During construction projects, you’re going to have to make an endless series of decisions. Some of the most important of these decisions will revolve around choosing the best materials for a job while still staying within budget — easier said than done.
Choosing the right solution for the job can get tedious, since countless new products come out every year, on top of all the ones you’re used to. For most of us, it’s impossible to stay completely up-to-date about all the new construction innovations on the market, and as a result, many contractors and architects stick with the same materials for every job. Newer, more effective products can go undiscovered.
For drywall contractors, their choice of corner bead is a perfect example of this problem. Contractors and architects often stick with what they know — and that tends to be metal corner bead. Sure, metal bead has been part of the industry for a long time. But does that make it the best option? Vinyl corner bead offers five major advantages that can make projects easier and enhance the finished space, outclassing metal in just about every category.
Vinyl beads are inarguably superior to metal beads in two important ways: vinyl is dent-resistant and rust-proof.
Besides the daily wear-and-tear that your average drywall corner is going to sustain over the years — accidents happen all the time, of course, and vinyl beads can withstand impact much better than metal — metal beads can be easily damaged during transport if they are crushed or jostled. In this case, these metal beads are ruined before even making it to the jobsite. Meanwhile, vinyl beads naturally resist the bending and denting that commonly occurs during the transportation process, in addition to lasting much longer after installation.
When it comes to rusting, metal beads are a notoriously bad choice for damp areas, such as basements, kitchens, bathrooms or anywhere in a coastal region. They’re prone to rust, which causes wall damage and discoloration. In contrast, vinyl beads excel in damp, moisture-prone areas. They are impervious to rust and water damage, so they will stand the test of time without damaging or discoloring the finished wall. They also stand up to the sometimes-harsh conditions of outdoor jobsites, where unexpected weather events can ruin metal beads if they are not stored carefully.
Tired of cracks along the joints of your ceiling and walls due to slight structural movement? Choose vinyl!
Vinyl is a flexible material that offers far greater movement than traditional metal corner bead. This flexibility prevents cracks in finished walls that can occur with temperature fluctuations or building movement.
Especially helpful for commercial construction, Trim-Tex has specific products, such as Wall Mounted Deflection Bead, designed to protect against the stresses of building movement. This is going to come in handy in particular with our family of code compliance solutions, which are designed to tackle both movement in wall joints (up to an inch-and-a-half, in the case of our Fire Gasket) as well as preventing the spread of smoke, fire and sound.
Additionally, vinyl's inherent flexibility is a major advantage when an expansion bead is required. 093V (pictured above), a Trim-Tex vinyl expansion bead, offers two times the movement of zinc beads for optimal control in expansion joints. (This solution also comes in a fire rated form!)
Vinyl's bendability is a major benefit when building archways, vaulted ceilings and curved walls. While it is possible to use metal bead to finish curves and arches, the results are usually going to be less than ideal. Curving metal bead requires labor-intensive notching, and the notches make it impossible to have a smooth arch.
While metal struggles to make nice curves, here’s another case where vinyl excels. Certain vinyl beads are specialized to bend easily, conforming to variety of contours — and they come pre-notched, saving you the time and labor of doing it yourself. Vinyl bead allows architects and adventurous clients to realize their design dreams and achieve the results they desire.
New and interesting vinyl bead shapes can be manufactured due to vinyl’s malleable properties. Instead of being stuck with the same 90-degree corner bead for every project, drywall craftsmen can choose from over 200 shapes of vinyl corner bead products. Some popular examples of non-standard vinyl corner bead include bullnose, chamfer, shadow and reveal corner beads. Each of these beads can create interesting layers and depth that elevate standard walls into extraordinary drywall art — completely changing the game for dynamic, custom home building.
Sustainable construction is more important than ever. Many homeowners and businesses are actively seeking out environmentally friendly building practices and LEED certification. For these conscientious contractors, contrary to what some may think, vinyl bead is a great choice.
Each Trim-Tex vinyl bead is made from at least 70 percent recycled materials, meaning we are keeping millions of pounds of plastic out of landfills every year. Vinyl’s exceptional durability also means less jobsite waste and strong corners designed to last the lifetime of the structure — not just replaced every time it gets knocked hard enough, as you would metal. This kind of resiliency over time is what modern sustainable construction is all about!
Making the switch to vinyl bead is a big leap for a lot of drywall professionals, especially those who’ve been using metal for their entire careers — but it’s a leap worth making. Trim-Tex’s vast collection of vinyl corner bead is more durable, flexible, bendable, adaptable and sustainable than what you may be used to, and it’s all manufactured in the U.S. from people you can trust to have your back. Check out our latest catalog to get the scoop on all that we got to offer, and give vinyl corner bead a try. You won’t regret it.