Joist Brackets: What They Are and How to Use Them Correctly

Joist Brackets

When carrying out projects in around the home or office yourself (rather than hiring an external professional to do the job for you), there will be an abundance of tools, pieces of equipment, and general knowledge and expertise that you will be entirely unaware of simply because you have never needed to know. 

One of the most fundamental examples of this is the correct and proper use of joist brackets, which are essentially used to hold in place timber joists. Here is a quick guide on what joist brackets are and how they should be used.

Joist Brackets Explained

Joist hangers are primarily utilized in construction and were originally devised to fasten wooden beams in place. The wooden beams that joist hangers are most suited for are those in flooring, ceilings, decking, and roofing—and the addition of joist hangers ensures that the structure will be thoroughly supported for many years to come. 

The Proper Usage of Joist Brackets

When correctly installed and balanced, the usage of joist brackets or hangers will ensure your construction will remain strong and sturdy, even when the wooden beams start to naturally warp, shrink, and twist as the wood dries out. 

It is surprisingly easy to use joist brackets, and all you need is a hammer, the joist brackets themselves, and a collection of various sizes of galvanized nails. As a rule, you will require some 10d nails, some 16d nails, and some 1.5d galvanized joist nails. The standard size of joist brackets which are most commonly used for carpentry projects, both commercially and in private properties, are the standardized 2-inch by 8-inch brackets.

Using Joist Brackets in Your Home

Whether you are constructing decking in your back garden or changing the flooring in your kitchen or bathroom, joist brackets are essential to ensure the project is completed successfully and, even more importantly, safely. 

The basic steps to correctly using joist brackets for your decking or flooring projects are:

  1. Using a 16d galvanized nail, hold the decking joists in position along the entirety of the wall ledger, ensuring the top end of the joist is fully level to ensure the beams are central and level when laid down. 
  2. Next, tightly squash the standard joist hanger around the joist itself and briefly hold it in place by pushing the speed prongs inside. Be sure to check that the joist is firm and level and that there are no gaps underneath or on either side.
  3. Using more galvanized 16d nails, attach the joist brackets to the ledgers on the wall and, ideally, take the time to fill all the holes with the types of nails that the manufacturer of the beams themselves recommends. 
  4. Secure the joist hanger using 1.5-inch galvanized nails, as longer nails would be visible on the other side—which would not only be aesthetically undesirable, but could cause injury and accidents. 

It is strongly advisable to never, under any circumstances, reuse any older, slightly damaged, or rusting joist brackets.