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Hi All,

 

I'm setting up in a studio with a polyurethaned bamboo floor. Which of these materials is best to put on the floor and under the kiln (that is on an 8" stand; firing to cone 10):

 

1) ceramic tile backer board? if so, what brand would be best for not transferring heat to the floor?

2) these 1" insulating firebicks:  http://www.ebay.com/itm/Insulating-Firebrick-9-x-4-5-x-1-IFB-Straight-Fire-Brick-K20-INDIVIDUAL-BRICKS-/200900849899     ?

 

or a combination of both, backboard on the floor and kiln on top perhaps?

 

many thanks,

 

Greg K.

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You are trying to protect the floor from two different heat sources.  First is the heat transfered directly to the floor via the metal legs of the stand.  You need to put something under those legs that will keep heat from passing through, but still be strong and stable enough to hold your kiln.  I would think the fire bricks would be sufficient for that purpose.  You also have to protect against radiant heat that is comming from the kiln in every direction.  That heat will warm the entire area around the kiln and the closer things are the hotter they will get.  So underneath the kiln you need some sort of material that will keep the area under the kiln from recieving radiant heat and also makes sure that the material does not pass on to the floor the radiant heat that it absorbs from the kiln.  appropriate insulation may be enough to accomplish this purpose.

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what do people think of useing a heat sheild?

 

ie single layer of tile backer board on the floor.  then 4 bricks at the locations of the stand feet, then a piece of sheet metal the size of the kiln on top of the bricks which the legs of the metal stand sit on.   

 

thus forming a heat shield that sits ~2" off the ground allowing for air circulation.

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what do people think of useing a heat sheild?

 

ie single layer of tile backer board on the floor.  then 4 bricks at the locations of the stand feet, then a piece of sheet metal the size of the kiln on top of the bricks which the legs of the metal stand sit on.   

 

thus forming a heat shield that sits ~2" off the ground allowing for air circulation.

As long as it works, There are tons of ways to make sure heat does not transfer, Dead air space is one, etc

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what kind of backer board? There are many brands and types...

 

Viking Potter, what is "appropriate insulation". I'm completely new at this. Do you mean the firebrick or air gap or another material? I'm not sure what all is available for this type of application...

 

would one layer of 1" firebrick (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Insulating-Firebrick-9-x-4-5-x-1-IFB-Straight-Fire-Brick-K20-INDIVIDUAL-BRICKS-/200900849899) under the feet work? This firebrick is not supposed to transfer much heat through it to the floor...

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Use cement board. It's basically a thin slab of cement with a mesh fabric inside for structural stability. It will do a great job preventing heat transfer and protecting the wood. The other great benefit of the cement board is that it is thin, about 5/16", so you won't be raising the kiln up a bunch. Creating air gaps using bricks and heat shields is great from an insulating standpoint, but is overkill. And if you have a 27" deep kiln, you will likely make the kiln too tall to load comfortably.

 

You want at least 12 inches (preferably 18) clearance from the walls of any other combustible materials. You can put the cement board on the wall, too, if needed.

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thanks again all!

 

my kiln is 31" including the 8" stand.

 

I'm set on wall clearance. The kiln is 19" from the nearest wall.

Neil, do you feel confident that 2 layers of cement board is enough?

 

I'd have to go with your experience cause I don't think there is a way I can tell what the temperature is under the cement board once I set the kiln on it.

 

thank you!

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thanks again all!

 

my kiln is 31" including the 8" stand.

 

I'm set on wall clearance. The kiln is 19" from the nearest wall.

Neil, do you feel confident that 2 layers of cement board is enough?

 

I'd have to go with your experience cause I don't think there is a way I can tell what the temperature is under the cement board once I set the kiln on it.

 

thank you!

 

Yes. Super confident.

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Thanks Neil!

 

Ok, here's my final setup. Starting to cross fingers. I'm pretty sure this will work fine and was the least expensive and easiest to do with just one sheet of 3' X 5' Hardibacker cement board.

 

Thanks to everyone who helped me think this through. With this setup, I can get a laser meter under the channels and measure the heat directly below the kiln. Will post back after next firing.

