We know that vacuums are great for hardwood, rugs, and carpets, but how do they fare on tiles? Do tiles need special treatment, or can you use any old machine on them?
There are various ways to clean tiles, from steam cleaning to a good old broom and mop, but do vacuums work? Yes, they do, but it comes with a caveat. Using a vacuum that’s too harsh could damage your tiles.
The last thing you want is to damage your tiled floors by using an incompatible machine. So, we’re going to help you find a vacuum that will preserve the condition of your tiles. There’s something for everyone!
Why Should You Buy a Vacuum for Tiles?
Most tiles are glazed. This means they’ve been coated with either liquid glass or enamel. Aesthetics is one reason for this, but glazed tiles are also less dense. More importantly, though, they’re waterproof.
Unglazed tiles have a natural earthy look to them, but they are absorbent. Therefore, they stain easily. However, most household tiles are glazed to avoid water damage, which is why they’re staples in kitchens and bathrooms (1).
Though glazed tiles generally don’t deteriorate over time and are resistant to wear and tear, you can scratch them if you try hard enough. This is where vacuums come in.
Using a vacuum with rough bristles could ruin the coating of your tiles. Over time, it could cause unsightly abrasions that could potentially harbor more dirt and germs. However, when done correctly, vacuuming your tiles has several advantages over sweeping.
1. It’s Faster
You may feel like sweeping is quicker because there is no set up involved. But is it? Sure, some vacuums require assembly, but can you work faster than a machine?
Sweeping tiles are, of course, quicker than sweeping carpets, but a broom still slows you down. When you use a broom, dirt and dust are pushed around, for one. Then, you often have to backtrack or go over parts you’ve already swept to do a thorough job.
In comparison, vacuuming goes faster. This is because suction pulls dirt into the vacuum, instead of pushing it away. Dirt is also collected into the vacuum’s bag or container, so you don’t have to scoop it up either.
2. It’s Easier
This is a no-brainer, but why exert yourself when a machine can do it for you? Sweeping takes effort, even if it is over tiles.
Still, unless you’re using a robot vacuum, you have to put effort into it, even with a machine. However, holding and aiming a vacuum uses far less energy than manually (even vigorously) wiping dirt away. Plus, emptying your vacuum is also simpler than using a dustpan.
To make your work even easier, choose a lighter vacuum. The lighter and more powerful your vacuum is, the less effort you will have to put into cleaning.
3. There’s More Variety
We don’t mind brooms at all but they lack variety. No matter the bristles, design, or length, a broom will always be nothing more than a broom.
In comparison, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to vacuums. There are different types of vacuums, each with different functions, methods, and strengths. You can choose one that is perfect for your needs.
For example, you could find a vacuum with wet and dry capabilities for the tiles in your bathroom. Or, you could choose a multi-floor vacuum that will work on your tiles and carpets. These are just two examples, but there are many, many more to pick from.
4. There’s More Versatility Too
Because there’s no such thing as a “tile vacuum,” if you choose the right vacuum, you can use it to clean your whole home. It will cover everything from your tiles to your couch.
This is another advantage over brooms. No one sweeps their curtains, but many people vacuum them.
5. Vacuuming Is More Effective
Suction is stronger than you are. When you push the dirt around, you’re bound to leave some behind, if not spreading it into impossible places.
Vacuums, on the other hand, clean better because they take dirt in. Even dust in corners or dirt embedded between your tiles won’t be able to resist the force.
Vacuums often come with special attachments made to clean more easily and efficiently. One example is the crevice tool, which reaches into tight spots to get rid of more dirt.
Some vacuums also have special filters that trap dirt. This reduces the chances of dirt being released back into the air.
6. It’s Healthier
Vacuums pick up more dirt than you can, leaving you with a healthier, more sanitary home. Some vacuums come with special filters (usually HEPA filters) specially made to trap allergens.
They’re safer for people with allergies or sensitivities to dust, pet hair, and other irritants. Depending on the build you use, vacuuming is also better for your posture, back, and muscles too.
