Screening your Wood Floors – Reinvigorating a Timeless Feature
Posted on July 25, 2023
We’ve all had those days where we’ve been walking around our homes and thinking about how to bring some energy back to lifeless rooms. Several options run through your mind, each with its own benefits and drawbacks, and there are no easy answers. Paint or wallpaper? Or both? Minimalist or traditional? Practical or chic? However, if you look down at a tired, worn wooden floor, perhaps one possible answer is staring back at you.
Sanded floorsSanded wooden floors offer a lot of major benefits to your home. They are incredibly easy to keep clean, needing only to be swept and occasionally washed. They add a certain warm, homely quality to any room and make use of an attractive original feature, a real boon if you ever wish to sell your home. However, if your floor has begun to show signs of wear and tear, perhaps watermarks, divots, or just the sort of general damage floors take over time, there may be a less invasive option than sanding your floor back to its original wood.
Screening is essentially a process of light machine sanding, which means that the top layer of finish or varnish is removed without actually taking anything off the wood itself, allowing you to apply a new finish with minimal fuss or mess. This involves using an industrial floor polisher with an oscillating sandpaper disc, ideally with a grit between 60 and 100. Anything higher will not achieve the desired effect, so using the correct grit and increasing disc gradient is always advisable. If you are unsure, ask a professional when hiring the equipment, as they can point you in the right direction for your particular needs.
As with all wooden sanding, take appropriate safety measures, including clearing the room and wearing a mask. Screening should create far less dust, but what little it does can still be harmful if breathed in. It is also a good idea, if possible, to practice on a lesser-seen area before screening the whole floor to ensure you are confident with the power and speed of the floor polisher.
Is screening right for all floors?
It should be mentioned that screening will not be a viable option for everyone, as it will only work on floors that have a polyurethane finish. Although this is fairly common, it is worth consulting a professional for clarification before undertaking any work on your floor. Some floors will need more work and may require full sanding, but screening may be the best option if it is just the finish that has lost its luster and you want to give your floor back some of its vigor and style.