#11  
Old 08-05-2011, 08:10 AM
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Default Re: Soapstone vs Firebrick ??

I found some 1/2 inch thick X 12 inch X 12 inch soapstone tiles and am considering putting this down on top of my 2.5 inch thick brick floor.

I have 2" of vermicrete under 2" FB insulation Board so I am well insulated in the floor area.

I have not built my arch yet and want to compensate the inner opening to compensate for the added thickness should I decided to add the soapstone.

Does anyone have any comments on using this approach?

Chip
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  #12  
Old 08-05-2011, 08:22 AM
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Default Re: Soapstone vs Firebrick ??

A thicker material will hold up better to the firewood in and out cycles. Also take note of the consistency of the product. The more homogenious the material the less stress fracturing due to dissimilar heat expansion you'll experience.

Chris
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  #13  
Old 08-05-2011, 09:22 AM
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Default Re: Soapstone vs Firebrick ??

Chip,

What originally attracted me to soapstone was the seamlessnessness of it plus I was able to acquire polished, clear(?) slabs for $10/sq'. I am also intrigued with the effectiveness of the stone as a heating element apart from purportedly being optimum for cooking pizzas and flatbreads.

My concerns with soapstone long term are its ability to withstand cracking as seen in photos of another oven here on the FB site. I don't know if cracking is a function of talc veins in the stone or something else. My gut feeling is that the thinner the stone is, the higher its propensity to crack sooner. I am also curious to find out if bricks or tiles like you have would resist cracking more than a whole slab would.

Depending on the cost of your tiles I think your configuration is ideal. First off, 1/2" is not going to alter your entryway-to-dome-height ratio significantly. Realistically, anything between 60-65% is workable, IMO, and if you want, you could design your door height a tad lower in the event you decide you want to take your tiles out. Kudos for thinking of this prior to constructing your oven. Second, your floor insulation is fine. Third, you have the ability to easily customize your floor for whatever you're cooking that session (especially bread) by simply placing the tiles wherever you need them. I think a 50/50 firebrick/soapstone floor would make for a very versatile oven.

If it was me, I would cut the tiles to fit 100% of the floor leaving a 3/16" gap on the perimeter for expansion, build out your oven and give it a go. If any of your tiles eventually need replacing, reach for a spare and drop it in. Much easier to replace than a 100lb slab like mine.

What you gotta try is placing a soapstone tile horizontally on top of a couple of firebricks standing tall in your oven. I'm guessing this would make for a custom pizza pedestal and mimick a low-dome pizza oven beautifully.

John

Last edited by GianniFocaccia; 08-05-2011 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 08-05-2011, 09:38 AM
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Default Re: Soapstone vs Firebrick ??

John, I was hoping you'd chime in. To date aside from the massive commercial oven, I think you'll be the first with SS as a dedicated oven floor. Regarding the mentioned cracking of SS in another oven, I agree, without more information it's hard to know why. I have a SS stone in my Kitchen Gas Oven and although I see a couple of cracks the stone still has structural integrity and it's been cracked for many months. The crack I have is right along a small talc vein. I know it's only a matter of time before my oven stone gives way. It's really important to point out that this stone creates a bridge over the kitchen oven rack and it doesn't have any support except at the right and left edges where it contacts the rack. In an WFO with a nice flat floor I think the SS will work out. Even if a stone cracks because it's not going to move much, I don't think you're worse off than the supporting floor. I agree with Dmun "see below" 1/2 an inch is to light to work well and I don't know that you'd get all of the advantages of SS.

Chris

PS The 3cm slab that I have sitting in my kitchen oven has made a world of difference in functionality of this oven.. Recomended!

Last edited by SCChris; 08-06-2011 at 10:09 AM.
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  #15  
Old 08-05-2011, 12:01 PM
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Default Re: Soapstone vs Firebrick ??

I'd be concerned about a half inch of anything as the cooking floor. Remember, you're going to be throwing logs in, and levering them around.
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  #16  
Old 08-06-2011, 10:16 AM
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Default Re: Soapstone vs Firebrick ??

