In today’s article, I handpicked five of the best Roombas for hard floors (woods, tiles, laminates) and explained why any of the items are worth your time, money, or attention.
Not only that, I went further to provide answers to common questions about using Roombas on hardwood floors. There’s also a section providing helpful tips on how to care for your Roombas.
Is Roomba Good for Hard Floors?
Roombas are excellently suited for use as a hardwood floor robot vacuum. That’s because the wheels of Roomba models are made out of high-quality materials which are securely fitted and glides almost effortlessly over wood floors.
Some of these models also come with settings that allow the user to set cleaning modes. The lowest mode should be adopted for hard floors.
Will a Roomba Go Over a Threshold?
The ability of a Roomba to go over a threshold depends on many factors, few of which includes:
- The height of the threshold. A one-inch threshold is probably going to make your Roomba stop and turn in another direction.
- The shape of the threshold. If your threshold is rounded, it would probably be ok but maybe not if it’s a sharp angle.
- Gradient and the floor surface. Different materials have different friction coefficients.
- Roomba’s direction and speed. That is, if Roomba is on relatively high speed and running right into the threshold, it would most likely clamber over the threshold.
- Roombas’ individual differences. If Roomba gets stuck, however, you can just move it to a different spot if you’re there while it is vacuuming.
Will a Roomba Pick Pets Hair on Hard Floors?
Some series of the Roombas have dual brushes alongside a side brush. If and when this is the case, the edge sweeping brushes of the Roomba will pick all the messes from wall edges, leaving the other two brushes to gather and suck up on specks of dirt, dust, PET HAIRS and other pesky little things on your wood floors, tiles, or laminates.
If, however, a series of the Roomba has a single brush, you can bet it will be very efficient.
Will Roomba Damage Wood Floors?
Not necessarily, a Roomba shouldn’t damage your wood floors.
But there have been fewer exceptions.
The top damage a Roomba can do to a wood floor is to cause scratches. I haven’t personally experienced scratches from using my robot vacuum cleaners on my wood floor; I have however bumped into a couple of online discussions where folks were lamenting about how a Roomba (960, 980) destroyed their wood floors.
It’s bad because, you know, often, a robot vacuum in this category is not only destroying the floor–it’s destroying itself as well.
Meaning, sooner or later you’d be replacing the unit or its parts (comes at a price, especially if the robot vacuum in question has a premium price tag).
That, without forgetting to mention that you’d still have to pay to fix the mess created by the cleaning bot.
Before I jump into what you can do about a robot vacuum that’s creating messes on your hardwood, let me briefly describe the “why.”
Why is a Roomba Creating Scratches on My Hardwood Floor?
If you’re experiencing scratches on the wood part of a room, there’s a higher possibility that the driving wheels are not rolling with the movement of the robotic cleaner, rather it’s getting dragged along therefore causing stripes on your floor. Or the back wheel of your robot vacuum could be very soft, leading to how grains of sand or dirt get stuck in it and then get dragged across the floor.
What to Do About Robot Vacuums Scratching Hardwood Floors?
First off, try removing the pivot wheel and take the wheel off the axle for proper cleaning.
If that didn’t help, replace the wheel assemblies with kids wristbands or Hoover belts. (Someone had mentioned this in a subreddit discussion).
Also, most vacuum cleaners come with different cleaning modes. From what I gathered (kind of exclusive to the Roombas) running the “Spot Cleaning” mode may or may not be associated with scratches on hardwoods.
The idea behind the different settings is that, for the most part, suction will increase or decrease. If settings increase the suction, then scratches could result. If anything, hardwoods don’t require as much suction as, say, a carpet.
Does Roomba Work on Dark Wood Floors
From users feedbacks and its website, Roomba will not work, or work as well, on dark wood floors or black surfaces. This is because of the attached sensors which will often interpret dark surfaces as edges or stairs.
Even so, Roomba remarks:
There’s no adjustment to correct this behavior.” They further warned that attempting to block these sensors as advised by some persons could create “unsafe operating conditions.
Why Buy a Roomba?
The Roombas are autonomous devices which have been equipped with the capacity to render a given area in your home spotless.
Products from Roomba, from personal experience, work EXCEPTIONALLY WELL especially on wood flooring, tiles, and laminates. Ditto other surfaces such as carpets and rugs.
Roombas might be a little pricier though but they come with advanced and user-friendly features and functionalities that can put cleaning on autopilot with little or no owner input.
