Drywall corner beads are products that are used to finish an outside corner where two pieces of drywall meet. While the surface of a sheet of drywall is durable, its edges are brittle and easily damaged, necessitating corner beads as added layers of protection. Corner beads come in various sizes, typically 8-12 feet long, so you can cut them to length on-site.
Corner beads create a straight, consistent and durable profile that is easy to finish and looks great.
Types of Drywall Corner Beads
Corner beads are typically made of metal, vinyl or are "paper-faced," meaning they combine metal or vinyl and paper. Each material has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, but one type, in particular, is definitively the best corner bead for drywall.
The most common and traditional type of corner bead, metal corner beads, have been installed by drywall professionals and avid DIYers alike for generations.
Although contractors have used metal for outside corners longer than other materials, there are several reasons why it is not the best corner bead for drywall.
The outside corners are the most likely areas of your walls to sustain damage. Whether from people, animals or furniture, your outside corners will likely take a beating.
Although metal corner beads will not shatter, they will undoubtedly dent upon significant impact. Unfortunately, you cannot repair a dented corner bead, and you will likely need to replace it.
In transport, metal corner beads are often dented, bent and damaged, which makes them difficult, if not downright impossible, to use.
The drywall industry developed paper-faced corner beads to help prevent the irritating cracking and nail popping common with its metal counterpart.
The solution to this problem is to install a paper-faced corner bead by "mudding it in," a process by which the corner bead is held in place by a bed of joint compound. Paper-faced corner beads are available in both metal and vinyl—which means that all paper-faced corner beads are not created equally.
While paper-faced metal beads eliminate cracking and nail popping, they create new and different problems.
If installed incorrectly, a paper-faced corner bead can separate or peel away from the wall, which can compromise your corner and create an unsightly finish. To counteract the problem of peeling, a paper-faced vinyl bead like Fast Edge Paper features Mud Locks that grip into the mud.
Using vinyl to make corner beads creates a durable product that is immune to rust, dent-resistant and will not peel away from your wall.
Vinyl's superior flexibility allows it to quickly create curves and contours that would be painstakingly difficult to replicate with metal. In addition, vinyl is available in a much more comprehensive range of shapes and profiles than its metal counterparts, and it's easy to see why vinyl is the best corner bead for drywall.
5 Reasons Why Vinyl is the Best Drywall Corner Bead Material
Vinyl corner beads provide numerous advantages over metal and paper-faced alternatives, including resilience, elasticity, flexibility, the plentiful variety of product options, and the material's sustainability.
Whether during delivery from the manufacturer to the store or in the bed of your truck surrounded by tools and lumber, there is a good chance that your corner bead will be compromised somewhere along the line.
Metal corner bead bends, dents and bows will leave you with a product that is not straight and is challenging to install. On the other hand, vinyl is immune to such transportation-related disasters and will always bounce back to its original shape.
One of the biggest reasons vinyl is the best corner bead for drywall is its elasticity.
Whether you're moving furniture, carrying groceries or moving a bulky item like a stroller around the house, the outside corners of your walls are going to take a beating. Metal corner beads can dent irreversibly on impact. Vinyl corner beads, on the other hand, take the hit and bounce right back which prevents annoying and costly repairs.
3. The Ability to Curve
The ability to curve is one of the many characteristics that sets vinyl apart from other types of corner beads.
Although you can use metal corner beads to finish curves using relief cuts and bending, creating the required smooth, consistent radius can be tedious and challenging.
Unlike metal, vinyl corner beads have no problem bending and curving to whatever contour your project requires.
4. Wide Range of Options
The sheer number of product options available in vinyl compared to metal is another reason vinyl is the best corner bead for drywall.
Vinyl is available in multiple sizes of soft, sharp, bullnose and chamfered profiles, as well as reveal beads, shadow beads, J beads, L beads and much more.
Vinyl isn't just the best corner bead for drywall — when produced using sustainable practices, it can be the best corner bead for the planet.
Vinyl corner beads made by Trim-Tex are predominantly made from recycled materials, which keeps millions of pounds of plastics out of our landfills each year.
Discover the Best in Drywall Corner Beads with Trim-Tex
Want the best corner bead for drywall? Trim-Tex has you covered! Since 1969, our professionals at Trim-Tex have developed innovative drywall solutions for your projects right here in the United States. What began as a small operation producing one style of J bead has evolved into a business that produces over 200 different drywall products for the construction industry.
Whether you need bullnose corner beads, deflection beads or expansion joints, Trim-Tex has the drywall solutions you need to get the job done right.
Find your local Trim-Tex dealer, or contact our award-winning Trim-Tex customer service team to get started today!