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Are Burial Vaults Required? Why Place a Casket in a Vault?

Avatar for Ethan Darby Ethan Darby       November 18th, 2019       2:02 pm
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When it comes to placing a loved one at their final resting place, the majority of cemeteries will require a burial vault or at least a grave liner. While this is a common requirement, many family members are confused by what a burial vault is and why it is important. In essence, this vault can provide both your loved one’s remains and the cemetery grounds with an added level of much-needed protection.

What Is a Vault?

A vault is also commonly known as a grave vault, burial liner, or burial vault. No matter what you call it, this sturdy receptacle serves as a protective container for the casket. When they were first developed, vaults were typically made out of brick or wood.

Today, burial vaults can be made of many materials including metal and plastic, but they are more likely to be made out of concrete which works better at preventing both the casket and the grave from sinking into the soil once buried.

A true burial vault will enclose the casket on the top, bottom and all four sides. Often, the casket is lowered into the vault and then the vault is sealed using a strong butyl tape seal, and then the entire unit is lowered into the ground. Afterward, a lid is added to seal the vault and begin its process of protection.

What Are Burial Vaults Made Of

Some vaults are poured as a base with four sides and a lid that seals to that base. Other vaults use the four sides and top as a full-coverage lid, which is then placed on top of the base to create a tight seal.

A grave liner is similar to a vault, but a grave liner may not have a bottom. Instead, it gets lowered into the grave after the casket is placed within it. Grave liners can also be made with bottoms on the bases, but they will contain holes allowing water to rise and fall within the container.

Before you choose the right burial option for your needs, it is important to determine your budget. There are many different options that affect the price of a burial vault. There are different personalization options you can choose from as some options are aesthetic, and some add protection. You can also pick from various materials, warranties, and protection levels.

A grave liner will typically be a less expensive option, but a burial vault is generally more effective over the long-term. They are superior at preventing degradation, collapse, and other unfortunate instances.

Why Put a Casket in a Burial Vault?

Using a burial vault for a casket is a technique that has been used for over 100 years. While there were most likely uses of the burial vault before this time, its use wasn’t officially documented until the late 1800s. Since its inception, this design has become a standard practice in many parts of the country.

While vaults are now a part of burial traditions, many people are curious about why we even use them. Do you really need to put a casket in a vault for burial?

Whether they are required by a cemetery or not, there are two main reasons why you may want to invest in a burial vault. When you use a vault, it can protect the cemetery’s ground around your loved one’s gravesite as well as the casket and the remains of the deceased.

Are Burial Vaults Required Trigard Vault Strength

Protection of the Cemetery

The entire purpose of a burial vault is to protect the casket. Otherwise, the casket would gradually start to decay and breakdown into the earth. The weight of the earth above the casket and any heavy equipment at the cemetery like excavators and lawn movers could eventually cause the soil to sink and the casket to cave in, leaving the cemetery’s ground unlevel and unsafe.

Because of the safety risk, many cemeteries require families to buy a receptacle for the casket. At the very least, cemeteries will expect the use of a grave liner with some holes in it.

Getting a lined, sealed burial vault is also important for other reasons. This kind of vault helps support the earth’s weight while preventing outside elements from getting into the casket’s space. A burial vault is one way cemeteries can protect visitors from uneven grounds and other potential dangers.

Concrete Box vs Trigard Burial Vaults

Protection of the Casket Space

A lined, sealed burial vault protects the inside of the vault from outside elements. These elements include things like dirt, water, and even insects.

When a casket is sealed in a burial vault, it has an added layer of protection for many years to come. The casket is less likely to deteriorate as it is safer from outside elements.

Designing a Final Resting Place for Your Loved One

Making decisions about which burial vault to use can be overwhelming as you plan out your loved one’s final resting place. If you need help selecting the right burial vault, our staff members can guide you through the entire process and make it much easier. Please feel free to give us a call at (800) 637-1992 or find a dealer to assist you!

Avatar for Ethan Darby

Ethan Darby

Ethan is the Marketing Director for Trigard Vaults, Trigard Memorials, Hall of Fame Plaques & Signs, and Sunset Funeral Home and Memorial Park. He graduated from Illinois State University in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration before becoming the second member of the 4th generation of the Darby family to join the family-owned company. His experience within the company includes memorial manufacturing, cemetery retail, national cemetery and vault sales, along with plant and customer service management. In his free time, Ethan enjoys hiking, kayaking, hunting, fishing, and spending time with his wife, Keri, and his daughters, Sawyer and Olivia.

2 responses to “Are Burial Vaults Required? Why Place a Casket in a Vault?”

  1. Avatar for Donald Hall Donald Hall says:

    How much is a grave marker and do you ship for free

    • Avatar for CustServ CustServ says:

      Hi Donald, we have many different sizes and styles of grave markers available, but we would love to help you find one! I’ll have a representative reach out to you.


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