On average, installing a chimney liner costs between $625 and $7,000
The national average cost to install a chimney liner is approximately $2,500. But if your chimney is larger or you use more expensive materials, the cost could be between $5,000 and $7,000.While you’re enjoying your fire’s cozy glow, a chimney liner works hard to preserve and protect your chimney from corrosive gases and creosote residue that wear away the masonry over time. The chimney liner extends the entire length of the flue and allows for optimal ventilation for your fireplace or appliance. A structurally sound liner will reduce fire risks, improve heating efficiency, and extend the life of your chimney.
Chimney Liner Installation Breakdown
Before determining your budget, consider key factors, such as the anatomy of your chimney, size of the flue, units connected to it, the liner material, and labor.
Depending on the type of chimney liner you choose, the cost of materials will be between $10 and $250 per foot. Stainless steel, for example, is more expensive than aluminum or clay but is sought after for its safety ratings and strength. Some materials like aluminum can only be installed in gas fireplaces, and others require more labor and specialized equipment to install, such as cast-in-place options. If insulation is necessary, like with stainless steel liners, this can also add to the cost.
Labor costs make up a significant portion of the overall price of installation and can vary locally. You can expect to pay between $400 and $1,250. The amount of labor depends on the type of material you choose and the condition of your chimney. For example, if the existing liner needs to be removed, the project will require more labor.
Permit and Inspection
Before a pro installs your liner, have a professional chimney inspection done as well. The inspection will assess if you need a full replacement, chimney maintenance or repairs, the type of liner needed, or if you do not have an existing liner. If your chimney is more than a few decades old, you may not have a liner at all and should consider having one put in.
Your local codes may require you to have your chimney inspected prior to having any work done on it. On average, a chimney inspection costs $250.
Have your chimney cleaned before installing a liner so all surfaces are clean before the liner materials are installed or poured. A chimney cleaning will cost approximately $125 to $250.
The height and width of the flue and chimney can affect the price of materials and labor. The standard diameter is 6 to 8 inches. It may cost more to install a liner if you have a chimney that is not a standard size or one that is older than a few decades.
How Much Does It Cost to Install a Chimney Liner by Type?
The material you choose for your chimney liner will impact the overall cost of the project. Here are the options to compare when planning your budget.
Stainless steel liners cost an average of $65 per foot. Many fireplace pros recommend this option for its strength and relatively high safety rating. It comes in either a rigid or flexible form and has a lifespan of approximately 15 to 25 years.
Aluminum liners cost an average of $100 to $300 for the entire project kit. While this material costs considerably less, it can only be installed in gas fireplaces and used at low temperatures because it can corrode easily. Ask your pro if this is a safe and feasible choice for your chimney. Aluminum has a lifespan of 5 to 15 years.
Clay and Terra Cotta
Clay, ceramic, and terra cotta cost an average of $10 per foot. While the material itself is very affordable, there are significant labor costs for installation with this choice, making the total cost higher. This choice will not corrode or conduct heat, but it can crack when exposed to very high temperatures over time. It is not recommended for modern gas appliances and can be costly to replace, fix, or retrofit. It has a lifespan of 50 years.
Cast-in-place—also commonly referred to as poured-in-place—liners cost an average of $25 per foot. This is a labor-intensive option that requires a lot of material and specialized equipment to execute, which drives up the price. The installer pours a cement-like mixture around rubber tubing and removes the tubing once the mixture is dry. The structural integrity of the chimney is strengthened, so it can withstand high heat and resist corrosion. It has a lifespan of 50 years.
Ceramic sealants like Thermocrete cost an average of $5,000 per chimney. This option can only be used to repair an existing chimney liner that is structurally sound with minimal surface damage. Ceramic spray coats the chimney walls, acts as a sealant, and fills in existing cracks. It can improve the energy efficiency of older chimneys and has a lifespan of 50 years.
Working With a Pro for Chimney Liner Installation
Find a local chimney repair contractor to begin this project by assessing your chimney and giving you their expert opinion about which chimney liner material will work best for you. This project needs to be done by a professional for safety reasons and because it requires specialized equipment, knowledge, and expertise.
FAQs About Chimney Liner Installation
What exactly is a chimney liner?
Also called a flue liner, a chimney liner is a flexible tube that connects to your stove pipe and runs up the length of your chimney. It helps your fireplace and chimney to work efficiently—and safely—by carrying fumes up and out of your chimney.
Can I install a chimney liner myself?
Although there are chimney liner kits available, it is not recommended that you install a chimney liner yourself. This project requires professionals with expertise and specialized equipment to complete the job and ensure the fire safety of your home. In addition, anyone going up on the roof for repairs is at risk of falling and injury.
What is creosote?
Creosote is released from burning wood and is composed mostly of tar. It sticks to the chimney liner since it can be found in small amounts in the smoke from wood burning in the fireplace. It is very flammable and can even lead to chimney fires. Annual inspections as well as periodic chimney cleanings can help keep creosote under control.
What are fireplace liners?
Fireplace liners are a decorative feature for gas fireplaces. They are added to the back wall and are designed to look like real masonry. Don’t confuse them with chimney liners, which are installed along the flue to protect the masonry and enhance the heating efficiency of your chimney.