Installing laminate flooring is a popular home improvement project among do-it-yourself enthusiasts. This is due in part because the installation process is relatively simple and usually easily well within the skills of an amateur. If you are going to install your laminate floor yourself, you should know that the cutting of the laminate floor planks can be a little tricky. It is good to have some helpful information before you start.
The Right Tools
As with nearly all jobs, having the right tools is crucial to success. If possible, plan on using a table saw rather than a hand-held circular saw for the majority of your cuts. It provides a sturdier cutting surface, and better sawdust control. Use fine toothed, carbide tipped saw blades, and have extras on hand. Laminate flooring is very hard on the saw blades, dulling them. A jigsaw is great for doing speciality cuts for corners and around pipes or appliances.
Cutting Methods and Tips
Cut the planks so that the blade is cutting down into the laminate rather than up. In general, this will mean that you cut the planks right side up on a table saw and upside down when using a circular saw. A very helpful tip for making special cuts with the jigsaw is to use a strip of blue painters tape along the cutting line of the laminate side. This will prevent the laminate from getting a jagged cut, or chipping off pieces along the cut line.
Consider renting an electric doorjamb saw for the job, especially if you have multiple doorways to deal with on your project. This type of saw will finish a job that usually takes hours in just a few minutes. For a job with a lot of angled cuts a mitre saw will be beneficial. It is a real time saver and makes it easy to make proper cuts on the laminate planks and moulding.