When and Where to Use Drywall L Beads

The folks at Trim-Tex are probably best known for making the best vinyl corner beads, but drywall pros know those are just the tip of the iceberg. If it protects the rough edges of drywall, chances are, we make it. For instance, in areas where that rough drywall edge needs to butt up against a non-drywall surface, your best bet is usually going to be a Trim-Tex L Bead. But L Beads aren’t just one product; it’s a whole family of products. To help you navigate all these choices, here’s the ultimate guide — here’s when and where to use drywall L Beads for just about every possible application.

Create Flush Baseboards with Architectural L Bead

Drywall L Beads for flush baseboards, window trim, ductwork and piping

If you’re hoping to achieve a clean, flush look between drywall and another substrate, you don’t need anything fancy: the most basic L Bead we offer, Architectural L Bead, can make this process relatively easy. For instance, for flush baseboards, you’re installing the bead between the drywall and the wood, protecting the former and making the transition to the latter as seamless as possible. 

If your adjoining detail is more complex than baseboards, like protruding ductwork that curves along the drywall’s surface, the archway version of the bead can conform to its contours. Really, the only limit here is your imagination.

Learn more about how to use Architectural L Bead to create flush baseboards here.

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Drywall L Beads for finishing around windows, doors and columns

The only real drawback of Architectural L Bead is that, if the bead is butting up against a surface you need to keep clean from mud (or just don’t want to spend much time cleaning up after you’re done) you will need to be very careful and very skilled. That’s why, for areas with a high degree of visibility, like windows and doors, most finishers choose a Tear Away® L Bead.

Here, you’ve got a bunch of options to choose between. For gaps wherein you’ve got enough room to slip a return leg, the standard Trim-Tex Tear Away will be your best friend. If that gap’s already full of code-compliance materials or just butted up too tight against the adjoining surface, choose a backless Flat Tear Away. There’s Pullaway® L Bead, with its extra tall masking strip, if your surface need a little extra protection. And, if movement and/or sound abatement are the priority, the flexible vinyl gasket on Super Seal Tear Away will take care of both (and our Super Seal-X adds firestopping into the mix).

Learn how a commercial drywall crew used Tear Aways for their high-rise’s floor-to-ceiling windows and prominent concrete columns here.

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Drywall L Beads for trimless window returns

But maybe you’re not just finishing drywall up against a window — maybe you’ve got a deep window return and want to go for a trimless look. This can actually be faster and easier than it looks: rather than use multiple corner beads and finish the surface of the drywall around it, you can just use one, huge L Bead.

We actually offer three sizes of these super-wide styles of L Beads to accomplish this kind of thing. There’s the Oversized L Bead with a maximum size of 2 ¹¹⁄₁₆", the Super L Bead at 3 ⅛” and the largest of these, Giant L Bead, at 5 ⅝”. And if your window return isn’t exactly one of these widths, each of them have multiple pre-scored perforations to make it easier to get the exact size you’re looking for. (For curved surfaces, Giant and Super L Beads are available in archway forms.)

Learn more about how and where to use these supersized L Beads here.

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Drywall L Beads for finishing around shower/tub enclosures

Most finishers hate working on the drywall around shower enclosures because it’s messy, labor-intensive and time-consuming — usually it requires filling that gap to the brim with mud before taping and using lots of caulk. Trim-Tex’s Shower Bead has become a wildly popular choice because it eliminates most of that mud and caulk, bridging those gaps to make the whole process much simpler and cleaner. Shower Bead is an oversized Tear Away L Bead that is great for any gap that’s on the larger size (up to two inches), but it’s especially perfect for these tricky areas around tubs.

Learn how a crew used Shower Bead to make the bathrooms of their college-dorm project faster and easier to complete here (and find out where you can get your hands on a Shower Bead kit to try it for yourself!).

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Drywall L Beads for multilayered accent-wall features, ceiling designs and beyond

As we mentioned up top, there are practically endless possibilities with L Beads. Have a wild idea for an accent wall design? You can build it using nothing more than drywall and some carefully placed Architectural L Beads. Want to construct something unique, like a trimless pocket door? Go for it! L Beads are adaptable, versatile and, with archway versions available for most of them, super bendable — we’ve only just scratched the surface of what’s possible here.

Looking for a little inspiration? Hit the button below to check out our Instagram page and give it a follow; we post cool photos and videos from pro drywall finishers worldwide there all the time! Maybe we’ll even share your own L Bead drywall art — just be sure to tag us or use the hashtag #trimtex_drywall on your post!

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