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Screening your wooden floor to make it as good as new

Hardwood flooring, including woodblock flooring, is a fantastic feature of any home, not only because it looks so much more attractive and luxurious than many alternatives, but also because it’s a hardy material that will last for many years with a bit of tender love and care. It is probably for these reasons and more that so many people have started installing wooden floors, in greater numbers than ever, in recent years.

However, even the strongest solid wood flooring requires a bit of maintenance, usually if it has been scratched or scuffed, or if it has been in use for many years and is in need of a ‘facelift.’ When this time comes, one of the best things you can do to bring your wooden flooring back to its best is have a professional carry out screening.

What is screening?

Most people immediately think of having their hardwood flooring sanded when it needs to be rejuvenated, and although this is an excellent technique for doing so, and one that it vital in many cases, a lot of people can get away with having their floor screened rather than sanded.

Screening is simply the process of removing the topcoat or finish from the flooring, instead of having the whole top layer of wooden flooring removed, as happens when the flooring is sanded. In order to do this, professional flooring experts will use an industrial floor polisher and several screens, consisting of clog resistant sandpaper discs, to remove the polyurethane coating. This is why it is necessary to call in a professional flooring restoration company if you want to go through the screening process with your hardwood flooring.

Is screening the right option for me?

Whether or not screening will be a more suitable option for you than having your flooring fully sanded will depend largely on the current condition of your solid wood flooring, and the type of finish that has previously been applied to the top layer.

Basically, screening is only an appropriate method of restoration for flooring in which the wood is in pretty good shape, but where the finish has lost its lustre, and your floor just does not look as shiny, bright and attractive as it once did.

If the wood of your floor itself has been damaged or is in need of rejuvenation, then you will require a full professional floor sanding to get it back to its best.

You will also need to use an alternative method of rejuvenation if your floor has previously been coated with a wax-based finish rather than a polyurethane one.

If you are unsure about any of these things, then the best thing you can do is call in a professional flooring company, which will be able to quickly determine the type of restoration method most suitable to your needs.

What is the screening process like?

It may surprise you to hear that the floor screening process is not all that different to the process of sanding hardwood flooring in that the flooring professional you hire will be using specialist apparatus, which incorporates the use of sandpaper, to remove problematic layer from your floor the main difference being that the will only remove the top layer and not touch the wood itself, as mentioned before.

The process of screening is a fairly quick one, although the flooring professional will need to take time to ensure that all necessary safety measures are in place, and they will need to first test out their equipment on a small, not very visible, part of your floor to ensure that they are doing everything right to give you the best possible results.

What happens once the finish is removed?

Once the screening process is finished and the previous flooring finish has been removed, your flooring restoration professional will need to apply a new finish to the flooring, in order to ensure that the wood below is as protected as possible.

Although there are a wide range for finishes to choose from, and you will normally be asked which you prefer, it’s usually a good idea to opt for a polyurethane finish as this will enable you to go through the screening process in later years, when your flooring needs to be rejuvenated once more. Luckily, it will likely be many years before this becomes an issue, as hardwood flooring is very durable, but it is nonetheless something that you should take into consideration at this stage in the process.

As we mentioned earlier in the article, screening is a good way of restoring solid wood flooring, and the process of doing so is simple, but it is not always the best option, which is why floor sanding is still so popular. However, if your flooring is in sufficiently good condition, and it is only the finish that has succumbed to any wear and tear, you should certainly think about a simple screening procedure. It will give your flooring a whole new lease of life, which will last for many years, providing that you clean and maintain your floors as directed using only suitable cleaning materials for the type of flooring you have.

Hiring a professional

No matter how you choose to have your flooring restored, you should always bear in mind that any restoration job is only as good as the people who carry it out, which is why we would not recommend going for the DIY option. Instead, look for the best professionals in your local area.

If you can get a local recommendation from someone you trust, this is the best way to ensure that the people you hire are solid, reliable and professional.

If this is not a possibility, then going for a company that has been trading for a while, and one that’s honest, open, upfront and always willing to help is a great way of separating the wheat from the chaff and ensuring your floor is restored to as perfect condition as possible.

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