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How Much Does It Cost to Install a Chimney Liner?

Average range: $1,800 - $4,000
Low
$650
Average Cost
$2,500
High
$7,000
(one flue, 6” diameter, stainless steel liner)

Get free estimates from chimney, duct and vent cleaning contractors near you
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How Much Does It Cost to Install a Chimney Liner?

Average range: $1,800 - $4,000
Low
$650
Average Cost
$2,500
High
$7,000
(one flue, 6” diameter, stainless steel liner)

Get free estimates from chimney, duct and vent cleaning contractors near you
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For decades, federal and professional safety organizations have recommended installing a liner in your chimney as a protective measure. Chimney liners provide an extra layer of fire protection and reduce corrosion on the chimney walls. As an extra benefit, chimney liners improve the efficiency of appliances to reduce utility costs.

The national average cost to install a chimney liner ranges from $1,800 to $4,000, with most homeowners paying around $2,500 for a stainless-steel chimney liner with a 6” diameter. Costs can be as low as $625 to install an aluminum chimney liner with a 6” diameter. However, homeowners can expect to pay as much as $7,000 for a cast-in-place liner with a 6” diameter.

Chimney Liner Costs

Chimney liner installation prices
National average cost$2,500
Average range$1,800-$4,000
Minimum cost$625
Maximum cost$7,000


Updated: What's new?

Chimney Liner Installation Cost by Project Range

Low
$650
One flue, 6” diameter, aluminum liner
Average Cost
$2,500
One flue, 6” diameter, stainless steel liner
High
$7,000
One flue, 6” diameter, cast-in-place liner

Chimney Liner Prices by Insulation Level

Every chimney needs a liner. Without a liner, hazardous gases or even fire can enter your home. The most popular way to build a new chimney or repair an existing one is to install a stainless steel liner. When it comes to stainless-steel liners, homeowners have two options for insulation. Insulation is important for efficient smoke expulsion and protection from excessive heat.


Chimney Liner Prices by Insulation Level

Chimney Liner Prices by Insulation Level


TypeCost per Foot (Materials Only)
Single-wall$20 - $40
Double-wall$40 - $90

Single-wall Chimney Liner

Single-wall liners are considered a very economical choice when selecting a new liner. These liners are often made of stainless steel and are flexible enough to install easily by fitting past the damper. Single-wall liners are more difficult to clean and are considered less durable. Single-wall liners have a similar price point as rigid liners. You can expect to pay between $20 and $40 per foot for a single-wall liner.

Double-wall Chimney Liner

A double-wall liner has a smooth inner wall and a corrugated outer wall. Double-wall liners have less creosote build-up and increase drafts by approximately 20 percent. Double-wall liners provide improved appliance efficiency. Double-wall chimney liners usually cost between $40 and $90 per foot.


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Chimney Liner Cost by Type

When a professional installs a stainless-steel chimney liner, they have several options to fit your chimney and your wallet. Each type is best suited for particular fireplaces and has specific advantages and disadvantages. When choosing which liner to install, be sure that you understand what each type means for your chimney’s long-term care and cost.


Chimney Liner Cost by Type

Chimney Liner Cost by Type


TypeCost per Foot (Materials Only)
Rigid$30 - $50
Flexible$20 - $90

Rigid Chimney Liner

Rigid liners are usually less expensive than other types. However, they have their limitations and challenges. They can only be installed in straight chimneys because they can’t be bent or manipulated to accommodate offsets or bends in the structure. Because they’re immovable, leaks and breaks at the joints are possible over time. You can purchase rigid liners for flue diameters of 3” to 10”. Upon installation, the professional connects multiple one- to four-foot pieces to create the full liner. Rigid liners cost between $30 and $50 per foot.

Flexible Chimney Liner

Depending on the height of your flue, flexible liners may be slightly more expensive than rigid types. However, this cost might be necessary (and well worth it) if your chimney has offsets and/or bends when you consider the long-term cost of your liner. Unlike rigid liners, a flexible type is installed as one long piece of material that fits the shape of your flue. Because there are no joints and seams from connecting pieces, leaks or breaks are less likely. They can be purchased in diameters between 2” to 10”. You should expect to pay between $20 and $90 per foot for a flexible chimney liner.

Chimney Liner Cost by Material

Compare materials before choosing the best type of liner for your home. Although less expensive choices are available, some liners have prolonged lifespans with higher upfront costs.


