How to Cut VCT Flooring

With a few quick tips, you can cut VCT flooring (Vinyl Composition Tile) without a saw. All you need is a sharp utility knife to make a perfect cut every time. This is a great time saver and guarantees a perfect cut. The key is to be certain to orient the tile properly before making any cuts. VCT flooring is designed with a direction to the finish, it is essential that the tiles alternate direction (1-tile horizontal, 1-tile vertical and so on for every row) to achieve the proper design aesthetic.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • VCT (Vinyl Composition Tiles)
  • Utility knife

Step 1 - Lay Whole Tiles

As with any tiled floor, first lay all whole tiles first. Work from the center of the room out toward the walls. Once all your whole tiles are completely set, you can begin cutting the edge VCT flooring tiles.

Step 2 - Cut Tiles at Walls

Take the VCT flooring tile that needs to be cut and lay it, perfectly lined up on top of the first whole tile from the wall. Be certain that the tile is facing the right direction (the tiles are laid in alternating directions, with lines perpendicular to each other). Place another uncut tile with one edge against the wall and the other edge on the tile you will be cutting. Make certain that the tiles are lined up evenly. With a utility knife, score the first tile (laying on already installed tile) along the edge of the other tile that is sitting on top. Snap the strip off the tile by bending at the scored line. This process will result in a perfect fit every time.

Step 3 - Cut Tiles at Thresholds

If you have tiles that need cutting at threshold frames (doors jambs, archways, etc.), the procedure is a little more involved to get the cut perfect. First, place the VCT flooring tile flush to the wall beside the door jamb and push it under the threshold frame (molding must be removed from door or opening to place the tile properly), and even with the edged of the adjacent tile. With the utility knife, make a cut 90 degree to the wall about 1 inches long to indicate the ‘tail’ of the cut that will ultimately fit around the threshold (doorjamb).

Move the VCT flooring tile (maintaining proper orientation) to the inside of the door opening, and holding it even with the first tile from the door jamb, make another 1 inches cut 90 degree to the door jamb. You will now have a 1 inches cut on the top on the left side of the top edge and a 1 inches cut on the right edge at the top of the tile (the cuts are on opposite sides and 90 degree to each other). Move the tile out from the doorjamb, and using another un-cut VCT as a straight edge, lay the ‘straight edge’ using the second cut (the one formed at 90 degree to door jamb) as your guide. Score the tile with a utility knife along the line and ending at the tail cut (the one made first, at 90 degree to the wall). Snap the strip off the just scored tile very carefully so as not to break off the tail.