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Best floor insulation options to go with and why - Pompeii brick oven planning

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  • Best floor insulation options to go with and why - Pompeii brick oven planning

    Hi all, i am about to start the planning for my pompei style build of a precut 1200mm Brick Pompeii build. Based on all the experience here and builds over the years, hoping to get some good advice on which options would give the best thermal mass for extended cooking and delaying cool down times.

    The standard kit i am looking at from the Sydney supplier uses 50mm calcium silica board then has a 50mm floor tile as the cooking base. There is another supplier who uses the white insulating firebricks as the first layer ontop of the structural slab then lays his cooking tile on top, a 3rd supplier in Melbourne uses a different method of applying the silica board, then uses a refractory castable of 25mm ontop then puts his floor tile on that.

    It is quite challenging for me to decide on whats the best option as each different supplier are pushing their product - as expected. Looking to get some feeback based on experience or prior reviews of these options to see why one is better than the other or views on what works best over why one doesnt work well as an option.

    My key goal here is to have a very solid built oven that has really exceptional thermal mass that i can cook low and slow roasts and breads well after the day of pizza cooking. Ideally want a bulletproof oven that wont break down over the years and is structually sound and over engineered.

    Note, this pizza oven will be located outside in the elements so really want to make sure i get this right as i will only ever build one oven.

    Summary of what options to consider are bellow for your input.

    Option 1)foundation slab> 50mm calc silica board>floor tile 300mm x 300mm x 50mm / or even 2 layers of 50mm floor cooking tiles.
    option 2) foundation slab> then use an insulating fire brick (white one) 230 x 115 x 75mm 1200 degrees for entire floor first layer, then a 25mm mix of castable refractory heat morar then apply 50mm floor cooking tile
    option 3) Foundation slab> 75mm hebel as first layer, apply silica board > firebrick tile 50mm / 75 herringbone brick
    option 4) Foundation slab> 75mm Hebel for entire floor, 25mm castable mix, full tile brick in herringbone patterns (75mm thick)
    Option 5) Foundation slab> 50mm calc silica board, hebel > fire brick

    *For my build i will be placing the first brick course ontop of the white insulating bricks which will be isolated from the main cooking floor.

    Also interested to see if you think a 3rd layer of insulating blanket is money well spent or if it will not give me many extra benifits / improve insulatiing properties?

    Finally, it might be a silly question and not practical (excuse my lack of knowlege in this area) but has anyone considered or even applied a thin layer e.g 25mm of a refractorty castalbble type mortar to the external dome prior to mesh and insulating blanket (to give extra thermal mass) and final render, or is this a big no no and ccould it possibly break the brick structure due to different thermal exmansion properties of the brick / mortar?

    Really appeciate your input here as i am about to start the process and want to make sure i have selected the best option .

    Interested to hear your thoughts on the above options.


  • #2
    Hi good questions and I would also be interested in forum members feedback.
    I have recently purchased a 1000mm internal diameter pre cut fire brick dome WFO from a Sydney company (the wood fired co/Sydney fire bricks) that includes the 50mm cal sil board then the 50mm thick floor tile fire bricks.
    They also recommend a min 30mm layer of render over 50mm insulating blanket over the outside of the 115mm thick fire brick dome.
    I decided to add a bit more insulation under the hearth and dome bricks, I am just forming up now to add a 90mm thickness 5:1 perlite/cement slab under the oven.
    I am also going to add a perlite/cement mix to the outer render layers of approx 50mm overall over top of 50mm insulating blanket and fire brick dome.
    Hoping that with Door on after initial firing will be able to get good residual heat for 3/4 days to do lots of cooking on the days after the oven is fired!
    Good luck with your build!