Types of Vacuums for Tiles
As we said, the bad news is that there’s no such thing as a tile vacuum. The good news is that many types of vacuums are great for tiles regardless. In fact, almost all types of vacuums will work on tiles, given that the machine’s brush is safe to use on them.
To keep things simple, though, we’ve excluded handheld vacuums from this list. This is because we assume you’re looking for something with a capacity. We think the following types are the best vacuums for tile floors.
We know, we know. Listing robot vacuums first seems like a quirky choice, but hear us out. Most robot vacuums are multi-floor machines.
Many robot vacuums even come with brushes that adjust to your floors automatically. So, in this case, a robot vacuum will sense your tiles and switch to a softer brush (and perhaps even less intense suction) to clean them.
This is excellent for preserving your tiles, whether they are glazed or not. You can also find robot vacuums with wet and dry capabilities, which is a lifesaver for tiles.
- Protect your tiles.
- Independent, saving you effort.
- Lack versatility.
- They’re often pricey.
- Require charging.
Stick vacuums are a lightweight option if you want a machine that can clean more than just your tiles.
Sticks are a midway between traditional vacuums and handhelds. They have strong suction power, which we love. But with smaller motors, they’re easy to hold and carry. Plus, most of them convert into handhelds, and they’re the most versatile machines you can find.
These vacuums often come with self-adjusting heads as well. If not, they usually come with handy attachments that you can switch out when vacuuming your tiles or other hard floors.
Another benefit is that they come in cordless models. This could be handy if your tiled area doesn’t have a power source.
- The most versatile.
- They’re lightweight.
- You get handy attachments and features.
- They can be cordless and handheld convertible.
- They tend to cost more.
- Not as durable as traditional vacuums.
- May require assembly before use.
Canister vacuums will work just fine on tiles, so long as you use the right attachments. However, not all canisters will be suitable for hard floors. So make sure that the one you choose has (or comes with) a soft brush.
Canister vacuums are handy because you don’t have to push the entire machine to clean. Their motor is contained in the eponymous canister, that pulls behind you on wheels. You clean using a wand that is attached to the canister with a hose.
This means they’re not as cumbersome to use as upright vacuums. Plus, they’re typically an affordable, value-for-money option. They also come with nifty attachments that make cleaning easier.
- Come with handy attachments.
- Are easier to use than upright vacuums.
- Most powerful suction.
- Assembly is required.
- Storage can be a pain.
- Power source required.
Even though they’re in competition with more sophisticated technology, upright vacuums haven’t lost popularity. Uprights have strong suction and the widest cleaning path of all vacuum types.
They also give you more stability and are better for your back since you have to stand up straight to use them. We know they’re wonderful on carpets, but how do they do on tiles? Uprights will do just fine on tiles and are preferred by many because of their range.
One drawback, though, is that with uprights, what you see is usually what you get. So, don’t expect any useful attachments. Also, make sure that your machine is suitable for hard floors to avoid unnecessary damage.
- Widest cleaning range.
- Most stable.
- They’re heavy.
- They lack attachments and extra features.
- You usually need a power source.
These aren’t as talked about in households because they’re generally for commercial purposes. Still, residential variants exist, and they’re great for use on tiles. Think of them as lightweight canister vacuums that you wear.
These are powerful machines intended to reduce fatigue. They’re for heavy-duty work, without the heavy lifting. You carry the machine on your back (hence the name), so you don’t have to push or pull it around with you.
Since you wear them, they’re lightweight and won’t get in their own way. They’re also versatile and powerful. These vacuums truly give the user comfort not typically found in other vacuums.
- Lightweight and comfortable.
- Less interference.
- Intended for commercial use.
- Not as popular as other builds.
- Could be pricey.
Choosing the Best Vacuum for Tiles
There are a few things you should keep in mind before you buy a vacuum for your tile floors. Consider the following to make sure the vacuum you pick is right for you:
- Plugging it in: If you’re going for a corded option, will you be able to plug it in inside (or close to) your tiled area? Bear in mind that some bathrooms don’t have wall sockets. So you’ll have to make sure that your machine’s cable is long enough to reach.
