Helping Customers Create The Perfect Entertaining Space With Fire, Food, and Friends!

The Best Bricks for Building a Homemade Pizza Oven

  • 10 min read

There are many different types of bricks that can be used to build a brick pizza oven at home. Each type of brick has its own advantages and disadvantages, and it is important to understand these before you begin construction.

In this blog post, we will discuss the six most popular types of bricks for building a pizza oven: firebricks, ceramic tiles, refractory cements, clay bricks, mortars, and concrete block. We'll explain how each type is created and the best reasons to use them. You can also find sources for each type of brick so that you can get started building the best pizza oven today!

Outdoor pizza oven made of red fire brick

Types Of Bricks Used to Build Pizza Ovens

Here are the top 6 types of bricks to use when building a pizza oven in your outdoor kitchen. 


Firebricks are the most popular type of brick for wood-fired ovens. They are made from a combination of clay, sand, and water that is fired in a kiln to temperatures over 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. This creates an extremely dense material that can withstand high heat without cracking or warping.

The major advantage of firebricks is their ability to maintain heat, which helps insulate the oven and keep it hot for longer. While they can be tough to find in local stores, they are more accessible to purchase online.


GIRtech USM-5 Heavy Duty Fire Brick
Girtech fire bricks
Rutland Products Fire Brick
Rutland Fire bricks
Protalwell Fire Bricks
Protalwell Woodstove Firebricks

Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic tiles are a great alternative to firebricks if you don't want to spend too much money. They are made from clay and other minerals that have been shaped into tiles and then baked in a kiln.

Ceramic tiles are fireproof, meaning they won't break or crack when exposed to high temperatures. Furthermore, they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you can create your own unique oven design. The downside is that ceramic tiles don't insulate very well, so your outdoor oven will cool down quickly.

Refractory Cements

Refractory cements are a type of mortar that can be used to build an outdoor brick pizza oven. They are made from a combination of sand, cement, and other materials that have been heated in a kiln until they become solid.

Refractory cements are the most durable type of brick and can withstand temperatures up to 3000 degrees Fahrenheit. The downside is that they are difficult to find in local stores, so you'll have to order them online or make them yourself.

Clay Bricks

Clay bricks are one of the most popular choices for making homemade pizza ovens. They are made from clay or shale that is fired either in small beehive-shaped kilns, or in large modern factory ovens.

Red clay bricks are durable, heat resistant and great for retaining heat. Their main disadvantage is that they can be difficult to source, as they are mainly made locally.


Mortars are a mixture of sand, cement, and water that can be used to bind bricks together. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to find in local stores, but they don't have the same strength or heat resistance as refractory cements. Mortars are best used for small brick ovens that won't be exposed to extreme temperatures.

Concrete Blocks

Concrete blocks have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their durability and affordability. Since concrete blocks come in a variety of shapes and sizes, people think they can customize their pizza oven design with ease.

However, concrete blocks are not be the best solution because of their lack of insulation and heat retention.  They also can't withstand the heat created in a true wood-burning oven. 


Features of a Good Brick 

Bricks are an essential building material used in construction. For a structure to be strong and durable, the bricks used must be of good quality.

Here are some features that make the best bricks:

1. Durability: Good bricks should not easily wear out or break over time. They must have high compressive strength and resistance to heat, water, and fire.

2. Uniformity: Good bricks should be of a uniform size and shape so that they can fit together easily during construction. They must also have a uniform colour and texture to give the structure an aesthetically pleasing look.

3. Strength: Good bricks should have high tensile strength to resist cracking and chipping. They should also have good thermal insulation properties to keep the inside temperature comfortable.

4. Pores: Good bricks should have small, uniform pores that provide excellent water absorption and ventilation. This helps prevent mould growth and moisture damage over time.

5. Cost-effectiveness: Good bricks should be affordable and not too expensive to purchase. They should also be easy to install and require minimal maintenance, which saves construction costs in the long run.

Overall, good bricks are essential for constructing a strong and durable structure. These features help ensure that the bricks used have all the qualities necessary for long-term performance.

When building a homemade pizza oven, it is important to choose the right type of bricks. Not all bricks are suitable for making pizza ovens due to their size, composition and porosity. 

Generally speaking, good bricks for pizza ovens should be large enough to retain heat well, dense enough to conduct heat evenly and have plenty of thermal mass (which ensures the oven retains heat for a long time).

