How Much Does Chimney Liner Installation Cost?
$900 – $3,800 Stainless Steel Liner
$2,000 – $7,000 Clay / Cast-In-Place Liner
$2,000 – $7,000 Clay / Cast-In-Place Liner
A new chimney liner costs between $900 and $7,000 to install or $2,500 on average. The cost to replace a stainless steel chimney liner is $900 to $3,800. Clay or cast-in-place chimney relining costs $2,000 to $7,000. Flue liner material prices range from $6 to $120 per linear foot.
Get free estimates from chimney liner installers near you or view our cost guide below.
Chimney Liner Installation Cost
Chimney liner installation costs $1,500 to $4,000 on average. A stainless steel chimney liner costs $900 to $3,800 to reline, and a cast-in-place or clay flue liner costs $2,000 to $7,000 to replace. DIY chimney liner kits cost $300 to $800 for the materials without installation.
|Aluminum||$625 – $2,250|
|Stainless Steel||$900 – $3,800|
|Ceramic / Thermocrete||$1,000 – $5,000|
|Clay / Terracotta||$2,000 – $3,500|
|Cast-In-Place||$2,000 – $7,000|
- Stainless steel liners are the most common and should be replaced every 15 to 20 years.
- Chimney liner installation takes 4 to 8 hours on average.
- Fire codes require most solid-fuel chimneys to have a liner. Gas or electric inserts typically don't need a liner.
- A liner reduces chimney fire risk, improves heating efficiency, protects the masonry walls from heat, corrosion, and creosote buildup, and prevents dangerous carbon monoxide from entering the home.
Average Cost To Install Chimney Liner
The cost to install a liner depends on the flue height and diameter, material, roof access, number of connections and flues, chimney condition, insulation needs, and whether the old liner needs removal.
|National Average Cost||$2,500|
|Average Range||$1,500 to $4,000|
Chimney Liner Cost
Flue liner material prices range from $6 to $120 per linear foot, depending on the type. Stainless steel liners are the most common and recommended choice by fire-protection experts and installers.
|Material||Cost Per Foot||Pros||Cons|
|Stainless Steel||$20 – $90||
|Clay / Terracotta||$6 – $15||
|Cast-In-Place||$40 – $120||
|Aluminum||$5 – $30||
|Ceramic / Thermocrete||$50 – $200||
*Prices do not include labor costs to install.
Stainless Steel Chimney Liner Cost
A stainless steel chimney liner costs $900 to $3,800 to install. Stainless steel flue liner materials cost $20 to $90 per linear foot. Steel liners are compatible with all fireplace and stove fuel types, and come in both rigid and flexible form. Steel liners last 15 to 20 years if well-maintained.
Most common applications for stainless steel liners:
- Lining old and unlined brick chimneys
- Upgrading an existing flue liner
- Matching modern heating appliances that need a different liner
- Installing in prefabricated fireplaces
|Type||Cost Per Foot||Features|
|Rigid||$30 – $50||
|Flexible||$20 – $90||
*Materials only. Labor costs add $500 to $1,500 on average.
Rigid and flexible steel liners also come as single or double-wall units.
|Quality||Material Cost Per Foot||Installed Cost Per Foot||Features|
|Single Wall||$20 – $40||$35 – $70||
|Double Wall||$40 – $90||$50 – $160||
Professionals recommend insulating steel flues, especially around high-efficiency heaters and stoves, to reduce corrosive condensation, prevent heat transfer, and add safety.
Clay / Terracotta Flue Liners Price
Terracotta flue liner prices are $2,000 to $3,500 to install. Clay flue liner materials only cost $6 to $15 per linear foot, but installation labor and removing the old clay tiles is expensive compared to steel. Terracotta and clay liners work with all fuel types and last for around 50 years.
Clay tiles are labor-intensive to repair or retrofit, especially with offsets (bends), because contractors must open up parts of the chimney walls to access them.
- Clay tiles do not conduct heat or corrode.
- Requires minimal maintenance of annual cleaning.
- Clay tiles can crack and deteriorate under high heat.
- Cracks or failed mortar joints can let harmful carbon monoxide into the home and can cause house fires.
