How To Cut Plastic Wall Panels

How to cut PVC panels: tool selection
When carrying out finishing work in the bathroom, many craftsmen are faced with the problem of how to cut PVC panels. What is the best way to cut wall panels at home. With a knife or a hacksaw? Giving preference to a hacksaw, you need to think about how to properly cut plastic panels.

Application of panels

In the process of sheathing, it is necessary to initially determine the tool used for cutting plastic panels. This material is widely used for decorating balconies or bathrooms, because it has an excellent set of properties. It is also impossible to forget about its practicality, which makes it even more popular. Plastic panels also attract buyers for their low cost and excellent appearance.

Each owner can independently finish the bathroom at home and at his discretion, because there are a huge variety of panel options that can be used for this. All PVC panels are manufactured with a standard length of 3 m. This is not always practical because it has to be cut into pieces to obtain the desired size.

Hacksaw

A hacksaw is considered more practical to use, and it does not matter whether it is for metal or for wood. The only requirement when using a hacksaw for wood is the presence of small teeth, which should not be divorced, because this way the surface of the material that needs to be cut into pieces is destroyed. Such a tool is often used for cross cutting.

The advantage of this tool is the ability to cut multiple panels simultaneously. For this operation, you will need to stack the material.

For convenience when cutting, it is better to have the planks facing the performer. When subjecting the length of the panels to a decrease, care must be taken not to apply enormous force when pressing the tool, because this can break the PVC sheets.

Cutter

This tool has proven itself well due to its low cost. It is perfect for home use.

The tool has excellent performance and the cut surface looks smooth. It should also be highlighted the fact that no special physical effort is required to carry out the cutting. A huge advantage can also be called its compactness, in which it does not take up much space during its storage.

What do you need?

At present, a huge number of tools have been created, thanks to which it is possible to shorten the length of a particular material. When working with plastic panels, it is necessary to take into account many factors, among which the main ones are practicality, cutting speed, surface quality, as well as ease of use.

How to cut PVC panels: tool selection

How To Cut Plastic Wall Panels

  1. Application of panels
  2. Cutting rules
  3. What do you need?
  4. Cutter
    • Hacksaw
    • Jigsaw, circular and grinder
    • Knife

    Undoubtedly, tiles are considered to be a classic material for finishing a bathroom, however, PVC panels have an increased installation speed, and additional care of this material is not required, because neither soap nor water is deposited on their surface. Initially, plastic panels worked well due to their ease of installation. To carry out such work, you will not need help from specialists and a complex tool.

    Cutting rules

    To carry out work safely, you must clearly follow the following rules:

    • When working with panels that were brought in from the cold, you must wait a short period of time. This action is necessary in order to warm the material. If you do not follow the advice, the plastic panels will break during the cutting process, thereby losing their neat appearance. There are often cases when cracks appear on the surface that is cut along.
    • In order to obtain several planks of the same length, it is necessary to lay them on at least 2 supports. Thus, there is protection against sagging or displacement. It is recommended to rest the edge of the element that is not pruned against the wall. Thanks to this action, you can protect against their shift.
    • You can make the process easier by marking with a pencil or felt-tip pen.
    • It is necessary to cut correctly with the wrong side of the panel down, because during processing under the influence of a load, the profile of the strip changes and causes some inconvenience during the installation process. Microcracks often appear on the front surface, which appear in the future.
    • When using a power tool, use protective goggles and gloves that can protect against debris and sawdust flying in different directions during the cutting process.
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    Material features

    PVC panels are one of the modern types of finishing materials that are made by extrusion and are used both in the bathroom and in the living room. The main raw material in the production of such products is polyvinyl chloride, which is used to fill the mold. To give the panels the desired color, a certain amount of crushed natural chalk is added to their composition.

    Decorating PVC panels can be done in one of the following ways:

    • Staining;
    • Thermal printing;
    • Offset printing.

    Thermal printing is applied to the plastic surface using a special roller heated to high temperatures, which presses the film to the surface of the product. Thanks to this technology, it is possible to quickly and clearly apply a pattern without losing the brightness of the image. The panel itself does not need additional varnishing. Offset printing is used much less frequently due to its high cost.

