Laminate Installation with Irregular Patterns, Shapes and Objects

In a perfect world, every room would be square and perfect to fit planks of laminate. But, we all know the world is not perfect. Many flooring projects require cutting for pipes, cabinets, fireplaces and other intrusions. Luckily, it isn’t so bad as long as you have the proper tools and measurements.

During an installation that requires special cutting, follow these tips.


  • Carpenters Square
  • Scrap Paper
  • Pencil
  • Jigsaw
  • Spacers
  • Tape

Stone or Irregular Shaped Obstructions

If you have a stone fireplace or any type of fancy mill-work, you might run into a pattern that isn’t exactly circular or square. The easiest way to cut these pieces is to take a piece of paper and draw the pattern on the paper. Tape the paper onto the laminate plank and transfer the edge line onto the plank. This will be your cut line. If you have a fireplace that is straight, you maybe be able to substitute an end cap or square nose molding to perfectly cap the flooring.

Pipes and Circular Obstructions

Depending on how large the object is, there is a few ways to go about it.

Larger Pipes – 

For larger objects, you will need to cut a few planks to fit the round structure.

  1. Use a carpenters square to determine the arch. Measure the length of the pipe and mark the ends. Mark the amount that the pipe extends past the board. Find the middle of the square. The arch will go from end to end, with the arch being in the middle. You can also trace around the edge with paper if that is easier for you.
  2. Use this arch as the cut line and follow it with the jigsaw.
  3. Remember that you still need an expansion gap when cutting around these objects.
  4. When multiple pieces of laminate are involved, you should use glue to connect planks at the seams. Due to the cutting, joints will have less stability to be tapped or dropped into place. Shave the groove down, add wood glue and place the tongue onto the groove.

Smaller Pipes –

For smaller pipes, these can only affect one plank in your installation. Depending on the placement, you can cut the plank so that it fits around the pipe at the end or cut a section out of the plank.

Ending a Row with a Pipe:

  • Measure the distance from the wall to the pipe, marking the edge, middle and end of the pipe. Drill a hole that is 1/2″ larger than the diameter of the pipe from the middle mark where it will intersect the plank.
  • Cut the plank across through the center of the hole.
  • Use spacers on the pipe and butt the laminate plank up to the spacers. It should surround the pipe.
  • Shave the groove down and add wood glue.
  • The other piece will fit on top of the groove and lock into place on the other side of the pipe.

Middle of a Plank with a Pipe:

  • Measure the distance from the wall to the pipe, marketing the edge, middle and end of the pipe.
  • Drill a  hole that is 1/2″ larger than the pipe at the center mark.
  • Draw 45 degree angles from the edges of the pipes.
  • This will create almost a puzzle piece from the plank.
  • Apply glue to the edges to adhere the edge piece again.
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