Best Hardwood Floor Vacuum Cleaner?

Buying a hardwood floor vacuum cleaner has everything to do with the actual "head" of the vacuum cleaner and nothing to do with the style. Whether it is cordless, built-in or drag along is really irrelevant, at least as far as the conversation goes related to its suitability for a wood floor.

The best vacuum cleaner for hardwood floor is designed to be nonabrasive to the new floor finish. This is the essential issue.

  • No sharp edges to scratch the surface

  • no turning bristles, buffing heads or rotating brushes that might do the same (think of the power nozzles they sell for carpet cleaning, they are just too abrasive for polyurethane finishes) That being said some of the more versatile models put out by companies like Hoover Vacuums, have a way to lift up the brush when it is not needed. This is an acceptable option and gives you the versatility to use the brush when desired for carpet or ceramic.

  • No automatic water flushing, cleaning or water application. You don't want water to be forced down into the seams between the individual boards that will cause swelling and discolouration of the wood. Use it on vinyl, not on wood!

    Some might suggest that the suction capabilities are strong enough to remove any residual moisture, but I don't agree. In the dry season once the water has been forced between the boards during the cleaning cycle, my experience suggests they can't suck it back out again. I'd rather not take the chance.

First narrow down your essential requirements in a tool to clean your hardwood floor. Vacuous cleaner sales documents seems to have an endless list of features, but once you have determined the head is suitable for your hardwood you may want to consider the following:

  • Corded or cordless, mostly a question of ease of use.
  • Weight.. this may be an important issue if you must go up and down a lot of stairs with this vacuum cleaner, for hardwood floors are rarely only on the main level.
  • Filter bags. Does this vacuum use such a beast?
  • If so it is an added cost, and you've got to remember to buy them, but they do serve a purpose and catch finer lint that baskets just don't seem to get.
  • Suction power. Essential if you need to pick up a lot of animal hair, less relevant if it is only occasional dust bunnies. Lifting dirt from a solid surface like hardwood is not nearly as challenging as sucking it up from the depths of carpet fibers :)
  • Body profile? Will it get under the sofa and around the toilet?
  • Price. Is this a life time tool or only until you move into a house with a built-in?

Buying a hardwood floor vacuum cleaner doesn't have to be stressful. Just remember the price of your hardwood floor! Vacuum cleaners are cheap relative to the cost of refinishing your wood.

The best vacuum cleaner for hardwood floor is one that will be gentle on your wood finish. Follow best practices for hardwood floor care and enjoy!