Taping Tricky Transitions
Apply innovative products to difficult drywall corners for a faster, easier, and more durable job.
Synopsis: Hanging and taping drywall on flat walls is tough work, but when transitions are anything other than flat, the work gets harder. Drywall expert Myron R. Ferguson shares some tips and advice on products he turns to when dealing with tricky transitions. For off-angle inside corners, such as the ones created when a sloped ceiling transitions into a flat ceiling, a flexible product is helpful because the framing in this area is subject to settling. For off-angle outside corners, use a sturdy product; these areas are subject to damage from household abuse. For places where drywall meets wood, windows, or doors, L-beads are the product to use; they are ideal for connecting dissimilar building products. This article includes a sidebar on working with ready-mix joint compound.
Early in my career, I dreaded taping houses that had off-angle corners — those greater than or less than 90°. These transitions were very difficult to finish, and they never ended up as straight or as crisp as I had hoped. At that time, I didn’t know of any specialty products available to make the job easier. For inside corners, I would use regular paper tape, which often needed a lot of filling and tweaking with compound. I’d then try to sand a straight centerline in the corner, but if the framing was out of whack, it would be impossible to get the corner to look right. Often, I had to resort to rounding inside corners.
Obtuse outside corners were just as bad. I would splay metal corner bead by pressing it against a piece of 4-in.-dia. PVC pipe until it was the proper angle. But it still had to be nailed in place, which meant that the framing had to be spot-on. The results were OK, but the work was less than…