Have you been wondering what the difference between a screen and coat and a sand and finish. While these projects may sound very similar they do have a lot of differences. The sand and refinish process requires a lot of labor and time. A screen and coat is a lot less laborious and is completed much quicker. A refinish will take a few days to complete and requires a lot of steps. The coating will be entirely removed from your floor with a sand and refinish but a screen and coat removed only a thin layer of coating.
The screen and coat only has a few basic steps to complete and uses very little machinery. A screen and coat requires a buffer and some basic hand tools while a full refinish requires a belt sander. buffer, orbital, edger, additional hand tools and some speciality tools depending on the method the contractor uses. The difference in machinery really highlights the different work that will be done and explains a lot of the cost differences.
Screen and re-coats are great for removing superficial scratching but cannot deal with deep scratches. Deeper scratches need a refinish to be removed. Water damage, pet stains and other discolorations need a full refinish to be addressed properly. Any scratches that have gone through the coating, or are deeper than the first coat of the floor will not come out with just a buffer. Gouges and similar damage need to be belt sanded off. Repairs to the floor also require a full refinish. If you are replacing boards that have been damaged there will be a height discrepancy. The wood also oxidizes over time and changes color which can be evened out with a refinish when installing new wood.
When a floor is sanded down to wood a stain can be applied. This is not an option with a buff and coat. The goal of the project can really affect the choice to buff and coat or refinish the floor. The sheen level can be adjusted with either option so this is something to consider when having your floor done. Shiny floors tend to look great at first but wear over time and show more imperfections. Matte is a great option for homes with pets and children because it hides imperfections well.
There is a big difference in the price of these options. The recoat will cost about a dollar per square foot less than a full refinish. When you refinish a floor there is a lot of time and effort put in and the price reflects this. A screen and coat does come in at a lower price point because of the reduced steps and labor.