Setting Your Cooking Surface
Measure your hearth to ensure that you are centering your oven left and right on the hearth. How far back you set the cooking surface will depend on the size and material you are using for the oven landing in front of the oven opening.
Do a trial layout using your oven landing material and your oven floor. This will help you place your oven to the correct depth on the hearth slab.
Using a sponge, dampen the insulating hearth with water. Spread a thin layer of refractory mortar using a 3/8" notched trowel. Lay your cooking surface in place, starting from the back and moving forward. Place your vent landing last. Check for level. This is your true cooking surface, so it is vital that it is complete level in all directions (graph 1).
Check again that the oven "faces" straight forward.
Fill the joints between the cooking surface elements with refractory mortar. Take care to make sure that no mortar is left above the level of the cooking surface. (graph 2.)
Do not put any material between the cooking surface and the oven dome, and take care to use only refractory mortar between the pieces of the cooking surface.
Proceed to oven Dome Assembly.
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