While cleaning tile floors is still a chore most of us could live without, the evolution of floor care tools has made it easier and more effective than ever. Finding the best vacuum for tile floors, or the best steam mop if that’s your priority is now the challenge. For more on tile and stone flooring cleaning, care and maintenance click here.
The good news is that you’ve got vacuum and steam mop options to suit your style, and we explore them in this guide to cleaning tile floors and other hard flooring.
What is the Best Tile Floor Cleaning Machine for Your Home
This overview of tile floor vacuums and mops will assist you in selecting the best type for your cleaning routine. Below, you’ll find vacuum and steam mop reviews of the top products in each category.
- Vacuums for tile floors
Removing loose debris before mopping means you won’t be collecting dirt in your mop – dirt that can act like an abrasive as the mop goes over the flooring while creating the need to change mop water more often. If you’ve ever spread dirt around a floor you’re trying to clean you know how frustrating that can be. You’ve got two primary options for tile floor vacuums:
A multi-function vacuum: The best and most cost-effective machine if you’ve got carpet and hard flooring is an all-purpose vacuum designed for both.
The upside is better value and the need for just one tool in the closet.
The downside is that you must remember to turn off the rotating brush (aka brushroll or beater bar) before using it on hard surfaces to prevent scattering dirt before it can be vacuumed up and, worse, damaging your flooring. If the brush rotation cannot be turned off, the vacuum is not an option for tile or any other hard floor types. Also, if you choose a multi-function vacuum, select one with soft or coated wheels to prevent them from scratching your floors. Click here for more on using vacuums on hardwood floors.
A hard/tile floor vacuum: All the top manufacturers make vacuums designed just for hard surfaces. They are lightweight for easy use, and they don’t include a roller brush that might damage your flooring.
The obvious disadvantage is that they are not effective on carpet.
- Steam mops for tile floors
If you’ve got a method you are happy with for removing the loose debris and want a machine that will replace your mop and bucket, this is your best option.
Most of these machines feature a water tank, heating element, replaceable pad to do the mopping and adjustable steam setting based on your cleaning needs. For most of these types of floor care tools, a tank of water lasts 15 to 20 minutes based on the steam setting.
Steam mop advantages include no hassles with water buckets and the ability to both clean and sanitize floors. Most steam mops work with just water, but some users add cleaner too. If you combine a detergent with the water, make sure it is safe for the type of floor you’re cleaning.
The manufacturers recommend using distilled or demineralized water in steam floor cleaners in order to prevent the buildup of mineral deposits that can harm performance and shorten the tool’s life. Also, the floor should be free of loose debris before using a steam mop. If the broom pad picks up excessive dirt or a small pebble, for example, the debris might very well scratch the tile and dull its finish.
- A vacuum and mop in one tool
While there are slight variations in function among machines in this category, most offer these options:
- Vacuuming only
- Washing the floor with gentle scrubbing heads safe for tile floors
- Vacuuming up the cleaning water to leave floors dry or nearly dry
The better machines have small squeegees that direct the water to the vacuum. The obvious advantage to using a vacuum mop is that you get both functions in one tool. Separate tanks for clean and dirty water mean you’re always applying clean water to the floor. In a pinch, these machines can be used on carpet in vacuum-only mode, but they don’t work as well as vacuums designed for carpeting.
Disadvantages of vacuum mops include the fact that they are heavier than single-function tools. Some users complain of leaking tanks or cheap wheels that scratch floors. Water is the enemy of poorly sealed tile grout, so be sure that you towel-dry any water not picked up by the vacuum.
As with steam mops, only use cleaner formulated for the type of floor you have. Distilled water is highly recommended over tap water, especially hard water, for the machine’s long-term performance.
Tile Flooring Cleaning Machine Reviews
Now that we’ve covered your options, let’s take a look at the top vacuum and mop floor care tools in each of the categories.
Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional Upright Vacuum Review
This is our favorite multi-function vacuum designed for carpet and hard flooring including tile. It gets high scores for being lightweight while having a large-capacity debris canister. The top features of the Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV356E vacuum include:
- Removable, portable canister that is easy to empty
- Continuous suction technology for more complete cleaning
- Reliable dust-containment seal around the canister keeps allergens from escaping
- Swivel steering for tighter turns and maneuverability around furniture without skidding wheels across hard flooring
- Roller brush with toggle switch for activating and deactivating
- Available with standard and premium brush options
- Disposable dual microfiber attachment pads for dusting hard surfaces
- HEPA small-particle filtration of 99.9 percent of allergens for cleaner exhaust air
- Excellent reach with a 30-foot power cord
This multi-surface vacuum weighs 14lbs. It is backed by a one-year limited warranty against manufacturer defect with typical residential usage. There are better warranties available on other units.
A concern for some, especially those with allergies, is that the canister is bagless. Taking it outdoors for emptying will prevent dust and dirt from being reintroduced into your living space.
Bissell PowerEdge Pet Hard Floor Corded Vacuum Review
This is an affordable, dependable tile floor/hard floor vacuum for those that don’t need a carpet machine. It replaces a broom and dustpan with a powerful vacuum motor. Top features of the Bissell PowerEdge 81L2A Pet Hard Floor vacuum include:
- A V-shaped head that channels large debris to the center where suction is strongest while fine dust is removed at the edges
- Excellent for edges with full-head suction
- Suitable for use on low-pile area rugs
- Swivel head design ideal for vacuuming around obstacles
- Removable dirt cup for easy emptying
- 20-foot power cord offers adequate reach for small to medium spaces
This stick vacuum weighs 10lbs and costs about $50, a good value for the work it does. It’s backed by a two-year limited warranty.
