It's important to keep hardwood floors clean, as grit and small stones can cause scratches that detract from their appearance. Suction vacuuming is ideal, as dust and debris are lifted straight off the surface without being moved along it. This article looks more closely at vacuum cleaners for hardwood flooring.
Cylinder and upright cleaners
All cylinder and most upright vacuums can be used on hardwood flooring. Cylinder vacuum floor cleaning heads features a brush which drops down when a lever is pressed, preventing the base of the floor tool scratching the surface of the floor.
Many upright vacuums feature a switch which stops the brush and beater bar rotating.
The cleaning head is slightly raised off the floor by its wheels, so the vacuum sucks up dirt and debris as it is wheeled across the surface.
However, the safest way to vacuum a hardwood floor is with a special hardwood flooring attachment.
This looks like a cylinder floor tool but has a soft, thick brush right round the edge.
This is attached to a cylinder vacuum, just like the normal floor cleaning head.
Advantages of central vacuum systems
A central vacuum system is ideal for a house that contains a large amount of hardwood flooring.
In this case, the only part of the vacuum which passes over the hardwood floor is the hardwood floor cleaning tool.
There is no cylinder to pull along on the end of the hose, or upright to push along on its wheels.
This eliminates the danger of grit on the vacuum's wheels scratching the floor and hence ensures maximum protection.
There is also no possibility of the brush-roll and beater bar (found on an upright vacuum) being accidentally switched on, as this can damage hardwood.
Rechargeable sweepers which include a vacuum function are also suitable for removing dust and debris from hardwood flooring.
The brush-roll on these machines sweeps up the dirt which is then caught by the vacuum action and deposited in the dust tray.
The vacuum action ensures that no debris is missed and this prevents anything from becoming caught in the wheels of the sweeper.
Trapped grit and small stones can be dangerous since those can scratch hardwood flooring.