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Oven floor alternatives? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

To kick off our AMA feature, we have invited author, chef and master bread maker and host of Pizza Quest, Peter Reinhart, to be our first host! Peter will be in the Forum on Monday, February 15th, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm EST. If you are unable to be online during the live session, you can post your questions in the sticky post. Peter will answer those questions during the live session on February 15th. You can view Peter's answers to your questions as well as what happened during the live session in the session thread.

Ask Me Anything New Forum Feature

You will notice a new forum at the top of the main page called, "Ask Me Anything". This forum will be used for live one hour "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) sessions hosted by people who are knowledgeable in different areas pertaining to wood fired ovens. How it works:
- Each AMA will have a "sticky" thread where the community can post questions they would like answered during the live session. This will allow everyone to participate even if you can't be online for the live session. These questions will not be answered by the host until the live AMA; if you need an answer quickly, you should post it in the appropriate Forum area for the community to respond.
- Another thread will be posted for the live AMA. Registered users who are logged in during the live session can interact with the host by asking questions and receiving responses.
- The live thread will remain in the AMA forum to view after the session.

We hope you enjoy this new feature! Please let us know if there is a topic that you'd like to have as an AMA and we'll look for a host!

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Oven floor alternatives?

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  • Oven floor alternatives?

    We happen to already have 160 large, low quality red bricks and 90 concrete blocks here in the Andes two hours north of Quito and workers who have built bread ovens with like material (relatively low temp and high ceilings). I have not found fire bricks. They say that concrete mixed with crushed glass is what they use. Does that sound reasonable? I had thought we could get some clay with high alumina content instead.

    I was also casually wondering why a sheet of thick steel could not be used.

    Finally, is FB insulation fibreglass board or mineral wool? For insulation I had rather envisioned using the kind of panels used to insulate vehicle engines from the passenger compartment.

  • #2
    Re: Oven floor alternatives?

    Here's a new one: crushed glass as a aggregate for concrete. Although that might be neat for a concrete countertop where you're grinding it down to expose a decorative layer, you certainly don't want it on the inside of your oven. Portland based concretes break down at oven temperatures, particularly where they are exposed to direct flame.

    Ovens have been built successfully with plain red bricks. The harder the better: you want to choose bricks that break cleanly rather than crumble when hit with a hammer. You want to steer clear of bricks with holes in them.

    The insulation boards and blankets that we use are specific refractory products. Domestic insulation has organic binders that burn and stink at oven temperatures. If you can't get refractory specialties there, you can get vermiculite or perlite from garden suppliers and make an insulating concrete out of that.

    And I know you didn't ask this, but for anyone googling "oven crushed glass", broken glass is not an insulator.
    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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    • #3
      Re: Oven floor alternatives?

      The broken glass as an insulator has been used by a number of builders, I think a lot in Greece or Turkey. Although glass is not an insulator if used on its own without any cement or sand, then it is the air spaces between the broken glass that become the insulator. Typically this layer is used under the floor bricks. A local restaurant in our city here has such an oven. The builder is Turkish and his oven is huge.
      Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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