Best Vacuum for Tile Floors
Last updated on May 11th, 2018 by Garrick Dee
Tile, it’s the default flooring inside your kitchen and bathroom.
Depending on the type of tile your home has it may or may not require as much power as carpet.
So before buying a vacuum or cleaner for it requires you to know what type you have at home.
Now there are a lot of different types of tile
These include ceramic, porcelain, quarry, faux wood, slate, marble, natural stone and glass to name a few. And each of these has different cleaning requirements.
There are a lot of different ways to clean tiled flooring
Ceramic tiles have to be scrubbed with soapy water.
But before doing that, you must clean all the dust that piles up, particularly on the grout area.
This is a necessary step to remove a film of dust that can make scrubbing much tougher and messier.
But before doing any of these, you will need to clean excess dust and dirt. Here are some recommendations.
To help guide you through this review, I’ve created a table of contents section…
|Brush on/off switch|
100 AW (Max/boost)
Identify the type of tile flooring you have
Most ceramic tiles have a glazed finish which means it is resistant to dirt.
It has a coating on top of the actual tile itself that makes it smooth and easier to clean.
The downside to glazed tile is that it is more prone to scratching.
Unglazed tiles that don’t that protective coating are harder to clean. This will necessitate a more powerful vacuum that has a motorized brush to dislodge dirt trapped on its uneven surface.
Brush roll on/off feature
You need a vacuum with a brush roll on / off feature that gives you the option to turn off the motorized brush.
This helps a great deal in terms of cleaning large debris like cereal.
A motorized brush will have a tendency of creating a bigger mess when cleaning large debris because of the fast spinning bristles that “kick” dirt around.
Grout is probably the toughest area of a tile to clean because it absorbs dirt easily.
To truly deep clean tile, vacuuming and scrubbing isn’t enough. Steam cleaning is a necessity to kill bacteria. And since tile is resistant to high temperature and fully sealed, steam cleaning it would be idea.
Type of vacuum that works best
For tiled surface, I would suggest going for an upright, stick or canister vacuum as these types of vacuums have enough length that you don’t need to bend down just to clean of dust.
You can also opt for something with attachments to reach areas around the table and refrigerator where the main vacuum cleaning head cannot reach.
Next generation vacuums
The latest generation vacuums from Dyson and Shark have cleaning heads that use soft roller bars that are very effective in picking up large debris.
Dyson with in their latest V6 and V8 products have a tool dedicated for hard floor. They call this the soft roller cleaning head.
If a cordless vacuum isn’t an option for you then have a look at the Shark Duo Clean that combines the soft roller and bristled brush.
This is an important consideration when choosing a vacuum for any floor type.
The filtration is a vacuum’s last line of defense against microscopic dust and allergen from coming back out.
There’s HEPA filtration
A best case scenario would be buying something with HEPA filtration.
But these are very expensive and most of the time, you will need to replace it at the manufacturer’s recommended time.
If you don’t have any respiratory ailment, you could possibly get away with a vacuum that does not have any HEPA filtration but if you do, it is a must have.
For cleaning smaller areas like the kitchen, you can absolutely use a cordless vacuum because of the convenience and portability.
But make sure to choose one with enough accessories and enough length so that you can use it as a stick vacuum.
Run time is another thing to consider. Look for a product that will run for at least 15 minutes. This will allow you to at least clean a small to medium sized kitchen.
Despite the success of our previous pick, the Rotator NV752, Shark continues to improve. And this next product is a reflection of their forward thinking nature.
The DuoClean Powered LiftAway is a culmination of a series of innovative ideas that Shark introduced to their upright product line.
Innovations by Shark
First innovation was the LiftAway feature wherein the canister and floor tool separate, freeing it up from its added weight that allowed it better coverage and reach.
Next came the Powered LiftAway. This allowing users to use the main cleaning head even in canister mode.
This gave it unparalleled reach when it comes to cleaning hard to reach areas under furniture.
Their latest innovation is the DuoClean feature that combines the soft roller and a bristled brush for better agitation.
The NV803 DuoClean Powered LiftAway combines all these features into an upright capable of cleaning not just floors but also upholstery.
New cleaning head
The DuoClean system consistently received great reviews because of the improved cleaning performance. This improvement is for both carpet and hard floor – it’s that good.
More so with the latter because the addition of the soft roller head all but eliminates the snow plowing that affects traditionally designed cleaning heads.
Using a soft roller head isn’t an original idea by Shark. Dyson was the first to introduce this concept but Shark took it further and combined it with a bristled brush.
