Flat Gravestones, Headstones, and Memorials:
Crafting the Ideal Memorial
Among the various designs for a memorial, a flat grave marker is often the most chosen and cost-effective option. Despite being a common choice for commemorating a life, flat grave markers offer significant customization at an affordable price.
Flat headstones are available in four distinct sizes: single flat markers, medium flat markers with vase holes, double (also known as companion) markers, and large flat ledgers.
In this piece, we will delve into each design of these flat memorials. We will provide an estimated cost range for each type and guide you in determining if a flat grave marker is the best way to memorialize your loved one.
Table of Contents
Flat grave markers, sometimes simply referred to as flat headstones, are a specific type of memorial commonly found in cemeteries across the Bay Area. They feature a polished upper face with sawn sides, and the stone is set into the ground, leaving the polished face level with the surrounding grass. The available sizes include single flat markers, medium flat markers with vase holes, double (companion) markers, and large ledgers that can cover either half or the entirety of a grave plot.
A traditional single flat grave marker often measures 24″ x 12″ x 3-4″, providing a 2′ design area. This space is just enough to tell a brief, poignant story of a loved one lost. The single flat marker is set into the ground, exposing only its designed upper face, which can be adorned with a host of beautiful design elements. Any stone technique can be used on this front face to include the name, birth, and death dates, and other messages, quotes, or scenes from the individual’s life.
A double or companion flat headstone typically bears the family surname in the upper middle of the headstone, with the first names of the memorialized individuals engraved on the bottom right and left portions. Often, companion markers feature the first names and dates of birth and pass on the left and right sections, with a custom art piece engraved in the middle. As this monument serves multiple memorials, it is common for this style of marker to range from 3′ to as large as 6′ wide.
A large ledger grave marker is also set into the ground but covers the whole grave plot. Ledgers are commonly 89″ x 36″ x 3-4″, providing ample space to detail the life story of your loved one. While ledgers are popular in the Bay Area, we recommend checking with the cemetery to ensure such a large memorial is permitted.
Medium Flat Headstones with Vase Holes
Medium flat headstones are a common hybrid used extensively in Northern California. Typically measuring 28″ x 16″ x 3-4″, these medium markers also feature a 3-4″ hole at the top for flower arrangements. The larger polished face allows for a more detailed design when telling an individual’s story. This hybrid stone can also serve as a companion stone, hosting two names and all four of their significant dates.
Choosing Your Material
The most chosen material for these types of flat memorials across North America is granite. Granite is a natural stone mined from select parts of the world. It’s durable and long-lasting. With proper engraving techniques, a granite flat marker can be expected to last for an industry average of seven lifetimes. Less common materials for flat grave memorials include sandstone, limestone, and other natural stones. However, these are less common and will likely cost more than granite.
Quality Flat Grave Markers from a Quality Monument Builder
At Mattos Monuments, we take pride in delivering flat grave markers at affordable prices. Regardless of the size or shape of the monument or memorial, we ensure your loved one will be remembered with a perfect headstone for their memorial plot. This allows future generations to remember the legacy and story through engraved words. To learn more about our full memorial design process, please view our Youtube Channel.