Laminate flooring is like any floor installation. The new flooring has to be cut to fit around existing doorways, walls and fireplaces. There are two basic methods to cutting laminate to fit a fireplace. One method is to cut the material to go around the fireplace, and the other is to cut the fireplace so that the edge of the laminate will go under the fireplace. The first method will create a trimmed appearance, and the second will give a seamless appearance to the installation.
Fitting laminate for trim
Cut a long section of cardboard into the exact width of a laminate flooring plank. Place the cardboard template next to the base of the fireplace. Hold the cardboard plank in place with one hand, and use the utility knife to cut off the excess cardboard next to the brick. Trim off an extra 7.5 mm (5/16 inch) from the template. The flooring cannot be tight against the brick.
Lay the cardboard template onto the required number of flooring planks that will complete the installation to the fireplace. Trace the pattern of the template onto the surface of the planks.
Use a band saw or jigsaw to cut the pattern out of the flooring planks. Only cut the edge that goes next to the fireplace. Snap each section of flooring into position.
Measure the length of the base of the fireplace. Mark the same measurement on a section of base moulding and cut it to the appropriate length.
Apply a thin bead of construction adhesive to the back of the base moulding and press it in place so that the bottom edge covers the edge of the flooring, and the top edge rests against the base of the fireplace.
Moisten a rag with paint thinner to wipe off any construction adhesive that might ooze out from behind the moulding when you press it in place against the floor and the fireplace.
Install a masonry blade on the shaft of the 10 cm (4 inch) grinder. There is a locking nut in the centre of grinding wheel. Use a wrench to loosen the locking nut. Remove the nut and the metal flange that keeps the blade from wobbling. Place the masonry blade on the threaded shaft; replace the flange, and then the locking nut.
Place a scrap section of laminate directly next to the fireplace. Run a pencil across the top edge of the plank and onto the brick. This is the height that the brick needs to be cut out to slide the flooring underneath the fireplace.
Cut the brick with the grinder across the line that you traced at a depth of no more than 1.2 cm (1/2 inch). Continue making cuts into the brick from the line down to the floor.
Lay your flooring next to the fireplace first. It is easier to work out from the fireplace than it is to work up to it if you are going to undercut the brick.
Wear safety glasses and a dust mask when cutting the brick to keep from injuring your eyes or breathing mortar dust.