Traditionally used in older homes, clay modular flue tiles stack on top of each other and have mortar sealing them together. Most professionals recommend installing a stainless-steel liner instead because it is more affordable and lasts longer with high-heat fireplaces.
Cast-In-Place Chimney Liner Cost
A permanent cast-in-place chimney liner costs $2,000 to $7,000 for the materials and labor. Poured-in-place chimney liners are ideal for masonry chimneys with old clay liners, structural problems, or restorations that avoid rebuilding the chimney.
- Lasts 50 years or more.
- Accommodates bends and offsets and improves the chimney’s structural integrity.
- Seals and fills any cracks, deterioration, missing or loose bricks, interior chimney walls, and damaged mortar joints.
- Prevents buildup of condensation, acid, and heat.
- Provides superior insulation, which burns cleaner and reduces creosote accumulation.
- Results in a monolithic liner and smoke chamber with no seams or joints.
Contractors create a perfectly smooth flue liner by pumping in mortar around an inflatable rubber tube. Then they remove the tube when the mortar has cured. This process is less invasive than chimney reconstruction, but more expensive due to the materials and equipment required.
The two main flue-casting methods are Golden Flue and SupaFlu Chimney Systems.
Aluminum Chimney Liner Installation Cost
Aluminum chimney liner installation costs $625 to $2,250 on average or $10 to $30 per linear foot. A complete aluminum flue liner kit costs $120 to $350, which includes all required parts. While aluminum is the cheapest chimney liner, it’s only suitable for medium heat gas appliances.
Aluminum liners are lightweight and easy to work with, but they rust easier than stainless steel, and its lifespan is around five years.
Thermocrete / Ceramic Chimney Liner Cost
A ceramic chimney liner like Thermocrete costs $1,000 to $5,000 or $50 to $200 per linear foot. This ceramic-cement seals a slightly cracked liner that is structurally sound. This repair technique is only for light surface damage, not as a replacement for a chimney liner in unlined chimneys.
Technicians lower a pump down the chimney that sprays a crack-filling layer of ceramic coating evenly along all four inner chimney walls to seal the flue walls completely. Thermocrete is useful to make old chimneys more energy-efficient, and it works in oil, gas, wood, or coal fireplaces.
Cost To Reline or Replace Chimney Liner
Chimney relining costs $1,200 to $4,600 on average. Chimney liner replacement depends on the type, chimney condition, repairs, and whether the old liner needs removal. Removing a steel liner adds $250 to $800 to the installation cost, while removing a clay liner costs $500 to $2,500.
|Remove Old Steel Liner||$250 – $800|
|Remove Old Clay Tiles||$500 – $2,500|
|Install New Steel Liner||$900 – $3,800|
|Average Total||$1,200 – $4,600|
Old chimneys lined with clay tiles may not need removal.
- A new steel liner may fit inside the old clay tiles or cast-in-place liner.
- A cast-in-place liner can be installed over clay tiles, filling in the gaps and cracks and adding structural strength.
- Relining with clay requires opening up the chimney walls, removing the old clay tiles, and installing new clay module tiles.
When To Replace Chimney Liner
A chimney liner should be replaced every 15 to 20 years, depending on if it's been regularly maintained. Cheap liners may need repairs or a complete replacement in five years or less. A certified CSIA professional can inspect the liner to determine if any repairs or a full replacement is necessary.
Signs you need to reline your chimney:
- Liner starts deteriorating or showing cracks
- Liner shows signs of corrosion, warping, or other damages
- Condensation, drafting, or soot and creosote issues
- Broken clay pieces in the firebox (with a clay liner)
- Converted fireplace needs a different type of liner
- Fireplace has an unusual smell
- Smoke doesn’t leave the home efficiently
Old homes might have damaged liners or no chimney liners at all. New homeowners should get a chimney inspection since liner issues often cause house fires. Chimney liners are mandatory in some states.
