after careful consideration, i decided to abandon the tile tuning plates. there is a lack of mass in my smoker (reason for tuning plates and baffle) and i think that the fire will cause to quick a temp rise. this would cause the ceramic to crack/bust/explode. 1/4 " plate is what i'm gonna use.
i went with steel plate for my baffle and tuning plates. 3/16" plate. i would post some pics, but i got some butts in the smoker right now. don't wanna mess with the thin blue! i'll throw some pics up when i get the butts done.