4 Types Of Screen Every Homeowner Should Know About and What to Avoid

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4 types of screen - gulfcoast aluminum

Most customers are shocked to learn that there is more than one type of screen! Not only is there more then one but in fact there are several. For most people a screen is just a woven mesh on an aluminum enclosure to keep the bugs out, but for others it can be a means of reducing sunlight, keeping the cat contained or adding privacy. In this post we will discuss the 3 most common types of screen as well as the stuff you shouldn’t use.

Phifer 18/14 - gulfcoastaluminum.com

AMERICAN MADE Phifer 18/14 — Standard

The most common screen used by us is Phifer 18×14 screen, an American made product made by Phifer in Tuscaloosa Alabama. What does the 18×14 mean? Simply put it is the density of the screen mesh. Each square inch of Phifer 18×14 screen is 18 little rectangle
openings wide by 14 little rectangle openings tall. Phifer 18×14 screen will last on your screen enclosure in Florida for about twice as long as standard screen or 8 years. As a consumer it is important to know which type of screen your screen company is using


AVOID The cheap Chinese Stuff

You do not want to have Artisan Wire screen installed on your pool enclosure, front entryway, carport, or any other structure. Artisan Wire is a Chinese made product with a life span of just 3-4 years and is frequently used by screening companies because it is a cheap alternative.


NO SEE UM SCREEN Phifer 20/20 Mesh

As you know Florida is filled with many bugs, the smallest of which are nearly invisible and small enough to get through Polyester 14/16 or Phifer 18×14 screen. For a Florida native these tiny bugs known as No See’ums probably go unnoticed, but to someone new to the sub-tropical climate of Florida they can be quite a nuisance. There’s nothing more irritating then being unable to enjoy the outdoor weather on your screen porch, lanai, or in your pool enclosure because some pesky little critters make you itch. For this problem, Phifer 20×20 screen is the perfect solution. Using the same fiberglass strands and coating as Phifer 18×14 screen the mesh is woven tighter for smaller holes not allowing No See’ums to get through.

Polyester Screen 10 Year Warranty

10 YEAR WARRANTY Polyester Screen

If you are planning to keep your home for a long time and want to get the best value for your dollar in the long run, polyester is the material for you. Polyester screen mesh is warrantied for 10years and simulated tests have indicated that the material has a life expectancy beyond 21 years. To achieve such an extended lifespan, polyester screen mesh is made of a unique polyester yarn that has superior tear and tensile strength that is 100% stronger than Phifer 18/14 screen. It incorporates UV tolerant properties which delivers unparalleled color retention, longevity and filter characteristics. The fabric is also compounded with a biocide that resists mildew and algae growth and repels insects.

Ready To Get a Quote For Your Re-screen?  Get Your Estimate Conveniently Online!

Corey Philip Administrator
Corey began working on screen enclosures as a teenager in 2004 after hurricane Charley devastated his home town of Punta Gorda. 7 years later, after holding positions from foreman, to sales, to project manager, while attending college at Florida Gulf Coast University, Corey and childhood friend Thomas Davis founded Gulf Coast Aluminum in 2011. With a focus on delivering an unparrelled level of service, the company has grown by leaps and bounds under their leadership. Today you’ll find Corey answering the phones In his free time Corey likes training for triathlons, running the trails at Ding Darling park on Sanibel Island, and of course, working on growing Gulf Coast Aluminum.
37 replies
  1. John
    John says:

    Corey, just requested n received a quote for screen replacement to pool cage using Superscreen. I understand that Superscreen is made in two grades 16×14 and 17×20 . When GCA quotes Superscreen which mesh size is being quoted?
    John Joyce

  2. Corey Windsor
    Corey Windsor says:

    Great question John. Your quote was for the 16×14 mesh. Standard SuperScreen quotes are for the 16×14 mesh. The 17×20 Superscreen is regarded to as ‘No See’m Super Screen’. Since the Superscreen is a thicker material, the openings and light that can pass through the 16×14 and 17×20 Superscreen is about about equivalent to the phifer 18×14 and 20×20 mesh, respectively.

  3. Bill
    Bill says:

    Corey, I want to permanently enclose our 9′ X 13′ lanai inexpensively, so to use as an eating area. Any suggestions?
    Would like to see the view. Ceilings are 11′ high

  4. Debbie
    Debbie says:

    Would 17×20 super screen shade my lanai or would it allow the sun to still come through? I’m considering rescreening but want something that will keep out the pesky no see ums (very important).