- Picking up pet hair: Do you have pets in your home? If so, you’ll want a pet-friendly vacuum that won’t struggle to lift hairs from your tiles. Choosing one with a HEPA filter will go the extra mile.
- Handling liquids: Not all vacuums have wet/dry capabilities. So if you want to use your vacuum on spills, especially in your bathroom, you’ll have to check that it’s compatible with water. Never use a dry-only machine on spills — you could damage it or put yourself in danger.
- Types of floors: Are tiles the only floors you want to clean with your vacuum? If you have carpets or hardwood floors, consider getting a multi-floor machine. It will kill two birds with one stone. Otherwise, be sure that your machine comes with the appropriate attachments.
- Multi-purpose use: If you want to clean other surfaces (like car interiors, upholstery, mattresses, or fabrics) with your machine, choose one that is versatile. Stick vacuums will be your best choice, with canisters a close second.
- How much money it costs: Your budget matters. If you’re willing to spend extra, you’re likely to get a more sophisticated machine that comes with everything you need and more. But if you’re working on a budget, choose a model with the necessities for hard floors.
Tile Maintenance 101
The Best Vacuums for Tile Floors of 2020
After searching high and low, we’ve chosen our top seven vacuums for tile floors. We used our personal experiences, detailed customer feedback and information from product specifications. These are the best products, based on efficiency, capabilities, and customer satisfaction.
1. MOOSOO 2-in-1 Cordless Vacuum
This model is a customer favorite. Since it’s a stick, you can use it to deep clean your whole home too.
The battery will last you 30 minutes a run and gives you 15000 Pa of suction power. It’s nice that Moosoo gives you the option to purchase a back-up battery for more cleaning time. This vacuum can pick up light dirt and stubborn debris, and is good for both hard floors and carpets.
It also includes high-efficiency filtration and a reusable HEPA filter. So it’s a viable option for those with allergies.
Plus, you get some useful attachments such as a sofa brush and a 2-in-1 cleaning brush. There’s also a pet hair cleaning brush and an electric floor brush with hard bristles. It’s handheld convertible.
Why We Love It
This is a powerful machine that’s sure to tackle all dirt in your home. Its suction is stronger than most sticks, and if you want to, you can buy a back-up battery for extra time. It has all the power of a traditional vacuum, without any of the limitations such builds have.
You can clean all your surfaces, interiors, and furniture with this machine and we love it. It does a great job on tiles, but we recommend this one to those of you looking for the full vacuuming experience.
Since this vacuum uses cyclone filtration and HEPA filters, it’s suitable for those with sensitivities. It removes close to 100 percent of allergens and irritants from the air, leaving you with a fresher home.
Keep In Mind
Though this model has the power of a traditional vacuum, its dust capacity is small. This means that it requires frequent maintenance. Still, with its washable filters, maintenance is made easier regardless.
Like all stick vacuums, this model won’t be as durable as traditional machines. So, handle it with care, store it carefully, and don’t use it excessively to extend its life. Some good news is that there’s a two year warranty.
|Power/Suction||150 watts/15000 Pa|
|Dimensions||49 inches by 10 inches by 9 inches|
|Special Features||Handheld convertible, washable HEPA filter, LED lights|
|Accessories||Electric floor brush, 2-in-1 cleaning brush, sofa brush, pet hair cleaning tool, wall bracket|
2. BISSELL 81L2W Hard Floor Expert
Don’t ignore the dirty corners and edges. With the Bissell 81L2W, you can get the corners and edges of your tile floors cleaner than ever before. The fancy V-shaped foot makes it super easy to get into tight spaces and clean up small debris. It’s also great for maneuvering around furniture, like chair or table legs.
This effective vacuum sucks up dirt and debris from every inch of your home. Now, it’s much easier to mop or steam the floors afterward.
Why We Love It
The v-shaped foot is definitely unique. And while it might catch you by surprise when you first see it, you’ll learn to love it very soon. It means you don’t have to stress yourself out with the manual hose attachment when cleaning up corners and edges. Use one swift motion to clean every inch of your tile floors.
This vacuum is bagless which means it’s easy to empty and clean. Simply remove the container, empty the contents into the trash and wash with a bit of warm water and soap. Fully dry before re-attaching to the vacuum.
