Top 10 Best Chimney Liner Reviews – Consumer Reports
Chimneys are vital for any household with a fireplace as they channel out harmful by-products. Other than fireplaces, homes with cast iron stoves also require chimneys to remove combustible elements safely.
For the best performance, we advise you to invest in chimney liners. These kits are designed to efficiently lead the harmful components out of your home and keep your chimney rust-free.
Choosing the best chimney liner for yourself can be quite a confusing task. So, to rid you of your worries, we have taken the liberty of listing down some of our top picks. We have also listed out various helpful information sections that will clear out any problems you might encounter.
Top 10 Best Chimney Liner Reviews
We have selected ten of the best liners we could find in the market today based on durability and performance. Let’s check them out!
1. Rockford Chimney Supply RockFlex Chimney Liner Tee Kit
- Wide range of sizes available
- Quick Connect system makes it easy to install
- DIY instruction manual included
- Highly durable stainless steel build
For anyone with a masonry chimney, most of the ideal liner kits are steel ones. Our first pick is a flexible liner kit from Rockford Chimney Supply. Available in a wide range of pipe sizes, this is perfect for any household.
While some people prefer to hire professionals to install these kits, Rockford has made it super easy for you to do it yourself. Included within the packaging are clear instructions that will guide you throughout the entire installation process. So if you’re looking for a challenge, there is nothing better than the Rockflex kit.
What’s more, the build quality of this flex liner kit exceeds most well-known brands. Rockford has gone out of its way to use the best quality 316 stainless steel to construct the pipes.
Not only does the material insulate heat at high temperatures, but it is also rust and corrosion-resistant. It ensures that you receive the best performance for long years to come. The Rockflex is undoubtedly the best stainless steel chimney liner in its price range. While being affordable, it does not compromise on performance and durability. The stainless steel build allows it to contain heat and channel the smoke efficiently.
- Flexible build for bending through tough spaces
- Can withstand high temperatures
- Easy to install mechanism
- Air and watertight construction
- Only works with masonry chimneys
2. Fireside Chimney Supply FireFlex Flexible Chimney Liner Kit
- 316Ti stainless steel build for enhanced durability
- EZ connect makes for easy installation
- High-quality Top kits
- The pipeline is highly flexible for all angles
Durability and performance are two words that sum up this Fireflex chimney lining kit from Fireside. Made of the best quality materials with innovative design, these liners are ideal for any new or old chimney setup.
The body construction of the flexible pipe is made entirely of 316Ti stainless steel. Known for its ability to withstand wear and tear, the steel build ensures consistency in performance for the long run. The use of one continuous strip of steel allows the kit to create a water and gas-tight system.
The entire setup includes Fireside’s EZ connect system that makes the whole installation process much simpler. The system also allows for easy joining of individual components such as the Top plate and rain cap. This makes the entire assembly process less time-consuming.
The Fireflex kit definitely stands out because of its high-quality build and design. It does have a thicker liner than others, but that comes with the added benefit of enhanced longevity. Featuring an EZ connect system, this kit can be installed by almost anyone with little or no experience.
- The installation process is beginner-friendly
- EZ connect system allows for quick assembly
- Stainless steel build ensures longevity
- 304 steel rain caps and flat tops are included
- Thicker than average liner can be difficult to uncoil
3. DuraVent Duraflex 4″ x 30 316 Stainless Steel Chimney Liner
- Versatile liner works with various appliances
- 316Ti SS lining to withstand high temperatures
- Titanium steel is resistant to corrosion
- Highly flexible design
Looking for the perfect wood stove chimney liner? We know just the thing that will fit your criteria. The DuraFlex chimney liner is one of DuraVent’s finest creations. The SS flexible lining makes it compatible with masonry chimneys, gas, oil, and even wood appliances.
Furthermore, the 316Ti titanium steel build was specifically designed to withstand harsh conditions. Stronger than regular stainless steel, the titanium SS build provides more corrosion resistance. As versatility is one of the liner’s strong points, it needs to withstand wear and tear from wood, coal, oil, and other combustible substances.
