Vinyl plank flooring is made of long rectangular pieces. Therefore, when laying them down they will need to be cut to fit the specific dimensions of the floor, as well as, any fixtures that are in the room. To get the best results the cuts should be very accurate, and today I will explain how to cut vinyl plank flooring around curved, and square obstacles.
As a general rule, straight cuts should be measured using a tape measure and cut by scoring it with a utility knife, and then snapping the vinyl plank. For curved or irregular cuts, make a cardboard template, or use a contour gauge, and then cut it using the methods explained below.
For curved cuts, use sandpaper or a grinder with a sandpaper attachment, or a power saw such as a jig saw. Below, is are step by step instructions, as well as, a video that shows the methods to measure and cut around vinyl plank flooring to fit around obstacles on the floor.
How to Cut Vinyl Plank Flooring Around Obstacles
Flooring is almost always an usual shape, and there can also be permanent fixtures that are curved or unusual shapes. So, this is how to cut vinyl plank flooring around obstacles.
Overall, for straight cuts first measure the lengths required. For irregular shapes such as curves, use a contour gauge, or make a template out of cardboard. Make straight cuts using a utility knife, power saw, or regular saw. Use a jig saw for curved cuts or a grinder with a sandpaper attachment.
The tool you use depends on the shape of the obstacle. In bathrooms it’s common to need to do circular cuts. A jig saw is the best tool to make these types of cuts.
Also, the smaller the blade on the jig saw the easier it is to make the cut. For cuts that have straight edges, using any type of power saw works well. But, typically it causes fragments of the vinyl plank flooring to make a bit of mess.
Therefore, where possible limit the use of a power saw or regular saw, and use the utility knife and snapping method as much as possible. Below are specific instructions for cutting around different types of shapes and obstacles that can be present on a floor.
How to Cut Vinyl Plank Flooring Around Pipes
Pipes are a bit more difficult to cut around because they require a curved cut. It’s very difficult to mark out a curved cut without knowing how to do it, it’s also important to know what tools can be used to make curved cuts in vinyl plank flooring. Here is how to make cuts around pipes in vinyl plank flooring.
In general, measure and mark the cut using a contour gauge, or a cardboard template. Then sand away the area to remove the part of the vinyl plank flooring that you don’t need using a grinder, or dremel with a sandpaper attachment. A jig saw is also one of the best tools to make the cut.
Using a cardboard template does work. However, it is a bit fiddly and takes more time to make and then use. You would need to make a rough outline on a piece of cardboard slightly smaller than the pipe.
Then cut off a little of the cardboard at a time, until it fits exactly. After that you can use it as a stencil to mark the cut on the vinyl plank. Whereas, with a contour gauge you only need to measure it once. Contour gauges are handy tools to have, and can be purchased at the part of a hardware store or online that has spirit levels, also called bubble levels.
Below are step by step instructions for how to cut around a pipe. First here’s the tools you will need:
- A contour gauge or a few sheets of cardboard (a cardboard box works fine)
- A jigsaw, dremel, or grinder
- If using a dremel or a grinder you should use a sandpaper attachment
- Pen, pencil, or felt tip marker
- Medium grit sandpaper
- Utility knife (optional)
- Measuring tape
- Safety glasses
1. Measure and mark the curve on the vinyl plank
To know how to mark out the curve of the pipe you should lay as many pieces of vinyl plank flooring up to the pipe as you can. That way you can see how long the piece of vinyl plank flooring will be, and where exactly the curve of the pipe is. Then place the contour gauge against the pipe where the piece of vinyl plank flooring will be.
After that mark it out onto the piece of vinyl plank flooring. The pipe can be larger and therefore a piece vinyl planks will need to be cut. It’s best to do one plank at a time.
And to get one piece perfect first. Then you can see more clearly how the other cut needs to be.
2. Make the cut and smooth it off
A jig saw is one of the best tools to use. But after making the cut you should sand off any rough edges.
Another option is to make a straight cut that ends at the longest part of the curve, and then sand down the edges using a dremel with a sand paper attachment, or a grinder with a sandpaper attachment.
How to Cut Vinyl Plank Flooring Around Door Jambs
Door jambs almost always have frames that stick out a small way from the door. If vinyl plank flooring is installed in a room, as well as the area outside the room, vinyl plank flooring also needs to be cut to fit precisely. Below, is a summary and step by step instructions for how to cut vinyl plank flooring around door jambs.
