Joist Hangers vs End-Nailing

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Joist connections are necessary when you need to bridge ledger boards together, so it can get confusing when trying to figure out which one best fits your specific project. Joist hangers and ending nailing both have their benefits but are vastly different. If you’re looking for security, joist hangers are the way to go. 

What is a Joist hanger?

Mitek USP Structural-Connectors JL26 Face Mount Joist Hanger, Light-Capacity 20 Gauge, G90 Galvanizing Finish Steel, 2 x 6 Joist Dimensional Hangers, 50 Count

Joist hangers are metal brackets that keep two beams together. They create strong and permanent connections to hold up a floor or ceiling. You can choose between short models ranging up to 8.2-inches long or standard models from 12-inches long. 

What is an End-Nailing? 

Photo: Tipsa2z

End nailing is a bridging technique where one would drive nails through a joist and a ledger board. This type of connection is commonly used for temporary placements before attaching a joist hanger. 

What are the Differences Between Joist Hangers & End-Nailing?

Joist Hangers

  • Pros
    • Come in many different shapes and sizes.
    • Liable and sturdy connection
    • No drilling required
    • Able to support heavy construction
  • Cons
    • Corrosion can sometimes occur in harsh weather conditions
    • Giving different high or low performances depends on the model

End-Nailing

  • Pros
    • Fast and cost-saving method
    • Installing without much effort
  • Cons
    • Unreliable connections for long-term use
    • Weaker support
    • Short-term solution
    • Lack of safety in construction

When to use End-Nailing?

If you are looking for a fast and temporary connection on a lightweight project, use end-nailing. When working on a deck or roofing project, end nailing can be used to attach a joist to a ledger or a plank until a more stable connection solution can be installed. End-nailing is only a temporary solution since two boards are only being held together by nails and not a sturdy appliance like a joist hanger. This connection is weaker because nails and screws do not have the holding power when driven into the face-grain of a piece of wood. This technique may be used on lighter jobs, but is not recommended for first-time “do it yourselfers.” Additionally, end-nailing should never be used on projects that require an inspection. 

Also Read: Best Finish Nailer

When to use Joist hangers? 

Mitek USP Structural-Connectors JL26 Face Mount Joist Hanger, Light-Capacity 20 Gauge, G90 Galvanizing Finish Steel, 2 x 6 Joist Dimensional Hangers, 50 Count

Joist hangers are used the majority of the time for a more stable build. These are used to secure any end-nailing technique and to pass inspection on a professional project. This safer method is used for beams, rafters, and joists in decking and flooring and helps to avoid creating holes in the timbers or the walls. Each type of joist hanger serves a particular purpose. If you are installing a roof, it is recommended that you use heavy-duty joist hangers or masonry joist hangers. However, if you need one for light-duty applications, like trimmers, ceiling joists, or decking, mini-sized joist hangers are an ideal choice due to their compact sizes. Some other types of joist hangers are I-joist hangers, standard jiffy hangers, concealed joist hangers, and face mount joist hangers

What’s Better: Joist Hangers or End-nailing?

Joist hangers are better because they create more accurate placement, making these the most secure option when it comes to the stability of your build.  Since end-nailing comes with the uncertainty of whether the boards will hold, it is best to go with joist hangers. There are different material options to choose from when selecting a joist hanger to ensure it will not deteriorate due to harsh weather conditions or water. Additionally, they come in many different shapes and sizes to accommodate different types of builds. 

Overall, Joist hangers are the most secure method in connecting ledger boards when building decks, ceilings, or flooring. There are many different options of joist hanger materials that will defend against harsh weather and water, protecting your build from deterioration. No drilling is required, which allows for either screws or nails to be used in the placement process. Additionally, they come in many different shapes and sizes to accommodate different projects. 

End-nailing is okay to use in the event you run out of joist hangers and need a temporary connection. Do not rely on end-nailing as it could be detrimental to your overall project goal since they lack stability. Even though this option may seem like the most cost-efficient and an overall time saver, you will end up costing yourself more time and money due to the instability this technique offers. However, end-nailing is an acceptable option if your project does not require heavy-duty holds. 

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