Another way to prevent undue and excessive wear on your hardwood floors or wooden floors is to use scatter or throw rugs in high traffic areas. You may even be tempted to use a center rug piece for decor. Now that you and I have gotten past the fun stair rail slide and onto the floor, it is utterly important that we stay clear of injury -- Ensure that your throw, scatter or centerpiece rug either has sufficient non-skid backing or that you lay a non-slip material between it and your wood floor.
Most commonly installed are interlocking sheathing panels. This type of sheathing is generally 5/8" thick, and manufactured as either plywood or aspenite (commonly referred to as "chipboard") in 4` x 8` sheets. The sheets come with the long edges designed to interlock with a tongue on one edge, and a grove on the opposing edge. They are installed by simply pushing or pounding the sheets together, and nailing or screwing them to the joist work, in the same manner as raw sheathing. It is often the cheapest to install.
Fourth, factor in the cost of refinishing the floor later or doing touchups. This is a whole another article. Some finishes can be spot touched up like some of the oils while others require a full sand over the whole floor. Some finishes require a professional installer and may have extreme odor during the cure. If you live with the floor for very long, factor these decisions in for the type of finish to choose for lifetime durability and the cost & effort to refinish.
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