in hardwood

Sand and Refinish vs Screen and Recoat

When deciding between a screen and recoat and a full refinish you probably have a lot of questions about the difference and which you really need. The projects both are for hardwood flooring but have very different processes and finished results. The full refinish process has many more steps and a lot more labor involved. A screen and coat is a quicker project with less steps but different results. A screen and recoat does not expose the raw hardwood.

A screen a recoat is sometimes referred to as a maintenance coat and is a great option between refinished. The process requires only a buffer and a few hand tools. The screen abrates the floor and removes a small amount of finish and some small imperfections. A new layer of finish is applied to finish the process.

If you have deep scratches or other imperfections you want removed from your floor you will likely need a total refinish. If you have worn through the finish you will also need a total refinish. The total refinish will take the finish all the way off and makes a big impact. A screen and refinish will only take away superficial scratching and imperfections.

The machines used in these projects are also very different. A total refinish will use a belt sander, edger, hand tools and a buffer while a screen and recoat needs only a buffer and some hand tools.

When choosing between these processes you need to consider if you need any repairs or wood replacements. If you need to replace boards you will need to have the floor totally refinished. The boards will have color and height discrepancies if you don’t.

If you have prefinished wood you likely will not have the choice to do a screen and coat. The finish on prefinished wood is chemically different and much tougher than site finished wood so a buff and coat likely will not be an option.

When considering these projects you will want to decide if you are interested in adding a stain. If you are then you will need to refinish the wood entirely. Otherwise a buff and coat may be an option. Since buff and coats don’t expose the wood you cannot add a stain. You can switch the type of top coat you have during either project so you may want to talk to you contractor about what type of finish you want.

The price, timeline and other factors are also things you will need to consider. A flooring contractor can help you with understanding the cost and timeline of the project for you specific floor. They will also be able to advise you on choosing between the project types.

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