High-Tech Taping

Vinyl drywall beads set use less mud and make straighter joints

Drywall is typically priced by the square foot, sometimes with additional linear-foot pricing for special finishing treatments. While the drywall at Boardwalk Builders' Model Remodel East was mostly straightforward, the splayed ceilings and trimless drywall window returns would require added labor. To speed the taping of all those corners and off-angle joints, the drywall crew used vinyl profiles from Trim-Tex

Compared with ceilings joints that meet at 90 degrees, splayed ceilings create an off-angle joint that adds to the total footage that needs to be taped. Long off-angle ceiling joints also have a way of wandering, which makes it difficult to get a straight corner. Plus, when the roof framing shrinks or moves, splayed ceilings joints have a tendency to crack.

The solution in this case was the “Magic Corner Expansion Bead,” which has a flexible insert at the corner that can handle movement of up to 3/8-inch, according to the manufacturer. The bead is set, not in mud, but with “847 Spray Adhesive,” a proprietary, pressure-sensitive spray adhesive designed specifically for use with the company’s vinyl beads. Installation begins with cutting the bead to length with standard aviation snips, and apply spray adhesive to both the back of the bead and the drywall joint [1].

After cutting the vinyl bead to length with aviation snips [1A], spray adhesive is applied both to the back of the bead [1B] and to the drywall joint [1C]. The adhesive is designed to create a strong bond without bleeding through joint compound.

On long runs, pressing the bead into position is two-person work [2]. To create a straight corner, it’s best to position the bead along a line snapped on one side of the joint. The manufacturer provides a special tool to press the bead in place, and also to clean mud off the flexible expansion material. The time needed to apply the adhesive is balanced by not having to apply mud and trowel in the bead, and the end result is a dead-straight joint. Plus, you save on mud. 

Although the vinyl bead is easier to keep straight than paper or mesh tape, it takes two to tango on long seams, and it’s best to snap a straight line as a guide, especially on long joints. 

The drywall window returns were handled with two Trim-Tex beads [3]. “Tear Away L Bead” was used to cover the joint between the drywall jamb return and the window frame. Also installed with spray adhesive, the bead has a tear-off strip that guides the taping knife and masks the window during mudding; the strip is removed before sanding.

The outside corners were handled with Fast Edge Paper, a vinyl bead with a paper covering. Its tapered legs and sharp corner with no mud bump are designed to reduce mud use, and the flexible corner accommodates irregular framing. The tape, which has no perforations and is set in mud, can be installed with standard tools, but Trim-Tex also make a mud hopper and long-handled roller to speed installation.

With the beads in place on all four sides, the window openings can be finished inside and out for a clean, modern look [4].

A mud hopper applies an even layer of mud to the back side of a vinyl corner bead [3A]. Once set in place, a proprietary “Quad Roller” is used to press the bead in place [3B].

With the beads in place on all four jambs, mudding proceeds as usual, inside and out. The tear-away strip on the L-bead, which masks the window frame from mud and guides the mud knife, will be removed before sanding.

East Coast

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