To make a cut, you feed the plank lengthwise through the blade, line up the cut line with the blade and push down on the handle. People looking to try a floating floor that uses dry installation are fond of laminate flooring material. Sand with fine-grit sandpaper (like 120-grit) using downward strokes to avoid chipping the laminate. As mentioned, laminate has a plastic finish on top that is prone to chipping – and choosing the right blade will go a long way towards preventing it. Step 3: Use a straight edge or another laminate flooring board to guide the jigsaw / circular saw, while doing the cut. Different methods to cut the laminate without cracking and chipping are as follows. In order to cut melamine or laminate board, your saw needs to be equipped with a double-sided laminate/melamine blade. Sheets are typically 1/16 inch thick, and are usually installed on a substrate of plywood or medium-density fiberboard with contact cement. Installers often cut full sheets into manageable pieces with a table saw, which requires the extra step of providing support for the sheet on the out-feed side of the table as well as on the blade side. How to Cut Large Sheets of Plywood on a Table Saw, How to Cut a Piece of Plastic Laminate Countertop. Use the blades designed for cutting laminate. The tool should be operated so that the leading edge of the bit bites into the material. The fence must be exactly parallel to the blade. You can use several tools to cut laminates, including a table saw or handheld power saw, a utility knife, a router or a hand slitter. Start the second row where you started off the first. As a landscape builder, he helped establish two gardening companies. This allows spills to stain and break down the flooring. If you are cutting the flooring with a hand saw, cut it with the decorative side facing upwards. If you're forced to cut a laminate sheet from the front with a power saw, you can avoid chipping by laying masking tape along the cutline, sawing through the tape, and removing it after you're done. Step 2. There are numerous laminate floor cutting tools on the market and each of them comes with their various cutting capacity. Correctly cutting laminate floor eliminates chipping, increasing the longevity of the flooring. It's best to oversize the pieces to compensate for chipping, but there are two methods to minimize surface damage. You don’t need to sand if you cut along the line perfectly. Always must be kept in mind that you have to cut laminate flooring without chipping its coating and be careful about vinyl flooring direction while it is being cut. Set the plank in the vise of a power miter box with the taped side sitting flat on the bottom of the vise. On outside edges, this means moving it in a counterclockwise direction. It’s a great tool to help you with this project! Flip the countertop over to expose the wooden underside and make your measurements again. A simple way to do this is to place the sheet on a worktable with the offcut hanging over the edge and to clamp a straight piece of wood to the table. Trimming the edges of laminate after it has been glued down calls for the more refined cutting possible with rotary tool fitted with a laminate routing bit. Handheld power saws cut on the upstroke, so you'll minimize chipping by placing the laminate face down and cutting from the back of the sheet. When cutting around holes for sinks, however, it means moving the tool in a clockwise direction around the hole. Put on your goggles, a face mask, and safety gloves. Align the cut mark with the blade of the power miter box. The blade descends and slices the plank in two, producing a clean, perfectly straight cut on material up to 5/8 inch thick, with no chipping. This will stagger the seams, which results in a … Use a pull bar or a tapping block if the fit is hard to reach. You can use either a sliding model or a non sliding model, just make sure the blade is large enough to cut the entire width of the laminate flooring in one pass. Mark the outline of any notches required on the same side of the plank. There’s great videos on YouTube showing how to do this! Jigsaw: A jigsaw is a real all-rounder when it comes to cutting laminate floors. How to cut laminate flooring lengthwise Step 1: Place spacers along the walls. Slide the plank until the marked notch overhangs one of the table's edges. Jigsaw blades come in two different alignments: set teeth vs ground teeth. To ensure a straight cut, it's best to construct a guide or jig. Using a sharp, carbide-tipped blade (preferably on a table saw) is the best bet for a smooth edge. You can further minimize chipping by using a plywood-cutting blade with a large number of teeth. Cut the laminate with an electric jigsaw at the maximum speed of the electric motor. Make sure your blade is set to the dep of your flooring as close as possible. Grab your preferred chalk or pencil, and use it to mark and set the measurement points from where you’ll start cutting, up to the ending point. Correctly cutting laminate floor eliminates chipping, increasing the longevity of the flooring. The advantage of this is that you can cut on the face side of the materials without chipping or marking it. If you're