Cost Factors To Install A Chimney Liner
Additional cost factors of installing a chimney liner depend on the materials, labor, adding insulation, permits, roof height and pitch, and the chimney's size, shape, and condition.
|Inspection & Cleaning||$150 – $250|
|Materials||$10 – $120 per foot|
|Insulation||$8 – $15 per foot|
|Labor||$500 – $3,000|
|Permit||$100 – $150+|
|Total||$1,000 – $7,000|
Chimney Liner Cleaning & Inspection
Before installing a liner, the chimney needs cleaning and a level 2 chimney inspection with a camera. The inspection determines the condition of the mortar joints, checks for repairs, and ensures the entry points of thimbles are correctly sized and isolated from combustibles.
A level 2 chimney inspection costs $150 to $250, depending on the accessibility, chimney type, and conditions. Most chimney inspections include chimney cleaning. The inspector also determines the best liner size and material to comply with fire and safety codes.
Chimney Liner Materials
Chimney liner materials cost $10 to $120 per foot, depending on the type, diameter, length, insulation, and thickness. Some chimneys have multiple flues, requiring more materials and labor to reline. Stainless steel chimney liners are recommended for performance, durability, corrosion-resistance, safety, and value.
The labor cost to install a chimney liner is $500 to $4,000, depending on liner type, roof height and pitch, number of connections and flues, and the age and condition of the chimney.
|Stainless Steel / Aluminum||$500 – $1,500|
|Cast-In-Place||$800 – $3,000|
- Liner Type – Cast-in-place and clay tile liners cost more to install than stainless steel.
- Roof Accessibility – High roofs require scaffolding or renting a lift. A steep roof pitch needs extra precautions that increase labor costs.
- Number of Connections – Each appliance, stove, or traditional fireplace opening needs a well-sealed connection vent.
- Number of Flues – Some chimneys have 2 or 3 flues that take longer to line with more materials.
- Chimney Condition – Worn parts like dampers need replacing. Old chimneys might require additional brickwork or rebuilding.
Chimney & Liner Shape
Chimneys with offsets and bends cost more to install. Non-straight chimneys may require a cast-in-place liner instead of stainless-steel liner inserts.
Steel chimney liners are either smooth or corrugated, with a round, oval, square, or rectangle shape. Round corrugated flexible liners are the most common and easiest to install. Square and rectangular flue tiles are not as efficient venting smoke as round flues.
Experienced professionals can calculate which size diameter and liner-pipe shape is necessary to satisfy the ventilation requirements.
Chimney Liner Insulation
Adding insulation to a steel chimney liner costs $8 to $15 per linear foot. Chimney liner insulation reduces creosote buildup, cold drafts, moisture, condensation, and maintenance costs. An insulated liner also increases efficiency and prevents heat from spreading and causing a fire hazard.
|Liner Insulation||$8 – $15 per linear foot||Blanket-style insulation that wraps around metal liner before installing|
|Pre-Insulated Liners||$26 – $40 per linear foot||More expensive stainless-steel liners with built-in insulation|
|Pouring Insulation Mix||$25 – $70 per cubic foot||Poured between liner and flue after steel liner installation. Messy to remove when replacing the liner|
Fire codes require liner insulation when burning solid fuels, such as wood stoves or wood fireplaces. Insulation requirements depend on the thickness of the chimney and if flammable materials are near the chimney flue.
- Clay-lined chimneys with a liner piping insert large enough to vent the fireplace may not need insulation.
- Cast-in-place liners have natural insulating properties.
Chimney Stack Condition
Relining a chimney requires the stack and masonry to be in great condition. A chimney stack needs rebuilding when it's severely cracked, crumbling, spalling, leaning, deteriorating, or no longer structurally sound. A chimney rebuild costs $1,000 to $3,500 to rebrick the stack above the roofline.
A severely deteriorating or leaning chimney that goes unfixed eventually collapses. A partial chimney removal costs $500 to $2,500 to remove the stack above the roof.
Chimney liner permits plus their required inspections cost $100 to $150+ depending on local laws. Contractors typically manage permit applications. A post-installation inspection is necessary to confirm that everything is up to modern building codes.
Building inspectors won't approve a chimney sealant, such as Heatshield "Cerfractory", as a substitute for a liner.
