Installing Pergo...cut face up or down?

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daveswoodhauler

Minister of Fire
May 20, 2008
1,847
Massachusetts
Ok, picked up about 500 ft of Pergo flooring off Craiglist for $100 smackers, and am going to install this weekend.
Been hearing conflicting reports on cutting it.....going to use your basic Skilsaw and a Compound Mitre saw...should I cut it face up or face down?
Thanks.
 

fossil

Accidental Moderator
Sep 30, 2007
10,568
Bend, OR
Generally speaking, you should always cut so that the blade teeth are entering the material on the finished side, and exiting on the side that won't be visible, so if there's any tear-out, it'll be on the back. Pergo's very hard, and there isn't much tear-out either way, and wherever you're cutting the Pergo should be on an end or a side that's gonna be buried under baseboard anyway, so it probably doesn't really matter. To be safe, cut so the blade enters the finished side. BTW, Pergo will eat a nice carbide sawblade in fairly short order. I did a Pergo floor in my kitchen in Virginia, all cutting done on a table saw, so I was cutting it face-up. When I got done doing that floor, the blade on my saw was very tired of Pergo. Rick
 

daveswoodhauler

Minister of Fire
May 20, 2008
1,847
Massachusetts
Thanks Rick. I have heard that the pergo is pretty tough on the blade, so I think I'll make sure I have a few extra's on hand...doing three rooms about 120 sq feet each..fun stuff will be ripping out the carpet.
Installed hard wood floors in my old house, but this PErgo stuff is a little new to me.
Many Thanks.
 

stee6043

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2008
2,648
West Michigan
This is T&G;, corrrect? If so, it really shouldn't matter since your cuts should only be around the edges and "should" be covered up by trim. That being said...typically my skill saw does more damage to the opposite face to the cutting surface. So I would cut face "UP" if I wasn't worried about scratching the surface with the base of the saw....
 

daveswoodhauler

Minister of Fire
May 20, 2008
1,847
Massachusetts
Correct, it is T & G...so just cutting on the ends.
I have heard that the Pergo tends to "chip", so although the true end will be covered by very thin molding, if it flakes/chips, it might not be covered by the molding.
Thanks
 

johnn

New Member
Dec 8, 2008
370
so.Ill
You got a friend with a compound mitre saw? Thats the way to go!!

OOpps.. Re-read your OP. You have a compound, so don~t bother with the Skillsaw (hand-held radial). The compound saw will be cutting from the top down through the material which is what you want to avoid chips and flaking. Finish side up!
 

daveswoodhauler

Minister of Fire
May 20, 2008
1,847
Massachusetts
Thanks Ml. You again help me out. I am going to have a beer for you tonight.
 

seige101

Minister of Fire
Mar 25, 2008
622
Western MA
One last tip, make sure you use a fined toothed 'finish' blade, not the rough cut one you use for lopping 2x4's down to size. Like others have said, after you are done with the floor the blade will be junk. If you are worried about the finish near the end chipping or etching you can always try covering the area with masking tape, this usually does wonders.
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
10,909
Indiana
I have installed 1000's of square feet of laminate. You don't have to worry about the edge chipping enough to be seen, this is a problem with cheaper brands. You won't have to worry about your circ saw scratching the surface either, the stuff sparks when you cut it! Yes, you will need a circ saw and a miter saw and both blades will be junk when you are done, don't bother changing blades until you are done with the project. I often do my ripping face down because you can't make a pencil mark on the surface, never have a problem with too much chipping. Hope this helps.
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,079
Unity/Bangor, Maine
seige101 said:
One last tip, make sure you use a fined toothed 'finish' blade, not the rough cut one you use for lopping 2x4's down to size. Like others have said, after you are done with the floor the blade will be junk. If you are worried about the finish near the end chipping or etching you can always try covering the area with masking tape, this usually does wonders.
Not quite the same . . . but when cutting my engineered wood floor I used a compound miter saw with laser and taped the edges with masking tape and cut face up to minimize any splintering. We opted to go this route since we were cutting some of the planks shorter to give the floor a more natural, staggered look and as a result not every cut end would be covered by molding.
 
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