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  • Oven Floor question

    Folks,
    this is my first posting here on the site...
    I'm a "foodie", and pizza making happens to be one of my passions.
    Although I've been on this site many times, just now I noticed about this forum.

    In any case, although I know a lot about cooking, i'm not very handy (construction guy) and need some advice.

    I have owned many Pizza ovens in the past, generally hand made by professionals when i lived down in Brazil. Although they took a long time to get hot, they held the temps for a long time and the Pizza's were amazing.

    2 years ago (here in the US) I bought a modular oven, and although i have been happy with the overall results, I feel like the floor (made of 4 large refractory pieces) might not hold the heat as well as the individual bricks that I had in my past ovens.

    The result, is that sometimes the dough, although gets cooked, does not show the natural cooked spots at the bottom.

    Now the question:

    I was thinking about resurfacing the floor of my oven with fire bricks but do not know witch ones to buy. I have a very good contractor to do the work for me...just need some advice.

    Thanks,

  • #2
    Re: Oven Floor question

    I used a basic firebrick, I can send you the specs (I have an MSDS and data sheet).

    they come in both full brick 4-1/2 x 9 x 2-1/2, and what are called splits. the splits are half as thick, 1-1/4 and might be suited for your purpose.

    I would attach a document, but ther is not an attachment option.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Oven Floor question

      Originally posted by EP-1550 View Post
      Folks,
      this is my first posting here on the site...
      I'm a "foodie", and pizza making happens to be one of my passions.
      Although I've been on this site many times, just now I noticed about this forum.

      In any case, although I know a lot about cooking, i'm not very handy (construction guy) and need some advice.

      I have owned many Pizza ovens in the past, generally hand made by professionals when i lived down in Brazil. Although they took a long time to get hot, they held the temps for a long time and the Pizza's were amazing.

      2 years ago (here in the US) I bought a modular oven, and although i have been happy with the overall results, I feel like the floor (made of 4 large refractory pieces) might not hold the heat as well as the individual bricks that I had in my past ovens.

      The result, is that sometimes the dough, although gets cooked, does not show the natural cooked spots at the bottom.

      Now the question:

      I was thinking about resurfacing the floor of my oven with fire bricks but do not know witch ones to buy. I have a very good contractor to do the work for me...just need some advice.

      Thanks,
      Welcome!

      Do you have an idea of your current floor temperatures?
      Being an experienced user of pizza ovens, you have probably already considered heating your oven to a hotter cooking range to get the crust you prefer.....yes?
      When you replace your oven floor, you'll have to be careful to keep good air/gas circulation, facilitated by the oven door/dome heigth ratio (63% is optimum).
      Just some thoughts
      Lee B.
      DFW area, Texas, USA

      If you are thinking about building a brick oven, my advice is Here.
      Our One Meter Pompeii Oven album is here.
      An album showing our Thermal Breaks is Here.

      I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Oven Floor question

        Thanks for the feedback!
        As far as the insulation, i dont remember what was used.
        the oven base was made with uniblocks to match the rest of the outdoor kitchen space, sand and sheet rock were used to fill the hole and then addttional uniblocks were aplied on top to create the flat surface of the oven...the oven was built on top of that base.

        As far as creating a new floor, I was thinking about Doug's idea...to resurface the floor with Firebricks. I also don't mind making the floor thicker since i was also planing to reduce the size of the door.

        As far as getting Firebricks, is there a brand that i should look for? I live in Michigan, do they sell them at Home Depot or Lowes?
        Lastly, what do i include below the firebricks to hold them in place? clay mortar?

        Thanks guys

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Oven Floor question

          As to the brick question, the ordinary firebricks that are sold at a brickyard or masonry supply (not one of the big box stores) are low duty firebricks, and are the ones you want. There are medium and high duty bricks available at refractory suppliers, and these are generally considered overkill at our operating temperatures. Depending on what your insulation layer is, the floor bricks are either laid flat, without mortar, on the insulation, or if the insulating surface is rough, a layer of sand and fireclay is laid down as a leveling medium. Floor bricks aren't mortared in place.

          Now, this is very important. I suspect that your floor is not giving you the results you want, not because of the composition of the floor sectors (which in many cases is the same material as firebricks) but there is inadequate insulation underneath it. Between your masonry support layer and your oven floor there should either be two inches of refractory insulation board (which is a dense, fibrous, usually buff colored material) or four inches of vermiculite concrete (This is a grey, cork like, crumbly layer). Without proper insulation layer (or damp insulation, which is another topic) your floor won't give you the leoparding that you want.
          My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Oven Floor question

            Thanks for the information...that is very helpful.
            So, if i add the firebricks on top of my exisiting floor, will I have better results?

