Headstones and Longevity: What Material Should You Choose?

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Headstones serve as reminders of the life and love of our departed. These memorials provide families and friends with space where memories can flourish once more. To make headstones last and keep those memories more meaningful, we look for quality in the materials used. If you are searching for quality headstones in West Valley City, keep reading.

Marble, Slate, and Granite: the Favorites

Three materials have dominated the headstone market: marble, slate, and granite. Quartz, the most expensive, is perfect for carving, making designs more intricate and appealing. However, when exposed to rainwater for several years, sculptures and inscriptions begin to fade. Slate possesses that smooth texture. Like marble, it is easy to carve. However, the material is very porous and crumbles over time. Granite remains popular due to its unmatched quality. It is naturally durable. It exudes that shine and smoothness when polished, and designing on the stone is easy. Granite, in effect, is the top favorite for headstone buyers.

Sandstone: a Granite Rival

Although not as popular as granite, when it comes to quality, the very customizable sandstone is second to granite. Many rocks, like marble and slate, break down to chemical weathering (caused by water, air, and acids). Mostly made of quartz, sandstone is composed of sand grains fused or cemented together. It is very rigid. However, like cement, when water passes through small cracks or openings, the material begins to lose some strength. Under cold or freezing environments, the weakened parts start to split. This reaction is also observed in slate, although it is far slower in sandstone. To get sandstone that is of high quality, it must be well cemented with no spaces between grains.

flowers on top of a cement headstone

Bronze, Iron, and Quartzite: Masters of Longevity

Bronze has been used for many centuries. It is low-maintenance. As a headstone, this material can be molded into many designs. Bronze is not as expensive as many rocks. Iron, on the other hand, is durable and can last a lifetime (except wrought iron as rust erodes it). Made by foundries and blacksmiths, iron as a headstone is very reliable. Quartzite is a metamorphic rock. It is made of quartz grains fused in super high heat. It is almost impenetrable by water due to the lack of space between the interlocking quartz. Among the rock headstones, quartzite is the most durable.

Gleaning from the discussion above, granite and quartzite are the best rock options, while bronze and iron are best for metal-based headstones. These four are the best in longevity, providing high-quality finishes. However, if you are concerned about inscriptions and more stylish designs, do away with the metal options.

In the end, headstones that last long are typically made of materials that underwent extreme geologic pressure during their formation. Quartzite, iron, and bronze exceed longevity measures. Granite is the ultimate favorite as it is excellent in both finish and longevity. As such, all of these materials can be costly. To choose among high-quality products, it is best to check your taste and your pocket!

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