By Manny Neves – Hardcore Renos


I didn’t participate much in elementary or secondary school. I kept to myself; I didn’t want to stand out, but that all changed with post education when my passion for storytelling and filmmaking developed. Once I found my environment I was able to contribute, partake in discussions and change things with my ideas. From filmmaking, I shifted gears to construction. Most would wonder how, exactly, that works?! The two careers are more similar than you might imagine. Although I didn’t have any formal construction education, was never a labourer nor had I apprenticed, I did have a childlike curiosity about everything and anything to do with construction.

I simply asked a lot of questions and the questions never stopped. What I express here and online, via my social media pages, is my version of construction. Trade events are a great place to ask questions and discover new products like Thermory. This chemical free, thermally modified lumber is a real wood product that goes through a heat and steam process, which allows for full control of moisture content in the lumber and makes the wood incredibly stable and rot resistant; that’s the sales and technical pitch… now for the Hardcore Renos point of view.

Thermory is chemical free, thermally modified lumber. A real wood product that goes through a heat and steam process, which allows for full control of moisture content in the lumber and makes it incredibly stable and rot resistant.

As the sales reps discuss the pros and cons and more pros of wood… and their wood particularly, key words are sticking in my head. Words like, stable, rot, heat, cold and then I interrupt to ask my first question. “Can I use this in a shower renovation project?” …Silence…except for the buzz of the attendees. With a little hesitation they tell me…”I suppose.” Followed quickly by, “who are you?” Go figure, my inaugural project with this product wasn’t a deck or a fence or a bench… but a shower. I wanted to install real wood inside a shower, as a functional accent wall.

I was fascinated by the prospect, but I still needed to do a bit more homework with a mock up test board. As everyone knows, I always work with Schluter products for waterproofing, and Mapei products for adhering any tile or stone material, (for both interior and exterior).

Now, wood doesn’t like to play well with tile and stone. Products that adhere to tile and stone don’t necessarily adhere to wood. This was my dilemma! Test after test, the wood always separated from the adhering material. My testing consisted of submerging the Thermory wood, adhered to a piece of Schluter KerdiBoard (wall board for showers), into a tank of water for hours, air drying and repeating. With each failure I became more frustrated and then I had a thought; stop thinking about securing the wood as if it’s tile…start thinking about securing the wood as if it’s wood; treat this as if I were installing wood siding. I began with 2” wide furring strips made from KerdiBoard, made to measure for the area. I secured each Thermory board with a stainless steel screw.

Schluter has a self-sealing, flexible, crack resistant caulking (KerdiFix). As each screw penetrated the KediBoard it would be sealed with the KerdiFix and avoid nulling the waterproof warranty of the product. Over a one-month time frame, a mock-up test board was repeatedly submerged in water (for 3 hours at a time) then air-dried. It showed no signs of failure.

This shower and bathroom are over 2 years old now and nothing has failed. I have built decks, barn doors and fireplace surrounds with Thermory products, but this shower really stood out. I am currently working on exterior home theatre applications and coffered ceilings with this product. The ideas continue to get drawn up and tested. Sometimes you have to look outside and bring those renovating ideas inside… Or vice versa.