forced to cut a laminate sheet from the front with a power saw, you can avoid chipping by laying masking tape along the cutline, sawing through the tape, and removing it after you're done. In order to do that, you should use a smart setup, as to cut the planks straight and to avoid chipping their edges. The chipped laminate flooring will be less durable and also look sloppy. The best cutting approach depends on whether you're rough cutting or finishing edges. What Kind of Saw Is Needed for Laminate Flooring? After determining which types of saw you are using, wear your safety equipment, such as safety glasses, mask and safety gloves before cutting. It should be offset from the cut line a distance equal to that between the edge of the saw foot and the nearest edge of the blade. Chris Deziel has a bachelor's degree in physics and a master's degree in humanities. Laminate countertops come with a brittle laminated layer that can easily crack or chip if mishandled, and that is backed by a thick particle board or plywood underlayment. Make a small cut first and then saw on! Make a pencil mark on the unfinished-wood side of the laminate plank at the required cut length. To keep the board steady, use a stand or a clamp. Put on your goggles, a face mask, and safety gloves. Pull the low-tack tape off the face of the laminate plank. If cutting the laminate face up, place painter's tape on the laminate along the pattern to keep it from chipping. This ensures that you won’t run into any size issues. Just put down some new laminate flooring in the kitchen, it's a bit thicker than the previous stuff & now the plinths wont fit & need a bit trimmed off them, but I'm struggling to see how to make a decent job of it without being at it forever. Use the remainder of the laminate flooring planks you cut at the end of row one to start the next row, as long as it’s longer than 1 foot. Plastic laminates such as formica may chip when cut, resulting in ragged edges that expose the backing. Besides having an abiding interest in popular science, Deziel has been active in the building and home design trades since 1975. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Don safety glasses. Wear goggles, a dust mask, and gloves. To keep the board steady, use a stand or a clamp. Don safety glasses. We are going to look at how to cut laminate flooring without a saw in this article. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Next, set up your table saw or circular saw blade to cut 1/4″ into the material. When using laminate for shelving, the first priority will be to cut the material properly. Get the vinyl planks under the doorjambs, as this provides an even fit of your flooring. Mark the cut line on top of the tape and cut with a jigsaw with a special blade. With a standard jigsaw blade, flip the laminate plank upside down. Measure the length of your cut at the top and bottom of your counter. Use a pencil or chalk to mark where the line you want to separate the board. Try to cut through the entire cutting line at once, without slowing down and stops. Cover the finished side of a piece of laminate floor with low-tack masking tape. Now it’s cutting time! Laminate flooring is known to expand and contract, so make sure to bring your laminate flooring into the room for installation a few days before you begin to cut. Cut the plank to length, then loosen the vise of the miter box. The key to how to cut use a jigsaw to cut laminate flooring is all in the blade. The plastic coating that covers laminate flooring easily chips when cut to fit around obstacles or cut to size during installation. If you want to do long cuts in a straight line, you can use either a table or a circular saw. Step 2: Lay the laminate flooring board down, making sure the tongue is oriented towards the wall. The first it to run the sheet through the saw face up, and the second, recommended only if you're experienced with a table saw, is to install the blade backwards. Place a painter’s tape onto the laminated side of the wood flooring where you are going to cut. If you cannot get under the doorjambs, you can use an electric handsaw to cut a small groove. Cutting a laminate countertop with a jigsaw is one of the few ways to deal with this challenging material. Cut along the lines of the notch that meet perpendicular to the edge of the plank with the jigsaw. Another cool thing is that the blades can support extremely fast cutting, without chipping away or damaging the face of the laminate. Sand all cut edges with 200-grit sandpaper. Different Ways To Cut The Laminate Sheets Without Chipping Some of the best ways to cut the laminate without chipping are as follows: Method 1- Using Table Saw 1.Full Sheets: The table saw is usually used to cut the complete laminate sheets into the precise cuts. Move the plank to a stable worktable with the taped side facing down. Turn the jigsaw slowly 90 degrees to cut along the line of the notch running parallel to the plank edge. For small areas, you could cut laminate flooring with a circular saw or a jig saw. This is to prevent the laminate surface from chipping. If you're forced to cut a laminate sheet from the front with a power saw, you can avoid chipping by laying masking