If you are doing your laminate flooring installation project. And you are also a do-it-yourself lover. This article is for you. Since, you are going to need to know how to cut laminate flooring. This guide has valuable information regarding the type of tool you need.
We tell you how to perform different types of cuts with the right tools for each one. So that you can install laminate flooring like a professional.
What you will need to cut laminate flooring
Laminate flooring installation is very common among homeowners. Therefore, laminate flooring installation kits are available. They contain a rubber mallet, pull bar, and spacers. Some kits also include a laminate cutter. However, for cutting, we show you the best options.
If you have planned many installation projects. It is best to get tabletop tools. They will come in handy and you won’t have to invest in each project. There are also other options. For example, renting the tools.
Here are the main tools for cutting laminate flooring. As well as their different options.
If you are going to cut your laminate flooring. You will certainly need to measure. So have a few tools that will make your job easier.
Tape measure: A basic tool for your cuts. Because you will need to measure the last pieces of your rows. Also, measure at the end to cut to size. So, make sure you have one that won’t get stuck. Make sure it pulls out and returns easily.
Profile gauge: When laminate flooring is installed. It is uncommon for rooms to be completely square. That’s why the profile gauge can be a very useful tool. Especially if you have cuts in tricky shapes.
The profile gauge will replicate the exact shape you need. Then, just mark it on the piece and you’re done.
Combination square: The T-square can also be useful. It is not a necessary tool, though. It will be useful for cuts across the width of the board. Also for making parallel lines.
Now, when measuring you will need to mark. This way, you will be able to make the cut properly. To mark use a pencil or pen. Also, a fine tip is recommended. This way, you will achieve a precise cut.
After measuring and marking, you must cut the pieces. Here we find different types of tools.
Laminate flooring cutter: This tool is the most common tool for cutting laminate flooring. It has a cutting blade and a long handle. Besides, it allows cutting without noise and waste.
However, if curved cuts are required. Also for pipe cutting. This is not the most suitable tool.
Jigsaw: This tool is perfect for cutting round shapes. For example, for pipe or post holes. However, if you prefer a single tool. The jigsaw can also make lengthwise cuts.
Miter saw: The miter saw is perfect for fine cuts. No doubt, you will get a perfect piece where there are obstacles. To install the blade correctly. Make sure the teeth point towards the handle.
Circular Saw: This electric saw has a circular blade. It is perfect for straight cuts. To use it properly, hold the piece firmly. But be sure to keep your hands away from the blade.
Table Saw: This tool is similar to the circular saw. But it has a table. Its advantage is to make it easier to use. Besides achieving straight cuts without any effort. So, to get it just make sure to place the piece on the cutting lines.
Likewise, to use the table saw. Do not forget safety glasses, dust mask, and gloves.
Total cost of tools to cut laminate flooring
You probably already have some of the tools mentioned above. Especially if you are a DIY enthusiast. In this case, the investment will be less. As for prices, there is a wide choice. Because of their cost depends on the quality. As well as, their functionality. Some tools are more common than others. Therefore, we have classified them to tell you what their cost is.
Most common tools
The common tools are those that you will use most often. Your investment will pay off in the long run. Here are the minimum and maximum costs for each one.
- Tape measure: $5 – $15
- Combination square: $10 – $40
- Jigsaw: $20 – $150
- Jigsaw replacement blade: $3 – $12
- Circular saw: $30 – $220
- Circular saw blades: $12 – $25
- Table saw: $70 – $320
- Table saw blades: $10 – $30
Less common tools
These tools are the ones you will use occasionally. Therefore, you decide whether it is worth the investment. We also show you the costs.
- Laminate flooring cutter: $60 – $400
- Replacement blade: $20 – $35
- Miter saw: $6 – $25
- Profile gauge: $8 – $25
Step by step: How to cut laminate flooring
It explains in detail how to make all types of cuts. First of all, we recommend you practice with a few pieces. Before making the final cuts.
1- How to cut laminate flooring lengthwise
For cuts to size. First, measure the length with the tape measure. Then, mark the board with a pencil or pen. Also, use the T-square to draw the line. Trace it along the length of the board. Finally, make the cut.
For this cut you can use a jigsaw, table saw, or circular saw.
2- How to cut laminate flooring to width
This cut is required for the last pieces of the rows. Because the piece will be larger than space. To make this cut, follow these steps:
- Place the piece to be cut over the space to be measured. Fit it against the wall. Then, measure the overlap.
- On a laminate board measure the overlap. Also, add ¼ inch. Because the laminate flooring expands. Cut this piece to that measurement.
- Place the guide (the board you cut) on the piece. Also, fit it to the wall. Mark a line on the first piece with your pencil or pen.
- Cut the piece along the line you marked.
For this cut, you can use a laminate flooring cutter, circular saw or table saw.
3- How to cut laminate flooring around a curve
If you have a pipe or toilet in your space. You will need to make curved cuts. To do this you have to measure the length and width of the obstacle. The measurement is made to the center of the circle.
Next, make a mark on the piece of laminate flooring. The mark should be in the center of the hole. Make a circular cut. Also, make sure it is ½ inch wider than the diameter.
Cut the piece of laminate through the center of the hole. Now, place the pieces around the pipe. Finally, to join the pieces on the floor. Use the right glue for laminate.
For curved cuts, the jigsaw or the miter saw will be the right tools.
4- How to cut laminate flooring for uneven surfaces
When odd or irregular shaped cuts are required. Use the profile gauge to replicate the surface shape. Then, mark with your pencil or pen the shape on the piece.
Use a jigsaw, circular saw or table saw to make the cut.
When you are doing any flooring project. You always want to get the tricks you need to keep in mind. That’s why we’ve put together these helpful tips.
Laminate flooring preparation
Keep these two things in mind. First, when measuring your space and calculating the amount of material you will require. Include an extra 5 to 10%. This way, you will have material to replace waste. Also, when you need to make repairs.
Second, remember that laminate flooring expands and contracts. Therefore, you will need to acclimate the pieces before installation. Temperature changes can cause your floor to expand. This can cause defects in the laminate flooring.
In this regard, it is important to consider:
- Include the expansion space on all sides of the room. This space should be ¼ inch.
- You can buy the spacers. Or, make them from scrap pieces.
- Don’t forget to remove the spacers after the installation is complete.
During acclimatization time. It is recommended to measure the floor. Also, make the design of the pieces. In other words, the first and the last row must have the same width. So, measure the width of the room and divide it by the width of the piece. Then, divide this value by 2 and this will be the width of the first row.
Finally, cut the boards to this size. Both for the first and the last row. Also, keep in mind that these cuts can be made with a table saw, jigsaw, or circular saw.
The best blades for cutting laminate flooring are carbide-tipped ones. Because you can use them in a miter saw or circular saw. And they achieve a fine cut without much waste. They are also the most durable. So the cost of replacement parts will be less.
Also keep in mind, the more teeth on the blade. This will help you to have finer cuts. Besides, it will help to reduce waste.
Stay with us and learn how to use the tools properly to cut laminate flooring…