Is There a Difference Between Vacuums for Laminate and Hardwood?

Vacuums for Laminate

Is there a difference between a vacuum that’s safe for hardwood and one that won’t scratch laminate? No, there’s not. But there are essential characteristics to look for when you’re shopping for a vacuum to use on bare floors.

Features of vacuums for laminate and hardwood flooring

Although you can clean bare floors with many kinds of carpet vacuums, here are some features to consider.

Disengage the roller brush

The typical vacuum for cleaning carpets has a beater bar, also known as a roller brush. But when you vacuum a bare floor, it’s best to turn off the brush to avoid scratching the finish. The best vacuum cleaners for laminate, for example, have a switch to disengage the roller, or else have a replacement roller with a soft surface. These soft cloth rollers are excellent for picking up fine dust from smooth floors.

Non-marking wheels

Next, the best vacuum cleaners for hardwood have non-marking wheels. Although it’s easier to refinish hardwood than repair laminate, no one wants to scratch either surface. Many vacuums for bare floors have rubber wheels instead of plastic. This protects the wood and isn’t nearly as noisy, either.

Adjustable height and suction

But avoiding damage to wood floors isn’t the only goal. A vacuum should be able to pick up everything from Cheerios to baby powder without leaving residue behind. Most vacuum cleaners for bare floors offer adjustable height and adjustable suction. In that way, you’ll have the power you need to deep clean the surface.


Also, as we mentioned, noise is a factor. Vacuums tend to sound louder when they run on hardwood or laminate than on carpet. This can be a problem when you have people sleeping, or you just find it irritating while you work.

Some vacuum manufacturers rate the noise level of their machines and post it in the specifications. In fact, you’re likely to see that a lot when you peruse the robotic vacuums. Take the noise into consideration when you shop because you’ll end up cleaning less if it’s a disagreeable task due to the cleaner’s racket.


When it comes to the filtration system, you’ll find that there isn’t one specifically for hardwood or laminate floors. What matters is the level of allergen reduction you need.

To illustrate, the top of the line is an air-sealed system with a HEPA filter and a disposable bag. It captures and retains 99.9% of the pet dander, dust, and pollen it sucks up from surfaces.

After that gold standard, you’ll discover a variety of offerings like washable HEPA filters and a bagless design, or plain dust filters, too.

Upright or canister?

Does it matter if you use an upright or a canister on laminate or hardwood? No, it doesn’t matter. It’s your preference. Each style has certain advantages. Take into account what’s more convenient for you when it comes to maneuverability, accessories, and storage.


Choosing the best vacuum for your hardwood or laminate flooring is easy if you remember to look for a couple of key features. For one, make sure you can turn off the brush roller. And two, choose a vacuum cleaner with non-marking wheels. After that, benefits like a fabric roller, soft bristles, and adjustable suction just make the job easier.