Base Idea and safety concerns

Hello y’all. I have decided to take the plunge and build one of these ovens. I’m planning on building a custom base from cinder blocks and highlighting it, making it the cornerstone of my outdoor kitchen. The base will be rather large and reinforced on the interior with a block support system. The top will be cement board with a 2 3/4” concrete counter top. My thought is to use the oven form in the concrete counter top to form a “cutout” of where the oven will sit. I then plan on using calcium silica board, vermiculite and firebricks in that form to build up even with the concrete. Then build the oven on that surface. My question is, should I use high temp concrete on the counter top? My concern is the heat transfer from the bricks to the concrete and the concrete cracking, or worse. Thanks!


Hi Sean, and welcome to the BrickWood forum!

It sounds like you have a vision for how your finished kitchen will look, and of course the BrickWood kits make a good module for that.

High temp concrete is not necessary, in my opinion. If you build the insulated hearth slab, and use high strength (not high temp) concrete for that, your heat is going to stay more or less in that footprint. Per the design, I have common bricks framing the firebrick in the hearth, and I do not feel them going up in temperature on the outside. My oven is a Mattone Barile, but the base is exactly the same plan.

The key is to deviate from the design in areas where it doesn’t matter. What does matter is insulation under the hearth (which in your case sounds like the calcium silica board and vermiculite), firebrick wherever flame will touch surfaces, and robust insulation in the dome or arch above the oven to keep heat in. If you do those things, the firebrick will refract most of the heat energy back into the oven cavity rather than transmitting it out through the slab.

So, focus on strength rather than temperature control for your counter top, and you should be fine.

And, please post here whenever you can. We love custom builds, and we especially love photos of your progress!

Good luck with your Cupola, Sean.

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Thank you! I will update when I start down that rabbit hole. :wink:

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