How Do You Trim Laminate Flooring With A Router?

Laminate flooring is a great choice for many reasons. It’s durable, affordable and easy to install. It’s also the perfect choice if you’re looking to save money on your remodel or home improvement project. 

With laminate floors being so affordable, many people wonder how much it might cost them to finish off the edges with trim boards or moldings. 

In this article I’ll show you some of my favorite ways to trim laminate flooring so that even if you are new at DIY projects like myself, you can get started doing this yourself in no time!

How to cut laminates – Router Bits to trim FORMICA
Key Takeaways from
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Gradually increase your mileage over time.
Listen to your body and take rest days when needed.
Stay hydrated and fuel your body with proper nutrition.
Set realistic goals and celebrate your progress along the way.

Pre-cut the flooring

There are several ways to cut laminate flooring, and not all of them require a router.

If you’re using a table saw, it can be hard to get an accurate cut without ruining your blade or making a mess on the floor. If you have access to one, though, here are some tips for setting up:

First mark where your cuts will be with a pencil or chalk line so that all the edges come together evenly. 

This will help prevent splintering and make it easier for you to fit pieces into their places later on in the installation process.

Be sure to clamp down anything that could move during cutting so that your cross-grain cuts don’t ruin them (this means clamps). 

It also helps if they’re slightly angled, but this isn’t necessary if they won’t fall off while working on something else later in operation.

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Measure the Length of the Wall

Once the laminate flooring is laid, measure the length of your wall. Measure this with a measuring tape and mark how long you need to cut your piece of laminate flooring for.

Next, measure the width of your piece of laminate flooring and make another mark in order to know where to cut it so that it will fit on your wall perfectly. Cut with a router and a template or pattern bit if necessary.

After cutting out all pieces, use kitchen or wood glue (not carpet adhesive) when sticking them down if needed!

Wall Measurement Table

Measurement TypeRequired ToolsSteps to Follow
Standard wallTape measure1. Measure the length of the wall from one end to the other.
Angled wallMeasuring tape, angle finder1. Use an angle finder to determine the angle of the wall.
2. Measure the length of the angled wall from one end to the other.
Curved wallFlexible curve ruler, measuring tape1. Use a flexible curve ruler to trace the curve of the wall.
2. Measure the length of the curved wall following the curve.
Irregular wallString, measuring tape1. Attach a piece of string to one end of the wall.
2. Carefully follow the contours of the irregular wall with the string.
3. Measure the string to determine the wall length.

Measure the width of the piece of laminate

Measure the width of the piece of laminate. Use a tape measure to get an accurate measurement. 

If you are unsure of the width, measure an existing piece of laminate. Make sure to measure both sides so that you have a correct measurement for both sides and can cut it all from one sheet.

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Mark the length of laminate flooring you need

You’ll need to mark the length of laminate flooring you need before you begin cutting it. While this can be done with a tape measure, there’s no need to take up valuable space in your toolbox. 

Instead, just mark the length of the wall or area where you’re installing laminate flooring and add about 6 inches (15cm) for expansion.

This step ensures that your measurements are accurate and prevents running out of material mid-project!

Laminate Flooring Marking Table

MethodRequired ToolsSteps to Follow
Pencil and straight edgePencil, straight edge1. Measure the length of the area to be covered by the laminate flooring.
2. Use a straight edge to mark the length of the flooring on the backside of the laminate plank.
3. Repeat for all planks needed.
Chalk lineChalk line, measuring tape1. Use a measuring tape to mark one end of the flooring.
2. Secure the chalk line at this point and extend it to the other end.
3. Snap the chalk line to create a straight line on which to cut the laminate plank.
T-bevel and compassT-bevel, compass1. Measure the angle of the corner or wall where the plank will be installed using a T-bevel.
2. Transfer the angle to the laminate plank using a compass.
3. Cut along the line with a saw to match the angle of the wall or corner.
Template and jigsawCardboard, jigsaw1. Create a template of the area where the flooring will be installed using cardboard.
2. Use the template to trace the shape onto the laminate plank.
3. Cut along the line using a jigsaw.

Cut with a router and a template or pattern bit

When trimming laminate flooring with a router, use a template bit to cut the edge and make it look like real hardwood.

You can use either a jigsaw or a router for this task. The jigsaw may take longer, but it’s more precise because you can see exactly what you’re cutting as you go. If this is your first time using a router, we recommend using one of these tools:

A guide system will help ensure accuracy while making multiple cuts in the same place (this is especially useful when dealing with large sheets).

A plunge base allows for freehand routing in tight spaces or around obstacles that are too big to be removed before making your pass over them (like telephone wires).

An angle setting knob lets you adjust the angle between the spindle and bit so that it matches up perfectly with whatever molding pattern is on the floorboard beneath where they cross paths (or if there isn’t one yet).

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Use kitchen or wood glue

When gluing laminate flooring, use a glue with a strong bond. Try to avoid glues that will yellow or fade over time, as well as those that are water resistant. 

These types of glues are not ideal when working with laminate flooring because they tend to expand or contract when exposed to temperature changes.

Clamp the laminate flooring to hold it in place while you work

Place the laminate flooring on a flat surface.

