Firebrick Hearth Floor Getting Wet

After a little over a year using the oven I am noticing that 2 of the front hearth firebricks have settled a little bit. I have installed the gasket on the steel door. I thought about the possible pitch of the extended ledge which is perfectly level. I am assuming this is from some water getting in. My question is should I be concerned or somehow correct this. I noticed today here in CT after last nights and this mornings heavy rain I had some more water seep in onto the hearth surface. I have never seen standing water but you can tell it’s wet.


Please Enjoy my e-pie!
I’m thoroughly enjoying my Mattone Barile Grande Oven. It makes delicious pizza and works great with my cast iron pans!

Hi Dave,

Love the photos and great to see you back.

Unfortunately the photos don’t seem to show the settling you mentioned. The hearth is “living” in the sense that it is affected by the heating/cooling cycles in a well used oven like yours. It’s a dynamic similar to the one that plants potholes in our fine Connecticut highways.

If the bricks in question are free-floating (their edges aren’t under a sill or the oven walls) you can lift them straight up and out, then level the sand underneath and add a small amount to level the base with the adjacent brick. It doesn’t need much, and you need to be careful to avoid sand ridging up between the joints.

Responding to the actual question, though, you only need to worry about settling if the brick in question is interfering with sliding food in and out of the oven. The moisture from the kind of rain we’ve had the last couple of days is not likely to be somehow eroding your base slab or washing away the underlying sand. In an oven I know to be as well built as yours, it’s just not a concern.

Be well and keep exercising those cast iron pans!

Thanks Matt,
I was probably over thinking it but just wanted to stay ahead of the curve as I keep a close eye on it. The settling in question is at the front center of that large overhang hearth slab and does not interfere at all with cooking. The rest of the hearth looks to be in good shape and is performing well. If it settles any more I may follow your advise to raise them a bit with sand.
Thanks Again,
Dave

I know how much attention to detail you have brought to your project. Better to think about it now and know, than to let a small problem become a big issue (which is not going to happen in this case!).