The DuraFlex is quite flexible and works well with almost any appliance. Whether you have a masonry chimney or wooden stove, this will work best with all. The Titanium build gives it an edge with exceptional durability, making it the best flexible ss chimney liner.
- Able to handle high temperatures for extended periods
- Compatible with masonry chimneys, wood or oil appliances
- Titanium build boosts durability
- Corrosion-resistant design for longer service time
- Does not include flat tops or rain caps
4. Forever Vent SW420SSK Stainless Steel Chimney Liner Kit
- Smooth Double-ply inner lining
- High-quality stainless steel build
- Works with masonry chimneys and other wooden appliances
- Corrugated interlocked seam for maximum flexibility
The Smoothwall double-ply chimney liner from Forever Vent is by far one of the most versatile pieces out there. Featuring an all-purpose design, you can easily use this liner for gas, wood pellet, and oil appliances.
Moreover, the smooth double-ply inner wall enhances the airflow and increases drafting by as much as 20%! The smooth texture also helps to reduce the build-up of harmful substances such as creosote. Reduced build-up of combustible materials makes it easier to clean and maintain the whole kit.
The smooth wall double-ply lining is a piece of innovation that highlights this liner kit from Forever Vent. Old chimneys are hard to clean and maintain, but with the help of the SW420SSK, your troubles are reduced significantly. Offering increased drafting and reduced chemical build-up properties makes this the best liner for old chimney designs.
- Versatile design offers maximum performance with all fuels
- Smooth inner lining increases drafting
- 316 stainless steel build ensures durability
- Inner lining reduces the build-up of materials inside
- Unbreakable seem locks make the system leakproof
- We couldn’t find any cons for this product
5. Chim Cap Corp 6″ x 35 FT Single Ply Stainless Steel Chimney Liner Kit
- 316L Stainless Steel build
- High heat-insulating properties
- Set includes all the components necessary for the system
- Compatible with fireplace or woodstove chimneys
Our next pick for the chimney liner reviews is from a brand called Chim Cap Corp. The liner has an internal diameter of 6 inches and is 35 feet long. Starting from the chimney liner, tee and tee cap, round cap, and the fasteners, they are all included in the packaging.
The people over at Chim Cap Corp have spent long hours to find the best quality 316L stainless steel for the construction. The liner is not only highly durable, but the steel quality also enhances heat-insulating properties. Whether you’re looking for a fireplace chimney liner or one for your stove, you can’t go wrong with this.
This particular chimney liner does not get the attention it truly deserves. The pairing of the stainless steel build and its high endurance capabilities make it the best chimney liner for wood burning stove.
- Strong and durable build material
- Can withstand high temperatures for consistent performance
- Universal design works with wood stoves and masonry chimneys
- The instruction manual comes included
- Doesn’t have variants in other diameters and lengths
6. Forever Vent SW5525SSK Stainless Steel Chimney Liner Kit
- Smooth Wall Double Ply flexible liner
- Premium 316 stainless steel build
- Increased drafting due to positive airflow
- The smooth lining makes it easy to clean and maintain
Once again, we have another model of Forever Vent’s previously mentioned chimney liners. The SW5525SSK is a longer and more robust version of the SW420SSK. While both of them have similar features, this model comes with a length of 25 feet and a diameter of 5.5 inches.
The inner lining is made from a smooth double-ply layer which comes with tons of benefits. For instance, the smoothness of the lining reduces creosote build-up as there is less friction. This feature makes it easy to clean the insides of the chimney liner.
Overall, the SW5525SSK is undoubtedly longer and stronger than the SW420SSK. The larger diameter and length allow the liner to perform better and increase drafting. The smooth inner lining makes the liner easy to maintain while simultaneously boosting efficiency.
