When it comes to flooring options, vinyl plank flooring has gained immense popularity due to its durability, versatility, and aesthetic appeal. Whether you’re giving your space a makeover or installing new flooring, knowing how to cut vinyl plank flooring is a crucial skill. Accurate cuts ensure a seamless installation that enhances the overall look of your room.
To cut vinyl plank flooring effectively, gather tools like a utility knife, straight edge, and cutting mat. Measure and mark the plank accurately, then score along the marked line using the straight edge as a guide. Snap the plank to break along the cut, smooth rough edges, and install the trimmed plank as per manufacturer instructions.
In this guide, we’ll take you through a step-by-step process on how to cut vinyl plank flooring effectively.
Before that, gather these vinyl plank flooring cutting tools for a successful project.
- Measuring tape
- Pencil or chalk
- Vinyl plank flooring
- Straight edge or T-square
- Utility knife or vinyl cutter
- Cutting mat
Time: A Few Minutes To an Hour
Cost: Dollars 20 To 50
Cut Vinyl Plank Flooring in 7 Steps: A Complete Guide
Cutting vinyl plank flooring can be a rewarding DIY project if you follow the right process. With years of experience in flooring projects, I have come up with the best and easiest way to trim vinyl planks for floors which is mentioned below.
Step 1: Measure and Mark
Begin cutting vinyl flooring planks by measuring the area where you need to install the vinyl plank. Carefully mark the dimensions on the planks using a pencil or chalk. If you’re cutting around obstacles like columns or doorways, make accurate measurements to ensure a snug fit.
Step 2: Prepare Your Work Area
Set up a clean and well-lit work area. Lay down a cutting mat to protect the surface beneath and to provide a stable base for cutting. This will prevent any damage to your tools and keep your cuts precise.
Step 3: Use a Straight Edge
Place a straight edge or T-square along the marked line on the vinyl plank. Ensure that it’s firmly in place and doesn’t wobble. This will serve as a guide for your cutting tool and help you achieve a straight and clean cut.
Step 4: Cut with a Utility Knife
Using a utility knife or a specialized vinyl cutter, carefully score along the marked line. Start with a light score and gradually apply more pressure for a deeper cut. It’s important to use a sharp blade to prevent jagged edges. If you’re using a utility knife, make sure to replace the blade if it starts to dull.
Step 5: Snap the Plank
Once you’ve made a deep score along the marked line, gently lift the vinyl plank and snap it along the cut. Hold the plank with one hand on either side of the cut and apply downward pressure. The plank should break cleanly along the scored line.
Step 6: Fine-Tune the Cut
After snapping the plank, you might notice that the cut edges aren’t perfectly smooth. Use a utility knife or a sanding block to carefully smooth out any rough edges or burrs. This step will ensure that the planks fit together seamlessly during installation.
Step 7: Install the Cut Plank
With your vinyl plank cut to the desired size and shape, you can now proceed to install it. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific type of vinyl plank flooring. Typically, vinyl planks lock together using a click-and-lock mechanism, creating a floating floor that doesn’t require adhesive.
3 Tips About How to Cut a Circle in Vinyl Plank Flooring:
Cutting a circle in vinyl plank flooring might seem daunting, but with the right approach and some handy tips, you can achieve a clean and precise cut that fits seamlessly into your space. Whether you’re dealing with pillars, pipes, or other curved obstacles, follow these steps to master the art of cutting a circle in vinyl plank flooring:
1. Create Pilot Holes
With the compass or template still in place, use a drill a bit slightly larger than the blade of the jigsaw to create pilot holes along the scored circle. These pilot holes will provide entry points for the jigsaw blade.
2. Cut the Circle
Carefully insert the jigsaw blade into one of the pilot holes and start cutting along the scored line. Maintain a steady hand and follow the circle’s outline. Take your time to ensure a smooth and accurate cut. If you’re using a jigsaw, choose a fine-tooth blade to minimize splintering.
3. Install the Circle
Now that you have a perfectly cut circle, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to install the vinyl plank flooring, including the circular piece you’ve created. Make sure the circle fits snugly and aligns well with the surrounding planks.
9 Mistakes to Avoid When Cutting and Installing Vinyl Plank Flooring:
Vinyl plank flooring offers a convenient and attractive flooring option, but certain mistakes can lead to unsightly results and unnecessary headaches during the cutting and installation process. So avoid these mistakes while cutting vinyl floor plank and installing them:
1. Dull or Inappropriate Cutting Tools
Using a dull utility knife or the wrong type of cutter can result in jagged edges and uneven cuts. Ensure your cutting tools are sharp and suitable for vinyl plank flooring. A dull blade can cause the vinyl to tear, leading to a less polished finish.
2. Ignoring Expansion Gaps
Vinyl plank flooring needs space to expand and contract with temperature changes. Neglecting to leave the recommended expansion gap along walls and fixed objects can cause the flooring to buckle or warp over time. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the appropriate gap size.
3. Not Considering Direction and Layout
Vinyl plank flooring should be installed following the room’s layout and natural light direction. Failing to consider these factors can result in an awkward appearance and disrupt the flow of the space. Plan the layout carefully to achieve a cohesive and visually appealing result.
