When laying your own flooring, you’re likely to be faced with tricky parts and awkward angles that need an extra bit of know-how to get around! A common issue found when installing any kind of flooring in the bathroom is fitting it around toilets and sinks. How are you supposed to cut your new flooring so that it fits as perfectly as it should?
Here at Flooring Mountain, we want to make sure that your flooring is beautiful and functional, so we’ve made a handy guide to cutting around the tricky bit in your newest DIY project.
Please note that this is a brief guide to the installation process and that the manufacturer’s installation guides that are provided with each pack of flooring should always be referred to ahead of installation.
What you need:
> Lining paper
> Tape measure
> Masking tape
> Trimming knife
> Safety goggles
Step 1: Making the template
If your flooring is already completed and you’re having a bathroom suite fitted:
Place the new toilet into position and use a pencil to mark around the toilet on the existing floor.
Removing the toilet, take the last three rows up closest to the wall and simply cut these with a jigsaw, leaving the appropriate expansion gap.
You can then install your flooring and your plumber can fit your toilet into the subfloor below.
If your toilet is already in place:
When you’re laying the flooring, lay it towards the toilet.
When you get to the last three rows, this is where the planks would need to be cut, so you’re going to have to make a template for them to fit around the toilet.
Using a loose plank, find where the joints travel towards the toilet and mark the subfloor using a pencil where you would need the joints around the toilet to be.
To create the template, start by folding the lining paper so that it folds back on itself so that you can square your first cut off at 90 degrees and cut along the line using scissors.
Offer the edge of the lining paper up against the mark made in front of the toilet where the joints meet and use tape to hold it in place.
You will have a lip that comes up against the toilet, cut down from the top to the subfloor around the base so that the paper sits flush against it.
At the other end of the paper, against the skirting board, cut along the end so that it fits comfortably in place, allowing room for the expansion gap and use tape to hold it in place.
Coming back to the base of the toilet, use a pencil to sketch out the curved shape that you require cutting.
Remove the lining paper and trim the shape using scissors.
Once cut, place the template back into position, fixing it with tape.
Then, using the appropriate sized spacer for your required expansion gap, mark around the toilet where the gap would need to be, remove the paper again and cut this out with scissors.
The next stage is to transfer the shape of your template to the first plank you’re cutting.
Offer the edge of your lining paper against the click edge of your plank, holding it in place with tape.
Scribe the shape of the template onto the plank with a pencil.
Clamp the board down onto the workbench and cut it out with a jigsaw.
Click the plank into position, making sure you’re happy with the relevant expansion gap.
Fix your original template down over the first plank you’ve just laid.
Then, take a loose plank and place it across the existing planks in line with the joints so that you can then mark where the joint is going to be.
Placing this plank in position (where it would be if the template wasn’t there), offer it up against the skirting board, leaving the relevant expansion gap.
This will give a marking point on the template of each corner of the plank, as this is where the second plank is going to start.
Remove your template again and place it on top of the new plank, lining up the corners, ready to mark the position you’re about to cut.
Going back to the workbench, cut your second plank, then place and click it into place.
Now, you’re ready for the third plank, which comes around the back of the toilet.
Using the previous marks from the second plank, line them up with the top edge of the third plank which will give you the position of your next cut.
Once this is cut, place it into position and then repeat the process on the opposite side of the toilet.
Step 2: Sealing around the toilet/sink
All that’s left to do is seal the toilet where it meets your planks with a suitable sealant.
If you’re not experienced at using a caulk gun and applying sealant, then it is always wise to mask the area first using masking tape.
Place the tape all around the cut edges of your planks.
Then, you can apply flexible silicone at a comfortable pace inside the gap.
The silicone will need smoothing off with a clean finger before it dries.
Once you’ve done this, remove the masking tape immediately.