How to cut vinyl flooring

How to Cut Vinyl Flooring

If there is one material that is easy to cut, it is vinyl. That’s why we show you how to cut vinyl flooring, all you will need is a utility knife and a ruler. These cuts are made in a general way by marking the material. Then with the ruler draw the line. Pass the knife along the drawn line. Finally, fold the material and cut it in two.

However, if you have difficult cuts. This means circular or oddly shaped cuts. You will need to know the best way to mark the material. So that, the cut will be perfect.

That is why we have prepared this article. It contains the best tools. For all types of cuts. And that you can know about how to cut vinyl flooring like a pro.

What you will need to cut vinyl flooring

You can use different tools for your cuts. Each will give you different results. The use of each depends on your taste. Also, depending on your needs. Here are the prices of the main tools.

  • Tape measure: $5 – $15
  • Marking pen: $2 – $5
  • Carpenter square: $10 – $40
  • Profile gauge: $8 – $25
  • Vinyl flooring cutter: $60 – $400
  • Utility knife: $5 – $10
  • Replacement blade: $2 – $5
  • Aviation snips: $12 – $35
  • Jigsaw: $20 – $150

Measuring and cutting tools to cut vinyl flooring

The tools needed to make the cuts can be used for measuring and cutting. The choice depends on your budget. Also, consider your needs. For example, if you have several flooring projects in mind. You will want to invest in tools that will last longer. However, if it’s just for one project, basic tools may be better.

Basic tools

The basic tools are a tape measure and a utility knife. With these tools, you can cut lengthwise and in the middle. However, if you have curved cuts you may require more specialized tools.

Tape measure: This is the basic tool for measuring parts. The tape measure allows you to hold one end. This way the tape does not run and the measurement is more accurate.

Tape measure to cut vinyl flooring

Utility knife: This is the most important tool in cutting vinyl flooring. Because vinyl flooring is a flexible material. The utility knife can easily cut this material.

Specialized tools

Likewise, to cut vinyl flooring. You can use other types of tools. Particularly for notch cuts. Also for curved cuts. Among these tools are:

Vinyl flooring cutter: There are specialized vinyl flooring cutters. Due to its thickness and hardness. This tool allows fine straight cuts. And diagonal cuts. However, it is not the most suitable when it comes to a curved cut.

Flooring cutter

Jigsaw: The other types of cuts can be made with this tool. Curved cuts. Also cuts in strange shapes.


Profile gauge: If you have curved cuts, it is best to have this tool. Because it allows you to copy the shape and transfer it to the part. There are profile gauges of different prices. Therefore, choose the one that suits your needs.

Profile gauge

How to make crosscuts on vinyl plank flooring

This is one of the most common cuts. Because they are required to shorten the boards. Mainly, at the end of the rows. The cutting line is made perpendicularly. Considering the length of the board.

The most important thing in this type of cutting is to achieve a completely straight cut. Therefore, it is essential to use a carpenter’s square. This way, you will get the straightness you need.

Use the utility knife to trace the cut. Besides, it will be important that you buy spare blades. This way you will always have sharp blades for your cuts.

Steps for crosscuts

Although it may seem simple. There are important details to keep in mind. Follow these steps to achieve the desired cut:

How to cut vinyl flooring

Step 1: Measure the length of the cut

Measure the length you require to have the desired piece. Then, mark the cutting line. Use a fine tip marker. The mark should be on the top layer of the floor.

Step 2: Place the material to be cut

Place the material on a flat surface. Preferably, do not cut it on the floor itself. This is to avoid breaking or scratching the backing material. This can be a scrap board or unused material. Never cut on the floor you are installing.

Step 3: Draw the cutting line

Next, place the square. The square edge should match the long side of the board. Draw the line along the mark you made. Use a fine point for this. This ensures a proper cut. Be sure to hold the square to ensure a parallel line. In this case, use the carpenter’s square. Because its 90° allows you to draw these lines perfectly.

