Decorating problem - cork tiles


I have a problem and wondered if anyone here could offer a solution.
Downstairs toilet, about 7ft x 2ft 6ins. A friend has asked me to paint the walls and ceiling. One wall is covered by thin (abt 3mm) cork tiles which have sculptured surface pattern on them and they are varnished. They are a bit tatty, with some corners broken off, but otherwise quite firmly glues to the wall with some sort of hard glue, a bit like ceramic tile adhesive. Underneath is quite old plaster. If I try and get them off I suspect most of the plaster will come off as well. There's a ch radiator on the wall, with the pipework all boxed in, so moving the rad will require removal of the boxing - which seems to be glued, not screwed. The rad is also mounted quite close to the wall - about 10mm clearance to the valves.
I'd thought about gluing some thin (up to 4mm) ply to the walls (but not completely behind the rad), then lining paper and paint. Would this work, what sort of glue should I use?
Any other ideas? The friend really doesn't want the mess and cost of replastering (which I wouldn't attempt anyway).
Thanks, David
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I think you are the Medway Handyman and I claim my 5!!
John
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Not me, nowhere near Medway, so no beer money for you today ;)) David
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It's normally a rubber based adhesive.

Sounds an expensive fix, given the cost of plywood. I'd be inclined to use hardboard and a 'no more nails' type stuff. Or better still tile with ceramic tiles directly onto the old ones.

--
*Therapy is expensive, poppin\' bubble wrap is cheap! You choose.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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