Tile & Grout Cleaning and Sealing

If you plan on building your own floor or deck, you will need to use joist hangers to increase the amount of weight your project can support. Joist hangers are pieces of metal used to connect outer ledger beams to the parallel boards that support your floor or deck. However, if you must install joist hangers, you should consider selecting adjustable ones. Adjustable joist hangers can allow your joists to be adjusted up and down after they are attached, unlike standard joist hangers that are one piece, and permanent. What follows should give you everything you need to know about installing adjustable joist hangers.

What You’ll Need:

  • adjustable joist hangers
  • nails
  • hammer
  • ledger board
  • joists
  • extra lumber

Step 1 – Measurement
The first step to installing an adjustable joist hanger is figuring out exactly where to put it. While your joist hanger is adjustable, precise measurements are important. Start from the corner of your ledger board and measure it out in 16 inch intervals. Mark each spot with your pencil.

If you will be installing adjustable joist hangers on multiple ledger boards, you can save yourself a lot of time by doing your measurements on a piece of scrap lumber and using it to quickly find the measurements for all of your ledger boards one at a time.

Step 2 – Placement
Once you have measured and marked your ledger board or boards, place a joist hanger at one of the spots you have marked. Line up the top of the joist hanger with the top of the ledger board—do not rely on the adjustability of the joist hanger. Hold the adjustable joist hanger tightly so it is placed firmly against the ledger board.

If your adjustable joist hanger has speed prongs—small attached fasteners for temporary holding while you nail—hammer them in now. Obviously, this is not enough to hold your adjustable joist hanger, but it will make the next step easier.

Step 3 – Nails
Choose the nails you use for your project carefully, as they can have many important effects on the quality of your work. If you are working on an outdoor project, such as a deck, use hot-dipped galvanized nails. For floors or any other indoor projects, use common nails. Whichever type of nails you use, be sure to use the largest ones that are acceptable to use with your particular adjustable joist hangers. The most common type use 16d nails, but this may vary.

Attach your joist hanger to your ledger board with your hammer and carefully selected nails. Use a nail on every nail hole or your adjustable joist hanger will not be as strong as it can possibly be.

Step 4 – Joist
Now you are ready to actually attach your joist. Insert the joist into the joist hanger, making sure it is placed correctly and tightly. Use short nails—1 1/2 inch ones are best—as you do not want them to go all the way through your joist.

If need be, now or later, you can adjust your joist up and down by using the screw mechanism.


Joist hanger load ratings are an important factor in choosing the joist hangers that are right for your project. These little metal connectors are what anchors your joists to the frame in your ceiling, floor, or deck. There are three important factors to help you choose the load rating you need.

The Application
Load ratings are specific to how the joist will be used after the hanger is installed. The load ratings reflect the use; most hangers give load ratings for conditions including snow, roof, and floor.

Choosing between Labels
If you will be using a joist hanger for roofing, select one that is rated for sloped applications. If you live in a cold climate, you should choose the “snow” rating for your maximum load—notice that the snow rating is always lower than the roof rating, to account for extra weight.

Uplift represents any force that will try to separate or push away joists, such as wind or earthquake. The uplift portion of the load rating describes the joist’s ability to take these forces and distribute them throughout the frame, increasing the safety of your home. Those living in hurricane or earthquake zones should purchase joist hangers with higher uplift ratings.

In order to properly install joist hangers, you will need a few tools and supplies. Before you begin, make a checklist and go over it, making sure you have everything you need to get the job done in a timely manner.

Tools Needed
Assuming that the floor joists are already cut to size, the tools you will need involve the positioning and installation of the joist hangers. That requires a durable claw hammer, tape measure and pencil.

Supplies Needed
First and foremost, you will need the right size joist hangers. Residential floor joists are typically 2×8, 2×10 or even 2×12, so that requires joist hangers of a corresponding size. The nails required will be specified on the documentation for the joist hangers. Ensure you have the right size nail and the right number of nails. The wrong type or number will decrease the load bearing capabilities of the joist hanger.

Review the floor joist spacing specified in your blue prints and match it accurately. Floor joist hangers often have a top lip that lets you balance them atop the rimboard in their exact position. For those that do not, though, you must determine their position accurately so that the joists sit flush with the top of the rim. Install the nails in the provided openings in the rim joist as specified in the documentation.

Once your checklist is made and you have the necessary tools and supplies, you can get to work hanging the joists.

When constructing a floor, roof or ceiling, it is important to reinforce the structure with joists. A joist hanger helps anchor the joist in a fixed position and create a better connection between joist and wall or beam.

The Purpose of Joists
Joists are supporting structures made of wood, metal or concrete. They connect walls to other walls, walls to beams or beams to other beams. Joists absorb force from the structures built on top of them, causing the need for reinforcement of the joists themselves.

