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8 Creative Floating Deck Designs

If you want a deck without the hassle of digging and pouring deep footings, check out these great-looking floating deck ideas.

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Elegant floating deck with patio furniture in a backyard with green grassKatarzynaBialasiewicz/Getty Images

What Is a Floating Deck?

Despite its name, a floating deck (AKA a ground-level or a freestanding deck) isn’t found on water. It’s actually a low deck platform that can be placed anywhere in the yard.

It doesn’t attach to a building or require handrails. It sits directly on the ground with simple deck footings, giving the illusion of floating. And because it doesn’t require deep frost-level footings, rails or stairs, it’s a straightforward DIY project that often can be done in a day!

Types of floating decks

In general, a floating deck doesn’t rise more than 30 inches off the ground. Any higher, and most local building codes require handrails and a building permit. Choose the type of footing from among deck blocks, concrete blocks, adjustable deck supports or deck foot anchors.

Just like traditional decks, there are lots of options for wood or composite decking material, color and style. Pressure-treated wood will give your deck a chunky, sturdy look. If you want rich color and natural grain texture, try cedar or redwood. Composite decking requires less maintenance than real wood but can be much more expensive.

Floating deck pros

  • Easy to build.
  • Usually doesn’t require a permit (check local building codes).
  • No need to dig deep footings.
  • Easier access for repairing and maintenance.
  • More affordable than a traditional deck.
  • Freedom to build almost anywhere in the yard.

Floating deck cons

  • Susceptible to damage in heavy storms, which can knock ground-level footings loose.
  • Might need to control weeds from growing between the deck boards.
  • Can potentially sag or tilt if the ground settles.
  • Doesn’t increase resale value as much as a traditional deck.

Deck With Gazebo Casa and outdoor furniture underneathvia @Casa Direnzo/

Floating Deck and Gazebo

Although this floating deck by @casa_direnzo was a simple DIY job, the finished project is a surprisingly sophisticated backyard hideaway!

The deck sits on five large square patio stones, one in each corner and one in the center. The dark-stained deck matched with a steel gazebo (available in an easy-to-build kit) offers a cohesive and expensive-looking aesthetic. A hanging chandelier, plants and outdoor textiles make this outdoor living space feel cozy and welcoming.

Modern Floating Deck with gardenvia @rochellemortstudio/

Modern Floating Deck

A floating deck works well with a modern style yard because of its minimalist design. To build this deck, @rochellemortstudio laid weed fabric first, then a layer of rock, and then the 2×6 boards.

A border of 1/4-inch decomposed granite covers any gaps between the ground and the deck, enhancing that “floating” look. The deck stain color is Benjamin Moore Arbor Coat in Natural.

Floating Deck Privacy Wall and inflatable poolvia @heyheyitsmaryk/

Floating Deck With Privacy Wall

This playful floating deck by @heyitsmaryb is the perfect home for their turquoise stock tank pool. The deck sits on cinder block footings for leveling, with additional cinder blocks placed directly under the pool to support its the immense water weight. The added privacy wall and built-in lighting make it a comfortable spot for lounging by the pool, day or night.

pink Playhouse on floating Deck with two hugging girlsvia @michellemoehle/

Playhouse Floating Deck

A floating deck is a great spot for a playhouse, as seen here in this charming backyard by @michellemoehle. The deck elevates the playhouse above ground enough to keep it clean and define the area, yet low enough for kids to play safely.

Stepping stones leading to the deck. Flowers around the perimeter complete this secret garden getaway that any child would love.

Floating Deck with steps and lights at nightvia @jaclyntostes/

Floating Deck Porch

Though right up next to the house, this is still considered a freestanding deck because it’s not attached. Check your local building codes to see if this type of floating deck is permissible in your area.

A step leads up to this deck by @jaclyntostes, making it more substantial, while the solar-powered lights safely illuminate the deck and create a nice glow.

Easy Diy Deck with steps and potted plantsfamily handyman

Easy DIY Floating Deck

If you can cut boards and drive screws, you can build this floating deck. The only power tools you’ll need are a circular saw and a drill, although a miter saw is helpful. Check out the step-by-step building instructions, then start planning those relaxing afternoons in the shade!

Floating Deck With Bench at beachfamily handyman

Floating Deck with Built-In Bench

This straightforward floating deck features a foundation of 4×6 treated timbers buried in the soil, decorative treated joists and construction-grade cedar decking. The built-in bench is a fun feature that’s easy to build with 2×12 lumber for the supports and 2×6 bench tops. The full tutorial will help you build this deck in one weekend!

floating deck with fire pit and benchesCourtesy Residential Improvement Services, LLC

Floating Deck with Fire Pit

The design of this beautiful floating deck is a little more complicated, with a fire pit and curved edge that surrounds a paver area. Custom-built by Residential Improvement Services, the deck transforms this backyard into a multi-functional space that’s great for entertaining and watching the kids play.

If you want a deck with sweeping views and multiple seating areas, check out these interesting multi level deck designs.

Erica Young
Erica Young is a freelance writer and content creator, specializing in home and lifestyle pieces. She loves writing about home decor, organization, relationships, and pop culture. She holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Arizona State University, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.