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Air Dry Refractory Oven Floor

Some pizza oven producers cast their cooking floor using air-dry refractory material, rather than using floor tiles that have been air dried and then kiln fired. Examples include Chicago Brick Ovens and Pavesi Forni. Pavesi casts their oven floor as a huge, large round monolithic block.

The problem is that because there materials are not kiln-fired, they are never as hard or durable as materials that are. During the kiln-firing process, raw materials sinter, which is to say they get so hot they change their fundamental state for form a new and harder material. Firebrick and Biscotto stones are both air-dried and then kiln-fired at very high (1,900ºF+) temperatures. Air dry floors wear out much more quickly than kiln-fired floors, which in the case of the Pavesi oven is a big problem when the pizzeria owner starts seeing significant pitting and spalling of the cooking floor and needs to replace it—despite the fact that it is larger than the oven opening.