Best Steam Mops for Tiles and Grout of 2020

Updated
Categories Steam Cleaning, Tiles
Watch dirt disappear from your tiles and grout.

Tiles have a reputation for being sturdy, while steam is often seen as one of the harsher methods of cleaning. Steam mops are taking the world by storm, and tiles, thanks to their resistance to water damage, are a favorite to use them on.

If you have tiles at home, it’s vital to know how you can take advantage of this satisfying combination.

Still, as powerful as steam may be, if you don’t use it properly you could cause irreparable damage to your home. So, there are many factors to consider, and precautions you should take. That’s why we’re also recommending the best steam mops for tiles and grout so you can clean perfectly, with no risk of ruining your floors.

Our Top Picks

Let Us Come Clean: Oh So Spotless earns a commission through the following independently chosen links at no additional cost to you.

What Is a Steam Mop?

Steam mops are a relatively recent invention, but their history is so fascinating, we can’t resist sharing it with you.

Back in 1999, Romi Haan, a Korean entrepreneur, grew tired of scrubbing hard floors. So much so that she set out to free homemakers everywhere of this labor, by innovating a new way to clean.

As the story goes, she wondered if a mop that could harness the power of steam would make her life easier. Sorely overestimating how quickly her new invention would take form, she mortgaged her home to fund her idea. It was only in 2004 — five years later — that she had a product to show for it (1).

Once she perfected the technology, it didn’t take long for it to rise in popularity. Romi’s simple idea grew into a staple device that eliminates hard work and saves homemakers immense time and energy. But how exactly do steam mops do this for you?

How Do Steam Mops Work?

There’s no need to break one open and study its engineering to understand a steam mop’s benefits. Simply put, they’re built with reservoirs that can heat water up to 230 degrees Fahrenheit (2). Produced steam travels through the mop, and is emitted from a cloth (often microfiber) pad, to reach your floor.

These soaked pads absorb dirt better than standard mops will, while the steam sanitizes your floor as you go.

Technically speaking, it is not the vapor that kills germs, but rather the heat. Steam is a powerful disinfectant because it alters the structure of bacteria. This process, called denaturation, incapacitates and obliterates pathogens (3).

Another huge benefit of steam mopping is its ability to cut through grease and caked-on dirt. For the same reason that it’s easier to wash dishes in warm water rather than cold, heat from a steam mop will break fats down.

You’ll also find that using a standard mop just doesn’t cut it in this area. It just won’t release as much heat, or do so as efficiently.

You Might Also Like
Cleaning a dirty floor with a traditional mopWhat’s Better – a Steam Mop or Traditional Mop?

Warning

Be careful when operating a steam mop. To prevent accidents, burns or damage, never operate a steam mop if its pad is not attached. Don’t test the heat of the steam with your bare skin, and always follow manufacturer instructions for assembly.

Will Steam Not Ruin Your Tiles?

Tiles, rigid as they may be, aren’t indestructible. Water stains, warping, cracking and heat damage are all still possible, and will ruin your tiled floor if given the chance. The difference is that compared to wood floors or carpets, tiles have a much higher tolerance for destruction.

Still, regardless of your type of tile, none are 100 percent water-resistant. Porcelain tiles shine in this regard as an insignificant amount of water will make it through. But even then, water can still loosen tile grout, and excessive water could destroy your floor’s layout (4).

With heat, it’s much the same. Tiles are not entirely heat-proof, but they are considered heat resistant.

Porcelain tiles can withstand heat up to 4352 degrees Fahrenheit — well beyond what a steam mop emits (5). Likewise, ceramics can bear temperatures up to 3725 degrees Fahrenheit (6).

It’s all about timing, though. If you were to completely soak tiles in hot water for extended periods, you’d ruin them. Steam, on the other hand, evaporates quickly, so it won’t be absorbed into your floor.

Think of it in the same way you do your own body. A hot shower is no problem, but if you were thrown into a boiling lake, you wouldn’t make it.

