What vacuum for LVT and area rugs?

Discussion in 'Cleaning, Maintenance & Restoration' started by Jim McClain, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    I have luxury vinyl plank flooring throughout my apartment, with a couple area rugs here and there. What's the best vacuum for something like that? I have special needs: lung disease and a small budget. I'm sure this topic will be read by many who don't have these specific needs, so all recommendations for LVT/LVP and area rug floors would be welcome.

    My old vacuum finally gave up on me. It was a commercial Oreck upright that I used for many years on the job and for the last 7 in retirement. It started getting very noisy a couple years ago and the Oreck dealer in Reno said it wouldn't be too expensive to replace the motor & bearings. But when I went to Reno a couple weeks ago, the place was no longer an Oreck business - or any other kind of vacuum business.

    I sold vacuums during parts of my flooring sales career, but wasn't a vacuum pro and knew very little about them beyond what manufacturer provided sales literature offered. At Bed, Bath & Beyond, I found an inexpensive vacuum that has a dust bin, detachable hand-held vac and a folding handle. It's easy to store, very light weight and seamed to pick up the dirt I found at the store testing it out. It was only $69.00 and I know I wasn't buying a quality vac, but it was all I could do at the time. Now I worry that I threw that money away. I realize the vac is not removing the very thing that makes my quality of life easier: dust. It picks up the small particles, but it tends to blow dust up and around while I'm using it, making using it more "breath taking" than my old Oreck.

    BISSELL Lift-Off® Floors & More Pet Cordless Vacuum 53Y81 | Parts & Reviews

    So, what suggestions do you have? My health is deteriorating to the point that I need to use something light weight. I know the one I got is more like a toy than a real vacuum and something better is going to weigh more. But there are a lot of older people and those of us with some mobility issues that need easier to use tools and still enjoy the satisfaction of being able to take care of ourselves.

    Now that we have an actual vacuum pro that can hold his own against all our other pros here, I thought I'd ask this question. But I bet he isn't the only one who has a good opinion on this subject.

  2. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    With the bags, I have two options , the cheap ones, or the hepa( high efficiency particulate air) with some type of odor control built into the bag.
    New carpet has nothing but fibers , but I also use it for home and have couple of dogs, so when I brought it to a homeowners house the dog odor came through , that's when I realized I have to get the better bags.
    Swiffer has to have made a billion dollars by now, seams like everyone has one(but me ) I really hate all that gimmicky stuff , the wife falls for it every now and then , we made it past that hanging upside down tomato plank gimmick. I do like a good tomato though.
  3. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor I Support TFP Senior Member

    I know our recently found vacuum guru might say otherwise, but the shark vacuum they sell at costco is pretty nice and seems to pick up more dirt than our hoover did. The brush can easily be turned off to vacuum hard surface
  4. Ok, I guess this is where I get my dissertation on filtration.

    First, and most importantly (regarding DUST), is how effective is the filtration? If the vacuum is cheap, and the manufacturer didn't seal the motor compartment, it doesn't matter what kind of filter you have. The reason WHY this is important is because, once your filter is dirty, and creating back pressure, you motor is going to be forced to blow dust out of the vacuum, through the unsealed body panels, and into you home.

    This is exactly why I stress to people with breathing issues how important it is for a quality vacuum.

    To Jim's question on what to buy. Since you said you were on a budget and want something light weight, I am going to recommend one of the compact, lightweight Miele canister vacuums. They have the same tough motors, but in a lighter casing. Don't bother with a powerbrush-enabled machine, as you want to keep cost down, and they have good floor tools for rugs/bare floors.

    I think any of the Miele S2 and S6 lines of machines are ideal, as long us you upgrade to the HEPA filters. The bags are near HEPA standards, and when combined with the HEPA filter, create what we refer to as a "Zero Particulate Machine". I can even help you find a good, used one.

    My personal vacuum is a 10 yr old compact Miele Mercury. My bench vac is a 30 yr old full-sized Miele. So, there's your reliability factor.

    My daughter suffers from horrible allergies, and my SO has adult onset asthma, so when I say the difference is amazing, I mean it.