What makes the Shark NV803 a great option?
- Better agitation compared to the Rotator NV752
- Powered LiftAway feature allows you to use the improved cleaning head deep under furniture
- Unmatched versatility
- Varied enough tool set to clean on the floor and above it
- Long 5 year warranty
- LED headlights helps a great deal with visibility
- Equally great on carpet and bare floor
Now, I did mention this works great on bare floor and carpet. To show you why I made this claim, just watch this video…
Make sure to watch it whole to see both cleaning tests. And the results are impressive, just look at the before and after photos below.
A before photo on carpet
Here’s the after…
Even with the large mess scattered on the floor, this vacuum was able to pick up most of the dirt in just one back and forth pass. Impressive isn’t it? This isn’t the type of mess you’ll deal with every day but it’s nice to know that it is capable to handle such mess when the need arises.
How about bare floor?
I’m glad you asked…
Again, here’s the after image…
Shark was able to pick up all the crud even on the recessed grout area. This is where the newly designed cleaning head shines!
There was no snow plowing as the soft roller pick pulled everything towards the suction chamber and in the bin.
If you don’t mind paying an excess of $300 then this is a good option for medium to large homes. Another reason to buy this would be the 5 year warranty. This is 3 years more than the Dyson!
Bottom line: This is one of the best performing uprights on bare floor and carpet thanks to the redesigned cleaning head. It now has a soft roller head and bristle brush. It isn’t as powerful as the NV752. But the improved agitation makes up for it. However, you’ll have to spend over $300 for it and it does not have HEPA filtration.
I’ve featured the Dyson V6 time and time again and for cleaning tiled floors.
This is the best cordless vacuum for this type of surface. And there’s on reason for this and it’s the brush roll.
While other upright vacuums rely on bristles, the V6 uses a soft roller head.
Why this is great on hard floor?
The soft roller head is basically is a stiff tube with a cloth like outer coating that will literally grab dirt. Since it does not have any bristles, there’s no risk of it kicking dirt around.
Its design minimizes larger debris from flying off once it makes contact with it as well as the dreaded snowplow effect that vacuums with low profile cleaner heads have had.
Using a fabric laced roller bar allowed Dyson to bring up the frame so that large bits of dirt will fit without plowing.
There’s a cheaper option
Dyson also has a new product called the V8 Absolute. It’s the absolute best cordless in the market right now.
They was able to double the run time from 20 minutes up to 40 minutes, that is without any motorized tools. With the motorized tools attached, it will run for about 26 minutes. Not only is the battery upgrade but also the motor – now with the V8 producing around 20% more power.
Agitation is another improvement with more powerful tools to pick up dirt on carpet and bare floor. If you don’t mind spending $500++ for a cordless then this is a good investment.
Why makes the V6 a great option for tiled floor?
- Soft roller cleaning head will work great on most tiled floor surfaces (I must warn you that it will not clean anything wet so don’t even try)
- Decent power even for a cordless vacuum
- A full charge will last for 20 minutes (long enough to clean most kitchen flooring and even the ceiling fan!)
- Has HEPA filtration (and yes it’s washable)
- It can turn to a handheld vacuum when you remove the extension wand
Bottom line: Even though this is a cordless vacuum don’t sleep on the V6 because it will clean up any spill inside your tiled flooring without blowing back dirt on your face thanks to the HEPA filtration, yes it is expensive but consider it an investment.
The Shark Rocket Powerhead is unique when you compare it to the other vacuums in this list mainly because of where it houses the motor.
Instead of putting the motor and dust bin on the handle or in Dyson’s case the handle area, it relocated it right beside the beater bar.
This does a few things, first it reduces the distance traveled by air to just a few inches.
And second it gives better suction because there is very little power loss with the motor within the vicinity of the main cleaning head.
Small dust bin
Moving the motor and dirt bin down has a drawback. The dust bin isn’t really big. You will probably need to empty this several times cleaning your home.
It also has a beater bar designed for bare floor.
In addition to the bristle type brush for carpet, this vacuum also has a squeegee type brush (similar to the one found in the Roomba and Neato robot vacuums). It’ll work well at funneling dirt directly to the suction chamber.
The downside to this is it does not have any brush roll on/off switch which may cause issues when cleaning large debris.
What makes the Shark Powerhead option for your tiled floor?
- Strong suction and agitation
- Specialized motorized brush just for bare floors
- Has swivel steering
- Weighs just 9 pounds
- Pretty good 5 year warranty
- Works well on carpet too (just in case your home has any)
Another Shark option
Shark has another product in their line called the Rocket Duo Clean. It is similar to this product in that, it has very good agitation thanks to the dual brush system they call the “Duo Clean”. This combines a soft roller and a bristled brush.
