Direct Cremate

Columbarium Costs Explained

If you or a loved one plan to be cremated this article will explain the basic costs that are associated with columbariums and what factors into the final price.
Columbarium Costs

A columbarium, also sometimes mistakenly called a mausoleum, is a final resting place that’s designed specifically for cremated remains. Instead of being buried in the ground, the urn with the remains is put in a niche within a wall and displayed or kept in a vault. There are private and public columbariums, some of which are associated with churches and funeral homes. 

Although it may be a new concept to people who are primarily familiar with burial, about 1 in 10 individuals who are cremated have their remains kept in a columbarium. Now that the majority of Americans choose cremation, columbariums will likely play an even bigger role as a final resting place.

What is a Columbarium Cost Considered?

There are a lot of costs involved with end of life services. A niche at a columbarium is what’s known as an interment fee. It’s a cost that comes after the cremation. Interment simply means putting a person in their final resting place. Other examples of interment fees include opening and closing a grave for a burial.

Columbarium Average Costs

It’s hard to pinpoint an average cost for columbarium niches because there are a lot of factors to consider. However, you can expect to pay at least $300 for a niche at an outdoor columbarium. But an indoor niche at a columbarium in a high-end area could cost thousands. 

On average you can expect to pay somewhere between $300 and $3,000 for a niche at a columbarium.

But that’s just the fee for the space. Columbariums may charge additional fees for placing the urn, putting a plaque up at the niche and/or keeping records. The additional fees could be a one-time expense or an ongoing expense that has to be paid monthly, quarterly or annually. 

Factors That Influence the Cost of Columbarium Niches

As mentioned earlier, there are a lot of different things that go into the cost of a columbarium niche. Below are four of the most important factors that will certainly affect the cost. 


As with burial, location is a huge factor in the cost of space in a columbarium. In general, the more expensive property is the more expensive columbarium niches and burial plots will be. 

Location also applies within a city when there are multiple columbariums. It’s possible for one columbarium to be half the price of another simply due to location. 


Each columbarium sets its own prices for niches. If the columbarium provides more maintenance than the norm the price will likely be higher. And if there is demand for space at the columbarium, niches will sell at a premium. The attractiveness of the grounds is another factor that can influence the cost.

Size of the Niche

Of course, size is going to be a factor, particularly in a columbarium with a limited amount of space. The larger the niche is, the more expensive it’s going to be. If you need enough space for two individuals, plan for the niche to cost at least twice as much as a single niche. 

Outdoor vs Indoor

Some columbariums are open-air outdoor spaces while others are indoor facilities. Niches at an indoor columbarium are almost always going to cost more than an outdoor niche. 

Direct Cremate makes the cremation process easy and affordable so that families can put more attention toward finding the perfect columbarium. You can even start the process online or over the phone in a matter of minutes.