Choosing the funeral casket for a deceased loved one can be very difficult because of the emotion involved. At times, the family may experience doubt or regret about the chosen casket because they make the decision while grieving and without doing proper research. Usually the family members select the casket for its appearance, and because of that, they may ignore the price of the casket, or if it is appropriate for the deceased. It is helpful to learn about the different funeral casket materials before selecting a casket.
Purchasing a wood casket is like purchasing furniture, since wood caskets are made similar to how furniture is made. It is important to look at the quality of the wood used, how it was stained and polished, and the overall craftsmanship used to assemble the casket. The quality of the wood will vary with the price; however, no matter what you pay you want to ensure that you are purchasing a well-made product. The following are the most common woods used for a funeral casket.
Mahogany, Walnut, and Cherry are the most expensive and elegant wooden caskets. The wood can be highly polished and produces a beautiful finish. Maple, Pecan, Oak and Poplar are also popular choices for wood caskets. Maple is popular because of its strength. Oak is popular because of its intricate grain pattern. All of these hardwoods can be hand-carved and shaped into beautiful designs.
Pine, Poplar, Spruce and Cedar are options for softwood caskets. Softwood is a popular choice because of its lower-cost; however, the cost may vary depending on whether or not the casket is made from locally sourced wood. Softwood is a more environmentally friendly choice when compared to hardwood caskets because it is more of a renewable resource.
Wood laminate caskets provide the beauty of a hardwood casket without the expensive cost. Veneer caskets are becoming more popular as families look at ways to reduce funeral expenses. However, veneer can be difficult to work with and it is important to check the quality of the casket to make sure the veneer is not peeling off.
Cloth covered caskets are the least expensive wood casket because they are made of inexpensive plywood, pressboard or recycled wood material and then covered with cloth. The family will have more options for customization because they can choose the exterior and interior cloth styles.
Eco-friendly wood caskets are becoming increasingly popular. Eco-friendly caskets are typically made of bamboo, wicker or recycled materials. Bamboo is a popular wood choice because of its strength, beauty, and it is a highly renewable resource.
Metal caskets offer superior strength when compared to wood caskets. Metal caskets may be constructed from naturally non-rusting bronze or copper, rust-resistant stainless steel, or cathodically protected steel. They are also available in a variety of thicknesses, with 16, 18, and 20 gauge the most popular options. 16 gauge is the thickest type of metal casket available and is therefore one of the more expensive types of funeral casket available.
Bronze caskets are selected because of their strength, durability and their natural non-rusting qualities. Bronze caskets are available in a wide variety of colors and styles.
Copper caskets are selected because of their durability and their natural non-rusting qualities. Bronze caskets are strong, but not quite as durable as bronze caskets. They are also available in a wide variety of colors and styles.
Stainless steel, an alloy of carbon steel and chromium, provides strength at an economical price. The caskets are treated so that they are resistant to corrosion. Stainless Steel caskets come in both painted and brushed finishes.
Whether you choose a metal or wood casket, you will have numerous styles to choose from. All caskets come in slightly different shapes and designs. Some of the custom options are graphics or engravings, different handles, and more. One of the most common ways to customize a casket is through the interior. You can choose different types of fabric and colors to personalize the look of the funeral casket.
The above are the most common types of metal and wood caskets. This will provide you with the basic information required to begin the process of choosing a funeral casket for your loved one. Read the other articles below to learn more about metal and wood caskets. Your local funeral home will also be able to further educate you about what casket options are available.
Updated: May 18, 2013