Safety and functionality of a fireplace and its chimney depends on the material they are made of and, above all, its coating. There are different types of chimney lining, for example, but the most used are terracotta and stainless steel. Discover here why and which one to choose for your house.

Terracotta or Stainless Steel?

Read below to discover the differences between both of them and make your choice after weighing all the pros and cons.


Type of Fuel: Wood
Average Cost: $ 2,000 - $ 7,000
Life Expectancy: 30 - 50 years, depending on maintenance

Terracotta liners – tile chimney linings – are resistant against heat and corrosive elements. On the other hand, it tends to crack under rapid expansion and contraction and needs more maintenance and cleaning than stainless steel. With the extra care, this kind of coating can last many years but, without the proper care, the chances of fire inside the house are bigger when compared to stainless steel. 

Stainless Steel

Type of Fuel: All fuel types
Average Cost: $ 900 - $ 4,000 depending on size and material
Life Expectancy: 15 years or more, higher-end stainless steel liners often come with a lifetime warranty


Stainless steel liner is the most popular to replace terracotta cladding. It comes in one large piece and is easier to install and maintain. It also withstands high temperatures without the risk of damage and can be used on fireplaces that burn all kinds of fuel: wood, gas, pellets and oil.

A stainless steel liner can be more expensive than the terracotta one. Although, it will certainly prevent your chimney from being damaged by combustion products with corrosive elements.

Which One Should You Choose?

As it withstands high temperatures without cracking or bending and needs less maintenance, stainless steel is a far superior coating when compared to the terracotta one. But a terracotta is usually cheaper.

Call a fireplace service and professionals to find out which one is better for your house or if you should change the one you already have. Just make sure you have a chimney liner – whatever it is – and don’t be imprudent with your own life.

Why Do You Need a Chimney Liner?

The chimney liner protects the inside of your chimney and of your house from everything that burns on the fireplace. Without it, the gasses and smoke would not come out properly and the inside of the chimney would be directly exposed to the heat of the fire.

A chimney liner also helps you to increase the lifetime of your chimney, avoid rebuildings and minimize damages that need to be repaired from time to time. Still not sure you really need one?

How to Know If You Need a Chimney Liner?

First of all, remember the chimney liner is good for your health and to protect your house from burning. After that, noticing that your chimney walls are deteriorating faster than normal is a huge signal you need to get a liner.

Moved to a new house? Do a whole checkup on the fireplace before starting to use it. Selling your place? Increase its value repairing every detail on the chimney. Get a free quote from licensed chimney contractors on what the best course of action might be.