What is Drywall Corner Bead?

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  • Written By: B. Turner
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 17 January 2020
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A drywall corner bead is a building material used as part of the drywall finishing process. It is made from a thin strip of vinyl or aluminum that is bent at a 90 degree angle. The corner bead has a series of small holes in its surface that help it bond with joint compound or Spackle® during installation. This material is available in standard lengths ranging from eight to twelve feet (2.4 to 3.7 m), with each of the two sides measuring from 1 inches (25.4 mm) to 1.75 inches(44.5 mm) in width.

The drywall corner bead is used to create a smooth, seamless surface along drywall corners and intersections. It also reinforces the drywall and helps prevent dents, scrapes and other signs of damage. Finishers may use a drywall corner bead on a wide variety of applications. These devices are typically used on both inside and outside wall corners, along the perimeter of the ceiling, and around doorways or arches.


To install a drywall corner bead, one must first hang and tape the drywall as usual. As joint compound is added to each seam, it is also applied in a thin coat around corners and intersections. While the compound is still wet, a corner bead is pressed tightly over the corners and left to dry. To maintain a seamless look, a single length of material should be used on each corner. Using two shorter lengths to cover the corner will usually result in a visible joint.

Drywall finishers have a number of different types of corner beads to choose from depending on the application. The traditional drywall corner bead is used on inside and outside corners that meet at a 90 degree angle. Corners that meet at odd-sized angles will require the use of adjustable drywall beads, which typically expand from 70 to 150 degrees. Walls subject to high levels of abuse may require extra large corner beads, which have extended sides to help protect a larger area.

There are also a number of specialty units available for more intricate applications. An archway drywall corner bead is used to construct arches and other curved surfaces. One side of the bead is tabbed to allow installers to flex it around a curve as necessary. Archway beads can be used on both interior and exterior corners or intersections. A skim coat bead is used for plasterboard or stucco applications, and has larger holes in its surface to hold a greater quantity of mortar or adhesive.


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Post 3

I have used the metal corner bead the majority of the time. It doesn't take a rocket scientist. All you need are drywall screws, drywall mud, a couple of putty knives, and patience.

After you apply your mud and it dries, you will need to go ahead and sand it with a sanding block or sanding pole. Sanding poles are hard to get used to, but once you get in the rhythm, they are rather easy to use.

When you start sanding, you need to wear a mask, because the dust will get rather thick. After the sanding is complete, you may need to reapply some joint compound, and you should smooth it out to where the corner looks like it is one seamless piece.

Post 2

@lighth0se33 – Like you, I am a do-it-yourself money saver, but I have had some building experience in the past as a young man. The rounded corner bead is a one-size-fits all piece.

It is easy to install. It comes pre-slit. All you need is drywall screws to install it.

After you install the corner bead, you need to put on a layer of mud, which is actually drywall compound. You can get that at your local hardware store.

You need to be sure to float it back into the wall to make it look like a seamless edge from the corner all the way to where you feather it out. You also need to sand the rough parts and then reapply the joint compound.

Post 1

I have an archway in my house that I just installed. I was wondering how the flexible corner bead works. Do you need to go get a custom piece made, or is it just a one-size-fits-all sort of thing?

I'm rather new at this, and I'm trying to save some money by doing it myself. I hope I haven't made the wrong decision to go into this endeavor blindly, but I've heard of several people doing home repairs themselves and it turning out rather nicely. They save a considerable amount of money this way.

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