Best Drywall Corner Bead Review

You’ve got the hardest part of drywall installation finished, but now you’re wondering, what is the best drywall corner bead for my project?

Attaching and mudding corner bead is very straightforward and easy enough for a competent DIY-er.

Corner beads smooth out corners, you’ll need beads for outside corners and some inside corners.

Finding the right material and brand will ensure a beautiful, flawless finish when you paint. 

A great, affordable and all-purpose corner bead is a 1.25-inch metal corner bead like this Dietrich Drywall Metal Corner Bead that you can pick up at about any hardware store.

You’ll also want to consider the environment you’re finishing the walls in and how professional you want it to look, also some areas, like arches and along drywall edges that don’t meet in a corner (e.g. when drywall meets a fireplace, or there’s an opening in the drywall for an electrical panel. 

What Makes The Right Corner Bead? 

Drywall corner bead protects the outer corners of your drywall and fills in big cracks left where they join.

Corner Bead comes in different materials, depending on how much you want to spend, where you’re applying the corner bead and the overall aesthetic you’re going for.

Picking the right corner bead is essential to a long-lasting and great-looking project. 

Drywall bead comes in different materials, sizes and shapes.

The kind of bead you choose should strike a balance between ease of installation, look and durability.

You won’t find a huge difference between brands of drywall bead, though if you want contractor-level or specialty designs, you will have to go to a drywall or carpentry specific retailer.

For the DIY-er, there a few options, some easier to install than others. 

Take your time. No matter what material you decide on, you have to make sure the bead is installed straight, that it’s properly feathered and that you do not use an excess of mud – more mud means more cracking.

Here are the most common types of corner bead, and what they are most suited to. 

Types of Corner Bead

Metal Corner Bead 

The most ubiquitous and least expensive corner bead, something like Dietrich Drywall Metal Corner Bead The advantage of using just straight metal bead is cost and ease of installation. Many beginners and home handy-people go for inexpensive metal corner bead. It commonly comes in 8 foot and 10-foot lengths, and you simply snip off the excess. Metal corners make a very neat, sharp edge even when the drywall is uneven, making them great for home projects, and are easy attached with nails, screws or staples. 


  • least expensive
  • Easy to install
  • Straight, neat corners

The downside to metal corner bead is that it is susceptible to rust – both after it’s installed, or just if you leave it out in the truck or on the job site too long. Metal bead will dent pretty easily, and major dents will require the entire bead to be replaced. Installing the corner bead into the stud can also create problems down the line – the corner bead will settle with the stud instead of with the wall, possibly creating cracks. 

Metal corner bead is still widely used in many applications, though. If it’s your first time hanging drywall, it is a great option. 

Vinyl Corner Bead

Another option is Vinyl bead like the PHILLIPS 10 ft. Vinyl Corner Bead. It is a little more expensive than metal bead, but it does have some advantages. If you’re installing it in a damp place, like a bathroom, vinyl is preferred because it won’t rust like metal, vinyl holds up better during transport – it wont warp or bend and when installed vynal won’t dent like metal. Vinyl does have more of a learning curve than the eaiser-tp-install metal beads. You can buy an adhesive or use screws or nails to attach it. There is mud-set vinyl bead available, that has specially placed holes that adhere the corner with drywall mud – though this kind of bead will be harder to find. You’ll need to special order it from a hardware store or find a specialty retailer.


  • Affordable
  • Comes in many shapes
  • Won’t dent
  • ‘settles’ with walls
  • Raised spine is easy to cover with joint compound
  • Doesn’t rust

The cons of Vinyl corner bead are: it is thicker than metal, so it takes more mud and more feathering for a smooth finish. More mud means more time and more risk of cracking eventually. Joint compound does not adhere well to plastic, and might chip off. 

Vinyl is a good choice if you are more confident in your ability to install bead straight, and your drywall is already very even. It’s also the bead of choice for bathrooms or damp areas. 

Paper Faced Metal Corner Bead 

This kind of bead, like the Dietrich Metal Framing 1-in x 8-ft Paper-Faced Metal Corner Bead comes at a premium, as far as drywall corner bead goes, but the effect is very professional. Paper faced metal corner bead has tape galvanized to the metal and can be applied to corners with just drywall mud, though doing it perfectly is a bit tricky. Paper-faced corner bead is strong than just metal, it’s less likely to bend or dent during transportation, and it’s thinner making it easy to feather for a crisp, sharp, and straight corner. Paper faced metal corner bead is for people who are experienced and serious about doing a really serious job of their drywall. This type of bead is more expensive and may be harder to find depending on where you live. 


  • Adheres with just drywall mud
  • Straight edges
  • Needs less joint compound
  • Strong bond
  • Stronger than just metal corner bead
  • Flexible to prevent cracking
  • Rigid like metal bead

The paper faced metal corner bead will still dent like the metal bead, and a big dent will mean the only way to repair it is to replace the entire bead. 

Paper Faced Composite Corner Bead

For a big project, where you are willing to invest in a few extras, you might benefit from a paper faced composite bead like the Strait-Flex Original Composite Flexible Corner Bead.

Composite corner bead is more difficult to apply. You would be best served buying a corner roller and hopper to go along with the composite corner bead, for smooth, professional application. You can also buy composite corner bead in sticks, but the tape prevents waste – just cut exactly how much you need. It is one of the more durable corner beads, but you will pay more for it, and it takes an experienced touch to install it well.


  • Won’t bend or break in transport
  • Most durable
  • Doesn’t Rust
  • Cut-to-size (when in tape form, so less waste)

Which kind of drywall corner bead you decide on is a combination of personal preference, experience and cost-saving.

What’s the environment like? For a space that’s going to be dmap – like a bathroom, you’ll want a corner bead that doesn’t rust, like vinyl. Is the corner in a high traffic area where it will get gouged? You may want to go with vinyl or composite so it’s an easy fix. 

How experienced are you at drywall? Simple metal bead is recommended for DIYers and begginers because you don’t need any fancy tools, besides some nails, screws and tin clips, it’s rigid so even if the drywall is a bit in-expertly hung, you can get a nice straight edge, it’s easy to come by at any hardware store and it’s inexpensive. You probably won’t be storing it for a long time, or hauling huge amounts so bending and rusting is less of an issue. 

Are you will to investing time into learning? Paper faced metal and composite bead lend a professional touch to your project, are durable and crack less, but they aren’t as easy for novices. You might ruin a few stick/yards of the material until you get the hang of it. The tape version will require you to buy another tool – a corner roller and possible a hopper to apply the mud. If you’ve got a lot of projects lined up, it might be worth it. 

How do you want the finished project to look? If you’re going for an arcitecular look, and you want something a little fancier for the corner bead, you’ll find a better variety with vinyl bead. 


Does drywall need corner beads?

Yes. The corners are going to take some knocks, and they need to be reinforced. You (or someone) has gone to the trouble of hanging the drywall, without edge protection it wont be long before a chunk gets swiped out. Corner bead is cheap and easy to install.

Why do corner beads crack?

Cracking along a corner bead is usually do to improper installation. If it’s a metal corner bead, there might not be enough fasteners or they’re too far apart, if it’s vinyl, the wrong spray adhesive may have been used. With all types, too much mud eventually can cause cracking. 

Should you tape corner bead?

You can tape corner bead, if you like. The paper faced bead is probably a better option. The pros use just mud on vinyl and metal corner bead and simply feather it out.