Best Vacuums for Tile Floors
There are many different types of tile flooring, but what are the common problems that arise when vacuuming tile?
- Unevenness from grout joints and crevices.
- Tile itself is often textured and not smooth.
- Vacuums with motorized brushrolls tend to throw more dirt around than they pick up.
- Ill-equipped vacuums don’t provide any brushing action on bare floors. Often you have to turn off the brushroll to even use some vacuums on bare floors.
- Wheels made from hard plastic are loud and can scratch.
These points play a huge role in the performance of vacuums on tile.
We want a vacuum that picks up large debris (e.g. dog food) and small debris (e.g. fine dust) on typical tile floors.
First up, our top picks from the cordless and corded upright categories. After that, you can see several of the top contenders that you might also consider for the job.
Our Top Picks for Tile Floors
Unsurprisingly, some of the best vacuums for tile come from Shark, Dyson, and Miele. Shark is a top performer and is the most convenient, which we’ll explain. However, we’re also going to take a look at the Dyson and Miele options down below.
Now, why is Shark our favorite?
The DuoClean brushroll.
That paint-roller-looking brush on the front of the cleaner head pictured above helps to solve the first four problems that we mentioned above.
- It is in constant contact with the floor and helps pull debris into the suction channel.
- The fully-covered DuoClean brushroll can conform to uneven surfaces and knock loose dirt and debris.
- The dual brushroll system pulls debris into the suction channel instead of throwing it behind the vacuum.
The solution to vacuuming on bare floors used to be just completely turning off the brushroll to avoid throwing debris around. At that point, you rely on suction alone to pick up stuff off the floor. This works for some things, but fine dust is often left behind and grout lines just don’t get clean.
As you can see, the DuoClean brushroll will gently remove dust from the floor and pull larger debris into the vacuum.
DuoClean comes on most of Shark’s new vacuums. That means you have corded and cordless options to pick from.
So here are our favorites from each category and why.
Best Cordless Vacuum for Tile Floors
Shark ION P50 Powered Lift-Away Cordless Upright
The battery is removable, but only one is included. If you purchase an extra battery you effortlessly double the runtime. This machine is a great option if you don’t mind the extra weight in upright mode.
Plus this is the only Shark cordless with the Anti-Allergen Seal + HEPA Filter.
- Has Anti-Allergen Complete Seal + HEPA Filter
- Freestanding Upright
- Powered Lift-Away Mode has amazing versatility.
- 2x the dustbin capacity of the ION F80
- Vacuuming a vehicle is easier with the P50 than with the F80 due to the handheld portion being smaller.
- Heavy for a cordless, but the Lift-Away mode nearly solves this problem.
- Only one battery included.
Why Pick the P50?
- Shark cordless vacuum batteries are removable. You can have more than one.
- DuoClean Technology
- The P50 handle is less bulky than the Shark F80 handheld. It’s easier to vacuum in tight spaces and isn’t as heavy.
More batteries equal longer runtime.
With Shark cordless vacuums you have the option to buy additional batteries and swap them out for longer runtime. Dyson’s batteries are not removable, and this just isn’t possible. Hands down, this is a huge advantage for Shark cordless vacuums.
A contentious topic of cordless vacuums is the battery. Manufacturers throw out big numbers to entice you, but then tell you that’s how long it will last without the cleaner head attached and not vacuuming carpet.
Here’s the expected battery life for the Shark P50 and its competitors.
Shark ION F80 MultiFLEX Cordless – Using the 2 batteries that are included.
(Top Pick) Shark ION P50 Powered Lift-Away Cordless
Shark ION X40 Ultra-Light Cordless
Dyson V8 Absolute Cordless
Dyson V10 Absolute Cordless
As you can see, having 2 batteries is a simple way to beat the competition when it comes to runtime.
But we didn’t pick the Shark F80 as our favorite despite it having the longest runtime, but not because of its performance. If you need a longer battery life, then the F80 is a great option.
Here’s why we went with the Shark P50:
- The guts of the vacuum remain on the body of the vacuum instead of in your primary hand. That means less wrist and arm strain.
- Larger dustbin capacity.
- You have the option of buying an additional battery for extending runtime.
One thing we’ve noticed with the Shark and Dyson cordless stick vacuums is that while they’ve been trying to increase dustbin capacity and battery life, they’ve also made the handhelds larger. That also means heavier, and it doesn’t work well when you need to vacuum out your car or other tight areas.