Joist Hangers
Joist hangers ensure that your joists are reinforced. These inexpensive metal brackets are well worth the price when considering the stability they will provide for your structure. As the joists themselves deteriorate over time, metal joist hangers will last and continue to strengthen your structure.

Where to Find Joist Hangers
Joist hangers can be purchased at your local hardware store for under $5. They are sold in a variety of sizes to fit nearly any size joist. Most hardware stores sell joist hangers that are galvanized and therefore safe to use inside the house or out. Store associates can assist you in choosing the appropriate joist hanger for your project.

Looking for a practical, hard wearing flooring that you can put down virtually anywhere? Vinyl flooring may be just the answer for you. Vinyl flooring has a number of attractive features for homeowners. It can fit in with almost any décor since it’s available in a wide range of colors, patterns and styles. It’s low maintenance and easy to care for, impermeable to water and relatively easy to install (comes in rolls 6’, 9’ or 12’ wide or easy to handle 12’ x 12” or 18” x 18” tiles). Best of all, it’s one of the most affordable flooring options available to you.

The major downside with vinyl flooring is its composition. Vinyl flooring is a form of (PVC) polyvinyl chloride, a hydrocarbon based product that requires processing of petroleum, natural gas or coal. Although, even here the news isn’t totally bad, since the resins that make up vinyl utilize a purely natural element – chlorine (salt) in addition to hydrocarbons, so you could say the product is a little ‘green’.

Vinyl flooring isn’t just a piece of plastic, it’s actually a series of layers laid down on top of each other.

  • The base layer is made from either a felt backing layer (if the flooring is going to be glued in place), or a fiberglass layer that provides ‘dimensional stability’ and ensures the flooring and will lay flat and doesn’t require gluing.
  • Pattern layer that is either printed on the base layer or an integral part of the layer itself.
  • When vinyl flooring has a printed pattern, vinyl inks are applied to the felt backing material in a process very similar to printing a large book or magazine.
  • With the inlay (integral) process, small vinyl piece or granules are applied to the backing material through a series of templates, giving the flooring visual depth and ensuring the pattern is right through the flooring. This inlay process is more expensive than simple printing, but results in flooring that is more durable and longer wearing.
  • Covering the pattern design layer is a clear vinyl layer that provide protection against rips and tears as well as adding overall durability to the flooring. The thickness of this layer determines how well the flooring will retain its ‘new’ look.
  • Finally on the top goes a protective top coating. Usually made from urethane this layer is designed to make the flooring easy to clean and help it resist scratching.

Choosing vinyl flooring

You can choose different ‘grades’ of vinyl flooring to suit your requirements. In general, higher priced flooring is thicker than lower cost products and should last longer. Additionally, this higher priced flooring will likely be inlaid (rather than printed) to ensure the pattern never wears away and will also have a more durable ‘wear layer’ for longer life. (Unfortunately, over time traffic and wear will cause even the highest quality flooring to eventually lose its ‘new’ appearance).

If you’re comparing vinyl flooring, you will need to understand some common vinyl flooring terminology.

  • Vinyl ‘No wax” flooring is designed for areas where it will get minimal exposure to dirt and only light traffic.
  • Urethane layer protection is targeted at areas with normal to heavy traffic, and it will resist most scratches and scuff marks as well as clean easily.
  • For heavy traffic areas, an Enhanced urethane layer provides the most scratch and stain resistance and helps the floor keep its shine and luster in spite of heavy traffic.

Installing Vinyl flooring

  • Because of its’ unforgiving nature it’s often best to leave installation of sheet vinyl flooring to a professional. However, since mistakes with vinyl tiles aren’t anywhere near as devastating, these are great products for a DIY’er to install themselves.
  • You can install vinyl flooring on almost any flat, smooth, clean surface including wood, concrete, old vinyl flooring or even ceramic tiles.
  • It can be installed either above or below grade and since it’s impervious to water vinyl flooring is ideal for bathrooms, mudrooms and laundry rooms.
  • When installing vinyl flooring it’s vital to ensure the surface you’re putting it down on is perfectly smooth. Any seams, bumps or raised nail heads will be noticeable through the new flooring so applying a floor leveling compound is usually a necessary part of the installation process.

A Final Word of Caution…

Older vinyl flooring often contained asbestos. If you’re considering applying new vinyl on top of the old, it’s best to leave the old flooring in place. Taking up the old flooring will likely release asbestos fibers into the air, while leaving it in place and simply covering it will seal the fibers under the new floor.

A joist hanger is a metal bracket that attaches to the structural beams of a building. One end of a joist, the horizontal pieces of lumber that support the floors, slides into the bracket. Floor joists can be 2×6, 2×8 or 2×12, depending on the amount of weight they will support. Hanging joists supporting the floor of a structure requires two joist hangers per board. Once properly installed, each joist fits snugly into place and is secured by wood screws. This how-to will walk you through the hanging the joist, including the proper placement of the joist hanger that precedes it.

