What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a sanding screen vs sandpaper when refininshing a hardwood floor? When would you choose one over the other?

  • Screens are usually for really fine grits where the residue would normally clog up sandpaper quickly (like sheetrock sanding). So, in general, you'd go with screens the finer your sanding is.
    – DA01
    Apr 21, 2015 at 22:49

2 Answers 2


I have years of using both. I have no scientific data or anything like that. If I had big pieces of lint/whatever stuck in polyurethane then I would use a sanding screen. If I had a large area of issues I would use sandpaper. A screen will allow you to knock out things that are not flush with your surface while leaving your surface in tact - see @DA01's comment.

What I am not sure about the comment is for fine sanding. Yes screens are great when finishing off drywall mud when you have a few bumps but they are really good at any point where the area you actually need to sand is a small percentage of everything. Screens are for when there are imperfections littered over your surface, sandpaper for the whole surface (think divots and air holes).

I find that sandpaper is more precise, and i feel that screens last longer and pick up more mistakes. This is scientifically proven because I use screens a lot and my drywall pros never do.


For light wear (just surface scratches), a "screen and recoat" approach can restore the surface and appearance -- at least for poly; not sure about other varnishes. Deeper damage probably means a full refinishing.

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