Here are the eight most common drywall corner bead types.
The 8 Types of Corner Beads
Metal Corner Bead
Metal is the most common type of corner bead. It’s easy to install, even for beginners, and can be attached to the wall with screws, nails, adhesive, or compound.
Vinyl Corner Bead
Vinyl corner beads work just like the metal version – only they’re a different material. You can install these beads with screws, nails, adhesive, or compound.
As the name implies, archway beads are specifically for use in archways. They’re flexible, so they create a beautiful corner around archways and, depending on the type, can be nailed, stapled, or put in place with adhesive.
Bull-Nose Corner Beads
Bullnose corner beads are rounded instead of squared-off. So, if you’re looking for something other than the standard square corner, you can give this type of corner bead a try.
Contractors use J-trim beads to cover the edges of exposed drywall panels. They come in different thicknesses depending on the drywall you need to cover.
The most common areas for J-beads are near shower stalls, window jambs, and anywhere else there’s an exposed drywall edge.
The L-bead is a trim piece used between panels that butt up against each other. Some common places you’ll use L-beads are where a counter meets the wall or where drywall meets paneling.
Rather than a bead, expansion joints are made of metal or plastic and placed between drywall panels to account for natural expansion and contraction due to humidity. These are for large expansions of walls and ceilings that run at least 30 feet long.
Paper Faced Bead Trim
A newer type of bead on the market is paper-faced bead trim. This bead is a flexible metal that you can use on inside corners and outside corners.
What is the Easiest Corner Bead to Install?
Both galvanized metal and vinyl corner beads are inexpensive and easy to install. You can install using nails, fasteners, screws, or spray adhesive.
Are Metal or Paper Corner Beads Better?
Metal beads are great for outside corners, but they crack over time if not taped and mudded properly. Paper-faced tape bead resists cracking but is a little harder to apply for inexperienced drywallers.
What Do You Use for a 45-Degree Corner Bead?
While it used to be hard to find a 45-degree corner bead, you can find metal and vinyl options at most hardware stores. Another option for your 45-degree corners is to use flexible paper-faced bead trim tape.
There are many types of corner beads to choose from. Metal and vinyl corner beads are still most common for outside corners, although flex metal tape is growing in popularity.
No matter the bead type you’re using, make sure to take your time to install it properly. While finishing corners might seem like a pain, proper installation can prevent you from having to redo your work in the future.