fences and well-maintained turf.
Here, a small, 10×10 wood floating deck is built in one corner at a 2ft elevation. An old seating set and coffee table are installed around it and then shaded by a small bistro umbrella.
And for some vintage, country style floating deck, this one here sport repurposed railroad tie as the deck’s support and some reclaimed wood for the deck planks.
Minimal accent pieces are arranged on one side. The remaining space can be arranged with portable seats if you need some down time for chilling.
Floating deck with pergola
If the design is right and if the materials all match, you can create a dramatic and intimate corner for people to get together.
This one here does not go with the traditional wide-gapped slats. Other than that, it also has side fencings for more deck privacy.
But if you want the more traditional look, this wood pergola here with some acrylic screen covering the space overhead is still one of the best choices to go for.
The uniform look of this floating deck makes this a real standout. Everything is on point and that makes it phenomenal.
Floating deck with outdoor kitchen
An outdoor kitchen does not always entail stone luxury. Sometimes, just an elevated platform as in this floating deck made of composite material, mimicking wood is one of the most durable and can support a lot of load.
With that cozy seating and compact kitchen and cook station, everything is accessible, giving it an intimate feel.
Floating deck with fire pit
Another match made in heaven would be floating decks and firepit. Since decks are made for lounging, having a structure that literally emits warmth is the best idea for drinks and chilling.
This large floating deck here is made of composite materials and concrete. The open firepit in a contrast of white gravel is an upscale touch.
The wood looking composite extends to the walkway so overall, you get a contemporary look.
For a more cost-effective touch to floating decks and firepits, this one here features a stained cedar wood floating deck with the minimum 2-ft elevation.
Its focal point would be this brick concrete fire pit using coal and gas. The iron seating around it gives it the total, low-key, outdoor vibe.
Floating pallet deck
If you have a surplus of wood pallets just stored in one corner, building a floating deck out of it would be one of the best DIY projects you will ever have to make.
In this idea, the gaps in between the pallets give this raw and rustic floating deck with a sense of space and airiness. The metal, open firepit on the other hand, gives it a warm and cozy feel.
And if you want a two-toned contrast, painting your wood pallet floating deck’s flooring with a bolder hue and maintaining the raw wood feel of the simple enclosure may be simple but the overall look is striking.
The interlocking style of the wood pallet floating deck gives it a durable appeal.
Floating deck next to house
For a seamless look, you can overextend your back patio by building a floating deck next to it.
This small, wood floating deck here is obviously made for pure lounging and afternoon drinking.
Its black coat separates it entirely from the home’s exterior aesthetics but overall, it is a play of moody neutrals which still give it a cohesive look.
For a transitional look, this living room here extends out into an additional lounging space.
It might be just a small floating deck but the stained, cedar wood for the platform and the contrast of black, crushed gravel give it a modern, zen look which matches the white walls of the home.
Floating deck over flat roof
Floating decks over a flat roof are staple in urban, high rise homes like condominiums and penthouses.
This rooftop floating deck here incorporates modern sleekness and the rustic warmth of wood and a line of concrete slabs.
It also emphasizes a high aesthetic and entertainment value with this fireplace, mounted TV and cozy lounging.
Making use of the pre-existing grill and enclosure of the home, the use of all wood floating deck flooring and old-fashioned pergola here and more ornate wood pieces such as the columns and planters truly elevated the look of this home’s flat roof.
Floating deck over concrete patio
If you already have a concrete patio on the works, you might want to extend it into a concrete floating deck.
Floating deck over concrete slab
The good news is you can also install a floating deck over a concrete slab directly. Here is an on the works wood plank floating deck over a concrete slab.
This is an extended patio for the home. Just add a few seating and some complementing accent pieces to get a cohesive look.
Floating deck on uneven ground
Uneven backyards call for more elevated floating decks. This would be the type with stairs and additional post to beam braces for more support.
This floating deck which extends out from the home is a good use for an uneven ground. The stairs balance the unevenness and the stained wood effect does not disappoint.
