cost of tile vs solid shower surround
I've been reading discussions about shower surrounds (and many other topics -- you guys have some great ideas and beautiful bathrooms!) But I've not seen a post specifically addressing costs of tile vs solid surface. If cost were no issue, I'd tile the shower to the ceiling, but probably use a solid surface pan (because I'm not good about cleaning after every shower and I know a tile/grout floor will get very icky very fast).
To cut costs, I looked into some of the solid surface shower surrounds recommended here. But many of those (Tere-Stone, Soterra) are more expensive than tile by far! The best price I could find for something that is (for me) aesthetically pleasing was for Swanstone decorative beadboard panels. For a 4 x 3 shower, the pan, walls, and trim would cost $2100 (if purchased from a discount online site; local supplier is $2700 plus tax). Presumably labor isn't too costly, as these should be easy to put up.
I know that to tile the same area would probably cost less than $800 for materials (figuring $5/sf plus listellos plus grout, thinset etc.). But where would the labor costs take me?
I'm not sure I'll save a lot of money by not tiling, if any at all -- even if I add a niche and listello border. I will need to get estimates, but I wonder if someone can confirm my suspicion -- wouldn't it be actually cheaper to tile? Labor would have to be close to $2000 to get significantly above the Swanstone option. Do you think it would?