Dogs seem to get along well with the Roomba. Kids are slightly obsessed with it too, they think it’s a toy.
There’s also something to be said about the durability of products from the Roomba.
Which are the Best Roombas for Wood Floors?
- iRobot Roomba 614 Robot Vacuum
- iRobot Roomba 630 Vacuum Cleaning Robot
- iRobot Roomba 650 Vacuum Cleaning Robot
- iRobot Roomba 652 Robot Vacuum
- iRobot Roomba 761 Vacuum Cleaning Robot
iRobot Roomba 614 Robot Vacuum
So if you’re looking for a quiet, systematic machine, or a machine that immediately renders a given area in your home spotless… the iRobot Roomba 614 robot vacuum isn’t what you’re looking for.
The good news, however, is that the Roomba 614 cleans hardwood floors satisfactorily, docks impressively–and thanks to its iAdapt Navigation technology (which is also the navigation technology of the Roomba 690, 890)–travels excellently between surfaces (tiles, linoleum, carpets, and rugs) keeping them nice and clean.
Start cleaning with a press on the “Clean” button, which can be foot-operated by the way. And I mean operating the Roomba 614 is that super easy to use–no app configuration, no WiFi required.
And then the Roomba, making use of its “Dirt Detecting” technology, is better able to notice areas that have not been thoroughly cleaned (even though those areas to your own naked eyes may look clean).
While at it, the edge sweeping brushes of the Roomba 614 picks all the messes from wall edges, leaving the other two brushes to gather and suck up on specks of dirt, dust, pets hairs and other pesky little things on your wood floors.
Also the Roomba 614 robot vacuum, because of its height, is able to reach difficult spots such as under the bed (a chore that is semi-annual or annual for most people, because it involves removing the mattress and box spring to get underneath).
That mentioned, Roomba is smart but not super smart; for the most part, movement is random and pretty heavy.
Meaning the Roomba 614 can potentially hit hard on items of furniture (especially on hardwood), causing a change in their position and maybe some battle scars? Similarly, the Roomba has a tendency of locking itself in a room before it gets the chance to clean the whole house.
I’d think the canister of the Roomba 614 is relatively small and I worry that I’ll have to empty the bin rather too frequently. Even so, there’s no indicator or warning when the collection cup is full, so you may periodically check the cup and empty as needed.
One more thing, there’s no scheduling feature and as earlier intimated the Roomba 614 is not particularly quiet, yet it’s no louder than an upright vacuum.
Personally, I like the fact that I can’t schedule cleanings as this forces me to be more diligent with emptying out the dust collection bin every time I turn it on. If it was on a schedule, I’d likely become laxer with the routine of emptying it before I power it on and send it out to clean.
iRobot Roomba 630 Vacuum Cleaning Robot
So in more ways than one, the Roomba 630 vacuum shares similarities (and implications) with the Roomba 614.
First off, the Roomba 630 will start cleaning only by engaging the clean button. Meaning an app or WIFI is not supported.
Likewise, there’s no scheduling feature plus the Roomba 630 can’t connect with Alexa or Google Assistant.
As to how the Roomba 630 transition between surfaces. No worries–the Roomba 630 seems to transition quite well from hardwood to rugs to low carpets.
Still, on the similarities of the two Roomba models, both the Roomba 630 and 614 don’t have full bin indicator.
Now to the differences…actually, the aspects where the Roomba 630 excel over earlier models.
The number one upside of the Roomba 630 robot vacuum is that the motor and inner electronics are now fully encased, making it harder for hair, dust, etc. to clog up the wheels.
Another thing–there’s a helpful yellow tab that lets you know what parts can be taken apart and put back together again for cleaning. There are also extra filters (3) and a virtual barrier.
Moving on, the Roomba 614 is advertised as using the “dirt detecting technology” to gain precision and closure on dust and dirt particles. For the Roomba 630, it’s “Series 1.”
In practice, however, while the two Roombas operate by attempting specific spots several times, I don’t particularly see any difference in the cleaning results of the two Roombas.
But as with most robot vacuums, Roomba 630 will smear cat and dog mess everywhere, for instance. Only use on surfaces that have been well prepared, and especially for dust, dirt and pet hair on hardwood and other similar surfaces.
That mentioned, as of the time of this writing, the Roomba 614 is cheaper on Amazon than the Roomba 630 by about a hundred dollars.
As you may have noticed, the cleaning efficacy of the Roomba 630 is topnotch. Cleaning results on hardwood floors and other surfaces as well trump two to three hours with an upright vacuum.
