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Beron 05-26-2010 12:46 AM

Soapstone floor - Advice
Hi, and thank you for an excellent forum!

I'm building an oven this summer.
I got soapstone some soapstone slabs 2 inches thick very cheap locally, and thought that this would be very good for the oven floor.

However. I just bought the book "The bread builders" by Daniel Wing and Alan Scott.
I quote the book "Althought soapstone slabs make an attractive and durable hearth they are more expensive than firebricks , and they store and transfer so much heat that the bottoms of loaves of bread tend to get burned by the time the top of the loaves are baked. Soapstone is fine for flatbread, but why limit yourself to flatbread?"

Now I am not able to decide. My oven use will be 50/50 bread and pizza.
I've found several threads on this forum about soapstone, but none with personal experiences.

Please help me decide. Btw. Firebricks are very expensive here in Norway (6.5 USD a piece), and I have already bought the soapstone...

Best regards,

FIREANDFLAMES 06-02-2010 03:58 AM

Re: Soapstone floor - Advice
Seems straight forward to me if you already bought the soapstone, all you have to do is keep an eye on the floor temps. If my floor is too hot i drag a wet cloth across the cooking area, and it brings down that area's temp.

SCChris 06-02-2010 07:41 AM

Re: Soapstone floor - Advice
If Ovencrafters indicates that Soapstone may be a problem with direct contact you might consider using some sort of diffuser when doing your bread. Something like a porcelain tile might be enough. I think I’d go ahead and use the Soapstone and if you’re only baking a few loaves at a time I have to think there is an easy low tech workaround. One of the benefits of Soapstone should be that your oven has a more consistent, more even temperature throughout. Another passing thought was that you could mix your floor by installing Soapstone and Firebrick and using these areas when appropriate for the cooking application.


PS I'm using a 3cm slab of Soapstone in my standard oven and love it. I haven't seen a problem with burning the bottom of the loaf but I have seen the oven spring of the bread increase over the ceramic pizza stone that I was using.

PSS Ovencrafters is the standard for wood fired Bread ovens. If bread is you goal you might want to use brick as a floor. Texassourdough is a great resource here when it comes to bread.

GianniFocaccia 06-23-2010 07:14 PM

Re: Soapstone floor - Advice
Hi Beron,

Just following up on your original thread and wondered how far you have gotten with your oven. I am pleased for you that your soapstone purchase was so reasonable as soapstone in the U.S. is quite expensive. (I just bought enough soapstone to cover the floor and entryway of a 42" Pompeii oven).

If you have begun (or finished) your oven might you have some pics to share?


gotwood 09-06-2010 11:58 AM

Re: Soapstone floor - Advice
I just laid 1 1/2 inch soapstone floor in my oven over the firerick floor Im having great results with heat retention ....makes easy heat management...but im just doing pizza and roasting

SCChris 09-08-2010 02:04 PM

Re: Soapstone floor - Advice
Congrats on your SStone over firebrick floor. At what temps are you cooking pizza and what hydration levels is your dough at?


gotwood 09-08-2010 03:16 PM

Re: Soapstone floor - Advice
725f ....using the forno bravo dough recipe at 65% hydration....I use 60% double zero and 40% king arthur bread flour.

GianniFocaccia 09-08-2010 06:13 PM

Re: Soapstone floor - Advice

Your soapstone installation sounds like a winner, especially regarding heat management. Did you cover a portion or all of your floor with it? Would love to see a pic if you have one!


gotwood 09-08-2010 11:26 PM

Re: Soapstone floor - Advice
Hello John...there is one solid piece 24" by 26" that I was able get in through the front door entrance.....and the edges i cut and fit as precise as i could.its pretty solid all the way around.......there is a shop in Escondido Ca that has all the Soapstone anyone may around $22 a square foot

GianniFocaccia 09-09-2010 06:15 AM

Re: Soapstone floor - Advice
Thanks! I was able to pick up 4 pieces of 3cm soapstone (pics here: and am planning to cut the floor and entryway for a 39" Pompeii this weekend. Man, this stuff is heavy! I am curious to find out how hot it gets with a fire going on top of it, and how efficient it is tranferring heat to the firebrick floor below.

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