Here is another leveled, floating deck that you could go for if you are low on budget. It makes use of reclaimed wood, stained it with varnish and layered it with two color tones of crushed gravel.
Modern floating deck
We all dig the symmetry and clean lines of modern floating decks. Building upon minimalism, this floating deck design here is a stunning view to open to when you open the living room.
The uniformity of the wood planks used in the fence and in the floating deck flooring give it a cozy opulence.
The concrete and stone details on one corner including the planters are cohesive with the home’s modern exteriors.
Asymmetrical and geometric looks are also part of the modern design scheme.
Stretched out in a corner of a lifeless landscape, this spade-shaped floating deck in a backdrop of simple concrete fencing is an unparalleled look that you can anchor your outdoor aesthetics anytime.
Floating deck on water
What better view is there than to have unlimited chatting with friends and beer with a scenic lake or sea view right?
If you are going for a floating deck on water, you can consider this concrete floating deck right here.
The irregular shape of this floating deck is highly aesthetic, but the wood lounge chairs, and beach umbrella there surely give it a coastal look.
But if you still insist on using wood, this lake house look gives you all that chilly vibes complete with this view deck enclosure.
You can lounge at the length of the open deck and still get an accessible refuge when it rains or if you need a place where you could place food and belongings.
For a deck and dock, literally floating deck, you can draw inspiration from this lake house floating deck idea.
It is a staple look but that bent look for the deck flooring is something unique. With the railing, you can have an unobstructed view of the lake or hangout steadily by the yacht.
Floating pool deck
To say that a floating pool deck is crafty and luxurious is an understatement. This above ground pool here makes use of a wood floating deck with just the minimum elevation.
This way, it could support more weight to incorporate a large pool and a considerable number of people at a time.
And if you have a budget to splurge and a large backyard pool and view to lounge in, you might want to consider building two separate floating decks.
In this idea, one is placed directly by the pool, with a line of its concrete support, submerged underwater.
The other one is placed in an elevated view where a fire pit is placed at the center, overlooking the pool.
Floating deck over septic tank
Sometimes, a floating deck is also an inventive way to cover what needs to be covered but in a low-profile way.
This idea here features a floating deck which extends from the patio. Detachable wood planks are installed to cover the septic tank units around this large home.
They can be easily lifted during annual inspections. Because they seamlessly match with the material, you would not even know that the septic tanks are there.
Floating deck no digging
As we have said, one of the benefits of a floating deck is the fact that there would be no digging required in installing one.
This one here features a 2-ft floating deck with a wood frame connected directly from concrete blocks.
The wood planks are then laid in to complete the frame and then it is positioned on top of the concrete blocks.
Floating deck around a tree
This may be outlandish to some but building a floating deck around a tree is a staple in European country sides.
This floating deck built in this German home, incorporating this tree as its focal point gives a lot of tranquil vibes for some lounging.
In a backdrop of a stream and lush greenery, you can have a zen feel in this floating deck anytime.
And if you want an open seating in your large backyard, you can build a more elevated floating deck like this one here.
Enclosing the tree bunches in this floating deck is one way to regulate the growth of the trees. At the same time, you can also enjoy natural shade from the tree branches.
Floating deck in middle of yard
If you intend to set up a dreamy oasis in the middle of your yard, this small floating deck here surrounded by black soil, well-arranged surrounding greens, wood fence and the subtle glow of string lights hanging down from the trees would be a rustic touch to any suburban home. The look speaks for itself, indeed.
Modular floating deck
If you are not the DIY type, the easiest way to install a floating deck would be to buy modular deck kits.
They are sold by panel so you have control on how many you should buy to cover the space allotted for your floating deck.
This one here is a modular floating deck made of composite aggregates. It is a patio extension and the tiki flames right there add a playful touch to the prefab panels.
Simple as it may seem, but you can really use that corner lounging space.
Floating deck over pavers
Like how we install floating decks directly to concrete slabs, the same is true for floating decks over pavers.
