Is a Robot Vacuum Good Enough to Replace a Hardwood Vacuum?


Hardwood Robot VacuumIf you are looking at evidence of technology producing a conundrum, then look no further than the robot vacuum.

Perhaps there is no device that continues to spark debate and divide opinion as this one.

For some, it’s an unnecessary indulgence while others will swear they cannot do without it.

It’s a topic that has fascinated me many times over too, and here we will explore this question together and hopefully settle the matter once and for all

How Good is a Robot Vacuum?

Most robot vacuums that are in the market live up to their expectations: they will do a decent cleaning job without human supervision. So you don’t have to sit around or work with it, you can continue with your other chores as the bot works for you.

It is this aspect that excites me most about robot vacuums. I love watching it navigate obstacles around the house, much to my amusement. This is because it has sensors underneath that enable it to communicate with the surroundings.

And if that’s not enough make you take the leap, the more advanced ones have more features that make them more autonomous in their work. You can schedule them to clean at set times, so that when you return with your visitors your hardwood floor is spic and span.

The auto-docking feature of robot vacuums enables them to return to their bases after cleaning up, or to recharge when their batteries run low. This means that you can leave them completely alone and mind your other businesses, literally. These are just a few of the great benefits that you get by using an automated vacuum

Cleaning Capability

So what is their cleaning ability compared to the hardwood vacuums?

I am sure this is probably what you want to read most! Make no mistake, the robot vacuum is not a dud. It is fairly good at cleaning hardwood floors. I can also bet that the word ‘fairly’ has not escaped your attention too.

The truth is that even the best robot vacuums simply do not have the suction power to compete with any of the top rated canister vacuums available today.

While they will leave your carpet looking good, they will not give you the deep-cleaning that you may be looking for.

Most of them will return to their dock-stations after some ‘hard work’, even when the carpet still has some considerable dirt. This is the point usually feel like shouting a few expletives to tell the robot to ‘return to work’.

The biggest issue that I have with robot vacuums is their defectiveness when the floor has much debris. If your house is a mare’s nest and your floor is full of pets, furniture and other items, then it may be wise to lower your expectations. Your robot may end up spending more time navigating around than doing the actual cleaning.


Here are some of the glaring limitations:

  • They will not work if your floor is elevated or has a slope
  • Most of the sensors will not recognize dark or black surfaces
  • hey are not effective at climbing or descending stairs.


Robot vacuums are best used in conjunction with the hardwood vacuum.

If you ask me, I’d say that they should be used for maintenance cleaning, whereby you do a deep, thorough cleaning once a month with a more powerful vacuum like the Miele S8590.

After that, have your robot take over to keep it clean until your next session. This way you get to enjoy the best of both worlds.


Where to Find the Best Hardwood Tips Online

Hardwood FloorHardwood floors are a classic accent to any room. There’s a certain elegance and style that comes with a well-maintained and cleaned hardwood floor.

Keeping your floor in good condition ensures that your room will have that high-quality, classic look for years to come.

Here are some places online you can check out to find information that will help you keep your floor beautiful and well-maintained.

1. eHow

If you want your floor to keep its quality for the long haul, a daily cleaning routine is a must. This eHow article provides excellent quick and easy advice on the less-intensive daily cleaning and maintenance tips that will ensure you get the most out of your floor and maintain the benefits of the more intensive but less-frequent cleaning and maintenance longer.

2. Wikihow

Provides an excellent overview of what to do and not to do, a section on minor repairs, and a very good video explaining the proper methods and products for the more in-depth cleaning that is done less frequently than the standard sweeping/vacuuming that should be done at least once per week.

3. Armstrong Flooring

Armstrong is one of the leading manufacturers of hardwood flooring in the United States. Their website has near limitless information on proper hardwood floor maintenance, and even allows you to specify the type of floor to zero in on the maintenance tips best suited for your floor. This link provides an overview of the vacuum cleaner types you’d use, but this site is pretty comprehensive.

4. Homestadna

Homestadna provides, as the name implies, an extremely comprehensive and complete informational website on all things related to hardwood floor cleaning. This link will take you to their section on routine maintenance, but they also have general information articles and advice on finding professionals for every aspect of service, repair and installation.

5. Lowe’s

Lowe’s is a leading distributor in all things related to home repair and maintenance. Not surprisingly, they have an excellent page on cleaning and maintaining your hardwood. They even include daily, weekly and quarterly maintenance and cleaning tips to help you schedule your overall maintenance plan. As with all of Lowe’s pages, they also provide an answer to why it is they recommend given steps.


There are a few things you will find recurrent in all of these links, as well as any other links you could find:

  1. Keep it Clean! Keeping it clean not only makes it look better, it makes it last longer. Dirt, dust and other particles, if left unattended, will slowly grind away at the finish and erode it, causing all kinds of problems.
  2. Know Your Floor! Knowing the type of floor and finish you have is essential. Using the wrong cleaning products for your finish can result in disaster. Ask the manufacturer or an expert if you’re not sure. Otherwise, it’s always best to test any new products on less-visible areas.
  3. Let it Age Evenly! Moving rugs and furniture around from time to time ensures the floor will age evenly, which will ensure it always looks its best. UV rays affect the overall look of the floor, so you want to expose it all evenly to avoid patches.