Quality Monuments and Granite since 1949
 

About Us

What is a Family Memorial?

Gaydos Monument Company has been crafting family memorials to stand the test of time for three generations.  A family memorial is a granite monument, and it is also often called a cemetery memorial, headstone, gravestone marker, or tombstone.

A family memorial is typically placed in a cemetery at the head of the grave (which is where the term headstone comes from) to commemorate a family member or loved one.  The family memorial could be decorated with a monument design to make the gravestone marker unique and memorable to your family.

 

Why Granite?

Family memorials are typically made from granite. It is an ideal substance for monumental works because of its beauty and durability.

 Granite is a very hard igneous rock mined from deep in the earth and it is actually the second hardest natural substance known next to diamonds. Granite comes in many different colors and grains, and is excellent for showcasing engravings and/or etchings that we can create from your own monument design.

 

How do I pUrchase a Cemetery Memorial?

The very first thing you should do is call or email Gaydos Monument Company.

We will contact your cemetery directly to determine what restrictions, if any, they place on the type or size of memorial you may have, and the footer cost. (The footer is a concrete structure in the ground. Your memorial will be attached to it. It is typically poured by the cemetery to match the size of your memorial. The footer will limit movement of the monument.)

 Next we will help you select a color, shape, size, finish, and memorial design that is to your liking and within your budget. Please note that there are several common styles of granite monuments: dies and bases, slants (with and without bases), bevel markers, and flat markers.

More comprehensive information about each style can be obtained through their respective links to the left and our getting started guide. Gaydos Monument Company will handle all aspects of your memorial order: providing the granite, handling all of the design and engraving, etchings, etc., arranging the footer, and setting it in the cemetery.

 We welcome you to view the links to the left which will provide you with more images and information about the memorial designs, colors, styles, options, and more. You may also visit our showroom in Canonsburg, PA where we have over 200 memorials on display.

 
 
 

Dies & Bases

 

Dies and bases are commonly referred to as uprights or upright gravestone markers.

A die is traditionally crafted from granite and usually has a face (front) that is perpendicular to the ground and is generally set atop a base unit that raises it off the ground. Traditional dies are typically square in shape and have a serpentine, oval, straight or roof top and are used for gravestone markers or memorial monuments.

Dies can be all polished (smooth mirror-like finish showcasing the granite color), all steeled (smooth textured finish), and they can also have rock pitch sides and top (natural rocky appearance).

Traditional bases typically have a polish flat top and rock sides which are not damaged by cemetery mowers and trimmers and will keep your monument design beautiful. However, the possibilities are endless with dies when it comes to specialty shapes, designs, and finishes, which will enable you to give your family memorial monument a very personal touch. Many of the different options are showcased in our Monument Design Catalogue in the menu to the right. Here you will find designs for individual dies and companion dies.

Please note that many cemeteries have sections that either do not allow, or only allow dies and bases, and often restrict aspects of size and have other engraving requirements and restrictions for your memorial monument. It is important that you contact Gaydos Monument Company so we can confirm these details for you, prior to purchase

 

Slants

Slants have earned their name because they typically have a slanted face (front).

They are crafted from granite and are traditionally lower to the ground than dies and can be set directly on the cemetery footer at ground level or atop a base. As with dies, traditional slants customarily have a serpentine, oval or straight top. Slants also typically have a rock front nose, but western style slants do have a full face and no front nosing.

The face of a slant is traditionally polished (smooth, mirror-like finish) and the sides and front nose are usually rock pitch (natural rocky appearance). The tops and back of slants can be polished, rock pitch, or sawn (smooth, dull finish). However, as with dies, slants have a virtual cornucopia of monument designs and finish options, which will enable you to personalize your memorial monuments, grave headstones, granite monuments, and gravestone markers.

Many of the different slant options are showcased in our monument design catalogue in the menu to the right. Here you will find design options for individual slants and companion slants. Please note that many cemeteries have sections that either do not allow or only allow slants and place other restrictions with respect to size and engravings. It is important to contact Gaydos Monument Company so we can confirm these details for you prior to purchasing.

 

Flat Granite Markers & Bronzes

Bronzes are flat style, rectangular markers that are usually installed flush with the ground on a concrete pre-cast or a granite or concrete surround.

Gaydos Monument Company recommends the use of granite gravestone markers whenever and wherever possible for reasons of affordability, design versatility, and ease of maintenance.

However some cemeteries, specifically "memorial park" and "garden" cemeteries, often require bronze markers and will not allow the use of granite gravestone markers or grave headstones.  Gaydos Monument Company can help you with choosing a bronze as well, as well as help you determine the maintenance/care and footer fees often charged by bronze cemeteries

 
 

Sculpture

 

Gaydos Monument Company offers exquisite granite sculptures and carvings that can accompany or be recessed or otherwise incorporated with your monument design for your memorial monuments.

Gaydos Monument Company also takes pride in enhancing our sandblast designs with deep-shape roses and other flowers and shallow-shaping other natural features within a design, such as leaves, flowers, etc.

 Shaping is the hand process (using compressed air and sandblast abrasives) of giving sandblast design features a dimensional look so they appear more natural and life-like on the memorial monuments. A longer, deeper shaping process will eventually give the memorial design a beautiful carved or sculpted look. A shallow shaping process gives your sandblast design additional depth to enhance the beauty of your memorial design on your monument.