- Smooth ply wall layer increases drafting by 20%
- Reduced build-up of creosote
- The flexible liner can fit into tight angles
- Compatible with chimneys, stoves, and water heaters
- Doesn’t offer variations in sizing and length
7. 4” DuraFlexAL 25′ Aluminum Chimney Liner – 4DFA-25
- Lightweight yet strong
- Double-wall construction for enhanced durability
- Can be used for multiple applications
While stainless steel and titanium alloy liners are good and all, DuraFlex Al decided to take things up a notch. Their version of the ideal chimney liner is constructed entirely of Aluminum which is much lighter and exhibits excellent tensile strength.
The measurements of the liner are 4 inches in diameter and 25 feet in length. This makes it ideal for proper channeling of the smoke and to keep harmful particles at bay. Perfect for water heaters or stoves, the aluminum build can take it all.
This chimney liner is a good and affordable option for those who are light users of their stove. The Aluminum build can hang on at high temperatures, but we would advise against using it for prolonged periods.
- Can handle high temperatures over extended time frames
- Highly durable construction
- Double-wall lining ensures longevity
- Versatile liner design allows it to work with all fuel types
- Does not come with flat tops or rain protection
8. FireFlex Basic Chimney Liner Insert Kit with Insulation
- Stainless Steel build for enhanced longevity
- Works with all kinds of fuel
- Interlocking design ensure a watertight system
It is always a better option to go for the newer flexible liner over a rigid chimney liner. That’s because a flexible liner is far easier to install and maintain over long periods.
Our next pick is the Fireflex chimney liner from Fireside Chimney Supply. The 20-foot liner is highly flexible and will cover all the areas of your chimney.
The entire liner is made from top-quality 316Ti stainless steel. The benefit of this top-grade alloy is that you can get the flexibility you need without compromising the strength. Made from a single piece of steel, the interlocking and diagonal crimped design creates a water and airtight system.
If you’re into DIY, this chimney liner is the perfect project for you. The easy to install design makes the entire process much more straightforward. Thanks to the flexible liner combined with the stainless steel build, it’s the best chimney liner for wood burning stove and masonry chimneys.
- EZ Connect System for easy installation
- Stainless Steel build provides heat insulation
- Compatible with gas, wood pellets, stove, and chimneys
- Interlocking design channels out all pollutants effectively
- 006 thickness liner can be difficult to uncoil
9. Forever Vent SW625SSK Stainless Steel Chimney Liner Kit
- Compatible with all fuel types and appliances
- Smooth inner lining offer increased airflow
- High heat withstanding capabilities
- 316 Stainless Steel build
While we are nearing the end of our long list of picks, let us introduce to you another liner from Forever Vent. These guys have stirred up quite the competition with the top contenders.
There are tons of innovations that Forever Vent offers to boost performance and durability. For example, the smooth wall double-ply inner lining enhances positive airflow. The increased airflow raises drafting by as much as 20%. As a result, the creosote build-up is also reduced.
As the name suggests, this is an all chimney liner, which means you can set it up with your stove, chimney, or even water heater. The 316 stainless steel build does more than allowing the liner to bend through tight angles. It also enables the kit to withstand high temperatures from your fireplace for the perfect cozy atmosphere.
This liner is perfect for an all-around easy solution. If you don’t want to spend too much time looking for a liner that is suited to one specific purpose, this is the one. The high-quality construction and the smooth inner lining pair up to channel the smoke out as efficiently as possible.
- Steel construction enhances heat insulation
- Reliable design and performance
- Smooth liner increases drafting greatly
- Easy to maintain and clean
- Doesn’t have a range of diameters and lengths
10. 6″ DuraFlexSS 304 Basic Kit with 15′ Stainless Steel Chimney Liner
- Flexible liner works with all chimney setups
- 005-inch thickness offers better maneuverability
- Stainless Steel construction
- Able to withstand high temperatures
To finish off our list, we have this high-performing flexible liner from DuraVent. The DuraFlex SS is one of their most renowned collections, featuring only the best liners made to date. The kit includes the liner itself and a top plate cap tee with a cap.
