Re: Why tile in front of entry door?
Portland does have over 40 inches of rain per year, but very little snow. My hardwood floors are in front of all 4 entrances. In front of each I have an oriental carpet where I slip out of my shoes before taking off across the bare floor.
Fortunately, the newer generation urethanes are far more durable than the varnishes and shellac/wax finishes of decades past. I had mine done originally with Swedish Glitza which held up for 8 years before I had to give it a refresher coat. Even then it was only really needed around the area under the table where chairs get shuffled. The rest still looked great.