How to Cut Laminate Flooring With a Circular Saw

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Cutting laminate flooring could be a little bit scary, don’t you think? They’re complicated pieces of material, meaning you’ll need extra equipment and expertise to get it right. It’s perfectly reasonable to be quite perplexed about them, but don’t you worry!

I’ve personally crafted a step-by-step tutorial on how to cut laminate flooring using a circular saw. Throughout my experience, I’ve picked up a few tricks that I’m excited to share with you!

Step by Step Guide: How to Cut Laminate Flooring With a Circular Saw

Before starting, I’d like to tell you that the best tool to use in cutting laminate flooring is a laminate flooring saw instead of a circular saw or a jigsaw. Then again, suppose the reason why you’re here is because you don’t have a specialized saw. But it is something worth taking note of, so take some time to think about this, too!

Step 1: Be Smart About Your Setup

Cutting laminate flooring with a circular saw particularly a powerful worm drive circular saw isn’t exactly difficult, but you’ll need some additional tools and a clean setup to prevent chipping and kickbacks. Prepare a laminate flooring board or a straight edge, a square, and two sawhorses to guide the circular saw around the laminate flooring.

Step 2: Mark Your Measurements

After preparing your setup, I would advise measuring the specific area where you intend to install the flooring board. It’s crucial, based on my experience, to leave a ¼” inch space for an extension gap. This intentional gap will accommodate the spacers that you’ll need to insert later in the process. Trust me, this small step makes a significant difference in the end result.

marked laminate flooring

When you’re sure about your measurements, flip your laminate flooring to the backside and follow through with the measurements. You can mark the board with a pencil.

Typically when we’re working with laminate flooring, you’d like to do this front side up. But because of the circular saw’s mechanism, it’s much safer and accurate to do otherwise.

Step 3: The Cutting Process

Once you are confident in the precision of your measurements, go ahead and place the marked laminate flooring boards on the sawhorses, as I would do. It’s imperative to position the flooring correctly across the setup to mitigate the risk of injuries or kickbacks. With years of experience under my belt, I cannot stress enough the importance of this step for a safe and efficient process.

From here on, you can start running the circular saw and cut your laminate flooring pieces! Keep in mind that once you’re finished cutting, turn off the circular saw and let the blade completely stop before removing it from the cutting channels.

To help you with the cutting process, you can choose powerful corded circular saw I listed here

Step 4: Check if It Fits

Place the cut laminate flooring piece into the prepared space. If it fits properly, well done! You are ready to proceed, so go ahead and position the spacers snugly and continue with the installation of the remaining pieces.

cutting laminate flooring

If it doesn’t fit, then don’t worry! You can always trim more pieces with the saw or use an electric hand sander with fine-grit sandpaper until it sits well in place.

Tips and Tricks

When it comes to cutting laminate flooring with a circular saw, knowing a few tricks up your sleeve can make all the difference in achieving smooth and accurate cuts. But before I dive into the specifics, I would also like to emphasize the importance of revisiting the pros and cons of laminate flooring. Understanding these factors will not only help you appreciate the value of this versatile flooring option but also guide you in making informed decisions during the cutting process.

So, let’s explore some strategies that will empower you to handle your circular saw with confidence and achieve exceptional results when working with laminate flooring.

Use Quality Saws

When you’re cutting delicate pieces such as laminate flooring boards, a crucial factor is the type of equipment you’re using and your purpose for using them.

For circular saws, they’re best for making straight cuts in laminate floorings. Any other types of cuts will require a different tool. For example, a few curves in your laminate flooring will require a jigsaw.

Circular saws, however, have greater tendencies to kickback when being used with thinner materials. That said, I recommend you look for a circular saw with at least 18 teeth per inch to avoid chipping and kickbacks. 

operating circular saw with Metabo HPT 115435M blade

If you’re having trouble finding the right saw or aren’t familiar with the tooth count, allow me to guide you: a saw with 100 teeth or more is your best bet! With my expertise, I can assure you that this specification is reliable for the task at hand.

Cut From the Backside

Measure and mark the laminate flooring from the backside if you’re going to use a circular saw, and then cut from that side as well. 

You should do this because the saw blades enter the wood from the underside and emerge at the top. Furthermore, most of the chipping occurs at the emergence stage. Its leading-edge should always contact the face of the board, too!

Don’t Forget To Factor in Extension Gaps

Laminate flooring expands with changes in humidity [1] and temperature levels, so it’s important to give the flooring boards some space to prevent any buckling. In this case, you must allocate  ¼” inch of space during the measuring and cutting stages. 

laminate flooring and circular saw

Before you begin the installation, I always recommend adding rubber spacers, which you’ll typically find in laminate flooring kits, along the walls to ensure there’s an extension gap. From my experience, after you’ve laid down the flooring, it’s easy to remove these spacers, giving the floor the necessary room to expand.

Conclusion

I understand that cutting laminate flooring with a circular saw can be quite challenging, considering both the equipment and materials are delicate and require precise technique. From my extensive experience, I can attest that with practice, you’ll definitely improve and master the task.

I still recommend you look for a laminate flooring saw if you’re a bit too intimidated by the circular sawing technique; they are, after all, made for this exact purpose. But if you make a mistake while using a circular saw with laminate flooring, also remember that safety comes first; wear enough protective equipment!

For your shop flooring, you can check why LVT is the best flooring for your woodworking shop. Read next! 

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Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

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