Additionally, there’s more weight in your hand when you try to vacuum above the floor or over your head. With the P50 in Lift-Away mode, the vacuum body is separate from the handle, like a traditional upright, so that it’s more comfortable to use.
Perhaps unintentionally, Shark has made the P50, a cordless upright, a more ergonomic vacuum than their cordless sticks.
The Shark F80 Cordless Stick is still a great pick, especially if you have more square feet to vacuum.
Best Upright Vacuum for Tile Floors
Shark APEX DuoClean with Zero-M Powered Lift-Away Upright Vacuum
The AZ1002 is the best of the best.
Having both the Zero-M and DuoClean features, the performance on bare floors and carpet is unmatched. Zero-M keeps hair from building up on the brushroll, while DuoClean dusts your bare floors and pulls in large debris.
Dyson and Miele vacuums require swapping out their respective hard floor or carpet cleaner heads to get the similar performance that we observe on the Shark vacuums with DuoClean. The Zero-M hair removing action is not something that’s available from Dyson or Miele.
That’s why we pick Shark. Not only is it convenient, but it performs.
- Duster Crevice Tool
- Dusting Brush
- Upholstery Tool
- DuoClean has the best performance on hard floors that we’ve seen.
- Zero-M helps keep hair from getting tangled around your brushroll.
- Powered Lift-Away Mode has amazing versatility.
- The controls on the handle are within your thumb’s reach.
- Transitioning to different floor types is effortless.
- Full-size Uprights are heavier than cordless vacuums.
- Not recommended for plush, thick carpet or rugs.
There are three different models of the Shark APEX with DuoClean and Zero-M, but their only difference is color and attachments. It’s not a huge difference either, but the AZ1002 model is the most popular and widely available from retailers.
Shark APEX Included Attachments by Model
|12″ Crevice Tool|
|Motorized Pet Tool|
|Price at Shark||Price at Amazon|
|Price at Best Buy|
Let’s Talk About Weight
It seems one of the reoccuring topics we read in user reviews is weight when it comes to any type of vacuum.
People want a vacuum with enough dustbin capacity to vacuum their entire home, a big enough battery to do deep cleaning without running out of power, and outstanding cleaning performance on every type of flooring.
But it can’t weigh more than a newborn baby or people complain.
Well, back in the real world we have to compromise.
The Shark APEX with DuoClean and Zero-M weighs in at a somewhat beefy 16 lbs. Honestly, this is average or on the light side when compared to other full-size uprights from Shark and other manufacturers.
|Kenmore Elite 31150||Dyson Ball Multi-Floor 2||Dyson Ball Animal Upright||Dyson Cinetic Big Ball||Shark Rotator NV752||(Top Pick)|
Shark APEX AZ1002
|20 lbs||15.6 lbs||17.35 lbs||19.18 lbs||15.4 lbs||16 lbs|
The newer Shark vacuums get even more interesting when you consider the Lift-Away feature, which brings us to our next topic.
What is Powered Lift-Away?
The Powered Lift-Away feature is on the Shark P50, our top recommended cordless model above, and our top pick in the Corded Upright category below.
In fact, just about every new Shark vacuum has the Lift-Away feature, except the cordless models since that would be redundant.
Lift-Away lets you detach the body of the vacuum, the part that houses the motor, filters, and dustbin, from the pipe that acts as the spine of the vacuum. The vacuum body can then be held in one hand while the handle, pipe, and cleaner head remain connected.
This lets you get under furniture that you simply couldn’t before, easily vacuum stairs, reach above the floor areas, and vacuum your vehicle.
Basically, it turns your large upright into a more maneuverable canister vacuum.
What is Zero-M?
Hair often gets tangled around a vacuum’s brushroll and you eventually have to cut it out. Zero-M is Shark’s way of dealing with this problem.
A built-in comb untangles hair as the brushroll spins while the bristle guard keeps hair lifted up within reach of the comb’s teeth.
This simple design actually works very well and seems to mostly eliminate the need to clean the brushroll by hand.
Here’s a quick summary table of the features on our top picks and two of the vacuums we’re going to look at in the next section: the Miele Blizzard CX1 and the Dyson V10.