    To Mike's point about odor control:
    This is another reason I do not recommend bagless machines. Bagged machines, in general, have far less of a duct system to clean. And, sadly, cleaning the duct is the most effective way to remove odor that is already in the machine, and persistent.
    Take some apple cider vinegar, or your favorite chemical pet odor remover (Unbelievable brand is good), and spray down, wipe down your duct, spray your brush roller or wash it, and replace all of your filters. Some of the cheaper vac brands offer "charcoal" filters, but some of those are rather dubious. If you have a tool hose, you can soak it in the sink, wash it out, or spray the inside with vinegar.
    If you have a bagless system, you pretty much have to disassemble the whole damned thing and do what I described above.

    I hope this helps and gets you off to a good start.
  5. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    The Miele S2 (2121) looks like a pretty good vacuum, but, wow, $329.00 is a lot of money to me. I also looked at the stick vacuum, which doesn't seem like a bad choice either, but it's 250 bucks. Both of those get some glowing reviews though.
    Yeah, that's my next question.

  6. I guess the ultimate question is; How much can you budget to breathe easier and not lug a heavy vacuum?
  7. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    Well, I already said 250.00 was a lot for me. You didn't answer "the next question" though. How much should I budget for a good used one? Unfortunately, I just spent all my money (and 700+ dollars of member donations) going to Surfaces convention last month. So now I have to save for a vacuum. Give me an idea how much you think that should be.

    We get a lot of consumer inquiries about their flooring choices, but few of them consider budget. Price always seems to be their primary concern. They don't think about all the prep and product quality. So, I'm trying to walk what I talk to them. I made a mistake in spending 69 bucks on a crappy stick vacuum. Maybe I can get some of that back by selling it. But I have to replace it with a machine that I can easily handle, given my physical limitations (<25% lung function), is compact enough to be stowed away in my tiny apartment, can keep the air clean while I clean the floor and has a price that won't make me throw up. I'm willing to live in filth (not really, but it sounded good) until I can afford the right vac.

  8. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Jim, you spelled Vacuum exactly like my wife's paperwork realtor friend did for the checklist I need for tools. Vaccum! Vacuum this post when you correct it" dust free"
  9. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    I am such an IDIOT! Well, ever'body's gotta have a first mistake sometime. :shifty:
  10. Jim, I think the $250 Miele is the option for you, if you're buying new. You could go used, but you won't find a Quickstep used. Best I could do is maybe getting one of my stores to let me sell a floor model for a discount. But, it wouldn't be a huge one.

    The good thing about that machine is the quality and light weight nature of it. It has a great warranty, and it's the best filtered stick vac available. At least for that price, you can be sure it's going to last for years and not send you to the doctor.
  11. Not a terrible price. But, it's missing at least a couple of things. Based on the pics, it is missing the extension tube (apx $40 new) and it's also missing the floor tool ($50-90) and likely the crevice tool (apx $10). You also won't have a warranty on it. Just trying to help you be informed.
  12. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

  13. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    Thanks Pole, I'll keep an eye open for the Quickstep on ebay. That one looks pretty well used and broken, regardless of the new filter. I s'pose I shouldn't worry too much about the warranty. Even though I'm way past my expiration date and hope to keep going quite a while longer, warranty dates don't mean a whole lot to me at this point.

    I found this video on You Tube. Now, if I ran into Jenny at a vacuum store, I'd be buyin' a vacuum right now. Maybe two. ;) But seriously, she demonstrates the vac like it hasn't been described elsewhere. I didn't know the tube was telescopic or that you could use different heads with it. I think the heppa filter would be an important upgrade for me too.

    [ame=http://youtu.be/N2GlbfhB4WU]Miele Quickstep S1 Upright Vacuum Cleaner Overview - YouTube[/ame]
  14. See, this is why I recommend going to a dealer to see vacuums before buying. It's too bad your local shop's salesperson didn't do as well a job, highlighting all the features.
  15. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    My "local" vacuum shop is 80 miles away. My next doctor's appointment will include a stop at A-1 Vacuum & Sewing - Home in Reno, NV.


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