Choosing kiln location


If I get an economy kiln for enameling, can I set it on a wooden
table against drywall in the garage, or do i need to get a special
stand or something to put between the kiln & tabletop. I’m not sure
how much external heat those suckers put out. and it wouldn’t be
"touching" the drywall wall, but the table is against that wall.


Amy, first of all the table on which you intend to set your kiln,
should have a fire proof surface. I covered the entire surface of my
wooden table with heavy, unglazed tiles, put together with mortar. In
back of the kiln, I have installed a fire proof sheet of wall board
(about 3/4 " thick). I got mine at Home Depot, but most home building
supply stores carry them. Be sure to get the ones that are fire

How much heat these kilns put out depends on the thickness of the
walls, and the type of shell they have. One of mine, a Vcella, is so
well insulated that I can run it at 1500 degrees for hours on end,
and it is still cool to the touch. The other one, a satellite
burnout kiln, gets real hot as it is less insulated.

The important thing is to make sure that all the areas around the
kiln are made fireproof so that you can set hot tools, and enamels
down without fear of fire, and set the kiln as far out from the wall
as possible.


Hi Amy,

Yes, you can put it in the garage against the drywall, but I would
suggest you put it on a shelf with heat resistant material underneat
it. I use homosote board under mine. If you dropped a hot piece on
the wood when you take it out of the oven the wood will burn and
that’s not a good idea.

Jennifer Friedman
enamelist, jewelry designer

Hi Amy,

Kilns throw out heat so it’s best to put a barrier between the kiln
and the wooden tabletop. I use clay tiles from Home Depot, 12 x 12
size, not glazed. You could use fire brick to put under and around
the kiln. You also want to have the area surrounding the kiln to
have a barrier so if something hot is put on it, the surface will not
burn. Keep in mind, you are usually firing enamels around 1500
degrees. I would also keep it away from the drywall. My kilns are on
a workbench with space behind them of about 18 inches from the back
of the workbench and wall.

Hope this helps!
Francesca Anatra

i don’t know what you mean by an economy kiln. But a trinkit or
beehive kiln can be used on a table. I would suggest you get an
aluminum sheet cake pan from a restraunt supply house to protect the
table top. These will be cheaper than at a dept store. If you mean a
fiber insulated Paragon kiln (not really ecconomy item but nice) a
sheet cake pan is a good addition’

This type kiln is very well insulated You can also use A cement
backerboard to protect a wood table and a wall surface.

These are available at Lowes and Home Depot.


If I get an economy kiln for enameling, can I set it on a wooden
table against drywall in the garage, or do i need to get a special
stand or something to put between the kiln & tabletop.

It should already be well insulated by the manufacturer, but it
wouldn’t hurt to place it on and near firesafe surfaces.


  • Pay attention to what’s above it. Fire travels up.

  • Pay extra attention to ventilation. Mine is placed next to an
    exhaust fan that vents out of doors.

  • In any workshop, home, or business, have an ABC fire extinguisher
    near the nearest exit – not next to the kiln, which you might not
    be able to approach if there’s an accident.

Lorraine (yes, a coward)

Amy, I put firebricks around my kiln - front, sides, back, and
underneath to retain the heat, and it works great. I think you can
get them from a ceramics supplier, and they aren’t very expensive.

For between the kiln and the table, I went to Home Depot and got 12"
square ceramic tiles from the close-out bin and lined them up on the
table. They were about a dollar tile, and actually quite pretty as
well as practical since you can put the hot trivets from the kiln on
them right out of the kiln. You could cement some of them on the
drywall as well if you wanted to.

Marcia Rae Design


My little kiln which can get hotter than is usually reasonable
(2400) has a tin plate under it on top of wood.

The sides 1/2 covered (2" away) with aluminium sheet mainly to
direct fumes into the hood. The back which is close to a drywall has
1/8" transite (sealed with water glass) over a piece of tin. I built
it years ago and just happened to have the asbestos transite on hand.
It is really over kill and the EPA would probably drag you off in
irons these days.

In my experience kilns do radiate some heat, allow for some air flow
and watch it the first couple of times. My kiln was designed to get
hot enough to melt metals, enamelling kilns are quite tame in

Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing

Hi Amy. You will want some kind of heat protection between the wood
and the kiln. I use a layer of bricks or ceramic tile between the
table and the kiln. I don’t have a layer between the kiln and the
back wall, but the kiln is at least 8-10 inches away from the back
wall. My kilns, which are PMC-type kilns from Rio Grande, do not emit
undue amounts of heat, but you’ll want to take safety precautions
just in case.


for the best way to install it.... 

To answer that question, and also to answer your Insurance and / or
fire inspector: What are the manufacturer’s recommendations… Don’t
treat them as recommendations, but has ordained to be done.

