After reading all we could find about hardness my husband and I decided to purchase a beautiful birch hardwood (Maine Traditions) for our floor. We are two adults, two cats, no dogs.
We were planning on putting 6 mm poly in the crawl space ( about 2') under joists of main floor it would go on. This is a 1920 house and floor is level and in good shape, but has two subfloors and shingles plus old hardwood floor in between them.
Now the installer has said the chance of failure is a deep concern, because of crawl space humidity. In short, warranty void.
It has been hot and raining for weeks, and in fall and spring we also have long stretches of rain. Winter cold and dry (in northern New England).
We were then recommended to get engineered wood instead-- but the quality engineered are even more expensive. And, told we should also bat insulate crawl space and add ventilation.
While we looked forward to maintaining our floors, we are afraid that the cost to prep (current budget) and long term energy consumption to AC/dehumidify the rooms and vent the crawlspace are beyond our means. I'd like to know what readers think:
1) just the poly is enough, then lay the floor and forget about it
2) go with engineered
3) put in some cheap wood (laminate? like?) to test er out for a few years
3) don't use wood, do tile (possibly add heating to boot) or some other material.
I will look forward to gathering experienced opinions and am open to any suggestions, above or otherwise!