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How much are headstones?

The cost of a headstone can vary depending on which type of headstone you’re interested in. Headstones are made with the following parameters in mind: size, design, placement, type, and stone. Staying informed about what to expect when purchasing a headstone is a great way to ensure you’re getting a good deal while also ensuring you end up with the right one for your loved one.

How much does a headstone cost?

When you choose a headstone, it’s important to note that there are different types, and prices usually start at about $1,000. The average cost of a headstone is around $2,000. If that seems a little pricey, consider purchasing a gravestone marker (also known as a flat headstone). Some companies make flat headstones for as little as $100, a massive difference when compared to larger headstones.

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What types of headstones are there?

Headstones come in all shapes and sizes and can be highly customizable, depending on where you purchase it. Each headstone, regardless of type, will generally include: date of birth, date of death, full name of the deceased, and a favorite saying or passage. Headstones can also include an engraved symbol or photo and other additional information, especially if given additional space. Headstones are most often made out of granite, marble, limestone, bronze, and other rock materials.

Upright headstones

An upright headstone is a headstone that’s placed near the top of the grave and stands upright. These headstones are generally fastened to a concrete or bronze base and stand around 24” tall.

Slant headstones

Slant headstones are similar to upright headstones in that they’re placed near the top of the grave and stand upright. These headstones, also referred to as pillow headstones, have polished slanted faces and rough edges.

Ledger headstones

Ledger headstones lie flat on the ground and cover the entire grave. They’re more expensive than a typical grave marker since they’re much larger and require much more material to make. Ledgers leave a lot of space for customization and extra information due to the extra space.

Grave markers (flat headstones)

Grave markers generally include the same information as a traditional headstone, but instead of standing upright, they lay flat on the ground at the head of the grave. Grave markers (also known as flat headstones) are usually the cheapest type of headstone, but can be customized with photos and different engravings. Flat headstones can be set on a base of concrete or granite and have a bronze finish on the top.

Bevel markers

Bevel markers, similar to grave markers, lay flat on the ground and at the top of the grave. They are much thicker than flat grave markers and have a polished face with rough sides.

Headstone with statues (monuments)

Monuments, or headstones that have statues attached to them (or placed near them), are the most expensive of these options and are usually the largest headstones. Monuments can be made out of the same materials many headstones are made out of, usually carved from granite, slate, or marble. Monuments are generally larger and will likely require some form of professional upkeep to maintain their appearance. Elaborate and larger upright monuments can cost upwards of $10,000.

When purchasing headstones, you might see them referred to as tombstones, gravestones, or headstones. They all mean the same thing and are generally the same price. Grave markers are generally cheapest, while headstones with statues are generally the most expensive.

What materials are headstones made out of?

Overall, the most often used material for headstones is granite. Granite headstones are sturdy and durable, with little upkeep required overall. Granite headstones also vary in color, so you’re able to customize a headstone that feels right for you. Granite headstones generally start out at around $500, which is a more affordable option than its marble counterpart. While granite is the more affordable option, the cost of the granite headstone can increase greatly, depending on how large the headstone is and where you’re purchasing it from.

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Marble is the second most popular material for a tombstone and a much more expensive option. Marble headstones tend to look more polished and glossy than granite headstones, but require a lot more upkeep than granite gravestones. Marble headstones are less durable and can require you to hire a professional to maintain the sheen and appearance of the gravestone over time. If you’re interested in purchasing a marble headstone, you’ll likely be starting out at around $1,500.

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Where do I buy headstones, gravestones, flat markers, and monuments?

You can purchase headstones online, from funeral homes, cemeteries, or directly from headstone vendors. Purchasing your headstone online is almost always cheaper than purchasing a headstone from a funeral home, since you’re able to avoid most of the merchant markup. If you're looking for a headstone online, check out the Ever Loved marketplace and the available headstones & grave markers.

Why are gravestones so expensive?

Headstones, no matter what kind you purchase, are not cheap. Generally, headstones are made out of types of rock, which isn’t an easy material to mine. The nicer the type of rock, the more expensive the headstone is going to be. You can purchase a headstone that’s cheaper or made out of a cheaper material, but you do want to keep in mind the longevity of the item you’re purchasing. If you purchase a headstone that’s made out of a weaker material (like concrete or sandstone), you might end up having to replace this headstone after heavy damage has been done to it. Purchasing a headstone that’s durable, built to withstand damage, and requires little upkeep is a good way to get the most out of your money.

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If you’re struggling to pay for a headstone, or know that you’d like to purchase your loved one a more expensive headstone, it might be a good idea to set up a funeral fundraiser. Funeral fundraisers help individuals and family cover both the expected and unexpected costs of a funeral. For some families, the price tag of a $500 headstone is unaffordable, even if it’s what they’d like to get their loved one. Starting a funeral fundraiser can help you cover costs and purchase the funeral products that honor your loved one as you’d like them to be honored.

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Last updated December 30, 2020
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