With summer fast approaching, many of us are looking to utilize our garden space and make the most of the warmer weather. Whether it’s new furniture, a BBQ, or even a pizza oven, it's time to have fun with our outdoor space.
But when it comes to pizza ovens, they can get expensive. It’s why so many of us opt to build our own and enjoy pizzas the way they should be cooked in a traditional pizza fire oven.
You can practically taste the authenticity through the screen, can’t you?
Building your pizza oven is not without its own set of challenges, from finding the right parts to building it to the right size. It can leave many of us with a brick-related headache.
But it doesn’t have to be this way! We have all the answers for you today, helping you select the correct bricks and build your pizza oven with ease. Just keep reading for all the information you need.
Can I use regular bricks for a pizza oven?
No, you will need to pay close attention to the bricks used for your pizza oven, and often regular bricks are not suitable.
You need to choose the correct brick and ensure that it can withstand the heat of the pizza oven so that you have a safe to use the oven at all times.
Generally speaking, bricks made from clay that have been kilns fired, such as fire brick or red clay brick, can be used for pizza ovens as these can function in extreme heat and withstand the heat from your pizza oven with ease.
When it comes to the bricks used, firebrick is the preferred d brick that pizza oven builders will use. These bricks can handle high temperatures and are seen in fireplaces and fireboxes, as well as pizza ovens.
Firebricks feature a composition of alumina and silica in the clay they are made from, giving them their high heat resistance and making them less likely to flake or crumble after extended use.
It’s these features that make them a firm favorite and a brick you should be using for your pizza oven.
Alternatively, you can use red clay bricks for your pizza oven. These are traditionally seen as the red house brick and feature alumina and silica in their makeup too.
They can be solid or hollow cored; ideally, you should fill hollow cored bricks with mortar before using them in your pizza oven.
These are fine choices. However, they are less heat resistant than firebrick.
Over time you might notice the bricks cracking or starting to flake, not what you want for your pizza oven! These bricks might need to be replaced and won’t be as durable as firebrick construction.
It’s worth considering these factors and the cost of the bricks before beginning work on your pizza oven.
Can you use pavers for a pizza oven?
Depending on the purpose, you can use pavers for a pizza oven! Some people have built their pizza ovens with concrete pavers inside.
These pavers act as shelving almost and need to be placed at specific places to maintain appropriate airflow for the fire.
While these are fine to use, as pavers are made from concrete, it’s not always recommended for pizza ovens.
As we mentioned earlier, concrete is not as heat resistant as other bricks on the market, which can cause structural issues and impact the longevity of your pizza oven.
In these cases, it’s always best to opt for a firebrick or red clay brick to ensure that the pizza oven will stand the test of time and maintain the correct heat for you.
Although these bricks can sometimes be more expensive than concrete, we think it’s worth having a pizza oven that will last and function properly.
However, the cost can be a concern for some.
Concrete and pavers can be used for pizza ovens in these cases, but it’s worth noting that they are likely to have shorter lifespans, and problems such as flaking or cracking can occur when used frequently.
It’s worth weighing up these factors before building your pizza oven. If you can, avoid concrete, but concrete pavers can be used in instances where you can’t.
Can you use concrete to make a pizza oven?
Yes, you can use concrete for your pizza oven, but only parts of it! You can use concrete to make a foundation if your location needs one.
There are no two ways around it; your pizza oven will be heavy, no matter the bricks you use, so there needs to be a sturdy foundation in place that can support the weight of your oven.
Concrete is a great substance to use and will ensure the weight of your oven can be supported.
To lay a pizza oven base, dig out the ground for the space required; sometimes, it’s best to allow a little extra space so that you are standing on the same level as the oven.
Add a layer of gravel topped with a rebar grid to offer extra strength and support to the concrete. When it comes to your pizza oven, you don’t want to take risks and not have enough support!
You can then smooth your concrete on top and allow it to set before continuing with the construction of your pizza oven.
Be sure to level the concrete before leaving it to dry so that you have a smooth and even surface to build on!
When it comes to constructing your pizza oven, it’s best to avoid concrete and use mortar instead. Mortar is traditionally used to bind the bricks and other parts of your pizza oven together and is one we recommend using.
Those with a refractory mixture are of better quality and will provide fantastic durability and heat resistance when your pizza oven is being used.
How many bricks do I need for a pizza oven?
Depending on the size you wish your pizza oven to be, you are looking at roughly 200-275 bricks.
These will include the bricks to create the external shape and any internal shelves and construction you need for your oven. The figure of 200-275 has been calculated based on the average size of a pizza oven and the average size.
As always, allowances should be made. It’s always worth ordering a few extra bricks if you break some or need more than you anticipated.
There can also be cases where not all the bricks will be the same size. If you are ordering them from a builder, then the chances are this should not happen, but it's still a factor to be aware of.
Generally speaking, a firebrick should measure 123x57x257mm, placing the average at 200-275 firebricks to build a pizza oven that can service the average home.
If you want to create a larger or smaller pizza oven, you can make adjustments here based on the dimensions of your oven.
It's worth noting that the number can change if you use red clay bricks or concrete bricks.
In these cases, work out the dimensions of your pizza oven and the average dimension of the bricks using to calculate the number of bricks you will need.
As we mentioned earlier, it's always better to overestimate just in case you break a few!