 

https://plus.google.com/photos/113992852024938165142/albums/6003679061120372289?authkey=CNKp7ISK7_7kqAE

 

(hope this link works...)

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You do know those photos give me a nice map of exactly where your house is? Just thought I would mention it just in case you did not know and wanted to remove it.

 

I know it is a private shared link but anybody who clicks it can find out.

 

I have one question. What is the point of that downdraft system? Does the vented air just go through the pipe to the outside?

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  • 5 years later...
On 4/17/2014 at 3:56 AM, neilestrick said:

Use cement board. It's basically a thin slab of cement with a mesh fabric inside for structural stability. It will do a great job preventing heat transfer and protecting the wood. The other great benefit of the cement board is that it is thin, about 5/16", so you won't be raising the kiln up a bunch. Creating air gaps using bricks and heat shields is great from an insulating standpoint, but is overkill. And if you have a 27" deep kiln, you will likely make the kiln too tall to load comfortably.

 

You want at least 12 inches (preferably 18) clearance from the walls of any other combustible materials. You can put the cement board on the wall, too, if needed.

This is years after the original post, but I found the information everyone provided extremely useful because I'm going through a similar thing now with installing two kilns actually. I hope it's okay I add to the discussion thread here? The first kiln a Paragon 3 cuft electric digitial kiln in my house in a backroom 120sf studio which has wood floors and wood walls. It's sitting on a 9" H metal stand and is 16" away from the walls. I've already fired it several times with just a piece of cement board under it, I'm ashamed to say. I don't have a downdraft vent but there is a window box fan nearby blowing out air, and screened windows all around the kiln and a door out to the yard that I leave open when firing. I shut the door to the studio which is far from my room, and I fire at night. Future firings will just be bisque. After reading the thread I'm going to cover walls next to kiln with (1) layer 1/2" cement board and (2) layers on the floor 12" around the kiln. Do you think this is sufficient with no downdraft vent?

The other electric kiln is a Skutt 1027 7 cuft in an enclosed 106sf room with only a tiny opening, but doorway opens into other rooms. It has an old linoleum floor (the asbestos kind) and painted cinder block walls. It's sitting on an 8" H metal stand, and I have purchased the Skutt Envirovent 2 downdraft kiln vent to vent fumes outside. I was going to take Neil's forum advice and cover only the floor with (2) sheets of 1/2" cement hardi-back. Anyone have any other advice or words of caution for me, I would greatly appreciate it. So grateful for this pottery community and all the tips and wisdom made accessible to the all of us. THANK YOU!

 

Edited by PeppernPatches
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Hi PP, hope you like your 1027! I've been running my bought used thirty two year old model in the garage with a home built downdraft system for a year and a half now.

Be sure to leave a way for make up air to enter that small room. Your Envirovent will be moving a lot of air from the room. If the 1027 doesn't have holes in lid, there's that, however, might not need to drill any if there's sufficient gaps between the top section and lid, and between top section and middle section. A butane lighter flame makes a good tell-tale for air movement, or a smoke punk - to check where air is being sucked in. Likely the air flow will differ when the kiln is at temperature, vs. at ambient.

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9 hours ago, PeppernPatches said:

This is years after the original post, but I found the information everyone provided extremely useful because I'm going through a similar thing now with installing two kilns actually. I hope it's okay I add to the discussion thread here? The first kiln a Paragon 3 cuft electric digitial kiln in my house in a backroom 120sf studio which has wood floors and wood walls. It's sitting on a 9" H metal stand and is 16" away from the walls. I've already fired it several times with just a piece of cement board under it, I'm ashamed to say. I don't have a downdraft vent but there is a window box fan nearby blowing out air, and screened windows all around the kiln and a door out to the yard that I leave open when firing. I shut the door to the studio which is far from my room, and I fire at night. Future firings will just be bisque. After reading the thread I'm going to cover walls next to kiln with (1) layer 1/2" cement board and (2) layers on the floor 12" around the kiln. Do you think this is sufficient with no downdraft vent?

