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Can I Vacuum Tile Floors and What Cleaning Machine Is Best?

Forget everything you knew about cleaning floors because when it comes to tile, things can get a little more complicated. A simple carpet vacuum might turn out to be very inefficient, especially when you have stubborn stains that require putting in some elbow grease to remove them.

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Today’s article is dedicated to vacuums and machines that will give your tile floors a beautiful shine, but also a thorough cleaning that you’d otherwise have to scrub until your arms feel sore.

Top 3 Picks

Most Versatile: McCulloch MC1385 Deluxe Canister Steam Cleaner

With 23 included accessories and the promise to clean floors without chemicals, this steam cleaner works on a variety of different floor materials, but also on autos, grills, and appliances.

Best for Pets: BISSELL Crosswave Pet Pro All in One Wet Dry Vacuum Cleaner

Saving homeless pets with each purchase and offering features that are excellent for removing pet hair with minimal effort, the Bissell Crosswave vacuum cleaner is an excellent product to consider.

Budget Pick: Shark Steam Pocket Mop

“This is a great product. I did not know how much I needed this until I had it.” (Customer review)

Tips for Vacuuming Tile Floors

There are a few tips that we can give you to clean your tile floors in a more efficient manner:

  • When you notice that your tile floor has spills, don’t allow them to turn into stubborn stains that would require scrubbing. You want to clean spills as soon as possible because prevention is way better than having to insist on cleaning a specific stain.
  • When cleaning floors, there is one important thing to keep in mind: maintenance is key. You want to use a solution made from mild detergent and hot water, or a special tile cleaning solution with either a regular mop or a steam cleaner.
  • Regardless of the actual cleaning solution that you choose, water is an important part of your tile cleaning process, so never leave it out.
  • Vacuum does not replace mopping, and these should always be treated at two different steps in the tile floor cleaning process. First of all, vacuum can replace sweeping because the suction power of the vacuum will remove dirt and debris more efficiently, whereas sweeping is bound to leave a little something on the floor. After vacuuming your tile floors, you can mop them to give them a beautiful shine but also to disinfect them. Sanitizing your floors is just as important as vacuuming them.
  • If you have ceramic floor tiles, they’ve most likely been mounted using grout. Grout is typically white, which makes it a real dirt magnet. Vacuuming the floors will remove the dirt and debris accumulated over grout, but it doesn’t restore its whiteness. You are going to have to use a special or homemade solution to clean grout.

Related: How to Clean Tile Grout with Baking Soda And Commercial Products

Purchasing Considerations

Before you buy a vacuum for a tile floor, it’s important to know how to prioritize the features that are most important to you. If you’re not sure what these features are, here is a comprehensive list of the characteristics that will totally make a difference.

  • The size of your home is the first thing to consider (or at least the added surface of your tile floors). Needless to say, the larger the surface you have to clean, the larger the vacuum has to be, unless you plan on emptying the dust container multiple times while you’re cleaning. Stick and cordless vacuums aren’t exactly cleaning powerhouses, so they are suitable for small houses and apartments.
  • You will have to choose between corded and cordless vacuums, and each of these two types has its own pros and cons, making each category suitable for a different kind of situation. Corded vacuums are great because of their unlimited power, meaning that you can clean the entire house without worrying that the battery will run out. When you’ve reached the end of the cord, just unplug it and move it to a closer power outlet. Canister and full-size upright vacuums have longer cords, so they might be more suitable for larger homes. Cordless vacuums, on the other hand, will not limit you to a power outlet proximity, but there are chances that you’ll run out of batteries when attempting to clean a larger house from start to finish. Some people like them because there is no risk of the power cord getting in the way.
  • The motor of the vacuum will determine a series of other important characteristics of a vacuum. Amps are used to measure the power of the motor, so the higher the amps, the more power a vacuum cleaner has. Vacuums that have high suction power will also use more electricity, which is an extra cost that you can avoid if you have a smaller house/apartment by simply purchasing a model that doesn’t have too much power.
  • How you’ll be maneuvering the vacuum is also important because cleaning the house is already a pretty big effort, so you want to make your life as simple as possible in that regard. When it comes to ease of maneuvering, stick and cordless vacuums are definitely the best choice and you should prioritize models that have a swivel head so it’s easier to clean spots that are more difficult to access.
  • Airflow and filtration are another important part that will filter the products that are truly right for you. Measured in cfm (short for “cubic feet per minute”), the airflow of a vacuum needs to be balanced with the suction power. There are certain models on the market that have low suction and good airflow, which basically translates into a vacuum that has a lot of power and underperforms nevertheless. The suction power of a unit is measured in inches of water lift. For reference, a good vacuum should have at least 125 cfm and at least 80 inches of suction.

Best Vacuums for Tile Floors

Oreck Commercial ORB550MC

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The first product we have picked for you today is an orbiter that can efficiently scrub and polish tile floors. The beauty of this product is that it isn’t just limited to use on tile floors, and can work really well on carpets and hardwood floors as well. It has a design that makes the product very easy to use, thanks to the brush head that moves in a random pattern so that no dirt can escape. The movement allows the machine to glide across the floor with ease and doesn’t leave any marks behind. It has a 13-inch cleaning path and is a cordless model that carries a 50-foot cord.

