Keeping tiles clean with suitable vacuum cleaner is an easy task to do, regardless of tiles you have - glazed ceramic tiles, unglazed ceramic tiles, mosaic tiles, marble tiles, natural stone tiles, porcelain tiles etc.
Basically, there are several important aspects of cleaning tile floors:
- tile floor, even unglazed one, repel dirt and dust. Of course, glazed tiles repel dirt much better than unglazed ones. Unglazed tiles often require mop or wet brush to get cleaned properly.
- unlike wooden floors, tiles tolerate water in any form, liquid or steam and higher temperatures. When combined with good suction, high quality air filters and various scrubbing systems, such cleaning methods provide really high level of cleanliness.
- when wet, tiles can be very slippery, so care must be taken to ensure minimum amount of water on the tiles after the cleaning.
How to Choose Vacuum Cleaner for Tile Floors
Regardless if you prefer vacuum cleaner for several surfaces or vacuum specifically for tile floors, good vacuum cleaner for such floors must be easy to use, must have large enough autonomy (operation time, maneuvering), must be light enough to be carries around, must reach tight areas, corners and edges, etc.
Upright vs Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner
Upright vacuum cleaners are generally easier to maneuver around than cylinder vacuums. However, cylinder vacuums often have long hoses that are easier to use than uprights.
Also, keep in mind that cleaning heads on long hoses usually can reach areas that uprights can't. Rotating brushes on both types usually have easy to reach on/off switches and can be easily turned on/off when changing cleaning surfaces. Tiles generally have very hard surface that is not easily damaged, but just to be safe, before using rotating brush on tiles, read the manual to check if it is suitable for tiles - nobody wants scratches and marks on tiles.
Note: rotating brush and tiles - if someone thinks that rotating brush is not needed on tiles, imagine kitchen with 2-3 hyperactive kids and a dog ...
Cylinder vacuum cleaner can have same cleaning options just as upright vacuums and uprights can have cleaning hoses onboard or stored away, so choosing between these types is often matter of personal habits and preferences.
Shampoo and/or Steam Vacuums
Such vacuums are ideal for tiles. Models that steam and vacuum at the same time use hot steam to clean and sanitize the surface, while strong suction removes dirt of any kind from the cleaned surface. Using suitable cleaning agent helps remove even the most stubborn stains - something that pet owners and families with small kids (or both) should really think about.
Note: wet and steam vacuums can leave a moist surface that usually dries quickly; however, until tiles are completely dry, they are very slippery, especially glazed ones. Also, tap water can be used in wet vacuums, but such water can leave stains on tiles - distilled water is relatively cheap and leaves no stains on cleaned surfaces.
Corded or Cordless Vacuums
Corded vacuums are more powerful, have more cleaning options and attachments and they can operate for a long time. Cordless vacuums are powered by onboard batteries and most modern cordless vacuums can operate from 15 to 30 minutes without losing suction power. Cordless vacuums usually have rotating brushes with on/off switches without options like steam and/or wet cleaning. However, cordless vacuums are very maneuverable, they don't depend on wall sockets for power, they are not limited by power cord length and most models have easy-to-replace batteries for longer cleaning.
Suction power (pressure difference) of cordless vacuums is very good and for high end models, it doesn't lag behind corded vacuums. However, corded vacuums usually have wider suction nozzles and can cover more area with a single sweep.
More expensive models of cordless vacuums are powered using lithium ion batteries that are quickly recharged. Recharging for 8-10 hours should be thing of the past for cordless vacuums costing 150+ dollars/euros.
Certain models of vacuums have cleaning systems which use wet mop and scrubbing heads with 1000 or more scrubs per minute. They are very efficient in removing stains and other dirt from tiles and often carpets. However, not all of such models do the vacuuming itself and they require frequent changes of wet mop.
Vacuum Cleaner Exhaust Filtration
Good air suction on tiles is very important since tiles repel dust, allergens and other dirt, unlike for example, carpets. All that air must be well filtered before being released back into the cleaned room. Dirt bag or cyclonic filtration models usually have additional HEPA filters for filtering even the smallest particles. Some models have even charcoal filters for even better filtering. Such filtering decreases the amount of potential health issues causes in the air and reduce the amount of dust in general - and less dust in the air, less dust on the tiles that have to be cleaned again.
How to Choose the Best Vacuum for Tiles?
Price is very important when choosing vacuums. Models specifically designed for tiles are cheaper than large, multi-surface models. Any attachment or option can increase the price and one should really think if that option/attachment is really required.
Cordless stick vacuum cleaners with rotating brush are often good choice for various surfaces, tiles included. Such vacuums are often used as a second vacuum cleaner in larger homes or even as main vacuums in small homes - they can cover large area with a single charge, they are easy to use and maneuver around, air filtering is good, especially models with HEPA filters, they recharge quickly etc.
2-in-1 models with detachable cordless handheld vacuums can be used even as car or emergency vacuums and in many other situations.
However, large, bulky and expensive vacuum cleaners with many attachments and options like wet/shampoo, steam, scrub etc cleaning will do its job even better and will remove stains and dirt that sometimes smaller/cheaper vacuums simply can't clean.