Chimney Liner Cost by Material

Chimney Liner Cost by Material


MaterialChimney Liner Cost per Foot (Materials Only)
Clay/Terracotta$6 - $15
Aluminum$5 - $30
Stainless Steel$20 - $90
Cast-in-Place$40 - $120


Clay Tile Chimney Liner

Clay or terracotta is one of the least expensive materials used to make chimney liners. The materials themselves cost between $6 and $15 per foot. However, the labor required to install a clay tile chimney liner is more involved than other liners because a professional must first remove the old clay liner tile by tile. The pros of choosing terracotta are that it doesn’t corrode or conduct heat and requires minimal annual cleaning maintenance. However, in addition to the high labor costs (which will be between $2,000 and $3,500), clay tile liners have several cons, including the tendency to crack and deteriorate under extremely high heat. Cracks in any liner are potentially dangerous because they can cause house fires or leak carbon monoxide into a home.

Aluminum Chimney Liner

An aluminum chimney liner is a budget-friendly material to install. The material is lightweight. The labor costs do not require a professional to remove any old liners tile by tile. The aluminum material costs between $5 and $30 per foot. With installation, you can expect to pay between $625 and $2,250. While it’s an inexpensive option, aluminum chimney liners can only be used for medium heat gas appliances. These liners have a lifespan of about five years since they tend to rust much quicker than stainless-steel.

Cost of Stainless Steel Chimney Liner

Most professional companies recommend stainless-steel for your liner because the material is compatible with any appliance. They come in a variety of types to accommodate most homes. The shape of your chimney determines whether a professional recommends a rigid stainless-steel chimney liner or a flexible model. Rigid types can only be used in straight chimneys. If your professional recommends a flexible stainless-steel chimney liner, that means that your chimney has at least one bend or off-set.

Whether you’re relining an old flue or upgrading an existing liner, stainless-steel delivers a long-term solution for most chimneys. When properly cleaned and maintained, it will last between 15 and 20 years. Stainless steel chimney liner prices range between $20 and $90 per foot for the material alone. If hiring a professional, homeowners should expect to pay between $900 and $3,800 for stainless-steel chimney liner installation.

Cast-in-Place Chimney Liner Cost

A cast-in-place chimney liner is a permanent solution for chimneys that require restoration because of structural problems. The process requires a professional to pump in liquid mortar around an inflatable rubber tube inserted into the chimney. When the mortar dries, the tube is removed, leaving a smooth and seamless flue liner. Cast-in-place lasts more than 50 years and costs between $40 and $120 per foot for materials only. Homeowners should expect to pay between $2,000 and $7,000 for materials and installation. The high cost of installation is the only con to this permanent chimney solution. Cast-in-place liners accommodate any chimney structure without the need for joints or seals that could leak or break over time. They prevent the build up of heat and condensation. The labor process seals any existing cracks in the chimney while also improving its overall structure. Finally, this liner provides superior insulation, which means that your entire flue burns cleaner and more energy efficient.

Chimney Liner Installation Cost

Due to the complexities of installing a chimney liner, the work is best done by a professional. Chimney sweeps, chimney service companies, and fireplace service companies are usually the professionals used to install new liners.

Professionals assess your chimney and note any repairs or structural issues that need addressing before installation. Based on the chimney’s age and current condition, a professional can outline what types of liners work best for your chimney and the benefits you can expect after installation. Talk to the installer about warranty coverage for the new liner and ask about maintenance recommendations. Although a follow-up visit may not be required, the installer may need to return if there’s an issue with fit or accessibility during installation. The installer changes an hourly rate of $75 to $150 per hour for return visits.

The average labor cost for a chimney liner installation is between $500 and $1,500. Most chimney liner installations can be done in a day for a single-family home with a straight flue and a single appliance connection. The project takes longer for chimneys set on very tall buildings or homes with a steep roof. If the chimney liner is being insulated or repairs are required, this increases the time. Chimney liner installers charge an hourly rate—typically between $75 to $150.


Modern residential building with chimney liner installed


Cost to Replace Chimney Liner

Chimney relining costs, on average, between $1,200 and $4,600. This labor cost accounts for removing the old liner and installing a new one. You should expect to pay more depending on the material of the old and new liners. For instance, installing a new clay tile liner will be on the higher end of the spectrum because a professional must remove the old clay liner tile by tile. An old aluminum or flexible stainless steel liner can simply be pulled out in one piece. If an old liner needs to be removed, professionals charge an hourly rate to do so, usually between $75 and $150 an hour. This cost will be added to the labor and material cost to install the new liner.


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When To Replace Chimney Liner

Your chimney liner extends the life of your chimney and flue and helps to protect your home from fires. Homeowners should know the material of their current liner. This is one factor for determining when to consider a replacement. An aluminum liner should be replaced at least every five years. On the other hand, a cast-in-place liner might not need to be replaced for more than 50 years. However, as a general rule of thumb, you should replace your chimney liner every 15 to 20 years.