Shark Genius Hard Floor Cleaning

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Our second suggestion is a mop that can be used for multiple surfaces, so it should work just as well on tile floors as it does on wooden ones. It has a pocket that distributes the steam needed to eliminate stubborn dirt bits, so you won’t have to do much scrubbing after. The Steam Blaster feature propels the steam right in front of the mop, loosening debris and making floor cleaning a whole lot easier. The mop is designed to prevent you from touching the dirty end once you’re done cleaning. With a simple press of a button, the dirt pad on the mop is released and can be thrown in the washing machine without you having to touch it.

Oreck Orbiter Ultra Multi-Purpose Floor Cleaner Machine

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Another Oreck product that impressed us and made it to the list is this floor cleaning machine that comes with a stone and marble kit, just in case you’re looking to clean multiple surfaces and not just a ceramic tile floor. The machine is simple to use and gives your flooring a lustrous shine without too much effort on your behalf. Inside the package, aside from the cleaning machine, you are also going to find a terry cloth bonnet, a brush for scrubbing your carpets, a scrub brush, a carpet cleaner, and a solution for cleaning stone floors.

BISSELL Spinwave Powered Hardwood Floor Mop and Cleaner

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Another amazing mop added to the list is the Bissell. It is a product that can clean multiple surfaces, and work particularly well with tile floors. It has a spray trigger that grants you full control over how much cleaning solution goes on the floor. It is designed with a water tank where you can add the mix of water and cleaning solution for straying. The package includes two bottles of Multi-Surface Formulas that can be used as a cleaning solution, plus a set of washable mop pads for actual floor cleaning. This mop has a silent operation, is lightweight and easy to maneuver, and it makes washing tile floors a breeze.

BISSELL Crosswave Pet Pro All in One Wet Dry Vacuum Cleaner and Mop

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Time to move on to an actual vacuum cleaner that’s just perfect for tile floors, but not limited to use only on them. The features that this product is equipped with are impressive. It offers a tangle-free brush roll that’s super-efficient in removing pet hair without clogging the brushes in any way. It can be used to vacuum and wash the surfaces simultaneously, making sure that you eliminate the need for other cleaning products. The two-tank technology of this product allows you to have clean water in one container and dirty one in another. Furthermore, every purchase of this product contributes to a foundation that saves homeless pets.

Bissell PowerEdge Pet Hardwood Floor Bagless Cleaner

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Let’s welcome another Bissell cleaner that might be just what you need if you have tile floors and pets. With a v-shaped foot that can clean large and small debris bits from your floor, but also a set of rubber squeegees that successfully collect dirt and hair inside the vacuum, this product has carefully thought-of elements that you’re bound to love. Thanks to the head’s design, cleaning furniture and appliance edges is pretty easy too. At only 7.5 pounds in weight, it is surely one of the easiest products to manipulate. The swivel steering feature also helps a lot. This electric vacuum comes with a 20-foot power cord.

McCulloch MC1385 Deluxe Canister Steam Cleaner

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Put your hands together for the McCulloch MC1385 Deluxe steam cleaner, a product that’s perfect for tile floors where dirt and grime build-ups are frequent and quite annoying to get rid of. Using the concept of natural deep cleaning, this is a product that looks to give your floors shine without having to use chemicals. Instead, it uses the power of hot steam to get rid of everything from grease to dirt stains from granite, grout, tile, sealed wooden floors, laminate, and more. It comes with 23 accessories that are included so that you can enjoy a full kit that includes angled nozzles, nylon and brass brushes, and even scrub pads. It is truly a complete cleaning kit in a single package.

Shark Steam Pocket Mop S3501 Hard Floor Cleaner

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The last product we wanted to show you today offers another viable solution for getting stubborn stains off your tile surfaces. Made by a respectable brand of vacuum cleaners, Shark offers a pocket mop that uses steam to soften hardened stains regardless of their nature. It has a two-sided mop and comes with two washable and reusable pads for floor cleaning. Using the same concept of sanitizing the floor without using too many chemicals, this steam-powered machine offers maneuverability thanks to the swivel feature.


Is it better to sweep or vacuum tile floors?

Sweeping your floors is a good way to keep them clean but sweeping will never be as efficient as vacuuming. The chances of debris and contaminants being left on the floor after sweeping are pretty high, but a vacuum can remove them since it uses suction power to draw everything from the floors and straight into the dust collection bag or bin.

Is vacuum cleaner effective on tiles?

Yes, with the right vacuum cleaner, you can remove dirt from your tiles and then give them a nice mop for added shine.

Is vacuuming better than mopping?

Vacuum does not replace mopping or the other way around. The best way to ensure that your tile floors are clean and shiny is to vacuum and then mop them.

What is the best way to clean tile floors?

While vacuums are an efficient way and part of the cleaning process for tile floors, you might be dealing with stubborn dirt and grime that require more than just using a vacuum to remove. In this case, you want to vacuum the tiles and then use a combination between cleaner and warm water to mop the floors. You can use special grout cleaner or make your own bleach-based solution to remove grout.

In Conclusion

Whenever you decide to invest in a vacuum or some other machine for cleaning tile floors, take into account the various features that, while useful to many people, might not be all that useful for you. Also, keep in mind that vacuuming the floor doesn’t eliminate the need to mop it, especially if you want your floor to be shiny and disinfected. A solid vacuuming session should always be followed by a mopping session.