FYI: Steam Mop Precautions

Steam is not intended to soak tiled floors, but rather to skim their surface of them. That said, there are a few instances where it’ll be no good. As a precaution, keep the following in mind:

  • Steam and wax don’t mix: Wax isn’t oil, but it behaves like it, meaning heat breaks it down (7). Tile wax isn’t extremely common, but if you use it, steam mopping could be problematic. If you don’t know whether or not your floor is waxed, rub the edge of a coin alongside it, and see if it picks up waxy residue.
  • Don’t consider them multi-floor machines: Even if your steam mop is designed for all hard floors, do your research before you use it on other surfaces. Your tiles may be super-resistant to heat, but others like wood, linoleum or bamboo may not be.
  • Beware of grout: While you don’t have to worry so much about wrecking your tiles with steam, grout is a different story. Steam is effective at cleaning grout, but excessive moisture can deteriorate its form and function. So focus on the tiles themselves rather than what’s in between them.
  • Best for glazed tiles: The strength and heat resistance of tiles only applies if they’re glazed. Therefore, raw, natural tiles are vulnerable both to water and heat damage. In this case, it’s better to use a standard or dry mop.

Warning

Don’t use chemical cleaners in your steam mop unless they’re approved by the manufacturer. Steam mops are intended for use with water only. Some users prefer distilled water because it lacks minerals, but tap water will do just fine (8).
Learn More
Cleaning tile grout using toothbrushHow to Clean Floor Grout (9 Methods That Work)

The Best Steam Mop for Tiles & Grout of 2020

Are you ready to choose a steam mop for your tiles? We combed through the best steam mops searching for the top picks for tiles. After reading customer reviews, manufacturer specifications, and industry recommendations, we’ve chosen our five favorites.

1. Light ‘N Easy Steam Mop

Consumer Favorite

Steam Mop,LIGHT 'N' EASY Floor Steamers for Hardwood and Tile,Lightweight Steam Mops for Laminate Floor,Carpet Steamer,Wood Floor Mop Steam Cleaners,7618ANW
Check Price

Aptly titled, the Light ‘N Easy Steam Mop is compact and easy to use, without compromising cleaning power. It’s a customer favorite in cleaning and sanitizing difficult stains and high-traffic areas.

An ergonomic handle and a flexible mop head emphasize ease of use, while its sleek design aids effortless storage. The water heats up within 30 seconds, and steam is controlled with a handy pump. A washable microfiber pad is included with your purchase.

This is a multi-floor vacuum suitable for use on tiles, ceramic floors, hardwood, marble and even linoleum. It’s a versatile option with high value for money.

Why We Love It

League of Its Own

In terms of customer satisfaction, this model knocks the others out of the park. Buyers are extremely pleased with this steam mop’s form, and compliments abound regarding its function.

Each of our recommendations is held in high regard by buyers, but the Light ‘N Easy steam mop is in a class of its own.

Ease of Use

This mop has some cool and handy features that customers enjoy. Swivel steering makes cleaning tricky spots easier, while the ergonomic design improves operation. Customers note how simple and effective its design is, and say that it exceeds expectations.

Storage and portability are key in its build too. At only 4 pounds, this lightweight steam mop takes almost no effort to lift and will take up little space in your home.

Value for Money

It may not be the highest-end model we’ve seen, but the value of this steam mop is impressive. Every feature places emphasis on utility and simplicity. We consider this one a budget-friendly option.

Customers are happy with both its quality and efficiency and say it’s an all-rounder to be used throughout your home.

Keep In Mind

Inconvenient Mop Head

Though buyers are satisfied with the machine’s ability, a minority of users criticize the mop head’s fit. According to these customers, the microfiber pad doesn’t fit as snugly as they hoped it would. There are a few reports of the pad coming loose or hindering the mop’s gliding.

Additional Specs

Water capacity7.4 ounces
Temperature control?No
Heater speed20 – 30 seconds
Special featuresSwivel steering, ergonomic build
AccessoriesWashable microfiber pad

2. Bissell PowerFresh Deluxe

Most Refreshing

Bissell Steam Mop, Steamer, Tile, Hard Wood Floor Cleaner, 1806, Sapphire Powerfresh Deluxe
Check Price

If you’re looking for a steam mop that refreshes your home while it cleans, try this one from Bissell. Our favorite feature is its capacity for fragrance. You could use Bissell’s scented water, or add a fragrance disc for an aromatic boost.

You can adjust your steam output by switching between its high and low settings. It’s got swivel steering, and is balanced to stand upright unsupported. Multi-floor capacity enables use on a variety of surfaces, including linoleum, marble, granite, wood, and of course, tiles.

Included is the nifty, detachable spotboost brush. Combined with the steam control, it gives you a honed experience.