This model actually features a thinner wall than most standard liners. The 0.005-inch thickness enhances the flexibility of the entire liner, allowing it to fit into tight spots. This is ideal for houses with upgraded chimney setups that have twists and turns.
The DuraFlex SS models are all highly versatile when it comes to compatibility. These liners will perform superbly with any fuel kind you throw at them. You can set it up for your wood-burning stove, wooden pellets, gas, or even a masonry chimney at your old house.
The DuraFlex SS is an excellent choice for all households with chimneys. The Stainless steel construction and reduced thickness make it ideal for chimneys with tight angles. While it doesn’t offer rain protection, it provides an above-average performance for its price class,
- The reduced thickness makes it easy to uncoil
- Stainless steel build boosts longevity
- Insulates heat very well
- Can fit into tight spaces
- Doesn’t include rain caps for protection
What to Look for Before Buying Chimney Liner
Before you begin to choose from our product list, there are certain factors you need to consider to make the right decision. A chimney liner that doesn’t fit or insulate properly is more likely to put you at risk rather than keeping you safe.
- Pipe Size
First and foremost, you need to have a clear idea of the diameter of your stove or fireplace pipe. Ill-fitted pipelines can drastically bring down performance. The market contains pipe sizes with diameters from 5 inches up to 24 inches.
Take an accurate measurement of the pipeline and then decide on the chimney liner kit that is most compatible.
It goes without saying that maintaining and cleaning chimneys is quite a difficult chore. But, with a calculated decision, you can easily reduce this hassle. Try to look for stovepipes that offer high insulation and allow access to the joints.
Increased accessibility to the joints will make it easy for you to clean your pipe inserts and monitor them.
- Heat Endurance
A chimney liner is nothing without high heat withstanding capabilities. The best flex chimney liner will be able to withstand high temperatures for long periods.
Based on how frequently you use your stove or fireplace, your choice of liner kits needs to be well thought out. If you have a high usage frequency, liners that can take over 500 degrees for over an hour of use should be just right.
What Does A Chimney Liner Look Like?
How can you tell if you have a chimney liner? Well, the easiest way is to get a chimney professional to come and have a look at your chimney.
They have the right equipment, such as video cameras, which help them determine the state (or existence) of your chimney liner. If you ask, they will record the video and show it to you.
But if you don’t want to spend money, it’s pretty easy to check it out yourself. You’ll have to climb up to your roof and look into the chimney. If there are no clay tiles or bricks, your chimney is unlined.
What Do Chimney Liners Do?
Chimney liners are the real unsung heroes of your chimney flue. They protect your home and chimney masonry from combustibles, prevent rust, and ensure that your gas appliances are running smoothly. Here’s a breakdown of their three main functions.
- Protection from combustibles
If you don’t love the idea of a house fire, you should get a chimney liner. An unlined chimney is much more combustible than a lined one. This is because chimney liners help push harmful combustible chemicals through safely without holding onto them.
- Protection of chimney masonry
If there is no chimney liner, combustible gases and acidic chemicals find it easier to penetrate the brick-and-mortar body of your chimney. This reduces its life span and forces you to pay for a replacement sooner.
More importantly, there’s a greater chance that dangerous gases (such as carbon monoxide) will infiltrate your home in the absence of a chimney liner.
- Enhances appliance efficiency
It’s of utmost importance that your oil/gas furnaces have an accurately sized flue to send their waste into. In the absence of a chimney liner, there can be a build-up of creosote and, of course, an excess of carbon monoxide.
Types of Chimney Liners
Let’s have a look at the different types of chimney liners that you have the option to choose from:
i. Clay Tiles
This type of chimney liner is most commonly seen in older homes. The main advantage of clay tile liners is their high insulative properties and ability to withstand most gases and smoke types. They also have an impressive lifespan.
However, in today’s homes, clay-tiled chimney liners may not be fully compatible with modern building materials, leading to a higher possibility of a chimney fire.
