Essential Considerations For Selecting And Installing A Grave Marker

Essential Considerations For Selecting And Installing A Grave Marker

Human beings have an innate need to commemorate the memories of important people and events. Memorial stones like granite upright monuments, headstones, grave markers, benches and boulders, and bronze markers are some of the best ways to memorialize your loved ones.

When looking for a flat or pillow grave marker for your recently lost loved one, there are certain things you will need to consider for selecting and installing the right gravestone. The following are some essential considerations for proper grave marker selection and installation:


The final size of your grave marker can depend on various factors. Is it for one or two people? Do you want full dates of birth and death or just the years? Is there going to be a picture on your grave marker? How much text and what design will go on the headstone? All of these can significantly affect your marker’s size.


The specific grave marker style you choose can also depend on certain factors. Do you prefer a flat marker, a pillow marker, or an upright marker? Flat memorials are generally less expensive, but they will usually be installed at ground level, so they will only be viewed when standing over them.

Pillow grave markers are typically installed on a base that protects the marker and sits up a bit higher; you will be able to see the family name engraved on the front or back of the marker. The pillow’s face is also sloped so that you can see the information from farther back.

Upright headstones are the most common because you can see all the information on the marker better than on the previous two, even during the winter months.


All three grave marker styles mentioned above will have different costs associated with them. The flat marker is the least expensive as it is only one piece of granite and is usually 3-4 inches thick.

Pillows markers use two granite pieces (a grave marker and a base) and are usually 3 – 5 inches in the front, sloping from 6 – 8 inches in the back.

Uprights are generally 4 – 8 inches in thickness and can be as big or small as you would like them to be (based on your cemeteries regulations).

You may also consider some other things when determining your budget regarding grave marker selection:

  • Shape (the more the grave marker is shaped, the more it will cost)
  • Polished sides (the more you polish the grave marker, the more it will cost), and
  • Color (some colors of granite cost more than other colors)


The time and effort required for proper grave marker installation will typically depend on your monument’s size and cemetery guidelines. An experienced memorial specialist will know your cemetery requirements regarding a flat grave marker installation.

The pillows and uprights’ weight is much heavier than flat markers, requiring a certified monument company’s services to install them properly. Many installations will require a foundation (could be granite or cement) to be placed under the memorial unless the cemetery has a “strip,” resembling a long sidewalk on which the monuments are usually placed.

About Summit Memorials

Summit Memorials helps you honor your loved ones with premium granite grave markers throughout Alberta and Saskatchewan. We also offer professional monument installation services to our clients at affordable prices. For more information, visit our website or contact us for personalized service.

Helping Families & Friends
Honor Their Loved One