Joist hangers have a huge part to play in our lives – and yet most people haven't even heard of them. In every home there are dozens and dozens of them helping keep it together… they are a vital part of our homes.
If you are attempting any sort of renovation work or major DIY then it is important that you understand the role that they play in the home so that
a) you don't damage any existing ones or
b) you replace and fix any of them that need doing so
Because without them you are in a whole world of trouble!
Joist hangers are very much like the name implies – used to hang joists. Specifically they are used to anchor ceilings, floors etc in a safe and secure manner. They are literally holding everything up in almost every home.
These days they are usually made out of metal (generally steel or aluminium) because of both the strength and the resistance to wear and tear. That said it is still possible to find wooden ones around.
They are designed especially to connect to beams (usually wooden) on 3 sides of the beam – giving additional support to it's load. The joist hanger is attached to them beam via screws or nails, and has a face plate connecting it, spreading the weight out. This means that the connection is as secure as it possibly can be.
The major advantage of joist hangers of other methods of securing floors and the like is that they are able to withstand much more ‘punishment' without warping or twisting in the way that screws or nails would if used by themselves. They are the most secure way of keeping the house together!