    Cutter

    If necessary, this tool can be made independently from available tools, for which it is enough to adhere to the following recommendations:

    • It is necessary to prepare a metal strip, the thickness of which is at least 2 mm, and the width is 1 cm;
    • Then you should cut one of the edges of the workpiece at an angle of 45 degrees;
    • It is necessary to sharpen the edge of a homemade product using a grindstone;
    • The opposite side should be wrapped with electrical tape, which will allow you to protect your hand from damage during operation.

    A professional cutter for plastic has a relatively low cost, so its purchase can be a profitable investment, because thanks to such a tool, the process of cutting PVC panels becomes not only more convenient, but also quite fast.

    Basic cutting rules

    So that the efforts to cut PVC panels are not wasted, and the result of the work meets expectations, experts recommend adhering to a number of rules for working with plastic. These little secrets will help not only to significantly reduce the amount of spoiled material, but also save the master from unnecessary financial expenses and injuries.

    When working in a heated season, do not start cutting panels, which have recently been brought into the premises. The plastic should naturally warm up to room temperature, which is achieved in at least 12 hours. The fact is that at low temperatures the plastic panel becomes brittle, and therefore it can crack and break off in large fragments.

    Regardless of the chosen method of processing the material, it should be placed with its front side facing you, which will avoid deformation of the panel and difficulties in its further installation. When cutting from the seamy side, you can find microcracks on the front part, which will manifest itself over time and significantly spoil the interior.

    It is necessary to mark in advance the straight line of the planned cut, which can be done with a simple pencil and a stationery ruler.

    To speed up the process of preparing the material for installation work, you can cut or saw several PVC panels at the same time. To do this, simply stack them in a pile and create a two-point support. It is best to rest the opposite edge of the stack against the wall, which will help avoid shifting the products, respectively, as a result, parts of the same length will be obtained.

    Choosing a cutting tool

    Specialists in the implementation of repair work, who have to carry out the installation of PVC panels in their professional activities, know many secrets regarding the correct cutting of plastic materials up and down. After analyzing them, each owner who wants to make repairs on his own will be able to choose the most suitable professional tool for him or use the tools at hand.

    The choice of a method for cutting panels usually depends on the tasks and capabilities of the master. Below are the types of cutting materials.

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    Hacksaw

    One of the universal devices for cutting any material is a hacksaw, which is sure to be found in the arsenal of any master. It is she who will help, if necessary, cut the plastic wall panel. Such work will take more time than using a special cutter, but with significant volumes of cladding, this will not significantly affect the overall duration of the repair.

    When using a hacksaw, you should heed the following recommendations from experts:

    • For working with plastic finishing materials, you should use a tool with small teeth, which is usually designed for working with metal or wood;
    • To shorten the PVC panel, there is no need to apply strong physical force, which can damage the material;
    • You can cut several parts at once with a hacksaw by folding them in a pile and securing them to avoid bending or displacement.

    To prevent the cut from being serrated, it is not recommended to use a tool with teeth set in different directions.

    Power tool

    For quick sawing of PVC panels, a power tool at hand is best. For this purpose, you can use almost any device, which will help to significantly reduce the time spent on preparing for installation.

    Often, cutting is performed using the following devices:

    • Jigsaw;
    • Grinders;
    • Circulars.

    To work with plastic material, it is allowed to use only low speeds, because with significant heating it begins to melt and release fumes that are toxic to the human body, and the cut in this case will turn out to be torn.

    Using a jigsaw will help make the process of preparing PVC panels for installation much faster than using a hand tool.

    However, with this method of processing, the following nuances must be taken into account:

    • Even before starting work, it is necessary to turn off the pendulum stroke;
    • A file with the smallest teeth should be used;
    • You need to set the lowest speed of movement of the file, which will avoid excessive heating of the plastic at the cut.

    Using a jigsaw is very convenient to cut stacks of panels, but you should make sure that their height does not exceed the length of the file installed in the tool.

    The grinder is recognized as the most convenient and practical power tool, with which you can cut the PVC wall panels. By installing a cutting disc, you can make not only straight, but also curly cuts on the plastic surface. When processing plastic around the grinder, it turns on only at low speeds, which will avoid damage to the material due to melting of the edges.

    In the absence of more practical and convenient tools, you can cut the PVC with a knife.

    To solve this problem, the following types of cutting products are suitable:

    • Kitchen knife. This tool is suitable for cutting multiple panels in the process of repairing or replacing them. For large-scale wall decoration, such a procedure is unnecessarily long and painful.
    • Construction knife. Among hand-held cutting tools, such a device is one of the best options for achieving a straight cut with relatively little effort.
    • Stationery knife. Using a wooden ruler or square, this tool allows you to achieve a perfectly even cut of the panel, therefore it is often used to cut them.

