I am often asked a quick, cheap way to drastically improve the look of a kitchen, my first response in a back splash.
A back splash is a cost effective way to change the entire look of a kitchen. The work is very easy to do and can make an okay kitchen into a must have kitchen. Installing a back splash requires about five hours of time (depending on the size of the kitchen), some patience and about $300. You will need some tile adhesive, pre-mixed grout, a trowel with teeth, a sponge, a bucket and a grouting float.
Simply lay out the tile on the wall. Cuts to tile can be made at your local hardware store, generally for no cost or you can rent a tile saw for around $50. They are really easy to use and safe. If you use small tiles you may even avoid having to actually cut tile all together. After you have your layout complete, you simply must glue them to the wall.
Take your trowel, using the teeth generously spread the adhesive to the wall. Do a fairly large area as tile adhesive takes some time to set, so you will have plenty of time to work. I would do about 5 square feet at a time. After you have your adhesive applied to the wall, stick you tile in place. Stand back, make sure they are level and line up. After you are glued, allow to dry overnight.
After the adhesive has dried, apply your grout, spreading it into the joints using your float. Again I would complete about 5 square feet. Fill your bucket with warm water and wipe the excess grout from the wall with the wet sponge. When you are completed with the grout, clean up and congratulations, you have just changed the look of your kitchen!