When considering a headstone, it's common to assume that marble is a better choice than granite. With its evocative pale colour and distinctive veining, marble looks extremely attractive, and its sense of luxury often feels like the right way to honour the memory of a departed loved one.
However, there are actually a number of natural problems that occur with marble, and they can make granite a more sensible and long-lasting choice for the headstone of your loved one.
The more durable choice
Durability is one of the most pressing concerns when it comes to choose a headstone material, and this is one of the main reasons why granite tends to be prioritised over marble. The problem is that marble is quite a brittle stone thanks to its more crystalline structure. It is also a lot softer than granite. Marble headstones are more likely to suffer chips or scratches, and erosion will happen a lot faster. Though a headstone is not going to need to resist harsh blows, you might find that its softness sees carvings and lettering becoming hard to read after a few years.
Taking pollutants into account
As well as being softer and more brittle than granite, marble is also more porous. This means it takes stains a lot more readily, which can be problematic in the modern era thanks to pollutants in the air; it's an issue made even more serious if the headstone will be planted near the sea, where salt air can have a negative effect. Discoloration will take place quite rapidly, and the fact that marble is usually quite a light stone will make this process more noticeable. Granite is darker and less susceptible to staining, meaning that granite headstones won't look discoloured or faded nearly as quickly.
Taking graveyard restrictions into account
One thing that people often fail to consider when they are picking out a headstone is that different graveyards and churchyards often have their own rules and restrictions that need to be followed. These should be checked prior to ordering a headstone; if you get something wrong, you won't be able to return a headstone that has already been inscribed. Unfortunately, many graveyards and churchyards do not accept marble headstones since they do not blend well and will tend to weather very quickly. Though it is always well worth checking, you are unlikely to experience the same issue when you opt for a granite headstone.