Where a drywall sheet joint meets an outside corner, is it better to first install the tape over the joint or the metal corner bead?

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My old drywall finish guy did tape first, I think, but my new guy wants to do corners first. For me it makes sense to to tape first so that the tape is tucked under the bead.

  • I assume you mean the lateral joint? Then yes, I would also prefer to do that first and then the vertical corner bead. Commented May 28, 2019 at 20:57
  • Dunno the terminology, the horizontal pedestal of the T in the picture
    – amphibient
    Commented May 28, 2019 at 21:06
  • It does not matter. There is going to be so much compound.And you should do both at same time ..I would be looking at the screws some look like in to far only supposed to dimple paper to take compound..Not break paper and leave hole ....moves around falls out ..Really matters on the ceiling.
    – user101687
    Commented May 29, 2019 at 3:17

3 Answers 3


Most tapers place the metal corner bead first. This is primarily because if you were to do any taping first you'd have to wait until that dries to install corner bead. It's a matter of efficiency.

It's also usually best to keep metal bead set snugly to the drywall, with nothing behind it. This allows you to keep it straighter and on plane. It should protrude just slightly on both walls when a straightedge is set against the drywall perpendicular to the bead. "Tucking" the tape under the bead does nothing of value. There's tape all over the building that's not tucked under anything and it's not an issue.

All that said, drywall taping is something of an art and you're free to do what makes sense for you and your project. Just remember the cardinal rule: lighter is better. The pros I've worked with do very little sanding to produce fantastic results, and it's far easier (and less messy) to skim on another coat than to grind down humps.

  • I don't know what you mean by lighter. But I have had drywall installed by crews in 50+ houses and there is a first coat... then there is a very thick blanket coat put on that isn't light at all. Then a super heavy sanding... All good crews do this - the bad crews come back 5 times to patch up areas with "light skimming". I have a hard time taking an answer serious that says pros do very little sanding - which simply isn't true. If you want an even topcoat you are using a ton of mud and sanding a ton period. You put corner bead on first so there isn't a hump under it - period.
    – DMoore
    Commented May 29, 2019 at 15:42
  • This answer could be better... I put the bead on first, because I tape the bead and having a joint under it; well that kind of gets in the way of having straight bead. Then I bed the butts, followed by the corners - alternating feather coats, between what's dry and what's not, until I'm happy. I put a slight crown in my larger knives too, so I can flip them over to suit the stage of the joint that I'm working on.
    – tahwos
    Commented Jun 5, 2019 at 22:08

The corner bead that I use is pre taped. Put mud on the wall and push the bead in and work the mud out and over the tape. If using the bare metal anchor with screws then mud and tape. Putting tape under the corner bead will make it bulkier and not have a nice crisp corner.


Mechanically attach metal corner bead to the drywall or framing with staples or nails. Next put sticky mesh tape over the metal to drywall transition on each side, then fill will all purpose joint compound, let dry, then put lightweight joint compound over that.

  • Are you saying do the metal corner bead before lateral joints with tape/mesh?
    – amphibient
    Commented May 29, 2019 at 1:13

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