            Thanks!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Oven Floor question

              so, where in Michigan? there is a great supplier in GR, Industrial Firebrick on Ann Street. you can get larger brick there for your floor if you don't want as many seams. they also have several thicknesses of ceramic insulation and sell it by the piece

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Oven Floor question

                I'm actually in Bloomfield Hills and I did find a supplier in Novi.
                The guy actually has an oven himself...not very common in this part of the State, but he seems to know his trade.

                I'm going to swing by on Tuesday.

                His recomendation was to use just a little sand on top of the exisiting floor and dry-fit the bricks inside the over. Easier to remove if necessary...

                Thanks everyone for the great feedback and ideas.

                I can't wait to fire up the oven for the 2011 season.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Oven Floor question

                  So, if i add the firebricks on top of my exisiting floor, will I have better results?
                  You'll add thermal mass, which may or not be good depending on what's there now. On the other hand, you won't see exactly what you have in insulation underneath, which may be more important than the exact composition and thickness of your cooking floor.
                  His recomendation was to use just a little sand on top of the exisiting floor and dry-fit the bricks inside the over. Easier to remove if necessary...
                  Plain sand is a little shifty for a leveling medium. We mix it half and half with fireclay, which is more likely to stay put.
                  My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Oven Floor question

                    so, are the 4 floor bricks laid loose inside the oven? if so, and you are thinking about putting a layer of firebrick over them... wouldn't you be ahead of the game to just lift your current floor out and put a layer of 2" ceramic insulation under it?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Oven Floor question

                      "So, if i add the firebricks on top of my exisiting floor, will I have better results? "

                      Without insulation underneath you won't get really good results. In addition, raising the floor may upset the dome height to door height ratio (optimum 0.63), resulting in decreased efficiency.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Oven Floor question

                        Originally posted by stonylake View Post
                        so, are the 4 floor bricks laid loose inside the oven? if so, and you are thinking about putting a layer of firebrick over them... wouldn't you be ahead of the game to just lift your current floor out and put a layer of 2" ceramic insulation under it?
                        Thanks stonylake,
                        The 4 floor bricks are not loose, the oven was built on top of them...
                        Maybe I'm overeating, but the reason i want to do this is because I fell like the dough crust is getting done while the bottom of the dough does not show the "brown spots"...

                        It might be that I'm cooking the pizza too close to the fire or a combo of both.
                        The floor gets very hot...about 700F when I move the fire to the side and then a constant 550 to 600...

                        I just had a much bigger oven before and i'm still trying to get used to this little guy.

                        Thanks,

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Oven Floor question

                          Originally posted by Neil2 View Post
                          "So, if i add the firebricks on top of my exisiting floor, will I have better results? "

                          Without insulation underneath you won't get really good results. In addition, raising the floor may upset the dome height to door height ratio (optimum 0.63), resulting in decreased efficiency.
                          Neil thanks for the feedback.
                          I was told that the door opening is too large for this oven...
                          So i guess that wouldn't be a bad thing.

                          As far as the insulation, can I lay insulation on top of the existing floor and then lay the firebricks...or maybe instead of firebricks i could use splits.

                          Also like I said on my other reply...is not that the floor is not heating up, I'm just not getting the same results with the end product as i did with my much larger oven.

                          Thx

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Oven Floor question

                            I wouldn't be surprised of your answer isn't in this thread
                            Lee B.
                            DFW area, Texas, USA

                            If you are thinking about building a brick oven, my advice is Here.
                            Our One Meter Pompeii Oven album is here.
                            An album showing our Thermal Breaks is Here.

                            I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Oven Floor question

                              Maybe I'm overeating, but the reason i want to do this is because I fell like the dough crust is getting done while the bottom of the dough does not show the "brown spots"...

                              It might be that I'm cooking the pizza too close to the fire or a combo of both.
                              The floor gets very hot...about 700F when I move the fire to the side and then a constant 550 to 600...

                              I just had a much bigger oven before and i'm still trying to get used to this little guy.
                              There shouldn't be a problem getting leoparding in a small oven. I have a 36 and it takes some skill to avoid outright charring if I have flames going up the side of the oven.

                              This may be a dumb question, but this sure sounds like a wet insulation situation. Is your oven outside? Is there any chance of water infiltration from rain?
                              My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

                              Comment

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