What is the Cheapest Headstone Material?

What is the Cheapest Headstone Material?


The cost of a headstone will vary depending on the style and material chosen. The best place to start is by speaking with the cemetery staff. Granite is a popular option as it’s sturdy and accepted in most cemeteries. It can be engraved with the name and dates of your loved one. But that’s not the only choice available to you, let’s take a look at the other materials you might consider for a headstone.

A granite and marble headstone
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The cost of a headstone will vary depending on the style and material chosen. The best place to start is by speaking with the cemetery staff.

Granite is a popular option as it’s sturdy and accepted in most cemeteries. It can be engraved with the name and dates of your loved one. But that’s not the only choice available to you, let’s take a look at the other materials you might consider for a headstone.


Granite is one of the most popular materials used in making headstones and monuments. It’s a beautiful stone that can be carved into many unique shapes. The material is also incredibly durable and can hold up to weathering over time. It comes in several different colors and is often less expensive than marble.

Another important factor when determining the cost of a headstone is the type of finish that is chosen. A polished finish will typically be more costly than a rock-pitched or sawn finish. The latter two finishes look more natural and require less upkeep compared to the former.

Upright monuments are the most traditional design and what most people think of when they picture a cemetery headstone. They stand above the ground and can range in height from 20 to 48 inches. These are normally the most expensive types of headstones due to their larger size and ability to hold more design customizations, such as additional inscriptions, images, or a vase.

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Flat and slanted headstones are usually the cheapest types of headstones. These are made from a variety of materials, including granite, marble, and limestone. The slant on these markers is often raised higher from the back than the front so that it can be read easily without standing directly over the headstone.

Bronze is a popular choice for memorials because it has been used regularly in the past for headstones and grave markers. It’s a durable material that doesn’t need much maintenance but can be expensive. Bronze is usually twice as expensive as granite for the same features.


Marble is a beautiful, classic material that has been used in many different buildings and sculptures. It is also an excellent choice for headstones because of its ability to withstand environmental wear and tear, making it a durable option that will not degrade over time. However, this durability also comes with a price. Marble is a very expensive material, so it is important to budget accordingly when purchasing a headstone.

A few factors will influence the overall cost of a headstone, including its size, design, and material. In addition, the type of stone, engravings, and customizations will affect pricing. Engravings typically include the person’s name and dates of birth and death, but some families also choose to engrave quotes or messages. Engravings generally start at around $20 per character.

The shape of the headstone will also impact the price, as some types of headstones are more complex than others. Flat markers, also known as lawn-level headstones, lie flush with the ground and are the cheapest. Bevel headstones are raised slightly above the grass, which makes them more noticeable than a flat marker. Upright headstones and kerbed headstones are tall monuments that stand above the grave, making them more costly than other types of headstones.

The finish of a headstone can also affect the cost, as some cemeteries prohibit polished headstones. Instead, you may be able to choose from a honed finish, which creates a smooth, matte surface, or a frosted headstone that is sandblasted and not reflective. You can also choose a sawed or axed finish, which has a hand-crafted look.


A headstone is a mark of respect for the dead and can cost thousands of dollars, depending on the materials, design, and engravings. It’s best to shop around ahead of an anticipated funeral to compare prices for different types and materials and find out what is included in the total quote.

Granite is the most popular choice for headstones, with a simple flat grave marker starting at around $500 and costing up to $1,500 for an upright stone. Marble is less common because it’s more expensive and can be less durable, requiring more regular maintenance. The average price for a marble headstone is about $900, though these can also go much higher.

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The type of finish will also affect the overall cost of a headstone. Most monument companies offer a polished surface with a shiny, reflective look. This is the most common choice, but getting a polished stone in some cemeteries is not always possible. If this is the case, you can choose a frosted or sawn finish, which is a duller appearance often used in place of polishing when it isn’t allowed.

The other major factor affecting a headstone’s price is the number of characters engraved into the surface. Most memorial providers include a set number of engraved letters in their quotes, with extra wording charged on a per-character basis. This can range from the person’s name and dates of birth and death to a favorite Bible verse or an epitaph. Some families choose to include a quote from the person’s life or a personal message of their own.


If you want to save money on your memorial, you can make a headstone with concrete. Using homemade molds and a concrete stamp, you can create unique shapes. You can also get creative with letter imprints and natural articles like leaves, twigs, or shells.

When you choose a concrete headstone, it’s important to know that it will not last as long as granite or marble. However, it’s a very affordable choice that will still look beautiful for generations to come.

Oftentimes, people on a tight budget choose to have a flat headstone on the ground. This type of grave marker is also known as a tablet or memorial. These are typically less expensive than a full upright monument and usually run between $300-$500 for the stone itself. Having the headstone engraved and installed at the cemetery is also necessary, which will add extra costs.

You can save even more money by choosing a field boulder headstone. These stones are natural and do not require mining, cutting, or polishing. However, they are not as durable as granite or marble and can easily break or crack from exposure to the elements.

You can also find inexpensive field stones chiseled with a pitched rough finish or honed (eggshell or sawn) finish, giving them an aged appearance. However, since these are not polished or flat, they take much longer to engrave and can be difficult to set into wet concrete at the cemetery. They are also more likely to erode over time.


While they aren’t as durable as granite headstones, fieldstones still last a long time. They are typically made of natural stone and feature a name, date of death, and perhaps a brief description of the deceased person. They are available in a variety of sizes and shapes, including squares, rectangles, and ovals. They were often used in older graves and are some of the most affordable types of headstones that you can purchase.

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Wrapping Up

While you can choose a cheaper headstone from a variety of sources, it is advisable to work with a company that specializes in these services. They will have the knowledge and experience to create a beautiful and dignified memorial for your loved one. In addition, they will be able to provide you with the best deal on the material and installation of your headstone.

In addition to the price of the headstone, there are a few other costs that you should factor into your budget. First, you will have to pay the cemetery fee. This may vary depending on the cemetery and its requirements. In addition, you will need to add the cost of the engraved headstone, which can range from $150 to $200.

The price of a headstone can also depend on its design and the type of engraving you choose. Engraving can be done using either etching or modern laser methods. Etching is the cheapest form of engraving, while laser-etching will be the most expensive. It is important to keep in mind that a headstone will likely require some maintenance over the years, so be sure to include this in your budget. Choosing a durable stone that will hold up against weathering, erosion, and the occasional repair work is a good idea. A granite headstone will withstand the elements better than marble, which can be prone to deterioration over time.

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