Choosing a Headstone

When to Place a Headstone

The headstone is usually placed in position a minimum of nine to twelve months after the burial to give the grave time to settle. It can, however, take much longer. A headstone is an enduring memorial to the person who has died the process of deciding what best reflects their life and personality should not be rushed.

How to Choose a Headstone

A good stonemason or monumental mason will help you to choose the type of stoneinscription and any images you may want. They will also ensure that it meets local authority regulations and requirements and will install the stone for you.

There are a number of different types of stone, from the very hard marbles and granites through to softer, ironstone, sandstone, limestone and slate.

Headstones can be engraved machically by sandblasting, or by hand with a hammer and chisel.  Harder surfaces are etched using a laser or by hand with a diamond tipped tool.

Your choice of stone may be informed by a number of factors, including:

  • Location – to ensure it fits in with its surroundings and meets any rules and regulations that might be in place.
  • Lettering – the style and amount of lettering will have a bearing on your choice.  For example, smaller, delicate lettering works better on slate than on limestone.
  • Engraved or carved images – again, depending upon your choice, one type of stone may work better than another.
  • Ecological concerns – there is a move towards favouring local stones from within the UK in order to reduce the ecological impact of transporting materials from overseas.
  • Personal preference – the colour, feel and texture of the stone plus the shape and size of the headstone.
  • Cost – the size, complexity, type of stone (and other materials), installation requirements, plus the hours of craftsmanship invloved in its production will all affect the price. 

How whiteballoon Can Help

In the Stonemasons & Memorials Inspiration section you will find a wide selection of ideas, both traditional and modern.

Your Funeral Director may be able to help you to source a suitable monument or memorial. Alternatively, please visit Stonemasons & Memorials Providers to find local and national masons.

If you are looking for someone to clean, maintain or tend a grave or memorial, see Grave Tending & Memorial Cleaning in our Provider section.

Details of providers, plus items and images from our Inspiration pages can be saved to a personalised Ideas Folder in our Planning Tools section. All our Planning Tools are free to use. Just Register to securely save information to your folder.

This can be printed out and, if you wish, shared with family, friends, your celebrant or funeral director.

You may also be interested inProbate and Legal Advice

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