Screening and coating looks like the best kept secret of the hardwood floor world. In our opinion, this should not be kept as a secret. It’s an important process that can save a lot of time and money on the long run, if done periodically and properly.

 

A screen is just a mesh encrusted with abrasive particles. Because it is a mesh, there are fewer abrasive particles per square inch, making it generally less aggressive than sandpaper (a 120-grit sanding screen, for example, will be less aggressive than 120-grit sandpaper.)

 

Screens are also used under thick soft pads that further soften the cutting action of the screen. This is desirable because floor screening should only leave enough texture in the floor to allow a new coat of polyurethane to bond; screening should remove only a tiny fraction of the existing finish.

Polyurethane is considered a protective sacrificial coat. Over time, the plastic in the finish is slowly removed by the friction of day-to-day living.

 

That layer gets thinner and more scratched each year, because its job is to keep damage away from the wood below. But if you let that protective coat deteriorate for too long, it will eventually expose bare wood to assaults from doggy toenails, coffee spills and baby drool, causing damage that can only be repaired by sanding the whole floor. This, you do not want.

 

So, every few years, well before the protective coat has grown too thin, you refresh it with another coat. The crucial word is “before;” you have to recoat a floor before you see damage, which is hard for some people because they think they’re leaving money on the table by top-coating what appears to be a perfectly good floor finish.

 

But polyurethane on floors is kind of like sunscreen on skin: not only do you need to put on a good thick layer before you expose it to the sun; you must reapply it periodically because it wears off. Once sunburn begins to appear, it is too late to start applying protection. Protection is always less costly than the damage that results from not having it.

If you wait too long, the your floor cannot be fixed this way and will need a total make over. Also, floors that have been treated with wax or washed with oil soaps will be really hard if not impossible to coat.

 

One should start looking for evidence of damage on a wooden floor about three years after the last sanding and coating and it’s always better to prevent than to spend money on fixing, so even if you don’t see any damage, it’s better to have your hardwood screened and recoated if a couple of years already passed since it was coated last.

If you are not sure if you floor needs or not a screen and recoat, you can either give us a call or request a free estimate on our website and we will be more than happy to come over and inspect the floor for you.

You better screen and recoat it today, than to sand it all the way to bare wood and refinish everything. That will always be more time consuming with bigger wallet damages, than a periodical screening and coating.

Request a FREE ESTIMATE using the form below or call (847) 769-9476

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