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Choosing the Right Material for Your Memorial

While making preparations for your funeral and burial in advance can seem like an unpleasant process, it takes a lot of tough decisions off the shoulders of your loved ones. Memorials come in all shapes and sizes, but one of the most important decisions to be made is choosing the memorial material. There are several options when it comes to memorial materials, and many factors—including your budget and your tastes—will affect your final choice. Here’s a brief guide to the most common memorial materials so you can choose the option that’s best for you.


Granite is the most common of memorial materials. It holds up well to the elements in every part of the country and can last hundreds of years with proper care and maintenance. Another benefit is that granite is very easy to carve, making it an affordable choice when you wish to personalize a monument. Overall, it’s an affordable and attractive choice with plenty of variety in terms of tones and colors, and you have a lot of options when it comes to designing memorial inscriptions and images to meet your requirements.


Marble is another common material for memorials, offering an elegant, sophisticated and striking look. This option is more expensive, but many people often prefer the appearance of marble to other options like granite and sandstone. Keep in mind that marble has heightened maintenance and care requirements, since it’s a soft stone and is prone to damage from the elements. Even rainwater can have damaging effects, rendering inscriptions illegible in just a few years in some cases.


While less common than granite, sandstone is an attractive material for memorials. Like granite, it can be easily customizable and is available in a variety of gorgeous neutral tones—in the right landscape, a thoughtfully-selected sandstone memorial can be very striking. Sandstone provides more durability than marble, but less than granite and bronze, so keep that in mind since routine maintenance may be required.


Bronze is incredibly durable, retaining its overall appearance and beauty for many, many years. It’s often used for memorial flat markers or statues, since it’s a costly material, but you get what you pay for in terms of quality. Bronze retains a sophisticated and elegant look without sustaining damage from the elements. In the long run, bronze can be a surprisingly economical choice, since it requires much less care and maintenance.


When used in memorial stones, slate is a popular material due to its pleasantly smooth, understated texture. Slate is also easy to carve, making it highly customizable for your chosen inscriptions, and it can be handsomely highlighted with gilding or paint. While slate is affordable, keep in mind that it’s slightly porous and can deteriorate over time, requiring regular professional cleaning.

Choosing a memorial material may be a difficult choice. Your local memorial company can guide you to the best decision for your budget and needs. Contact Harsha Monument Co. today to discover more about designing a monument that perfectly reflects your tastes.