Beginner's Guide


If you have a chimney, you need only:
1. Stove 2. Chimney Liner 3. Fitting Pack

(if you do not have a chimney, and therefore need to buy a clip-together one,
skip this article and see our chimney design service)

Have a pen and paper ready.
By the end of this article you should be able to answer the following
questions (ready for when you order):

What are the key things to think about when buying a stove?
How many metres of flue liner do you need, of what grade and diameter?
In fact, do you need a liner at all?
Which Fitting Pack to choose (everything else you need in a pack)?



Wood burning or multifuel?
What size stove for my room?
Chinese stoves - should I buy one?
Fireplace opening - air gaps
Smoke Control Areas and wood burning stoves
What are DEFRA-APPROVED stoves?
Do I need an air vent for a wood burning stove?
What to look for when buying a stove
Legally can I fit my own stove?
Links to Building regulations

Lots more articles here


A liner is... a flexible stainless steel tube you slide down your chimney and connects at the stove end and at the chimney pot end. Do you need to line your chimney? In 90% of cases yes so just assume you do is best - see do I need to line my chimney? for more about this.

Choose 5" or 6" diameter depending on your stove and what is legally allowed (it is possible to get stoves that need a 7 " liner but this is rare). Five inch liner is easier to fit in all but the largest diameter chimneys but can only be used if the stove has a 5" collar and the stove is DEFRA approved for use in a Smoke Exempt area (sometimes designated SE) and the manufacturer does not state otherwise. Serious note: if in any doubt whatsoever save the fitting stress and fit 5" liner to a stove that is allowed to have one (a Defra approved stove with a 5" collar).

Longnose adaptor with bolts

Choose between 316-grade stainless steel (standard liner 15 yr guarantee at approx. £20-£25 a metre for quality stuff) or 904-grade stainless steel (best quality liner 30 year guarantee at approx. £30-£35 a meter for quality stuff) for your liner.

Choose 904 grade for heavy use, if you will be burning smokeless fuel or coal, if you will be slumbering a stove for long periods, or if the stove might be used to burn wood not fully seasoned (not a good idea but in holiday homes etc. who knows what might end up in a stove). Choosing 904 grade provides real belt and braces quality (a choice recommended by Julian). 316 grade is however perfectly suitable for light to medium use burning well seasoned (dry) wood.

Liner can be cut with a hacksaw or tin snips. Silvacore can be inserted into the chimney any way up (you cannot get it wrong). Liner is sold by the full metre. Liner is non-returnable. Liner can be easily swept once a year.

Liner is available online at various establishments with fancy websites for as little as £9.99 a meter. All liner is NOT the same. Fit the good stuff. Fit Silvacore. Fit And Forget. See here for info about why choosing cheap liner is not a good idea.

What length liner?

Buy liner


Fitting a stove and liner is not rocket science. The "Fitting Pack"  includes virtually everything (besides stove and liner) that you will need in order to fit a stove and chimney liner. What you do NOT get is the closure plate that blocks off the bottom of the chimney (the ceiling above your stove); for this we recommend 12mm easy to cut Hardiebacker concrete board 80cm x 1.2m x 12mm available Jewsons, B&Q sometimes and many builder's merchants.


Pic above shows, from bottom upwards: stove, black pipe, stub nose adaptor (has a snout inserted into black pipe), chimney liner inserted into top of adaptor (liner goes all the way to the top of the chimney where it connects to the cowl and chimney pot with a hanging cowl. THAT'S IT! Note that adaptor lives above closure plate out of sight.

All fitting packs include some black vitreous pipe (the pipe that sits on the stove and passes through the closure plate via something called a sealing plate). A pack has either "one straight length" (either a 50cm or a metre length) or "a 50cm length plus two 45 degree elbows* (to form an offset with the 50cm passing through your closure plate). But please check that what we provide is enough and order extra if required.

Note that if you order a stove from that stove's dedicated page then a straight length of black flue pipe is FREE and you will notice that any Fitting Pack ordered from this page will be reduced in price accordingly.

Straight lengths of vitreous pipe can be cut down using a new hacksaw (slow and not nice) or grinder + disk 1mm thickness (fast cut). E.g. if you think you need between 40cm and 65cm you could by a one metre and cut to length (sweep doors are always in the same place at the lower end of any pipe). Small self tappers and pilot drill bit included in the pack can be used to provide extra joint strength between sections of pipe and also for the connection between the black vitreous pipe and the adaptor that connects the vitreous pipe to the liner. No sealant or fire cement is used between joints on vitreous pipe except at joint to stove (one can also choose to use fire webbing or fire rope).

*If you desire 30 degree elbows (rather than the usual 45's) please add a the product "change to 30's" priced at £0, to your basket in the Fitting Packs purchase area (or tick the appropriate box if ordering directly from a stove's dedicated page).