Furthermore, clay’s heat distribution capabilities are not the best. Not to mention, relining with clay tile is very difficult and even dangerous as sometimes holes have to be created on the body of the chimney.
Typically made of Aluminum or stainless steel, metal chimney liners are mainly used in the upgradation or repair of existing chimneys. When installed properly, metal chimney liners offer the highest durability and safety.
If you have gas, wood-burning, or oil appliances, stainless steel is a great choice. On the other hand, Aluminum (which is cheaper) is best suited to medium-duty gas appliances.
Compared to clay, however, metal chimney liners are considerably more expensive. Given that they’re relatively much easier to install and available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, though, it’s worth it.
iii. Cast in place
Made from a material resembling cement and highly insulative, cast-in-place liners form lightweight and seamless insulated paths for flue gases to pass through. They’re the best choice if you’re relining a chimney in an old building or have various types of stoves and burners in your home.
However, it’s important to note that cast-in-place chimney liners are more susceptible to cracking, particularly in newer buildings. Moreover, it’s costly and, in some cases, difficult to replace.
How Long Do Chimney Liners Last?
The answer to this question depends mainly on the construction material of the chimney liner you’ve installed. However, typically a chimney liner can be expected to last between 15 and 20 years, after which point a replacement will most likely be necessary… if you want to avoid a fire.
On the other hand, if you’ve cheapened out on your chimney liner, chances are you’ll have to replace it in as little as five years. You also have to take into account how well the chimney liner has been maintained. Regular checkups and cleanings are required to keep a chimney working properly.
How Much Do Chimney Liners Cost?
If you’re looking to install a chimney flue liner for the first time, you might have to spend at least $2,500. If you’re interested in installing a liner of higher quality, though, this price can go up to $5000 or even $7000.
On the other hand, if you’re experienced with DIY solving problems around your home, and if you use cheaper materials such as Aluminum, you might be able to get away with spending as low as $700 to $1000. However, we don’t recommend DIYing the installation of a chimney liner if you don’t have prior experience.
How To Install A Chimney Liner
You’ll have to start by removing the protective covering of the chimney liner you’ve chosen. Then you’ll have to assemble the chimney liner’s tee connection before it can be inserted into the chimney.
Once that’s done, finish installing the tee connection and connect it to the stove pipe. Next, install the liner’s top plate and get rid of any excess liner.
But that’s just half of the process. This written guide (with pictures) and this video are both comprehensive guides on teaching yourself how to install a chimney liner. Good luck!
How To Clean A Chimney Liner
If you’re not sure whether your chimney liner is blocked, the following are indications that it is:
- A strong smell of smoke emanating from your fireplace/stove
- The liner is coated with a white residue
- Water leakage from the chimney
- Debris escaping from the chimney and falling into the fireplace or stove.
We recommend cleaning your chimney liner yourself only if you absolutely can’t access a professional.
What You’ll Need
- Protective gear — gloves, mask, safety goggles, and long sleeves
- Cleaning materials (e.g., broom, brush)
- Drop cloths
Step 1: Clean from above
Don your protective gear before you start. Remove the chimney cap (this might require some force). Use your flashlight to inspect the chimney. Using a scrubbing brush, clean the chimney cap of any debris. Next, using a brush, clean out the top portion of the chimney, then replace the chimney cap.
Step 2: Clean from below
Now it’s time to repeat the cleaning process at the bottom of the chimney. This is where the drop cloths (or other protective coatings) come in to prevent messiness and inconvenience. Once you’re done, use your flashlight to re-check for soot and debris. Finally, you’ll have to use your vacuum to clean up the sooty mess.
Picking out the best chimney liner isn’t as easy as it seems. There are loads of factors that need to be considered first. Pay close attention to the diameter and length of your chimney because a mismatch can hamper the performance.
In any case, all the liners mentioned above are flexible and versatile. Whether you have an old chimney setup or a new one, these should be well suited for all applications. We ardently hope this review has helped you make the right decision for your household.
Best of luck!