My house was built in 1929 and still has the original hardwood floors. And now some 85 years later they are in terrible shape. They squeak like crazy, many boards are broken and splintered, there are gaps, they are uneven, and there are several places where someone put many nails into it (I assume to try and stop the squeaks).
Refinishing the existing floor is a daunting prospect due to extensive damage, a significant percentage of the boards would need to be replaced.
Making things complicated though is there is no subfloor and all interior walls sit on the hardwood. So the floor was nailed directly to the floor joists, and then all interior walls were put up, I can't even imagine how you would get that floor up and out for under the walls that are nailed through it.
So what can I do? Wall-to-wall carpeting would be the easiest solution, though I'm not crazy about an entire house of carpeting. Is the only other option laminate assuming I can get the floors to be level? Or can I just treat the existing floor as a subfloor and do what I like once I get it level?