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I was sort of coming to that conclusion and it helps to hear the confirmation. Perlite seems about half the cost too. Any research I've done doesn't show any appreciable differences for our needs. I hadn't realized there was a coarse version. Why is it better?
It will be interesting to see if the local vendors are even aware of the fact that there are choices. Some don't seem to know much. I've already flummoxed more than a few people just by starting up a discussion on firebrick. No one seems to have heard of "heavy, medium or light duty" firebrick. It's all firebrick to them. One size fits all, apparently. Anyway, thanks all. I will carry on and pizza will be served before the end of summer!