How to cut Vinyl Flooring?
Whether using vinyl tiles or sheet vinyl, there can be instances where it doesn’t fit perfectly, and you’ll likely need to cut vinyl flooring so that it fits snugly to the skirting boards and wall. However, cutting vinyl can come at a risk, and without the right tools and method, it can look unprofessional. So to ensure you get a smart, clean finish when it comes to cutting vinyl, here are the tricks of the trade for a professional finish.
Five different ways to cut vinyl flooring
There are different techniques and tools you can use to cut vinyl flooring, depending on what type of vinyl you are using and where the cuts need to take place. Here are some of the most popular techniques and when they are most suitable:
Suitable for: Notches on sheet vinyl
When using sheet vinyl, there may be corners, pipeworks, or curves to navigate when laying vinyl flooring. The best way to install flooring so that it lies flat is to cut small notches in the vinyl so that it can follow the lines on the flooring. For these notches, which will be removed after installation, scissors are often the easiest way to create notches and cut the vinyl.
Utility knife/Box cutter
Suitable for: Sheet vinyl and vinyl tiles
A sharp utility knife can be the ideal choice for cutting vinyl, especially sheet vinyl which is typically easier to cut. Using a straight edge with the utility knife is recommended to ensure a sharp, clean finish when cutting vinyl.
A utility knife and straight edge can also be helpful when cutting vinyl tiles. On the reverse of the tile, scoring a sharp line with a utility knife makes it easier to ensure a clean snap on the vinyl tile. You may also want to use a heat gun to help snap the tile after using a utility knife to
Having a sharp utility knife can be a great help with installing all forms of vinyl flooring.
Vinyl tile cutter
Suitable for: Vinyl tiles
A vinyl tile cutter is another option that works well for vinyl tiles or LVT. With a tile cutter, you can easily adjust the blade’s depth to cut through the tile in one go. If you are cutting tiles where you are laying the vinyl floor, it is important to remember to cut away from your newly laid floor. A tile cutter blade can go through the tile, and then the blade can damage the floor
underneath it, so make sure you’re using a tile cutter safely away from any floor that’s susceptible to damage.
Suitable for: Vinyl tiles
A handsaw, hacksaw or finish cut saw can be a great way to cut vinyl tiles. You can get a precision finish with a saw, but it can be more labour-intensive than a tile cutter. To ensure a smooth edge, make sure you use a saw blade with really fine teeth. You may also want to carefully sand the edges too, so as not to damage the design but to have a sharp finish.
If you only have a small number of vinyl tiles to cut, then a handsaw can be a low-cost and handy tool to have. However, if you have to cut multiple LVTs for flooring projects, you may want to invest in a less labour-intensive cutting option.
Suitable for: Cutting shapes into vinyl flooring
If you have to cut around certain objects to lay a vinyl floor, a jigsaw can be a handy tool that can cut tight shapes and curves as necessary. It can be quite messy and create a lot of dust, so it is often best to complete it outside or in a separate workspace from where you are laying the floor.
As with all saws, when laying a vinyl floor, the best results will come from a new, sharp blade with very fine teeth so that you don’t damage the vinyl or its design.
10 top tips on how to cut vinyl flooring
- Ensure your tool is sharp and clean for precision cutting
- Do not lay the piece that needs to be cut on the pre-laid floor as you may damage it
- Ideally, have a separate cutting mat or block underneath your cutting space
- A higher TPI (teeth per inch) on the blade can increase the quality of the cut
- Always follow the manufacturer’s recommended method of cutting so as not to damage the vinyl floor when cutting
- A straight-edge tool can help ensure you make precision cuts
- Place one side of the vinyl on a board to stabilise the tile, so you get a clean snap
- Use knee pads for comfort and the necessary personal protective equipment when cutting
- Take more time checking the cut is correct before cutting – preparation and double-checking are key!
- Keep a vacuum cleaner close by to keep the space as dust-free as possible for a professional floor laying finish.