Laser Engraving

Laser engraving is one of the newest innovations in the monument industry. It allows us to permanently etch highly detailed designs and lettering directly into granite. From a simple portrait of your loved one to a photographic collage telling their life story, laser engraving allows the highest level of detail possible. 

We use laser engraving to etch these products:

Laser Portraits

Laser Collages

Standard Laser Etchings

How it works

Photos are adjusted for optimal contrast and resolution. We will fix blemishes, remove backgrounds or any unwanted parts and make the image as clean as possible. Then we translate the photo into an image made of black and white dots. The granite's polished black surface provides the black color needed and the lighter colored stone beneath the polish provides the white.

As the laser passes over the stone, each laser pulse explodes a tiny dot from the stone. The laser moves back and forth burning a row of tiny dots each time. When its done, you will see a grayscale image made from millions of the the tiny dots. Since this image is etched directly into the stone, it is as durable and long lasting as the stone itself.

Laser engraving vs Sandblast Engraving

Laser engraving is done on an almost microscopic scale and is a very controlled process. Sandblast engraving is much more violent process. It involves placing a rubber mask on the granite and then shooting a very high pressure stream of abrasive at the stone. The high pressure allows us to achieve a deep cut into the stone, but small parts of a monument design can be broken off by the high pressure of the abrasive.

So, its a trade-off. Sandblasting allows for deep carving, but cannot engrave fine details. Laser engravng can engrave fine details, but they are done at a shallow depth.

Granite is such a hard stone that any engraving technique with enough force to break through its surface will be permanent. While both methods have the same goal of engraving the stone, they do it in different ways, so each method has its own distinct appearance.

Laser Engraving Requirements 

  • Only original photos should be submitted to us for laser egraving. If the original was taken with a digital camera, the digital file can be emailed to us or submitted on disk. Try to use photos with good lighting and focus. Above all else, the subjects face should be clear and easy to see. Minor blemishes can be fixed, but shadows or other elements that obscure the face are a problem.
  • If you do not have good quality photos, we can create a hand drawn portrait based on some of your photos.
  • All laser engraving is done on black granite since it requires a dark background to be seen. We use the darkest granite available with a very tight grain to ensure the results are bright and clear.
  • We can laser engrave lettering as well as photos. Laser engraving is totally permanent, even though it is a surface etch. If you like the look of deep sunk lettering, you should opt for sandblasted lettering. We can combine laser etching and sandblast lettering together.