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Installing a Bonded Marble Statue on a Cemetery Headstone

So, you want to purchase a bonded marble statue for your loved one’s headstone, but cannot find anyone who will install it? Not to worry as this article will help guide you through the process.

Typically a marble statue is installed with a dowel hole drilled at the bottom of the statue and on top of the base which it will sit. A pin is then inserted in to help keep the statue in place before gluing the two. While this method is widely used it is not necessary especially if you cannot find someone to install it and drill the base for the pin.

Items You Will Need

If the base cannot be drilled, you can still install it for a permanent fit. Here is a list of some things you will need to achieve a proper installation of the marble statue.

  • Epoxy preferably knife grade that cleans up with water
  • Putty knife or wooden tongue depressor
  • Piece of cardboard
  • Masking tape
  • Hammer
  • Carbide tip chisel
  • Dry 2 or larger paint brush or canned air
  • Single edge razor blades
  • Paper towels
I would first recommend purchasing an epoxy adhesive from a hardware store such as Home Depot or Lowe's, or any local hardware store. Make sure the epoxy can bond natural stone and is a knife grade type with the consistency of mayonnaise or peanut butter. You will also want the epoxy to allow at least 30 minutes working time if not longer. A putty knife or tongue depressor will be needed as well as a piece of cardboard to mix the contents on.

Installing the Statue

Step 1
If the granite surface has a polished finished, then do the following: Before actually gluing the marble statue to the granite base, set it in the desired position on the granite base. Then place strips of tape along the edges of the statue, marking the outline of the statue base.

Step 2
After removing the statue, use a hammer and chisel (one with a carbide tip if possible) to roughen the area where the statue will set staying about 3/4' from the edges of the tape. This will allow the epoxy to grab on to the granite surface. If the granite already has a rough surface, then skip the roughing up part. After this is done, thoroughly clean the debris off the surface using a dry paint brush or canned air.

Step 3
Keeping the tape in place, mix the epoxy and apply a layer to both the statue and granite base then set it into place. Make sure not to over apply the epoxy so that it seeps out from the bottom of the statue. Since this may happen, be sure to have paper towels handy to clean off any excess. Also most water based epoxies will clean up with soap and water.

VERY IMPORTANT: You will need to tape the statue into place until the adhesive sets up. Reason being is that if the granite base is even slightly un-level this may cause the statue to slide out of position.

After the epoxy has completely set, you can then remove the tape. If there is any epoxy residue on the polished granite surface you can scrape it off with a single edge razor blade.