Learning The Language: Polish Levels

Posted: June 11, 2014 in Uncategorized


Our very first “Learning The Language” featured post! Keep an eye out for these brand new weekly posts which will helping you to better understand our “monument talk” and what the heck exactly it is we are talking about in our blogs.

This week, we are going to talk about POLISH LEVELS.

You may have noticed during your time learning with us, browsing online or maybe while walking through a local cemetery, that edges and surfaces may or may not be polished. Depending upon which surfaces are polished, a level is then assigned to that layout.

Polishing is extremely  important because by polishing a surface, you create a much darker area on the monument. Prior to a monument being polished, nearly all types and colors of granite are a light, muted, dull color. By polishing the surface, you allow there to be a contrast in lettering, whether it is Sandblasted or Laser Etched. (You can learn more about Sandblasting & Laser Etching by visiting our blog: ) Once you remove the polish, in the shape of a letter, that letter will then stand out due to the difference in the polished area and the unpolished area which has now been exposed. The image below is an example of the huge difference that polishing granite creates.

polish vs. unpolished



Typically, you will never see a monument with a Polish 0. If a monument were to have a Polish 0, it would mean that not a single surface is polished. Normally, in order for names and dates to be added to a monument, at least the front surface will be polished. As a matter of fact, a Polish 0 is so rare, I was unable to even locate an image to show an example.


A Polish 1 monument is a monument which only has one surface polished. In nearly every case of a Polish 1, the polished surface will be the front. There would be no reason to polish only a side, the top or the back of a monument. With a Polish 1, it is common for lettering, dates, epitaphs, designs, etc. to only be included on the front polished surface. As you can see in the image below, the front of this double heart slant is polished, allowing the names, dates and designs to be added, but the top, sides and the back of the monument are unpolished. In this case, they are “Rock Pitched”, or rough. In some cases, rather than being Rock Pitched, the surface can be “Sawn”. A Sawn surface is flat and smooth, it is just not polished. The first picture in this post shows a Sawn surface on the left and a polished surface on the right.

polish 1 monument


A Polish 2 monument can typically be one of two different layouts. The first of these would be for the front and the top to be polished, while the back and sides are Sawn or Rock Pitched. The below image of the slant monument shows a Polish 2.

Polish 2 front and top

The second of these layouts would be for the front and the back surface to be polished, while the top and sides are Sawn or Rock Pitched.

Polish 2 front and back


Although not as popular as the Polish 1,2 or 5, Mike’s Laser Etching/Sartin Memorials does have several Polish 3 monuments in stock. The only logical layout for a Polish 3 is for the front, back and top to be polished, while the sides are Sawn or Rock Pitched. The image to the right below is an example of this layout.


I have never seen a POLISH 4 monument, as this would just not be logical. There would be no reason for a monument to have all surfaces, apart from one polished. Although it could certainly be custom ordered if a client was insistent on this layout for whatever reason, it is not something I would expect to see in your local cemetery.


In addition to the Polish 2, the Polish 5 is the most popular layout with our clients. A monument with a Polish5 has all of its surfaces polished. The front, back, sides and top are all polished and could potentially have lettering or designs added to them. The monument below is a Polish 5.

Polish 5

I hope this first Learning The Language post has helped you to learn a bit more about the language we speak in the monument business. I look forward to hearing from you and finding out what you would like to learn more about!


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