The Differences Between Headstone Engraving And Etching

Headstones and grave markers are a meaningful tribute to people who have passed away, and you want to keep them looking beautiful to honor your loved one’s memory. Depending on whether you’ve chosen engraving or etching, there are nuances to keeping the headstone looking “like new.” Today, we’re going to explore some of the differences between headstone engraving and etching. 

At Monument Solutions, LLC, we take pride in helping communities, families, churches, and cemeteries preserve their headstones’ structural integrity and beauty. Contact us for assistance today

One decision you’ll need to make is whether you’ll have the gravestone engraved or etched. Despite some people equating these two options, headstone etching and headstone engraving are different. 

Let’s take a brief look at the engraving and etching processes:

Headstone Engraving

Engraving is the most common method for designing headstones. It is essential for creating lettering and symbols/images. Engraving is the process of cutting designs or artwork into a hard surface, such as a headstone.

Some artisans still use hammers and chisels for granite engraving. However, sandblasting has long been the preferred method for precision and efficiency. Sandblasting utilizes compressed air to shoot small sand particles at high pressure toward a surface. Sandblasting erodes the surface and is considered one of the most effective methods for engraving granite. It’s incredibly well suited for lettering and can be used for polished granite in light and dark colors.

Headstone Etching

Etching is the preferred method when more design detail is required. Engraving makes deeper cuts, but etching can create shallower and more detailed designs.

Etching can be accomplished either by hand or by laser. 

Hand Etching

Hand etching is, obviously, much more complicated and requires a lot of skill. But it adds some unique character and customization features that you can’t get through laser work. 

Hand etching artisans are able to create beautiful images or pictures, artwork that gets preserved in time and in stone. These artisans will use diamond-tipped engraving tools, etching individual dots, one at a time. The process takes a considerable time by hand but can have spectacular results.

Laser Etching

Laser etching is used to create highly accurate, incredibly detailed re-creations of real-life photographs and designs. In this process, a computer-operated laser burns away bits of the stone’s surface. Laser etching is less expensive than hand etching. This is because it doesn’t require as much skill or time, but it’s also not as crafty or custom. If you have a photograph you want to put on to the monument, laser etching is the best method you can choose.

Laser etching does not produce the same design depth that creates contrast for shapes and lettering. But it is a practical and useful option for the right designs.

No matter which you’ve chosen, though….

At Monument Solutions, LLC, we help to preserve the memory of your loved one’s passing by restoring headstones, resurrecting statues, and maintaining their final resting place. Contact us for assistance today