Creating Custom Headstones: Tips for Selecting Your Headstone Material

Monday, April 22, 2024

Just a third of all Americans give directives for when they pass away.

It's never too early to start planning your funeral. Doing so ensures that your loved ones can carry out their wishes, but it also prevents them from having to make decisions while they're grieving your passing. 

There's a lot to think about in this realm, from cremation urns to burial plots. One of the most overlooked decisions is your headstone materials. Read on for tips on selecting custom headstones and headstone engraving.

Types of Headstones

There are several types of headstones that you'll be able to choose from. The most popular is the traditional upright headstone, but there are plenty of flat headstones out there too.

If you want to express a more in-depth sentiment on your headstone, you may choose a kerbed headstone. Cremation benches are another unique type of headstone that looks great.

Headstone Materials

Traditionally, there are two main headstone materials - granite and marble. A granite headstone is incredibly durable, lasting for decades without showing much wear. It also allows for complex designs to be carved into it and comes in a variety of finishes, so you can let your creativity come out.

A marble headstone is more elegant and beautiful. Like with granite, you can carve whatever message you like into marble, but you're more limited in the finish you can use on the headstone. It's also likely to look a bit worn over time, due to exposure to rainwater, but it'll be very attractive in the short term.

Other headstone materials include Portland limestone and slate. Limestone has a distinct smooth appearance and, like marble, will weather over time. Slate has a sleek look that is both unique and resistant to weather, so yours will stand out among the other headstones.

Headstone Engraving

Once you select your headstone material, you'll need to think about the finish and engraving. The four types of finishes are polished, part-polished, honed, and pitched.

A fully polished headstone is shiny and maintenance-free, while part-polished covers the base and engraving. Honed finishes are smooth, so they don't give off a reflection. Pitched finishes are the most rustic of the four.

When it comes to engraving, it's important to put plenty of thought into what you want to say. You'll certainly have your name and dates on the stone, but the rest is totally up to you. Some people will put a verse of poetry, while others might choose to put a religious symbol.

Tips for Creating Custom Headstones

Now that you know what goes into creating custom headstones, you can start thinking about what you want. One of the things you'll need to think about is cost. Granite is the most budget-friendly headstone material, with slate and marble being on the more expensive end.

Cost is a factor in finish and engraving as well, but there are many different options. When you have the right funeral home at the helm, you can get help creating your custom headstone. 

At Schumacher & Benner, we've spent years helping individuals and families in Pottstown make these decisions. Contact us today to get started.

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