Why We Love It

Unique Accessories

The spotboost brush and fragrance disc aren’t common components in steam mops. You’ll get an optimized experience out of them. These accessories significantly increase the product’s value for money.

Fresher Home

You can opt to go with Bissell’s scented water if you like. Even if you don’t, the included fragrance disc is an excellent extra. It cleans, sanitizes, and deodorizes your home, refreshing your entire space.

It’s a money saver too, as you won’t have to spend extra on scented cleaners or air fresheners.

Steam control

We recommend this model if you need precision in your tile cleaning. Switch between it’s high or low setting whenever you need to, for a boost in power, or gentler clean. Use this function with the spotboost brush to target stains and optimize your operation.

Keep In Mind

Design Flaws

Some customers criticized the planning of this product, noting that certain inconveniences were overlooked. An example is that though it stands upright, it doesn’t come with a tray to stow it on. The controls are ill-placed and heat up with the water tank too.

Even so, the majority of customers are satisfied with both the operation and effect of this model.

Additional Specs

Water capacity16 ounces
Temperature control?Yes: two settings, high or low
Heater speed30 seconds
Special featuresSwivel steering, fragrance boost
AccessoriesDetachable spotboost brush, 2 fragrance discs, microfiber pad

3. Shark Genius Hard Floor Cleaning System

Most Sanitary

Shark Genius Hard Floor Cleaning System Pocket (S5003D) Steam Mop, Burgundy/Gray
Check Price

A high-end model, this Shark Genius is well worth investing in, especially if convenience is what you’re after. Its touch-free technology is not only handy, but also safer too — quite literally eliminating dirty work.

You have three steam settings to choose from for optimized sessions. Shark’s Steam Blaster Technology gives you a boost as and when needed, adding to this product’s precision.

You can use both sides of the included dirt-grip pads, which could save you money in the long run.

Why We Love It

It’s Cleaner

The mop head can be attached or released with the push of a button. You don’t have to touch it at all, so this mop is an excellent sanitary choice. It’s safer too, as less contact with the mop head reduces the risk of burns.

Steam Blaster Technology

It’s great that you can choose from three steam power settings, but to top that, you get a booster too. The Steam Blaster Technology adds bursts of extra force to your cleaning and is useful when battling stubborn dirt or grit.

Dirt-Grip Pads

Unlike the traditional microfiber pads, Shark gives you its unique dirt-grip pads designed to cling to dirt. They’re extra special since they’re double-sided, so you get more for your money. You won’t have to spend as much on replacement pads, and your maintenance is cut in half.

Keep In Mind

Hefty

It only weighs 6 pounds, but some customers note that they struggled to push it around when starting out. Though it’s high powered and the majority of buyers don’t dispute its efficiency, a little elbow grease may be required to get it going.

Additional Specs

Water capacity11.8 ounces
Temperature control?Yes; three settings
Heater speed30 seconds
Special featuresSteam Blaster Technology, touch-free release, double-sided pads
AccessoriesDirt-grip pad, water fill flask

4. Shark Steam Pocket

Budget Choice

Shark Steam Pocket Mop Hard Floor Cleaner with Swivel Steering XL Water Tank (S3501), 18 Feet Power cord
Check Price

Shark is a leader in cleaning machines, so it’s no surprise we’ve picked them twice. While the Genius is a fantastic high-end choice, the Steam pocket appeals to our wallets. This is an impressive machine with high value, considering its budget-friendly status.

A soft-grip handle and swivel steering make this one comfortable to use. It also features a quick-release cord for fast, hassle-free assembly and storage. This product, though basic in its build, is designed for ease of use.

Further proving that this one is a money saver, Shark throws in two microfiber pads for you.

Why We Love It

Maneuverability

Swivel steering, a soft-grip handle and a 25-foot cord make this product easy to control. You get a wide range from it and don’t have to strain while operating the mop. Customers compliment the mop’s smooth gliding and praise its simplicity.

Money Saver

It’s the most affordable of our recommendations, so if you’re looking to save, choose this one. It doesn’t sacrifice any power, quality or efficiency by being a budget option, and you get high value for money.

We also think it’s nice of Shark to include two washable microfiber pads. You’ll save money and time on maintenance.

Simplified Storage

The quick-release cord is an underrated feature we like. It’s satisfying, saves time and makes stowing your mop all the more efficient. You won’t have to fuss over wrapping its cord or tangles. The cord is 25 feet long — this won’t go unappreciated.

