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How Much Does It Cost To Install A Chimney Liner?

Typical Range: $625 - $7,000

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For the average homeowner, having a chimney liner installed costs about $2,500. For more expensive materials, prices tend to average at $5,000 and could climb to $7,000. With an easy-to-install material like aluminum, the DIY cost of materials and equipment could be as low as $625.
These products protect brick and masonry chimneys from decay and creosote build-up. They run the length of your flue and provide a ventilation passageway for your fireplace or wood stove. If your chimney is more than a few decades old, you may not have one and should consider having one put in. If you do have a liner but you’re worried it is in poor condition, hire a pro to do a chimney inspection to reveal what work needs to be done.
The cost to install or replace a liner depends on the height and diameter of your flue, how many units are connected to it, the material you choose, and whether you need insulation. Insulation is often a requirement for a stainless steel liner and can either be wrapped or poured around the liner. This provides a firm barrier between the heat of your system and the masonry walls. It also improves efficiency, blocking cool air, and retaining heat.

Liner Types

Average Cost (Per Foot of Chimney) by Liner Type
Stainless Steel$65
Clay/Terra-Cotta$10
Aluminum$12
Cast-in-Place$250
Thermocrete$200

Stainless Steel - $65 per foot

This material is the most popular and most highly recommended by chimney professionals. The products come in both rigid and flexible form. The liner itself averages a cost of $65 per foot, but with labor and other installation factors you will pay around $100 per foot. It is very durable and has a superb fire safety rating.

Clay/Terra-Cotta - $10 per foot

Clay itself will be an inexpensive material, but labor costs make it a pricier option. Your contractors will have to deconstruct parts of the chimney to access the interior, and there will be extra labor to remove old tiles and retrofit new ones.
The material is an effective choice because it does not conduct heat or corrode. The liner will be constructed with a series of rectangular clay tiles that are stacked inside your chimney. The most common issue, with these, is that they crack under extreme heat conditions. If you currently have a clay liner and are replacing it due to excessive cracking, you may want to consider another liner material.
Your tiles may be referred to as “Terra-Cotta” or “Ceramic.” Both these terms relate to clay in that they are the fired result of raw clay. Terra-Cotta will often be used to refer to the red color of clay materials.

Aluminum - $100-$300 per kit

This is a less expensive metal option and could be the right fit under certain conditions. Consult a professional before you choose aluminum. It can only be used for gas fireplaces and at low temperatures. Otherwise, it is highly susceptible to corrosion. The material is lightweight and easy to work with, so installation of the kit is relatively simple and won’t require as much labor.

Cast-in-Place - $25 per foot

Also called poured-in-place, cast-in-place liners are installed when a cement-like mixture is poured down the chimney around a rubber tub and left to harden before the tube is removed. As a result, the chimney has greater reinforcement and excellent protection against heat and corrosion. Two companies leading production of these liners are Golden Flue and SupaFlu Chimney Systems.
This is the most expensive method because it involves a lot of material, requires heavy-duty equipment and can demand excess labor. Some homeowners report costs as much as four times that of any other kind. Materials alone could cost $5,000-$7,000. The best way to get an accurate price is to request an inspection and quote from a trusted local chimney expert.

Ceramic/Thermocrete - $5,000 per project

This technique has been in the market for a little over a decade. It involves lining the chimney with a layer of ceramic that acts like a sealant. Thermocrete is extremely durable and fills in cracks and crevices along the flue. The material can be quickly installed and is safe for both gas and wood fireplaces. It is also useful for chimney repairs. Many homeowners report paying an average of $5,000 per chimney for this service.
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Cost to Install

Professional chimney liner installation will typically cost $1,600-$5,000. Though this is a hefty price to pay for something that won’t be seen, the benefits of having one shouldn’t be ignored. Liners preserve the chimney and improve the efficiency of your heating unit. Processes like cast-in-place restore and reinforce failing structures, saving you from the costly process of removing your chimney entirely. Liners protect your home from fire hazards and keep the flue from pulling in cold air.
The following will factor into your quote:
Chimney Liner Installation Costs
Inspection and Cleaning$125-$250
Permit$50-$200
Material$10-$250 per foot
Labor$400-$1,250
Total:$1,000-$7,000

Inspection and Cleaning - $125-$250

Before you have your liner replaced or installed, your contractor may suggest that you get your chimney cleaned. This will provide a clean slate, so that the new product can do its job and protect the masonry. An inspection is also a great way to determine which material you need.

