my hardwood floors are original to the house. the original owners of the house are the people we bought it from. (well the kids of the original owners) so its probably more than 50 years old.
the individual boards are not cracked. there are cracks between the boards. as far as scratches go its hard to do. the dogs don't leave marks with their claws. BUT this floor has not been refinished in 20 or more years and there is next to nothing left of the finish
Love love love our hardwoods- our home was built in 1930 And they still look awesome!
Thank you ladies!!
So I've been reading online and apparently the word I'm looking for is "gaps", not "cracks" :P. I guess there are a few things that can be done to reduce them: strips less than 3", reduce humidity extremes in the home, use wood with a high hardness rating, and in temperate climates hardwood flooring should be laid in the fall/early winter.
Now I'm getting excited about hardwood :cabbage:. I do think it will be a good fit for us and we'll be starting with our bedroom which has very light traffic so we really should have zero issues with having hardwood in there :). It'll be awhile before we can do the rest of the upstairs, but hopefully we can get our bedroom done soon :fingerscrossed:.
You should also look into reclaimed/recycled wood, and hardwood with a little more character. Dents and scratches become part of the charm, then, and you are likely to not have to worry about keeping it pristine.