Considerations for choosing a headstone

When designing and selecting a headstone, you will need to consider the shape and design of the stone, the material from which it is made, the type of finish applied to it, any inscription you want to have applied and the budget available.

Headstone prices fluctuate a lot depending on the choices you make. Have the price compared to find a funeral director is best for you. It’s also a good idea to discuss with the funeral director any gravestone design you choose. They will be able to offer useful advice and information about your options, and will often have a monumental stone services that they can guarantee and can put you in touch with.

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How to choose the design of gravestones

Headstone designs can be separated into three broad categories – upright, flat and kerbed headstones. Which you choose will depend on personal preference and budget.

Upright stones are the most traditional of the three, usually standing at around 45 inches and supported by a thick concrete base.

Flat gravestones are available in a variety of sizes, styles and shapes and are either gently sloped or made to lie flat.

Kerbed headstones feature full length designs and normally lie flat on the grave, often used in combination with an upright headstone.

Remember: Some cemeteries and churchyards have very specific rules for the type of Headstones allowed to be installed in a graveyard. Before you make a final decision, speak to the cemetery or church to check that your choice also meets their needs.

What material should I use for a tombstone?

When designing a headstone, popular materials including granite, marble, limestone and bronze. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages, and you should think carefully about what is most suitable for your situation. For a range of Headstones, visit a site like

Granite is a stone that is very flexible and adaptable resulting in a number of different colours and finishes and proven to last.

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Marble often offers a fantastic finish, but is not allowed on all graves due to lack of strength and longevity.

Limestone is a traditional stone which changes a great deal over time but remains a very popular choice.

Bronze is very durable but not always allowed and is one of the more expensive options.

How do I choose the finishes for the headstone?

There are four main types of finish for the gravestone – polished, part-polished, honed or eggshell, or pitched.

Polished – This method leaves a shiny and smoother finish that does need some maintenance and can look out of place in an old graveyard.

Part-Polished – Only the parts of the stone that you want are highlighted in this way such as inscriptions, with polished and different finishes applied to the entire stone.

Honed or eggshell – This is achieved by removing layers of paint to leave the stone smooth but not shiny.

Pitched – A rough finish which is more suited to an older churchyard that will fit in aesthetically with existing headstones.

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