No man-made material can beat the beauty of natural stones in general and marble in particular, making the term "marble bathroom" one of the key selling points for any property: Stoneville recommends.
Marble comes in many different types, some well know like Bianco Carrara or Cream Marfil, others less so. Most types of marble are suitable for bathroom tiles. Marble tiles come in polished and honed finish. Both finishes are used as wall and floor tiles but care should be exercised on wet surfaces with polished finish as it is less slip resistant than honed finish.
Besides natural beauty, another important distinction between natural stones and man-made - porcelain or ceramic - tiles is that the former can come in various sizes, with standard sizes in mm being 305x305, 400x400, 600x600. The latter, however, come in few different sizes, with the standard size being 300x300.
Marble can be cut to size to even larges pieces, known as slabs, unlike ceramic or porcelain tiles. The cost of large cut-to-size pieces, however, is significantly higher than that of standard marble tiles and should be weighed against the overall impact.
Marble bathroom tiles can also be complimented by matching or contrasting marble vanity tops or bath surrounds. This is not an option with ceramic or porcelain tiles.
Another interesting bathroom tile is White Crystal C1, supplied by Stoneville: White Crystal. It is very low maintenance, harder than granite (and porcelain and ceramic tiles), can be cleaned with ordinary household cleaning materials, and does not change colour or age.
Ceramic and porcelain tiles do not require sealing, unlike marble and other natural stone tiles. This adds a little bit to the fixing cost of marble tiles but the cost is negligent considering the overall value added.
It is common misconception that marble bathroom tiles are more expensive than ceramic tiles. It is true that the vast majority of ceramic and porcelain tiles are down market and therefore cheap options. However, there are some rather expensive porcelain tiles that can cost more than marble tiles.
The use of carpet tiles for bathrooms in the UK has, thankfully, dramatically declined over the past years, and for good reasons. Bathroom carpet tiles keep the damp and less hygienic than other bathroom tiles and require relatively frequent replacement, which adds to both the economic and environmental (though disposal) costs.
Glass tiles and mosaic are also used for bathroom walls. They come in many different colours and textures. They are often used together with other bathroom tiles rather than on their own.
Certain wood flooring is also used in lieu of bathroom tiles but its use is limited as it requires proper ventilation to get rid of the damp.
Rubber tiles are another options for bathroom tiles. That said, it comes in limited sizes and textures and is suitable mainly for low end budget bathrooms.
There are some other man-made materials, like agglomerate or reconstituted marble, that can be used as bathroom tiles. However, they are not match to natural stones in terms of diversity and beauty and are often more expensive than ceramic or porcelain tiles.
In summary, the most appropriate and popular bathroom tiles are natural stones, in particular marble, and certain man-made tiles.