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Last year I installed vinyl plank flooring in my basement (on concrete floor + underlay), including an area under the stairs.

I now want to build a closet under the stairs and have the problem having to remove vinyl plank in that section so I can frame out the walls of the closet and not build on top of the floating vinyl plank which was not recommended.

I was think about going at it with a good knife and try to cut a rectangular second out of the flooring for the framing of the closet, is there a better way I can do this or tools you can recommend?

The alternative would be a big hassle of lifting the floor from the end of the room, including all trim around the walls in those sections, cutting properly and laying it down again, reattaching trim, and repaint damage.

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  • Yiu shoujd be able to ascertain where the wall will rest on the floor and cut out just the places that need it. Leave 1/4 inch or so around the perimeter draw it out on masking tape and use a oscillating saw
    – Kris
    Nov 23 '20 at 0:02
  • Thanks @Kris, an oscillating saw should do the trick.
    – Chanakya
    Nov 23 '20 at 1:07
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Use a circular saw with a wood cutting blade set to the depth of the vinyl floor thickness. Osc tools are invaluable for small jobs but they are slow and you'll burn through a lot of blades to cut something that size out.

I'd use some quick support rods that push down on 2x4s around the area where you are cutting to prevent any of the boards from moving when you are cutting. Set the 2x4 and use it as a guide to cut a straight line in the boards.

Seems like a lot of work though. I'd probably just put the wall on the floor.

LVT doesn't thermally expand to the same degree as laminate, wood or engineered hardwood. I've installed kitchen cabinets on top of floating LVT without problem. In your case you could secure the wall on the top and sides, to allow for expansion of the floor you could cut an oval hole in the lvt where the fastener holds the bottom plate to the concrete then if the floor wants to move under the wall it just has to overcome the friction of the bottom plate. You could also put a low friction tape or platic surface on the bottom of the bottom plate which would allow the floor to move under the bottom plate with less effort.

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  • I agree fully with the circular saw recommendation. Use that to get the majority of the flooring cut, then using an oscillating cutter to get the ends of the cut where the circular saw won't fit. I'm not sure I agree with the "build the wall on the finish floor" recommendation. I don't have any specifics, but it sure "feels" wrong. If the flooring ever needs to be replaced, it will need to be cut away from the wall leaving a much more difficult job. Sure it may be the "next guy's problem", but it might not...
    – FreeMan
    Nov 23 '20 at 13:35
  • I wish i had a circular saw, i may rent one if the oscillating saw doesn't pan out. Being able to set the depth is great though, as I worry about hitting the concrete on the bottom, ill see if come up with some sort of jig to help me. I would worry about having the bottom unsecured though, with young kids bashing walls id worry about the extra flex and wear on the finishing.
    – Chanakya
    Nov 24 '20 at 0:16

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