Keeping tiles clean with a suitable vacuum cleaner is an easy task to do, regardless of the tiles you have. When you are looking for the best vacuum cleaner for tile floors, you should consider glazed ceramic tiles, unglazed ceramic tiles, mosaic tiles, marble tiles, natural stone tiles, porcelain tiles, etc.
Basically, there are several important aspects of cleaning tile floors:
- Tile floors, even unglazed one, repel dirt and dust. Of course, glazed tiles repel dirt much better than unglazed ones. Unglazed tiles often require a mop or wet brush to become clean properly.
- Unlike wooden floors, tiles tolerate water in any form, liquid or steam, and higher temperatures. When combined with good suction, high-quality air filters, and various scrubbing systems, such cleaning methods provide a really high level of cleanliness.
- When wet, tiles can be very slippery, so care must be taken to ensure minimum amount of water on the tiles after the cleaning.
For more information on how to preserve your tile floors in optimal shape, we recommend you also read this guide on how to clean tile floors of all types. You have plenty to learn about ceramic, porcelain, stone, and even marble or vinyl floors in the right way.
What is the Best Vacuum Cleaner for Tile Floors
Regardless if you prefer a vacuum cleaner for several surfaces or a vacuum specifically for tile floors, good vacuum cleaners for such floors must be easy to use, must have large enough autonomy (operation time, maneuvering), must be light enough so you can carry them around, must reach tight areas, corners, and edges, etc.
For this reason, we recommend you to read carefully our complete guide on how to pick a vacuum cleaner depending on your needs. You will learn there the most crucial differences between steam mops, orbiter floor machines, scrubbers, etc.
We also suggest you take a good look over our guide on the best steam mops on the market this year. You cannot overlook the difference between steam mops and steam vacuums, for one. Moreover, you should understand better how some of these cleaning machines work and what you should expect from them.
Now that you are “armed” with the proper information, let’s begin our search for the best vacuum cleaner for tile floor!
Upright Vacuum vs. Canister Vacuum Cleaner
Upright vacuum cleaners are generally easier to maneuver around than cylinder/canister vacuums. However, canister vacuums often have long hoses that are easier to use than uprights.
Also, keep in mind that cleaning heads on long hoses usually can reach areas that uprights can’t.
The rotating brushes on both types usually have easy to reach on/off switches and can be easily turned on/off when changing cleaning surfaces.
Tiles generally have a very hard surface that is not easily damaged, but just to be safe, before using a rotating brush on tiles, read the manual to check if it is suitable for tiles. Nobody wants scratches and marks on tiles.
Cylinder vacuum cleaners can have the same cleaning options just as upright vacuums and uprights can have cleaning hoses onboard or stored away. Choosing between these types is often a matter of personal habits and preferences.
If you want to check a couple of upright vacuum cleaners that work wonders on tile floors, we recommend you look at our Shark Rocket Complete with DuoClean vacuum cleaners HV380, HV381, and HV382 comparison guide. These ultra-light upright, convertible vacuums will do wonders on a wide variety of floors – including hard wood and carpets.
As cylinder/canister vacuums go, some of the best canister vacuum cleaners to buy for various purposes come from Dyson. We recommend you read our full the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Canister Vacuum review and comparison guide to understand better if these vacuums are the ones you need for your tile floors.
Shampoo and/or Steam Vacuums
Such vacuums are ideal for tiles, and we have reviewed a couple of them before. Models that steam and vacuum at the same time use hot steam to clean and sanitize the surface. In parallel, the strong suction removes the dirt of any kind from the cleaned surface. Using suitable a cleaning agent helps remove even the most stubborn of stains. It is something that pet owners and families with small kids (or both) should really think about.
Other shampoo/steam vacuum cleaners include models coming from Bissell or Shark. Read our guide on the best steam mops on the market today and make the best choice for your family. Our personal recommendations include the following three steam vacuum cleaners for tile floors: the Bissell 19404 PowerFresh Pet Steam Mop; the Shark S3601D Professional Steam Pocket Mop, and the Bissell Steam Mop Select Titanium 94E9T.
Wet and steam vacuums can leave a moist surface that usually dries quickly. However, until tiles are completely dry, they are very slippery, especially the glazed ones. Also, tap water can be used in wet vacuums, but such water can leave stains on tiles. On the other hand, distilled water is relatively cheap and leaves no stains on cleaned surfaces.
Corded or Cordless Vacuums
Corded vacuums are more powerful, have more cleaning options and attachments and they can operate for a long time. By comparison, cordless vacuums are powered by onboard batteries and most modern cordless vacuums can operate from 15 to 30 minutes without losing suction power.
Cordless vacuums usually have rotating brushes with on/off switches without options like steam and/or wet cleaning. However, cordless vacuums are very maneuverable, they don’t depend on wall sockets for power, they are not limited by power cord length, and most models have easy-to-replace batteries for longer cleaning.
The suction power (pressure difference) of cordless vacuums is very good and for high-end models, it doesn’t lag behind corded vacuums. However, corded vacuums usually have wider suction nozzles and can cover more area with a single sweep.
More expensive models of cordless vacuums are powered using lithium-ion batteries that are quickly recharged. Recharging for 8-10 hours should be thing of the past for cordless vacuums costing 150+ dollars/euros.
Certain models of vacuums have cleaning systems that use a wet mop and scrubbing heads with 1000 or more scrubs per minute. They are very efficient in removing stains and other dirt from tiles and often carpets. However, not all of such models do the vacuuming itself and they require frequent changes of the wet mop.
Vacuum Cleaner Exhaust Filtration
Good air suction on tiles is very important since tiles repel dust, allergens, and other dirt, unlike, for example, carpets. All that air must be well filtered before being released back into the cleaned room.
The dirt bag or cyclonic filtration models usually have additional HEPA filters for filtering even the smallest particles. Some models have even charcoal filters for even better filtering. Such filtering decreases the number of potential health issues causes in the air and reduce the amount of dust in general. You will also enjoy less dust in the air and less dust on the tiles that you have to clean again.
How to Choose the Best Vacuum Cleaner for Tile Floors?
Price is very important when choosing vacuums – no matter their type. The models specifically designed for tiles are cheaper than large, multi-surface models. Any attachment or option can increase the price and one should really think if that option/attachment is really necessary.
Cordless stick vacuum cleaners with rotating brush are often a good choice for various surfaces, tiles included. Such vacuums are often used as a second vacuum cleaner in larger homes or even as main vacuums in small homes. They can cover a large area with a single charge. Moreover, they are easy to use and maneuver around. Their air filtering is good, especially on models with HEPA filters, they recharge quickly, etc.
2-in-1 models with detachable cordless handheld vacuums can be used even as car or emergency vacuums and in many other situations.
However, large, bulky, and expensive vacuum cleaners with many attachments and options like wet/shampoo, steam, scrub, etc cleaning will do their job even better and will remove stains and dirt that sometimes smaller/cheaper vacuums simply can’t clean.
Oreck Commercial ORB550MC
One of the best machines to clean and sanitize tiles is the Oreck Commercial ORB550MC Orbiter Floor Machine that we already discussed on previous occasions. However, it is important to understand a few things about it:
It is a commercial-grade multi-purpose floor machine used for cleaning and maintaining all kinds of floor surfaces. The unit has an orbital drive that oscillates the cleaning brush or pad to clean, polish, sand, scrub, wax, etc. various floors like wood, vinyl, tile, carpets, brick, marble, and more.
Happybuy 21 Inch Surface Cleaner
Another great example of a good vacuum cleaner for tile floors is the Happybuy 21 Inch Surface Cleaner. It has a 4000 PSI max working pressure, more than enough to get just about any type of debris or dirt cleaned up.
Its stainless steel housing makes it resistant to falls and other types of damage. With its dual handle design, controlling the unit is easy peasy, and you won’t even have to bend your back over and suffer that nasty pain. Also, the power washing heads found on the bottom of the unit are also made out of stainless steel and rotate at a high frequency to ensure the best results every time.
Furthermore, the unit comes with all the necessary accessories required for installation and usage. It’s perfect for cleaning horizontal surfaces, such as decks, patios, sidewalks, driveways, pool decks, and many more.
Prolux Core Floor Buffer
This heavy-duty commercial buffer is a 13” single pad floor buffer with a set of 4 pads, a scrub brush, and a 50-foot commercial grade extension cord. Basically, it gives you enough freedom to move around, almost comparable to a cordless vacuum cleaner for tile floors.
The Core uses a Random Orbit motor to avoid swirl and sanding marks, gouges, and other damage to your floors, unlike traditional commercial buffers that use buffer heads that only spin in one direction. It also includes a heavy-duty scrubbing brush for hard surfaces such as tile and concrete. And you can choose between soft scrub and medium scrub brushes for delicate surfaces like laminate, hardwood, gym floors, and carpets.
Finally, another thing we like about the Prolux Core Floor Buffer is its industrial-grade telescopic want that makes height adjustments easy and ensures the perfect fit for users of any height.
The Bottom Line
Now that you saw how to pick the best vacuum cleaner for tile floors, we also recommend you take a quick look over our guide containing the best vacuum cleaners under $100 in case you want some affordable alternatives for your home. You will find there a wide variety of upright and canister vacuum cleaners for all types of floors, stick cordless vacuums, handheld vacuums, and even multi-floor vacuum cleaners. As we said above, price is important when you look for a vacuum/scrubber that will preserve your tile floors in tip-top shape.
Now it is your time to tell us which of these best vacuum cleaners for tile floors have you used in the past or are now using. Is there any model you prefer most? Are there any such vacuum cleaners you would recommend? Use the comment section below to share your thoughts and suggestions!
With a degree in engineering, Kathryn Hansen loves to write about how things work. Having her own dilemmas on how to pick the best vacuum cleaner for her large family (with a handful of furry four-legged members as well), Kathryn decided to help others in the same situation. After all, vacuum cleaners are critical to a healthy lifestyle and people have a hard time choosing the best one for their needs.
Thanks for all your hard work on the blog. I recently moved into a condo that has white ceramic tile throughout the entire unit. What is the best course of action for tile only cleaning?