Thanks for all of the input I think I will buy a piece of soapstone in 1/2 and 1 inch sizes and try them in my oven, I like the idea of a half and half and if all works out I may do that at some point in the future, I will be making my inner arch 1/2 inch taller than ideal 63% to compensate for any future addition of soapstone.

I will work with my oven as a brick floor at first and experiment with some soapstone remnants and tiles

Again thanks for your thoughts.

Chip
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Old 08-06-2011, 10:34 AM
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Default Re: Soapstone vs Firebrick ??

Chip,
When I went looking for a stone for my oven, I found that the fabrication shop had tons of cut offs waiting for a home.. I don't remember exactly what I paid but it was less than $50 for 2 identically cut stones. The stones were cut to my specifications to fit the kitchen oven rack. I measured the interior of the oven and took 2 inches off of the width and depth of the stone to allow for air movement. If and when I have new ones cut I'll cut 3 inches off the depth, to avoid the little 45 degree cant of the back of the rack and cut the width a 1/2 inch narrower to sit between the wires of the rack. The current width is just the width of the rack wire too wide making putting the stone in and having it sit just right more effort than it needs to be.

John found his SS at such a low price that I remember that buying bricks would have been more expensive as a floor material. He found it on Craigslist I think I remember. Look around and if you want a SS floor I think you'll find it at a reasonable price. And I know that you could always make a fabricator a $100 deal to haul away plenty of cutoffs and patchwork them into a very nice floor..


Chris

Last edited by SCChris; 08-06-2011 at 10:38 AM.
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  #18  
Old 08-06-2011, 06:04 PM
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Default Re: Soapstone vs Firebrick ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCChris View Post
Chip,
When I went looking for a stone for my oven, I found that the fabrication shop ...
Chris
Thanks for the info I will keep my eyes open for a deal and call a few fabricators in the area to see if i can be something going.

I really like the idea of fewer seams and a polished floor.

Chip.
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  #19  
Old 08-13-2011, 04:15 PM
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Default Re: Soapstone vs Firebrick ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCChris View Post
Chip,
When I went looking for a stone for my oven, I found that the fabrication shop had tons of cut offs waiting for a home.. I don't remember exactly what I paid but it was less than $50 for 2 identically cut stones. The stones were cut to my specifications to fit the kitchen oven rack. I measured the interior of the oven and took 2 inches off of the width and depth of the stone to allow for air movement. If and when I have new ones cut I'll cut 3 inches off the depth, to avoid the little 45 degree cant of the back of the rack and cut the width a 1/2 inch narrower to sit between the wires of the rack. The current width is just the width of the rack wire too wide making putting the stone in and having it sit just right more effort than it needs to be.

John found his SS at such a low price that I remember that buying bricks would have been more expensive as a floor material. He found it on Craigslist I think I remember. Look around and if you want a SS floor I think you'll find it at a reasonable price. And I know that you could always make a fabricator a $100 deal to haul away plenty of cutoffs and patchwork them into a very nice floor..


Chris
Hi
I have just started collecting materials for a oven. bought 50 firebricks yesterday and ordered a 4.5 inch grinder and will be going tomorrow to get a sheet of 3/4" plywood and some cinder blocks. I would like to ask you if you would be willing to share information on the fabricator you got your soapstone from. I live in Hemet and I am retired and need a hobby. Just getting over having 2 hip joints replaced and will be at this for a while. I have been reading this forum for the three to four weeks since I found it. I have seen a lot of builds and have changed my mind 30 or 40 times since I started. Every time I see one I tell my wife this is the one and then I look at the next one and there I go again. Any help with materials will help also.
Thank you
Hank
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:37 AM
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Default Re: Soapstone vs Firebrick ??

I realize this thread is a bit old, but I have been considering soapstone for my new oven build - and found this site that thought might be interesting to others researching the topic.

Soapstone Firebricks Fireplace Firebox Fire Brick :: M Teixeira Soapstone

Seems a bit pricy @ approx $10.50 per brick (for pick up) but it at least gives a reference point

At the end of the day, I suspect I will stick with firebricks - but I have a little while to research still.
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