How to Cut Flooring Around Curved Walls

Updated February 21, 2017

Installing flooring yourself is a challenging enough job, but working around curved walls presents added concerns even for seasoned do-it-yourselfers. One challenge you'll face is how to place layout marks that resemble the curved wall into the flooring before making installation cuts. You can use special layout tools, such as a trammel or layout compass, to handle the job. A trammel resembles a thick pencil that is attached to a ruler with one end resting against the wall and the other end resting on the flooring material. A layout compass features two legs that meet at a centre point and spread apart or retract as needed.

Lay the flooring next to the curved wall. If you're using larger pieces of flooring, such as laminate or carpet, trim the flooring pieces with a utility knife until they closely resemble the curved wall. Make these cuts, which are referred to as "safety cuts," until the flooring sits flat on the subfloor.

Slip the precision trammel onto a ruler and adjust the spacing so that the butt of the ruler will rest against the curved wall while the pencil scribes the flooring material.

Butt the end of the ruler to the curved wall with the trammel tip resting on the flooring material. Slide the butt end of the ruler along the curved wall, making sure that the trammel is perpendicular to the wall at all times.

Inspect the traced line to make sure it is correct.

Cut the flooring using the appropriate tool. Use a utility knife to cut laminate or carpet, or a jigsaw featuring the correct cutting blade to cut hard materials such as wood or tile.


When cutting wood flooring, leave extra material at the back of the strip while marking and cutting the opposite end, which allows you to make a mistake without having to scrap the board.


Wear safety glasses while operating power tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Utility knife
  • Trammel or pencil compass
  • Ruler
  • Jigsaw
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About the Author

Elizabeth Arnold has written for a wide variety of publications and websites. Her experience includes writing travel features for "Recommend" magazine and packaging marketing copy for both Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Warner Bros. consumer products. Recently, Arnold was a staff writer for "Special Events" magazine. Arnold studied English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.