How and what to cut a laminate

Laying laminate flooring is one of the few types of repairs that can be safely performed without the involvement of professionals. This will allow you to save a lot, and, most importantly, get real pleasure from the quick transformation of the room. In this article, we will decide how to perform cutting, consider what difficulties may arise, and find ways to solve them. Jigsaw, Of course, you can pick up a hacksaw and, showing a certain amount of perseverance, complete the task. But is it worth it given the affordability and functionality of today’s power tools?

The electric jigsaw has become a truly “folk” tool in order to quickly and inexpensively dispose of laminate flooring. It will do an excellent job with both transverse and longitudinal cuts (which, for example, cannot be done on a face with a bed).

There are cases when a jigsaw is simply irreplaceable. For example, if you want to make a cutout in the laminate with a right angle. Or imagine that you need to approach a curved podium or a large pipe with a laminated coating – that is, perform an indirect cut. For cutting laminate, models of jigsaws are best suited, which have an adjustable rod speed (sometimes it makes sense to cut not at the highest speeds – test, choose the speed).Laminate Homefloor Elegance Montpellier Oak

A circular saw is generally a good choice for cutting laminate flooring. The high speed of rotation of its tooling (you will need a disc with a large number of low teeth, equipped with carbide taps) provides a good cut quality. And if the tool is supplemented with a guide rail, it will give very precise straight lines, which is important, for example, when ripping panels.

There are several disadvantages of this cutting method. Firstly, making complex openings in the planks or performing curved cuts with circular saws will not work. Secondly, many circular saws, due to their large weight and decent dimensions, need to be held with two hands – therefore, the way out will be the artisanal installation of a circular under the table, or the use of a tile cutter.

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Trimming
Basically, a miter saw can be considered a more advanced version of a circular saw . Thanks to the robust base and plunge unit, the tool becomes more stable and safer, while the bevelling allows you to get a very accurate and clean cut.

However, the miter saw will not be able to cut the laminate planks longitudinally. At an angle – no problem (and you can clearly set the desired angle), which is especially valuable when laying the laminate diagonally across the room.

By the way, the presence of the “pull-through” function of the trimmer significantly improves the potential of the tool for cutting large-width laminate.

Rotoriser

Another option for a device with a disk as a working tool. The rotoriser has almost everything you need to work with a laminate: the ability to cut material up to 2-3 centimeters thick, compact size and low weight (one-handed grip is available), support platform (sometimes with a plunge mechanism), sufficient power for cutting “viscous” strips … With a certain skill, the compact circular saw can also make smooth curved cuts.

Mechanical cutter

This (still exotic for our latitudes) tool in its layout is somewhat reminiscent of a manual tile cutter. Most often it is implemented according to the guillotine principle, in which the material is cut with a powerful cutting blade about 5-6 millimeters thick. They can cut the lamellas both transversely and longitudinally or at an angle.

An interesting solution is a cutter for sheet materials, where instead of a knife, a toothed disk is used, literally “gnawing” material from the bar with each press of the lever.

There is also another version of the guillotine (such a machine is also suitable for slitting). Mechanical cutters have many advantages. First of all, it is the absence of dust. Also, the almost silent operation and high productivity with a very decent cut quality cannot but rejoice.

Practical guidelines for cutting laminate flooring
1. If possible, we are engaged in cutting in the next room. In the process of cutting the laminate, quite a lot of dust and small particles of debris are formed, which can fall into the locks of the already laid lamellas and under the floor covering. This will complicate the assembly of the block floor, and in some cases will lead to a crunch or squeak.

2. When cutting laminate, it is advisable to use a power tool with an installed dust bag, or with a connected construction vacuum cleaner . This (among other things) will provide good visibility of the markings applied to the workpiece, as well as protect the respiratory system and eyes from small debris.

3. It is most convenient to use a simple pencil and carpenter’s square for marking.

4. You can cut the laminate directly on the floor, but with more or less significant amounts of work, it is advisable to use a table, or make an impromptu workbench . Usually you have to cut quite a lot (including lengthwise, angled, L-shaped, bypassing pipes), so your back will quickly get tired if you continue to work on the floor. There is, perhaps, the only exception – when the master uses the guillotine.

5. Laminate floors MUST be assembled (and cut) with the formation of an expansion expansion gap of about 8-10 millimeters in size near any stationary objects: walls, stairs, columns, pipes, thresholds.

6. In each subsequent row of planks, the transverse seam must be offset by at least 300 mm. As a rule, the dressing is done on 1/3 or 1/2 of the lamella length.

7. Usually on the panels of the first row of laminate cut the ridge of the lock, which faces the wall. But if calculations show that in the last row the width of the lamella will be less than 50 mm, then in order to avoid such a thin cut-in, the first row must be assembled from the lamellas that are loose along about half.

8. Power tool feed when cutting laminate should be smooth and unhurried. At the very end of the passage, the suspended part of the plank must be held so that it does not break off under its own weight, and so that this does not lead to the appearance of a chip.Laminate Tarkett Cinema Brigitte
9. In some especially difficult cases (for example, when the cut will be subsequently visible), in order to exclude the appearance of chips of the protective and decorative layer, masking tape is glued to the laminate before marking and then cut / drilled directly along it.

10. If any pipes emerge from the floor, the laminate is drilled and cut along the line of the holes obtained. Sometimes a seam is just made in this place.

11. Laminate is considered a difficult material to process, it “sits” the cutting edges quite quickly. Also, the laminate is prone to chips and scorching. Therefore, you need to carefully consider the choice of discs and files.

It is better to purchase a special file “for laminate” – with fine teeth directed downwards. This tooling is also called “clean cut”, as it does not chip on the front surface. Wheels for circular saws should be chosen with an increased number of relatively small teeth, which are “crowned” with carbide taps