Laying your own flooring can be a fulfilling and cost-effective endeavour. With typical houses having straight walls and large expanses of open flooring, laying the floor can seem relatively easy until you reach the dreaded angles of your bay window alcove. Trying to figure out how to cut flooring to fit within an area that has angles other than 90 degrees can be a daunting task, but with the use of some readily available supplies, you can create a template that will help to make the job more straightforward.
Lay your newspaper on the floor of your bay window alcove. Lay each piece of newspaper slightly overlapping the next, taping each seam. Continue this process until you have a large sheet that is big enough to fill the alcove floor with enough extra paper around the edges to fold up each wall.
Cut small triangular holes randomly in your template and tape each triangular opening so that the template will stick to the floor, holding it in place.
Firmly push the paper template edge against the base of each angled wall in the bay window alcove, using your straightedge. Mark the entire length of each wall on the paper with a pencil.
Remove the paper template and cut along the marked lines, leaving a full-size template of the bay window alcove floor.
Lay out your flooring on a flat surface outside the alcove without permanently fastening it in place--this is known as a dry fit. Make sure the dry-fit section will line up with your already laid section of flooring and is at least as large as your bay window alcove.
Place your paper template over the dry-fit flooring and tape it down through triangular holes to affix it in place.
Mark around the edges of the template onto your flooring.
Remove the template and trim each piece of marked flooring to the correct dimensions.
Transfer each piece of flooring from the dry-fit location into the bay window alcove. Check that all of the pieces fit correctly by dry fitting them once again on the floor of the bay window alcove. Make any necessary adjustments, and affix your fitted floor into the bay window alcove.
If you don't have newspaper, any sort of scrap paper or cardboard will work to make a template.
Be sure to subtract the appropriate dimension from the edge of your flooring to allow for the manufacturer's suggested expansion gap. If you have any heating ducts in the alcove, mark those dimensions on the template so that you can cut the duct openings out of the flooring as well.