Re-finishing your Wooden Floor – Screening and How to Do It
Wooden floors are one of the most highly regarded features in modern interior design. From hardwood to engineered they compliment almost any choice of decor while also adding warmth to the room, an easily maintained floor, and potentially adding up to 20% to the value of your property. All in all wood flooring is a sound investment in the future of your home. But what if you already have wooden flooring? What do you do when the wood surface starts to lose its lustre and look dull and lifeless? A full sanding and re-finishing is often the preferred option, but what most people don’t know, is there is another way, a less invasive way to bring your floor back to its forgotten prominence and make it shine like never before: screening.
What is screening?
Screening is essentially a process where rather than removing an entire layer of wood as you would with sanding you remove just the finish from the wood, leaving you ready to apply a new finish. This is done using a rotary floor buffer, and specifically designed sanding discs called screens, which are fine in grit and are engineered for this very purpose.
The main advantage to screening is that is much cheaper and much less time consuming. Screening your floor will only take a fraction of the time that re-finishing your floor with a sander will take, and offers a more straightforward option. In addition, it should create less dust and allows you to restore your finish with relative ease.
Is screening for me?
Screening is not always appropriate for every type of floor. The type of finish previously applied will be very telling in whether you can screen your floor. For example, a wax finish will make this task much more difficult and will almost certainly mean you will have to do a full re-finish on the wood. A polyurethane finish however, which is arguably the most common finish commercially available, is a perfect fit for screening and will allow you to revamp your floor very easily indeed.
Why is it different from sanding?
With sanding there are only a certain number of times you can undertake the work. Each sanding of the wood removes a layer from the surface, and over the years each time this action is performed it will make the wood thinner, inevitably weakening it. However, with screening it is a much more gentle process, as you are only removing the finish which leaves the wood itself relatively untouched. It also means that you can change the colour of your wood very easily prior to adding a new finish to the wood, which can make a big difference in helping to breathe new life into your wooden floor.
Overall, screening is a highly underrated option for refurbishing wooden floors, which can be very useful if sanding your wooden floor is not convenient or affordable. If in doubt ask a professional, as they will be able to offer advice on the best course of action, but don’t discount screening as a potential way to reinvigorate a fantastic, unique feature in your home.