However, clear signs might indicate that you need to replace it sooner. These include cracks and other visible deterioration inside your flue. You can check for these by shining a flashlight into your chimney. You might also notice condensation, drafting, or soot issues. If you observe smoke not leaving home efficiently, you might need to replace your liner. Unusual smells from your fireplace are also an indication of potential problems. If your flue is lined with clay, pay attention to white powder on the inside of the fireplace. This is a sign that the liner is crumbling. Rust on the inside of the fireplace or any indication of water infiltration around the chimney lets you know that your liner may need replacing.

Chimney Liner Inspection

Before installing a new liner, your installer is likely to provide a few recommendations. Most importantly, homeowners should schedule a chimney inspection and chimney sweep before the installation date. Keep in mind that, depending on what type of chimney inspection you have done, a basic sweep may be included in the cost. The average cost of a Level 2 chimney inspection with basic sweep averages about $450. This inspection includes a visual assessment of the chimney and surrounding areas. Video equipment is used to evaluate the flue and the structural integrity of the chimney’s internal areas. Before the chimney is inspected, it is swept from the roof down. All debris is vacuumed away to allow for easy scanning.

After a new liner is installed, chimney inspections are recommended within six months. Homeowners should arrange to have at least a Level 2 inspection performed.

Chimney Liner Insulation

The U.S. Department of Energy recommends adding insulation to your chimney liner to maximize fireplace and chimney efficiency. Insulation improves the performance of the chimney and protects masonry work. When insulation is added, liners are wrapped before installation, or the insulation is poured down the chimney after installation into the space between the flue and liner. Foil insulation is commonly used along with retractable mesh. Clamps secure the insulation at the top and bottom of the chimney. The cost to install insulation for a stainless-steel chimney liner will be around $500 to $1,500.

How to Size a Chimney Liner

Standard liners are sold at prices quoted per foot. Measurements needed to purchase the right sized liner are usually the diameter and length. Six to eight inches is the standard diameter for most round chimney openings. To calculate the length, measure from the chimney crown to the thimble where the liner would enter the wall to connect to an appliance. You never want the liner to be smaller than the appliance exhaust hole. You also don’t want the liner to be more than three times (in diameter) the size of the appliance exhaust hole. If it is, smoke will escape into your house.

Chimney Liners Shapes

Chimneys come in different shapes, but many have a round flue. There are different-shaped liners available to fit the exact shape of your flue—including round, square, oval, and rectangular chimney liners. Companies are starting to make flexible-shaped varieties that work with flues that are both standard and non-standard shapes. However, you should always consult with an installer before choosing the shape of your liner. Even if you have an oval flue, a round chimney liner may still work. Installers prefer round liners due to ease of installation and cost-effectiveness.

Cost Factors to Install a Chimney Liner

Different factors determine the final cost of a chimney liner installation project. The type of liner needed is the largest determinant. Costs vary if you have a chimney that isn’t a standard size and shape or reside in a multi-level home.

  • Roof height. The type of home that requires the chimney liner also factors into the total project cost. If the roof is difficult to access due to increased height, extra expenses are likely to include heavy equipment rental like a lift. The average cost to rent a lift is $350 per day.

  • Roof pitch. The roof pitch affects the overall cost of a chimney liner installation project. When a roof has a steep pitch, safety precautions must be taken to protect the installers, increasing the project’s time requirements. Instead of four to six hours for total installation time, the project is likely to take closer to eight hours for completion. This increases labor costs by approximately $150 to $300.

  • Total number of appliances. The number of gas and vented appliances using the chimney affect how much a chimney lining project will cost. All appliances attached to the flue need to be fitted and sealed after the liner is installed. This increases the price due to extra labor hours and additional materials needed for sealing. To accommodate multiple appliance connections, you can expect to pay around $400 more for the job.

  • Age and condition of the chimney. Chimney liner installers assess the chimney’s condition before installing a new liner. The chimney needs to be sound to avoid any structural problems while the installation is being completed. For example, if the chimney crown is badly damaged, expect to pay an average of $900 or more to fill cracks and apply sealants. An older chimney may require a partial or full rebuild with costs starting at $2,800 or more for some brick types.

  • Shape of the chimney. Chimneys with bends and offsets cost more than straight ones. These chimneys require a cast-in mortar liner. A cast-in mortar liner is installed via an inflatable rubber bladder. Besides accommodating oddly-shaped chimneys, cast-in mortar liners are permanent options that improve the structural integrity of older chimneys. Materials are very expensive with this type of chimney. The costs run about $40 to 120 per foot of cast-in liner.

