Sponsored Links


August 2006
« Jul   Sep »

‘L’ Bead

One of the other useful beads for drywall finishes is ‘L Bead. L bead is useful in a number of places. Racetracking ceilings is one. As a finish edge next to ‘trimless’ window and doors. ‘L’ Bead comes in 1/2″ and 5/8″ inch sizes. It comes in various lengths from 8′ on. You cut it with snips.

Tip: Buy the longest lengths you can. Butting beads requires a keen eye or a bridge behind the two butted pieces.

Like Corner bead it has the same flange, and finished edge with one important difference. The short leg is a finished surface. It is primarly used as a finish for drywall where it meets trimless windows and doors.

It can also be used as a decorative element as in racetracking ceiling, and even walls. Here is a demonstration of ‘L’ bead on a ceiling.

Corner Bead

Corner Bead is the metal trim that creates outside corners on drywall.
This is a standard 90 degree corner bead. It comes in two flange widths. 1 1/8″ for 1/2″ drywall and 1 1/4″ for 5/8″ drywall. It comes in various lengths from 8′ on. You cut it with snips.

Tip: Buy the longest lengths you can. Butting beads requires a keen eye or a bridge behind the two butted pieces.

On the outside is the finished edge which is where one side of your drywall knife runs on when you are applying drywall mud.
The two flanges sit flat on your raw drywall. The diamond decoration along the length of the flange act as a keyway for holding the drywall mud to the drywall and the cornerbead. There are usually a series of pre punched holes inside the flange and the smaller holes that are usually 4″ on center next to the outside edge of the flanges on both side.

You don’t need to use nails in everyone of the holes. In vertical applications, the first foot from the floor should have nails/screws in both sides. up to 4 feet every other hole or 8″ is sufficent. Past 4′, every 12″ will work.

Note* Do not over hammer or screw your beads, they will twist, dent and pop out on the opposite side.

You will end up with a corner that looks bad, requiring extra work. If you bang the finish edge, rip it out and start over.

Do not buy bent corner bead or cornerbead that has nicks in the finish edge. Bent bead is a PITA to use.
Getting straight lines is a ‘challange’ Bead that is nicked on the finish edge will show up when you start coating as the nick will telegraph the defect into your mud requiring extra work in finishing and sanding.

There is a number of schools of thought as when to apply beads during the drywall process. Some folks slam them up as soon as the drywall is up, and before any taping is done. Some folks apply them after the tape coat is done, but before second and subsequent coats of mud.

I am a tape then bead guy. If you tape first, the corner bead will act as an additional fastener for your tape. This allows you to get a smoother finish with less work. Relatively speaking, as the tape then bead requires you wait a day between the tape coat and the corner bead application.

There are all sorts of other decorative corner bead styles, such as rounded corners which soften your corners, but require different strategies to use.

Drywall Tape – Mesh and Paper

Drywall tape is used to cover the seams and create inside corners when you remodel.
There are two types that are useful. Mesh Tape and Paper Tape .


Paper Tape has been the standard for many years. It is a tough paper with a crease down the center to allow you to fold it for inside corners. It has no adhesive of its own. One of the little known things about drywall tape is that it is actually wedged shaped. The edges are thinner than the center. The better drywall tapes are manufactured this way.
Paper tape requires that you apply a coat of mud to your seams before applying it. If you do not apply enough mud to bed the tape or you have bare spots underneath the tape, the bare spots will create bubbles in your finish. Overwiping the tape will actually squeeze the mud out from under the tape giving the same problem. Underwiping your joints will make the tape stand up, requiring you to apply a much wider seried of coats to acheive a ‘flat’ appearance, and more sanding.

Mesh Tape is a relative newcomer to the drywall scene, and has some attributes that make it a valuable thing to have around. It is basically a fiberglass mesh that does have adhesive on one side. Originally created to bridge old and new work, such as repairing a plaster and lath wall, it makes a strong and solid bond that would flex enough that cracking was minimized especially in the northern climates where your inside tempeture would change dramatically during heating season.

Because it has adhesive you can apply it directly to your flat seams and butt joints, saving some time over paper tape. You are able to put your bedding and cover coat in one application. You do need to make sure that it is in full contact by rubbing it down. This will almost eliminate bubbling.