How to Cut Vinyl Flooring

Lead Image
  • 2-6 hours
  • Intermediate
  • $40-70
What You'll Need
Measuring tape
Chalk line
Heavy objects
Vinyl flooring material
Vinyl cutter
Heat gun/soldering iron

Vinyl flooring is not a difficult material to work with and you can achieve fantastic results even if you are fairly new at the task. Thus you can have a cost-effective project to recreate the interior of a room in your house without getting the help of a professional. Be careful, though, as you will be using sharp instruments in cutting through the material.

Step 1 - Measure the Area Accurately

In working with vinyl flooring, always have in mind the old adage of measuring twice and cutting once. There will always be odd shapes that you will encounter in the rooms of your house. The reasons could be a misaligned wall or trimming that is oddly shaped. No matter what the reasons are, never assume that you will be dealing with square measurements all the time. If you are working on tiles, you will not have much of a problem with measurements until you get on the edges or around structures. In such a case, the best way of doing a measurement is with a couple of tiles and a pencil. Put one tile as squarely as possible to the other and push it up on the obstruction or angle. You can then lay over it the other tile use the pencil to mark the line. If you are working with rolls, cut more than what is needed and put the sheet down on the floor. Keep it down with bricks or another heavy object and push down on the roll until it meets up with the floor edge. Mark the top of the sheet as close to the wall edge as possible.

Step 2 - Heat the Vinyl

You can cut vinyl flooring without using heat but it would be easier to cut it clean and straight with a heated vinyl. Some people use a heat gun while others use a soldering torch. You can even use an ordinary hair dryer. But no matter what technique you use, always be careful when you are using fire. Heat the area you are going to cut by going over it back and forth. Holding it too close will damage the vinyl. If you hold it in one place for too long, you are going to discolor the material. Use brisk action to move the heater back and forth until you have made the vinyl more flexible. If a torch is used, always make sure that no hair, loose clothing, or anything flammable is on or near the vinyl.

Step 3 - Cut the Material

Vinyl flooring can be cut by means of a utility knife pulled slowly across the top. If you notice that the material is starting to become harder, reheat it. Always make sure that you cut less than what you are supposed to remove. If you overcut, there will be gaps in the area where you are going to lay the material. It is better to trim off some extra than to remove too much of the vinyl. Make it a point not to cut towards you. If you do so and the knife slips, you are going to cut yourself badly.