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jaymac2087 11-02-2009 08:17 AM

Questions on hearth layout.
Hello all,
I am ready to lay my hearth floor but am unsure about where I should start laying bricks. Do I start from the center or the front? I will be laying them in a straight up staggered pattern.Also how much room do I leave from the front edge of the stand to the landing, I plan on using bull nose pavers which are 12" in length. Would this make the interior of the oven set too far back. Another question, how deep should the landing be from the oven floor to the exterior of the landing?
Thank you everyone.

kebwi 11-02-2009 09:43 AM

Re: Questions on hearth layout.
I just laid my oven floor bricks on top of my hearth insulation yesterday, haven't even finished cutting them yet. I wanted the herring bone pattern to be perfectly oriented to the oven and hearths' cardinal axes, which is to say the brick-edges needed to be at forty-five degrees w.r.t. the edges of the rectangular hearth, the front edge of the oven arch opening, all square edges like that, etc.

To do this I started by lining up the first herring bone row with its intersections (not edges) directly in line with the seam between two of the underlying insulation boards. This permitted me to precisely align the intersections along the insulation board seam, therefore perfectly parallel to (in my case) the front and back edges of the hearth and the opening of the oven. I did this along the longest possible insulation seam to get the most precise alignment between the bricks and the insulation board (and by extension the oven and hearth).

Therefore, to sum up, I started with a herring bone row across the middle of the oven and then expanded forward and backward from there until the footprint will fully covered.

jaymac2087 11-02-2009 09:56 AM

Re: Questions on hearth layout.
thank you for such a quick response, I will snap a chalk line down the middle of the oven and start from there. One more question for you, what should the length of the landing be, I mean from the reveal to the outer edge of the brick? I plan on leaving around 8" for bullnose pavers in front of the arch. Will this be too deep? Do i need to be able to reach inside the oven? If so how far?
Thanks again

jmhepworth 11-02-2009 09:58 AM

Re: Questions on hearth layout.
I started laying the floor from the front because I wanted to control that edge to avoid small pieces of brick there. One of the pictures in my thread shows the fully cut floor. How much room you leave depends entirely on how you will finish your landing. I have about 10 inches in front of the decorative arch, and I have no difficulty reaching into the back of the oven with the tools. But I do find it difficult to build a fire in the center of the oven. I'm not sure what you mean by "a straight up staggered pattern." Most of us use a hearingbone pattern (again, look at my thread for an example) because it tends to avoid the peel catching on a seam. I've never had the peel catch and I didn't have to grind any of the floor bricks.

kebwi 11-02-2009 10:08 AM

Re: Questions on hearth layout.
That's an excellent point jmhepworth. I'm not sure if my approach left me with small triangles at the front edge or not (that's one edge I haven't cut yet, I made the circular perimeter cuts, but not the front edge). I may, very well, end up with small triangles at the front, which aside from aesthetics also represent a problem in that there is some question what will actually hold them in place. I'll have to give that some careful thought as I proceed. Rats!

As for your design questions jaymac2087, I'm not sure I'm qualified to comment. I've barely started my own oven so it remains to be seen whether my design will turn out to be functional or not. My opening length is governed solely by my vent depth and flue base; I really never gave any specific thought to other motivating factors, such as aesthetics, accessibility, heat retention, smoke reduction, etc. I simply have no idea whether my opening will turn out to be too long or two short (unlikely it's too short, mine's pretty short).

I desperately need to post updated CAD models to my album and thread. The last posts of that type are dreadfully out-of-date with my current design.

jaymac2087 11-02-2009 10:10 AM

Re: Questions on hearth layout.
Thanks for the input, your pics are great.
My floor will be layed from front to back, staggered, like a herringbone with no angle. I am 5'7" and am concerned with being able to reach inside the oven. Do you think 8" would be ok in front of the outer arches for stone or tile?

papavino 11-02-2009 10:12 AM

Re: Questions on hearth layout.
Good idea starting from the front. I started from the middle and ended up with a little triangle piece of brick that didn't want to stay in place. That was the only floor brick mortared to anything.

kebwi 11-02-2009 10:14 AM

Re: Questions on hearth layout.
Not to bend your arm, but is there a reason you are opting for a cardinal herringbone instead of a 45-degree herringbone? The argument in favor of the latter is that the diagonal edges are less likely to catch the sharp edge of the metal pizza peel when you reach in (ungainly) with a long handle.

Again, I claim no first-hand knowledge seeing as I have no oven to experiment with. I'm just relaying the wisdom I have otherwise gathered from FB (and the associated the Pompeii directions if I recall off the top of my head without looking at them.).

kebwi 11-02-2009 10:17 AM

Re: Questions on hearth layout.
GRRR! Thanks papavino. No matter how much you obsessively plan in advance, there will always be things you wish you had thought out more carefully before plowing ahead.


papavino 11-02-2009 10:28 AM

Re: Questions on hearth layout.
I figure the small piece of brick is just a minor annoyance and nothing detrimental to the overall function of the oven. And since then, I have laid some bricks parallel across the opening to accommodate my decorative arch.

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