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Home > Articles & Guides > Installing Grave Markers in a Cemetery

Installing Grave Markers in a Cemetery

Grave Markers
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Grave markers are used to mark the grave of a loved one. In most cases cemeteries offer installation services for a grave marker in their cemetery. If you have ordered a grave marker for a loved one and it needs to be set in a cemetery that is in a rural area or does not offer installation services, then this article will detail the installation process for grave markers.

Before we begin let us first inform you that most grave markers weigh in excess of 100 pounds and may exceed 400 pounds in weight. This article is mainly intended for the installation of grave markers for an individual person and not double or companion grave markers as they usually weigh in excess of 200 pounds and may need special equipment for moving them. Additionally it is recommended that you have someone help you move the grave marker. There are two methods for installing grave markers in a cemetery. They are with concrete and without concrete and each method will be discussed in detail.

Note: Before planning to install the grave marker yourself, first check with the cemetery so that it does not conflict with their rules and regulations. Some cemeteries require any work to be handled by a licensed monument installer.

Installing Grave Markers Without Concrete

This method of installation is very simple and is intended for grave markers that are no larger than 24" x 12" x 4". This method is recommended for veteran grave markers, also known as military grave markers , infant grave markers and small granite grave markers. List of supplies Needed

  • Shovel
  • Tape Measure
  • Level
  • Bag of sand

Step 1 - Using a tape measure, measure out the size of the grave marker on the grave space where it is to be set. Measure an inch more on each side to give the grave marker enough play when setting it down. Example: If the grave marker is 24" x 12" then make the outline 26" x 14".

Step 2 - With the shovel dig the outline of the grave marker. After this is done, then start excavating the dirt and setting it to the side. Dig down as deep as the marker is in thickness.

Step 3 - Set the marker in the hole and use a level to ensure it lays perfectly flat. You can use sand to raise the grave marker wherever it needs it to be level.

Installing Grave Markers With Concrete

This method of installation is a more secure installation for grave markers larger than 24" x 12" x 4". It is recommended for heavier grave markers such a large granite grave markers and bronze grave markers. List of supplies Needed

  • Shovel
  • Post hole digger
  • Tape Measure
  • Level
  • 4 re-enforced steel bars 30" in length
  • Steel mesh for concrete
  • Wire twist ties (for steel bars)
  • Hammer
  • Empty coffee can or PVC pipe 6"-8" in diameter (for grave markers with a vase)
  • Water
  • 3-4 bags of ready mix concrete
  • Wheel barrow or mixing container

Grave Markers InstallationStep 1 - Using a tape measure, measure out the size of the grave marker on the grave space where it is to be set. Measure an inch more on each side to give the grave marker enough play when setting it down. Example: If the grave marker is 24" x 12" then make the outline 26" x 14".

Step 2 - With the shovel dig the outline of the grave marker. After this is done, then start excavating the dirt and setting it to the side. Dig down as deep as the marker is in thickness plus an additional 4"-6". The total depth will be around 8"-10"

Step 3 - Using a post hole digger, dig two piers approximately 24" deep and 6" in width on the outer ends of the pad. Please note if the marker has a vase, then place the pier holes toward the bottom of the pad.

Step 4 - Place 2 of the re-enforced steel bars in each hole and use the hammer to set them down far enough so that only 3" of the bar rise above the surface. Then place the steel mesh at the bottom and tie it to the steel bars with metal twist ties.

Note: If the grave marker has a vase unit, then dig a shallow hole in its place (normally at the top center portion of the grave marker). Set the coffee can or PVC sleeve in its place before proceeding to the next step. The sleeve can be removed after 2-3 hours after the concrete sets up.

Step 5 - Once everything is ready proceed to mix the concrete in the wheel barrow or mixing container. Pour the mixed concrete into the ground leaving enough space for the grave marker to set flush approximately 4" from the top.

Step 6 - Using a small board smooth the surface of the wet concrete so the marker will set flat when installed. You can use the level at this stage to ensure the concrete is level.

Allow 1-2 days for concrete to dry and then install the grave marker in its place. It is recommended that the marker be flush with the surface to ensure mowers will not damage the edges of it.

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