A cremation niche is an above ground burial space, where a decedent’s urn, containing their cremated remains, is placed inside and sealed. Many people are choosing above ground burial in a cremation niche as it affords comfort in all seasons, especially in inclement weather.
Similar to a mausoleum, there is usually a wall with recessed compartments for placing the cremation urn permanently.The purpose of a cremation niche is to give the family a place to visit their loved one’s cremated remains, also known as ashes. They are available in single, double and family size (four) spaces. Most cremation niches are made of fine marble or premium granite. Lately, cremation niches made with a glass front are becoming very popular, because the glass front allows viewing of the urn as well as any personal memorial items that are displayed with it.
A columbarium niche is a wall which contains many cremation niches, designed to hold urns. They may be indoors or outdoors, and may comprise a stand alone building, a large room, a wall or an entire hall. Columbariums are located within a mausoleum, chapel, or as a dedicated building. They can also be located in a cemetery, but must be built on dedicated property only. The term “columbarium” in modern usage can also be used to describe a “mausoleum”. The two terms are interchangeable.
There are indoor and outdoor cremation niches available at most facilities. The indoor niches are always more expensive as they provide a comfortable place to visit, especially in bad weather. Costs vary by location and cemetery, but a typical 9″ x 9″ x 9″ size cremation niche, purchased pre-need (before death) averages $750 to $2,800. Expect to pay 20% to 25% more if purchased at need (at time of death). The cost of a cremation niche includes the property holding the urn, endowment care, one inurnment (including labor), recording of the process, and name and dates engraved on the urn. Most columbariums and mausoleums will charge an additional $200 for a Saturday inurnment.