Author Topic: abrasive quarry tiles okay?  (Read 3606 times)

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Offline canadave

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abrasive quarry tiles okay?
« on: November 14, 2007, 09:10:26 PM »
Hi all, long time no post.

I'm getting back into pizza making after moving to Nova Scotia.  I didn't bring my quarry tiles for my oven with me, I figured I'd buy a new set here.  Turned out to be harder to find them than I thought it'd be.

I finally found an unglazed quarry tile called Mayflower Red, the same sold by Home Depot in the States.  However, I had to order them sight unseen, as they were only available at a retailer via a wholesale phone order.  They said the only unglazed tiles they had available were listed as "abrasive," and I saw what they meant when I got the tiles home.  They're just like regular quarry tiles, except these have a rough kind of surface.  It looks like there's little black pieces of hard "sand" embedded within, and protruding from, the tile; it's as if they injected large bits of sand throughout the clay while the tile was still being formed.  If I run my hand really hard over the tile surface, my fingers come away with a piece or two of the little black sand.

My question is--is it chemically safe to use abrasive unglazed quarry tiles to bake on?  This is a new animal to me.  I tested sanding the tile down so it'd be smoother, and I can do that if need be, so that at least the "loose" bits of sand on the top of the tile don't get stuck on the dough.  I just wasn't sure if the process of inserting the abrasive material somehow adds harmful chemicals to the "unglazed" quarry tile.

Thanks in advance for your replies--
Dave
« Last Edit: November 14, 2007, 09:28:28 PM by canadave »


Online Pete-zza

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Re: abrasive quarry tiles okay?
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2007, 09:47:39 PM »
Dave,

Welcome back.

I have a set of the Mayflower tiles. To see what such a tile looks like, go to http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2580.msg22751.html#msg22751 (Replies 15 and 16). See also Reply 8 for more detail. I usually use pizza stones but I have baked on the Mayflower tiles and they are safe. I did not do anything to the tiles before using other than to bake them at increasing oven temperatures to outgas them, just as I did with my pizza stones.

Peter

Offline canadave

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Re: abrasive quarry tiles okay?
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2007, 09:54:09 PM »
Hi Pete!

Thanks for the welcome back, and also the response.  I just had a look at the photos.  Are those abrasive? 

In doing some looking around the Internet just now, I'm starting to get worried.  Some makers of abrasive tile say they have metallic oxides and weird things like that interspersed in their tiles.  That doesn't exactly inspire me to go right out and bake a pizza on them :(

Online Pete-zza

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Re: abrasive quarry tiles okay?
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2007, 10:03:28 PM »
Dave,

When you originally said "abrasive", I went back and checked my Mayflower tiles to see if they were abrasive. The backs are, of course, ribbed and abrasive as a result, but the baking sides are fairly smooth. Not absolutely smooth, but not rough either. If you can post some photos of your tiles, maybe a member will recognize what you have.

Peter

Offline canadave

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Re: abrasive quarry tiles okay?
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2007, 10:10:08 PM »
Yep, I was referring to the "up" side of the tile, not the underside (which is ribbed, as yours are of course).  The ribbing isn't the part that bothers me...it's the "sand" bits throughout.

Here's a webpage from a Florida tile manufacturer.  There's a couple of photos a short bit down that look similar to what I seem to have got: look at the "77310 Mayflower Red"...the same colour.  Next to it is the "7731X Commercial Red"; not the same colour, but a similar texture on the tile itself.  The bit I read below these, about the "metallic additive", is giving me great pause at this point about using these tiles.  I know the phrase was used on the webpage in reference to a different model of tile, but if it's at all a similar concept (which seems more likely than not), I'm worried about using these things.

http://www.floridatile.com/ProductStuff/quarry.htm

Offline canadave

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« Last Edit: November 16, 2007, 10:10:32 AM by canadave »

Offline Art

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Re: abrasive quarry tiles okay?
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2007, 12:26:20 PM »
jmho, but I wouldn't take the chance.  :-\  :-\  Art
When baking, follow directions.  When cooking, go by your own taste.

Offline canadave

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Re: abrasive quarry tiles okay?
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2007, 07:30:35 PM »
Well, I went to another tile place and found out that the black bits interspersed throughout these tiles are metallic.  That was all it took for me; I needed another option.

In desperation, with no tile places here selling unglazed quarry tiles, I found a local pottery place willing to fire up a few tiles for me.  They're going to call with a quote tomorrow, but the owner said it probably wouldn't cost very much.

--Dave

Offline Engineered Ceramics

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Re: abrasive quarry tiles okay?
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2008, 01:51:50 PM »
Your black bits are most likely silicon carbide.

quarry tile themselves are harder hand most metals, and silicon carbide is a standard abrasive, its whats found on the blakc sandpaper.

Below is a link to a vendors website.

http://www.washingtonmills.com/products/silicon-carbide.html

As far as safety goes, it "should" be fine.  quarry tiles are fired at 2000F, so heating them to 800F won't drive off anything new.

the only possible problem is if the silicon carbide contained heavy metals such as cobalt or nickel, but thats unlikely.


Offline canadave

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Re: abrasive quarry tiles okay?
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2008, 09:20:46 PM »
Your black bits are most likely silicon carbide.

quarry tile themselves are harder hand most metals, and silicon carbide is a standard abrasive, its whats found on the blakc sandpaper.

Below is a link to a vendors website.

http://www.washingtonmills.com/products/silicon-carbide.html

As far as safety goes, it "should" be fine.  quarry tiles are fired at 2000F, so heating them to 800F won't drive off anything new.

the only possible problem is if the silicon carbide contained heavy metals such as cobalt or nickel, but thats unlikely.


Thanks :)  I actually wound up dispensing of them a while ago, and found a place that was willing to send me plain old unglazed tiles.

FWIW, when I ran my hand over the abrasive tiles, some of the bits of whatever the abrasive material was rubbed off in my hand.  I see what you're saying about the temp ceilings, but I just wasn't comfortable with the idea that something might simply rub off into the dough.

Cheers,
Dave