Keep In Mind

Manual Effort

One discrepancy is that you have to continuously pump the steam to keep it flowing. This won’t use up too much of your energy but might prove frustrating if you’re cleaning larger areas or deep cleaning.

Additional Specs

Water capacity15 ounces
Temperature control?No
Heater speed30 seconds
Special featuresSoft-grip handle, swivel steering, quick release cord
AccessoriesTwo washable microfiber pads

5. PurSteam ThermaPro 10-In-1

Most Versatile

Steam Mop Cleaner ThermaPro 10-in-1 with Convenient Detachable Handheld Unit, Laminate/Hardwood/Tiles/Carpet Kitchen - Garment - Clothes - Pet Friendly Steamer Whole House Multipurpose Use by PurSteam
Check Price

Are you looking for a steam mop that goes above and beyond in utility? This model has several noteworthy features we’re impressed by. Our favorite is that it easily converts into a handheld steam cleaner that you can use throughout your home.

With multi-floor functionality, it’s not just tiles you can clean. This product is suitable for hardwood, carpets and even glass surfaces too.

It has a comprehensive set of accessories including a straight nozzle, bent nozzle, and window squeegee. You also get a set of nylon brush attachments and two mop pads.

Why We Love It

Comprehensive Accessories

Steam mops don’t usually come with a full package of attachments. The extras you receive upon purchase push this product’s value for money above and beyond all our other recommendations.

This is a prime example of a multi-purpose steam mop. It’s easy to optimize and adjust this one to suit your exact needs.

Handheld Option

The detachable handheld component is our favorite part of this product. Think of all the possibilities. You can use it to target problem areas on your tiles, or as a general-purpose steam cleaner in your home.

Multi-Surface

From your tiles to your carpets, to your windows and mirrors, this model does it all. We like that it includes a window squeegee for safe and effective glass steaming.

Most other steam mops are only meant for floors, but this one takes multi-surface to a whole new level.

Keep In Mind

No Attachment Storage

Don’t get us wrong, we adore this machine and praise how comprehensive it is. One problem is that the attachments are not accounted for in storage. It does not have on-board storage, and there is no bag or case included with the mop.

So you’ll have to make room for each of its components. This might be problematic if you have limited space, or live in a smaller home.

Additional Specs

Water capacity11.5 ounces
Temperature control?Yes; three settings
Heater speed30 seconds
Special featuresHandheld adjustable, multi-surface
AccessoriesTwo mop pads, straight nozzle, bent nozzle, window squeegee, set of nylon brushes

Detailed Comparison Chart

ProductBestWater capacityTemperature control?Heater speedAccessories
Light ‘N Easy Steam MopConsumer Favorite7.4 ozNo20 – 30 secondsWashable microfiber pad
Bissell PowerFresh DeluxeRefreshing16 ozYes: two settings, high or low30 secondsDetachable spotboost brush, 2 fragrance discs, microfiber pad
Shark Genius SystemSanitary11.8 ozYes; three settings30 secondsDirt-grip pad, water fill flask
Shark Steam PocketBudget Choice15 ozNo30 secondsTwo washable microfiber pads
PurSteam ThermaPro 10-In-1Versatile11.5 ozYes; three settings30 secondsTwo mop pads, straight nozzle, bent nozzle, window squeegee, set of nylon brushes
Jump to the Full Steam Mop For Tiles Reviews

Tips for Steam Mopping Tiles

There are practices you can put in place to reduce the risk of damage even more. We’ve got some words of wisdom for you to consider before you apply steam to your floor.

1. Never Leave Water to Stand

Remember this even when you’re not steam cleaning. If water puddles on tiles it could slowly penetrate the grout. The effect of water puddles is worse on unglazed hardware, as the tiles will absorb it, resulting in unsightly stains.

So if you ever spill any liquid on your tiles, clean it up immediately. Use a dry mop, absorbent towel, or soft microfiber cloth to soak it up.

2. Sweep or Vacuum First

Before you go in with a steam mop, remove as much dirt from your floor as possible. If you’re sweeping, use a soft-bristled broom or a microfiber head to prevent scratches. When vacuuming, make sure you’re using a multi-floor machine or hard floor attachments.

This is so that you won’t push the dirt around on your floor when mopping. Not only will this create a bigger (and wet) mess, but wet dirt could eventually cake on your floor.