The Roomba 630, while lacking a scheduling feature and smart navigation, however, has a virtual wall that prevents your device from getting into unprepared rooms where it’d otherwise beach itself and stop working.
iRobot Roomba 650 Vacuum Cleaning Robot
Pretend for a second that you’re me…
Now that you’re like me, I’d be hesitant to buy the 650, as this product currently has newer models to include the Roomba 950. I mean, why would I buy an older model when there must be so many kinks that would have been worked out by now?
Well, not so fast. That’s because the Roomba 650 robot vacuum does exactly what you want–autonomously clean your wood floors yet with an EXTRA, which is the ability to negotiate different surfaces (tiles>rugs>carpets>laminates) with near, if not the same, thoroughness. Honestly, if this was the only pro of the Roomba 650, I’d choose her without thinking twice. Lucky, the Roomba 650 ability to handle multiple surfaces is not its only advantage.
Although the path (spiral pattern) of the Roomba 650 doesn’t look like anything that makes sense whatsoever, be rest assured, every inch of the floor will get cleaned eventually.
To give you an idea of what gets cleaned, I’ll say dog and cat hairs (which you may not even see most of the time) as well as leaves and dust on the floor. Additionally, the Roomba 650 goes under the bed, coffee and kitchen table, and dressers… I mean spots you may not be able to cover even with your beloved big, bulky Dyson.
That, and it only gets better since there’s a timer you can set for the Roomba 650 to run every other day. Huge time/energy save for you there.
While scheduling if there are areas that have something on the floor that you don’t want to move or pick up at the time, then you can use the virtual walls of the Roomba 650.
In the first week or so, the Roomba 650 may get stuck on throw rugs, end table legs, between the dishwasher, floor vent, behind the sofa, etc. When this happens it indicates that it needs to be rescued. If no one is at home to do the rescuing, it shuts down to save power.
Speaking of cords and small rugs, the Roomba 650 does a great job of negotiating all of these things.
For the disturbance, I’d opine that it isn’t as noisy as a regular vacuum but you would not want to sit in the room or receive calls while it’s working.
Keep in mind however that while the main brush of the Roomba 650 robot vacuum is strong, it’s still not enough to keep hair from building up on it once a week. This can quickly increase maintenance work. Thankfully a tool meant for this issue comes with the product, making this a quick and easy fix. Just ensure to check the brush so the hair issue does not get out of hand.
If the noise of the Roomba 650 robot vacuum ever bothers you, it comes with a scheduling feature. That way you get to plan to run it when you’re not home.
For the catch bin which has been repeatedly pointed out to be relatively small causing one to manually (and maybe frequently?) empty it (Roomba i7+ is the robot vacuum that can automatically self-empty its canister should that be what you’re looking for), if you run it regularly, and empty it daily, it will not fill up. This is perhaps why you want to follow a cleaning plan and not leave dust and dirt particles to settle and accumulate.
I’d mention that the Roomba 650 robot vacuum suffices if you’re buying it to deal with dog hair on our wood floors. Ditto if you’re allergic to pets fur or maybe have back problem or similar conditions so that you are unable to haul out your big, bulky Dyson or Shark. Needless to mention that the Roomba 650 is great for these purposes.
iRobot Roomba 652 Robot Vacuum
Wood floors often require less suction, therefore, most robovacs will perform at worst averagely on them.
The problem, however, arises if just any random robot vacuum tries to attempt, say, an area or throw rug. Even so, there are robot vacuums that find it really challenging crossing thresholds of a few inches. Regardless of whether it’s the first or second case scenario, the fact remains that not much cleaning will be done but even at that, you may still have to haul out a Shark or Dyson to physically tackle those animal hairs and dust bunnies.
But did I hear you say you’ve got allergies or even back pain? You should consider the Roomba 652 robot vacuum.
Just so you know the Roomba 652 robot vacuum has a reputation for autonomously cleaning an entire floor while reaching those places where neither you nor your big vacuum can reach. Additionally, the Roomba 652 goes over tiled areas, thick rugs, and shag carpets almost effortlessly. Roomba 652 also climb thresholds like a champ, plus it detects stairs so it doesn’t tumble to its death.
At first you may be surprised by the random pattern the Roomba 652 robot vacuum takes, but for the most part, it wouldn’t miss as much dirt particles since it repeats its path.