4. Incorrect Cutting Techniques for Complex Shapes
When faced with irregular shapes like corners or obstacles, improper cutting techniques can lead to inaccurate cuts. Avoid excessive force, and remember to score multiple times lightly before making deeper cuts. Take your time to achieve clean and precise cuts around complex shapes.
5. Neglecting Subfloor Preparation
A smooth and level subfloor is essential for a successful vinyl plank installation. Skipping the step of preparing the subfloor by removing debris, leveling uneven areas, and addressing any damage can lead to uneven flooring, gaps, and premature wear and tear.
6. Rushing the Installation Process
Vinyl plank installation requires patience and attention to detail. Rushing through the process can result in misaligned planks, gaps, and an overall unsightly appearance. Take your time to properly align and interlock each plank for a seamless and professional finish.
7. Disregarding Manufacturer Instructions
Every vinyl plank flooring brand may have specific guidelines for cutting and installation. Ignoring or deviating from these instructions can lead to warranty issues, suboptimal performance, and even the risk of voiding the warranty altogether. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
8. Poor Adhesive Application
If your vinyl plank flooring requires adhesive, applying it incorrectly or unevenly can lead to bubbling, lifting, or improper bonding. Read the adhesive manufacturer’s instructions carefully and apply it evenly to ensure a secure and lasting installation.
9. Overlooking Acclimation
Allowing the vinyl planks to acclimate to the room’s temperature and humidity levels before installation is essential. Failing to do so can result in expansion or contraction after installation, leading to gaps or buckling.
Can I Use A Jigsaw To Cut Vinyl Plank Flooring?
Yes, you can use a jigsaw to cut vinyl plank flooring. However, it’s important to use the right blade and technique to avoid damaging the material. Choose a fine-tooth blade designed for cutting laminate or plastics. Set the jigsaw to a low speed and cut slowly to prevent melting or chipping of the vinyl.
Can You Cut Vinyl Plank Flooring With A Circular Saw?
Using a circular saw to cut vinyl plank flooring is generally not recommended. Circular saws are designed for cutting through heavier materials like wood and may generate excessive heat, potentially causing the vinyl to melt, chip, or crack. If you need to make straight cuts, it’s better to use a sharp utility knife, a straight edge, or a specialized vinyl cutter.
How Do I Ensure Accurate Measurements For Cutting Vinyl Planks?
To ensure accuracy, measure the space carefully and mark the dimensions on the vinyl plank using a straight edge or T-square. Double-check measurements and make precise markings before cutting to avoid errors.
Can I Use A Regular Utility Knife For Cutting Vinyl Planks?
Yes, a utility knife is commonly used for cutting vinyl planks. Make sure the blade is sharp to achieve clean cuts. Specialized vinyl cutters are available for this purpose, providing even more precise results.
What If I Need To Cut Around Corners Or Obstacles in Vinyl Planks?
When cutting around corners or obstacles like columns and doorways, measure the exact dimensions and make additional markings on the plank. Use a combination of straight edge and carefully controlled scoring to achieve accurate cuts.
How Do I Prevent Jagged Edges in Vinyl Plank After Cutting?
To prevent jagged edges, use a sharp utility knife and score the plank multiple times, gradually increasing the pressure with each pass. Sanding down any rough edges after snapping the plank will help achieve a smoother finish.
Can I Use A Saw To Cut Vinyl Plank Flooring?
Using a saw is not recommended for cutting vinyl plank flooring. Saws can cause excessive heat and potentially damage the material. Stick to utility knives or specialized vinyl cutters for clean and safe cuts.
How Do I Ensure The Cut Planks Fit Together Seamlessly?
After cutting, use a sanding block or utility knife to smooth out any rough edges or burrs. This will ensure that the cut planks fit together seamlessly during installation, creating a polished look.
Do I Need To Purchase Expensive Tools For Cutting Vinyl Planks?
No, you don’t need expensive tools. A basic utility knife, straight edge or T-square, and a cutting mat are sufficient. These tools are relatively affordable and can be found at hardware stores.
Can I Cut Vinyl Planks Before Installing Them?
It’s recommended to cut vinyl planks as needed during the installation process. Measurements may vary slightly, and cutting as you go ensures a more accurate fit, especially around irregular shapes and corners.
How Much Time Should I Allocate For Cutting Vinyl Plank Flooring?
The time required depends on the project’s size and complexity. On average, it might take a few minutes to measure and score each plank, plus additional time for snapping, smoothing, and installation. A small room could take a few hours, while larger spaces may require a day or more.
How Much Money Should I Budget For Cutting Vinyl Plank Flooring?
Budget-wise, you’ll need a utility knife, a straight edge or T-square, and a cutting mat, costing around $20 to $50 in total. The vinyl plank flooring itself can range from $2 to $5 per square foot, but actual costs depend on factors like brand and quality.
Learning how to cut vinyl plank flooring is a valuable skill that can make your flooring installation project a success. With the right tools, measurements, and techniques, you can achieve accurate cuts that enhance the visual appeal of your space.
By following this step-by-step guide, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle your vinyl plank flooring project with confidence. Ready for the DIY project?