Barry & Aaron,
Regarding potentially moving this thread, I suppose the moderators will have the final say so. But I would greatly prefer to keep all information in this thread. My reasoning is simple. Pizza Raquel represents a cost-no-object standard of quality. The Raquel oven project is a significant part of my evolution as an artisan pizza maker. I view it as the next area of exploration in my progression of maxing out each and every aspect of home pizza making.
The floor tiles were originally sourced from Italy. I spent several weeks evaluating most, if not all, other known deck materials (bricks, pourable refractory materials, etc.) and found the refractory tiles to have the best overall performance fit for the Raquel oven project. They measure approximately 43" in diameter.
Deck insulation material obviously plays a crucial role in building a high performance pizza specific oven like the Raquel. The latest array of high tech insulating materials is quite broad and immensely effective. My refractory guy is still in the process of evaluating the latest alternatives available. Frankly, I'm not sure one can go wrong with the latest deck insulation materials. They all excel at keeping the heat where it should be. In my case, it comes down to the best fit for my overall design goals.
A minor update to report on the dome which I consider to be the single most challenging aspect to the project. My Cad guy is nearly finished with the isometric views of the dome. The birth of his first child has slowed his progress somewhat. Since I'm traveling on business five days a week right now, I'm not losing much ground due to his new addition. Once I receive the drawings, we will be able to design the forms to cast the various dome pieces. With the level of design quality I'm shooting for, I would rather take more time to get as close to perfection as is humanly possible.
I wouldn't have it any other way.