Fireplace and Cement Board (picture included)
I am trying to install a new gas fireplace and could use a little help. My specific question is: How does the cement board connect to the fireplace itself?
As you can see in the image, it is clear the cement board has to pass over the nailing strips and butt up against the protruding trim (or at least the tile does anyway). On the sides, can I just put a screw through the cement board and nailing strip into the metal stud? I was told that you should not directly connect the cement board to the fireplace due to the contracting of the unit when it heats up (could eventually crack the tile), but I don't see a way to avoid that here.
Also, how would you handle the top of the fireplace where the stud is set back away from the fireplace itself and the nailing strip is much smaller?