Warranty benefits vary according to the installer and the manufacturer. The best companies offer a limited lifetime transferable warranty that even covers fire damage. Most chimney liner warranties require the liner is installed by a professional and inspected annually.
To guarantee warranty coverage:
- The installer must follow all the manufacturer’s instructions, usage applications, and use authorized parts.
- Installation should satisfy local fire codes and National Fire Protection Agency’s standards
- A professional must inspect the liner annually
- Homeowners cannot use corrosive chemicals to clean the liner
Chimney Liner Repair Cost
Chimney flue repair costs $250 to $1,000 to replace cracked tiles or fix mortar joints and $2,000 to $3,500 for resurfacing an entire flue. A video inspection reveals the extent of the damage and helps determine if repairs are possible or if relining is required.
|Cracked Flue Tiles||$250 – $1,000|
|Resurfacing Flue||$2,000 – $3,500|
Repairing a liner is a temporary solution, and most professionals recommend installing a new flue liner instead.
Common Chimney Liner Repairs
- Broken or cracked clay tiles can be replaced individually, but may require opening the chimney wall.
- Mortar fixes minor surface cracks and repairs eroded joints if damages are found early.
- Sealants such as Thermocrete, HeatShield, FireGuard, or Smoktite are used for completely resurfacing the liner or fixing widespread cracks, gaps, minor holes, and mortar joints.
- For extensive damage, a cast-in-place liner can be installed over old, cracked clay tiles to improve the structural integrity.
Installing Flue Liner DIY
Building codes prohibit DIY chimney liner installation in many states due to health, safety, and structural hazards. Incorrect installation or using the wrong size liner can cause a fire and dangerous exposure to carbon monoxide.
- Before installation, a professional cleaning and a level 2 chimney inspection with a camera is required.
- All old tile liners must be removed to ensure proper drafting.
- The flue must be adequately sized to the chimney height and fuel type.
Hiring a professional with the right equipment and training ensures safety and quality assurance. Cast-in-place mixes, clay tile, and pour-in insulation should always be done by a professional. For experienced homeowners, kits are available to purchase.
Chimney Liner Kit Cost
A chimney liner kit costs $120 to $800 without insulation, depending on the material, size, quality, and appliance type. Pre-insulated stainless-steel liner kits cost $650 to $1,000. Kits come with everything needed to install, including the liner, tee, tee cap, top plate, fasteners, and chimney cap.
|Aluminum Liner Kit||$120 – $350||
|Stainless Steel Liner Kit||$300 – $800||
|Pre-Insulated Stainless Steel Liner Kit||$650 – $1,000||
|Thermal Blanket Liner Insulation Kit||$125 – $380||
*Always buy a kit longer than needed and cut the excess liner. Most kits sell insulation separately.
There are many factors to match the right fuel type and appliance. Installing the wrong type can decrease efficiency and even cause a fire.
How To Size A Chimney Liner
In states with required chimney liner inspections, the professional installer calculates the necessary size. To size a chimney liner yourself:
- Measure the entire chimney length, adding an extra 10% of length for easier installation.
- The liner's opening must be 1/10th to 1/12th the size of the fireplace vent, or the diameter should match the manufacturer’s specifications.
- The ideal flue size is determined by the exhaust outlet of the stove or appliance. A liner should never be smaller than, or three times the area of the exhaust hole.
A properly sized chimney liner should maintain or improve the venting performance. Undersized liners don't allow the appliance to vent correctly, reduces draft which causes smoke to pour out, cause gas and oil appliances to fail, and may fail fire safety inspections.
How To Install A Chimney Liner
- Unwrap and straighten the liner.
- Secure insulation, if needed, around the liner tubing.
- Clamp the tee connection or other adapter part to the liner bottom.
- Lower the liner completely down the chimney.
- For stove fireplaces, connect the tee or other liner adapter to the appliance.
- For open fireplaces, attach the liner to a mesh base plate and cement the liner opening into place with mortar.
- Install the chimney liner top plate on the roof with caulk and weather sealant.
- Cut the excess liner.
- Connect the top of the chimney liner to the top plate.
- Install the chimney rain cap.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is A Chimney Liner?