tape along the cutline, sawing through the tape, and removing … Therefore, you have to use another laminate flooring board … First of all, make sure you’re using the right tool. You can further minimize chipping by using a plywood-cutting blade with a large number of teeth. The bit should have a bearing on the end so you can easily follow the contours of the countertop while cutting. You can cut and nail the trim to the wall. The main aspects that you should aim for should be durability and high performance. Plastic laminate is a durable, waterproof covering often used for kitchen and bathroom countertops. When cutting curves with a jigsaw, install a metal-cutting blade or one with inverted teeth so it will cut on the downstroke. Then, proceed to cutting according … A common problem with cutting laminate is a rough, chipped edge, which is usually caused by a dull saw blade or the use of a saber saw. These blades are specifically designed to cut while minimizing chipping. How to cut laminate flooring with an electric jigsaw. However, thanks to the ground-teeth technology, Dewalt’s DW3762H2 blades stay sharp for a long time, meaning that they won’t get dull quickly, even if used on laminate flooring. Note on jigsaw blades: Jigsaw blades, specifically made for laminate, cut on the downward stroke, the opposite of standard blades. Without any second thought, just use blades with 18 teeth per inch. If you want to do long cuts in a straight line, you can use either a table or a circular saw. Secure a 30-teeth-per-inch jigsaw blade in a jigsaw. Chipped edges expose the absorbent inner layer of the flooring. It’s ideal for shortening laminate boards. Cover the finished side of a piece of laminate floor with low-tack masking tape. Can You Cut PVC With a Reciprocating Saw? Thus, they will be able to cut laminate flooring without chipping or leaving behind rough edges. High-performance machines will have excellent, razor-sharp blades and a sturdy build. Then, connect the marks with a strip of thick masking tape, which will protect the laminate from tears. Circular saws, jigsaws, routers and even knives can cut formica and other plastic laminates, but straight edges and accurate cuts require the right technique as well as the right blade. 2. If it’s not, start the row with a plank cut to a length greater than 1 foot. Using A Miter Saw: A miter saw is nice because all you need is a simple little mark and the saw will do the rest of the work.This is the ideal tool and can cut perfect 90 degree cuts or any other angle, up to 50 degrees for most saws. Secure the board with two C-clamps. A good pack of jigsaw blades like the Bosch Laminate Flooring Blades Assortment Pack of 3 costs $5-$8. Some can cut laminate floors from 7 inches to 25 inches wide and also 1 inch thick. Make a pencil mark on the unfinished-wood side of the laminate plank at the required cut length. Always wear safety glasses when cutting laminates to protect your eyes from shards of plastic that can cause permanent damage. Have your table saw in its best condition possible before you go to make your cuts. The multi-layered synthetic flooring product often simulates wood or sometimes stone material. Bearing in mind the gravity of the work you will be doing will make it … Extreme How To: Re-Laminate Your Countertops, Fix My Cabinet: Routing Formica Plastic Laminate. Grab your preferred chalk or pencil, and use it to mark and set the measurement points from where you’ll start cutting, up to the ending point. How to Cut Laminate Tile Like board flooring, tile should be shaped in straight lines using the proper safety equipment. Some tips to make it easier: put your saw line as close as possible to your bearing surface and don’t forget to firmly hold the piece you’re sawing off. The pendulum mode must be turned off. Sand the edge you cut so it is perfectly even with your mark. A durable saw will be made from long-lasting materials, such as steel and aluminum. How to Cut a Stair Tread From 3/4 Plywood, How to Cut Holes in Floor Joists for Romex, The Family Handyman: Install Prefinished Wood Flooring, Ask the Builder: Laminate Flooring Installation and Care, How to Cut 45-Degree Transitions for Laminate Flooring. Then you can use a screwdrover or stiff putty knife to pry up on flooring and work it out from where you cut the flooring. Keep the clamps at least five inches away from the marked notch. 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Without any second thought, just use blades with 18 teeth per inch as formica may chip when to... Best bet for a smooth edge blade with a strip of thick masking,... To a length greater than 1 foot the key to how to cut laminate flooring with a hand,... Which will protect the laminate from tears you ’ re using the right tool Needed for laminate cut... The masking tape after the edge is completely even with your mark electric at! Marked notch overhangs one of the flooring an electric handsaw to cut use a straight edge or another laminate a... T run into any size issues to ensure a straight line, you can further minimize chipping by a! Best to construct a guide or jig from 7 inches to 25 inches wide also.
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