Additional Information Regarding Fire Bricks

Fire bricks are a type of high-temperature brick used in fireplaces, furnaces, kilns and ovens. They are made from refractory ceramic material that can withstand temperatures of up to 2000°F (1093°C).

Fire bricks come in a variety of shapes, sizes and compositions. The most common types of fire bricks are soft fire bricks, dense fire bricks and insulating fire bricks. 

Soft Fire Bricks 

Soft fire bricks are made of clay and silica, with high temperatures up to 2000°F (1093°C). They are lightweight yet strong enough to withstand thermal shock due to their low permeability and excellent insulation capability. Soft fire bricks are great for lining furnaces and kilns, as they can absorb intense heat without cracking or crumbling.

Dense Fire Bricks 

Dense fire bricks are much more durable than soft fire bricks and can withstand temperatures up to 2600°F (1427°C). These refractory materials are made of alumina-silica and other mineral oxides. The dense fire bricks with high alumina content are ideal for lining furnaces, kilns and ovens that require high temperatures.

Insulating Fire Bricks

Insulating fire bricks are made of refractory ceramic fiber blended with alumina and silica oxide to provide excellent thermal insulation in applications up to 2000°F (1093°C). They are lightweight, have low thermal conductivity and can resist thermal shock. Insulating fire bricks are great for furnaces and kilns that require high temperature but need to maintain low heat loss.

Man working in fire brick kiln

FAQs About Brick For Pizza Ovens

Can You Use Regular Bricks To Build a Pizza Oven?

No, you should not use regular house bricks to build a pizza oven. Regular bricks are not the most ideal material for building pizza ovens because they do not retain heat very well and can crack or break under excessive heat.

Using fire bricks is the best option for building a pizza oven because they are designed to withstand high temperatures without breaking. We do not recommend building home ovens with regular bricks or old brick leftover from other projects.

Can You Make A Pizza Oven Out Of Pavers?

It is recommended that you do not make a pizza oven out of pavers because they are not designed to withstand the intense heat that a pizza oven requires. Instead, you should use materials such as firebricks, ceramic tiles, and refractory cement which are specifically designed for high-temperature applications.

Additionally, if you choose to build your own pizza oven with pavers, you'll need to take extra precautions to ensure that the pavers are chemical-free so your food isn't tainted when cooking. Ultimately, the best choice is to use materials specifically designed for pizza ovens when constructing one.

Can You Use Any Brick For a Pizza Oven?

No, not all bricks are suitable for a pizza oven. Clay or fire bricks work best because they can withstand the high temperatures necessary for baking pizza. If you have clay bricks on hand, that is ideal as they are naturally more porous than other types of brick and will absorb moisture better which helps to create a crispier crust with better baking results.

For the best baking results it is recommended to use a special firebrick which has been specifically designed for pizza ovens. Firebricks are much denser than clay bricks and can withstand higher temperatures, making them ideal for creating that perfect crust!

If you don't have any of these options available, you could also consider using refractory cement and a specialized insulating material. However, these materials can be more expensive than clay or fire bricks so you may want to consider those first.

Authentic pizza cooking in a brick oven

What Is The Surface In A Pizza Oven?

The cooking surface of a pizza oven is typically made from ceramic, stone, cordierite, or tile. The material chosen depends on the type of oven and how it will be used.

  • Ceramic provides excellent heat conduction and retention, making it ideal for wood-fired ovens.
  • Stone adds an extra level of insulation that helps evenly distribute heat throughout the oven chamber and ensures that the pizza is cooked evenly.
  • Tile surfaces are best used for gas-fired ovens, as they provide a durable and easy-to-clean surface while retaining heat.
  • Cordierite can withstand the high temperatures generated by these ovens and is resilient enough to maintain its shape.

Regardless of the material chosen, the pizza oven floor should be flat and even to ensure perfect pizzas baked every time. You want to use a material that will absorb moisture from your pizza dough while also radiating heat to give you the perfect crust. Make sure your surface is cleaned and well maintained to ensure delicious pizzas every time. With the right pizza oven, your pies will be crispy on the outside and soft and delicious on the inside! Enjoy!

Can You Use Cement Instead Of Mortar?

When building a wood-fired pizza oven, many people wonder if they can use cement instead of mortar. The answer is no, cement is not a suitable substitute for mortar in pizza oven construction.

