A Guide to Popular Types of Memorials

a custom grave marker

Thinking about the end of life can be difficult, but planning ahead can help take the burden off of your loved ones once you’re gone. Part of this planning, or a decision your family must make, is choosing the best memorial.

There are multiple types of memorials and grave markers to choose from, as well as different materials, depending on what you like and what the cemetery allows. Here’s a brief guide to the three most common memorial materials and five most common types of memorials.

Common Memorial Materials

The most common materials for memorials are granite, marble, and bronze.

  • Granite:
    • The most common of the three materials
    • Desirable due to its natural beauty
    • The most economical choice
    • Almost impossible to scratch, stain, or chip, and can resist harsh weather
    • Unique in terms of color, pattern, and texture
  • Marble:
    • Offers unique patterns and shadings, coming in a wide range of beautiful colors
    • Can chip, scratch, and crack easily, and engraving can become difficult to read over time
    • Material is porous and will absorb moisture from the ground that will change the color of the stone
    • May be best for indoor crypts, mausoleums, or urns
  • Bronze:
    • Also common today due to its natural elegance and durability
    • Lay flat to the ground and can be mounted to granite or secured to the ground on concrete
    • Come in multiple sizes and can be personalized with just about anything
    • Commonly seen in memorial parks or park-like settings

Types of Memorials

Depending on the material you choose and the look you’re going for, there are also different types of memorials available.

The most common include monument, slant marker, bevel marker, and flush marker:

You can also choose from custom-shaped monuments and family or estate monuments.

Know that at Tegeler Monument, we install all of our memorials with a concrete base underneath to help prevent the memorial from sinking or falling over. This helps protect the material and keep it looking beautiful over time.

Upright Headstones

These monuments are typically what we imagine when envisioning a cemetery resting place. Upright headstones are one of the most common types of memorials, as it’s a simple stone placed at the head of the grave.

The advantage to upright headstones is they are available in multiple shapes, sizes, levels of complexity, and elegance. They can also be personalized to read whatever you like, such as:

  • Name of the deceased
  • Words of loving identification
  • Date of birth and date of death
  • Any philosophical or religious sayings

If you work with Tegeler Monument, our price includes any inscriptions and any design at no extra cost.


Custom-Shaped Monuments

A type of upright monument is a custom-shaped monument. These can make your loved one’s headstone even more unique and personalized. They allow you to be creative with the shape and designs to honor your loved one’s life. Tegeler Monument has unlimited shapes for stones, so you’re sure to find something you love.

Slanted Markers

A variation of the upright headstone, slanted markers are similar, but the front of the stone features a slant. They are also available in multiple sizes, shapes, levels of complexity, and elegance, and can be personalized to your liking.

These markers can also be placed with or without a granite base.

Bevel Markers

These memorials, also known as “pillow markers,” sit closer to the ground but are about 2-4 inches higher in the back, so the face of the marker is slightly slanted. Usually, they have a polished face and rough, rock pitched edges.  

Flush, Flat, or Lawn-Level Markers

Also called “footmarker style,” these markers are similar to bevel markers, but they sit flush to the ground. Because they are lower to the ground, they are more susceptible to damage, but they are also the least expensive monument style.

You can order a flush marker with or without a flower face as an added personal touch.

Family or Estate Monuments

If you’d like to reserve space for a family member (or family members) to be buried in the future, you could choose a mausoleum, columbarium, double headstone, or other type of family monument design. These are typically larger and more elaborate and allow for the final resting place for multiple loved ones to be together. These memorials can be personalized to include statues, benches, crypts, or other representation of your family.

Contact Us

Tegeler Monument has been helping families with their services for more than 124 years. We can help you make a wise choice when it comes to monuments and memorials and personalize it to meet your and your loved one’s wishes and needs.

To learn more, call 410-944-0300 or fill out our contact form.