Choosing a headstone is just one of the things you'll have to do if you're responsible for making arrangements for a loved one's funeral. Understandably, it can be a very difficult time, and with the extra pressure involved with sorting everything out, you might feel overwhelmed.
When you decide on the material for a headstone, everything else should fall into place, so you'll have one less thing to worry about. For some people, the way the stone looks is the most important factor, but there are other things you might need to think about.
Whether it's because you live far away or for health reasons, you might find that there isn't anyone who can regularly check and maintain the headstone. If this is the case, you'll want to choose a headstone material that will stay in good condition without much attention. To help you decide, here are the best and worst choices for a low-maintenance cemetery monument.
This stone is by far one of the most popular cemetery monument materials, and with good reason. It used to be quite expensive, but the price has fallen to become much more reasonable, and it's an ideal material for being used outdoors.
Granite is very strong and will withstand all kinds of weathering and still look good. This means it won't need to be cleaned all the time for the inscription to be clear and readable.
Different finishes are available, and it's best to go for one of the less-shiny ones for low maintenance.
Opting for a metal rather than a stone moves away from the more traditional style, but a bronze monument can look very striking. Bronze is also good at resisting the effects of weathering, except for some mild discolouration over time.
Unmistakably modern, but strong and hard-wearing, stainless steel is an unusual choice but one that will certainly be low maintenance. If you like the idea of stainless steel, check whether it's allowed in the cemetery or churchyard, as some have strict rules against unusual materials.
Difficult to look after
Marble, especially the white variety, is quite prone to weathering, especially in places with a lot of rainfall. It also discolours quickly and can attract moss and lichen. It's beautiful when looked after, but that does require a certain amount of dedication.
This stone is quite weak and porous compared to others, so it's very prone to damage and needs a lot of care. It's best avoided if you're not able to commit to it.