The other electric kiln is a Skutt 1027 7 cuft in an enclosed 106sf room with only a tiny opening, but doorway opens into other rooms. It has an old linoleum floor (the asbestos kind) and painted cinder block walls. It's sitting on an 8" H metal stand, and I have purchased the Skutt Envirovent 2 downdraft kiln vent to vent fumes outside. I was going to take Neil's forum advice and cover only the floor with (2) sheets of 1/2" cement hardi-back. Anyone have any other advice or words of caution for me, I would greatly appreciate it. So grateful for this pottery community and all the tips and wisdom made accessible to the all of us. THANK YOU!

 

Since the room is mostly wood code would likely require that in the area of the kiln  5/8”  firecode drywall would likely be best.  I was a cement board proponent until I went to design a rated studio area. Hard to do with cement board, as it does not burn but unfortunately conducts the heat to what is below it better than drywall and therefore not rated in its own, cement board is a handy product though so not a bad choice, just not rated. For the floor I have seen 2” brick in the area of the kiln to two layers of cement board. I think the board would be easiest and believe it actually becomes rated the minute you install ceramic tile over it. Go figure.

Ventilation is important  in keeping the room cool and the fumes away. Fresh air in and a good exhaust out is very important and will keep the heat in the room down to within reason.  A typical kiln requires 400-600 cfm to exhaust a major portion of  the kiln heat. This is probably a window box fan on its highest setting. Please look above as well, your kiln will radiate heat, like the sun, to your ceiling quite a bit from the lid as invisible infrared energy. Just to be sure there is nothing crazy flammable above and it doesn’t get too hot above it. 
 

lots of folks run kilns in this type of environment. Common sense and regular keen observation always a good practical thing.

Edited by Bill Kielb
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9 hours ago, PeppernPatches said:

This is years after the original post, but I found the information everyone provided extremely useful because I'm going through a similar thing now with installing two kilns actually. I hope it's okay I add to the discussion thread here? The first kiln a Paragon 3 cuft electric digitial kiln in my house in a backroom 120sf studio which has wood floors and wood walls. It's sitting on a 9" H metal stand and is 16" away from the walls. I've already fired it several times with just a piece of cement board under it, I'm ashamed to say. I don't have a downdraft vent but there is a window box fan nearby blowing out air, and screened windows all around the kiln and a door out to the yard that I leave open when firing. I shut the door to the studio which is far from my room, and I fire at night. Future firings will just be bisque. After reading the thread I'm going to cover walls next to kiln with (1) layer 1/2" cement board and (2) layers on the floor 12" around the kiln. Do you think this is sufficient with no downdraft vent?

The other electric kiln is a Skutt 1027 7 cuft in an enclosed 106sf room with only a tiny opening, but doorway opens into other rooms. It has an old linoleum floor (the asbestos kind) and painted cinder block walls. It's sitting on an 8" H metal stand, and I have purchased the Skutt Envirovent 2 downdraft kiln vent to vent fumes outside. I was going to take Neil's forum advice and cover only the floor with (2) sheets of 1/2" cement hardi-back. Anyone have any other advice or words of caution for me, I would greatly appreciate it. So grateful for this pottery community and all the tips and wisdom made accessible to the all of us. THANK YOU!

 

If you have the recommended clearances, you don't really need to worry about the walls, but for peace of mind cement board can be used to create a non-flammable layer on the wall. If you put an air gap between the cement board and the wall board that would be best. The floor is the main issue, and 2 layers of cement board extending 12" beyond the kiln works well and doesn't raise the kiln height much.

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14 hours ago, PeppernPatches said:

I shut the door to the studio which is far from my room, and I fire at night. Future firings will just be bisque.

Running the kilns at night I would make sure that you set an alarm to get up and check that the kiln has in fact shut down when it was expected to. We try to time it so that that is actually around the time we wake up but if its in the middle of the night we set an alarm so that one of us gets up and goes and checks that kiln has turned off. Not sure it matters if you bisque only or both bisque and glaze fire for this situation as both temps are extremely high and I don't think glaze firing is going to make any difference in the safety precautions you take. Curious to see if anyone disagrees with me on that.  

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