If you have a hardwood floor, you understand the intensive maintenance it requires. You have to clean it at least daily to ensure no dirt stains it, and you may well use something like a Riccar vacuum pretty frequently to make sure that it looks spotless. But how do you manage cleaning it on a daily basis without breaking your back?
The answer is in robot vacuum cleaners. For starters, robot vacuum cleaners will handle the demanding floor cleaning tasks without your intervention for the entire week.
But if you did your homework, you understand that robot vacuum cleaners are highly specialized, unlike the regular vacuum cleaner. That said, you need to get only the best robot vacuum cleaner for hardwood floors. Not just any other vacuum cleaner will handle hardwood floors. This is because hardwood floors are fragile and require extra care lest you leave the floor with scratches, bruises, and fading luster.
Today, we want to look at the critical aspect to consider when choosing a robot vacuum for your hardwood floor. But just before that, we need to answer the question, why a robot vacuum cleaner?
Advantages of a robot vacuum cleaner for your hardwood floors
- It is simple to use and requires minimal human intervention (occasional bin emptying)
- Robot vacuums are gentle on the hardwood floor than regular vacuums
- They can get to the tightest spots that are often ignored
- They can be scheduled throughout the week giving you more time to concentrate on other stuff
- Robot vacuums are Smart Home ready unlike regular vacuums
These are just some of the advantages of robot vacuum cleaners. Now, let’s do some shopping drills and see what a good hardwood floor robot should have.
Factors to consider when buying a robot vacuum for hardwood floors
Now, let’s look at the essential considerations every homeowner should know before buying a robot vacuum for hardwood floors. It is imperative to critically assess these factors lest you end up with the wrong vacuum. Remember, the wrong vacuum will be ineffective in cleaning and worse enough, it could damage your coveted hardwood floor. On the Robotbox website, I found these amazing robot vacuums for hardwood floors.
Design and maneuverability
Everyone wants a gadget that is sleek and stylish, and robot vacuums have some astounding designs. Brands like ILIFE and bObsweep have some of the sleekest robot vacuums. But then, the aesthetics shouldn’t be a priority when buying a robot vacuum for hardwood floors.
The first thing you want to consider is the thickness of a robot vacuum. One of the advantages of robot vacuums is that they can reach those tight spots where regular vacuums may not be able to reach. Or maybe it takes a toll on your back to creep the brush vacuum in. Make sure you go for a thin robot vacuum so that it can slide under most of the furniture.
The other thing is regarding maneuverability. Unlike robotic pool cleaners, most robot vacuum cleaners use wheel systems as opposed to tracks. While the wheel systems don’t matter when it comes to tile and linoleum floors, hardwood and carpets require large off-road wheels. The gaps on hardwood floors make the terrain rough for these gentle helpers. Also, when transitioning from the hardwood floor onto carpets, the large wheels will make everything seamless.
The cleaning performance of a robot vacuum cleaner is the fundamental aspect to be considered when shopping for your next floor maid. Unlike regular vacuums, robot vacuums such as Dreame/dreametech robots are very specialized, so it’s critical to consider the characteristics that best suit your cleaning needs; hardwood floors!
There has been a general assumption that all robot vacuum cleaners are best for hardwood floors. To some extent, this is true but on a closer look, not every robot vacuum is best for your hardwood floor.
From a general perspective, hardwood floors are very easy to clean, and most vacuum cleaners will meet the threshold of floor vacuuming.
Anything with a suction power of around 500 Pa would complete the task, but the high suction is often recommended to suck the tiny debris that gets lodged in the floor gaps, dugouts and wall edges.
The other important thing is regarding the brush system, otherwise known as extractors. When it comes to brushes, many people focus on only the tangle system, especially if they have pets. For hardwood floor owners, ensure you go for something that is gentle on your fragile and delicate floor. I always recommend rubber extractors as opposed to bristles which may be a little too rough on the hardwood floor finish.
The above two are by far the most important aspects to focus on when it comes to cleaning performance. But still, you want to look for a robot vacuum with HEPA filters, schedule cleaning, and maybe dirt detection.
Battery autonomy refers to the runtime of the robot vacuum cleaner per every single charge. You may want to ask, why should you mind about the battery autonomy?
If you have a large apartment, you want a vacuum cleaner that will complete cleaning the hardwood floor in a single charge. This is because recharging takes quite some time and very few robot vacuums have auto resume function. Different robot vacuum cleaners have different battery technology, capacity and consequently, runtime. When searching for your perfect hardwood floor robot vacuum, here are a few things you need to understand.
A NiMH battery will have more capacity but a shorter life cycle. On the other hand, Li-Ion batteries have a longer life cycle and negligibly shorter runtime. But the most important thing to go for is longer runtime, no need to go into the specifics. I would recommend a vacuum that can run for at least an hour. This is enough time for cleaning a two-bedroom apartment with a hardwood floor.
Navigation and mapping
One of the most significant benefits of robot vacuum cleaners is their automatic operation. Unlike a canister or handheld vacuum cleaner that require your intervention, these work autonomously and hence the name robot vacuum. But how do they manage the many obstacles and maybe around your house? What if you don’t want it to reach some areas?
Robot vacuums come with in-built navigation systems that guide it around the house. The most basic vacuums have obstacle detection sensors as well as cliff sensors. These do the job but will get stuck from time to time or hit your household stuff. For advanced models, they use SLAM navigation for localization in conjunction with the obstacle and cliff detection sensors. They are better off than sensors alone, and even though they hardly hit obstacles, they get stuck from time to time. The best navigation system is VSLAM like the one in Roomba 980 or ILIFE A8 which combines sensors and a VSLAM navigation that incorporates real-time camera images.
There’s also the aspect of floor mapping and scanning, and this determines the pattern the vacuum will use in cleaning the house. Typically, the navigation system dictates the floor mapping and scanning with the VSLAM systems having the best floor mapping ability. They use a methodical pattern covering the entire hardwood floor faster and efficiently.
You may also want a robot vacuum that you can contain or limit. Boundary marking is what you should look for an only a few brands offer this feature. Roomba and Neato are the industry leaders with Virtual Walls and No-Go Lines respectively.
What are the extras?
Besides the convenience of robot vacuums, some of them have been designed to be Smart Home ready. This gives users the freedom of control now that they can access and control their vacuums remotely. So, what are some of the extras to anticipate?
Some robot vacuums come with remote controls. These controllers come in handy for those with mobility problems. Also, the thought of cleaning your house when on the sofa is exciting. But the best feature is Smartphone operation and voice control. Some robot vacuums come with Wi-Fi that allows them to be controlled from the respective Home App or Alexa and other integrations!
Such a vacuum cleaner is what you should wish for if you have a hardwood floor. It will enable you to plan your cleaning schedules the easy way. You can ask the robot vacuum to clean right from the comfort of your office.
Hardwood floors may be very easy to clean, but it’s the cleaning frequency required that makes it such a hard task. But with a robot vacuum, you can schedule cleaning for the entire week, and regardless of where you are, your robot will do the job without you having to remind it. However, you must be very selective when buying one because not every model will be best suited for hardwood floor. This is regarding both the e[cleaning effectiveness and the durability of your hardwood floor!
Make sure you get the right tool for the job, nothing shorter than that!