How can anyone even compare cork to LVT, really? Two different worlds apart. Glue down cork tiles are bullet proof if done correctly, even over concrete.
Wicanders is great. USFloors seals their edges better than anyone as far as click goes. If you do a click use Cal-flor.coms clik-seal on their edges if your worried about topical water penetration in wet areas.
But I really like the borders/insets that Globus makes. And with glue down you can do a radius, premade patterned tiles.
Have to agree with the skinned planks wearing out. I'd only use those in low traffic areas and watch out for wear so you can do a re-coat before you hit the veneer.
My flooring rep sells Wicanders so that's what we have to go with, and the supplier has the Artcomfort line so that's what we have to get. I hope that's not a laminated product. It is click together.
Laminated glue down or floating? I'm assuming floating. If floating, is the cushion layer attached to the planks or do they call for the sheet cushion you roll out first? Either way, I can't think of any reason to incorporate a layer of plastic on plywood above grade. Just double and triple check every plywood seam for deflection / squeeks. I like screwing plywood down every 6-8" around perimeter and over joists like I do before inastalling Ardex GS-4.
The cork is floating and has cork on the back of the panels. I didn't know if the plastic was for squeaks, dust, moisture vapors, who knows?
I do have some plywood seams that are not flush, maybe 1/16" high. I will go around and Feather Finish those smooth.
I sure hope this works out! I can go to the big box store and get cheap laminate for $1/sf and this stuff is closer to $6/sf.... I'm not all about cost, I just look for the value.
The price is about the same I paid for mine for a good quality cork laminate. From my knowledge base, the plastic is specified only if you're installing on or below grade concrete (with or without a vapor barrier. Since yours is cushion-backed, the additional sheet cushioning is typically not necessary. However, I have seen the addtional cushion layer used with cushion backed planks to provide additional sound-proofing and provide a bit more of a "wood-like" sound with wood style laminates and engineered wood laminates. Of course, you're right on track Feather Finishing the uneven seams. I suspect the flatness of the surface is supposed to be 1/8" in 10.
The one thing I DON'T want is that hollow nasty cloppity-clop sound of a floating laminate floor. I have Hickory floors in my house and they have held up great. They're about 12 years old and could maybe use a new coat of poly, but they sure are durable. I almost went with the nail, sand, poly in the office but this cork intrigues me.
Cork is much more muffled. Before you install assemble several planks and walk on them to get a feel for the sound and if you want to go the step by installing the sheet cushion. Wonder if anybody else has suggestions