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How Much Does a Chimney Liner Cost?January 27th, 2023 by
A chimney liner serves as a barrier between the byproducts of combustion and the walls of your chimney. It protects the structural integrity of the chimney walls from heat, corrosion, and creosote buildup. Also called a flue liner, they ensure that smoke and carbon monoxide safely vent outside of your house. On average, you can expect chimney liner replacement to cost around $2,350. However, the exact amount will vary depending on the type of chimney liner you choose and other factors. Here are the basics of how much it costs to install a chimney liner and other frequently asked questions about liner replacement.
How Much Does It Cost To Install a Chimney Liner?
The cost to install a chimney liner can range from $625 to $7,000, depending on the size and type of liner needed. On average, the national average installation cost ranges from $50 to $125 per square foot for the most common products. Higher-end chimney flue liner options like cast-in-place and thermocrete will cost between $200 and $300 per square foot. Here are the average costs and benefits of the most common liner materials:
Clay or Terracotta
Clay and terracotta liners are a popular choice for chimney liners due to their low up-front costs. While the materials only cost $10 to $20 a square foot, they are harder to install than other options. Expect your total cost with installation to range from $55 to $80 per square foot.
Also called clay tiles, clay liners, or ceramic liners, they are known for their durability and longevity when properly installed and maintained. Terracotta or clay chimney liners can last up to 50 years with regular maintenance and inspections. Additionally, they are easy to repair if any damage does occur. If you’re looking for an affordable option that is durable and long-lasting, clay or terra-cotta liners may be the right choice for you.
Aluminum is an extremely affordable option for a liner, with raw materials costing around $15 per square foot. Aluminum chimney liner kits are available for an average cost between $100 and $300. Professional installation is relatively easy, so expect chimney relining costs to average from $625 to $2,250 in total. Although flexible liners are the most common, rigid aluminum styles are available.
However, aluminum liners are not as durable as other materials and tend to rust after only five years. This means that they may need to be replaced more often than other types of liners. Still, aluminum is still an excellent choice for those on a budget who need a reliable chimney liner. It’s lightweight and easy to install, making it ideal for do-it-yourself projects or those who don’t want to spend too much money on their liner installation.
Stainless steel is the most popular choice for chimney liners due to its durability and versatility. It can be used on any type of chimney, whether it is straight or has bends and curves, and is great for chimneys with multiple appliances tapped into the flue. The installation process is relatively simple and cost-effective, with an average price of around $100 per square foot.
A stainless steel chimney liner provides a strong barrier between the flue and the combustible materials in your home, protecting them from heat damage. These rigid liners also improve the efficiency of your fireplace by providing a smooth surface that allows smoke to move up quickly and easily. Additionally, it prevents water from entering your home through the chimney, which can cause extensive damage over time. With proper maintenance, a stainless steel chimney liner can last for many years without needing to be replaced.
Cast-in-place or poured-in-place liners are a popular choice for chimney lining due to their strength and durability. A special frame is put inside your chimney, then a protective coating is poured in. After it dries, the new liner offers exceptional protection against heat and corrosion.
Unfortunately, it is a relatively expensive process, and cast-in-place liners cost between $235 and $275 per square foot. For an average chimney, that will range from $5,000 to $7,000.
Despite the high cost associated with cast-in-place chimney liners, they are still one of the most reliable options available for chimney lining. This type of liner can last for more than 50 years and requires only minimal maintenance over time.
Thermocrete is a relatively new option for sealing and filling in cracks and crevices of wood and gas fireplaces. It’s a ceramic sealant applied to existing liners, making it an ideal choice for those looking to upgrade their fireplace without having to replace the entire unit.
Installation is straightforward but labor-intensive, so the average cost of a thermocrete chimney liner installation is around $5,000. Despite the high cost, this material is highly durable once applied. It will last for many years with minimal maintenance.
Additionally, thermocrete is more resistant to heat and moisture than other materials, making it an excellent choice for areas with extreme weather conditions. As an added bonus, you can also paint or stain thermocrete to match any existing décor or color scheme.
What Factors Determine the Cost To Replace a Chimney Liner?
When it comes to liners, the cost of installation can vary greatly depending on a number of factors. Overall, the type of material and labor costs are the two biggest factors that determine the total price. However, there are a number of other factors that impact chimney liner replacement costs.
- Number of appliances: The number of appliances venting through your chimney will affect the total cost. Not only do these appliance vent lines need to get sealed into the new liner, but it also means you need a larger diameter liner altogether.
- Age and condition of your chimney – Depending on the age and condition of your chimney, you may also need repairs before replacing the chimney liner. The most common repairs include crown repair and chimney rebuilding.
- Size and shape of your chimney: The larger and more complex your chimney, the more expensive it will be to replace the liner. Replacing the liner on a straight chimney is typically less than one with a bend.
- Complexity of the installation: If your chimney is in a difficult-to-reach location or requires special equipment or permits, the cost of the installation will be higher.
- Other costs: Depending on your exact situation, you may also incur other costs. The most common costs are chimney cleaning or sweeping, construction permits, or local inspection fees.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I install a chimney liner myself?
Most home improvement stores carry DIY chimney liner kits, so it’s reasonable to assume you can install one yourself. While it is technically possible, it is not recommended unless you have a chimney inspection first. These kits are only meant for specific chimney sizes and shapes under certain conditions. Installing a liner yourself without the proper knowledge or skills can be dangerous. Talk with a chimney professional and thoroughly research the risks and potential cost savings of a DIY chimney liner kit before you make any purchase.
How often does a chimney liner need to be replaced?
The lifespan of a chimney liner will vary depending on the type of liner. How well you maintained it also impacts how long it will last. Clay tile liners typically need to be replaced every 20-30 years, while stainless steel liners can last up to 50 years. A professional chimney sweep can inspect your chimney and give you an estimate of how long your liner is expected to last.
How do I know if my chimney liner needs to be replaced?
Signs that your chimney liner may need to be replaced include cracks or holes in the liner, a buildup of soot or creosote, or a decrease in the efficiency of your fireplace or stove. A professional chimney sweep can inspect your chimney and determine if a liner replacement is necessary.