    How to cut plastic PVC panels

    Plastic panels have a number of advantages that make them an indispensable material for quick and inexpensive renovation of bathrooms, toilets, loggias and garden houses. The panels are impervious to moisture, are low-combustible materials, resistant to mechanical abrasion, have a long service life and are relatively cheap. They can be used to decorate both walls and ceilings. The technology for installing plastic panels is simple and does not require preliminary surface preparation.

    One of the essential stages in the installation of plastic panels is their cutting to the required size. The complexity of this stage depends on the condition of the surface to be finished: if the wall, for example, is straight and even, then you can prepare the entire volume of plastic panels required for it in advance. If the wall has different heights, complex shapes, or includes architectural elements (windows, doors, ledges, etc.), then you will have to cut the panels along the way, which, of course, significantly increases the installation time.

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    How to cut PVC plastic panels?

    It should be noted that plastic panels are quite easy to process, and they can be cut using a wide variety of tools. Most often, hacksaws for metal or wood with small teeth are used for this. The advantage of this method is that they can simultaneously cut several panels. It is necessary to saw the panel face up, at a slope, avoiding strong pressure. If you use a saw for wood, it is better if it has teeth for cross or mixed sawing, if possible, not set apart. Such a saw will leave an even cut without scoring. You can also use a jigsaw, but when cutting, they need to strictly dose the pressure, otherwise the panels can simply break. Some people use grinders and circular saws to cut panels to speed up the process, however, in our opinion, such methods have several disadvantages: firstly, plastic is quite fragile and light material, and careless handling of it can lead to the fact that the panel will just break; secondly, from heating when cutting with a tool at a high speed of rotation, the panels heat up and begin to release poisonous compounds.

    There are several rules to follow when cutting panels. If you brought the panels from the cold, let them “warm up” at room temperature for several hours: cold plastic becomes brittle. Before cutting the plastic panels, mark them to the size you need. It is convenient to do this using an ordinary felt-tip pen. It leaves a well-visible mark on the panel and is easily erased. Safety precautions must be observed when cutting panels. It is advisable to wear safety glasses and gloves. Remember that when the panels are broken, sharp splinters are formed that can injure you.

    Hacksaw

    A hacksaw is a versatile tool that any craftsman has in his arsenal. It can easily cut plastic wall panels, if it is not possible to purchase a special cutter. With a hacksaw, the cutting process takes longer, but with a small amount of work, this does not significantly affect the duration of the wall cladding.

    When sawing plastic with a hacksaw, the following nuances must be taken into account:

    • For sawing PVC, use a tool with fine teeth for wood (cross-cut) or metal.
    • You do not need to use strong force to cut the plastic, otherwise you may damage the material.
    • With a hacksaw, you can cut several panels at once, folding them in a stack.

    How to cut plastic panels. Three cutting methods

    Thrifty homeowners know that there is no better and more practical material for bathroom and toilet wall cladding than decorative PVC panels. They perfectly replace ceramic tiles in cases where there is not enough money or time for a full repair.

    This material is also loved because it can be easily assembled with your own hands. However, the standard panel length is 3 m, which exceeds the ceiling height in typical high-rise buildings. In this regard, inexperienced craftsmen who decided to sheathe the walls of the bathroom with their own hands, the question arises of how to cut plastic panels at home. In this article we will talk about a special tool for sawing plastic and the tools at hand that can be used for this operation.

    Cutter

    Experienced craftsmen, who have in their arsenal a whole set of special tools for processing plastic, are used to cut PVC panels for wall cladding with a special cutter. This useful tool makes an absolutely straight cut on plastic without the use of physical effort.

    Craftsmen may well make that tool with their own hands according to the following instructions:

    1. It is necessary to take a strip of metal sheet with a thickness of at least 2 mm. The strip should be 1 cm wide.
    2. One edge of the metal strip is cut at a 45 degree angle.
    3. One side of the homemade cutter is sharpened with a grindstone.
    4. The opposite side is wrapped with electrical tape so as not to damage the hand during work.

    Power tool

    The most impatient can use PVC panels for cutting with a power tool. For these purposes, any device that the master has at hand is suitable. This method allows you to quickly cut plastic, saving a lot of time. Cutting is performed using: