The most popular chimney liner material is clay, but other options include metal liners and cast-in-place liners. A chimney liner protects the home from heat transfer and protects the masonry of a home from chimney byproducts.
Clay chimney tiles are inexpensive, easy to get and work well when chimneys are properly taken care of. However, as a ceramic product, clay does not absorb heat well, nor does it distribute heat. This can cause the flue of the chimney to split or crack.
Metal chimney liners, either aluminum or stainless steel, offer another choice for new chimneys or for upgrading and repairing pre-existing chimneys. These liners provide a durable and safe option with correct installation, and the steel versions work well for gas, oil or woodburning fireplaces. Aluminum liners only work with gas fireplaces.
Cast-in-place chimney liners are similar to cement and lightweight. The installation of these liners occurs inside of the chimney and, when done, forms a seamless, smooth passageway for the gases of the fireplace. Cast-in-place chimney liners help strengthen old chimneys and are suitable for wood, gas and oil fireplaces.
To find out the best chimney liner, consumers should contact a local chimney professional for an inspection. After seeing the type of chimney, condition of the home and age, the professional may suggest a certain material over others.