Headstones are enormous stones that stand at a grave’s end, and they bear the name of the deceased persons. They are also known as monuments, tombstones (although a bit traditional), or gravestones. Their erection is in memory of the dead person. When choosing a headstone for our lost loved ones, it is essential to consider the material. Some stand the test of time, while others do not last long. The material, style, engraving, and quality determine the prices for headstones and monuments.
The headstone proven to be long-lasting is the flat Quartzite, with laser engraving, considering weather as the only degradation factor, the monument lasts centuries. Quartzite material is very hard, a feature that enables it to withstand all climates. The laser engravings stay similarly long, like the headstone itself. There are better options than Quartzite to satisfy your needs. Below are helpful steps in choosing.
- Location And Upkeep Of The Cemetery
In some cases, the deceased chooses where to be buried before they die. Other times the family of the deceased decide where to bury their loved one. Public cemeteries have specific rules and regulations, and if you choose to rest the dead in one, you have to follow the guidelines. They may be precise on stone types, color choices, and finishing styles. The weather and climate of the area you choose are also important factors. Rain acidity and road salts affect the environment and your headstones in return. You will need to consult with the cemetery on such factors.
There are very many materials used to make gravestones. The choice of the material highly depends on accessibility. Accessing the materials is predetermined by your financial ability and your location. The most common materials include Quartzite, granite, slate, iron, marble, sandstone, and bronze. Quartzite, marble, and granite last long.
Quartzite: It has certain similarities with granite, and the quartz contributes to its resistance to chemical and physical weathering. It is also hard and dense. Quartzite has a pattern similar to marble.
Granite: t is beautiful, durable, and trendy. It is also strong and comes in different color variations. Headstones made from granite can stand the test of time for several years. Granite is an igneous rock; its formation is through the solidification of either lava or magma. The resulting tough stone can withstand climate changes. It is water-resistant, and making scratches on it is difficult; therefore, lasts long.
Marble: It was popular a while ago, but recently, granite is ahead of it. Rain acidity deteriorates marble. Marble is very soft hence easily scratched with the use of metal. Marble has a vein pattern that is colorful and adds to its desirability. The material is perfect for intricate designs, but due to exposure to rainwater, inscriptions fade away over the years. Headstones made from marble cannot last very long.
Bronze: Bronze headstones are typical because they require very little maintenance. They are available in various options and designs. Bronze is a metal alloy, and its monuments are cheap.
Wood: Currently, very few people use this material. However, it was common in the past. It is easy to carve intricate designs on wood, but this material is not durable. Wood is prone to natural decomposition.
Slate: It has a smooth texture and easy to carve. The most common way of highlighting the material is by the use of white paint and gilding. It is porous and crumbles over time. The material is outstanding, and slate headstones can pass the test of time.
Iron: Iron is durable, and therefore, iron headstones stand the test of time.
Limestone: The material offers various textures and colors, and since most limestone headstones are local, they add a personal touch. The material is also allowed and recommended in churchyards.
This step comes after finding a location and choosing the material to use in making the headstone. The action involves figuring out the designs and types to use in writing. At this same step, you should choose the font and images to put on the headstone and their sizes. Many writings and images increase the headstone’s chances of wearing out. You have two options when it comes to engraving, both of which have merits and demerits.
- Laser Etching
Making laser-etched designs requires CNC machines and computers. The process is cheaper and takes limited time and effort. If you concentrate on making quality designs of this process, they may last as much as the headstone. However, this design has its disadvantages. If you use light materials such as marble to make a headstone, the images you carve will not show clearly. They are perfect for photographs. If anything and you are required to repair the letters, it is an easy and cheap process.
- Hand-Carved and Sandblasted
Traditional carved designs are lovely arts, and they are expensive because they take too much time to create. They have advantages, such as you can engrave on any color and material type. Their disadvantage is that they are not perfect for photographs, and if writings fade or require repair, you will likely need someone for that. The types of finishing contribute a lot to the durability of the headstone. The most common polished finishes are the honed and part-polished. They both require maintenance & upkeep, especially the polished monuments, and if not well taken care of, they degrade faster.
- The Style or Type
Flat: The headstone with the flat style lasts longer. It is either raised or on the same level as the ground and has a rectangular shape. If not very flashy, the type is minimal and straightforward. Maintenance is easy due to the small size. It is also cheap, and there are fewer photos and personalization space because of the small size.
Upright: The upright design is traditional and common in cemeteries. The style uses a bigger stone; therefore, space for pictures and personalization is available, leaving the headstone prone to weathering. It requires a lot of maintenance to last long.
Kerbed: Kerbed headstones are above the ground level. They are huge, full length, and lie flat. They need a lot of maintenance. They are intricate, beautiful, expensive, and take a lot of time to create.
Prices for headstones near me vary according to the four factors, material, style, engraving, and location. The more long-lasting the material is, the higher the cost of the monument.