When installing drywall in your home, it is important that you do not neglect the installation of drywall corner bead. Drywall corner bead is placed over drywall at the corners, and is used to protect it from damage. The particular type of corner bead you install will depend on the specifics of your drywall. Because there are a wide variety of kinds of corner bead, the choice may seem intimidating. However, armed with the knowledge of the difference between these various types, you will be able to choose the best one.
Metal Corner Bead
Traditionally, drywall corner bead is made out of metal. In particular, galvanized steel is the traditional material of choice for corner bead. It is light, and resists rust well.
Plastic Corner Bead
Plastic corner bead is newer than metal and has many advantages. Plastic is more flexible than steel, and can therefore be used with imperfectly aligned lumber more easily. Additionally, if your lumber warps after installation, plastic corner bead will be able to handle the change more easily.
Standard L-Shaped Corner Bead
Standard L-shaped corner bead is the most common variety of corner bead. It is available in either metal or plastic, and is named for its 90 degree angle.
L-shaped corner bead often comes with paper tape attached. This makes installation much simpler. It is available in lengths of 8 to 10 feet, and measures 1 1/4 inches by 1 1/4 inches.
Standard Archway Corner Bead
Standard archway corner bead is similar to L-shaped corner bead. However, it has one special feature that differentiates it and makes it ideal for curved surfaces. Archway corner bead has cuts placed in it at 1/2 inch intervals. This increases the degree to which it can bend, which makes it much more capable of handling archways and other curves.
Standard archway corner bead, unlike L-shaped corner bead, is only available in plastic, not metal.
Bullnose Archway Corner Bead
Bullnose archway corner bead uses a strategy similar to standard archway corner bead. Like standard archway corner bead, it is cut at 1/2 inch intervals to allow greater flexibility and tolerance of curves. Additionally, it is only available in plastic, as metal would de-emphasize the advantages of the design.
However, bullnose archway corner bead comes in 3/4 by 3/4 inch measurements, unlike the wider standard corner bead. Additionally, its appearance is specifically designed to de-emphasize corners.
Bullnose archway corner bead is available in 8 or 10 foot lengths.
Bullnose Corner Bead
Bullnose corner bead uses the same stylistic features as bullnose archway corner bead, but is functionally designed to work with straight lines rather than curves. Like the archway corner bead of the same design, it has dimensions of 3/4 by 3/4 inch and comes in 8 or 10 foot lengths. However, it can be made out of both plastic and metal. Bullnose corner bead is ideal if you want to round off the corners of your walls.