How to Cut Wood Flooring

Have you ever looked at the beautiful wood floors in homes or businesses and thought to yourself “I’d love to have floors like that someday”? Well, wood floors are a great way to add warmth and richness to any space, but installing them can seem like an intimidating project. From measuring and cutting the boards to sanding and finishing, there are many steps involved in laying wood flooring. But with the right tools and know-how, taking on this project yourself is very achievable.

How to Cut Wood Flooring

In this blog post, I’ll walk you through the entire process of how to cut wood flooring from start to finish, breaking it down into simple, easy-to-follow steps. By the end, you’ll feel confident in your new skills and ready to transform your floors and your space. Let’s get started!

Tools and Materials You Will Need to Cut Wood Flooring

  1. Measuring tape
  2. Pencil
  3. Circular saw or miter saw
  4. Jigsaw (for odd-shaped cuts)
  5. Chalk line or straight edge
  6. Safety glasses and ear protection
  7. Flooring material (solid hardwood, engineered wood, etc.)

Step-by-step Guidelines on How to Cut Wood Flooring

Step 1: Measure the Room

The first step in any flooring project is to measure your space. Start by measuring the length and width of the room, then multiply those numbers together to get the total square footage. For example, if your room measures 10 feet by 12 feet, you’ll need 120 square feet of flooring. Measuring the room will also help you determine how much flooring material you’ll need to purchase. It’s always a good idea to buy an extra 10% of flooring to account for any mistakes or waste.

Step 2: Prepare the Flooring Material

Before you start cutting, it’s important to acclimate your flooring material to the space where it will be installed. This means leaving the wood in its packaging in the room for at least 48 hours so that it can adjust to the temperature and humidity of the space. This step will help prevent any warping or buckling after installation.

Important to Acclimate Your Flooring Material

Step 3: Plan Your Cuts

Before making any cuts, take some time to plan out your layout. Start by determining which direction you want the boards to run in the room. It’s generally recommended to lay them perpendicular to the floor joists for stability. Then, use a chalk line or straight edge to mark the layout on the subfloor. This will help guide your cutting process and ensure accuracy.

Step 4: Cut the First Row

Using either a circular saw or miter saw, begin by cutting the first row of flooring boards to fit along one side of the room. If you are using a circular saw, be sure to set the blade depth to just slightly deeper than the flooring material. This will help prevent splintering and damage to your saw. While cutting, be sure to wear safety glasses and ear protection.

Step 5: Cut the Remaining Boards

Measure and cut each subsequent row of boards to fit along the length of the room. Remember to stagger your end joints for a more secure installation. Use a miter saw or circular saw for straight cuts, and a jigsaw for any odd-shaped cuts around doorways or other obstacles. Make sure to double-check your measurements before cutting each board.

Step 6: Install the Flooring

Once all of your boards are cut to size, it’s time to install them. Lay out the first row and use a flooring nailer or hammer and finishing nails to secure the boards in place. Continue installing each subsequent row, making sure to stagger the end joints for stability. Use a tapping block and mallet to fit boards tightly together, and check for any gaps or unevenness as you go.

Step 7: Sand and Finish

After the flooring is installed, sand down any rough spots using a floor sander or hand sander. Then, apply your choice of wood finish according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This will add protection and bring out the natural beauty of the wood. Allow the finish to dry completely before walking on the floors.

Using a Floor Sander

Following these steps will guide you through the process of cutting and installing wood flooring in your space. With the right tools and materials, this project can be a fun and rewarding DIY experience. So go ahead and give it a try – you’ll love the results!  Remember to always wear proper safety equipment, take accurate measurements, and plan out your cuts before starting. Happy cutting! 

