Screen and Recoat on Hardwood Floors: Ultimate Guide & Tips

Hardwood Floor Screening & Recoating
Screen Recoat Hardwood Floors

Screen and recoatScreen Recoat Hardwood Floors on hardwood floors is a vital process that helps maintain the beauty and longevity of your wood flooring.

In this guide, we will explore the importance of screen and recoat on hardwood floors as well as detail the steps involved in carrying out this essential maintenance task.

You’ll learn how to identify when it’s time to screen your hardwood floors based on usage patterns and visible signs of wear. We’ll also discuss limitations and alternatives for different floor finishes, ensuring you choose the best approach for your specific needs.

Furthermore, we will explore the pros and cons of hiring professionals in the Seattle Metro area versus taking a DIY approach to screen and recoat hardwood floors. Finally, our guide will provide valuable tips on post-screening care and maintenance practices to keep your investment looking its best for years to come.

Table of Contents:

The Importance of Screen and Recoat on Hardwood Floors

Screen and recoat is a crucial maintenance step for hardwood floors finished with polyurethane. It helps prevent the floor from wearing away too quickly, saving homeowners time and money over the life of their wood floors.

  • Better protection: By applying a new coat after the screening, you provide additional protection against scratches, dents, or other damage caused by daily wear and tear.
  • Prolonged aesthetics: Screening also helps restore your hardwood floor’s original luster by evening out any dull spots or minor imperfections on its surface.
  • Eco-friendly option: Since less material is removed during this process compared to traditional sanding methods, screen, and recoat are considered more environmentally friendly due to reduced waste production.

Extending the Lifespan of Hardwood Floors

Maintaining the beauty and durability of hardwood flooring requires proper care, as it is an investment that adds value to your home.

A screen and recoat process removes only a thin layer of the existing finish while leaving most of the wood intact. This allows you to refresh your floor’s appearance without removing significant amounts of material, which in turn extends its lifespan.

Saving on Costly Repairs or Replacements

Failing to properly maintain your hardwood floors may lead them to become damaged beyond repair – requiring either costly repairs or complete replacement.

A well-executed screen and recoat job cost significantly less than these alternatives, making it a smart investment for homeowners who want to preserve their floors without breaking the bank.

The average cost of refinishing hardwood floors ranges from $1.50 to $4 per square foot while replacing them can cost between $8 and $12 per square foot. In contrast, a screen and recoat job typically costs around 50% less than full refinishing – providing substantial savings in both time and money.

By incorporating regular screenings into your hardwood floor maintenance routine, you’ll be able to enjoy beautiful flooring that lasts longer while saving on potential repair or replacement expenses down the line.

Screen and recoat is an important process for hardwood floors, as it helps to extend their lifespan and save on costly repairs or replacements. The next step in the process of recoating your hardwood floor is preparing your home before starting with the screening procedure.


Key Takeaway: Screen and recoat is an essential maintenance step for hardwood floors finished with polyurethane, which helps prevent the floor from wearing away too quickly. It extends the lifespan of your flooring by providing better protection against scratches, dents, or other damage caused by daily wear and tear while restoring its original luster. By incorporating regular screenings into your hardwood floor maintenance routine, you can save on potential repair or replacement expenses down the line.

The Process of Screening Hardwood Floors

The process involves removing the old polyurethane coating using a chemical stripper followed by a professional floor sander, which gently abrades the surface without removing any significant amount of wood.

This allows for new coats of finish to bond properly, ensuring lasting protection and shine.

Choosing Appropriate Equipment and Materials

To effectively screen and recoat hardwood floors, it is crucial to use the right equipment and materials.

Start with a chemical stripper designed specifically for polyurethane finishes; this will help loosen up the existing coat, making it easier to remove. 

Next, you’ll need a professional-grade floor sander or buffer equipped with fine-grit sanding screens (typically 120-150 grit) to gently abrade the surface without causing damage.

  • Chemical Stripper: Choose one formulated for polyurethane finishes.
  • Floor Sander/Buffer: Opt for professional-grade equipment with appropriate sanding screens.
  • Sanding Screens: Use fine-grit screens (120-150 grit) for gentle abrasion.

Preparing Your Home Before Starting

Prior to screening your hardwood floors, it’s important to prepare both your home and workspace adequately.

