Floor mats are pretty great. First of all, they protect the Jeep’s floor from water, snow, slush, dirt, and dust. Secondly, you won’t need any fancy degreasers for cleaning – a garden hose will do. On top of that, floor mats for Jeep look pretty cool and give the interior a nice touch, not to mention they’re pretty affordable. But what if you got the wrong size?
What if they don’t fit no matter what you do? Should you return the mats? Isn’t there a way to make this work? There is, actually: the best thing any Jeep driver can do is to try and trim the mats. That way, they will fit just fine. Follow me in this step-by-step guide and let’s get to trimming!
What you’ll need for the Job
To make precise, smooth cuts, you’ll need to use the right kind of tools and measuring equipment. I’m not talking about anything fancy/sophisticated – just the stuff that’s available at pretty much any hardware store. It will come at a reasonable price and make this project worth it. Here’s a full list – keep it around so that you know what to get once you’re at the store:
- Protective/work gloves
- A standard-issue utility knife
- Tape measure + pencil/chalk
- A straight edge (for making lines)
- A bucket of soapy water (optional)
Step #1: Getting Prepared
Before you do any trimming, put those protective gloves on, because you’ll be working with a razor-sharp knife. Next, find the right spot to set the mats up and get to cutting. First of all, there has to be enough space for you to work comfortably. Secondly, keep in mind that unless you’re super careful, that knife will probably poke through the rubber and hit the floor.
That’s why I recommend doing this in the garage, or, say, the basement, where the floor is hard and won’t “feel” the knife even if you push really hard.
Step #2: Measuring the Mat
With the preparations out of the way, it’s time to measure the mat. I’m assuming you already know the exact dimensions of the cabin floor in your Jeep, right? If not, go back into the interior and measure it using tape. Next, with the mat laid out on the floor, use a pencil or chalk to mark how much of the rubber is to be cut out. The straight line will help make the guides nice and precise. And don’t worry: pencil/chalk traces won’t be hard to remove once you’re done.
Step #3: Making the Cuts
And now we can finally trim the mat to match the Jeep. So, it needs to be unrolled to allow for easy cutting. If it’s crafted from a thinner material, there will probably be wrinkles here and there. Make sure you smooth the surface out before cutting. I always use a couple of heavy items to keep the mat in place. Grab that straight line again and put it right along the guiding lines you made earlier.
First, it was guiding the pencil; now it will guide the knife. On the first “run”, don’t focus on making a full cut, but rather establish a thin groove. Once it’s in place, going back and forth and finishing the trim will be a walk in the park. Did you know that covering the blade in soapy water makes it much easier to cut rubber? Well, that’s true!
Step #4: Finishing Up
Long, concentrated cuts with a healthy amount of pressure – that’s how you do this properly. Depending on how thick the floor mats are, you might have to go over the same area three to six times. My advice to you: treat every single section equally. What I mean by that is to make even cuts so that the whole thing is done at the same time, not bits after bits. That’s pretty much it! Clean any “residue” from the trimming, and give the fixed mats a test-run in the Jeep!