Floor Refinishing: Screening vs Sanding - Tamalpais Hardwood Floors

floor refinishing

When choosing flooring, many owners pick hardwood flooring for its resilience and a warm feel due to its rich colors and natural grains. As it ages, hardwood flooring can get scratches and became dull. But unlike other types of flooring, hardwood flooring can make a comeback. All you have to do is floor refinishing. Renewing your old hardwood floor may be easier and cheaper than you think. You don’t need to involve messy sanding and staining If there are no damages on your floor. But it is so, you need to sand it. Tamalpais Hardwood Floors can help you to put your hardwood floor back on display using both methods depending on its appearance. Click here to contact us and get a free consultation in the Bay Area and Marin.



When a wood floor loses its luster, the usual solution is to sand it down to raw wood and completely refinish it. But often, that’s the wrong solution. Floor refinishing is the right solution.

All wood floors are protected by a clear coating that eventually becomes dull and gets scratches and scuffs. Hardwood floor refinishing can help you get rid of those unsightly scratches and marks. But as long as the damage is shallow you can often restore it to its original condition by applying a fresh coat. You can do it only if the damage is shallow in the coating and not in the wood itself. Flooring can be brought back to life, but don’t expect to remove deep scratches and dings. Frequent screen and coat applications can protect, postpone or eliminate the need for a complete refinishing at a later date.

How does it work?

Screening involves abrading the old finish on the existing floor making it compatible for applying another layer of new finish. If you’ve ever handled any trim painting work, the procedure is similar. A professional finisher will bring in a buffing machine and attach a special sanding screen to the bottom. Minor surface scratches and marring from moving furniture can be removed.

The buffer machine uses a large, circular soft pad with sandpaper “screen” discs on it to lightly and gently take off and the top coat finish and buff the wood floors in preparation for a new finish coat. Having your wood floors screened instead of sanded is a quick way. Also, it’s a cost-effective way to get them to shine and look like new again.



You may need floor refinishing with sanding when screening is not enough. If you have deep scratches on your hardwood floors, perhaps where someone moved heavy furniture across it, this is a situation where you want your wood floors to sand.

Floor refinishing is a great way to revitalize the look of a room without expenses of installing new flooring. To make floor refinishing, the first thing you need to do is sand off the old finish. This is what most wood floors need if they have not been refinished in years or have been damaged and scratched from heavy traffic and wear.

The process involves removing the top layer of the covering material using a sander. It digs down past any scratches, stains, or imperfections that might exist. Then it leaves you with a fresh surface to stain, paint, or treat with whatever protective coating you prefer.


Types of finishes

When you sand the wood down it will be completely vulnerable to stains, damage, gouges, and scratches. That means that you need to apply a treatment that can help to protect it from further damage. You can maintain the brand-new look of the surface for as long as possible. The type of finish you choose depends on the look you want for your floor. Durability is also an issue.


This is the best and most widely used protective coating. Either oil- or water-based, polyurethane comes in various degrees of luster. Polyurethane has a sort of plastic look. Both finish types darken or even yellow wood, although some newer water-based products don’t darken as much. Its purpose is to create a clear, protective layer over the top of the wood, which is resistant to liquids, stains, and scratching damage. Poly finishes are excellent for high-traffic and high-moisture areas. However, if the finish gets nicked or gouged, it’s extremely difficult to spot-repair.


This is similar to polyurethane, except that it has a more dramatic effect on the wood. Varnish comes in a variety luster from matte to glossy. The higher the gloss, the more durable the surface. Varnish often darkens with age. The advantage of this substance is that it is less thick. So you can repair it more easily when future damage occurs.

Penetrating sealer

This is a thin, protective liquid that goes over hardwood. It seeps into the pores of the material and creates a clear surface coating over its top. This offers a natural-looking finish that brings out the wood’s grain. However, it may darken over time. Penetrating sealer offers good protection, especially when waxed. It’s less durable than polyurethane or varnish. It’s the easiest of the three to spot-repair, though.


Floor refinishing fast turnaround

For a variety of reasons, flooring installs or refinishes often need to be completed within days…or less. At Tamalpais Hardwood Floors, we strive to meet your deadlines without compromising quality. In the case of Terzo Restaurant, for example, an upscale European-style tapas restaurant designed by acclaimed architect Cass Calder Smith, the owners needed to completely refinish the walnut floors on July 4. This is only the one day of the year that the restaurant closes. The project requirements also necessitated a completely dry floor and fume-free environment by the time Terzo opened its doors again on July 5.

Using a high-quality catalyzed hard wax oil finish with a rapid curing time (called Pallmann Magic Oil 2K), THF was able to complete the renovation within the allotted day. It was able to give this floor a brand new, water and dirt repellent surface that will withstand the wear and tear of a busy restaurant.

We applied oil finish on the top of the wood floor and created a new “wear layer”. Oils were driven into the floor what helped to harden and strengthen the wood itself.  Also, It helped to get rid of dirt and dust. Using this finish in Terzo restaurant we’ve got brilliant results. We’ve got a fresh look of a walnut floor and made it resistant to harmful factors as scratches and scuffs.

Whether you need floor refinishing of an existing floor or install a new one, contact us to find out how we can deliver a beautiful flooring solution quickly!