Home    Privacy Policy    Disclaimer

How to Choose The Best Vacuum For Hardwood Flooring

Sitting on wood floorI am proud of the hardwood flooring in my house. I work hard to keep it clean and shiny. Mind you, it's not as easy as it looks on commercials because dirt and grime can lodge on the slats. And if you don't know how to clean them correctly, you might find scratches on them.

The best way to keep them shiny and scratch-free is to vacuum them regularly. But not all vacuums are right for wooden floors. So how do you choose which one to purchase?

Your Budget

There's a vacuum cleaner for every budget. At the same time, the most expensive vacuum cleaner is not necessarily the right vacuum cleaner for you. It's also not necessarily better than the cheaper ones or will last longer. Price is one of the P's in marketing, and it is sometimes used to lure unsuspecting buyers. Know how much you can spend and stick to it. 

Your Specific Needs

Here are some important tips we gathered from Home Floor Experts on how to choose the best vacuum for hardwood flooring: Most people have mixed-types of flooring on their homes. Some may only have a small area of wood flooring but may be the highlight of their home. Before going to the store, consider where you will need the vacuum cleaner and how often you will need it.

For example, I bought a heavy-duty cleaner because my ground floor is entirely made of wood and it's the centerpiece of my home. We also have several cats and dogs so I made sure that it had an attachment for pet hair.

You also have to decide if you will get an upright or a canister vacuum cleaner. The former are heavier than the latter, so those with back backs should look into this.

Canister vs Upright Vacuum

Cleaning and maintaining hardwood floors makes for time-consuming work if you use the wrong vacuuming method. Typically, hardwood requires weekly care to help preserve levels of cleanliness and hygiene.

To determine the individual benefits of canister and upright vacuum cleaners, it is important to recognise the different attributes of both and any potential disadvantages either may have. User preferences are just as important as opinions of floor cleaning experts and should be included in any assessment. Making the right choice between a canister and an upright vacuum affects the cleanliness of hardwood floors and, ultimately, the perception that visitors have of your home or your business.

Benefits of Canister Vacuum

Lightweight design and subsequent ease of use makes canister vacuum cleaners a great choice when the operator requires portability, such as when cleaning stairs or vacuuming underneath furniture and behind drapes. This type of vacuum can certainly be used to clean hardwood floors and, if it is the only option available, a satisfactory standard of cleaning is definitely achievable.

  • · The versatility of canister vacuum cleaners allow them to be used anywhere and, with so many attachments to choose from, it’s relatively easy to find an option for cleaning hardwood floors and surrounding baseboards.
  • · Because canister vacuum cleaners promote manoeuvrability, they are easier to use in areas with features such as kitchen islands, dining furniture and cabinetry. The canister model is suitable for most room space where hardwood floors are prevalent. [Source: http://www.homefloorexperts.com/canister-vacuum/]
  • · Property owners often opt for hardwood floors because, unlike carpet, they don’t hold potentially harmful allergens and pathogens. The canister on a canister vacuum cleaner is sealed and self-contained, which makes it highly suitable for homes with asthma sufferers or where moulting pets increase demand for frequent cleaning.

Disadvantages of Canister Vacuum

Having to drag the canister during operation is a disadvantage to many, especially if non-fixed furniture items are knocked by the canister or trapped by the power lead. A canister vacuum cleaner that hasn’t been looked after well could also have sharp edges or burrs, and these scratch hardwood floors upon contact causing potentially expensive damage.

The space-saving benefits of a canister vacuum will often result in less power. While it’s usually difficult to notice the feel of debris trapped in carpet fibres after a vacuum, there’s no mistaking the gritty, uncomfortable feeling of dirt underfoot on hardwood floors.

Vacuuming wood flooring

Benefits of Upright Vacuum

The upright vacuum cleaner, with all but the very oldest models, uses a centrifugal fan to create the partial vacuum effect which powers household cleaning. While the upright model lacks the lightweight feel and manoeuvrability of a canister vacuum, it works well on all flat surfaces including hardwood floors. High-end branded models from industry-leading manufacturers are especially effective in lifting dirt, dust and grit from flooring surfaces.