Vacuuming is best for picking up large debris, as sweeping it around might have an abrasive effect.

3. Don’t Overdo Your Steam Cleaning

Once you witness its powerful effect, you may be inclined to steam your tiles often. In reality, this isn’t necessary, and because of the risks (small as they are), it’s best not to. Tiles will do just fine with frequent sweeping, vacuuming or runs with a tile cleaning solution and a standard mop.

Steam should be reserved for deep cleaning. So if you don’t have built up grease, or caked on dirt, save time and energy by skipping the steam mop. In doing so, you’ll protect your floors from over-exposure to heat and moisture.

Keep your steam cleaning down to once a week at most, for the best effect and reduced risk.

4. Check Your Warranty

It’s most common with wood, but hard floor manufacturers may bar steam cleaning.So before you buy a steam mop, revisit your paperwork to see if it’s allowed.

This is not to say that steam mopping is ill-advised — just that floor manufacturers are aware of the risks of accidents. Whether or not you take that risk is up to you.

5. Manufacturers Know Best

If your floor manufacturer explicitly advises against steaming your tiles or grout, listen to them. The same applies to the manufacturers of the mops. Follow the instructions strictly to prevent unnecessary damage, accidents or even burns.

We know it sounds tedious, but read through your product’s manual thoroughly. You’ll know how to operate it to its best effect, and you’ll keep both you and your floors safe.

More On This Topic
A steam mop used to clean a laminate floorFind out Exactly How to Use a Steam Mop

Benefits of Steam Mopping Tiles

Steam mopping tiles is one of the best ways to keep them in tip-top shape. Beyond the excellent results you’ll get from this method, there are a few bonus benefits you can look forward to.

  • Chemical-free: Steam mops require water only. So you can save money on tile cleaning solutions, and you’ll reduce your exposure to potentially toxic chemicals. This is better for the environment too, as you won’t have to worry about VOCs being released into the air.
  • Faster: Standard mops require a fair amount of effort and elbow grease to operate. Steam mops, thanks to the heat used, cut through dirt, grime and grease while eliminating the need to scrub. This saves time and prevents strain on your part.
  • More thorough: Steam can penetrate all sorts of nooks, crannies and crevices. You’ll get seamless cleaning along your walls, under furniture, and in corners. This compliments the time-saving perk.
  • Healthier homes: Remember that steam cleaning destroys pathogens. This is especially beneficial in areas that are likely to be tiled, like bathrooms and kitchens. You’ll have a cleaner, safer living space if you use one.

Melt Dirt Away

Tiles aren’t difficult to clean, and that’s why they work so well with steam mops. So long as your tiles are glazed, you don’t have to worry about heat or water damage as you do with other types of floors.

A steam mop can cut an immense amount of time and energy from your cleaning. What’s more, it can leave your floors — grout included — sanitized and shining.

There’s something for everyone in our recommendations of the best steam mops for tiles. They’re affordable, versatile and simple tools that can improve your quality of life. We hope you see one you like.

Was this article helpful?

👍
👎
×

What went wrong?

This article contains incorrect information

This article does not have the information I am looking for

There is a problem with the website

×

How can we improve it?

All feedback is anonymous. If you would like a reply, please email us instead.

×

We appreciate your feedback!

We will look into this issue as soon as possible.

×

Thank you for your feedback!

Please share this article with someone you care about and leave a comment below.

Share this article:

Headshot of amy

About the Author

Amy Anthony

Amy is a stay-at-home-mom, seasoned writer, and a home cleaning and organization aficionado. Amy enjoys having an absolutely spotless home and has worked hard to develop strategies to keep it that way, despite having 2 kids and 3 dogs!
Best Tile Floor Cleaning Machines for No-Scrub ShineBest Tile Floor Cleaning Machines of 2020
How to Steam Clean Your Oven (Cut Back on Scrubbing)How to Steam Clean Your Oven
How to Clean a Microwave (6 Easy Ways to Remove Stains and Odors)How to Clean Your Microwave (6 Simple Ways to Remove Stains and Smells)
How to Steam Clean a Mattress (7 Steps to Ditching Bed Bugs)How to Steam Clean a Mattress (and Deodorize It, Too)
All You Need to Know About Steam Cleaning a CouchHow to Steam Clean a Couch
25 Genius Uses for Steam Cleaners25 Genius Uses for Steam Cleaners (Get Your Money's Worth)

Leave a Comment