Advice from Rod Zander who sells soapstone
Soapstone will retain more heat and the hearth will be hotter - good for pizza but not necessarily for all baking.

Soapstone, like any material including firebrick will break should installed in such a way that it can be replaced. Set in sand/fireclay mortar with room to expand. Don't try a one-piece hearth.

Most ovens use firebrick. Some firebrick better than others. Can grind or sand edges to minimize chipping. Throw corn meal on surface to bake anyway.

Rod's oven has a hearth made with 12"x12" soapstone tiles. Some are cracked.

Soapstone would cost about $20/sq.ft.

Superior Clay Bake Ovens
Buckley Rumford Fireplaces
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