Joist Hangers Vs End-Nailing: Which Is Better For Your Building?

Certainly, building a house with your own hands and enjoying the fruits of labor are the best experiences. We all want your house to be properly built and stand firm for years. With joist hangers vs end-nailing, building the decks, floors, or ceilings becomes much easier and faster.

End-nailing is not actually a strong joist connection for long-term building. It is a fast but temporary solution while you are finding another replacement. So, we recommend using the joist hangers to attach the joist to ledger boards in a safe way.

Both of these connections can help with fastening the joist to the ledger board. But each of them has different pros and cons. So, let’s dive into this post to find out the better solution for your home.

joist hangers vs end-nailing

What Is End-Nailing?

In end-nailing, you drive a nail through the ledger board or the plank into the end grain of a joist. This attachment only can hold for a short time until it is reinforced.

It is a basic joist connection technique, which is used as a temporary solution in decking. Since the end grain of the wood is not solid enough to endure strain or pressure, it is better to apply other techniques for long-term construction.

Also, toe-nailing or blind nailing are other nailing techniques that can be performed to save time. But on top of that, installing joist hangers is still the most popular and safest method for stable connections in your building.

What Is A Joist Hanger?

A metal plate used to secure and connect the wooden joist to the ledger board is called a joist hanger. Installing the joist hangers is the most standard technique, which brings your house up to code when building decks, ceilings, or floors.

They provide liable and sturdy support to resist the force of gravity. It is a helpful method used for beams, rafters, and joists in decking and flooring. When using this method, you won’t have to create holes in the timbers or the walls. 

Depending on whether your construction is outdoor or indoor, you can choose suitable joist hangers made from different materials that can resist water or harsh weather.

There is plenty of different types of joist hangers that you may come across in a building material store:

  1. I-joist hangers
  2. Heavy-duty joist hangers
  3. Welded masonry joist hangers
  4. Straddle masonry joist hangers
  5. Standard Jiffy Hangers
  6. Concealed joist hangers
  7. Face mount joist hangers
  8. Mini joist hangers

Each of them is served for a particular purpose. If you are installing a roof, we recommend heavy-duty joist hangers or masonry joist hangers. 

Or you need a type for light-duty applications, like trimmers, ceiling joists, or decking, mini ones are ideal choices due to their compact sizes.

Which Are The Differences Between Joist Hangers Vs End-Nailing?

According to the definitions provided above, there are some main differences between two these connections:

First, while end-nailing is hammering a nail through the ledger board into the end grain of a joist, it’s rival are metal plates affixed to a ledger board. 

Second, joist hangers are suitable for permanent construction, but the end-nailing is a temporary solution without spending money on special fasteners.

Third, whereas the end-nailing connections are not considered safe, it’s competitor provides stronger and more sturdy connections.

Fourth, while installing joist hangers is the method accepted by building inspections, end-nailing is not approved as a joist connection method.

Quick Rundown Of Joist Hangers


  • Come with a wide array of sizes and shapes
  • Liable and sturdy connection
  • No drilling required
  • Able to support heavy construction


  • Corrosion can sometimes occur in harsh weather condition
  • Giving different high or low performances depends on the model

Quick Rundown Of End-Nailing


  • Fast and cost-saving method
  • Installing without much effort


  • Unreliable connections for long-term use
  • Weaker support
  • Short-term solution
  • Lack of safety in construction

Frequently Asked Questions

When to use End-Nailing?

Since end-nailing uses nails to connect the joist between ledger board and the end grain, it isn’t capable of supporting heavy-duty applications such as decking or roofing projects. 

Thus, you should only use end-nailing for joist connections in a short time until you replace it with another strong and permanent solution. Also, remember that end-nailing is also not approved by a building inspection.

Is Joist Hanger Installation Necessary?

It is not always necessary to put on joist hangers for your construction. Toe-nailing is an alternative in fastening joist as it is cheaper and takes less effort. 

Still, you should only install a toe-nailing if you’re skillful enough in building things. There is a common notion that rockies often made mistakes in their first attempts with toe-nailing.  

Applying toe-nails in the wrong place and creating poor angle nails are the most typical situations that you may have to face. Hammering an abundance of nails also makes the joist and the structure weaker and less durable.

Thus, the method is an ideal choice if you’re not certain about your building skill.

Can I Use Screws Instead Of Nails For Joist Hangers?

Some may think of using structural screws instead of nails to secure joist hangers, especially in a lack of nails. But generally, nails are better than screws in joist connection. 

Most types of regular screws have a low shear strength; they can’t support the joist load properly. Thus, only the screws specifically designed for joist hangers can be the replacement of nails.

Another thing to consider before using the structural screws is the budget. While nails are a more budget-friendly solution, you will have to pay extra money for these screws. 

Is It Safe To Use My Nail Gun With Joist Hangers?

The answer is maybe. There are two popular choices: metal connector nailer and palm nailer. Some manufacturers offer specifically designed guns for joist hangers and brackets. 

There is also a nail point guide system to help with placing the fastener directly into the wood surface. The sequential firing trigger increases the safety and precision in fastener placement.

Though nail guns are absolutely useful framing devices with fast speed, they are not suited for precision work. It is still a risk if you use a normal nail gun to fasten joist hangers or other ties in decking or flooring. 

In addition, you should avoid using framing nails since they will not have enough width in diameter that is suitable for joist hangers installation. You’d better use the joist hanger nails approved by inspections.

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That’s A Wrap!

Regardless of the type of construction, you all want it to be safe and last for years. We hope you can find the wise choice between joist hangers vs end-nailing with all the provided information.

To sum up, while end-nailing can be used in a temporary case, joist hangers go for a long run. When you just need it to last for one night, then nailing is fine, but you will need to replace them with joist hangers in the end. 

Plus, only this joist connection is capable of supporting heavy load to provide long-term building.

Reference source: How To Properly Install Joist Hangers || Dr Decks 

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