DIY Flat Screen Spline Installation

by Nathan McGinty

Window screens are perfect for keeping the bugs out while still allowing fresh air into your house. These screens are made by stretching the screen material, usually nylon or aluminum, across a frame. The screen is inserted into a channel that runs around the entire frame and held in place by a piece of plastic called a spline. New window screens use a round spline, but in some older models, a flat screen spline is used. With a few simple tools, it possible for even the beginning DIYer to complete a flat screen spline installation.


Lay the window screen frame on a flat surface, such as a patio or garage floor.


Stretch the window screen out to fit the frame. Cut roughly to size. It doesn't have to fit perfectly.


Cut off eight pieces of standard round spline, roughly 3 inches long. Insert these into the spline channels to hold the screen in place as you lay the flat screen. Stretch the screen tight and flatten any wrinkles.


Start in one corner of the screen. Press the flat spline into place in the channel on the back of the screen. Smooth over the spline in the channel with the spline roller. Remove the round pieces of spline you cut earlier as you work around the perimeter of the frame.


Trim off the end of the flat screen spline when you have completed laying it in the channel. Trim off any excess screen with the utility knife.


  • check To help fit the screen and flat spline in the channel, spray the perimeter of the screen with silicone lubricant before you lay the flat screen spline.

Items you will need

About the Author

Nathan McGinty started writing in 1995. He has a Bachelor of Science in communications from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in international journalism from City University, London. He has worked in the technology industry for more than 20 years, in positions ranging from tech support to marketing.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera lizard on screen image by Pix by Marti from