Tile, whether for a backsplash, floor, or shower, is available in a range of materials. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, and your decisions should be well informed.
Stone is one popular option in tile, and its natural variations are an asset. Granite comes in a range of colors and hues to match any kitchen, and marble has, for centuries, been an elegant and beautiful choice in home design. The downside of natural materials is that tiles can be hard to match and they require some maintenance. Due to their porous nature, they must be sealed to avoid moisture absorption, which can lead to staining or cracking. They also must be cleaned with specific stone cleaners. Finally, they may be slippery if wet.
Ceramic is another popular option and can be made in an infinite range of colors, sizes, and shapes. This freedom of design allows for your bath or shower to have custom floors, walls, or counters, which can include mosaics. Ceramic tiles are easy to clean, waterproof, and are usually on the lower end of the cost spectrum. The installation is also within the skill level of most DIYers.
Porcelain, though often classified under its own name, is a type of very tough ceramic. Porcelain tiles are often used in commercial buildings and provide the toughness needed for high-traffic areas. They offer a range of patterns and colors but are more difficult to install than ceramic.
Glass tiles are a relatively recent trend that offers homeowners an additional eco-friendly option in tiles. They come in a variety of colors, textures, and finishes, and are often made from recycled glass. Glass installation can be tricky and, depending on the location of the installation, should only be done by a professional.