How to Cut a Curve in Wood Flooring

By Robert Sylvus

A wood floor with a curved transition needs its edge custom cut. Curved transitions often occur where wood flooring meets a stair case or butts against a tile floor. Because a wood floor's curves usually have odd shapes, the flooring installer must make a template specifically for each curve. Using a template helps keep the edges of the wood floor's cuts even and maintains the same cut angle across each neighboring plank. Wood flooring installers usually lay the flooring planks from the curved transition out across the room, keeping the cuts tight against the curve.

List of Items Needed

  • Cardboard
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Masking tape
  • Safety glasses
  • Hand-held rotary tool
  • Wood-cutting blade
  1. Set a piece of cardboard on the subfloor next to the curve. Draw the outline of the curve on the cardboard, using a pencil.

  2. Cut out the curve's outline on the cardboard with scissors, using the pencil mark as cutting guide. Set the cardboard template next to the curve and trim the template as needed.

  3. Lay the wood flooring planks that butt against the curve on the subfloor, locking the tongue and groove edges together. Adjust the ends of the wood flooring planks to match the remaining floor's stagger joints using the neighboring planks as a placement guide.

  4. Place the template on the flooring planks that butt against the curve. Secure the template to the planks using masking tape to hold the template in place.

  5. Put on safety glasses.

  6. Score a 1/16-inch deep line in the wood plank's surface using a hand-held rotary tool equipped with a wood-cutting blade. Hold the blade at a right angle to the wood flooring and follow the edge of the template.

  7. Remove the template and separate the wood flooring planks.

  8. Cut each wood flooring plank along the 1/16-inch deep groove in the plank's surface using the rotary tool with wood-cutting blade. Work the blade back and forth across the groove until the blade reaches the bottom of the plank using care to avoid marring the plank's finished surface.

  9. Test fit the wood flooring planks against the curve. Trim the planks as needed.

Tips and Warnings

  • Use caution when working with power tools.
  • Always wear safety glasses when working with power tools.

© Demand Media 2011