One of the most common questions asked is: "Will my round stainless liner fit into my chimney that has clay tiles?"
Sounds easy, right? Here are the real facts. All clay tiles are measured roughly by their outside dimension.
The most common square and rectangle clay tile sizes are - 8" x 8", 8" x 13", 13" x 13", 13" x 18".
For an 8" x 8" clay tile it will roughly have an 8.25" x 8.25" outside dimension with a 6.5" x 6.5" inside dimension. The clay tiles are approximately 1" thick, but all tile sizes vary so you must take accurate measurements. All stainless flex liners, use inside measurements, and are a 1/4" larger on the outside. A 6" flex liner will be 6.25" on the outside.
Let's say you needed a 6" liner, sized correctly, should fit through the clay tile if it measured 7" x 7" on the inside dimension. The problem is that the clay tiles may or may not be sitting exactly on top of one another. In addition, the mortar that holds them in place squeezes to the inside of the tiles, reducing the clearance for the stainless steel liner. When that happens, the clay tiles usually need to be broken up and removed.
There are a number of different styles of Tile Breakers. The rotary style Tile Breaking Tool dramatically speeds up the process of removing clay flue tiles. The weighted tile breakers spin in eccentric circles and will work effectively to break up clay flue tiles so they can be removed. As you break the tiles up, you would remove them from down below in the fireplace or through the clean out door in the basement.