Safe on All Hard Floors
Yes, this vacuum is great for tiles. But if you have precious hardwood floors in your house, this will also work. It has bumpers and soft roller wheels to protect your floors. No scratches, no stains, no scuffs. Just clean floors. Please note: this is not effective on carpets.
Keep In Mind
According to some customers, the suction could be better. In fact, it seems to diminish over time. To avoid this though, we recommend making sure you don’t use this for fine dust, ash or a lot of hair. This can easily clog up the filter and decrease the suction power.
No Hose Option
Although you probably won’t need the hose, sometimes it’s nice to know it’s there. Hoses are especially good for vacuuming in between couch cushions or along window sills. With this vacuum, there is no option. So even if you only have hard floors in your house, it might not be the only solution to your vacuuming needs.
|Dimensions||11.3 inches x 10.6 inches x 43.3 inches|
|Special Features||V-shaped foot|
3. Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 11S
Here’s a multi-floor vacuum intended for hard floors and medium pile carpets. It’s perfect for tiles and anyone who needs one machine to do it all. This model was voted the Best Robot Vacuum of 2018.
It’s slim, quiet, and has a powerful suction that will last for up to 100 minutes a run. Using BoostIQ technology, its suction auto-adjusts according to your floors within 1.5 seconds. Plus, protective features prevent drops and crashes.
We like that it’s a self-charging machine. This device comes with a remote control and batteries.
Extra features include a cleaning tool, spare filters, and four side brushes. There are also five cable ties, a charging station, and an AC adapter.
Why We Love It
When this machine senses troublesome areas, it automatically boosts its suction for a burst of extra power. This feature kicks in quickly and is handy for stubborn dirt on your tiles.
Excellent Run Time
100 minutes is a lot — more than enough to clean your tiles. We also like that this machine is self-charging, so you don’t have to fuss over it.
As mentioned, this vacuum is intended for hard floors, so it’s great for tiles. But you can use it on low pile carpets too, and it will travel seamlessly between the two.
Keep In Mind
Customers note that the capacity of this machine is small and that it needs to be emptied after almost every use. Another frustration is that it beeps when it needs emptying. It can quickly become tiresome.
It’s Easily Confused
It does a great job of cleaning, but this little guy sometimes loses its way. If you have a cluttered home, it may get stuck trying to navigate around your furniture. And unfortunately, every once in a while, you might have to save it.
|Dimensions||12.8 inches by 12.8 inches by 2.85 inches|
|Special Features||BoostIQ technology, self-charging, 100 minutes run time|
|Accessories||Cleaning tool, extra filters, 4 side brushes, 5 cable ties, charging station, AC adapter|
4. Bissell Cleanview
This upright vacuum has some real suction power. It also features a unique One Pass Technology for faster, more effective cleaning.
The Bissell Cleanview is a multi-surface machine that works well on furniture, stairs, and even upholstery. The device comes with a dusting brush, turbo brush, and crevice tool for extra utility.
It uses multi-level and multi-cyclonic filtration for stronger suction and cleaner floors. There’s also a washable, reusable filter that traps dust and allergens.
You get a lot of reach with this machine too. It comes with a 25-foot cord, a 6-foot hose, and an extension wand. All in all, it has a cleaning range of 13.5 inches, which will go a long way on your tiles.
Why We Love It
One Pass Technology
This feature saves both time and effort when you clean. The machine is designed to pick up almost all dirt in one sweep. It’s a feature that’s often overlooked in other models.
Upright vacuums are usually limited in their reach, but this one has broken that mold. Not only do you get a 25-foot cable, but there’s also an extension wand and a 6-foot hose to match. The handy accessories, like the crevice tool, add to this machine’s versatility.
Value for Money
We wouldn’t go as far as to say that this is a budget option, but it will save you money. Considering the power and reach that you get with this upright, we think it’s a fair exchange.
Keep In Mind
Though it’s considered a lightweight machine, compared to our other picks, this one is the heftiest. It’s also an upright, so expect rigidity too.
