Are you looking to install a headstone? Installing a headstone can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right supplies and guidance, you can quickly get the job done. To help make the process simpler, we’ve outlined the steps you should take when installing a headstone. Keep reading for tips and advice on installing your bahama blue granite headstone!
Table of Contents
Choose the right stone
Choosing the proper headstone is the first and most crucial step in installing a headstone. You want to choose a stone that will last for years, as well as one that expresses your feelings or commemorates the life of the deceased in a meaningful way. There are a few key factors to consider when choosing the right stone: size, material, shape, and color.
Size: The size of the stone you choose will depend on the cemetery’s regulations and the style of stone you prefer. Measurements for a headstone typically range from 12” x 6” to 48” x 24”.
Material: Headstones can be made from various materials, including granite, marble, bronze, and other natural stones. Each type of material offers its unique characteristics and benefits. Do your research and select the one that works best for your needs.
Shape: The shape of the headstone also plays a vital role in its appearance. Some popular shapes include traditional upright monuments, flat markers, memorial benches, and more.
Color: Depending on the type of stone you choose, you may have options for color or design. You can opt for a classic single-color stone or customize it with etchings, symbols, quotes, or other designs.
When selecting a suitable stone for your loved one’s memorial, take your time. This is an important decision that should not be taken lightly.
Prepare the site
Before beginning the installation process, you must prepare the site where the headstone will be placed. Clear away any debris or other materials that may be present in the area, and check for any roots or rocks that could be a problem. Make sure to measure the depth of the hole that needs to be dug to secure the foundation. If you are setting the headstone in an existing cemetery, check with the staff to ensure that all regulations are followed.
Once the site has been cleared and measured, it is time to begin digging the hole. Depending on the type of stone and its size, the hole should be roughly twice as wide as the stone and about 12 inches deep. When digging, avoid hitting any power lines, pipes, or other structures nearby. Use a level to check for any potential sinkholes or pockets of air underneath the ground. If any are found, take the appropriate steps to fix them before proceeding.
Set the foundation
The foundation will hold the headstone in place and ensure it stays level and secure. Depending on the material you have chosen, there are different methods of foundation setting.
A concrete foundation will be necessary if your headstone is made of granite, marble, or other heavy stone. Use a mixture of three parts sand to one part cement to create a concrete base. Create a hole with a post-hole digger or shovel, and then pour the concrete mix into the hole. Make sure the foundation is level and even, and allow it to dry before moving on to the next step.
If your headstone is made of lighter material, such as limestone or sandstone, you can use mortar or dry-packed concrete for the foundation. To use dry-packed concrete:
- Start by digging a shallow hole for the stone.
- Line the hole with an inch or two of sand and use a trowel to press the dry-packed concrete into the hole.
- Pack it tightly, so it forms a secure base for the headstone.
- Allow the dry-packed concrete to dry before continuing.
Place the headstone
Before placing the headstone, take extra precautions to handle the stone safely and avoid causing damage.
First, use a level to make sure that the foundation is level. If it isn’t, adjust it until it is. Next, carefully set the headstone on the foundation. Make sure that it is firmly seated and that the back of the stone fully touches the foundation. If you need to, add extra mortar around the sides of the stone to ensure a secure fit.
Once the headstone is in place, secure it with metal clamps or tie-downs. These will help to keep the stone from moving due to vibration or weather conditions. Finally, use a sealant to protect the stone from water damage. This will also help keep the colors vibrant.
Finish the installation
Depending on the type of stone, you may need to use special techniques to attach it to its base. If the stone is made from a softer material like sandstone or limestone, you can use mortar or cement to secure it. Granite and marble stones require specialized anchors or bolts. If using mortar or cement, mix it according to the instructions and apply it evenly. Once the adhesive is set, check to ensure that the headstone is stable and secure.
If you’re using anchors or bolts, attach them carefully, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Use a level to ensure that the stone is aligned correctly. Once everything is secure, use a grout sealer or silicone sealant to help protect the stone against moisture.
Installing a headstone is a solemn and meaningful task. Take some time to reflect on why you decided to install the headstone and its importance for you and your family. Appreciate the monument’s beauty and the peace it brings to the area.
You should also ensure to take good care of your headstone over time. Cleaning it regularly and checking for damage can help ensure it stands strong for many years.