Here are some of the tools you'll probably need to cut the tiles for your project:
For straight cuts, a tile snapper is the best tool for a do-it-yourselfer. It holds the tile in a frame as you score the surface with a small wheel. Then as you press down on the handle it snaps the tile at the scored line.
Tile cutters are available at home centers and tile supply stores, but it may be best to rent one if you don't plan on doing a lot of tile work in the future.
TIP: Before using a tile cutter, oil the guide bar and scoring wheel. And to keep nice clean cuts replace the scoring wheel as soon as it gets worn.
The tub saw gives clean, smooth edges. It cuts with a diamond-blade that is bathed in water to keep it cool and to wash away the dust.
You may want to rent a tub saw if you've got a lot of cuts to make. (Watch Video: Using a Tub Saw)
After cutting tile, it's a good idea to smooth the cut edge with a grindstone or tile sander.
Otherwise, you could end up with a sharp edge that may remain partly exposed even after the tile is grouted.
Sometimes it's easier to cut off the bottom of door trim rather than having to cut the tile to fit around it.
Set a jamb saw on top of a tile and piece of cardboard to account for the thickness of the finished floor. Teeth on the side of the saw cut into the jamb.
Use a tile nipper for irregular cuts. Score your cut line with a glass cutter or utility knife. Then nibble off small bits of tile until you remove what you need. It helps to score grid lines in the area you want removed. This will help you keep the nibbled pieces small.
Be patient when using a tile nipper, if you take off pieces that are too big you could go beyond your cut line. Then you'll have to start over.
Tile nippers will leave jagged edges on the tile so use them in less visible areas or where you'll be covering it with trim, like around plumbing fixtures.
TIP: Pieces tend to go flying when using a tile nipper so wear eye protection.
If you're losing patience (and tiles) using a tile nipper for irregular cuts, try a rod saw with a carbide-grit blade. This will take a lot longer than with a tile nipper, but it'll give you a cleaner edge and a more accurate cut.
Option: For perfect circle cuts, like around faucets or supply lines, use a carbide-tipped hole saw bit with your power drill, or a high speed rotary tool (a “Roto-Zip” or a “Dremel Tool”).