How to Cut Vinyl Tile

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Update those outdated floors with vinyl tile
Update those outdated floors with vinyl tile (Image: Zoonar RF/Zoonar/Getty Images)

Vinyl tile is a convenient way to update your home and is less expensive than other flooring types. It is available in multiple colors and designs that can complement most any décor, and is used most often in kitchens, baths, and laundry rooms. For the beginner, and the do-it-yourself homeowner, vinyl flooring is the easiest to install. Cutting vinyl tile is not difficult. With a few simple tools, you will be well on your way to completing your new floors.

Things You Will Need

Utility knife Blades Straight edge Tape measure Pencil Vinyl tile cutter

Cutting Tile With a Utility Knife

Cut tiles at the end of rows with a utility knife. To do this, lay a tile directly on top of the last tile you installed. This is the tile that you will cut. Do not peel the paper off the back if you are using pre-glued tile. Take a second tile and place it on top of the tile you are cutting. Slide that tile to the wall leaving a space no larger than 1/2-inch between the end of the tile and the wall. Use the top tile as a guide to score the bottom tile by cutting along the edge of the top tile. Take the bottom tile and bend it until it breaks along the scored line. While this method of cutting tile is tried and true, there is an easier way.

Vinyl Tile Cutter

Cut straight lines and angles with a vinyl tile cutter. Using a vinyl tile cutter is much like using an old fashioned paper cutter, and is faster when doing large jobs. Measure the width of the tile you need to cut. Mark the width with your pencil, and use your straight edge as a guide to draw a straight line across the tile. You can also mark your width by following the steps in the first section, but use your pencil to mark the tile instead of scoring it with your utility knife. Lift the handle on the tile cutter. Place the tile on the cutter with your pencil mark parallel with the blade. Pull down on the handle to cut the tile.

Cutting Shapes

Cut shapes and circles in vinyl tile with your utility knife. There are times when you need to fit tile around the end of a cabinet, through a doorway, or over a pipe. Trace the pattern and cut it on cardboard first. This will allow you to make sure that your tile will fit. Place your cardboard pattern on top of a tile and trace the pattern onto the tile. Use your knife to repeatedly score the pattern until you cut all the way through the tile. Repeat this process for each area you need to make special cuts.

Tips

It is not necessary to purchase a vinyl tile cutter. Most hardware stores that rent tools, and tool rental shops will offer daily or weekly rental options.

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