The Bissell PowerEdge gets high marks for the powerful vacuum suction that removes pet hair quickly and we consider it the best vacuum for tile floors if that is your main shopping criteria. The biggest negatives for many are the relatively short cord and the fairly small dirt cup that makes frequent emptying a necessity. Large amounts of pet hair can clog the intake port if it isn’t cleaned out regularly.
Shark Rocket PowerHead Corded Vacuum Review
This new versatile vacuum cleaner is a hybrid carpet/hard floor machine because it has interchangeable brush rolls. A tough, deep-cleaning carpet brush reaches and loosens dirt deep in nap. The Gentle Touch hard floor brushroll won’t harm hard floors such as tile, vinyl, wood and stone.
Top features of the Shark Rocket PowerHead AH452 vacuum include:
- Two brushroll options that are easy to remove and can be rinsed clean
- Powerful 600 watt motor, roller and dust cup all in the head to keep weight where it is easy to maneuver, even by those with back issues
- Versatile cleaning of all flooring types
- High-powered motor for enhanced cleaning power
- Telescoping wand that adjusts for comfortable use and compact storage
- Dust cup that releases easily for quick dumping and replacement
- 30-foot power cord offers excellent reach
What stands out about this hard floor vacuum is that it does a superior job collecting the fine dirt and debris that others miss. However, it isn’t great on cleaning close to walls and obstacles. The PowerHead AH452 is covered by a five-year limited warranty, one of the best in the industry.
If you regularly vacuum a large amount of pet fur, you will need to clean the brush rollers frequently to keep them rotating and agitating properly, and might have to clean out the intake port too. The retail price for this vacuum is $170-$195.
Bissell 1940 Powerfresh Steam Mop Review
If you’ve solved the problem of removing loose dirt, debris and pet hair from floors and want a tool to clean hard surfaces, this powered mop is the top choice on Amazon and most steam mop reviews. The steam both loosens stuck-on dirt and sanitizes the floor in the process. Top features of the Bissell 1940 Powerfresh mop include:
- Ability to kill 99.9 percent of bacteria and viruses without using harsh chemical cleaners
- Flip-down scrubber is ideal for tough dirt and grout, and
- Speeds the cleaning process compared with standard steam mops
- Steam is customizable for each job with digital low, medium and high settings
- Includes a small supply of Febreze fragrance discs for the mod pad that disseminate fresh fragrance while you mop
- Water tank located high on the handle for easy filling
Bissell recommends that you use demineralized or distilled water only to prevent sediment deposits and that you do not use cleaners in place of or in addition to the water. The power cord is just 23 feet long, so changing outlets frequently may be necessary. Excessive use of the high-steam setting might cause damage to tile grout and hardwood flooring. Be sure to dry any water left behind during cleaning.
The Bissell Powerfresh 1940 Blue steam mop weighs just 6.2lbs, and it is covered by a one-year limited warranty. The cost is $80-$110 from various retailers.
Hoover FloorMate SpinScrub FH40010B Vacuum Review
This is one of the best do-it-all tools for tile and other hard floors – it vacuums, washes and dries them very adequately. The low cost is attractive too, but keep in mind that you typically get what you pay for with vacuums. While this one is a “jack of all trades”, it can fairly be said that the FloorMate FH40010B is a “master of none”. Its features include:
- Vacuuming, washing and drying tile and other hard floors
- Bagless vacuuming
- Gentle scrubbers, some rotating to the left and some to the right, to loosen and remove stuck-on food and dirt
- 27-foot power cord is long enough plugging in just once in each room
- Nozzles and brushes that can be removed for easy cleaning
- Clean and dirty water tanks, so only clean water is applied to flooring
- Fold-down handle offers compact storage
- Some packages include hard-floor wipes and detergent
The vacuum, wash and dry functions must all be done separately, so while this unit saves you from buying multiple tools, it won’t significantly reduce your cleaning time. Another potential negative is that a small percentage of these units leak due to faulty gaskets.
Hoover doesn’t discourage using cleaner in this machine, but be sure the product you use is formulated for your flooring type. Distilled water will keep the Hoover FloorMate working optimally for longer.
The price of the Hoover FH40010B varies widely from about $170 to less than $100. It’s a decent value at $125 or less.
Choosing the Best Tile Vacuum or Steam Mop
We hope you noticed that each of our reviews included the odd negative comment along with the positives. While we think the floor cleaning machines we’ve reviewed are among the best we encourage you to make a check list of features that are indispensable to your home floors and look for them when buying. These tips will also help you select a machine you’ll be happy with in the years to come.
- The more tile and other hard flooring you have, the more it makes sense to buy a high-quality floor vacuum or steam mop.
- The less storage space you have, the more you should consider a multi-function model
- If you have pets, consider a powerful hard floor vacuum to remove pet hair before cleaning
- If you have small children that play on your tile floor, a steam-sanitizing tile floor mop is a worthwhile investment
- HEPA filtration is a must where household members suffer from allergies
Browse your tile floor cleaning machine options in light of your needs, and you’ll find the best tool for keeping your home clean and comfortable.
Have we missed anything? Which model do you consider the best vacuum for tile floors? Let us know in the comments section below.