As you begin cutting, clamp down on it with clamps to keep it in place. This will prevent any unwanted shifting during the process and ensure that your finished edge has a clean cut with no damage to your laminate flooring.

Make sure your clamps are strong enough to hold up against the force of a router bit as this tool can be quite powerful! You don’t want them flying off when they’re hit with too much force or vibration during use.

Placing evenly-spaced clamps across the entire length of each piece will ensure there’s no movement while routing out those grooves for future expansion joints between boards (if necessary).

Also make sure each clamp is placed far enough away from its neighbor so as not  to over compress any adjacent surfaces together, which could cause permanent damage!

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Drill Pilot Holes into The Laminate Flooring Piece

This step is pretty self-explanatory: drill pilot holes into the laminate flooring. You want to use a drill bit that’s the same size as your screws. 

Drill pilot holes that are deep enough to allow the screw to go through, but not so deep that you can see them from the top of your laminate flooring piece.

Install the screws

Next, you’ll want to install the screws. If you don’t have a power driver, you can use the drill with a screwdriver bit to drive them in by hand. 

If your laminate flooring has an adhesive backing that comes in contact with the subflooring (this will be obvious as it will be different than the top piece), use a countersink bit to make sure that the screw heads are flush with the surface of your flooring so they don’t stick out above it. 

Otherwise, just make sure all of your screws have been driven into place and are secure before continuing on with any other steps!

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Choose a finish for your laminate floor trim, if needed.

If your floor trim is new, or you have a fresh coat of paint on your walls, you may choose to paint or stain the laminate floor trim. This can be done before installing the trim and will give it a great finish.

If you’re not sure what color to use for your trim, try putting together a board with all of the different options so that you can see them in person and make an informed decision about which one looks best with the other elements in your room or home. 

You can then order samples from several different places online if needed – just make sure they arrive quickly and are easy to return if not satisfied!

Stain or paint laminate baseboard trim boards, if needed

Stain or paint the trim boards, if needed. Laminate flooring is most often installed as a floating floor, so you don’t need to add any additional trim or baseboard. 

However, it’s a good idea to stain or paint your laminate baseboard trim boards in your desired color before installing them. 

This will help them match with your new floors better when the project is finished and keep the look of your room cohesive throughout.

Use a brush or roller on each piece of trim that needs to be stained or painted with an oil-based primer and top coat (if required). 

You may have some leftover stain/paint from staining/painting your floors that you can use again here just make sure it hasn’t dried out yet! 

Also remember to cover up anything in place where you won’t be able to reach—such as windowsills so they don’t get covered in paint splatters while applying coats of stain/paint to both sides of each board

Tips For Installing Laminate Trim Boards The Right Way

If you’re looking to install laminate trim boards, whether as a border or in between flooring boards, there are a few things you should know. 

First of all, trim is more than just decorative it can help hide imperfections in the subfloor and create an even appearance for all your flooring boards. It’s also important to note that there are several different kinds of laminates that can be used for trim:

It’s crucial that after installing laminate flooring with a router (or any other tool), you use sandpaper and/or an orbital sander to smooth out any rough edges left behind by cutting tools. This will ensure that you have smooth edges when installing your new laminated flooring.

It’s Easy To Install Trim Around Your Laminate Floors, Once You Have A System Set Up

Laminate flooring is a relatively straightforward product to install, but there are a few things you can do to make the process easier. 

First, be sure that you have an even surface on which to work and that it’s free of debris or other objects. You’ll also want to have all of your tools at hand before starting. 

If you don’t have a router, this may take some extra time but remember: it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes down to working with power tools. If all else fails, call in someone who knows what they’re doing! 

The last thing anyone wants is for their laminate flooring project go awry because they didn’t prepare properly or lack experience using power tools like routers or drills in general (also known as making mistakes).

Conclusion

We hope that this article has made it a little easier to understand how to trim laminate flooring. If you have any questions about the process, feel free to contact us. We’re happy to help!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources on using a router bit to trim laminate:

TeachMeDIY: Learn how to use a laminate router bit to create a clean and smooth cut for your laminate project.

Remodel or Move: Discover what types of router bits work best for trimming laminate and how to use them effectively.

Remodel or Move: Another resource from Remodel or Move that covers how to properly trim laminate with a router.

FAQs

How do I choose the right router bit for trimming laminate?

Selecting the right router bit depends on the type of cut you want to make and the thickness of the laminate. Generally, a straight router bit or a laminate trimmer bit will work for most laminate projects.

Can I trim laminate with just a utility knife?

While it’s possible to trim laminate with a utility knife, it’s not recommended. This method can result in an uneven and jagged edge, whereas a router bit will produce a clean, smooth cut.

How do I ensure a precise cut when trimming laminate with a router?

To ensure a precise cut, make sure your router bit is sharp and adjusted to the correct depth. Take your time and use light pressure as you guide the router along the laminate edge.

What safety precautions should I take when using a router to trim laminate?

Always wear eye and ear protection when operating a router. Additionally, make sure your router bit is securely fastened and the router is unplugged when changing out bits.

Can I use a laminate trimmer bit on other types of materials?

While a laminate trimmer bit is specifically designed for trimming laminate, it can also work on other thin materials such as plastic or veneer. However, it may not be suitable for thicker materials like hardwood or metal.