A chimney liner is a clay, ceramic, cement, or metal conduit installed inside a chimney to channel the gas, smoke, and combustion products outside of the home. A chimney liner also protects the masonry walls from heat and corrosion, prevents creosote buildup, and adds safety.
Do I Need A Chimney Liner?
Most local and state fire codes require a chimney liner for both fireplace ventilation and wood-burning stoves. Gas or electric inserts typically don't need a liner because they don't produce enough heat to damage masonry.
Brick chimneys used as an exhaust vent for a furnace or water heater may not need a chimney liner. However, they can still benefit from a liner since it provides better insulation and reduces utility bills from heat lost through cracked brick chimney walls.
How Long Does It Take To Install A Chimney Liner?
Chimney liner installation takes 4 to 8 hours on average, depending on the chimney length and condition, roof accessibility, and the number of appliance connections. Installing a chimney liner can take several days for multiple flues or if additional repairs are required.
What Is The Best Liner For My Chimney?
- Stainless steel chimney liners are extremely durable, easy to install, and offer superior performance for all fuel types. Old clay or ceramic liners are often upgraded to stainless steel.
- Clay and ceramic liners are inexpensive and work well when maintained, but can crack under extreme weather conditions.
- Cast-in-place liners are expensive but last up to 50 years and can reinforce a deteriorating chimney structure. They are great for masonry fireplaces with crumbling clay tile liners.
- Aluminum and galvanized steel liners are cheap, durable, and retain heat well, but are only suitable for propane and medium-heat gas fireplaces.
How Long Does A Chimney Liner Last?
Most chimney liners last 15 to 20 years, depending on the quality, material, cleaning frequency, condensation levels, and fuel source. Aluminum and stainless steel chimney liners last 15 to 25 years. Clay tile chimney liners last 15 to 50 years, and cast-in-place liners last 50 years.
|Clay Tile||15 – 50|
|Aluminum||5 – 15|
|Stainless Steel||15 – 25|
Who Installs Chimney Liners?
Fireplace and chimney repair companies install flue liners. Hiring a professional is essential to ensure that the fireplace ventilates safely and passes all the building codes.
Before hiring a chimney liner installer, be sure to:
- Get at least three in-person estimates to compare.
- Ask for recommendations from family, friends, and neighbors.
- Read reviews and check out their previous work on HomeGuide, Google, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
- Select companies that are insured, bonded, and have been in business for longer than five years.
- Ask for a full itemized contract in writing in case of a dispute.
- Ask for a clear written warranty.
- Avoid making large payments upfront. Never pay in full or in cash, and come up with a payment schedule for work completed.
- Combine with other related chimney or roof work to reduce overall costs.
Questions To Ask
- How much experience do you have installing chimney liners? Can you provide references?
- Are you certified with the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), the Certified Chimney Professional™ organization, or the National Fireplace Institute?
- Can you explain the chimney liner code requirements and the National Fire Protection Agency’s requirements for chimney ventilation?
- What permits do I need, and will you obtain them?
- Are you licensed, insured, and bonded?
- What precautionary steps are necessary before the work starts?
- Does the cost include a chimney sweep and inspection?
- Will the liner be insulated? Why?
- Is the liner UL listed or tested to UL standards?
- What does your warranty policy include?
- How do you handle damages that happen on the job?
- What’s your payment schedule?
- How long will the project take, and what are your work hours?
What Is Included In A Chimney Liner Installation?
When hiring a chimney liner installer, ask for a detailed estimate listing all the materials and services provided such as:
- Labor, tools, and supplies
- Chimney liner piping material
- Insulation (if required)
- All adapters and connections
- Cap and crown
- Chimney inspection and cleaning (often included)
- Removing and disposing of the old liner (if required)
- Debris removal (if needed)
- Permit fees
Get free estimates on HomeGuide from trusted chimney flue installers:
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- Pray, Richard. "2019 National Construction Estimator." (2019). PDF file.
- Hicks, Ray F. “2019 National Home Improvement Estimator.” (2019). PDF file.
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How much should it cost to reline a chimney with Heatshield cerfractory? (2018).
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This Old House. How to Install a Chimney Liner and Damper. (2014).
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