Back to Top
How to choose joist hangers for a deck
When building a deck, you'll have a number of joist hanger options—galvanized, triple galvanized, coated and stainless—all at a wide range of prices. Which one is best?
If you live in a coastal area (near salt
water), you don't have a choice—the
building codes require stainless steel
hangers, plates and fasteners. But if you
live inland, you have more options.
Most codes allow you to use hot-dipped
galvanized (sometimes called triple-zinc)
hardware (see Photo 1).
However, if you want to take a step
up in corrosion protection, you can buy
Gold Coat galvanized hardware that's
been treated with an inert barrier coating
(see Photo 2). It costs three times
more than traditional hot-dipped hardware,
but lasts longer (for more info,
visit uspconnectors.com). Or you can
increase the life of triple zinc hardware
by installing corrosion-resistant flashing
between the wood and the hot-dipped
galvanized hardware (Photo 3).
Grace Vycor Deck Protector (graceathome.com) and Protecto Deck Flashing
are two brands; they're available from
your lumber supplier. It's ugly, so you
might not like it on a raised deck where
you can view the deck from beneath.
Before you decide on hardware, consider
this. The newer arsenic-free treated
lumber hasn't been in the field long
enough for anyone to know how long
hot-dipped hardware will last. Since
the hardware is the least costly part of
your deck, you might want to hedge
your bets by upgrading to stainless
steel even though it's seven times more
expensive. That way, you'll never have
to replace hardware. This advice is
especially germane for decks sporting
super-long-lasting composite materials.
There's a real chance the decking materials
will outlive all the hardware.
Note: Never mix fasteners. Use stainless
nails with stainless hardware, and
galvanized fasteners with galvanized