It’s common to think of vacuum cleaners as tools appropriate only for carpeting and rugs. But who wants to lug around a broom multiple times a day? Brooms dirty very easily, with fur and debris constantly getting caught in the bristles. Sure, they have their purpose, but why not make chore time easy?
If you have pets that shed, using a vacuum on your laminate flooring will shorten your floor chores by half without question. Today, we will be providing a comprehensive guide to the best vacuum cleaners for laminate flooring.
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Finding the Right Vacuum Cleaner for Laminate Floors
Not all vacuum cleaners are created equal. Many of them have harsh bristles that can scratch hardwood and laminate flooring. When choosing a vacuum cleaner specifically for laminate or hard flooring, you want to try and ensure that you have a lightweight model that’s easy to maneuver.
Canister vacuums are also ideal and are rather a jack of all trades. They’re great for laminate flooring and have long hoses that can be used to get to those hard to reach corners and crevices. They usually are equipped with multiple attachments that can be used to clean drapery and inside/under couches.
Upright vacuums are usually compatible with both carpet and laminate flooring. Upright vacuums are on the heavier side, with some being nearly 20 pounds. They often include a roller brush, which is a great tool for a thick carpet but not laminate, due to their tendency to agitate and scratch. However, many upright models have the option to deactivate the roller brush, thus making them great for homes with multiple types of flooring.
Robot vacuums are also great for hard flooring and don’t require a lot of intervention from you while they’re doing their job. Often they’re equipped with pre-set cleaning programs and most modern iterations can be manually controlled through your cell phone with an app or through an included remote.
Stick vacuums are smaller, lighter, and are good for localized laminate flooring jobs such as a cereal spill in the kitchen or cat litter tracked throughout your laundry room. Often battery powered, they can be taken anywhere throughout the house and are usually very light.
Handheld vacuums are another good smaller option but are often quite powerful and perfect for bare flooring. They can be used to clean your car, the couch, and other small jobs.
Reasons for Using a Vacuum To Clean Your Laminate Floors
As we’ve touched on, brooms tend to get dirty. Dirty. Sweeping can be labor intensive if you have preexisting mobility issues, and you essentially move around dust and dirt which then causes dust bunny fly-ups that can aggravate allergies and asthma. Not only this but if you have a dog or a cat, the little clumps of fur embed themselves in the bristles of your broom, causing even more dirt to spread while you’re trying to clean.
Mopping after all of this can cause even more mess than what you began with. A standard mop will cling onto any leftover dirt and dust, spread it around, and essentially create a low grade ‘mud’ in extreme situations. Then the mop solution dries and you’re back to square one.
Vacuums cause significantly less dust fly-up than their straw ended counterparts, and with the proper vacuum, you’re able to reach essentially every nook and cranny, leaving no dust bunnies, dirt, or dust behind. This makes mopping less of a chore afterward, and because vacuuming is a markedly quicker and easier task than sweeping, you can do a few touch-ups through the week before it’s time to mop again to keep your floors looking fresh.
Leave the brooms to the sorcerers and switch to a vacuum!
Laminate friendly vacuum cleaner: Features & Specs
Vacuums, especially canister models, often come with a wide assortment of attachments. Some you’ll look at and think you’ll likely never use, but you’d be surprised. The attachments are included for a reason and often can cut your vacuum chore time in half. Here are a few popular and efficient attachments:
Upholstery brush – This extension has a wide mouth and is very useful for car upholstery as well as fluffy couches, cushions, and chairs. It often includes a lint strip, which is particularly handy if you have pets.
Crevice tool – A slim attachment with an angle, this little guy is perfect for really difficult spots like the back of your fridge, behind the washer and dryer, and along baseboards.
Dust brush – This delicate attachment is circular with long bristles, great for the television stand and television itself, windowsills, and even cleaning around vases and decor.
Extension hose – This handy, long hose attaches to the end of your vacuum and is perfect for tall curtains or cobwebs in ceiling corners. It’s also handy for baseboards and hard to reach areas, like the crevice tool.
Not only do vacuums include their respective attachments, but many vacuums come with different settings that allow for safe bare or laminate floor cleaning. As we’ve covered, many vacuums come equipped with a bristle brush or roller brush.
These can be very useful for carpeting jobs, as the brush coupled with the vacuum’s suction will agitate the carpet and efficiently collect debris. Conveniently, most modern vacuums with a roller brush installed have an option to deactivate it and instead only use suction, making it safer for your floor.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Vacuum Cleaner
Vacuum cleaners come in all shapes and sizes, and it can be overwhelming to try and choose just the right model for your laminate floor.
Suction – Take care to choose a vacuum that is only powered by suction, and doesn’t involve the use of heavy bristles or brushes. Bristles are useful for heavy carpeting jobs and can cause microabrasions and even scratches on your laminate flooring.
Bags – Bagless vacuums, no question, are easy to clean with and don’t require the cumbersome changing of the bags if you will. Replacement bags also cost money, so having a bagless model is certainly more economical, even if only slightly. Take note, though, that even though you’re saving money on bags, you will have to change out the HEPA filter every so often to keep the vacuum running smoothly and allergen issues down.
It’s worth noting that if you have severe allergies, asthma, or other respiratory issues – consider purchasing a model that uses bags. Bags contain the dust and other allergens like pet hair and dander and are much easier on your lungs.
