Cutting Laminate Flooring – A Step By Step Guide

It’d be an ideal world of the amount of laminate flooring you ordered always fit your room exactly, with the correct dimensions, and the exactly right number of planks. It’d also be an ideal world if you could go through a drive thru without having to check your order to make sure they haven’t handed you three Fillet of Fish sandwiches when you only wanted a cappuccino and a muffin.

Who orders Fillet of Fish sandwiches anyway? Why are they even on the menu?

Anyway, we’re not in an ideal world, and your laminate flooring will more often than not will require cutting. Whether it’s to fit in a strangely shaped corner of a strangely shaped room, or even if it’s simply to cut them to fit against a wall – your room isn’t going to be exactly three planks wide after all – your laminate will need a little bit of tweaking to fit snugly in your room. If you’re in any doubt, it’s always best to get a fitter on board. But if you want to try it yourself, we’ve got all the top tips you need to know to make your laminate cuts as smooth as butter.

Once you’ve chosen your laminate (and we can certainly help with that) and cleared the installation area, then it’s time to get to work. Here’s the skinny, step by step.

 

Cutting Laminate Flooring Chuck Norris Chainsaw Grab

Chainsaw Not Required

1 – Measure

Measure twice, cut once – as the old adage often goes. Use a measuring tape to plan out your space and see what size and cut each plank needs to be. Then measure again, because you can’t uncut that plank. We’d recommend ordering 5 to 10% wastage alongside your floor, it’ll mean you’ve got spare planks if you have trouble getting the hang of cutting them, and it’ll also mean that you can mix and match the planks to choose the ones you like best, depending on whether you want plenty of knots and grain, or want to go for a more low key look.

Make a mark on each plank where the cut needs to be, either in chalk or pencil. Use this as your guide when you’re chop chop chopping, and wipe away any residue afterwards. Don’t leave it up to guesswork. The pros wouldn’t dream of it, and you certainly don’t know better than the folks that do this for a living.

 

Cutting Laminate Flooring Measuring Cut

 

2 – Prepare to Cut

You’ll need to decide the tools of your choice when cutting your laminate. Chop saws and circular saws are ideal for cutting neat, straight line, perfect for cutting a laminate. Trickier areas, such as around radiator pipes or curved objects will require a little more precision. A cordless jigsaw would be the best option for this sort of work.

Cutting laminate, especially when using power tools will create a lot of mess and dust. We recommend carrying out this work outside, and to wear protective gloves and goggles to protect yourself.

 

Cutting Laminate Flooring Dog With Goggles

Safety First

3 – Cutting the Laminate

Laminate flooring is a strong and durable floor covering option, but it can chip when using power tools. Take all the reasonable care you can, and as always when working with power tools and blades, take your time. Don’t rush your laminate installation or you’ll end up wasting planks, money, and potentially losing a finger or two in the process!

The best technique for cutting your laminate is to cut downwards into it with the décor side facing upwards. The plank is then ready for installation.

 

Cutting Laminate Flooring With A Saw

 

4 –  Problem Areas 

 

Again, with tricky areas like around pipes, radiators, fireplaces, or weirdly shaped corners, you should measure carefully and then pencil mark where you need to cut. You’re better off starting with the problem areas and working your way outwards. Eat the frog first.

A fine toothed jigsaw can be used to cut neatly along the line. Make sure you order wastage because there is no faster way to increase the pressure on yourself to give yourself only one plank to get it right.

 

Cutting Laminate Flooring Around Radiator Pipes

 

Cutting Laminate Flooring Tips and Tricks

  •  Remember to always leave an expansion gap around the edges of the room and around radiator pipes.
  •  Add a percentage waste factor of 5-10% when buying your floor to allow for defective planks and cutting errors.
  •  If you are cutting your laminate indoors, put down an old bed cover or polythene sheet to catch sawdust and wood chips – this will make it much easy to clean up.
  • Safety first – always wear a dust mask while cutting to avoid inhaling any dust. The are available cheaply from hardware stores.

 

And for the final step, sit back with a cup of tea – or perhaps a little something stronger – and admire your handy work. Congratulations, you did it!

 

Cutting Laminate Flooring Cheer

 

Got any more advice for cutting or laying a laminate floor? Let us know in the comments below!

Got a click system laminate? Here’s some more tips on how to get a top notch installation.

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