  1. Clear out furniture from the work area. This ensures ample space while protecting damage during refinishing work.
  2. Cover vents and air ducts with plastic sheeting to prevent dust and debris from entering the HVAC system.
  3. Thoroughly clean the floor surface by sweeping and vacuuming to remove dirt particles that could interfere with the screening process.

By following these steps, you’ll be well-prepared for a successful screen and recoat job that will leave your hardwood floors looking refreshed and protected. Remember, proper maintenance is key to preserving both the beauty and longevity of your wood flooring investment.

The process of screening hardwood floors requires careful preparation and the right equipment to ensure a quality job. It is essential to recognize when your wooden flooring should be screened so as to maintain its splendor and durability.


Key Takeaway: To screen and recoat hardwood floors, start by choosing appropriate equipment and materials such as a chemical stripper formulated for polyurethane finishes, a professional-grade floor sander, or a buffer with fine-grit sanding screens. Before starting the screening process, clear out furniture from the work area, cover vents and air ducts with plastic sheeting to prevent dust infiltration, and clean the floor surface by sweeping and vacuuming.

When You Should Screen and Recoat Your Hardwood Floors

Knowing when it’s time to screen your floors can help maintain their beauty and extend their lifespan.

Ideally, you should screen and recoat your hardwood floors every two years as part of regular maintenance. However, factors such as foot traffic volume or environmental conditions may require more frequent screenings in some cases.

Signs It’s Time to Screen and Recoat Your Hardwood Floors

There are several signs that indicate it might be time to screen and recoat hardwood floors. Some common indicators include:

  • Scratches and scuffs: If you notice an increase in surface-level scratches or scuff marks on your floor, this could signal the need for screening.
  • Dull appearance: A dull finish is often a sign that the protective coating has worn thin, making it necessary to apply a new coat after the screening.
  • Fading color: When the color of your wood flooring starts fading due to sun exposure or other factors, screening can help restore its original vibrancy by removing the damaged top layer of the finish.
  • Bare spots: If areas of bare wood begin appearing where the finish has completely worn away, immediate action is needed with either a screen and recoat or a full refinishing process depending on severity.

Assessing Unique Needs Based on Usage Patterns

Your home’s specific usage patterns will also play a role in determining how frequently you need to perform hardwood floor maintenance like screening. Consider these factors when deciding if it’s time for a screen and recoat:

  • Foot traffic: High-traffic areas, such as entryways and hallways, may require you more frequent screenings due to increased wear on the floor’s surface.
  • Pets: Homes with pets often need more regular maintenance because pet nails can cause scratches and damage to the finish. Check out these tips for pet-friendly flooring options.
  • Cleaning habits: Using harsh or abrasive cleaning products can strip away your floor’s protective coating faster than expected. Stick to recommended cleaning methods for hardwood floors like those mentioned in our post-screening care section below.
  • Environmental factors: Humidity levels, temperature fluctuations, and exposure to sunlight can all impact how quickly your hardwood floors’ finish wears down over time.

Regular assessment of the condition of your hardwood floors will help you determine when it’s time for a screen and recoat. By staying proactive about maintenance tasks like screening, you’ll keep your wood flooring looking beautiful while extending its lifespan significantly.

Screening your hardwood floors is an important part of maintaining their condition and longevity.

With the right knowledge, you can determine when it’s time to screen them and assess any unique needs based on usage patterns. Considering the specific restrictions for distinct floor coverings, it is necessary to determine whether refinishing or replacement is preferable.


Key Takeaway: Regular screening of your hardwood floors every two years can help maintain their beauty and extend their lifespan. Signs that it’s time to screen include scratches, a dull appearance, fading color, and bare spots. Usage patterns such as foot traffic volume or exposure to pets and environmental factors should also be considered when deciding how frequently to perform maintenance tasks like screening.

Limitations & Alternatives for Different Floor Finishes

While screen and recoat is an excellent maintenance solution for many hardwood floors, it’s essential to understand that not all types of finishes are suitable candidates for this process. In some cases, alternative solutions must be considered to maintain the beauty and longevity of your wood floors.

Recognizing Incompatible Flooring Materials

The most common type of finish that doesn’t bond well with mechanical screening methods is hard finishes like aluminum oxide. This finish is often found on the prefinished or engineered hardwood flooring and requires a different approach when it comes to refinishing or maintaining its appearance.

Exploring Other Options such as Refinishing or Replacing

  • Refinishing

If you have aluminum oxide finished floors or other incompatible materials, you may need to consider a full hardwood floor refinishing instead of just screening.

