Your hardwood floors take a lot of abuse. High heels, shuffling feet, dog nails, cat claws, kids sliding across them in cardboard boxes—you name it, your floors have probably suffered it. Over time, even normal wear can leave your floors looking dull and in need of some serious love.
Sure, you can have your floors re-sanded and refinished, but it many cases, that’s like treating the common cold with invasive surgery. It’s a time-consuming and messy project, and it can get very expensive. At Lifetime Hardwood Floors, we’ve encountered countless clients who are fully prepared to have their worn-looking floors sanded and refinished. We’re always happy to tell them that there are far less expensive and less intrusive ways to restore a floor’s original luster. Enter the screen and recoat, the hardwood floor industry’s best-kept secret and one of our specialties.
What is a Screen & Recoat?
A screen and recoat is the process of laying down a topcoat of polyurethane over the existing coat to make your floors glow again. But a new coat polyurethane generally won’t stick to the existing coat without roughing it up a little, and that’s where the screen comes in. The screen is a piece of mesh material that’s embedded with abrasive particles, kind of like sandpaper, only far less aggressive. The screening process removes only a fraction of the existing polyurethane—just enough to texture it so that the new polyurethane will bond to it strongly and seamlessly.
When a Screen & Recoat Isn’t a Viable Option
Not every floor is a candidate for screening and recoating. Any damage to the wood, such as scratches or dents from moving furniture, UV discoloration around rugs, or visible damage from pet accidents, can’t be erased by a screen and recoat. Likewise, any spots where the polyurethane has worn away completely due to heavy traffic will appear slightly different from the rest of the floor after a screen and recoat, and you probably don’t want that. A screen and recoat also isn’t an option for floors that have been finished with wax, an old technology often found in older buildings.
If you’ve ever used a wax-based cleaner like Mop & Glo or a silicon cleaner or oil soap on your floor, new polyurethane won’t bond to the old, no matter how much screening is performed. While most contractors don’t have the equipment, technology, or expertise to effectively identify and remove these types of impurities and execute a screen and recoat, we specialize in this and other types of problematic recoats, drawing on years of experience and cutting-edge testing protocol, state-of-the art equipment, and highly specialized chemicals.
How a Screen & Recoat Saves You Money in the Long Run
Polyurethane-finished floors are durable and well-protected from normal and even abnormal wear. But it’s only a matter of time before the finish wears down, particularly in high-traffic areas, where the wood may end up exposed and highly susceptible to damage. Since spot-sanding and refinishing is rarely an option for restoring smaller areas of damage, your only option will be to have to have the entire floor re-sanded and refinished.
Screening and recoating every few years or when your floors have lost their luster can save you a considerable amount of money in restoration costs over the lifetime of your floor, and it can even increase the resale value of your home.
Ready to Restore Your Hardwood Floors?
If you’re considering a facelift for your tired hardwood floors, call The Floor Doctor at Lifetime Hardwood Floors today. We offer free in-home inspections and estimates in the Omaha area and can provide you with a number of restoration options—including a screen and recoat or a variation of this process—that are far less invasive and expensive than sanding and refinishing.
Trevor Hayden is The Floor Doctor, a Bona-certified craftsman and hardwood flooring expert with extensive experience in restoring all types of hardwood floors in every conceivable condition. Founder of the Wood Flooring Program at Central Community College and former instructor on installation, sanding, and finishing for the National Wood Flooring Association, Trevor is passionate about floors and is Omaha’s premier, award-winning expert on all things hardwood.