Additional Tips and Tricks to Cut Wood Flooring

  1. When cutting wood flooring, it is important to plan and measure carefully. This will ensure that you have enough material for your project and minimize waste.
  2. It is recommended to use a pencil to mark where you will cut on the wood flooring. This will help guide your saw and prevent mistakes.
  3. When making a straight cut, it is best to use a circular saw or table saw. These tools will ensure a clean and straight cut, especially when working with hardwood flooring.
  4. For curved cuts or intricate designs, a jigsaw or scroll saw can be used. However, these tools may require more practice to achieve precision cuts.
  5. To prevent splintering or chipping on the wood flooring, it is important to use the correct blade for your saw. A fine-toothed blade is recommended for hardwood flooring.
  6. Always wear protective gear, such as safety glasses and gloves, when cutting wood flooring. This will help prevent accidents and injuries.
  7. If you are unsure about how to make a specific cut, it is best to do a practice run on scrap wood before making the final cut on your actual flooring material. This will help you adjust your technique and avoid mistakes.
  8. When cutting multiple pieces of wood flooring, it is important to label each piece with a number or letter. This will help keep track of the order and placement of the pieces during installation.
  9. To achieve a professional-looking finish, sand the cut edges of the wood flooring after making cuts. This will create smooth edges and remove any imperfections caused by the saw.
  10. Lastly, always clean up after yourself and properly dispose of any waste materials. This will not only keep your workspace organized but also prevent potential hazards. 
Always Clean Up After

Following these additional tips and tricks will help you successfully cut wood flooring for your project. Remember to take your time, measure accurately, and use the correct tools and techniques for clean and precise cuts. With practice, you will become more proficient in cutting wood flooring and achieve professional-looking results every time.  So go ahead and confidently tackle your next wood flooring project!  Happy cutting!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Cut Wood Flooring Straight?

To cut wood flooring straight, you will need to use a circular saw or a table saw with a fine-toothed blade. Before making any cuts, measure and mark your desired length on the wood flooring plank using a pencil and ruler. Make sure to wear safety gear such as gloves and goggles when operating power tools. Then, carefully line up the marked line with the saw blade and make a straight cut following your marked line.

Can I Use a Hand Saw to Cut Wood Flooring?

Yes, you can use a hand saw to cut wood flooring. However, it may not be as precise or efficient as using a power tool such as a circular saw or table saw. If you choose to use a hand saw, make sure to use a fine-toothed blade for cleaner cuts and take your time to ensure accuracy.

Do I Need Special Blades for Cutting Wood Flooring?

Yes, it is recommended to use special blades designed specifically for cutting wood flooring. These blades have more teeth per inch (TPI) and are specifically designed to cut through hardwood or laminate flooring without causing splintering or chipping. Using the wrong type of blade can result in a less precise cut and potential damage to your wood flooring.

How Do I Cut Wood Flooring Around Door Frames or Other Obstacles?

To cut wood flooring around door frames or other obstacles, you can use a jigsaw or coping saw. Measure and mark your desired cut on the wood flooring plank and then use the appropriate saw to carefully cut. It is important to take your time and be precise when cutting around obstacles to ensure a clean and accurate cut.

You Can Use a Jigsaw

Do I Need to Sand the Cut Edges of the Wood Flooring?

Yes, it is recommended to sand the cut edges of wood flooring after making any cuts. This will help smooth out any rough edges and ensure a clean fit when installing the wood flooring planks. Use fine-grit sandpaper and lightly sand the edges until they are smooth to the touch.

What Can I Do With Scrap Pieces of Wood Flooring?

There are many creative ways you can use scrap pieces of wood flooring. You can repurpose them as decorative wall panels, create coasters or trivets, or even make a DIY cutting board. You can also save them for future repairs or use them to practice your cutting skills before making cuts on your actual wood flooring planks. Keep in mind to properly dispose of any leftover scraps and recycle if possible to reduce waste.  


Knowing how to cut wood flooring properly is essential for any DIY home improvement project. Whether you are installing new flooring or making repairs, using the right tools and techniques will ensure a clean and precise cut every time. Remember to always wear safety gear, use specialized blades for cutting wood flooring, and take your time to ensure accuracy.

Don’t forget to get creative with any leftover scraps of wood flooring and find ways to repurpose them instead of throwing them away. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to successfully cutting and installing wood flooring like a pro.  So don’t hesitate to start your next wood flooring project with confidence and precision! Happy cutting!

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Enrique Howard

Hi, I am Enrique. I started my professional life as a handyman and did a lot of external and internal repair of home and office with a little bit of electric and plumbing support. I have extensive experience in tools testing such as drilling, turning, milling, and non-conventional machining like EDM. So let me help you on your journey towards becoming an enlightened DIYer with amazing tools that you can use on your project.

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