How to Cut Laminate Flooring? Choose the Right Saw Blade!
Installing Kronotex USA laminate flooring isn't very difficult as long as you plan ahead and use the right tools - including making sure to choose the right saw blade.
As Brad Young, laminate flooring installation expert explains in our newest video - How to Cut Laminate Flooring - one of those important 'right tools' is using the right saw blade. After watching this 2 minute video, you'll have a better understanding about what it takes to properly cut laminate flooring planks for that perfect installation.
Why is the right kind of saw blade so important for cutting laminate flooring?
What we like about laminate flooring–its strength, durability and surface protection–also makes it a very hard material. Two structural factors contribute to that: the HDF (High Density Fiberboard) Core and the aluminum oxide wear layer on the decor side of the plank. To assume you can successfully cut this with the same saw blade that you would use for a 2 x 4 or plywood would be a mistake.
Look for two things when you choose the correct saw blade for cutting your laminate flooring project planks:
- Number of teeth. The correct saw blade for laminate flooring should have a lot of teeth. As Brad points out, "Depending on the size of the saw you're using, the tooth-count could go up over 100."
- Carbide-tipped teeth. "Even a carbide-tipped saw blade will dull significantly cutting through laminate flooring," Brad observes. "It's good advice to always have a couple of carbide-tipped saw blades handy!"
In this 2 minute video titled How to Cut Laminate Flooring, Brad Young gives valuable advice learned from years of experience and many installations of Kronotex USA laminate flooring. Watch it, along with other helpful videos from Kronotex USA on the KronotexUSA YouTube Channel.
Examples of the right saw blade for cutting laminate flooring
At right is an example of a 10" 120 tooth-count carbide-tipped saw blade by American Tool. We found it on Amazon for $15.85.
Below is a 12" 120 tooth-count carbide-tipped saw blade by C.R. Laurence we also found on Amazon for $152.28, so prices can vary widely. It'll pay to shop around.
How should laminate flooring be cut?
No matter the installation project, you will always have to cut the laminate flooring to the proper length.
Brad wants you to keep in mind the following so you are safe while cutting laminate flooring planks:
- Always wear eye protection and use an N-95 dust mask, unless you're using a "dustless" cutter as many professionals use
- You should always do your cutting outside the home
- The teeth of the saw blade should come in contact with the face (decor side) of the plank at a right angle. As Brad points out, "Don't be surprised if you see sparks and a little smoke when the blade comes in contact with the surface. That's because you're sawing through the aluminum oxide wear layer, one of the hardest coatings there is."
Is "chipping" a concern when I cut laminate flooring?
"With the teeth of the saw blade should come in contact with the face of the product, you reduce chipping. However, chipping is a minor concern because the end that you saw will be hidden under the quarter-round or other trim at the base of the wall or transition," says Brad.
We hope the video and article are helpful. If you have any questions about cutting laminate flooring and selecting the correct saw blade, just let us know.
--The Kronotex Blog Team