Choosing The Right Memorial For Your Loved One

When it's time to select a gravestone for your deceased family member, you'll have a variety of materials and styles from which to choose. Shop around and look at several headstones before you make the final choice. This will be a lasting tribute to your family member, so take care when picking out just the right material. This information will get you started on your search for a memorial to honor your loved one.

Check with the Cemetery First

All cemeteries have a list of regulations that govern the use of their facility. Talk with the cemetery about their requirements and restrictions on memorials. These regulations will indicate:

  • the types of materials allowed
  • the maximum sizes allowed
  • the styles allowed
  • the use of a base on which to install the memorial

Once you know this information, you can begin your research for the perfect headstone.

Typical Materials for a Memorial

As mining and cutting techniques have advanced, stone has become the preferred choice for a memorial. Other materials available include glass, bronze and concrete.

Marble - This stone is easy to polish and engrave and has been a favorite choice of materials because of its variety of colors and rich look. Weather and air pollution can damage marble, though, eroding away the polished surface and the engravings on the stone.

Granite - This stone is now the preferred material for a memorial because of its better resistance to weather. The surface retains its polished look longer. Inscriptions are engraved deeper in this stone to withstand erosion by wind and rain. Granite cemetery monuments can be carved into various shapes making this stone a versatile material for gravestones. For more information, contact Genesis Granite or a similar company.

Glass - You'll find solid glass memorials, or glass accents added to granite markers. The glass is usually put into a form to create the desired shape. The solid glass shape is heavy to withstand the weather. It can still chip, however, and could be subject to damage by a flying rock from a lawn care service when they mow the grass.

Bronze - This is another popular material used to create the entire memorial or as an accent to a stone marker. Bronze withstands the weather but will develop a patina over time. It needs to be polished periodically to retain its shine.

Sandstone and limestone - These two soft stones are also used to create memorials. They are easy to work with and are suitable for areas with little wind or rain. They can be worn down easily by the weather and require periodic sealing to retain their look and shape.

Concrete - This material can be poured into a mold to create nearly any desired shape. It can be tinted different colors and polished to a high gloss. By stamping and using colored resins, concrete can be made to look like wood, marble or granite.