Thinking of revamping your house with brand new laminate floors? If so, knowing How To Cut Laminate flooring is crucial. Installing the floor is simple and straightforward enough, but cutting and trimming laminate floor boards will require some skill and patience on your part.
This short guide can show you all that you need to know about cutting laminate flooring.
What You’ll Need to Cut Laminate Flooring
You need to gather all the right tools to cut the laminate sheets well. Make sure that all of the tools you purchase are well-built. We highly recommend not sparing any expenses. Inferior tools will lead to inferior products.
- Laminate Floor Cutter
If you’re seeking to buy your own cutter, they’re available for as cheap as $70. Although they’re more affordable, their quality could be questionable. We only recommend picking the starter model if you’re only going to work on small rooms, like a small kitchen or a small bedroom.
For medium to large-size projects, we recommend at least an intermediate-level cutter (priced at around $150 to $250). The blades on these models are more durable and produce better cuts.
Fortunately, you don’t necessarily have to buy them if you don’t need them often. You can rent a laminate floor cutter from your local home improvement center. It should only cost at most $25 a day.
Pick jigsaws that come with blades made specifically for cutting laminate floorings. Unlike standard saw blades, these special blades cut on the downward stroke.
Additionally, we recommend picking up carbide-tipped saw blades. They are more durable and can cut through the laminate sheets more cleanly. It’ll also reduce the chance of your saw’s motor burning out due to having a dull blade, as well.
If you don’t want to get a laminate floor cutter, a jigsaw can be substituted as a cutter.
- Coping Saw
- Profile Gauge
- Combination Square
- Tape Measure, Pens, and Markers
How to Cut Laminate Sheets
1. How to Cut Laminate Sheets to Length
First step is to use your tape measure to calculate the length that’s needed. Once you get the measurement, use the marker to mark the needed cut.
Take your square along with a pen and draw a straight line across the board. This is the actual cut you’re going to make with your tool.
Bring the sheet over to your cutting tool and make the cut on the waste-side (left) of the line. After you get the desired cut, you can use a damp cloth to wipe off the ink.
2. How to Cut Laminate Sheets to Width
Cutting to width is often used to make the last cut that’s going to fit before a wall, a piece of furniture, or obstacles. While you’re marking the cut, remember that laminate floor boards need at least ¼ inch of space for expansion when the board swells. This extra space is covered up by the baseboard.
First, take the full piece of laminate and lay it against the second-to-last piece on the floor. Mark off the overlap.
Next, you’re going to be cutting a guide. Cut a section that’s about as wide as the overlapped portion along with a ¼ inch extra.
Place the guide on top of the laminate sheet that you placed against the wall. As you run the guide down the length of the board, use a pen to mark off the base of the outside of the guide. This will mark the cut.
As always, cut on the waste-side of the line, then use a damp cloth to take care of the residual ink.
3. How to Cut Laminate Sheets Around Pipes
Measure the length and width to the center of the pipes. Then, put a dot on your laminate sheet where the center of the pipe is going to be.
Make use of a hole saw that’s around ½-inch larger than the actual diameter of the pipe to cut a circular opening for the pipe.
Then, use a cutter to make a straight cut across the center of this opening, splitting the laminate sheet in half.
Now that you have two separate pieces, wrap them around the pipe and use glue to join them together.
4. How to Cut Laminate Sheets Around Obstacles
For cutting laminate sheets around oddly-shaped obstacles, you can make use of your profile gauge. Trace the profile of the obstacle with your pen. Once you got the profile, follow the marking with a jigsaw to cut the laminate sheet into the appropriate shape.
A Few Tips and Tricks to Remember
1/ Always Buy Extra Laminate Sheets
It’s better to have extra sheets and end up not needing them, than needing them but not having the extra. Ensure that you got at least 5% (we recommend 10%) more material than you’d need to install the floor.
2/ Include an Expansion Gap When You Cut
Remember, a ¼ inch gap is essential when you install your laminate floors. Laminate floorings expand as temperature and humidity levels change. Without the expansion gap, the floor will buck and swell.
3/ Request New Blade When You Rent a Cutter
Most DIY-ers and amateurs will rent a cutter rather than buy one. If this is your case, when you set out to rent, ask them about the age of the blade and whether they can install a new blade for you. Newer blades are sharper and more efficient.
4/ More Teeth Are Better
When you pick up a saw, the more teeth there are on the blade, the better. More teeth will allow the saw to make finer, sharper cuts.
5/ Use Non-Permanent Markers and Non-Wax Pencils
Non-permanent markers are easier to wipe off after you’ve done the cutting. A lot of people use wax pencils to mark off the sheets, too. Instead, we recommend non-wax pencils. Wax pencils dull quicker and may produce gum when the wax combines with sawdust in the air.
How to Get Paint Off Laminate Floors
While renovating the house, you may get paint on your brand new laminate floors. Combine equal parts of water, rubbing alcohol, and white vinegar together in a bucket. Then, add a couple drops of dish soap into the mix and stir until bubbles form.
Apply the cleaner to the paint and scrub with a mop or a cloth. The paint will be lifted right away.
Cutting laminate floorboards is a must-have skill if you’re going to install and maintain your laminate floorboards on your own. We hope this guide has given you a clearer idea of what to do. Gather the right tools and follow the instructions closely. You’ll get it in no time.
Next on the reading list, if you’re looking for the best mop for vinyl plank flooring, this buying guide can show you exactly what top-rated model to pick for your home!