May Be Hard to Operate
Some users have noted that this machine is not easy to operate. Complaints of inconvenient controls and assembly have surfaced. Overall, though, users are willing to look past it, and the majority of consumer feedback is excellent.
|Dimensions||13.2 inches by 13.5 inches by 44 inches|
|Special Features||Multi-level filtration, multi-cyclonic cleaning system|
|Accessories||Dusting brush, crevice tool, turbo brush|
5. ProTeam Commercial Backpack Cleaner
This backpack model is a fantastic choice if you live in a multi-storey home. It’s a multi-floor machine that works on all hard floors, low pile carpets, and upholstery. It’s said to be three times as strong as a standard vacuum.
It uses four-level filtration and HEPA filters to preserve suction power and clean the air around you too. Designed for comfort, it’s a seven-piece residential kit that is suitable for use within your home.
You get a broad array of attachments too. We like this vacuum because it makes vacuuming feel so much less like a chore. Did we mention that it comes with a whopping 50-foot cord?
Why We Love It
You get a great bundle of attachments with this machine. It’s equipped with everything you need for deep-cleaning your home. We recommend it to people with heavy-duty work beyond their tiles.
This machine has one of the longest cables that we have ever seen in a vacuum. Though you still have to plug it in, it’s as portable and versatile as a corded vacuum can be.
This vacuum’s quality is certified, and its role in fighting allergies is a big reason why.
We can thank its 4-level filtration for this. It ensures that almost 100 percent of dust, dirt and other allergens are removed from your space.
What’s more, these allergens remain contained within the vacuum. It protects the machine’s suction too, which makes it all the more powerful.
Keep In Mind
It Takes Getting Used To
This machine is nifty, no doubt. But if you’ve never used a backpack vacuum before, you might find that it’s uncomfortable at first.
It weighs 11 pounds, so you will have to determine if you can manage it. Some customers say that it’s difficult to get the hang of this one.
Quality Could Be Better
Unfortunately, this machine is not the most durable. A few customers are frustrated by the quality of this machine’s build and argue that it comes apart easily. As always, take care with it, and you may not have this problem.
|Dimensions||8.5 inches by 8.5 inches by 25 inches|
|Special Features||4-level filtration, adjustable harness, flexible hose|
|Accessories||Intercept micro filter bags, claw nozzle, crevice tool, soft dusting brush, turbo brush, hard floor tool, telescoping wand, mesh storage bag|
6. Bissell PowerEdge Pet
This model is a simple and effective machine with a unique design. Its “V-shape” is incorporated to more effectively pick up food pellets or spilled litter. The head has a rubber squeegee, which collects more pet hair than you’d expect.
It’s intended for hard floors and will work perfectly on tiles, though you can use it on low pile carpets with fine debris. It’s also better for quick tidying or smaller jobs. It uses swivel steering and easily fits into (or works around) corners.
We recommend this machine to people looking for a quick and easy way to clean up after their pets.
Why We Love It
The design of this vacuum is incredible. Its shape means it can clean the corners of your home that other vacuums can’t reach. It’s an ingenious idea that goes a long way. It saves you time by eliminating the need to switch attachments out.
The rubber on the machine’s head is highly effective at collecting pet hair. It’s excellent in its simplicity and does a great job on tiles. This isn’t a common feature in vacuums, and we like how innovative it is.
The price of this handy machine is fantastic. It’s an inexpensive solution to pet hair or mess in your home. Competing or more sophisticated pet-friendly vacuums usually aren’t this affordable.
Keep In Mind
It Might Clog Easily
A few customers have mentioned that this machine clogs with little reason to. In most instances of these complaints, though, the users were still satisfied with its overall performance.
As with other machines, therefore, regular maintenance and monitoring will solve this problem and prevent damage to your vacuum. If you feel a loss of suction while using it, check its filters — they may need cleaning.
