Cutting Laminate Flooring
When it comes to installation, cutting laminate flooring can sometimes be tricky. Here are some laminate floor plank cutting tips for the DIY floor installer.
Laminate flooring is an excellent alternative to traditional hardwood floors and can be much easier to work with. Often, the homeowner can install the laminate flooring directly over tile or an existing subfloor without extensive pre-preparation work.
But, you still have to know how to make the most accurate cuts in order for the installation to be a success. Here are a few tips to help you see to it.
Importance of the right measurements
The most important idea to remember when installing laminate flooring is the cutting of the flooring to fit into the room. The ancient construction adage of “Measure twice, cut once” works for any laminate flooring project.
A perfect cut will first depend on the measurement being taken and marked correctly on the plank that is to be cut. Impatience can often lead to inaccurate cuts and a haphazard, unprofessional look to the finished flooring project. The edging will take care of any imperfections with the end cuts, but only if great care is taken with the edging and fitting it prior to installation. In order to get the most out of the edging, using a fresh sharp blade and cutting finished side down are the keys.
Safety when cutting laminate flooring boards
Along with taking and making accurate measurements, safety should always be at the head of any laminate flooring project. Anyone undertaking an installation project, such as laminate flooring, should always make an attempt to set up an outdoor location to cut the product to length. Cutting the laminate flooring outside prevents dust buildup indoors and also prevents others from breathing in sawdust and particulates.
Wearing a dust mask when cutting, which should be done anytime wood products are cut, is also important for health and safety. One way to make sure everyone in the area is protected is to take the precaution of using the finest blade possible in order to cut the laminate. This will cause more time for the cut, as the blade will move more slowly, however it can be the best way to cut down on sawdust and produce a cleaner cut.
One plank at a time is best practice
When cutting laminate flooring, care should also be taken to cut only one plank of product at a time. No two cuts will be identical, even if the measurements are the same for two or more pieces. Fluctuations in blade teeth, where the piece is held on the saw and even how the measurement mark is made will affect the end result of a cut.
Cutting one piece at a time ensures the piece is being cut to exactly the mark that has been measured. Multiple pieces passing through the saw blade will result in a sloppier cut that may end up not fitting into where it was intended.
Patience is your ally
One last item to remember when installing laminate flooring is to cut as the project progresses. Impatience and cutting all of the pieces ahead of time will chance an end result that does not look professional and finished. Even if the measurements are taken at the beginning of the project, these may change as the project progresses, causing needless wasting of product and money.
Think about safety and skill
How would you assess your own levels of competence around power tools? What about your comfort levels? These are questions to ask when you’re deciding on a DIY laminate flooring installation, or hiring an established professional. Comfort and confidence will help to ensure the best job. If you’ve got both, great. If you’re not too sure, it might be best to hire a professional.
You be the judge. Either way, enjoy your new flooring!
[This post was updated on December, 2015]