Shark APEX with DuoClean and Zero-M
|Shark ION P50 Cordless Upright||Miele Blizzard CX1 Electro||Dyson V10 Cordless Stick|
|Form Factor||Corded Full-size Upright||Cordless Upright||Corded Full-Size Canister||Cordless Stick|
|N/A||30 Minutes||N/A||40 Minutes|
|Dustbin Capacity||0.16 Gallons||0.20 Gallons|
|Weight||16 lbs||12 lbs||15 lbs||6 lbs|
|Check Amazon||Check Amazon||Check Amazon||Check Amazon|
Other Vacuums to Consider
Below we’ll take a look at some of the other vacuums that we considered for tile. These vacuums include canisters, uprights, cordless sticks, and corded sticks.
Overall any of the vacuums on this list can handle tile floors, but the non-Shark vacuums don’t have the convenient features that our top picks do. Primarily, the DuoClean cleaner head.
We have included the Shark APEX AX951 and the Shark Rocket Corded Stick. Both of these vacuums have the DuoClean feature. With the AX951, it’s an upright similar to our top pick, the APEX AZ1002, but doesn’t have Zero-M. Finally, with the Shark Rocket, it’s a corded stick vacuum, which is somewhat unique and has the smaller body of a stick vacuum, but with a cord.
Miele builds some of the best canister vacuums available. They’ve been around for a long time and have only recently started producing bagless vacuums. That brings us to the Miele Blizzard CX1.
There are several different models in the Blizzard CX1 Series, but this particular one has the motorized cleaner head and the Parquet Twister hard floor brush.
Now, if you’re not familiar with canister vacuums, then you should know that many of them don’t have spinning brushrolls as a standard feature, unlike typical uprights. Often the lower-priced models will just come with a basic floor brush that isn’t meant for cleaning carpet. That’s fine if your home doesn’t have carpet, but most people at least want the option to vacuum carpet.
We chose the Blizzard CX1 Electro+ because it comes with a powerful cleaner head for cleaning carpet and another for hard flooring, such as tile.
Miele Blizzard CX1 Electro+
The Blizzard CX1 is the latest bagless vacuum series from Miele. The Electro is excellent for low-pile to high-pile carpet, and with the Parquet Twister attachment it is a top performer on tile and other bare flooring.
- Designed with bare floors in mind.
- Versatile Attachments
- HEPA AirClean Lifetime Filter
- Hygienic Dustbin Emptying
- Telescoping Wand
- Tested for up to 20 years of use.
- Low-profile Parquet Twister can fit in tight spaces.
- Soft bristles reach into crevices and brings the suction close to the floor.
- Handles large and small debris with ease.
- Low Maintenance Filter System
- 360-degree swivel rubberized wheels with shock absorbers.
- One-touch cord rewind
- Vacuuming stairs is difficult with the bulky canister.
- Transitioning from tile to carpet will require switching cleaner heads.
The huge advantage to Miele vacuums is that they guarantee their vacuums for longer than most other manufacturers. They claim that their vacuums are tested for up to 20 years of use.
If you’ve ever used a Miele, then you can feel the quality difference when picking up a different vacuum. With that, however, comes a bigger price tag.
The bagless Blizzard Series is new, so we’ll see how they hold up over time.
But how do they perform?
Canister vacuums are all about their attachments. It’s a different approach than the all-in-one Shark DuoClean cleaner head.
For tile, you’ll be using the Parquet Twister floorhead.
You’re not stuck with what’s built into the vacuum. Miele has done a great job of maintaining compatibility with their attachments across their many different canister vacuum options.
The Parquet Twister is one approach to cleaning tile. Being able to brush between tiles and knock super-fine dust and dirt loose from your floor is a significant advantage over vacuums that merely let you turn off the brushroll and hope for the best.
The Parquet Twister brush is compatible with all Miele canisters, so if you’re interested in a bag vacuum then there are other Miele options.
The Miele Compact C2 Electro+has the same capabilities as the Blizzard, and has the AirClean Sealed System, and industry leading filtration system. You get the Parquet brush and the SEB228 Electro+ motorized cleaner head. It’s the best of both worlds with one of Miele’s best carpet attachments and the best hard floor attachment.
Miele Compact C2 Electro+
Miele’s bags are possibly the most hygienic way to handle vacuum debris disposal. When you detach the bag it seals itself and you simply throw it away. Bagless vacuums always involve dumping the canister in the trash as you watch a cloud of dust rise up. Then you might have to dig around inside the dustbin to untangle clumps of hair and dust.
