Five Steps to Easily Finish the Groin Edge 

By Myron R. Ferguson

A groin vault ready for the edges to be finished. Learn how to finish in five easy steps.

A groin vault ready for the edges to be finished. Learn how to finish in five easy steps.

When I first stopped to look at this home I knew I wanted to be the drywall contractor. Room after room had curved ceilings and archways. The builder could have just slapped up some ordinary straight-sided ceilings, but he didn’t - this home had vaulted ceilings.

Vaulted ceilings come in a variety of designs. Barrel vaults and groin vaults are the two most common. A barrel vault is a simple design that creates the illusion of the inside of a barrel. Barrel vaults can be used in a variety of spaces and transforms the feeling of the space. Groin vaults are more complex and create an extravagant design. A groin vault or groined vault (also known as a double barrel vault or cross vault) is produced by the intersection at right angles of two barrel vaults. 

The word groin refers to the edge between the intersecting vaults. Looking up from the floor at the groin edges, they appear to be straight lines and when marked out on the floor with a chalk line or laser light line they are straight lines. However, because the ceiling is made up of intersecting barrel vaults the groin edges are actually elliptical in shape. To add to the challenge, the groin edge changes from a near 90-degree edge along the bottom point to nearly flat edge at the center of the intersection. Because of all these complexities, finishing a groin edge can be very challenging without the right products and instruction. 

It is nearly impossible to attach paper tape to groin edges and end up with a high quality finish. So a splayed bead that can change with the angle as it follows along the elliptical shaped edge must be used on groin vaults. The perfect bead for the job is the Trim-Tex Jumbo Double Archway Splayed Corner Bead.

Once you have the right product, the next five steps will result in a beautifully finished groin edge.


Five Easy Steps 

1. To start, spot the lowest point of each groin edge with a laser. Mark that point on the floor and just below the ceiling.

  Mark with laser

2. Once all four points are located on the floor, use a rotating laser to spot the two points diagonally across the floor. When spotted, display the rotating laser lights along the groin edge of the ceiling. The result is a perfect line that is ready to be used to align the corner bead.

Aligning the groin edge

3. Use a small piece of Trim-Tex Jumbo Double Archway Splayed Corner Bead to check the laser line. Make any adjustments to the laser before starting to attach the bead.

Check the laser

4. Form the Trim-Tex Jumbo Double Archway Splayed Corner Bead to the edges by hand before attaching. This can make the bead easier to attach since the splayed angle changes along the groin edge.

Form the bead to fit along the groin edge

5. Attach the Trim-Tex Jumbo Double Archway Splayed Corner Bead with staples, centering it along the laser line. Finish with mud compound and you're done!

Finishing the groin vault

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