As a general rule, measure and mark the cut using a tape measure. A contour gauge works well if you have one but is not required. Another option is to mark the cut using masking tape. Make the cuts using a saw, power saw, or dremel, as well as, a utility knife.
Virtually all cuts you make will be square in shape, therefore, a tape measuring can be used to measure the dimensions. You should lay as many vinyl tiles as you can up to the door jamb. Then cut the pieces that will be directly against it afterwards.
Doing so will allow you to see exactly where you need to cut the piece of vinyl plank flooring. Here are the steps in detail:
1. Lay vinyl plank tiles close to the door jamb
Ideally you should make the vinyl plank flooring look seamless as it comes up against the door jamb. Therefore, you should lay as many whole pieces of vinyl plank flooring around the door jamb. Once you can no longer lay a whole piece because it doesn’t fit you will know where to make the cut on the pieces of vinyl plank flooring that will be sitting directly against the door jamb.
2. Measure and mark the cuts
The cuts will always be square in shape. In most cases the door jamb will have a frame.
Therefore, the cut will require 2 to 4 individual measurements. These are the:
- Length of the vinyl plank from one end to the other
- The distances on one or two sides along the width of the vinyl plank
Each cut will be a little bit different depending on how the rows of planks have been laid. But, all measurements can be made using a tape measure. Mark these onto the plank, and you’re not ready to make the cuts.
Copyright protected content owner: ReadyToDIY.com and was initially posted on November 6, 2022.
3. Make the cuts and inspect how well they fit
Use the tool you chose to make the cuts. Bear in mind that if you’re using a power saw, fragments of the vinyl plank flooring tend to spray and make a bit of a mess. Therefore, if you can do the cuts somewhere, where it’s easy to clean up.
Once you’ve made the cuts, place the vinyl plank where it should go, and see how well it fit. If you got it slightly too short or long on one end then do an additional cut. Otherwise, you may need to cut a new piece of vinyl plank flooring to make it more accurate.
But, you can use the piece you already cut as a stencil and use that as a guide. Adjusting the measurements based on what will make it fit perfectly.
How to Cut Vinyl Plank Flooring Around Vents
Homes often have a central heating, and many of these have vents on the floor. When laying vinyl plank flooring individual planks will need to be cut so that they fit perfectly around these vents. This is how to cut vinyl plank flooring to fit around vents.
In general, lay as many whole vinyl planks as you can up to the vent. Then measure the cut that will need to be made using a measuring tape. Then cut it using a power saw, such as a dremel, or jig saw. Or, a regular saw.
Copyright article owner is ReadyToDiy.com for this article. This post was first published on November 6, 2022.
It’s possible and common to cut vinyl plank flooring using a utility knife. However, this method doesn’t work well if you are cutting a section out of a piece of vinyl plank flooring.
Instead, one cut will need to be made using a regular saw or a power saw. Below are detailed step by step instructions for how to measure and cut vinyl plank flooring around a vent.
1. Lay whole vinyl planks as close to the vent as possible
Laying vinyl planks is typically easiest to lay them one row at a time. You start at one end of the room and then work your way to the opposite end.
This is explained in detail in this article by Lowes where they show the full method to lay vinyl plank floors. Therefore, when marking out where to make the cut, you should lay as many planks as possible up to the vent.
2. Measure the cut that will need to be made
After that you can see where you need to make the cut by measuring the distance from where the planks will be directly against the vent. Use a tape measure to measure where the cut will need to be.
Then mark this onto the planks using a pen, pencil, felt tip marker, and a straight edge. Or, a ruler.
3. Make the cut using a power saw or regular saw
The cuts can then be made using a regular saw or a tile saw. In many cases, you can make one cut using a power saw, and the corresponding cut using a utility knife and the snapping it. Either or, works, and both methods are about as fast, and as easy as each other.
Typically, a saw with a thinner blade is easier to work with so that you don’t cut too much off due to the thickness of the blade. But, another option is to make the cut slightly shorter than required, and then sand the rest of it to make it fit perfectly using a piece of sandpaper. Or, a grinder or dremel with a sandpaper attachment.
Overall, first measure the dimensions using a tape measure. For non-square shapes such as curves, and triangles use a contour gauge, or make a template out of cardboard. A jigsaw works the best for curved cuts. For straight cuts any power saw can be used, but also a regular saw or utility knife.
ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on November 6, 2022.