Bridging the Gap with Shower Bead

Shower Bead, sometimes known as Oversized Tear Away L Bead, is Trim-Tex’s extra-wide, streamlined solution to bridging the gap between drywall and other substrates, like shower enclosures and windows. Normally, for these kinds of wider gaps, you would need to fill them with plenty of mud and then cover them with paper tape; with Shower Bead, all you need to do is install a single, vinyl bead.

Besides saving on mud and time, Shower Bead is especially going to come in handy in areas with a lot of moisture, since the vinyl won’t serve as a food source for mold like paper tape, and won’t rust like metal. This attribute makes it perfect for showers and tubs to cover the crevices between those enclosures and your drywall. (Learn more about finishing drywall around a shower flange here.)


But showers aren’t the only place where Shower Bead and its super-wide mud leg will prove useful. Below, we’ll show you how we used the solution to finish a window return where the drywall hangers left a gap too large for your average L Bead.

Shower Bead: Bridging the Gap
Shower Bead: Bridging the Gap

How to Use Shower Bead for Bridging the Gap Around Windows

In many cases, when you’re faced with finishing around an area like a window, you’ll probably want to reach for Trim-Tex’s Tear Away L Bead. But sometimes — like in the space left by the drywall around our window, pictured below — regular Tear Away’s 1⅛”-wide mud leg isn’t wide enough to get the job done.

bridging the gap - before

Shower Bead solves the problem by simply having an extended 2¼” vinyl mud leg, so no additional mud or additional materials will be needed to fill in that gap. The bead’s strong, durable vinyl mud leg will be all you’ll require to protect your window return from the bumps and scrapes of daily life.

bridging the gap - shower bead

Apply a spray or two of 847 Adhesive to the bead and/or the drywall, then fit the bead onto the window return, stapling it into place every six to eight inches.

bridging the gap - stapling

Of course, our Shower Bead is only covering the inside corners of the window return, so you’ll need some additional protection on the outside corners before you start mudding. Here, we used a fairly standard 90-degree Rigid Low Profile Corner Bead, but if you want to go the extra mile, you could choose to go with the added strength and durability of Mud Set Bead — learn how to use Mud Set Bead around windows here.

bridging the gap - outside corners

Now you can dig into the dirty work of mudding your beads. Apply a layer of compound to each surface our vinyl beads touch. And don’t worry too much about getting mud on the window — that’s what the attached tear-off strip is for. Wait for this initial layer to dry and come back the next day to do it all again. (How many layers of mud you apply, in the end, will depend on what level of drywall finish you’re going for.)

bridging the gap - mudding

Once all your mud’s dried, go ahead and rip away your Shower Bead’s tear-off strip, and you’ll be left with a smooth, clean finish around your window, give or take a few imperfections that will need to be sanded down.

bridging the gap - tear-off strip

While your work’s not yet done on this window — painting will come next, and we didn’t cover any of the caulking work with our window that you may need to do with yours, because this particular window isn’t on the exterior of our building — you’ve effectively utilized Shower Bead for bridging the gap left between your window and your drywall. Using this method, you’ve cut way back on the mud you’d need to use in this area, not to mention all the additional time the old way of doing things would take.

bridging the gap - partially finished

For these uses and many more, Shower Bead is a must-have addition to any pro finisher’s arsenal of tools and accessories. If you’ve never used this solution before, get a look at Shower Bead for yourself by filling out the form below to request a free sample, and start bridging the gap between being a drywall dabbler and a drywall master!