Heavy Brick as Veneer on the Pizza Oven

I was planning on using old, full-sized historic bricks that are from our small goldrush era community as a final veneer. Just a bunch of old bricks in very rough condition that will make the oven appear like it’s always been there. I plan to pressure wash them as they been sequestered for 175 yrs plus or minus.

The bricks have a history… a couple of them are Cowen bricks that were shipped from England. Cowen was a character who was a member of parliament and had a reputation for being for the working man. It was said that he shipped contraband along with his bricks to America. There are some Carnegie bricks among these the Cowen bricks that date back to the late 1800’s.

I wondered if there was an issue with the additional weight? Since your design seems like a catenary arch it would seem to not be and issue. We are on a dedicated slab with much more steel and cement than your plan called for.

The thing that makes this a given is your plan calls for around 40sf of veneer and when I moved all these to get them ready to clean up, they took up a space 5x8.

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Those are beautiful brick!

Here are my thoughts:

  1. Your concern about the weight… is a non-issue. Once the bricks are mortared into place (catenary arch), all the weight of that brick and mortar is placed on the bottom of the arch - which positioned perfectly over the sides of the cinder block walls of the pizza oven base.

  2. My bigger concern - do you have enough brick to veneer the sides, top, front & back of the oven? If this is a concern, I’d recommend cutting some of the brick in half (vertically) so you can use both sides of the brick - instead of one side. This will ensure that you have enough veneer for the oven project AND… it will decrease the weight of the veneer - another solution to the weight issue.

How to make Brick Veneer from FULL SIZE pieces of Brick - It’s easier than you think! - Construction Materials Needed to Build a BrickWood - BrickWood Ovens

I join @BrickWood in complimenting you on those beautiful bricks.

And, I want to reinforce the concern about having enough of them to finish. Having exactly 40 sf leaves you no allowance for corners, fitting, and so on.

The back and front of your oven would be a natural and graceful place to use splits. For these particular bricks I can see the barrel carrying the full bricks as veneer, and you would have more like 50-55sf to work with.

I’m really eager to see photos of these in place. Best of luck!

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