Then again the Roomba 652 robot vacuum works for about an hour at a stretch. Before it dies, it will head over to its charging base. When fully charged, the Roomba will return to where it left off.
It’s worth mentioning that the Roomba 652 robot vacuum is very persistent. Meaning, occasionally you might come home to find your Roomba stuck somewhere, could be under the front of a dresser or something. I’d place something in front of the area–may be one of the dogs larger toys. If however your Roomba gets lost or runs out of battery power, while there’s no beep sound or anything similar to alert you about its whereabouts (the DEEBOT n79s has this feature though), the Roomba 652 is easy to find.
More so if you’re concerned with noise from the Roomba, you could have it running in a room or a different floor while you’re gone or busy with something else.
If you’d rather prefer a device with a remote (the ICOCO robot vacuum has a remote function) because, you know, that feeling–I mean how frustrating it can be to see your Roomba miss something on the floor and you have to go right by it over and over.
It’s advised that with every few uses you use the included tool to cut and remove hairs that may have wrapped up onto the rotating brush roller, but the maintenance of the vacuum is quick and easy.
iRobot Roomba 761 Vacuum Cleaning Robot
As a Roomba fan and an owner of a house with perhaps a dark wood floor, the Roomba 761 is a very good option If you’re looking to free up some time while delegating your vacuuming to a robot.
This is because the battery of the iRobot Roomba 761 vacuuming cleaning robot lasts a great deal; no navigational or docking issues either; little or no machine errors as well.
The Roomba 761 includes many features that make vacuuming carpet, tile and wood floors virtually hassle-free.
The dual HEPA filter, dual brushes, and side brush remove small particles, allergens and pet hairs while the intelligent navigation, its low height (5.6”) and dirt detect technology ensure that the vacuum will maneuver around and avoid objects while vacuuming the floor. While you won’t get a systematic pattern of brush marks, the Roomba 761 gets almost all pet fur, dust, and dirt from hardwood floors plus it does this quite efficiently.
As a bonus, Roomba 761 won’t create scratches on your hardwood floor, and thanks to its powerful suction, it’s able to excellently handle other surfaces including rugs and carpets.
On the noise level, and in comparison with other non-Roomba vacuum cleaners for hardwood floors, the Roomba 761 is kind of louder (at about 70 decibels). This is about 10 decibels louder than a certain product from ICOCO–but I’d think the noise lets me know my Roomba is actually working.
Further, while the Roomba 761 uses a remote control as in most robot vacuum in its category, it stands out with a virtual barrier to help prevent your Roomba from cleaning rooms you don’t want it to clean.
Versatility can be said to be the middle name of the Roomba 761 vacuuming cleaner since it works impressively well on wood floors while delivering just as good (if not better) cleaning power on other surfaces as well. If the noise of the Roomba bothers you, you can schedule cleanings for when you’re out of the house so that you can come home to a perfect floor. Let me also add that if there are rooms you don’t want your Roomba to clean, you can use the virtual barriers.
Does a Roomba Require Maintenance?
Earlier I briefly touched on the edge the Roombas have over other brands. In addition, I’d think the reason most owners preference Roombas is the level of automation they bring to the table. The iRobot i7+ for instance, can self-empty its dust bin.
Regardless, even if you own the Roomba i7+, the truth is, you’ll still have to replace the dustbin bag perhaps a few times in a month in addition to cleaning out the filter for maximum efficiency. That’s some level of maintenance albeit minimal. Therefore, the Roombas require maintenance.
What Sort of Maintenance Does a Roomba Require?
- Once the Roomba has finished cleaning you’ll need to empty the dirt bin and remove hair and other debris that have become tangled around its brushes (takes a few minutes). These easy and quick tasks will maximize your Roombas cleaning capabilities.
- Not really a maintenance activity but if you want a thorough cleaning you’ll need to move all small items (shoes, cords, etc.) off the floor. Large items too. (I usually put my dining room chairs up. That way, my Roomba can do the entire area under my dining table.) After a week of use though, I figured out common problem areas for Roomba & learned to pick up accordingly so it gets to be able to clean adequately.
- Going forward, there may be a need to replace some parts of the Roomba. Replacement parts are available and affordable. A robot vacuum such as the Deebot has an in-built feature that informs of the need to replace parts and the parts that need replacement. Similarly, if you don’t have a budget for replacement parts, I suggest you get the ILife 5s robotic cleaner or the Mooka self-charging robotic vacuum; both come with plenty of accessories and replacement parts.