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How to cut laminate flooring?

How to cut laminate flooring?

13th Jan 2022

Not every room is the same size or shape, so if you're installing laminate flooring, you'll likely need to cut it to fit.

In this guide, we'll talk about how best to cut laminate flooring, including which tools you will need.

What is Laminate Flooring?

Laminate flooring is multi-layered synthetic flooring made with a lamination process. It's designed to simulate real wood or stone, with a photographic effect added to the outer layer to give it this appearance. The inner layers are usually made from melamine resin and fibre board.

It's easier to install and maintain than traditional hardwood flooring and is often a lot cheaper.

Is it Hard to Cut Laminate Flooring?

If you have the right tools, it's actually quite easy to cut through laminate flooring, and can easily be done by people with a little DIY skill.

You'll likely be cutting boards straight to fit the edges of the room, as well as curved or angle cuts to go around features such as toilets or fireplaces.

Black Water Grey Oak Laminate Flooring - 1.73m2 | Wickes.co.uk

What's the Best Saw for Laminate Flooring?

Handsaw, jigsaw, crosscut saw (also called a plunge saw).

For simple straight cuts, you can easily use a handsaw to cut laminate flooring if that's all you have, but for the most professional finish, you should choose a crosscut saw or table saw.

If you're planning on cutting out angles or curves (such as around a toilet), then you should use a Jigsaw. Make sure it has a fine tooth blade.

What Tools Do You Need When Cutting Laminate Flooring?

Apart from the saw, you'll also need to get the following:

Straight Edge/Ruler

A straight edge tool is designed to increase your measuring and marking accuracy, providing a precision-engineered edge, as well as finger-protection for scoring lines with sharp objects.

Steel straight edges give you a reassuringly heavy feel when marking lines on your laminate flooring, helping to improve your accuracy and prevent mistakes.

Aluminium straight edges on the other hand are lightweight, with a non-slip backing to prevent slipping accidents, with a recessed area to protect your fingers (if cutting using the straight edge as a guide).

Pencil

You'll need something that's easy to wipe off to mark the place you intend to cut on your laminate flooring, a pencil is ideal.

Clamp/Vice

It's far easier to saw through the laminate flooring when you have the piece clamped in place. Any clamp or vice that's non-marking will likely be fine, but make sure you test it on an offcut piece first just in case.

Sandpaper

You'll likely need sandpaper to finish off the cutting edges of your laminate flooring to give you a nice clean finish.

How to Cut Laminate Flooring with a Handsaw

1. Safety – make sure you're wearing goggles, gloves, and have a clean work surface before starting your cutting.

2. Mark your cutting point on the flooring with a pencil, then finish the line using your straight edge as a guide.

3. Clamp the piece of flooring in place over a flat surface, with the cutting edge lining up as close to the edge of the surface as possible. The best situation is to clamp it from both ends, but that's not always possible.

4. Make a small cut in the flooring first, by drawing the saw backwards over your cutting line.

5. Start sawing until you've finished the cut (ensure your hands are well away from the saw blade).

6.Sand the cut edges of flooring to achieve the desired finish.

How to Cut Laminate Flooring with a Crosscut/Table Saw

1. Safety – make sure you're wearing goggles, gloves, and have a clean work surface before starting your cutting.

2. Mark your cutting point on the flooring with a pencil, then finish the line using your straight edge as a guide.

3. Clamp the flooring in place on your saw with the cutting line directly over the saw line marker.

4. Start the saw, then bring it down and through your cutting line (ensure your hands are well clear of the cutting blades).

5. Sand the cut edges of flooring to achieve the desired finish.

How to Cut Laminate Flooring with a Jigsaw

1. Safety – make sure you're wearing goggles, gloves, and have a clean work surface before starting your cutting.

2. Mark your cutting shape on the flooring with a pencil. Sometimes this is easier if you physically trace the shape you need on paper first, then overlay this onto the piece of flooring before cutting.

3. If possible, clamp the other end of your laminate flooring to a bench or work surface, leaving just the cutting pattern over the edge. The best situation is to clamp it from both ends, but that's not always possible.

4. Keeping your hands well clear, start the jigsaw and approach the edge of the flooring, cutting the shape out slowly.

5. You should test the teeth direction beforehand to understand which direction you need to cut to leave yourself with a nice finish (you may need to flip the piece of flooring to achieve this).

6. Sand the cut edges of flooring to achieve the desired finish.

Can You Cut Laminate Flooring Without Chipping It?

The key to cutting through laminate flooring without chipping it, is to use a fine tooth blade. Some recommend at least 18 teeth per inch on a hand saw to prevent chipping, whilst others recommend at least a 30 teeth per inch blade for a jigsaw.

As an extra precaution against chipping, you can add painter's tape over the cutting line on your flooring, then mark again on top, and cut directly through the tape.

Can You Cut Laminate Flooring with a Stanley Knife?

It's not recommended to cut laminate flooring with a Stanley knife, as the blade is at risk of snapping under the increased pressure.

Do You Cut Laminate Flooring Face Up or Down?

The majority of the chipping occurs when the saw blade is on the way back up, so you should consider this when deciding which way you should cut your flooring. Circular saw blades don't have this problem, but jigsaw blades do.

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You can also learn abouhow to use a straight edge here.