Wood wainscoting vs subway tile in master bath
We are redoing a very small master bathroom. My priorities for finishes are durability and ease of cleaning. We intend to stay in this house for another twenty or thirty years, so durability is particularly important to us. I am going for a vintage vibe, but not necessarily period perfect bathroom in a French revival style house built in 1926.
Other finish choices are a grey marmoleum floor, cast iron white tub, white toilet, white vanity with soapstone top. The shower over tub area will be white subway tiles with a grey ceramic liner.
I have been debating white wood wainscoting (maybe beadboard) or continuing the white subway tiles around the room as a wainscoting.
The contractor I think we will be using (our top pick out of five estimates, just need to check one more reference to feel like we have done complete due diligence) has suggested wainscoting because it is less expensive. Cost difference is $1100. We would rather pay less, of course, but we could make the extra cost work by prioritizing other expenses--either outside of the project or by going with a less expensive vanity and less expensive countertop.
I think the pros for tile would be durability and more consistency with the vintage feel, plus in a very small bathroom perhaps minimizing the number of materials is better visually?
What would you do and why?