What Is the Difference Between Piers and Pilings?

Piers and pilings are structural elements used in construction, but their functions and designs differ.

Piers are vertical support structures that elevate platforms or walkways above water, soil, or other surfaces. Usually composed of vertical columns anchored into the ground or foundation and connected by horizontal beams or girders, creating a framework supporting whatever lies above. Piers can also support bridges, docks, and piers along waterfront areas.

Pilings, conversely, are long cylindrical structures made of timber, steel, or concrete that are driven or drilled into the ground to form foundations for systems such as buildings, piers, bridges, and other infrastructure. Unlike docks seen aboveground, pilings typically remain hidden underground; they aim to transfer weight from a structure onto subterranean soil or rock while providing support and stability.

The main difference between piers and pilings is that piers are above-ground vertical support structures for elevated platforms. In contrast, pilings are below-ground cylindrical structures that provide a foundation for designs.

Beach to Bay Dive Services started in early 2019 as a commercial dive service. Our team continues to provide our customers with the peace of mind knowing that each concrete dock pilings will be performed correctly from conception to completion at a fair cost. Our reputation has been and continues to be our best advertisement. Recently, Beach to Bay Dive Services has transitioned to Beach to Bay Divers and Pools. Our experienced pool technicians provide a level of service and repairs that assure our pool customers have that same peace of mind as our dive service.