It’s for Tidying Hard Floors
This model isn’t made to deep clean your home and is best left for pet-parents. However, you could still put it to use for light cleaning if you don’t have pets but are looking to neaten your tiles. But, the manufacturer warns that it’s not suitable for rugs.
|Dimensions||10.6 inches by 11.3 inches by 43.3 inches|
|Special Features||V-Shaped head, cyclonic filtration, rubber squeegees|
7. Bissell Zing Bagged Canister Vacuum
To start with, the filters are washable and reusable, which saves you money on replacements.
Additionally, this machine has a 15-foot cord and only weighs 10 pounds. It’s lightweight, maneuverable, and simple and comfortable to use. It has a retractable cord for convenience, and a built-in handle for easy carrying.
So how will it fare on your tiles? Well, it’s a multi-surface machine that adjusts to hard floors or carpets with a quick flip of a switch. It uses cyclonic action for a powerful suction that’s sure to clean your tiles with little effort.
Why We Love It
A drawback to canisters is that you have to pull them along with you. This model is light enough that you won’t struggle with it. It’s easy to move and carry, thanks to the integrated handle.
Unlike some other canisters, it’s handy for multi-storey homes and cleaning stairs or elevated spots.
Of all the vacuums we have recommended in this list, this model will do the least damage to your bank account. It’s a true budget option for those in need of a great vacuum at a competitive price.
You can switch the suction for hard floors and carpets, so your tiles will remain pristine. Rest assured that it won’t scratch your tiles, because you control the cleaning pressure.
Keep In Mind
Parts May Come Loose
A common complaint is that the wand and hose do not lock into place. While they fit together, they may slide apart and disrupt your cleaning.
But, so long as you are gentle with this vacuum, you shouldn’t experience this problem. However, it is frustrating if you want to clean vigorously.
Quality Could Be Better
Remember that this is a budget option, so it’s not made of the best materials. That said, the majority of customers who mention build quality are still satisfied with the machine’s performance.
This vacuum will suffice in residential environments. Maintain it often and treat it with care to extend its lifespan.
|Dimensions||14 inches by 11 inches by 12 inches|
|Special Features||Post motor filter, retractable cord|
|Accessories||Multi-surface floor tool, crevice tool, dusting brush|
|MOOSOO 2-in-1||Most Versatile||150 W||49″ x 10″ x 9″||3.5 lbs||Handheld convertible, washable HEPA filter, LED lights||Electric floor brush, 2-in-1 cleaning brush, sofa brush, pet hair cleaning tool, wall bracket|
|BISSELL 81L2W||Corners and Edges||1000 W||11.3″ x 10.6″ x 43.3″||7 lbs||V-shaped foot||None|
|Eufy BoostIQ||Robot||1300 Pa||12.8″ x 12.8″ x 2.85″||5.85 lbs||BoostIQ technology, self-charging, 100 minutes run time||Cleaning tool, extra filters, 4 side brushes, 5 cable ties, charging station, AC adapter|
|Bissell Cleanview||Upright||960 W||13.2″ x 13.5″ x 44″||15.4 lbs||Multi-level filtration, multi-cyclonic cleaning system||Dusting brush, crevice tool, turbo brush|
|ProTeam Commercial||Backpack||1188 W||8.5″ x 8.5″ x 25″||11 lbs||4-level filtration, adjustable harness, flexible hose||Intercept micro filter bags, claw nozzle, crevice tool, soft dusting brush, turbo brush, hard floor tool, telescoping wand, mesh storage bag|
|Bissell PowerEdge||Pets||720 W||10.6″ x 11.3″ x 43.3″||7.5 lbs||V-Shaped head, cyclonic filtration, rubber squeegees||N/A|
|Bissell Zing||Canister||1080 W||14″ x 11″ x 12″||10 lbs||Post motor filter, retractable cord||Multi-surface floor tool, crevice tool, dusting brush|
Vacuums Are Versa-Tile
If you’re looking for the best vacuum for your tiles, your strongest bet would be to buy a multi-floor machine. You get so much more out of them, and they can typically be used around your whole home.
There isn’t one kind of tile vacuum, so you have some freedom in how you choose to clean your tile floors. As long as your machine comes equipped (or packaged) with an appropriate soft brush, your tiles will be just fine.
Which one of our picks is your favorite? Do you agree with our recommendations? Let us know in the comments.