Re: Cleaning 200+ year old wood floors.
Being one who uses and reviews vacuums for a living, I can offer you some insight and assistance with choosing the best vacuum cleaner for your needs.
The best way to vacuum a bare floor is with a hose and wand with a non-powered floor brush. The bristles of a bare floor brush are designed to loosen dirt for the vacuum to pick up, yet are soft and pliable so they won't harm delicate surfaces. With the right vacuum, cleaning a bare floor is faster, easier, and cleaner than by broom or dust mop because the vacuum removes the dust, it doesn't just wipe it around.
Typically the best vacuum cleaner for bare floors is a canister style vacuum, while the best vacuum for carpets tends to be an upright, however, in today's world of multipurpose vacuums that line has blurred considerably.
You can vacuum a bare floor with an upright vacuum in standard configuration, but as you well know, the brush roll tends to scatter debris more than it picks it up. Many brands have independent brush roll control so that you can turn off the brush for doing bare floor work. While this is certainly much better option, it's not as good as having a bare floor tool. To answer your question about the wheels, most vacuums have non-marking wheels, so it is unlikely that damage will result from the wheels themselves, but other parts of the vacuum can snag or scratch if you're not careful
So what vacuum do you need? That kind of depends on whether or not you've got all bare floors or a combination of bare surfaces and carpets. It also depends on your preferences of a canister or upright, whether you like bag or bagless vacuums, and how you use the vacuum as a cleaning appliance during your typical house cleaning routine. Do you just sweep floors with it or do you also do above floor cleaning tasks?
Price, while it is a factor, is not indicative of a good or bad vacuum, though cheaper brands tend to be cheap for a reason, whether it be lackluster performance or poor quality construction or both. IMHO, you should look at your vacuum cleaner as an investment. Making the right choice will save you money and provide you with a cleaner and healthier home.
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