Mortar is specifically designed to provide a strong bond between bricks or stones, while also allowing them to expand and contract as temperatures change. Cement does not have this capability and will actually crack over time due to the expansive force of the heating and cooling cycles within a pizza oven.

The best material for pizza oven construction is a high-temperature refractory mortar, which is designed to withstand temperatures up to 2000°F (1093°C). Additionally, using a high-temperature mortar helps keep your bricks in place and will provide a better insulation for your oven compared to cement. Therefore, it is important to use the correct materials when constructing a pizza oven to ensure that it lasts for many years.

Do You Have To Mortar Fire Brick?

Yes, mortar is necessary when installing fire brick. Fire brick must be installed with a layer of refractory mortar between each course of bricks. This ensures that the bricks are held together properly and are sealed against heat, steam, and smoke. It also provides an airtight seal that prevents air from entering the fireplace or stove chamber.

The mortar should be applied in a thick layer, about 1/4 inch thick. Additionally, the mortar must be cured for at least 24 hours before it is used to install fire brick. The curing process ensures that the mortar reaches its maximum strength and flexibility. Properly installed fire brick will last for years and provide homeowners with reliable protection against heat and smoke.

For best results, it is always recommended that a professional contractor be consulted before attempting to install fire brick. Professionals have the knowledge and experience needed to ensure that the installation is done correctly and safely.

They can also recommend the appropriate mortar mixture for your particular application. It is important to remember that improperly installed fire brick can be dangerous.

What Bricks Can’t Be Used for Pizza Ovens?

Generally, regular bricks can't be used for building a wood-fired brick oven. Regular bricks are usually made of clay and fired at too low a temperature to withstand the high heat of baking pizzas without cracking or breaking apart. In addition, they aren’t designed with enough insulation to help keep the intense heat inside while cooking the pizzas. 

Where Can I Buy Fire Bricks To Build A Pizza Oven?

Fire bricks are a great choice when it comes to building a DIY pizza oven. They provide superior heat retention and insulation, making them an ideal material for the job. There are many places that sell fire bricks, including brick and mortar stores, online retailers, and specialty brick suppliers.

You can also sometimes find fire bricks at big box hardware stores or home improvement stores. Be sure to ask for fire bricks specifically, as regular brick is not suitable for a pizza oven. When purchasing your fire bricks, make sure they are the right size and shape to fit your oven design.

Also, check the quality of the bricks before buying –make sure there are no cracks or damage that could weaken them over time. Finally, double-check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the amount of bricks you need to purchase. Once you have your fire bricks, it's time to start building that pizza oven!

For your reference, here are several affiliate dealers that carry fire bricks for a pizza oven:  

Rutland Fire Bricks for Fireplaces & Woodstoves
Rutland Fire bricks
Protalwell Woodstove Fire Brick Replacements
Protalwell Woodstove Firebricks
GIRtech Forge High Density Heavy Duty Fire Brick
Girtech fire bricks

Overall, there are a variety of different types of bricks that can be used to build a brick outdoor pizza oven at home. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to understand them before starting construction.

Firebricks are the most popular choice for pizza ovens due to their excellent heat retention, but ceramic tiles or refractory cements can also be used depending on your budget and design. Finally, mortars are great for smaller ovens but won't stand up to extreme temperatures.

If you're in the market for fire bricks to build your own pizza oven, there are plenty of places to buy them. Brick and mortar stores, online retailers, and specialty brick suppliers are all likely sources for what you need. 

Make sure to double-check the manufacturer's recommendations regarding how many bricks you'll need before purchasing. Once you have your fire bricks and the right materials in hand, it's time to start building that pizza oven!

About Our Recommendations

At Patio & Pizza Outdoor Furnishings, our primary goal is to help our customers learn about our products and find the best solutions involving friends, fire, food, and fun!

Part of how we do that is by recommending curated products and accessories that we may not carry directly on our site. While we'd love to recommend all the products we carry first, we strive to recommend the products that would fit best for most audiences and this sometimes means we will recommend products on other sites.

In certain blog posts, we may earn a small commission when readers purchase products through our links. This doesn’t affect which products we include in the articles as all of the products we highlight are recommended for their quality, performance and overall reputation regardless of any affiliate relationships.

To learn more, visit our Amazon Associate Disclaimer page.