Noise – We know that most vacuums of yore were aggressively noisy. Pets all over the world no doubt shared hatred of the vacuum and ran whenever it was pulled out. These days, vacuums are still loud, but not nearly as much. Robot vacuums tend to be considerably quieter than other models, but the rest of the crew are fairly similar in terms of noise output.
Weight – Try to avoid purchasing a large and/or heavy vacuum if you have health issues that prevent you from being able to use it properly. If you suffer from chronic pain or have mobility issues, choosing a lightweight stick or robot vacuum that doesn’t require dragging around is your best bet.
Laminate Floor Care Tips
Aside from using the appropriate vacuum and attachments to clean your laminate flooring, here are a few best practices to keep it looking its best for years to come. Firstly, remember that laminate can swell easily and too much water is not ideal. It can cause bubbling, warping, color loss, and cause the seams to separate.
Mopping should only be done once every 1 to 3 months, and care taken to not oversaturate it with water. Damp is best! After mopping, go over your flooring again with a dry mop or microfiber cloth.
In that vein, when you do use your damp mop, it’s important to use cleaning materials that are particularly designed for laminate flooring, or a very small amount of dish soap. Anything harsher can cause damage.
The above is why it’s so important to have a vacuum cleaner compatible with laminate flooring, as it will be doing the bulk of the cleaning. Note that special mops can be purchased, and are commonly made of microfiber.
Be sure to avoid products that advertise adding a ‘shine’ to your laminate flooring, as this will almost definitely cause a waxy buildup.
Avoid anything oil-based, as this can cause bad streaking and staining. If you do spill an oil-based product on your flooring, clean with acetone or nail polish remover and gently blot with a microfiber cloth, ensuring the area is completely dry when you’re finished.
Other helpful tips include placing a mat by every entrance to reduce tracking, removing high heels before walking on your laminate flooring, ensuring pet nails are trimmed to avoid scratches, and placing mats and vinyl underlays under rugs and furniture.
How often should I vacuum my laminate flooring?
Because water doesn’t agree much with laminate and mopping is a recommended occasional chore, vacuuming will be your main tool to ensure your floors are clean. You should aim to vacuum at least once or twice a week. If you have pets or live in an area with excessive sand or dirt surrounding your home (such as a new development, or in the desert), bump that up to 3 to 4 times a week.
How is laminate flooring different from hardwood?
While frequently similar in appearance, laminate flooring is made of synthetic melamine or fiberboard products. It’s multilayered, and often will have an image of real wood superimposed on its top layer.
Hardwood flooring is quite frankly many layers of plywood or other types of wood. It can come unfinished or finished with a factory stain.
Both can end up being beautiful products, but it just depends on how much time you’re willing to spend on installation and how much you are looking to pay for your flooring. If you have children, pets, and heavy foot traffic then laminate is your best bet. If you want authentic wood flooring and don’t see much foot traffic then you will likely see good use out of genuine hardwood.
Laminate flooring is not only about 50 percent cheaper to install, it’s overall a much more economical product. Hardwood flooring can be expensive and very tricky to install. Laminate flooring is also much more durable and isn’t nearly as susceptible to the general wear, tear, and warp as hardwood flooring is.
However, you can use any one of the laminate friendly vacuums on hardwood, as both have similar care and maintenance requirements.
Can’t I just remove the bristles on my old vacuum?
You certainly can! However, there is something to be said for a suction only vacuum. They’re very durable, easy to maneuver, and cost-effective. Removing the brush can be a very dirty chore and a hassle. Who wants to spend an hour of their time removing a brush from an older vacuum?
Not only this, but standard upright vacuums often don’t include the same convenient attachments as canister or stick vacuums. They’re heavy, cumbersome, and won’t offer the same level of detailed cleaning as their lighter, more flexible counterparts.
How much do laminate friendly vacuums cost?
Canister vacuums usually range from 30 dollars to 200 dollars depending on where you live and what sort of model you’re after. These vacuums are typically bagless and use a filtration system instead, normally with an easy dump function.
Upright vacuums range a bit higher in price, usually anywhere from 30 dollars to 400 dollars. These vacuums usually include the widest range of attachments and are very maneuverable. Take care to purchase one without a roller brush or with a deactivation option.
Standup vacuums are light and very portable. Typically they run from 20 dollars to 400 dollars, but many excellent models stick to the 20 to 50 range which makes them the most economical choice. They often have a cordless option, which makes moving about large homes with extensive laminate flooring a breeze. Many models also have the option to convert into a smaller handheld.
Robot vacuums are pricier but are very durable, technology-friendly, and convenient. Base models usually start at 120 dollars and can rise to 1200. They are normally smartphone-compatible and more advanced models can clean their dust bin, use smart navigation technology, and redirect to their charge port when experiencing low battery.
Of the models we’ve listed today, they all carry specific merits for laminate floor care. It’s not often that a home has completely one style of flooring, so an upright model or canister model is going to be your best bet in terms of flexibility and durability.
However, if your old vacuum of many years were to kick the bucket tomorrow and you needed a new one quickly a lightweight standup model would be excellent in a pinch. Lightweight and snappy, it would last you at least a few years and be perfect for a smaller condo or apartment.
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