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Laying fire bricks on top of tiles - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



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Laying fire bricks on top of tiles

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  • Laying fire bricks on top of tiles

    Hey Guys, hoping someone can help me, I really want to build a WFO here in Brisbane and have some fixed structures/table around the BBQ area which would be ideal (place & size 1300 x 1100). However this structure is made out of hebal bricks and has been tiled with floor tiles on top.
    Can I build the oven on top of this???? IE lay the fire bricks on top of the tiles.

  • #2
    Re: Laying fire bricks on top of tiles

    You need insulation under the hearth fire bricks. This may not be a problem since you will probably want to build up the height anyway. Pizza oven hearths are typically in the range of 42 to 45 inches high. Do a bit of research on hearth heights and maybe do a mock up. This is an important dimension when it comes to operating your oven and varies from person to person.

    In addition, these ovens are quite heavy. Do you have information with respect to the existing structure and foundations ?
    Last edited by Neil2; 07-18-2012, 11:39 AM.


    • #3
      Re: Laying fire bricks on top of tiles

      Hi Camo and welcome aboard.
      Your finished hearth height as Neil has mentioned is quite important for personal comfort when operating your oven. Too low and you will be continually stooping to see to the back of the oven and too high, well who wants to be standing on tip toe or as my neighbor across from me stands on 2 yellow pages stacked when using her stove (as she is quite short).
      Your hearth should suit you, and no one else, you should be able to comfortably see the whole floor and look down onto it as seeing your pizza tops cooking is vital to ensure the best outcome. As Neil says, a Pompeii dome is quite heavy, some 100 or so bricks plus the front plus the insulation (below your hearth and over your dome plus the final coating, render, tile or whatever you prefer), all add up to hundreds of kilos, so you must ensure that your base is adequate to take the load.
      I would put a 3 inch layer of vermiculite cement over your tiles if the height was correct and then your pavers or firebricks hearth onto that, so to answer your question as to "Can I build the oven on top of this", my answer is YES.


      Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

      The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know

      Neill’s Pompeiii #1
      Neill’s kitchen underway


      • #4
        Re: Laying fire bricks on top of tiles

        Thanks Neil2 & nissanneill , great that you got back to me so quick, I have been doing some research and obviously need to do a lot more but I'm going to take the plunge and go ahead (nice and slowly). Great site and will keep you posted


        • #5
          Re: Laying fire bricks on top of tiles

          Just be careful about the Hebel. It is not particularly strong stuff. Some Hebel panels are reinforced with thin,about 4mm, steel rods and some have no reo. I built my mobile oven with steel reinforced Hebel as both the supporting slab and insulating layer in an effort to save weight. It sits in a steel cradle, fortunately because it has cracked badly. I think this occurred when I hit a speed bump, forgetting I was hauling an oven. But I don't think the stuff is very strong. You may be able to build another supporting column under the middle if the span is any more than about two feet. The stuff will be ok under compression, it is the span on top I'd be concerned about. Ovens are heavy, Hebel is weak.
          Last edited by david s; 07-19-2012, 01:52 PM. Reason: Typo
          Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.


          • #6
            Re: Laying fire bricks on top of tiles

            Thanks David, yes I will reinforce the Hebal every two feet with columns as I really don't want to cut the tiled top of the bench.
            How do you thnk I should build the hearth on top of the tiled hebel bricks


            • #7
              Re: Laying fire bricks on top of tiles

              If you support from under then you should be ok to lay the insulating slab directly over the tiles.Ending up with a lot of different compartments under the oven is ok because you can use them to store different sized wood and it will be out of the weather. While you're about it a shelf half way up is also a good idea so you can keep wood off the ground. This tends to discourage toads, snakes etc.
              Last edited by david s; 07-19-2012, 01:51 PM.
              Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.