Picking Out a Casket
Choosing the right casket often seems complicated and many people feel pressured by the vast amount of materials, sizes and various other options available. The task of selecting a casket does not need to be difficult. This guide clarifies the properties of each type of material as well as other variables.
A wood casket is made from several types of wood including pine, aspen, ash, walnut, poplar, maple, oak, rosewood and mahogany. Pine, aspen and ash are a softer variety of wood and less likely to be found in a funeral home, whereas the other are hardwoods and tend to cost a bit more. A wood casket does not have a gasket or seal like a metal casket and funeral homes do not guarantee preservation, as wood rots over time. This is a natural occurrence and often the choice of those who prefer an environmental option.
Steel caskets are available in gauge measurements that denote the thickness of the steel. Measurements range from 16 gauge to 22 gauge, with 16 gauge the thickest and most often used for brushed finishes. In terms of preservation neither gauge is better than the other and often a 20 gauge casket is the cheapest choice.
A copper casket is also measured by gauge, however, these are generally described in ounces. 32 ounce, for example, is the weight of one square foot of the material. Again, 16 gauge is the most often chosen for caskets with a brushed finish. These caskets are sealed with a gasket. Other casket materials are available such as fibreglass, but these are very expensive and usually have a 300% mark up in funeral homes, making them a high-end investment for burial.
Casket sizes are far simpler in most cases, than the choice of materials. An adult casket averages 84 inches long, 28 inches wide and 23 inches deep or tall. This size is a good fit for most people, considering the average person is 72 inches long and a mere 18 inches wide, with a girth of approximately 6 inches deep or high. If there is any doubt as to whether a casket is the appropriate size, ask the funeral director to check the measurements to ensure that it is not too small.
Casket adornment is a matter of taste, with some caskets containing a wide variety of linings, carvings, and cushioning. Often flowers are placed within the casket next to a loved one as another adornment option. The scope of adornments is endless, varying from carvings on the casket to floral arrangements within the casket and every imaginable option in between.
No matter if a person prefers a metal casket such as steel caskets or copper caskets, or the natural appearance of a wood casket, funeral directors are able to offer many choices, including the costs and viability of each option.