How to Cut Laminate Floor Around Heating Vents

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Always wear eye protection when using cutting tools.

You're ready to install your laminate floor, but you're a bit perplexed: You aren't sure how to cut the flooring around the heating vents. You'll be relieved to learn that there's a simple process to follow and you'll be able to make the needed cuts in minutes. The key to keep in mind is that laminate flooring is installed via a floating floor method, and you need the float allowance beneath the heating vent covers.

Step 1

Remove the cover from the heating vent. The cover typically pulls straight up from the floor. Set it aside; you can use the same vent cover after the flooring is installed.

Step 2

Install the last row of flooring up to the heating vent opening.

Step 3

Measure the opening in the floor and transfer the measurements to the plank or planks that will cover the opening.

Step 4

Mark your cutting line 1/4 inch around the vent opening measurement on the plank; this will allow for the required expansion space for the floating floor. If no expansion space is left, the laminate will eventually buckle in this area when it expands from heat and humidity.

Step 5

With a jigsaw, cut the plank along the markings made from the vent measurements.

Step 6

Fit the cut plank into the next installation row, and continue your flooring job as before.

Step 7

Replace the vent cover when your installation is complete. The outside edge of the cover that lies on the floor will hide the cut edge of the plank and the 1/4-inch expansion space.


Robin Hewitt

Robin Hewitt began her writing career in 2008. She is the coauthor of several books, including "The Joyous Gift of Grandparenting," which covers the nutritional and fitness needs of both grandchildren and grandparents.