Step 4: Cut the floor

Before cutting. It is better to make sure of the size. It does not hurt to check before cutting. After checking the measurement. Pass the utility knife over the mark. Use the moderate force. In other words, not too hard and not too soft.

Step 5: Separate the pieces

Finally, lift the board and bend it backward. This step is done by taking the cut line as a base. In case it does not break. Place the piece on the edge of the table. Make sure the scrap piece is over the edge. In this step, you can use carpentry clamps. To secure the pieces to the table.

How to make long rip cuts on vinyl plank flooring

Another common cut when installing vinyl flooring is to cut along the length of the plank. These kinds of cuts allow you to get the proper plank width. Necessary for the last rows of your flooring.  Because sometimes the size will not be exact with the thickness.

In this type of cutting, it is a little harder to achieve a straight cut. Because you will need to hold the ruler steady throughout the cut. Also, you will need to keep the pressure and straightness with the utility knife.

Therefore, for this type of cutting you will need other supplies. You can secure the boards to a table with carpentry clamps. And for the final cut, you can use tools such as a jigsaw or a circular saw. In this case, you will need safety goggles and wear gloves.

Steps for lengthwise cuts

To perform the cutting of your vinyl flooring lengthwise. Please note these instructions.

How to cut vinyl flooring

Step 1: Place the measurement on the piece

A carpenter’s square is not the right tool for these cuts. Therefore, you will need a metal straightedge at least 4 feet long. Initially measure the length at both ends of the board. This way you can be sure of the measurement. Don’t forget to measure at least twice to be sure.  

Step 2: Draw the cutting line

Based on the measurements you took. Place the metal ruler on the piece. Use a fine point. Then, trace the cut line. If you cannot hold the ruler for the entire cut. Secure the piece to a table. This way you will have better results.

Step 3: Cut the piece along the traced line

Once the piece is secured to the table. And you have drawn the cutting line. Use the right tool for this cut. This can be a utility knife. Although it can be difficult to hold for the entire cut. A jigsaw is recommended.

Step 4: Complete the cut

Finally, remove the clamps from the table. The pieces will now be separated. Just check the size of your cut. Then, place the piece in the desired spot. Repeat these steps for all end pieces.

How to cut curves and notches on vinyl plank flooring

Sometimes you will require notches cuts in your vinyl flooring. Therefore, we show you the best way. You can make them with a utility knife or with aviation snips. But, the expected cut may not be perfect.

How to cut vinyl flooring

Curved cuts with aviation snips

If you don’t want to buy new tools for your installation. Here’s how to cut your vinyl flooring with the utility knife. First, mark the curve width on the piece. Second, measure the diameter you need inside the piece. Then, draw a freehand curve. Finally, use the aviation snips to cut along the marked line.

Curved cuts with a jigsaw

If you want better results. Or if you have a lot of curved cuts in your space. It would be best to make them with a jigsaw. To do this, initially, measure the width and diameter. You can also use a profile gauge to mark the line. Then, trace the cutting line with the pen. Finally, cut along the line with the jigsaw.

Useful tips

To conclude this article. We leave you the useful tips that will allow you to achieve the desired results.

Useful tips

Depth of cut with a utility knife

If you try to break the piece after cutting. It is difficult. It may be because the depth of the cut has not been appropriate. In this case, try pressing harder on the knife when cutting. However, be careful not to go over the cut. Because it may result in a worse problem.

Cutting blade edge

Whether you use the utility knife or the jigsaw. You should note that if the blade has already lost its edge. You must replace it. Therefore, it is recommended to purchase replacement blades. This ensures that the cuts are fine. Less material is lost. Also, that the cut pieces fit with the other pieces of the floor.

Holding parts for lengthwise cuts

When cutting pieces lengthwise with the utility knife and using the metal square, it may be difficult to hold the square and make the cut properly. Therefore, it is recommended that you use carpentry clamps. This way, you will be able to hold the parts and tools properly. And achieve the desired cut.

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