A tip or two for ya' on kiln building and design............
One of the common causes of cold floors on kilns revolves around the mistaken understanding that so many people have that "heat rises". That preception being some sort of a "law" comes from our experiential understanding of our lives....where we experience that HOT GASES rise (like in heated structures). Hot gases rise when suspended in colder gases. Heat energy....... not true.
This mis-understanding is a core concept that I deal with in my Kiln Design and Construction classes.
Heat energy ALWAYS moves from areas of higher concentration to areas of lower concentration. Basic law of thermodynamics. Entropy. Water flows downhill. (Yes... a heat pump can move heat energy seemingly "uphill",...... but that is a separate subject.)
If you want the kiln to fire as evenly as possible using as little fuel to accomplish that feat as possibe........ make sure you don't under-insulate the floor. Otherwise you'll have to adjust the heat DISTRIBUTION pattern in the unit to send more of the overall energy into the floor area than otehrwise necessary.... some of which to also be lost out of the underinsulated floor..... and costing you money in every firing.
So if you decide that the walls and roof structure of a kiln has to have a specific insulation value (heat loss in BTS/ Sq. Ft. / hr.) then the FLOOR should have the same level of insulation. (See * note below also) So if your walls are 9" of brickwork compoised of a 4 1/2" hard brick hot face layer, backed with a 4 1/2" insulating brick layer (of some specific use temp rating) then the floor should also have about this same rating overall.
This can be a little different due to the typical layout of floor bricks being set in the 2 1/2" high layer and the walls being in the 4 1/2" format..... but you CAN lay floors with the brick set in the same (or similar) configuration. The common choices to "match" up to a 9" wall section oftten comes to a decision between a 7 1/2" thick floor and a 10" thick floor. If you understand the insulating values of refractories, you can achieve the SAME insulating value (BTU / Sq. Ft / Hr. conductivity) out of a thinner floor wall section than the side wall structure using DIFFERENT materials........ so the thickness is actuall irrelevant.
The important concept is that the INSULATING value be similar.
The old Rhodes book showing so many 5" thick hardbrick floors in kilns is responsible for SO many kilns with cold bottoms it is amazing. This is something that I commonly end up fixing on a kiln when I am called in to troubleshoot some kiln firing issues.
And if you decide to use fiber in the floor area........ make sure not to compress the fiber too greatly (difficult in a load bearing situation). The more you compress the dead air spaces... the more the loss of insulating value. There is an optimum level of compression for fiber...... used in stuff like Z blocks. Best (easiest) to use "hard versions" of fiber for floors....like board forms.
(*NOTE: Because there is typically less free air circulation across the cold face of the floor structure, technically the amount of heat energy disappated into the surrounding environment off the cold face is lower than on the vertical wall surfaces and off the roof or arch. So the BTU /Sq,. Ft. / Hr. loss values there is slightly less than the same construction in a wall or roof. But this factor is so small in the overall picture ...as to be inconsequential.)
The old Rhodes book showing so many 5" thick hardbrick floors in kilns is responsible for SO many kilns with cold bottoms it is amazing. This is something that I commonly end up fixing on a kiln when I am called in to troubleshoot some kiln firing issues. I have the old Rhodes book, and have read it a couple of times. I always wondered about the floors as many later books take the approach you mentioned as top, sides and bottom being equal. Thank you for clarifying something that has always bothered/mystified me. At one time I had thought about building a gas kiln, but my present circumstances would not allow it. I wondered about the same approach to electrics, as I have the habit of using a double floor(old floor or lid under new one) in my electrics, with a slightly thicker than original lid.