Permit - $50-$200

Your city or area may require a safety inspection before work is performed on your chimney. Your local chimney expert is a great resource when researching this.

Material - $10-$250 per foot

The average liner will be around 24’-25’ tall and your costs will increase if you are lining a tall or very wide flue. Cast-in-place methods demand a significant amount of mix and will likely have the highest material cost. Adding insulation to a metal flue liner will add up to and over $300.

Labor - $400-$1,250

Working with a chimney takes a lot of skill and care. As a result, labor costs often outweigh other factors. Expect it to take two to three skilled laborers. The amount of time spent on the project will increase with any difficulties encountered, and the need for pre-install repairs. Take this into consideration when choosing between stainless steel, clay tile and cast-in-place.

Cost to Repair

Chimney liners can crack, especially at their mortar joints. A professional can help you to determine if repairs will be sufficient to fix these issues or if a replacement is necessary. The safety of repair methods is heavily debated among experts and you shouldn't diagnose or perform repairs on your own.
How much you spend can vary a lot. A full resurfacing could cost $2,500-$3,500 with one product and $5,000 with another. At this price point, you may be considering the cost to reline instead.
The following are a few common repair options:
  • Thermocrete can be used to seal cracks and holes.
  • Heatshield “Cerfractory” can be used to fully resurface and seal cracks.
  • Joint repair systems are used to strengthen compromised mortar joints.
  • Clay tiles can be replaced as-needed, though the process may require opening the chimney wall.
  • Mortar is used to fill in multiple cracks in clay tile.
  • A cast-in-place system can be installed over broken clay tile to correct structural damage.
A warning about repair scams: Unfortunately, many homeowners have been taken for granted by scammers for this project. Supposed experts perform inspections and determine that a complete relining is needed for thousands of dollars when there is, in fact, zero damage to be found. On top of that, scammers often exaggerate how dangerous the situation is to panic homeowners into paying for big-ticket imp. If you’re not sure about a quote, get a second opinion. Consult ratings and reviews for your chimney professional before hiring.
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Cost to Reline or Replace

Relining or replacing typically costs $2,500-$5,000. A key factor in that cost is whether you need to remove the original liner. Many old chimneys are lined with clay and are cracked throughout. If you’re going to reline with clay again, you will need to remove the old tiles. This will demand more labor and a bit of demolition.
If you are going to pour-in-place or install a stainless-steel liner, your contractor is likely to suggest leaving those tiles. The poured mix will fill in the gaps, in cast-in-place methods. You will save on labor, but you’ll pay more for materials. As for replacing with metal, your insulation and new liner will cover the tiles. It’s important to make this decision with the help of a professional to ensure the safety and stability of your chimney.
Consider that your inspector could find damage to the chimney in the process. This damage will likely need to be repaired. Fireplace and chimney repairs cost most homeowners between $150-$750.

FAQs

What’s the Best Liner for my Chimney?

Stainless steel is the most popular choice and has a great approval rating from individuals in the industry. However, clay and cast-in-place methods can last up to 50 years and are excellent at retaining heat. It is best to get an inspection by a qualified contractor before you make your selection. Your contractor may find a significant amount of structural damage which can be remedied and restored via the cast-in-place method.

What are Fireplace Liners?

Fireplace liners are very different from chimney liners, which is important to know when hiring a contractor or ordering your kit. Fireplace liners are decorative panels that fit along the back walls of gas fireplaces. They are designed to look like real masonry, wood-burning fireplaces.
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DIY or Hire a Pro?

There are some methods of lining your chimney which can be managed as a DIY project, though industry professionals warn against doing any chimney work on your own. There are significant safety concerns and many opportunities to get installation wrong.
If you feel qualified, you can purchase kits that include everything you need, aside from basics like ladders and safety gear.
  • Aluminum kit: $100-$300.
  • Stainless steel kit: $400-$600.
  • Insulation: $200-$300. Must be purchased separately.
Before you make any decisions, it is important to have your chimney inspected. A Level 2 Inspection can be helpful in determining what kind of damage you already have, and which liner will work best. In this inspection, your contractor sends a camera through your flue and records a video that you can review together. You may need more repairs or a more durable material than you thought.
Anything other than these all-inclusive kits should be done by a professional. Cast-in-place mixes and clay tile require specialized equipment and training to handle. Even stainless-steel liners can be more complicated than you anticipate. This is an important investment which can lengthen the life of your chimney and improve your heating efficiency. Installed improperly, they will not reach their full potential and could even be hazardous.
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