  • · Upright vacuum cleaners work very well in areas with high volumes of foot traffic. This makes them an ideal choice for cleaning the busiest residential homes and for vacuuming commercial properties, particularly office space.
  • · In properties with a combination of carpets, hardwood floors and other flooring types, such as vinyl, it is easier for an upright vacuum cleaner to make the transition from one surface to another without the need for stopping to change attachments.

Disadvantages of Upright Vacuum

The lack of mobility anywhere without a flat surface, and the heavier design of the typical upright vacuum cleaner, often makes the user experience a frustrating one. Having to carry this type of vacuum cleaner up and down stairs to clean hardwood floors on multiple levels soon becomes a chore, even though the power benefits with uprights are obvious.

Perhaps the biggest drawback to using an upright vacuum cleaner on hardwood floors is the inclusion of the beater bar. Although some models have an option to turn the beater bar off, forgetting to do so could cause irreversible damage to hardwood floors.

Making The RIght Choice

Even with the advantages and disadvantages of each product type considered, some users will already have a preferred choice and the patience to navigate the drawbacks. For those who insist on portability and ease of use, the canister vacuum consistently cleans hardwood floors well but a budget model will often leave traces of dirt and debris behind.

Upright vacuum cleaners deliver a more professional clean and, for those who don’t mind moving the odd item of furniture to reach areas with difficult access, the superior results always make any additional effort worthwhile. While the access and portability benefits of canister vacuums remain important, the deeper cleaning of an upright vacuum on harder floors will nearly always shine through.

Every home has a different need so keep these in mind when making your choice.


Be that as it may, a good vacuum cleaner for hardwood floors should have no beater brush. These are mainly for carpet so that it can really dig out those dirt and grime.

Beater brushes can scratch wood floors. Make sure it has a function for mop and sweep as this can make it really shine. Look at the suction power too.

The problem with wood floors is that grimes can embed themselves in the slats. Suctioning them is the best way to get them out.  

Other People's Experience

You will be spending a few hundred dollars on this piece of appliance so think this decision through - no impulse buying. Talk to friends about their vacuum cleaner. It can make for a boring conversation but it's the best way to gauge the performance of a vacuum cleaner

Find someone with the same cleaning situation as you do, in this case, people with hardwood in their home (preferably the same type of wood). Go online and read the reviews of other users. There are many who would be more than willing to share their experience.  

Buying the right vacuum cleaner for your home is not easy. While it may just be one appliance, you will be using this vacuum cleaner for years to come. Take the time to study your options so that you will not regret your decision. 

Related Articles:

Is a Stick Vacuum Any Good For a Hardwood Floor

If the floors in your home are mostly hardwood, I’m sure you have noticed how easy it is to see the dust and debris that quickly builds up. If you would like to save on the time and effort it takes to sweep, having a stick vacuum cleaner is a quick and efficient alternative to help keep your hardwood floors looking good. [...] 

5 Simple Steps to Use A Car Vacuum

The regular road trips and getaways with your family and friends can leave your car in disarray and smelling funky. Owning a car vacuum comes in handy especially if you’re someone who likes to keep things spic and span. I can show you some simple steps on how to vacuum your car by yourself. [...] 

Panasonic Optiflow MC-CG917 Canister Vacuum Review

Panasonic MC-CG917 Optiflow has a 12 Amp Motor and a 24 foot Power cord reel. This device has a separate large baggy meant to make the emptying of dust easy. It is fitted with a power nozzle with has an overload protection reset. [...]

What Wood Floor Is Best For Kitchen

One of the most popular choices for flooring is wood. People simply admire its timeless style and the comfort that it can bring. Wood flooring feels good on the feet even during winter or summer. However, this type is one of the most sensitive kinds of flooring. It can easily get damaged especially if located in high traffic areas such as the kitchen. [...]

How to Install Wood Flooring Around Doors

Before you start practicing ways to maintain a wood floor around your door, you need to understand the best way to install the floor so that it is aesthetically aligned. As you look through the doorway at the finished floor, it might be easy to notice that the floorboards are perfectly aligned. [...]