When we lose a loved one, we often want to keep their memory alive. While there are many ways of doing this, headstones and monuments make for a beautiful and meaningful way to celebrate a life. Apart from being a burial marker, these memorials humanize the deceased and preserve their memories for posterity. However, with the different types of headstones available, be sure to choose the right memorial for your loved one. That way, you will create a lasting tribute to the people you love.

Below are the different types of headstones.



Simply put, traditional headstones are what most people think of when they think about monuments in a cemetery. This type of memorial typically features two main parts: an upright tablet with messaging inscribed on it and a base on top of which the tablet is erected.

This type of memorial has been used for a long time. Common materials used in traditional headstones are granite, marble, quartz, sandstone, and bronze.

Traditional headstones come in different shapes, sizes, and levels of complexity. Engraving may include the deceased’s name, date of birth, date of death, and even quotes. Common headstone types in this category include:

  • Square top headstones
  • Half-round top headstones
  • Oval or arc top headstones
  • Serpentine top headstones
  • Cross headstones
  • Slant Style headstones
  • Pillow Style headstones.


These are comparatively smaller, slab-like monuments that lie flat in the ground. They are often rectangular or square, with a smooth top surface on which inscriptions are engraved.


Flat markers offer a few advantages: 

  • They are generally simple, making them a great choice for families that prefer a more subtle memorial.
  • Compared to upright monuments, flat markers are a more cost-effective option.
  • They are easier to maintain and allow for easy accessibility for people visiting the grave.


However, flat markers are not without some disadvantages. This type of monuments:

  • Are susceptible to damage from mowers because of their position
  • Do not offer the same level of customization as other styles


Flat markers offer different choices in terms of shapes, colors, inscriptions, and personalization. Regarding materials, you can choose bronze plaques, flush granite markers, or marble.


Placement options for flat markers usually depend on the cemetery’s guidelines. While some memorials sit flush with the ground, others are slightly raised.



More people than ever are choosing cremation. Cremation monuments are useful when marking the final resting places of loved ones who were cremated rather than buried. Resembling typical headstone types, these monuments create a central location for surviving loved ones to gather to remember the resting.


These memorials come in various sizes, styles, and colors. The different types of cremation monuments include:

  • Cremation columbariums
  • Memorial walls
  • Cremation pillars
  • Lawn crypts
  • Memorial rocks
  • Cremation Benches
  • Commemorative memorial plaques


Selecting a suitable cremation monument for your loved one involves consideration of various factors. They include:

  • Materials/ construction
  • Intended resting place
  • Size and design
  • Personalization
  • Religious and cultural beliefs

With cremation monuments, personalization options such as adding urns, photographs, engraved names, and meaningful quotes help to add a special touch.



Custom monument designs have details that match your precise wishes. They usually capture the personality of your loved one, meaning they truly reflect the life that is being honored.


Compared to other types of headstones, a custom monument offers several distinct benefits. Here are a few.

  • Surviving loved ones get to express their love and respect in a way that reflects the deceased’s individuality.
  • You can create a truly unique and personalized tribute for your departed loved one.
  • They feature high-quality materials and excellent craftsmanship, making them long-lasting.
  • Designing and creating the monument can help with healing during the grieving period.

Custom monuments are available in numerous unique designs because of the personalized approach when creating them. Common materials used to make them are granite, marble, and bronze.

Creating a custom monument involves several steps. Here’s the process to follow for a truly beautiful and meaningful design:

  • Conducting research and gathering inspiration
  • Choosing a design
  • Selecting materials
  • Working with a designer or sculptor
  • Getting approval from the cemetery or funeral home
  • Installing the monument at your loved one’s resting place


Looking to tell the story of your loved one’s life? Here at Create a Legacy in Stone, we provide exceptional service in personalized memorials, headstones, and other services to enable you to honor the lives and memories of your departed. Every year, we assist over 8,500 families in commemorating their loved ones. Contact us to learn more or to request our services. Our dedicated team is always available to help you create a lasting legacy in stone for the people who matter to you.

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