If it is a used Klin and you have absolutely no idea /
documentation… Well if you lived up here in the center of Asbestos
production… You could use asbestos board, but in the rest of the
continent, you will need the second best… It’s called “Cement
board” and should be available at any building supply store, 1/4.
would be best. I would extend it at least 6 inches on the sides and
back. In front I would cover the entire flat area and also look at
the floor. To you have flammable flooring like synthetic tile or
cushion floor? If so you need to get something relatively non
flammable for a few feet in all directions in case you drop
something. In this case solid wood especially hardwood can be
considered non flammable, yes it will burn but you will have time to
pick up the object with tongs and empty a glass of water on the
burning spot with no problem. Carpets and synthetic flooring could
just erupt.

For the wall behind the kiln the best is to put 2 1/2 strips at
least 4 inches away from the kiln on either side. Then Fasten cement
board to the wood strips. The reason for this is that even if the
cement board gets hot air can circulate behind it and keep the wall

Above the Kiln you will either want several feet of clear space or a
metal exhaust hood. If this is not possible then I recommend the same
treatment as the wall.

Rule of thumb if you don’t have instructions Install it like a wood

And as that smart (not chicken) person Lorraine mentioned, a fire
extinguisher near the door is a good thing, Kiln or not.

Just my Opinion,


I enamel, and have a new studio that worked well with some large 12"
or larger ceramic tiles on the wood bench top. I put a sheet of
’cement board behind my kiln, against the wall, to keep the kiln
heat out the back pyrometer opening from being damaging. Mine is an
old, with legs, Paragon I bought after my college days when didn’t
have the art dept. access anymore.

Cement board is a grey, about 3/8" thick board found at the home
improvement stores, find it for around the back of the fireplaces
and even behind tiled showers.Maybe you can get remnant pieces for
discounted price.

You could also grout down ceramic tiles onto a base table. Just
don’t use a heat-sensitive grout, use one that resists heat, or the
trivet you place down on it could stink up the place as the grout


1 Like

I have an old metal typing table with rollers. I roll it away from
walls when I want to use it. My kiln is used for PMC. Sometimes I
roll it out into my carport so I am away from any odors when I am
firing, even though the “fragrance” is non-toxic. When not in use I
can park it someplace out of the way. The typing table holds the
weight of the kiln just fine. Biggest problem is finding old metal
typing tables. That becomes another creative challenge which is what
this is all about anyway!!!

Pat Klein

Hi Amy,

If I get an economy kiln for enameling, can I set it on a wooden
table against drywall in the garage, or do i need to get a special
stand or something to put between the kiln & tabletop. I'm not
sure how much external heat those suckers put out. and it wouldn't
be "touching" the drywall wall, but the table is against that wall. 

I put my kiln on four square foot terra cotta tiles that were about
89 cents each at Home Depot. The tiles extend out in front of the
kiln, so if anything drops coming out, it won’t burn a hole on my
counter, which is formica


I found an industrial metal cart that is about the size of a typing
table, and has an upper and lower tray with a 1 to 2 inch lip. I got
it from the MSC catalog, I think. Or maybe Graingers. It roll on
small wheels, and is powder-coated. I don’t recall the price. I use
the rollers because there is some storage cabinetry next to the kiln
area, which I can access by pulling the cart towards me and walking
behind it to open the cabinet door.


In my shop I have an old pure wool rug on the floor. My kiln sits on
a table on top of tiles (and the table is on the rug), and there are
tiles to the left for receiving ‘hot’ things. The table is 4’ square
so I don’t worry about the sides and back since the table is in the
middle of the room. I use the other side of the table as my PMC

The other day as I was removing an enameled piece from the kiln I
dropped the whole thing - the enamel, the trivet and the rack the
trivet was on. It quickly burned a hole through the wool rug (wool is
self-extinguishing so I wasn’t worried about fire, although the
backing is probably flammable. And I have a 10# fire extinguisher

Anyway, the smell of burned wool is awful! I did some research on
fireproofing my floor and decided on a piece of “hardi board” also
known as ceramic tile backboard. It is not only waterproof but it is
fireproof. The 5/8" thick, 3’ x 5’ board was about $10 at Home depot.
It is heavy. But I can stand on it. It is on top of the wool rug.

There are thinner pieces that would work on a wall but I have no
idea how they could be mounted. I am sure it wouldn’t be too

I decided against the fire resistant hearth rugs - the cost was
awful plus I think they would melt were I to drop more items from my

Hope this helps,

Sandra Gilbert
…still waiting for the snow in Snohomish

decided on a piece of "hardi board" also known as ceramic tile
backboard. It is not only waterproof but it is fireproof. The 5/8"
thick, 3' x 5' board was about $10 at Home depot. It is heavy. 

Hardi board tends to start breaking apart on the edges, I know
because I have the never ending bathroom remodel and put hardi board
down but not the ceramic tile, yet. Depending on foot traffic you
get in the area you should get a good couple years out of it though
and $10 isn’t a lot to replace it. Have you thought of those mats you
can get to put under a BBQ when it’s on a wood deck?

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan

I imagine burnt wool smells much like burnt hair, an odor I and many
other inquisitive boys are familiar with from our experiments with
flammable liquids.

Mike DeBurgh