Sanding And Screening — Two Floor Refinishing Processes

A flooring contractor removes old polyurethane or a wax finish before they apply fresh stain and varnish to hardwood flooring materials. Review the steps below. They outline how a sanding and screening process is conducted, plus outline when to seek either of these services.


Sanding a floor involves removing polyurethane and other finishing materials. It also involves cutting down through the top layers of wooden flooring planks. Sanding requires the use of a drum belt sander and an edger. These types of machines support the use of different types of sandpaper.


A contractor will typically work with a low-grit sandpaper product first. The rough grit will effectively lift polyurethane, wax, and other finishing materials. Once the initial sanding (cutting) process is complete, a contractor will use a fine-grit sandpaper product to provide flooring with a smooth surface.

Vacuum Processes And Protective Barriers

Sanding requires the use of a vacuum. The sanding dust can make quite a mess within the room where the flooring is being refinished. A contractor will typically use drop clothes, plastic sheeting, and other protective aids to prevent sanding dust from blowing around.

Sanding is conducted when floors are heavily stained or damaged. It may be necessary to sand hardwood floors, in order to remove cosmetic blemishes and signs of damage.


Screening a floor involves removing the finishing materials from the hardwood. The screening process buffs the surface of a floor. It does not, however, sand the wood itself. This type of process involves the use of a mechanical screener.

Equipment And Cost Factors

A mechanical screener contains a spinning disk that will lightly sand and buff the surface of a hardwood floor. The screening process can be conducted faster than a sanding process. It may also cost less than a sanding process since a screening session will not take as much manual work to complete.

Protective Barriers

A screening process is not as messy as a sanding process. A flooring contractor may use protective barriers to contain dust. Dust will be kept to a minimum during the screening process. The protective barriers that a contractor uses will keep interior spaces clean. Once the screening process is complete, a contractor will vacuum up any dust that has settled on hardwood flooring.

The Remainder Of The Project

Once either a sanding process or a screening process is complete, a contractor will consult with a property owner. They will request information about the stain and varnish products that the client would like to have applied to the flooring.

If you want to refinish hardwood floors in your home, call a contractor near you. 

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