    • Corey Windsor
      Corey Windsor says:

      Good Question Debbie. The 17×20 lets plenty of light and UV through. You would get a sunburn under it.

      • Corey
        Corey says:

        did you answer Debbie’s question… or did I miss it..
        She was asking about the no see um insects that bite.

        I’d also like to know what type of screen to use for this issue.

  5. Corey
    Corey says:

    Never mind 🙂 I just saw the article above which tell us exactly what type of screening to use…. duh ! LOL

  6. Corey
    Corey says:

    do you have screen enclosure private mural of a stucco wall? I’m creating a New Orleans Courtyard patio and want just the look of a stucco or brick wall… all I see here are tropical/nature and such..
    Who do I contact for quote… I live in St Augustine


  7. Corey Windsor
    Corey Windsor says:

    That’s a very good and unique idea for the patio. I emailed you and the manufacturer rep for St Augustine. They should be able to create the ideal scene. You should look online at http://fotolia.com for an image you want to use. They will point you to their contractor in St Augustine and will work with you to modify the image you choose to fit your area.

  8. Deborah
    Deborah says:

    We are here only during the winter season and very rarely see bugs on our existing screen on the lanai. We have a beautiful bay view so would like a new screen that does the job, but allows us to enjoy the view to the maximum.
    What do you suggest?

    • Corey Windsor
      Corey Windsor says:

      Hello Jerri, what you would want for No See-ums is the 17/20 SuperScreen (standard superscreen is 14/17). With the slightly thicker material, the 17/20 SuperScreen is akin to the 20/20 screen.

  9. John
    John says:

    For 2 sided enclosure on a 20 x 30 deck with 10 foot sidewalls, can you suggest what the cost difference is for upgrading from Phifer 18/14 to 17/20 superscreen? I’m just thinking ahead and if the cost is double it may not be appealing, but at 10% more it would be a no brainer.

  10. Mike
    Mike says:

    I am looking to cover my windows using Phifer Suntex 90 on the exterior of the window to help with heat coming through. Any pros or cons you can think of? I found New York wire a little cheaper, do you have a review of them? Does Super Screen block the heat?

  11. Vincent Presto
    Vincent Presto says:

    Hello Corey
    Friends of mine are buying a new home in Port Charllot, FL and the wife and I are moving in with them from St Joseph, MO. and has NO Lanai.
    I plan on pouring and footing, lay Block and then pour a slab (12×25) so will need the material for Vert/horz, Doors, 18/14 screen and have not decided on a covered or screened top.
    I’ve sold and erected Four Season Sun Rooms and see this just as easy to erect and may want to continue as a side job, any ideas ?

  12. William L Riechel
    William L Riechel says:

    In the Bahamas on Long Island. We have a 360° roofed deck that is 8′ wide so sun is not a problem & we have good breeze daily. We have white aluminum frames that don’the seem very sturdy,, especially when drilled to hold them in place. When a screen slips into the opening from inside what is the best way to hold them in place, without drilling them? Do they make a heavier frame, ours. Is 1/2-5/8″ wide? Do I need new frames is I use SS 17/20 or 20/20? I think we currently have 16/something fiberglass. I am in CA now returning in May for 4 months to do maintenance. Thanks, Bill

  13. DeeAnn
    DeeAnn says:

    We have the problem of many pine trees in our neighbors yard which drop the needles into our screen and they just hang there. Are there any screens that will not let the needles in?

  14. Deana Coble
    Deana Coble says:

    I have a question. I have a cat and I am curious if aluminium screen is stronger than fiberglass or vinyl pet screen? Whats the best careening to use to combat claws?

  15. Alice Jones
    Alice Jones says:

    I’m looking into installing a screen room in the back section of my home. But I don’t know what screen would work best for our renovation. I think I’m interested in getting the American Made Phifer 18/14 — Standard that you mentioned. I like how you said that it would last twice as long as some standard screens. I hope this works for my screen room!

  16. Cindy Wooten
    Cindy Wooten says:

    Hello Corey, I live in central Florida and have a swim spa that I would like to keep the insects out and also protect from uv rays. No problems with no seeums, just knats, mosquitoes, flys, etc.
    I’ve seen screen looking material that is translucent but also keeps the rain out. I would like for the top to keep the rain and most of the vn rays but something you can see through to enjoy the birds and squirrels during the day and the stars at night. Any suggestions. Thanks

  17. Kristin
    Kristin says:

    After Hurricane Irma totally blew out our large pool screen enclosure (40’x65′) we have to rescreen the entire pool cage. We are considering either the Superscreen or the No see Um screen
    Which is better?


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