This one here features a raised floating deck in the middle of the yard, separating two lines of paver walkways in between.
The contrast of wood and pavers and the splashier look of the crushed gravel in between keep it coordinated.
Following the same idea, here is another look which you can incorporate by the poolside. With the shade and the hammock, it is obvious that it is meant for corner reading, napping, and chill while enjoying the natural coolness of the area.
Floating deck with privacy wall
Privacy walls do not necessarily mean an all-corner enclosure. They can be on the sides, a half-enclosure extending overhead and more.
This small and very simple floating deck here makes use of reclaimed wood for the deck and matches that lattice privacy wall for an intimate seating and outdoor cookouts.
For another cost-effective floating deck privacy wall, using fabric sails, installed in a simple wood overhang give this floating deck here a standout look.
Complete with a small, open firepit on one corner and some chic seating complete with an outdoor rug around the floating deck, you get a Coachella look floating deck right there in your backyard.
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Floating deck cost
On average, floating decks are pegged to range from $20-60 per square foot. With this, the standard range for a full-blown, 12×12 floating desk would be at $3000-10000. This range includes material costs as well as labor costs.
How to build a floating deck
We have already mentioned that you can build a floating deck DIY. If you wish to embark on a weekend project, this one is a good investment for your time. As such, here are the steps to follow in building a floating deck.
- The first thing to do is to always prepare the deck area. Clear it off with debris, grass, pebbles, and other organic matter. Flat, level, and tamp the surface. You can also lay down the landscape fabric immediately to prevent weed regrowth.
- Next, lay down the support frame. The most cost effective one would be using concrete blocks. Arrange them in a rectangular frame with a 12-ft gap on the long sides and 10-ft gap on the short sides.
- After this, build the outer frame. This is the part where you construct the wood frame where all the planks are laid down later. Drill holes and fasten the planks with screws.
- Now, position the outer frame and rest it on the concrete blocks. Check the blocks if they are in precise contact with the wood frame. If it is unstable, eliminate all gravel and obstructions beneath the concrete blocks.
- As soon as everything has become structurally stable, install the remaining joists to finally install the outer frame.
- For the last part, install the deck boards one by one along the frame. Paint or stain for the final touches and then arrange the lounge chairs and other accent pieces on the floating deck.
Do you need a permit for a floating deck?
No, fortunately. Because they are not attached to the home’s structure, floating decks are not considered as part of the original structure nor an extension of the living space. Nonetheless, you still need to check your housing association if you have one in your subdivision or district.
Can you put a hot tub on a floating deck?
Yes. All decks built at a 2ft elevation can support a 100-lbs hot tub. But if the elevation is higher than this, you need to fortify the support/foundation of the floating deck before installing your hot tub in it. And by fortifying we mean adding low concrete posts on each side.
How long does a floating deck last?
Floating decks and traditional decks have the same longevity. When maintained well, a floating desk could last for 10-15 years at best.
Every two years, they must be stained like traditional decks would have to be. If you want to skip this one, go for more low maintenance materials like concrete and other composite materials.
How much weight can a floating deck hold?
Depending on the material used, a floating deck can support a minimum load of 50lbs. 10lbs is calculated as the weight of the deck itself and at 40lbs is for the furniture, people, and more.
How high can a floating deck be?
As per rule of thumb, floating decks should not exceed 8ft high. The best height for a floating deck would be 2-3-ft. If it exceeds the 3-ft mark, you will need bracing underneath the deck and from post to beam.
To conclude, a floating deck is a superior choice if you cannot afford a traditional deck or if you want a separate lounging space for family and friends.
Aside from not needing a building permit, a floating deck is also less laborious to build, and you can save money in building it, overall. Most of all, the design ideas for floating decks are virtually limitless.
With all the things we have covered here, you should be on your way in finalizing that floating deck plan that you have in mind. While you could do it DIY, you can always tap a professional if you are not sure about how to make one from scratch just yet.