Soot doors (sweeping doors) in black vitreous pipe are only necessary if one CANNOT sweep a stove "through the stove" e.g. some Ekol models. Most stoves CAN be swept through the stove. Soot doors, if included in a fitting pack, are always at the bottom of vitreous pipe lengths (top of soot door will sit approx. 20cm-25cm above top of your stove's collar).

Included in every Fitting Pack, as well as black vitreous pipe are the following items:

1x Stainless Steel Hanging Cowl for chimney pots between 6" and 13" diameter (connects directly to liner and pot and can be fixed in just a few minutes). Not all cowls are the same and the Duraflue models are the finest (other cowls I have fitted in the past have rusted and expired within a year! Note the use of "nuts n bolts" rather than flimsy rust-prone spot welds).


1x heavy duty stainless-steel Duraflue adaptor (connects liner to black vitreous pipe).


1x Fire cement (for sealing black pipe into stove collar if not a snug fit anyway then use nothing). Or use supplied fire webbing if gap a little larger (preferred to fire cement which cracks and is a bit crap).


1x Sealing plate (a neat way of allowing the black pipe through the closure plate). Has a membrame to make a reasonable seal.


1x Data plate (small info plate required by building regulations)


1x Useful items pack (tiny self tappers for securing adaptor to black vitreous stove pipe, extra strong drill bit for pilot holes, long self tappers for securing sealing plate to your closure plate, nut setter for the long self tappers, fireproof webbing for adaptor snout to ensure a snug fit).



straight length of vitreous pipe


To avoid confusion, steel flue is the same as vitreous black pipe.

This is the simplest method of stove fitting but it is reliant on you having enough depth between lintel and back wall (or your stove will end up too close against the back wall).

So can you you use a straight pipe with no bends?





2x elbows to create offset


An elbow offset is required if your lintel is in the way of using a straight flue pipe, or you wish to "bring the stove into the room a little").

Elbow offset dimensions here PDF file

Approx. elbow offsets when two elbows combined
6″ 30 degrees = approx. 4″ offset
6″ 45 degrees = approx. 5″ offset
5″ 30 degrees = approx. 4″ offset
5″ 45 degrees = approx. 5″ offset

So have you got the room to add an elbow offset?

Simple answer is yes but only  if the distance between "the top of your chosen stove and your closure plate" (A) is 35cm or more. Two 45 degree elbows stacked on top of each other are approx. 35cm in height (you do not want to pass through your closure plate on the elbow's 45 degree section as it makes any kind of seal difficult to achieve as one has to make an elipse-shape in the closure plate). Best to have more than 35cm and add a short length op pipe on top of the top elbow (included in any fitting pack with elbows).

To achieve this 35cm distance you might have to move your lintel to a higher position (although then you risk exposing your gather). More information here.

See the two diagrams below:



As seen in the diagram above you can in some circumstances place the closure plate inside the chimney .

You might be tempted to have a low closure plate with the pipe passing through the plate on the 45 degree section of the two-bend-offset. I would advise against this as the sealing plate will not work and creating a neat, sealed ellipse will be very difficult if not impossible.



If you need to bring your stove into the room (and much more out of the recess) then this is the method to use. You MUST have at least 30cm air gap left and right of your stove for this method as the sweep must be able to access the soot door at the rear of the stove and sweep via this door (this 30cm requirement often prevents this method being a good method for dealing with a low lintel). The 30cm is not a Building Regulation but you must have access and it is the minimum gap that I would insist upon.


If you do choose the vitreous T  then you will also choose one of the fitting packs previously mentioned in this article (likely with a straight pipe). Add within the WAREHOUSE, a 5" vitreous T or a 6" vitreous T


With this method you can sweep through the stove (and so do not need the 30cm side clearances mentioned if you use a T-piece). The only problem is that I only know of one brand that has these adaptors and that is Charnwood (who request 15cm each side of the stove to allow heat to escape to room).



If you do choose a Charnwood stove and rear adaptor then you will also choose one of the fitting packs previously mentioned in this article (likely with a straight pipe).


You might wonder why you cannot just come off the back of ANY stove with a 45 degree elbow? Well it is not a good idea as soot can clog in an elbow (the Charnwood adaptor has no flat spots for soot to collect). Also 90 degree bends are not allowed and you are technically creating a 90 degree bend using two 45 elbows (you'll need a second elbow at some stage to point skyward).

BUT I do sometimes see "off the rear of the stove with a 45 degree elbow, then a short length of pipe, then onto chimney liner via an adaptor. This is exactly what one might wish to do if one wanted to add a tiny stove into a small fireplace. But is it allowed? I think not but am not sure. Ask whoever is signing it off as I would suggest it is a grey area. Better to go off the top: