Hardwood floors introduce natural beauty into any home. They also represent a significant investment in your home. Caring for them is an important part of regular home maintenance. You need to protect the wood and protect the finish that keeps them shining. When there are scratches, scuffing or damage to your floors you could be looking at a large cost to refinish them. You might be asking, “How will hardwood floor screening save money?”
Hardwood floor screening is not a complete refinishing. It probably will not be adequate to remove the scratches and dings of years of hard wear on a wood floor. But if you find that you need to deal with a slightly worn or dull hardwood floor with minor scratches, screening and coating might be the perfect solution to your needs.
The first step in deciding if screening is right for your floors is to check the manufacturer’s recommendations for routine cleaning and refinishing, especially if your hardwood floors have a factory finish. In essence, this process primarily cuts and removes the finish, and does not create deep abrasions into the wood itself. After removing all furnishings from the room, sweep and vacuum (without a beater bar) the floor thoroughly. Then set any protruding nails. Choose the appropriate screen disc:
#100 grit Fine For minor scratches and to remove previous finish
#80 grit Medium For more widespread and slightly deeper scratches
When you finish “screening” the floor, following the directions provided with the screen mesh disc, clean the floor carefully and thoroughly to remove any dust or debris. Then mop the floor at least twice with a damp mop or a “tack rag”, to ensure removal of any remaining particles before applying the new coat of finish. Finally, use the appropriate finish applicator and finish to the screened floor. The manufacturer’s care instructions should tell you what kind of applicator and finish to use. Then wait the amount of time recommended and enjoy your floor. While a complete refinishing of your hardwood floor will take a lot of time and attention, the screening and coating process is much faster.
Having a professional come in to screen and coat your hardwood floors will cost about $1.25 per square foot. This cost will vary according to location and the size of the area to be restored. If you are thinking of this as a do-it-yourself project, you can expect to get results that are almost as good as a professional with some skill and practice. You will need to budget for the cost of renting a rotary floor buffer and for the materials. You will also need White Maintenance Pad (1 inch thick), screen mesh disc(s), tack rags, a floor finish applicator, and the floor finish. On average, the cost of the materials is about 38 cents per square foot.
The major challenges for the do-it-yourselfer are getting the screen disc and floor pad properly aligned on the rotary buffer, working evenly across the floor, and learning to apply the final clear coat of finish. The tendency will be to apply this coat too thinly. No matter who does the work, screening hardwood floors instead of doing a complete refinish every time they look dull or slightly scratched will save money for the homeowner. You will also extend the life of your hardwood floors by not sanding them any more than absolutely necessary. This refinishing method will save your floors and save you money.