Chimney Liner Energy Efficiency

Chimney liners improve efficiency by decreasing creosote buildup and reducing cold drafts. Hotter gases draw better than cold gases. A better draw improves combustion rates and, in turn, increases heating efficiency. Liners are also insulating, which increases the appliance’s efficiency since they provide an extra layer of protection and prevent moisture build-up.

Liners also require less fuel to produce the same amount of heat. That goes for wood or gas fuel sources. Fuel burns hotter, smoke escapes efficiently, and less fuel gives you the same amount of heat.

Chimney Liner Cleaning and Maintenance

Chimney liner maintenance prolongs the lifespan of the liner. With proper care, a chimney liner can last decades. The most important part of maintenance is annual cleanings and inspections. Hire a chimney sweep at least once a year to remove creosote from the liner and check for any signs of damage. If there are any cracks or holes in the liner, repairs may be needed. Although once a year is adequate for professional inspections, homeowners should check for creosote buildup every two months during the heating season. Use a flashlight to check for signs of creosote buildup.

Another part of maintenance is having the liner inspected before installing a new appliance. The inspector can let you know if the liner is appropriate for use with the new appliance. Some liners won’t fit correctly into the appliance and may need additional connections to work.


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Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Thermocrete Chimney Liner Cost

If your current liner only needs minor repairs, or if you want to retrofit your chimney to convert to natural gas, you can do this without replacing the entire liner. The installation of ceramic chimney liners (Thermocrete is the most well-known brand) is a repair technique that professionals use to seal cracks in an existing liner to extend its lifetime. When you have a Thermocrete session, a technician lowers a machine into your flue and sprays a liquid ceramic layer over your liner. When it dries, any minor surface damage will be erased. This solution is only for flues with existing liners that are structurally sound but cosmetically imperfect. It’s a labor-intensive process. Thermocrete chimney liner cost ranges between $50 and $200 per foot.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Permits. Your local or state government may require a permit before having a new chimney liner installed. Your installer can submit applications on your behalf. Permit applications typically have a fee of at least $25.
  • DIY. Chimney liner installations are not a DIY project. The roof will need to be accessed to install a chimney liner, which poses a safety hazard. Installations done by inexperienced installers could lead to potential hazards such as fires and carbon monoxide exposure.
  • Old chimneys. Older chimneys may not have previously had a liner installed. However, for safety reasons, the Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends all chimneys now install a flue liner to optimize performance and safety.
  • Warranty. Warranty coverage of the chimney typically depends on what type of material was used. As an example, aluminum chimney liners 2 usually have a very short timeframe of just two years. Stainless-steel chimney liners 2 have a warranty period of ten years or more, as long as regular inspections and cleanings are performed.
  • Before Installation. To prepare for a chimney liner installation appointment, you should also clear out any potential items that block access to any appliances connected to the chimney. Installers need to move freely around the appliances to install the liner and any fittings. Although chimney liners are not usually installed in the colder months, remove any leaves, ice, or snow from the roof if they are present.

FAQs

  • How much does it cost to reline a chimney?

On average, it costs between $1,200 and $4,600 to reline a chimney. This labor cost accounts for removing the old liner and installing a new one.

  • How long does it take to install a chimney liner?

For one flue, the installation of a chimney liner can take up to eight hours. For multiple flues, you should expect a multi-day project.

  • How long will a stainless-steel chimney liner last?

With proper care and maintenance, a stainless-steel chimney liner will last between 15 and 20 years.

  • What is a chimney liner?

A flue liner is a protective layer inside your chimney made from materials such as metal, clay, or ceramics. Liners are meant to act as a conduit for the heat traveling through the chimney to assist with the release of combustibles into the outdoors. Chimney liners also protect the walls of the chimney from corrosion and structural damage.

  • Do you really need a chimney liner?

To reduce chimney fire risk and improve heating efficiency, a chimney liner is highly recommended. The chimney liner helps limit heat transfer and reduces overall creosote buildup. Masonry work inside the chimney is also protected through the liner.

  • How is a chimney liner installed?

The process of installing a chimney liner depends on the type used. Some liners are fed up through the flue and then secured with sealants and clamps. Other types are poured in like cement. Clay tiles are stacked on top of one another as a way to install a clay chimney liner.

  • How much does it cost to build a new chimney?

The average cost to build a new chimney is between $60 and $200 per linear foot.

  • How much does it cost to install a chimney liner?

Stainless steel liners are the most popular type of liners used for chimneys and will cost around $900 to $3,800.​

Cost to install a chimney liner varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Updated:
The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources.
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Cost to install a chimney liner varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources.