Three best floor machines
Brooms, mops, and vacuums all have their place in your cleaning arsenal, but sometimes, they're just not powerful enough. That's when you need a floor machine. These powerful tools can wash and buff your floors until they look as new as the day they were installed.
Floor machines are most commonly associated with commercial applications, but there are plenty of scaled-down models designed for home use as well. Here is a brief overview of everything you need to know about purchasing a floor machine.
Considerations when choosing floor machines
Consider the surfaces you'll be cleaning with the floor machine. If you have mostly vinyl or laminated hardwood, you should choose a unit with softer bristles that won't scratch or damage the floor. Fine bristles work well on tile, cleaning without cracking them. Concrete floors are very durable, so you can use any type of floor machine on them.
Floor machines designed for home use often have a cleaning path that's no more than 13 inches wide. Larger units may have a cleaning path of 17 inches wide or more. Smaller units require more time to cover a room, but they're also easier to maneuver around furniture.
A 1.0 horsepower (hp) motor should be plenty for most household cleaning tasks. If you plan to use the floor machine commercially, you might want to buy one with 1.5 to 2.0 hp to tackle the toughest cleaning jobs.
Floor machine features
When choosing a floor machine, these are the factors you need to consider:
Power source: Floor machines are either corded or cordless. Cordless models are powered by a rechargeable battery and can be used anywhere, but they're not as powerful as corded models.
Weight: Generally, the more powerful the floor machine, the heavier it will be. This can make it more difficult to maneuver.
Water tank: Some floor machines have a built-in water reservoir to make it easier to wash and dry the floor. If you're interested in one of these, check that the water reservoir is large enough that you won't have to refill it too often.
Noise: Floor machines can be quite loud, especially ones with more powerful motors. Over time, this noise could even damage your hearing, so you should consider using earplugs.
Warranty: The best floor machines have a warranty that usually lasts between three and five years from the purchase date.
Floor machine prices: Most small models for home use cost $200 or less. Most professional-grade floor machines cost between $250 and $400, with the largest models priced as much as $1,200.
Q. What type of floors can I use a floor machine on?
A. Floor machines can be used on just about any type of sealed hard floor, including vinyl, tile, hardwood, and concrete. Some models can also be used to shampoo carpets. However, you shouldn't use a floor machine on carpet unless the product specifications say that you can. Carpet creates more drag and it might be too hard on a machine that isn't designed for it.
Q. How do I use a floor machine?
A. You should always read the manufacturer's instructions before use and follow any directions. Work systematically, starting at the back of the room and moving in rows toward the front, overlapping the rows slightly to thoroughly cover all areas.
Floor machines we recommend
Best of the best: Oreck Orbiter Commercial Floor Machine
Our take: Don't be fooled by its simplicity. The power and durability are among the best in the industry.
What we like: Compact floor machine works on all surfaces, from carpets and tile to wood and vinyl. Easy to use, requires minimal maintenance and is backed by a five-year warranty.
What we dislike: Cleaning path is only 13 inches wide, so it might take longer to cover large areas.
Best bang for your buck: Hoover FloorMate Deluxe Hard Floor Cleaner
Our take: Smart choice for smaller homes with primarily hardwood floors.
What we like: Lightweight. Washes and dries hard floors of all types and leaves them like new. Large water reservoir that keeps clean and dirty water separate, so you don't have to worry about washing your floors with dirty water.
What we dislike: Nozzle is only 11.5 inches wide, so isn't suited to larger spaces.
Choice 3: Koblenz Industrial Floor Machine
Our take: A superior floor cleaner for commercial use, but could be more powerful than necessary for home use.
What we like: Heavy-duty, with 17-inch cleaning path. Tough enough to handle any task. Backed by a three-year warranty. Holds up well over time.
What we dislike: Pricey. Some say it's a bit too powerful, so it's not a great fit unless you plan to use it regularly.
Kailey Fralick is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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