How to Cut Vinyl Plank Flooring

Practically, the idea of cutting vinyl flooring is scoring and snapping. All you need to have is a straightedge and a knife (utility knife) to score the top layer of the flooring, then bend it back to break. However, this method works the best only when the cuts you have to make are straight ones.

Vinyl plank flooring comes in pre-cut planks, but sometimes you might want to modify it to perfectly fit some areas that have no definite shape but must be covered. Cutting vinyl planks is easy, but you should always have protective gear while at it.

When installing vinyl flooring, you have to be aware of the cuts involved because most often than not, you will end up making these cuts. These cuts include: crosscut, round cuts, straight cuts, rip cuts e.t.c, and in this article, there’s an outline on how to professionally make each cut.

How to Cut Vinyl Plank Flooring

First things first, you ought to know and understand the different commonly used cuts.

The 3 Types of Cuts on Vinyl Floor Planks

  1. Crosscuts-These are shortcuts across the plank. Crosscuts usually go against the grain of the planks.
  2. Rip cuts-These are long cuts along the length of the planks.
  3. Notch cuts-Small cuts made to fit the floor around objects like pipes, door jambs e.t.c

Each of the above cuts is made different from the other depending on the nature of its complexity.

How to Make Crosscuts on Vinyl Plank Flooring

Crosscuts are made perpendicular to the length of the plank. In most wooden floors, these cuts are a bit technical because they go against the wood grain and must be carefully made so as not to splinter the wood.

How to Make Crosscuts on Vinyl Plank Flooring

In vinyl planks, however, there’s no special treatment needed. Yes, it looks like wood, but since it’s not made from it, there are no grains involved. In this case, a crosscut is no different from any other cut. You just score and snap.

What you need is to make sure you make a clean, straight cut on its top layer. Straight cuts not only look professional and presentable but are also easy to snap.

Cutting Vinyl Plank Flooring Crosscuts

Tools and materials needed:

  • Framing square
  • Utility knife
  • Vinyl plank

Measure and Mark

Get the measurements you need and transfer the same on the vinyl plank. The mark should be made on the waste side with something visible like a carpentry pencil or a grease marker.

Prepare for cutting

Lay the measured and marked plank on the floor or on something that you don’t mind cutting. If on the floor, use a free resting knee to secure it in place, and if you’re using a table, clamp it or use something heavy enough to secure it and not too heavy to damage it.

Scoring

Place the framing square along the line you want to cut using your less dominant hand and apply a little bit of pressure to secure it and make sure it does not move when cutting. The thumb should be closest to the cutting line.

You can use a square of your choice. There’s a wide variety of carpenters squares to choose from.

  1. Framing squares
  2. Try square
  3. Speed squares
  4. Combination squares

All these squares will give you the same results.

Use the utility knife to slightly make an indent(score) on the plank.

To score means to cut half depth so the minimum effort is required, after all, all you need is just an outline.

Snap

You can either lay a knee on the plank and bend it backward by pulling it up, or you can place it on a high area like a table and push it downwards on the hanging ledge. If snapping seems difficult, it could be the cut you made. Run the knife a second time to make sure it is deep enough but not going all through the plank.

How to make Rip cuts on Vinyl Plank Flooring

Secure the plank on the working table

Set the plank on the working table, or use just a normal table and place it lengthwise along its edge. Clamp it down at the farthest end and the start. If you’re experienced with a jigsaw you just clamp the farthest end alone.

Measure and Mark

Use a tape measure to get the measurements and mark various places on the plank to draw a straight line. It is difficult to cut along its length if you only have one point of reference.

Cut

Cutting with a jigsaw is going to make small pieces fly into your eyes, so the first step, you should wear protective goggles.

To cut, you will be pushing the jigsaw away from you, so its teeth should be facing the opposite direction. Slowly guide the jigsaw through the cutting line all the way to the end.

How to make Rip cuts on Vinyl Plank Flooring

Some people prefer using circular saws but if you don’t have any experience with them, do not use them. Circular saws can be dangerous as they have kickbacks. The jigsaw is perfect for this job, the speed is impressive and with a few cuts in, you will be able to complete the job without any difficulties.

Tools and materials needed:

  • Jigsaw
  • Clamp
  • Workbench

How to make Notch cuts on vinyl plank flooring

Notched cuts are more complex to make unlike the rip cuts and the crosscuts which are just straight cuts.

Mark the area to cut

Trace the shape of the notch on the masking paper, and transfer the same to the vinyl planks

Scoring and cutting.

You can use two methods to make the cuts. First, you can score the vinyl with a compass and snap it. Second, you can mark the plank with a pencil and use a jigsaw to cut.

Tools & Materials you’ll need:

  • Masking paper
  • Pencil
  • Compass
  • Jigsaw

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