TikTok Has A Vinyl Flooring Install Hack You'll Want To Know Before DIYing

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Installing vinyl plank flooring is a popular way to update your floors on a budget. Not only does it mimic the look of wood for the fraction of the price, but it's also durable, water-resistant, and easy to assemble as an amateur DIYer. Because of this, it's quickly becoming one of the most popular flooring types to buy. However, while many people choose it for its easy installation and affordability, the project can cut into your budget if you have to buy a bunch of special tools to install it. Not only do these tools cost you money, but you'll likely only use them once since you probably won't be switching out your planks again anytime soon. Traditionally, you'd need a snap cutter or tile cutter to cut the planks to fit the specific size of your room. Yet, according to TikTok, you can just use a box cutter and a speed square to achieve similar results. 

This simple swap can save you plenty of dough. A quality snap cutter that won't leave the vinyl edges ragged can cost upwards of $120, and an average tile cutter can cost upwards of $150. A speed square, on the other hand, costs just $10 on retailers like Amazon. And buying one is an investment for any DIYer — you will use it again in all sorts of future projects, from figuring out angles to helping guide your circular saw. Intrigued? Here is how to use a speed square to cut your vinyl planks.

How to use a speed square to cut vinyl planks

This hack is great because it's super simple. It uses affordable materials or tools you already own, and doesn't take much technique or experience. To pull it off, all you need to do is measure your plank to where you need to cut it, and using the speed square as a straight edge, score into the vinyl with your box cutter. This will create a neat and crisp line where you will later snap the plank. 

Then, lay the speed square down on the ground, and use its lifted edge as a cutter. To do so, lay your plank lightly on top of the speed square, lining up your scored line with its raised edge. Put light pressure on the longer side of the plank, but use greater force on the shorter side, which will snap the plank along its scored line. And that's it! The end result is a perfectly cut vinyl plank with a crisp line. 

How to ensure you get a smooth cut

Are you nervous that you might not achieve a smooth cut? This can be a worry if you don't have much room for error with the amount of vinyl you bought to finish tiling the space. To ensure you get the most precise and cleanest cut each time, follow these simple tips. First, ensure your box cutter has a new or sharp blade. If you use a dull one, the snaps will become jagged and messy. 

Once you have your sharp knife ready, see if you can do a few practice cuts on an extra or broken piece of vinyl. This will help you practice your technique a little before jumping into your supply. Test how deep you should score, and how many passes of the knife you need to make the groove easier to snap. You can also feel out how much pressure you should apply. Lastly, score the back of the plank rather than the front. That way, if there are some jagged pieces, they won't be as noticeable.