Cheap liner is sold all over the Internet even by "reputable" companies.
This is what happens with cheap liner - it fails and get's ripped out (or fails during fitting by unravelling). The liner in this photograph lasted just three years.
You can buy cheap chimney flue liner at £15 or less a metre (watch for those ads across the top of the search engines and on well known auction sites) but like everything in life you get what you pay for. Professional installers do not use cheap chimney liner in their own homes (and good fitters choose a good brand for their customers' chimneys).
I don’t want my customers ringing me up in a few years time to say it has burnt through/rotted/fallen apart in their chimney. I want to sleep at night – so I only fit Silvacore which I know and trust and is of a very high quality.
The image below shows what MOST flue liner looks like when it has been dragged around one bend in a chimney (most chimneys have at least one bend): the layers are separating and peeling back. Every part of the liner will pass through a bend in the attic (bends usually in attic or just above fireplace) so this damage will be prevalent along the complete length of your liner.
At worst the layers come apart and the liner fails. At best every small separation of layers provides a crevice for corrosive tars to get a grip on the surface and gain entry between the two layers of the liner. With SILVACORE chimney liner, manufactured on a German machine, the layers NEVER separate when the liner is bent out of shape and the flue remains smooth.
Cheap flue liner can also separate during fitting leaving a length of liner stuck in your flue – TO REMOVE IT YOU WILL HAVE TO BREAK THROUGH INTO THE AREA CONCERNED. A smooth flue takes the gases away much more effectively than a flue with “damage ledges” along its length (a good draw on your stove is what you want, very important and anything that hinders this is not good).
Cheap chimney liner will often fail within your chimney (acids and tar eat away at it) with smoke being released into the cavity between your liner and your chimney wall (from here it will strive to find an exit into your property).
It really is not difficult or expensive to set up an ecommerce website nowadays. I cringe when I see those stock photos of smiling-happy staff answering phones when you just know those people do not work for the company.
Hetas do not compare the quality of liners or get involved in how long they might last.
All liner manufacturers offer an “X-YEAR” GUARANTEE (OR EVEN A LIFETIME GUARANTEE). But read the small print as many will likely have you send them a sample of liner and they will test it and state that you have burned unsuitable fuels (e.g. wood with paint on) and try proving you have not! Even if they do replace your liner (most folks will not get this far because they do not relish the confrontation) liner producers will NOT pay for all the re-installation costs (time, money, scaffolding, disruption etc.).
Do you really want to spend all of this time and energy fitting a wonderful wood burning stove and have liner that is failing within your chimney?
Often this is inferior product. Often it is stuff you do not need. You get what you pay for. As a stovefitter I have fitted cowls that last one year and I’m back again because the metal has rusted through or the spot weld has rusted and failed and it’s now lying in the garden and useless. The hanging cowls (attach to liner) supplied by Stovefitter's Warehouse have no exterior spot welds as this is a prime area for failure. They are held together with good old-fashioned nuts and bolts (stainless) are use high-grade decent thickness stainless steel. Fit and forget.
The liner I choose is Silvacore. It is a premier design of flue liner manufactured under licence in the UK using German-designed machines. It is a little heavier-duty than many other liners. Its main selling point is that the layers do not separate at all: the inner surface remains undamaged and smooth despite being dragged around tight chimney bends.
I can fit anything I choose to fit and I can sell anything I choose to sell. I get calls every month from liner manufacturers trying to get me to use and sell their liner. I use and sell Silvacore because, to be honest, I do not want the stress of you ringing up because your liner has failed. Silvacore flexible liner is formed by a different process than standard liner, which gives it enormous resistance to denting, tearing, unravelling etc… and is as good at going round bends in the chimney as a standard liner.
Scott Grady confirmed purchaser Trustpilot verified: “Much better than a previous sample of cheaper flue - the cheap stuff could not be cut without unravelling in a razor sharp spiral and collapsed easily.