This process involves sanding down the existing finish completely before applying new coats of stain and protective sealant. Keep in mind that this option can be more time-consuming and expensive than a simple screen-and-recoat job.

  • Floor Replacement

In some cases, especially if your hardwood floor has been subjected to extensive wear and tear over the years, replacing the entire floor might be necessary.

While this option can be costly upfront, investing in high-quality flooring material will ensure long-lasting durability while giving you complete control over design choices like color schemes and patterns. Gaining insight into selecting the optimal hardwood flooring for your residence is essential.

Before deciding on the best course of action, it’s essential to consult with a professional hardwood floor expert who can assess your specific situation and provide tailored recommendations. Sandless in Seattle a professional hardwood floor expert can provide you with the necessary guidance to make a well-informed decision regarding your wood floors.

For those who are unsure about these options, here’s an article discussing further considerations when deciding between refinishing or replacing your hardwood floors.


Key Takeaway: Screen and recoat is a great maintenance solution for hardwood floors, but not all finishes are suitable candidates. Hard finishes like aluminum oxide require different approaches such as full refinishing or floor replacement. It’s essential to consult with a professional before making any decisions about maintaining or updating your wood floors.

Hiring Professionals vs DIY Approach

When it comes to screening and recoating your hardwood floors, you may be wondering whether to tackle the project yourself or hire professionals. Considering both approaches have their benefits and drawbacks, let’s examine them further.

Weighing the Pros and Cons of DIY vs Hiring Professionals

  • DIY

Taking on a screen and recoat job yourself can save you money if you’re experienced with woodworking projects and have access to the necessary tools. However, there is a risk of causing damage to your floors if not done correctly. Additionally, completing this task can be time-consuming for inexperienced individuals.

  • Hiring Professionals

Although hiring professionals will likely cost more than doing it yourself, they possess expertise that ensures proper execution without causing any damage. They also complete the job faster due to their experience working with various floor types and finishes.

To help decide which option is best for you, consider the following factors such as

  • your budget constraints
  • skill level in handling similar projects
  • the available time commitment for completing the work effectively
  • desired outcome quality

It is important to recognize the limitations and alternatives for different floor finishes before taking action, as this will help you determine which option best suits your needs. When deciding between hiring professionals or tackling the project yourself, various elements should be taken into account to ensure a well-guided choice is made.

Tips for Finding Reliable Hardwood Flooring Experts

If you opt to hire professional help for screening and recoating your hardwood floors, follow these tips:

  • Ask friends or family members

Start by asking people close around recommendations based on personal experiences. Gather advice from those close to you, then research reviews online to gain a better understanding of the quality of work and customer service provided by local companies.

  • Read online reviews

Visit websites to read reviews from other customers who have used hardwood flooring professionals in your area. Pay attention to consistent patterns, whether positive or negative, across multiple sources.

  • Request quotes and compare prices

Contact several companies for written estimates detailing project scope, materials required, labor costs involved, and expected completion timeframes. Comparing these factors will help you make an informed decision based on value rather than solely price point alone.

  • Verify licensing and insurance coverage

Ensure that any potential contractors hold proper licenses required by state regulations as well as adequate liability insurance policies protecting against accidents during project execution phases. You can usually find this information listed on company websites or request it directly when contacting them about services provided.

Taking the time to research options thoroughly before making a final decision ensures that you’ll be satisfied with the process experience and overall outcome achieved through professional assistance.

Remember, always prioritize long-term satisfaction over short-term savings when considering which approach best suits your hardwood floor maintenance projects such as screen and recoat jobs.

It is important to consider the pros and cons of both the DIY approach and hiring professionals when it comes to hardwood floor refinishing, cleaning, wax removal, or screen and recoat.

With that said, proper post-screening care & maintenance are essential for protecting your investment in order to keep your floors looking their best.


Key Takeaway: The article discusses the pros and cons of hiring professionals versus taking a DIY approach when it comes to screening and recoating hardwood floors. While doing it yourself can save money, there is a risk of damage if not done correctly. It’s important to research thoroughly before making a decision and prioritize long-term satisfaction over short-term savings.

Post-Screening Care & Maintenance

After completing a screen and recoat, it’s essential to maintain your hardwood floors properly to prolong their lifespan.

Regular cleaning, using appropriate products, and addressing spills promptly can help keep your floors looking beautiful.

In this section, we’ll explain the necessary preventative measures and cleaning techniques you can use to maintain your hardwood floors.

Recommended Cleaning Methods

To ensure the longevity of your newly screened hardwood floors, follow these simple yet effective cleaning tips:

  • Sweep or vacuum regularly

Keep dirt and debris off your floor by sweeping or vacuuming at least once a week. Use a soft-bristle broom or a vacuum cleaner with a hard floor attachment to avoid scratching the surface.

  • Damp mop sparingly

Excessive moisture can damage wood flooring over time. When necessary, use a damp (not wet) mop with warm water mixed with an approved wood floor cleaner.

  • Avoid harsh chemicals

Steer clear of abrasive cleaners that contain ammonia or vinegar as they may dull the finish on your hardwood floors.

  • Clean up spills immediately

Wipe away any liquid spills as soon as possible using an absorbent cloth before they have time to penetrate into the wood fibers.

Preventative Measures to Protect Your Investment

In addition to regular cleaning practices, consider implementing these preventative steps for added protection against potential damage:

  1. Furniture pads: Attach felt or rubber pads to the bottom of furniture legs to prevent scratches and dents on your hardwood floors.
  2. Rugs and mats: Place area rugs or mats in high-traffic areas, such as entryways and hallways, to minimize wear. Be sure to use non-slip rug pads that are safe for hardwood flooring.
  3. Avoid direct sunlight: Prolonged exposure to UV rays can cause fading or discoloration. Use window treatments like blinds, shades, or curtains during peak sun hours to protect your wood floors from excessive sunlight.
  4. Maintain proper humidity levels: Wood expands and contracts with changes in humidity. To prevent warping or buckling of your hardwood floors, maintain a consistent indoor relative humidity level between 30% – 50%. You may need a humidifier during winter months when heating systems tend to dry out indoor air.

Taking these simple steps will help ensure that your newly screened hardwood floors remain beautiful and functional for years to come.

Remember that regular maintenance is key; by following the recommended cleaning methods and preventative measures outlined above, you’ll be well-equipped to preserve your investment.

Key Takeaway: 

After a screen and recoat of your hardwood floors, it’s important to maintain them properly. Regular cleaning with appropriate products, addressing spills promptly, using furniture pads and rugs/mats in high-traffic areas, avoiding direct sunlight, and maintaining proper humidity levels are all preventative measures that can help protect your investment.

FAQs in Relation to Screen and Recoat on Hardwood Floors

How to Screen & Recoat Hardwood Floors

To screen and recoat hardwood floors, follow these steps:

  1. Clear the room of furniture and debris.
  2. Clean the floor thoroughly to remove dust, dirt, and residue.
  3. Use a buffer with a fine-grit sanding screen to lightly abrade the surface of the floor.
  4. Vacuum up any resulting dust.
  5. Apply a compatible finish coat evenly across the entire floor using a roller or applicator pad. Allow it to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


What Is the Screen and Recoat Method?

The screen-and-recoat method, also known as buff-and-coat or abrasion coating, involves lightly sanding (or “screening”) an existing finished wood floor without removing its top layer completely in order to create better adhesion for applying new coats of finish.

How Often Should You Screen and Recoat?

You should typically perform screening and recoating once every three to five years depending on your specific situation, including traffic patterns within your home or office space. Along with the factors that may affect overall durability like humidity levels indoors.

Sandless in Seattle specializes in the recoat process for existing floors and waxed floors. Our process is less than half the cost of a full sand and recoat company perfect for refreshing the look of your hardwood floors without the need for full sanding and refreshing.

Plus, our process is dust-free, so you won’t have to worry about cleaning up a mess afterward. And, if you’re worried about the downtime, don’t be. Our process is quick and efficient, so you can have your beautiful floors in no time.

Screen & Recoat Your Hardwood Floors

Screening and recoating your hardwood floors is an essential process that can extend the lifespan of your flooring and save you money on costly repairs or replacements.

By choosing appropriate equipment and materials, preparing your home before starting, identifying signs that it’s time to screen, assessing unique needs based on usage patterns, recognizing incompatible flooring materials, exploring other options such as refinishing or replacing, weighing the pros and cons of DIY vs hiring professionals, recommended cleaning methods, and preventative measures to protect your investment.

If you’re looking for reliable experts in screen and recoat on hardwood floors who follow the guidelines set forth by the National Wood Floor Association, look no further contact Sandless in Seattle today!