How to Cut Vinyl Plank Flooring around Floor Heat Vents

a metal floor register placed on a vinyl plank wood floor
  • 3-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-200
What You'll Need
Tape measure
Pencil and ruler
Jigsaw saw or similar

Installing vinyl plank flooring is a great way to save money while keeping the look and feel of a traditional wood floor. These vinyl planks can be fitted by homeowners, and there are many kits available which are designed to allow you to slot the boards together without requiring too much cutting, trimming, or sawing. One area where a little conversion might be necessary is when you are fitting vinyl plank flooring around a heat vent in the floor. However, this is not a difficult job, and can be done in a matter of hours if you follow a few simple steps to get the job done.

Step 1 - Remove the Vent Cover

The first thing that you should do is remove the cover from your floor heating vent. The cover should be held on to the floor by several screws, so use your screwdriver to loosen each of these, and then remove them by lifting them out of the hole connecting them to the cover. You should eventually be able to lift the cover completely off. Put it and the screws to one side, as these will have to be replaced later.

Step 2 - Install up to the Vent

a man installing vinyl plank flooring

Once the cover is removed, lay your vinyl planks down until you reach the edge of the vent opening. Keep the boards as straight as you can, and lay all around the vent, including any boards which can be added after the vent. Next, take your tape measure, and make a note of the length of the opening. Lay the board parallel to where it would be, and mark where the vent should go using your pencil and ruler.

Step 3 - Cut the Board

Draw the cutting line all the way around the board and then take it to your jigsaw. If your vent is not in the middle of the board, make sure that you know which length of the board will have to be kept after the cutting. Using the jigsaw, cut along the line you have marked on the board, and then return to the vent. Sand the edge of the board down, so that the side facing the vent is smooth. Fit the board into place, and then proceed with the fitting. If the vent takes up more than one board space, you will need to cut as many as are required to make the vent. If there is space on the other side of the vent for another piece of the cut board, repeat the measuring as above, and cut to the required size.

Step 4 - Finish

installed vinyl plank flooring

Once you have completed your installation of the boards, take your floor heat vent cover and screw it back into position. The plank boards may mean that you need to replace the screws with slightly longer ones, but this should not be too difficult. Remember that the vent needs to fit back into the space you’ve cut out. However, if you leave room for that, the floorboards can slightly overlap the opening in the floor if necessary.