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What is the Screen and Recoat?

by Canadian Sanders

What is the Screen and Recoat?

“Screen and Recoat” Meaning

When you hear the term “screen and recoat,” it refers to a process that involves removing the top layer of polyurethane from your hardwood floors but not the wood underneath. The primary purpose of screening and recoating is to remove any light scratches or dullness that may have developed on the surface of your floors over time. It’s important to note that this process should not be confused with sanding, as only the old protective layer is removed and not the wood itself. Recoating is also a part of this process, which involves applying a new coat of polyurethane to the wood, giving it a fresh layer of protection.

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The screen is a type of mesh that is placed under the buffer. It carefully removes a small layer of the existing polyurethane to create a surface that will allow the new coat to bond effectively.

Rent one of these buffers at your local rental shop and place the screen underneath.

 Screening vs. Sanding

If you want to remove light scratches and scuffs and bring back the shine to your hardwood floors, then a screen and recoat might be a better option than fully sanding. Sanding is a more aggressive solution that is typically used for floors with deeper scratches that require more extensive repair. If all you need is a screen and recoat, it can protect your floors and save you money over the more drastic solution of a full sanding.

Regular maintenance 

Maintaining your hardwood floors with new polyurethane will not only save you money but keep your wood floors looking great. Polyurethane is the layer that protects your wood from wear and tear, but it doesn’t last forever. If you don’t take care of this protective layer, the bare wood underneath will be exposed and cause damage, and be a costly repair. Recoating adds more protection to the wood and prevents permanent damage that could reach the wood. 

Screen and Recoat Importance

To minimize the need for full sanding, it is recommended to screen your floors every 3-7 years. The recommended frequency of screening your floors depends on your flooring traffic and whether or not you wear shoes while walking on your floors. However, if you apply a screen and recoat at least once every two years, you may avoid a full sanding indefinitely.

Screen & Recoat Basics 

As part of the screen and recoat process, the first step is to remove the old polyurethane coating from the hardwood floors. This can be achieved by abrading the floors to remove the old coating, followed by a thorough cleaning to remove all residue before the recoating process. Finally, you apply two new polyurethane coatings to achieve a smooth and beautiful finish.

Note: Recoating is not a simple process for all floors. If your floors have been polished or waxed, they will need to be stripped before any screening can be done. If your floors are factory-finished, it’s advisable to hire a professional. These floors are so hard that they require a chemical etching solution and special abrasives for proper recoating. Otherwise, you may end up with a peeling mess.


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