Gaydos Monument Company also has the capability to provide life-size sculptures of religious figures, people, animals, etc. in granite or marble for various applications in cemeteries, public, and private venues.

 

Sandblast Design

 

Within our Sandblast Design Catalogue, you will find many sample images of monument designs, symbols, etc. that can be engraved on a variety of memorial styles and shapes (such as granite monuments, bronze monuments, grave headstones, gravestone markers, and other memorial monuments).

 Sandblast Designs are also called engraved designs. Sandblasting involves the use of compressed air to force sand or some other abrasive at the granite at a high rate of speed.

This process allows us to engrave letters and designs in our granite memorials from monument design that you would like on your memorials.

Please choose a monument type and monument design style from the drop-down lists that interest you. You will be able to enlarge the thumbnail images of the sandblast designs and print them if you so desire. For more information and pricing of a particular monument design style, please contact us with the item code.

Also, you may click the Fonts PDF link to view the different fonts available for engraving.

 
 

Granite Etchings

Granite Etchings are highly detailed photos or scenes that are etched in the polish surface of granite and are often used in monument designs.

One photo or several photos may be combined to create a personalized etching. Granite etchings are typically done on sheer black granite because it provides the best canvas for showcasing the etching.

Gaydos Monument Company uses only the finest black granite in the world for grave headstones, granite monuments, gravestone markers, and memorial monuments. By selecting the desired style from the drop down list you can view many of the different laser etching images available as well as some of our renowned hand etching work.

For more information and pricing for a granite etching that interests you, please contact Gaydos Monument Company with the item code.

Hand Etching

Granite hand etchings are done by an artist who uses a diamond-tipped electro-stylus and literally draws on the granite.

This technique allows more flexibility and artistic interpretation of one or several photographs to create a custom collage as a tribute to your loved one. Gaydos Monument Company employs one of the regions most talented hand etching artists who creates beautiful monument designs onto granite gravestone markers, memorial monuments, etc. Because of the time and labor involved, this hand-etching process is at a higher price point than the laser etching.

Laser Etching

Gaydos Monument can etch a treasured photo on to a memorial by using our in-house laser etching machine.  

This state-of-the-art computerized machine can replicate any photo precisely onto a granite monument up to four feet long.* The image is transferred to a robotic arm with a laser attached to it that goes back and forth across the face of the stone creating a detailed etching. * (Note that the quality of the photo determines the quality of the etching.)  

Editing, cropping or enlargements of photos and touch-ups can be provided by our art department.

By providing this service rather that outsourcing the laser etchings like most granite companies, we are able to save on production time and money, therefore we are able to pass on the savings to our clients.

See a Video of our Laser Etching Machine Below.

 
 

Accessories add a personal touch to your monument.

Gaydos Monument Company offers a number of memorial accessories, so that you can further personalize and enhance the beauty of your memorial with your own monument design

 

Porcelain Photos

Porcelain Photos are an additional product which can be attached or inserted into your granite monument. 

Monument Portraits are photos and porcelains that can be reproduced in GENUINE porcelain for an everlasting tribute to your loved one. You may also use your own religious pictures or portraits, and we can turn them into fine colored memorials.  Different shapes, gold fillet borders, and raised edges are available.

Whether you wish to memorialize one or two people, or choose a heart shape, or wish to colorize an older photo, Gaydos Monument Company is here to assist in any way we can. Just ask, and we'll let you know the possibilities available to create a lasting memorial.

 

Photo Etching Inserts

Gaydos Monument can etch a treasured photo on to a memorial by using our in-house laser etching machine. 

This state-of-the-art computerized machine can replicate any photo precisely onto a granite monument up to four feet long.* The image is transferred to a robotic arm with a laser attached to it that goes back and forth across the face of the stone creating a detailed etching. By providing this service rather that outsourcing the laser etchings like most granite companies, we are able to save on production time and money, therefore we are able to pass on the savings to our clients. * (Note that the quality of the photo determines the quality of the etching.) 

-Editing, cropping or enlargements of photos and touch-ups can be provided by our art department.

Photos of loved ones can also be laser etched into rectangular, heart-shaped, or oval black granite panels and inserted into any color memorial. The inserts come in a number of sizes and are bonded into recessed panel on your memorial so they cannot be removed.

*See a video of our in-house laser machine below.

 

Bronze and Pewter Accessories

Gaydos offers numerous bronze and pewter accessories to adorn your memorial and monument design, such as roses, crosses, veteran emblems, etc...

Bronze and pewter accessories can be installed directly into your granite memorial or base and come in various sizes.

 

Vases & Plinths

Gaydos Monument Company has a number of options for you, should you wish to add a vase or vases to your memorial monument to hold flowers.

We can provide you with beautiful polished, turned (round) vases, matching the granite color of your memorial that can be installed directly onto the base. Gaydos Monument Company also designs square tapered granite vases with numerous finish options (rock, sawn, polish, etc.) and other custom shapes and styles.

We also offer pewter and bronze vases and other metal composite vases that can be attached to a memorial base or plinth. Many of these style vases are invertible -- they can be purchased with an in-ground canister allowing you to turn them upside down for protection.

 

Granite Corner Posts

Granite corner posts are granite blocks installed at the corners of grave, usually just at the head and sometimes at all four corners of a grave.

Granite corner posts can be ordered to match any granite color and may also be engraved with an initial.