Porcelain can be fragile, but with the right saw, you’ll be able to cut it neatly.

­iStockphoto.com/Dean Turner

­Porcelain tile is a resilient and beautiful addition to your home. It is sanitary, watertight and easy to clean. It can also be bright and colorful. It's a great combination of traditional and modern.

But it's also porcelain -- a ceramic that can be fragile under certain circumstances -- so the prospect of cutting it into pieces makes some do-it-yourselfers a bit skittish. However, unless you magically happened to build your home to such proportions as to require no cutting of tile to fit into corners, along draining boards or around outlets and pipes, you're probably going to have to cut some porcelain.

­You should start by learning everything you can about the porcelain you plan to use. Is it glazed or unglazed? There are different degrees of hardness -- and different break strengths -- to take into consideration. The more you know about your tile, the better you can choose the right tools to cut it.

One idea to abandon right now: cutting porcelain the way you would cut anything else. Your standard rotor tool won't do it. You might be able to use a jigsaw, but you'll burn through a few blades. The good news is that one well-chosen tile cutter could last you for the remainder of all your home improvement projects, ever.

In this article, we'll look at the tools, practices and concerns you should know about before starting your porcelain project. Let's start with the tools.