Best way to cut laminate flooring – 3 easy steps to install a perfect new floor

Cutting laminate flooring is easy once you know the best approach. We spoke to the experts to find out how.

laminate wood flooring with a wooden dining table and chairs, and a green panelled wall beyond
(Image credit: The Wood Flooring Co.)

Installing new laminate floor is as exciting as it is stressful. After picking out the best design and spending money to bring it home, the last thing you need is to get the cutting wrong. 

Luckily, there are techniques to use to make sure you are cutting your laminate in the best way for your home. Of all the kitchen flooring ideas out there, laminate is one of the safest and most durable.

So, get your tools ready and grab your best cordless vacuum for the job (this might get messy).

The best way to cut laminate flooring

Cutting laminate flooring involves getting the right tools and making accurate measurements. Then, it's time to decide the best way to cut. Read on to find out how. 

1. Tools

A kitchen dining room featuring white laminate floors

(Image credit: The Wood Flooring Co.)

You'll need the right tools before cutting laminate. Your best bet is a laminate cutter, like this manual Freeman Cutter at Home Depot.

You could also opt for a multi-floor cutter; they're more expensive, but you could get a great deal of use out of one over the years. The Roberts 13-inch Multi-Floor Cutter at Home Depot can cut vinyl flooring, vinyl composition tiles (VCT), luxury vinyl tiles (LVT), laminate, engineered wood, MDF baseboard and rubber and foam tiles.

But if you'd prefer to save money on your project, certain other cutting tools would also work. Rotem Eylor, CEO of Republic Flooring, elaborates: 'A handsaw will work fine, but to make it easier, you could use a table saw or jigsaw. Make sure you have a straightedge and measuring tool to set you up for best practices.'

Regardless of whether you have a floor cutter, power saws, in general, can be helpful for more difficult cuts. Ryan Knoll, owner of Carpet Monkey, explains: 'A jigsaw is your best friend for those tricky curves and corners, while a circular saw or miter saw will keep your cuts straight.'

Whatever cutting tool you choose, ensure the blades are laminate-friendly for smooth, straight edges.

2. Measurements

According to Ryan Knoll, the golden rule in the world of flooring is 'measure twice, cut once.' This will help make sure your measurements are spot-on every time, and will avoid wasting any laminate flooring when it's time to cut. It'll also makes a huge difference in the appearance of your new floor if everything fits together perfectly.

Rotem Eylor agrees: 'Always measure multiple times, and mark your measurements with a pencil so you can see where to cut.' A clamp will keep the laminate in place for when it's time to cut.

3. Cutting

Kitchen countertop ideas with laminate worktop

(Image credit: Future / Robert Sanderson)

'Laminate is installed in strips, planks or tiles, so when you're cutting it keep in mind the format,' says Rotem. 

Still, there's a lot of potential variation in the shapes and sizes you decide to cut. Full planks often look best in long, open stretches, but they can also look great in smaller areas for a more spacious feel. Mixing plank sizes can also create its own look entirely.

'When you're hopping from one room to another, consider trimming down to thinner strips or special transition pieces to keep the flow seamless and account for different flooring types,' Ryan suggests. It's also key to stagger the seams at least one foot apart to avoid creating a repetitive pattern while keeping your floor sturdy.

When it's time to cut, save yourself from any chipping by flipping the plank upside down. The side of the laminate that touches the blade is more likely to be scratched, marked, or chipped away.

Don't worry if you make any dreaded mistakes, there are ways to learn how to fix laminate floor gaps. And once it's all installed and looking spot on, make sure to avoid these common laminate floor cleaning mistakes.

Dan Fauzi
Home Tech Editor

Dan is the Home Tech Editor for Homes & Gardens, covering all things cleaning, smart home, sound and automation across the Solved section. Having worked for Future PLC since July 2023, Dan was previously the Features Editor for Top Ten Reviews and looked after the wide variety of home and outdoor content across the site, but their writing about homes, gardens, tech and products started back in 2021 on brands like BBC Science Focus, YourHomeStyle, Homes & Antiques and Gardens Illustrated.

Dan is based in Bristol, UK with a BA in Philosophy and an MA in Magazine Journalism. Outside of work, you'll find them at gigs and art galleries, cycling somewhere scenic, or cooking up something good in the kitchen.