Choosing a Monument
by Norde Memorials
When choosing a monument, or gravestone, there are several things to consider.
The granite for monuments comes from all over the world. Some is domestic, and some is imported. Upright, or two-piece monuments, come polished in one of three polishing ratings: 2, 3, or 5. A polished 2 means the front and back of the die (top piece) is polished. Polished 3 means front, back, and top are polished. Sometimes people prefer to spend the extra money to have the polished top because it is easier to keep clean. If it is rustic on top, you will need to take a nylon scrub brush and scrub anything that is left on top. Polished 5 means the whole die is polished (front, back, top, and sides).
It is good to clean a monument every few years, by using Tide with bleach and a nylon scrub brush, and scrubbing hard. Make sure you rinse it thoroughly. If it’s quite dirty, we offer a service to power-wash it. We do not recommend you do this yourself—better to let a professional to the job, so as to not harm the monument.
We also offer diamond-tip etching. This is done by an artist and is fine-detailed work. If customers want their cabin or farm scene etched on, or even portraits, this process is recommended. Of course the etchings always show up better on the black granite, but it can be done on other colors too.
A plot can be several grave spaces, so people should find out from the cemetery which and how many graves are being used for the memorial they are purchasing. Some cemeteries allow two, three, or four cremains to be buried on one gravesite. If this is the case, they need to find out how many inches of foundation are allowed so the memorial can be sized accordingly. If someone’s cremains will be buried on top other family members in the same grave, they must purchase a flush marker, which is a flat stone that the cemetery can mow over the top of.
Monuments will last a long time. It’s always best to trust a monument company versus a funeral home, or the Internet, etc. Monument companies know and understand their product, and they offer full service, such as leveling, future engraving, and addressing any other problems that may arise.