Reducing Drywall Callbacks -
The corner bead callback can look like someone drew a line
with a sharp pencil about an inch in from the corner along the
length of the outside corner bead. Or it can look kind of
wrinkled, with some compound missing here and there, or be a
slightly protruding ridge along the entire corner. Whatever the
problem, metal corner bead is a real nuisance to repair. Maybe
it's time to use something besides the old standard nail- or
crimp-on metal bead. I have had excellent results with the
newer mud- or tape-on corner beads (Figure 5).
5. Mud- or glue-on perforated vinyl corner beads
that move with the drywall, not with the framing,
eliminate bead pops and make ding repairs a
Mud-on beads are usually made of plastic or metal that is
covered with paper. Products include No-Coat (Drywall Systems;
888/662-6281; http://www.no-coat.com), Sheetrock
paper-faced metal bead from USG (800/621-9622;
http://www.usg.com), and Strait Flex
(Con-Form International; 888/747-0220;
http://www.straitflex.com), to name a few.
They all share the common advantage of being held in place by
embedment in joint compound, so there are no nail pops when the
wood framing shrinks. Adhesion to the drywall with a continuous
layer of joint compound makes a very stable corner that is
resistant to edge cracking and the stresses of normal building
movement. There are also vinyl corner beads that attach with
spray-on contact cement, such as those from Trim-Tex
(800-874-2333; http://www.trim-tex.com), Vinyl Corp.
(305/477-6464; http://www.unimast.com), and Plastic
work very well. I like Trim-Tex because it comes in several
lengths and widths, with plenty of angle and corner
accessories. It goes on easily, and holds up well. Even if it
gets hit, it's easy to repair, because the only damage is a
little loose joint compound. However, if you insist on using
metal corner beads, here are a few tips:
- For ceiling-to-floor corner beads, cut the bead
approximately 1 1/2 inches short and push it tight against
the ceiling. This reduces the risk of the bead binding and
coming loose if the wall settles slightly. Follow this rule
for any type of corner bead.
- Attach corners by working from the top down, installing
fasteners opposite one another every 8 to 10 inches.
- Avoid nailing into the top wall plates.
- Make sure that the edge of the corner bead lies flat
and tight against the wall and that the outside bead is
raised only slightly above the plane of the drywall.
- Strengthen the edges with paper tape and joint compound
to create a tape-on bead effect.
One detail that I don't see very often in residential work, at
least in my part of the country, is the expansion joint,
sometimes called a control or relief joint. An expansion joint
is a metal or plastic strip that is attached between the
abutting edges of two drywall panels (Figure 6).
6. Expansion joints can prevent ridging at tall
expanses of drywall, as in stairwells. The joint can be
painted to blend in or be concealed by
You can walk into almost any two-story home and find at
least a slight ridging along a horizontal seam on each side of
the stairway. Often, there is excessive ridging that is
impossible to conceal by feathering out with additional
compound. An expansion joint solves this problem. The finished
joint will be a maximum 1/2-inch-wide groove, running level
around the stairway walls, located where the ceiling joist
meets the first floor wall. If a metal or vinyl expansion strip
is used, the joint can be painted to match the wall. If a trim
board is used to conceal the joint, you can eliminate the strip
and just leave a 1/4-inch gap just above the top of the
first-floor wall plate. Either approach is much more attractive
than a ridged seam.
Do not allow painters to begin work before all taped joints
are thoroughly dry; painting over wet joints is a major cause
of joint discoloration. Differences in suction between the
paper facing and the joint compound may cause the paint color
to appear lighter or darker, making the joint conspicuous. A
coat of primer is necessary to help equalize the porosity and
texture of the taped drywall surface. I like to use USG's First
Coat, a good-quality latex primer that's formulated with a high
solids content, and apply it undiluted. However, even a good
prime coat may not be enough when decorating with glossy paint.
In this situation, I recommend applying a skim-coat of compound
to the entire wall surface first to equalize the surface
reaction.Myron Fergusonis a drywall contractor in Broadalbin,
N.Y., and the author of
Drywall: Professional Techniques
for Walls and Ceilings