You know that screen spline is used for window screens to keep the material tightly in place. It’s a rubbery-like structure that is pressed into a window screen frame’s grooves. However, did you know that there are several different types of spline used for different screens? Flat, serrated, and foam core screen spline each offer specific benefits for residential and commercial needs. When shopping for spline, how do you know which type is right for you? How do you install it? Use this guide to help make you screen spline buying and installing quick and easy.
Flat Screen Spline
Made of solid core vinyl, flat screen spline is great for applications where you need durability. This type of spline is designed to withstand the elements without rotting. Many homeowners and professional screeners use this spline on screened-in patios, porches, and household windows.
Serrated Screen Spline
This type of spline features hollow core vinyl, which is great for re-screening, repair jobs, and new builds. This type of spline can be used for indoor applications in the rooms of your home or in businesses.
Foam Core Screen Spline
Foam core screen spline offers more flexibility and resilience in comparison to vinyl spline. Because of this, it is an ideal option when you need a little more give when rolling in spline for a unique window screen. If your measurements are slightly off, the foam core screen spline will still be able to work.
Ordering and Using Screen Spline
When ordering window screen spline, you’ll first need to know the measurements of the spline groove of your frames. Once you have this measurement, choose a screen spline with the same width of the window frame. This is key for successful installation! Otherwise, the spline may be too narrow or wide for the required snug fit.
Screen spline is typically sold by the foot, with options ranging from 100 feet upwards of 500 feet for commercial screening businesses. The everyday homeowner should be fine with a 100 foot roll, which leaves extra spline for future repairs. However, for business owners, the larger rolls are needed. Where a residence may only need one type and size of spline, professional screeners need an array of spline options on hand to successfully carry out different types of jobs for home owners and businesses.
When to Replace Window Screen Spline
While good quality window screen spline is designed to last for years, sometimes the elements can really take a toll on how long your spline will realistically last. Spline rot can happen when you have splines that are made with low quality materials. Rubber is a natural material that is vulnerable to the fungus that causes dry rot. Other things like extreme temperatures, UV rays, oxidation, and ozone can affect the integrity of your window screen spline.
If your spline is dry rotted or melted, it will need to be replaced to keep your window frames functional. To replace it, locate the spline end first. This is thicker at the edge, making it easier to identity. With a screwdriver, pry the spline up out of the groove and push out at least 20 inches so that you may easily pull the rest of the spline out. It’s crucial that you do this with the utmost care, as the spline can crack into pieces. If it is melted, you may not be able to remove the spline. Hopefully, it is only melted in a few spots and you can still carefully pry it out. In some cases, you will need to totally replace your window screen frames.
How to Install Screen Spline
For this task, you’ll need a spline roller tool and utility knife.
- Choose a corner of your screen frame to start with. With the spline roller tool, press the spline’s end into the corner.
- Use the roller to continue pressing the spline into the groove, working your way down the sides of the frame. Move in one direction only. Try to keep the spline tight by gently pulling on the edge of the loose screen ahead of the roller tool.
- In each of the corners, ensure the spline is deeply seated into the grooves with a screwdriver.
- Once you’ve installed the spline all around the frame, use a utility knife to cut the spline and then press the end into the groove to complete the installation process.
- Trim the screen if needed.
Now that you know what the different types of screen spline are, how to order it for your needs, and how to remove and install it, you’re much more prepared to repair and assemble screens without the need of a professional screener!