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While inside corners are finished with drywall tape and joint compound, outside corners are covered with corner beads to create a sharp 90-degree angle. Since walls take the brunt of wear and tear in a home, corner beads also protect the corner surface of a wall. Available in a variety of types, most can be either nailed or screwed in place. If you choose metal over plastic, you will need to use a crimper to set the metal and hit it firmly with a rubber mallet. No matter what type of corner bead you choose, try to install it in one piece to create a seamless finish. Standard length of corner bead is 6'10", but it ranges up to 10'.
Types of bead
Metal bead used to be the only type available, but vinyl and plastic covered in paper are also common. Metal corner beads are available in varieties with a paper cover. Bullnose corner beads give a rounded corner.
Flexible wire bead
This has plastic beaded edges, and is nailed in place (Image 1).
If you want a rounded corner, these are a good option (Image 2).
Has a pre-snipped edge that is glued and stapled in place (Image 3).
Composite bead usually has a PVC core and a paper surface (Image 4).
Used to cover the edges of drywall panel at shower stalls or windows (Image 1).
Finishes drywall that butts up against other types of material (Image 2).
Metal corner bead
Can be nailed or screwed in place. Some have a paper face (Image 3).
Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement
© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009