How will my hardwood flooring age over the long term?

As an organic product, hardwood flooring will age over the long term, with or without floor sealant. Avoiding large fluctuations in humidity will go a long way in preserving the integrity of the wood product. Damaging UV rays from sunlight can and will effect hardwood color, so rotation of furniture can go a long way in ensuring that the floor surface color changes evenly.

How do I protect my hardwood flooring from scratches?

The purchase of entrance matting will provide needed protection from outside soil and debris coming onto the hardwood flooring. Keep pet nails trimmed and put protective feet covers under furniture feet. Avoid dragging furniture over hardwood flooring, choosing to lift instead. Use foot castors that are designed for hard flooring, and not carpets.