Monday, April 5, 2021

Why Screen Spline is Important and How to Choose the Right Size

You probably don’t often think about your window screens, especially when they perform exactly how they should. When a window screen is high-quality and does what it should, we get to throw open our windows and enjoy the fresh air and respite a clean breeze can give our home. But do you know all the components that go into ensuring your window screens work exactly how they should?

Screen spline is an essential piece of what makes screens perform their best. The screen spline is what holds the screen of your window firmly in place within the frame. Without it, a window screen can easily begin to sag, pull away from the corners, or worse, simply be blown away leaving your windows wide open and unprotected.

Screen splines come in a wide range of types and sizes to ensure a very precise and accurate fit of your window screens within a frame, and each type of spline has a specific purpose. That purpose varies according to different window components. So, both understanding why it is important, and how to choose the right size is also essential in keeping your home free of bugs, debris, and anything else that
your window screens are keeping out.

Finding the right screen spline when you discover your old spline may need replacing can be a bit of a challenge. Especially if you’ve never had to replace a spline or choose one before. Now that you know why screen spline is important, let's take an in-depth look at how you choose the right size and what types of screen spline is available.

The Different Types of Screen Spline


There are many diverse types of screen spline available to you for your window screens. One of the most common materials you will see screen spline made of are vinyl and foam. Vinyl is one of the most common types of screen spline. Vinyl, or polyvinyl chloride, is one of the world’s third-most widely produced synthetic plastic polymers, making this a long-lasting material to use in screen spline. A good choice, as the spline will be exposed to all sorts of weather and temperatures.
Solid core vinyl screen spline is a durable and flexible material. It works well to hold a screen tightly in place if it is the right size. 
Splining comes in rolls that look like electrical wire, except it is solid all the way through. 
Foam splining also comes on rolls, but the core is like a foam rubber with very small air bubbles, making it compressible. Both solid vinyl and foam spline are available in sizes measured in decimals of an inch, for example, #140 would be .140 of an inch.

The most common screen splines you will encounter are:
  •  Flat screen spline
  •  Foam core screen spline
  •  Serrated spline
When it comes to choosing what type of screen spline to use, as a homeowner you get a bit of leeway, as to whether it is flat, foam, or serrated—each type does its job and does it well. Each type will hold a window screen perfectly taut.
When it comes to foam screen spline, a beginner to screen splining is afforded a little bit more leeway than in comparison to flat, solid vinyl. With vinyl, your spline size must be exact. Too small and your screens will not be held in place. Too big, and the spline won’t fit into the screen frame. With foam screen spline it can be compressed, meaning it can fit in many spaces where accuracy is a bit off.

How to Choose the Right Size Screen Spline


To ensure that you get the perfect size of screen spline, no matter what type you choose—foam, solid vinyl, or serrated, you need to know what size to pick beforehand. Luckily, there is an easy way for you to make sure you get the right fit. 
If you have the old spline from your screens, it is as easy as measuring the old screen spline.
  1. Using a tape measure, hold up the end of your old screen spline to measure the diameter or how thick or wide the spline is.

    Write down the number. If your screen spline is missing entirely or too brittle and rotted to be held, you can still find the diameter if you still have the screen frame.                                                
  2.  Using your tape measure, measure the gap, also known as the screen spline groove. The groove is a small opening that runs along with the entire frame that the spline is pushed into. Once you measure this, you have the diameter. Write it down.

Now that you’ve chosen what type you like and found the diameter you need, you are ready to go ahead and order your screen spline. Screen splines come in so many various lengths of rolls that it will be easy to order exactly how much of what you need for this important component to your window screens.

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