The Chimney Balloon Store

Chimney size table

The following table can be used as a guide to the size of chimney you may have in your home. There is no substitute for getting your hands dirty and actually measuring your chimney, but if you cannot do this for some reason then find your house in the table and see what size of chimney is/was most common. Remember with Chimney Balloons always to choose a balloon that is bigger than your chimney in both width and depth, so that it blocks the flue.

This table applies to houses in the UK and should only be used to determine approximate chimney sizes. If none of the standard sized chimney balloons will suit your chimney please contact us for a quote on a bespoke balloon.

Remember, this is an approximate guide only and applies to the date the chimneys were built (we have a 19th Century house that was rebuilt in the Second World War following bomb damage so the chimney dates from 1945 and not 1880). Regional variants tend to be smaller in the northern or coal mining areas. It is best to measure (about a foot above the opening, inside the chimney) to make sure.

You can place the chimney balloon higher than your arm's length by using a handgrip extension with a tap on the end, which adds 16" to your reach. You can also use a 24 inch long mouth inflation hose to help you inflate the balloon in situ. The hose can be used in combination with the handgrip extension if you wish.

Standard Chimney Balloon Sizes:

Small Small Square/Lined flue(7" to 9" diameter) = 9"x9" or
Small Rectangular = 15"x9"
Medium Large Square/Lined flue = 12"x12" or
Medium Rectangular = 24"x12"
Large Large Rectangular = 36"x15"

Some old chimneys deteriorate and may have been lined recently to prevent leakage of fumes. The 9"x9" is suitable for these.

Chimneys originally built for a kitchen range often narrow quickly to 12"x12". The 12"x12" chimney balloon obviously fits here.

House

2-3 bed

2-3 bed

2-3 bed

2-4 bed

Large or tall terrace

Large

Description

Mid terrace

End terrace

Semi

Detached

Large Semi

Detached

Floor

ground

first

ground

first

ground

first

ground

first

ground

first

2nd

ground

first

2nd

Date Built

Up to 1800

Generally, chimneys before 1800 are wider from front to back than later ones, so they need to be measured and the chimney balloon made to size. Expect common sizes such as 36"x24", 36"x18", 24"x16". See also Inglenooks below.

1800-1850

M

S

L or M

S

L or M

S

L or M

M or S

L

L or M

S

L

L or M

S

1850-1900

M

M or S

L or M

M or S

L or M

M or S

L or M

M or S

L

M

S

L

M

S

circa 1900

M

S

L

M or S

*

S

*

S

L

M

S

L

M

S

1910-1935

*

S

M

S

*

S

*

S

L or M

M or S

S

*

M

S

1935-1960

S

S

S

S

#

S

#

S

M

M

S

M

M

S

1960-1965

S

S

S

S

M

S

M

S

M

M

S

M

M

S

1965 on

Chimneys after 1965 have liners. There are two types, either 8" to 9" diameter or 11" to 12" square. Some liners are too far up to reach, and instead a Small, 18"x12", or Medium can be fitted in the space just above the fireplace opening.

Canopies

Normally, a chimney balloon can be fitted at the top. It will usually be somewhere between Small and Medium, but may be an odd size. Avoid any jagged edges of metal or the sharp ends of screws.

Inglenooks

If the chimney gathers (tapers) slowly, you can fit a chimney balloon in a fairly accessible position. Use the extra-long handgrips to reach. Sometimes there are two metal bars in the chimney, just above is a good place. 'Younger' Inglenooks (250 years) normally gather fairly quickly. It is best not to put a chimney balloon in the gather - it will probably fall out. Where the flue passes the floor above is smaller and this is the best spot. Expect around 3 feet x 2 feet.

*

Sometimes a Medium chimney balloon, but some chimneys around this time were made wide and slim to keep the chimney breast from jutting into the room. They vary around 30" x 10" and are tailor made (bespoke).

#

Usually small, but where a back boiler was originally fitted (usually a back room), it will probably be a Medium.

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