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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.

tile cleaning machine

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.

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.

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

Oreck Commercial ORB550MC


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.

BISSELL Spinwave Powered Hardwood Floor Mop and Cleaner

BISSELL Spinwave Powered Hardwood Floor Mop and Cleaner


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

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


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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

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.