Difference Between a Hardwood Vacuum and a Regular Vacuum

Though it seems like a trivial question to ask, there are in fact many differences between a hardwood vacuum cleaner and an ordinary vacuum, and improper use of either one can result in permanent damage of your floors and fabrics. We purchase vacuums mostly without thinking about what their actual purpose is: to maintain, not to clean. And when you want to maintain your property, you need the right tool for the job.

Main features of a hardwood vacuum A hardwood vacuum is not an all-purpose machine. It is specifically for the purpose of maintaining your expensive hardwood flooring without damaging or scuffing its varnish or finish. A hardwood vacuum does not have wheels unlike many vacuums that are created with general use in mind, since vacuum wheel can really tear up your floors. It is normally far more lightweight that most vacuum cleaners as they need to apply as little pressure to your floors as possible – the lighter it is, the less chance that it will leave your floors marked. They also are fitted with rubber pads and, in some cases, rubber wheels, so that you can still be mobile with you cleaner without fear of scratches.

Main features of a normal vacuum So-called “normal” vacuums actually vary quite a lot. Whereas hardwood vacuums are destined for a single purpose in life, “normal” vacuums are built for a variety of environments and needs and can look completely different from one another.

Hand-held vacuums are small, compact, often wireless cleaners that you can take to your curtains, couches and beds to clean fabric surfaces separately. Wet and dry vacuums are more or less self-explanatory; wet vacuums can suck up spills and liquids whereas dry vacuums can suck up dry matter like dust, detritus and dander. Some vacuums are hybrids and can suck up either one, but mostly not at the same time.

Therefore, when looking to get a new vacuum, you must take into consideration these different features before deciding. Often times, one is not enough! Though it sounds strange to say, but if you are to maintain your house effectively you must invest in the right tool for each section of your home.

Even in a small house, you may have a carpet over a hardwood floor, and using your hardwood vacuum on the carpet throw will ruin the nose of the cleaner. In this case you could invest in a multi-surface cleaner, though it is still advisable that you purchase a handheld to complement any vacuum cleaner you currently have. The small size of a hand-held can reach places that a large vacuum can’t.

Buy a hardwood vacuum if:

  • You have hardwood/varnished floors
  • You have a lot of dust in your house
  • Your floor surfaces are mostly smooth and not carpeted
    You want to preserve the value of your hardwood floors

Buy a normal vacuum if:

  • You have varied floor surfaces
  • You often clean wet and dry messes
  • You do not mind scratching hardwood floors
  • You are on a budget/want fewer vacuums in the house


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