Besides adding some personality to your kitchen, adding a new...

Besides adding some personality to your kitchen, adding a new backsplash is easy on the budget and quick to complete. Credit:

1. Decide on the style and materials

That's your starting point for determining how fast and easy the project will be. Before you head out to the home center to look at all the backsplash options, take some time to do a little Web surfing. Perusing decorating websites will help you get a sense of the range of options out there and give you an idea how much time and expense those options entail.

2. Keep function in mind

No matter how terrific your DIY backsplash looks, you'll soon be regretting it if you don't pay heed to practical matters, such as whether the backsplash can be cleaned easily.

Look for surfaces that allow fast and easy cleanup, especially if you're adding a backsplash behind the stove. Grease splatters are next to impossible to remove from porous surfaces such as unpolished marble or tile.

Some of the easiest surfaces to clean are sealed tile, glass tile and stainless steel. Metal ceiling tiles with pressed designs have gained notice for their ease of installation, low cost and quick cleanup.

3. Planning is key to smooth installation

Once you've decided on a style you like and that will clean easily, you'll need to get the right tools to make the installation go quickly.

For example, if you're installing a bead-board paneled backsplash, you'll need a jigsaw to cut out the wall outlet openings. In other words, make sure that, in addition to the backsplash materials, your shopping list includes all the special tools you will need.

4. Consider stainless steel

It is one of the easiest and fastest backsplash materials to install because it is cut at the sheet metal shop and installed with construction adhesive. You'll need to make a template first from cardboard or heavy craft paper.

5. Other possibilities

Another quick installation that packs a big design punch is mosaic tile. These small tiles come in sheets that can easily be cut with construction scissors. The smaller the tile, the more likely you won't need to make cuts with anything more than a pair of tile nippers. Just bear in mind that if you use glass tile on your backsplash, you'll need to use unsanded grout to keep from scratching the tile surface.