As we mentioned in our previous post on how to lay laminate flooring in multiple rooms, the best way to cut laminate flooring is to have it pre-cut at your lumber store or home improvement center. However, if you want to go the DIY route, this guide will teach you how to do it.
Several steps are needed to ensure laminate flooring is cut correctly using the proper tools to eliminate chipping. Even if you buy pre-cut laminate flooring, you still need to know the best way to cut laminate flooring, especially when fitting odd-shaped rooms with corners. This means a bit of tweaking is necessary to make it fit snugly in your room.
Several steps are needed to ensure Several steps are needed to ensure laminate flooring is cut correctly using the proper tools to eliminate chipping.
Even if you buy pre-cut laminate flooring, you still need to know the best way to cut laminate flooring, especially when fitting odd-shaped rooms with corners. This means a bit of tweaking is necessary to make it fit snugly in your room.
# Best way to cut laminate flooring
The cutting process when it comes to the best way to cut laminate flooring depends on the shape of the room. When a room has many corners or so-called obstacles, you have to cut it around those obstacles, while a square room only requires straight cuts.
Making Straight Cuts
Cutting laminate floor in a straight cut is the most common method of cutting laminate. For making straight cuts, use an electric circular saw.
Before using a circular saw, measure and mark the cut line on the back of the board with chalk. Then, cut from that side after flipping it over.
Most chipping happens when a saw blade enters the wood from underneath and emerges from the top, so the best way to get less chipping is by running laminate boards face up through a saw table since the blade will enter the side of the wood first.
When you don’t have a circular saw, you can use a handsaw with at least 18 teeth per inch.
Cutting Curved Shapes
With a tape measure, measure the length and width to the center of the obstacle (eg. pipe or pillar). Make a paper pattern and trace it around the pipes/pillars to make a curved cut and avoid wasting laminate flooring. Cut out the paper pattern and lay it down around the obstacles to test its accuracy.
Next, draw the shape of the paper pattern onto the laminate flooring and flip the laminate plank so you can place the paper pattern on the backside of the laminate. This way, your cut is positioned to come out correctly when the laminate is flipped face-up.
Make sure you use a jigsaw for cutting angles and curves. Cut the laminate by holding the jigsaw vertical across its width, so the blade runs smoothly from one edge to another.
# Different tools for cutting laminate flooring
If you have a lot of laminate flooring to cut around, the table saw is a great tool to use. The person with the best cutting skills will be able to make the most accurate cuts. Price varies depending on the brand and the model. The cheapest table saw costs $90, while the most expensive one costs more than $200.
This is a must-have tool in the home improvement arsenal that can help cut dimensional lumber and laminate flooring with ease and accuracy. Using the table saw, you can make straight cuts at any angle you want without making effort at all. This tool allows you to make long cuts that are impossible to do by hand using a circular saw.
A circular saw is the most common tool used by DIYers to cut laminate flooring boards in a straight line. You can find circular saws for less than $50 or for more than $100.
This tool requires a lot of skill and practice to make the best cuts. You can turn it around and use it as a guide for making perfectly straight cuts. However, when cutting laminate flooring, it’s best to use this tool in combination with a table saw to help make longer cuts and avoid chipping.
If you are going to make cuts around pipes or corners, using a jigsaw is the easiest way to cut out laminate flooring. A jigsaw can be used to cut boards to width and also to length if you don’t have a laminate floor cutter. It’s lighter than a table saw and easy to use for making curved cuts on laminate flooring. A jigsaw is also affordable, ranging from $30 to $80.
Known as the plank saw, this tool can cut laminate flooring boards down to size. Although a handsaw is less expensive (costs around $15 to $75) and easy to use, it is not good for cutting laminate boards since it’s easy to get a crooked cut on your boards.
A miter saw is a great tool for cutting laminate board to width and length. The miter saw is used to make perfectly straight cuts, especially when a table saw isn’t available. You can choose either a sliding model or a non-sliding model as long as the blade is large enough to cut the entire width of the laminate.
A miter saw costs between $50 to $100.
Specialty Flooring Cutters
If you want to make the most accurate cut on your laminate flooring, there’s nothing better than a laminate floor cutter. This tool simply chops laminate boards with great ease using a tough blade for a perfect fit laminate floor. With a floor cutter, you will not require a dust mask as they make no dust whatsoever. Cutters cost around $70 for cheap models while a professional model can cost more than $500.
This is a must-have tool for DIYers, a tape measure is needed to help with the cutting process.
Marking pen or pencil
Used for marking and cutting perfectly straight lines on laminate flooring boards.
# Final Thoughts
When it comes to the best way to cut laminate flooring, you’ll find that there are different tools for every situation. You can use an electric saw if you want to make long cuts, or a handsaw if you need to work with curved shapes.
The most important thing is that you choose a tool that you feel comfortable using. Before you buy it, check out what other people are using and see if you can borrow it from them first. This way, you can get a hang of the process first.