What You’ll Need:
Joist hangers (2 per joist)
Lumber for floor joists
Tape measure
Circular saw
Tico sheer weight nails

Step 1: Cut the Joists to Length
Measure the distance the floor joist(s) must span from one beam or rim to the other. With your tape measure and a pencil, mark off on each joist the length it should be. Err to the longer so you don’t end up with a joist that is too short. With the circular saw, cut each joist to the proper length.

Step 2: Set the Joist Hanger
For most residential applications, the joist hangers you will use do not have a flange or L-shaped edge on top to keep them in position on the beam. Instead, they have small spikes on the rear side. That means they have to be fixed in the right position on the side of the beams so the top of the joist is flush with the beam. 2×6 joists require 2×6 joist hangers, and likewise. Using a scrap piece of 2×6, hold it in place in a joist hanger as if it were attached. Hold the top edge flush to the beam to determine the exact placement of the joist hanger and mark the bottom edge on the beam with a pencil.

Step 3: Space the Joist Hangers
Each joist should be spaced 16 inches on center. That means that from the center of one joist to the center of the next there should be a distance of 16 inches. Take the measurements and make marks across the whole area into which the floor joists will be installed. This will save you time when you are ready to hang them. You will attach each joist hanger with the mark centered while at the same time making sure it is the appropriate distance from the top.

Step 4: Attach the Joist Hangers
Using tico nails, which are made for sheer weight support, attach each joist hanger in the right spot. Use 6 nails per joist hanger. There are holes made in them just for this purpose.

Step 5: Set the Joist
Once joist hangers are attached for both ends of the joist, set the floor joist in the brackets. If you measured correctly, it should fit perfectly. There are holes in the side of the hangers to drive tico nails at 45 degrees into the joist. Squeeze the bracket against the floor joist and drive the first nail. Follow this with 3 others per end of each joist. The floor joist should be flush to the beam and perfectly secure at both ends.

With the joist hangers in place, the joists are easily installed. Again, make sure they are flush with the beam. Do not use 16d nails, for they are not designed for sheer (downward) weight.

In essence, there are two main types of raised floor systems. The first is found in homes and other buildings with no basement that, for various reasons, need to be built off of the concrete slab foundation. The second type is found in office buildings and other workplace environments that require a great deal of cables and piping. A raised floor in such a place is used to conceal computer cables, power cables, plumbing and heating systems. Raised floor systems serve a practical purpose in both situations, providing an easy solution to a number of potential problems.

Type 1: Raised Floors in the Home
Raised floors found in homes without basements serve both a practical and aesthetic function. In a practical sense, they provide longer life to a home’s floorboards. Raised floors create airspace between the concrete foundation and the floor joists, sub-floor and flooring. In so doing, ventilation is facilitated beneath a home. Without this, excessive moisture could build up leading to internal rotting after time.

Plumbing is easily repaired in homes with raised floors. A crawl space is made beneath a home and its foundation which allows repair technicians to more easily access the source of a problem. Other sub-floor piping like radiant heat systems are also easily accessed. In terms of structure, it is not altogether uncommon for the soil beneath a concrete foundation to settle after time. This can lead to a home actually tilting to one side. With raised floors, this is much more easily fixed than on a home sitting directly atop the foundation.

For homes built in areas prone to flooding, having raised floors is beneficial for two reasons. First, it helps to protect the structure and contents of the home in a flood. Secondly, having raised floors reduces rates for flood insurance because the home is ultimately at lesser risk than homes directly on top of their foundations.

Aesthetically speaking, raised floors add value to a home in part because they raise it slightly. It may not be much, but raised floors can add several feet to the height of a home which can make for better views and a loftier stature.

Type 2: Raised Floors in the Workplace
In the workplace, raised floors serve a very practical purpose as well. Most offices make use of computer systems that are networked together along with printers, copiers and fax machines. There are also the plumbing, electrical and heating systems necessary to the functioning of an office workplace. Rather than running a maze of wires along the baseboards, across rooms or along the ceiling, raised floors allow for an unimpeded path for all manner of cables, wires and piping. The flooring is modular, meaning that a single panel can be removed to get to a particular set of wires. Raised floors in the office remove the hindrance of noticeable wires, a fact made all the more advantageous because so many of them may be required.

Raised floors serve two very different purposes whether they are found in homes or in workplaces. In homes they work to raise the level of the home off of the concrete foundation, providing ventilation, flood protection and ease of plumbing installation. In the workplace they enable what can be a large amount of cables, wires and piping to be concealed beneath a modular floor. They are kept out of the way, yet they are easily accessible when needed.