If that doesn’t appeal to you, then consider a bag vacuum. They’re really easy to maintain and not as expensive as you think.
- Yearly expense for bags and filters: about $15.
- Parquet Twister floorbrush included.
- Motorized brushroll attachment included. (SEB-228 Electrobrush)
- Uses Miele AirClean 3D Efficiency Dust Bags – Type FJM
- Tested for up to 20 years of use.
- HEPA AirClean Sealed System
- Hygienic Bag Disposal
- Electrobrush and Parquet Twister attachments can handle any floor type.
- 6-stage Variable Speed Motor
- At 9.4 lbs, the Electro+ is relatively lightweight.
- Bag consumption depends on your vacuuming needs. It will cost more if you vacuum more frequently or have a large space.
- Transitioning from tile to carpet will require switching cleaner heads.
Are bag vacuums worth it?
The bagless vacuum craze appeals to our desire to have things streamlined and feel like we’re having to put forward less effort to accomplish trivial tasks.
The thing is though, if you put cleanliness first, then you’ll find that bag vacuums are far superior, or at least Miele’s are.
- You don’t come into contact with anything you’ve vacuumed up.
- Miele bags improve the overall filtration of the air that is exhausted.
- They easily slide in and out of the vacuum. It’s not hard.
- An individual can buy enough bags for a year for what it costs to buy 3 cups of “premium coffee.”
Dyson V10 Absolute
The V10 Absolute is Dyson’s latest version of their popular cordless stick vacuums. It’s our favorite product by Dyson and offers incredible performance for a vacuum its size.
- 40 minute Runtime on Hard Floors
- Great performance on carpet as well.
- Hygienic Bin Emptying
- Fully-sealed Filtration
- Excellent cleaning ability and easy to use.
- HEPA Filtration
- Impressive Battery Life
- Soft Roller cleaner head performs just as well as the Shark DuoClean.
- Includes Wall Mount Kit
- Large dustbin capacity for a cordless stick.
- Only weighs 6 lbs.
- Some people find holding the trigger to operate the vacuum to be tedious.
- The handheld portion of the V10 is bulkier than the previous V8, but the dustbin is larger.
- You can’t buy an extra battery and swap it out as needed. The V10’s battery is not removable.
The Soft Roller cleaner head is used on Dyson’s popular V6, V8, and V10 cordless stick vacuums. The design looks similar to the Shark DuoClean brushroll and effectively cleans bare floors such as tile better than the standard attachment. Picking up large debris and fine dust are the main reasons to use the Soft Roller head.
The brushroll sits flush with the floor and helps pull debris into the suction channel. The rear pad allows the back of the cleaner head to rest on the floor as you push forward, so there’s nowhere for the dust and dirt to go except into the vacuum. This is a great design that is so much more effective than merely relying on raw suction power to lift everything off the floor.
With zero uncertainty, I can say the Dyson cordless vacuums are expensive, but they do perform.
If you like the cordless stick vacuum form factor, but don’t want to lose the cord, then consider the Shark Rocket with DuoClean.
Shark Rocket DuoClean
Unlike the Dyson Cordless Stick vacuums, this stick vacuum by Shark is corded and never stops going until you’re ready. Keep in mind that stick vacuums have smaller dustbins so you will be emptying them more often than a traditional upright or canister. However, the versatility and power of these stick vacuums are a game changer and that’s why they’ve become so popular.
- Small form factor, but with a cord.
- Larger dustbin than cordless stick vacuums.
- Easy Swivel Cleaner Head
- Vacuums large and small debris on all floor types.
- Above-floor cleaning is easier than with an upright.
- Handheld is bulky, so vacuum in tight spaces, like vehicles, is difficult.
- You lose the cordless convenience.
The Shark Rocket DuoClean dustbin will hold 0.25 gallons, while the Dyson V10 Absolute will hold 0.2 gallons. Some people won’t have any issue vacuuming their entire home with either of these vacuums. However, if you have pets, you will likely be emptying the dustbin at least once depending on how often you vacuum.
We’ve mentioned DuoClean as being on the main reason for our top picks, and the Shark Rocket is a unique alternative that appeals to people looking for a lighter vacuum, but don’t want to go cordless.