The biggest difference between these two is versatility. The HV382 not only will clean floors but also above floors.
It has the same design principle as a Dyson cordless. That means the tools are interchangeable. Downside is all the added features means you’ll have to spend $125 more. If you don’t need the above floor cleaning of the HV382 then save some money and go with the Rocket Powerhead.
Another option would be the cordless Shark Rocket ION which would be more comparable with the Dyson since it does not have a cord.
Bottom line: This lightweight vacuum is a good option for homes with a mix of tile and carpet flooring because it is capable of cleaning both. However filtration isn’t its strong suite as it does not have any HEPA filtration so if you have asthma, don’t buy this.
Another benefit would be its ability to loosen up stuff like dried oil on sealed surfaces.
The Bissell Symphony All-In-One like its name implies is a multi-function product that offers both vacuum and steam functionality.
This product is a great option if you want a purpose built vacuum and steam cleaner for your kitchen.
Great as a steam cleaner
The Symphony works best as a steam cleaner to disinfect floors and will not pick up spills. It will work best on smooth glazed tile surfaces.
Also, you cannot use the vacuum and steam function simultaneously, only one at a time.
Since it does not have any motorized brush, you will not be able to use this on carpet.
If you already have a stick vacuum and only want a steam mop with variable steam control then the PowerFresh 1940 is a good option.
It won’t cost as much as the Symphony. But provides a compact option just in case you don’t need the vacuum function.
What make this a great option for tile?
- In addition to the vacuum functionality it also has steam cleaning functionality
- Cheaper than the Dyson Hard
- Disinfects 99.9% for bacteria from tile floors
- Long 25 foot power cord
- Decent 2 year warranty
Bottom line: The Bissell Symphony is a great option for cleaning kitchen tiles because of the steam cleaning functionality it offers that disinfect and keep your kitchen floors bacteria free. Remember that the vacuum and mop feature will not work simultaneously.
Despite not having any vacuum functionality, I’ve decided to add the Hoover Floormate in this list because it does one thing well – scrub tiled floors.
This is a great option if you need to clean stairs or oil residue. It has four scrubbers underneath that will deep clean almost any tile flooring.
No vacuum motor
At first glance you may think that the absence of a vacuum would be a downside.
But if you look closely it actually is a plus. Without the vacuum motor and inlet taking up space Hoover was able to make this product two pounds lighter.
Larger water tank
This means more space for a larger water tank – a total of 5 quarts.
The larger water tank will allow this machine to clean a larger area without refilling as often. It will save you time and effort and add more efficiency.
What I like about the Floormate is you don’t have to mop afterwards. It will suck up excess water and cleaning solution leaving a clean and spot free surface.
It also comes with another brush for more delicate surfaces like hardwood.
What makes this a great option?
- This machine is purpose built for scrubbing and deep cleaning not only tile but hardwood as well
- Four counter rotating brushes will agitate any grease and grime build up and then it will suck up any excess liquid on the floor
- Large water / cleaning solution tanks means this will cover a larger area
- Leaves your tile flooring spick and span without the need to mop
- Hoover backs this up with a 2 year warranty
Bottom line: This machine does one thing but it does it well. It will deep clean any bare floor surface like tile, hardwood or linoleum leaving it clean and dry without you having to bend down and do the scrubbing yourself.
Remember that in cleaning tile flooring, the first order of business always to vacuum first to remove dust, pet litter, stray cheerios, etc.
Basically any loose dirt on the floor before doing any scrubbing and any steam cleaning.
Most of the options I presented here have vacuum functionality. The other two offer steam cleaning and scrubbing.
Why the Dyson V6?
The Dyson V6 Absolute offers the best cleaning solution for tile – a soft roller cleaning head. It is cordless so expect it to run around 17 minutes with the motorized tool.
Why the Shark?
Shark offers the best corded solution with the Rotator NV752 because of its versatility.
I dare you find another upright that can cover the area it covers.
There are only a few in the market with such power and coverage. And again this product isn’t as expensive as a Dyson which is a big reason why I like it.
The last two options I put in there because of the features that were lacking in the first three. That is steam mopping and scrubbing.
If you need a steam mop
The Bissell Symphony also has vacuum functionality but you can’t use that with the mopping feature simultaneously. If you only need the steam mopping feature then have a look at PowerFresh SteamMop also from Bissell.