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Cutting Carpet Tiles



"Cutting Carpet Tiles," in the Carpet Q&A forum, begins: "What is best to cut carpet tiles with?..."

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Old September 23, 2011, 02:21 AM   #1
albany
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Cutting Carpet Tiles


What is best to cut carpet tiles with?

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Old September 23, 2011, 03:21 AM   #2
Don Monfils
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I have a 26" magnum sheer, works great.
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Old September 23, 2011, 03:23 AM   #3
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I just use a dolphin knife with a straight knife. Works thrice as fast as a shear. I would only use shears on laminate.

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Old September 23, 2011, 04:14 PM   #4
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Omnipotent said View Post
I just use a dolphin knife with a straight knife. Works thrice as fast as a shear. I would only use shears on laminate.
REALLY?

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Old September 23, 2011, 05:08 PM   #5
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What are your resources?

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Old September 23, 2011, 06:35 PM   #6
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albany said View Post
What is best to cut carpet tiles with?
**************************
Once upon a time that was a very simple question.

Most types of carpet tiles can be easily "freehanded" with a utility knife, hook blade or standard carpet knife. Some projects, depending on the backing, the base, the walls or whatever are better cut from the back with a framing square. There's a little gauge that locks onto a framing square that can be very helpful with cutting, especially insets and borders. Some guys are very proficient with the top cutter on carpet squares. I never liked or used that method but it's fast and some backings were actually designed to be cut from the face as opposed to the back with a square.

I'd love to see that Magnum sucker in operation. I just have a hard time imagining how it could be faster than the methods I'm familiar with.

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Old September 24, 2011, 03:28 AM   #7
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Don Monfils said View Post
REALLY?

Yes really, you just put the last tile in place of the beforelast tile, put beforelast tile against the plinth, cut the last tile alongside the beforelast tile. break the tile into a v-shape and cut it again from the top or from underneath and you can put them in place. make sure the glue is dry enough it doesn't transfer to the carpet-pile.

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Old September 24, 2011, 10:53 AM   #8
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carpet knife. unless ya wanna lug a tile cutter up 6 flights of stairs. where i work the elevators don't run yet

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Old September 25, 2011, 03:43 AM   #9
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Knife, walls are just to jinky janky here to use a magnum sheer, plus I can carry a knife in my pocket holster.

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Old September 28, 2011, 08:43 AM   #10
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twomly said View Post
Knife, walls are just to jinky janky here to use a magnum sheer, plus I can carry a knife in my pocket holster.
even if the walls were straight, a knife still works faster. And you don't have to drag that heavy shear over the carpet the whole time. I would only use a shear on laminate.

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Old September 28, 2011, 08:59 AM   #11
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Omnipotent said View Post
Yes really, you just put the last tile in place of the beforelast tile, put beforelast tile against the plinth, cut the last tile alongside the beforelast tile. break the tile into a v-shape and cut it again from the top or from underneath and you can put them in place. make sure the glue is dry enough it doesn't transfer to the carpet-pile.
*****************************
If I'm interpreting your description properly most guys I've seen who use that method cut the "beforelast" tile with a top cutter. I never got the hang of that for general use but there are circumstances when it's the only way to go. Probably 90-95% of the time we can just freehand the cuts just as you would any glue down. The only variation being that where a hook knife doesn't bind up on the backing it's sometimes cleaner and faster than the standard carpet knife. I usually only use the utility knife with a framing square from the back for cutting into wood base or metal that requires a perfect fit.

The word plinth is pretty obscure. I had to look it up.

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Old September 28, 2011, 10:45 AM   #12
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*****************************
If I'm interpreting your description properly most guys I've seen who use that method cut the "beforelast" tile with a top cutter. I never got the hang of that for general use but there are circumstances when it's the only way to go. Probably 90-95% of the time we can just freehand the cuts just as you would any glue down. The only variation being that where a hook knife doesn't bind up on the backing it's sometimes cleaner and faster than the standard carpet knife. I usually only use the utility knife with a framing square from the back for cutting into wood base or metal that requires a perfect fit.

The word plinth is pretty obscure. I had to look it up.
In dutch baseboard is called a plinth. The method i descibed is faster and more neatly than then the framing square in case there's are curves in the base. You can compare it with the bar scriber, only you're now using a tile to scribe along. If there's a curve or obstacle you can move the tile. When it's straight it's just one quick slice and you can fold the tile. We use a bar scriber on vinyl planks and laminate to to scribe the last row.

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Old September 28, 2011, 11:37 AM   #13
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Omnipotent said View Post
In dutch baseboard is called a plinth. The method i descibed is faster and more neatly than then the framing square in case there's are curves in the base. You can compare it with the bar scriber, only you're now using a tile to scribe along. If there's a curve or obstacle you can move the tile. When it's straight it's just one quick slice and you can fold the tile. We use a bar scriber on vinyl planks and laminate to to scribe the last row.
***********************
The backings play a big role in how best to cut and of course the square is only used on straight cuts like wood or metal. It's also effective where they call for flat (toeless) base. When you freehand you'll never come off as clean and straight which makes the vinyl or rubber base installer struggle to cover the gaps or trim back your lumps. It's something I fought with a lot running big work. It was so bad in certain cases where I couldn't control the crew I would hang all the base FIRST forcing the carpet layers to net fit to the base. No matter what I tried if I let certain guys (hacks) go first I'd have to peel back and trim every other cut. What's worse is they wanted me to explain why on earth I would put the base first. Ever try to explain to someone that he's a butcher?

With the black hardback vinyl backing that was predominate when I was doing zillions of yards you could turn the tile upside down and butt the wall right overtop the dried PSA. Then the square would go right on the edge of the "beforelast" tile. Usually you could cut straight through with a utility knife and flip the tile right into place for a perfect fit. Some tiles it took the splice, bend and then cut through from the bottom (face) as you describe.

Milliken went to a hard brown back that wasn't designed to cut from the back so with that tile we'd use your method only with a top cutter rather than a knife of any sort. Likewise, these cushion back tiles don't cut well from the back either.

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Old September 28, 2011, 01:29 PM   #14
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I just top cut the last row using a full tile sliding all the way along the wall then bounce back the other way pulling out the cut tiles and replacing with full tiles then insert the cuts, or the boy follows behind putting them in.
I find this works with all tiles no matter what the backing is, and a concave blade works a treat.

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Old September 29, 2011, 10:50 AM   #15
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twomly said View Post
I just top cut the last row using a full tile sliding all the way along the wall then bounce back the other way pulling out the cut tiles and replacing with full tiles then insert the cuts, or the boy follows behind putting them in.
I find this works with all tiles no matter what the backing is, and a concave blade works a treat.
I used to do it like that too when i was a fresh kid, but now i'm older i don't like crawling up and down that much. Now i do just one tile at a time and once you get the hang out of flip flopping and throwing tiles around it works just as fast.

I have another great tip; unwrap 5 boxes of tiles and put them on a dolly and roll it through the glue in front of you, that way you'll allways have the tiles right next to you and you don't have to let a colleage throw tiles on the floor for you.

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