Welcome to our guide to choosing the best wet dry vacuum for hardwood floors. In this guide, you’ll find all the options you need to take care of any size mess on hardwood flooring. Whether you need to clean inside your home, at a rental property, RV, for commercial purposes, or at your place of business, we have your solution here.
Before we get started with the reviews, let’s first consider what makes a good wet/dry vac for hardwood floors. There are two primary options, and they are:
- Shop Vacs – Rugged, Durable, Versatile, Best for Large Messes
- Wet/Dry Vacuum Cleaners – Replace Mopping, Easy to Use, Lightweight, Leave Hardwood Floors Shiny
Each option comes with its pluses and minuses. For large messes that require more suction power, a wet/dry shop vac is the way to go. Shop vacs also give you the ability to use your own attachments to protect your hardwood floors. The good news is we selected shop vacs for our guide that come with attachments that are safe to use on hardwood floors.
The second option is a wet/dry vacuum cleaner. This type of vacuum is similar to a traditional upright vacuum for home use, except it features 2-in-1 functionality. With this type of vacuum, you essentially mop and vacuum your hardwood floors at the same time.
The obvious advantage is that you save yourself time by knocking out two chores at once. Also, you save yourself space since you no longer have to store multiple pieces of cleaning equipment.
Best Wet/Dry Vacuums for Hardwood Floors Reviewed
Below, you’ll find helpful reviews of each of our top picks. In each review, we include the highlights of each model along with the pros & cons to consider before making your final decision.
#1) Craftsman 17612 4 Gallon 5.0 Peak HP Wet/Dry Vac
As far as shop vacs for hardwood floors go, Craftsman’s 17612 model is an excellent option for home use. Compared to large shop vacs that are difficult to drag around, this 4-gallon model rolls easily, similar to a canister vacuum. After the canister, the next advantage is the included set of attachments.
The base package includes a combo brush/utility nozzle that’s perfect for all hardwood floors to prevent scratches, a car nozzle, and a crevice tool. If you’re a pet parent, you’ll find the crevice tool useful for picking up pet hair in hard-to-reach spots and corners.
Lastly, this model offers the power of a full-size shop vac in a small package. You’ll have no trouble sucking up large spills and any mess on your floor with this vacuum without worrying about breaking it. The 5 peak HP motor is built for tackling tough jobs. Plus, this model is compact enough to bring with you anywhere and use both indoors & outdoors for all job types.
- Includes a brush attachment that won’t scratch your hardwood floors
- Powerful 5 peak HP motor for cleaning up spills on hardwood floors with ease
- Perfect for use both indoors and outdoors
- Easier to roll around than a full-size shop vac
- 20′ onboard retractable power cord for covering large areas
- Lightweight and portable
- 1-year warranty
- The loudest model in this guide
- Included floor attachment could be wider (click here #ad for a wider compatible attachment for hardwood at Amazon)
#2) Shark VM252 VACMOP Pro Cordless Hard Floor Vacuum Mop
If you’re here to find the best cordless wet dry vacuum for hardwood floors, Shark’s VM252 VACMOP gives you the most bang for your buck. Compared to competing models, the VM252 performs better, and it’s very easy to use with the disposable VACMOP pads. The main advantage of choosing this model over a wet/dry shop vac is that it’s going to leave your hardwood floors shiny.
One of the first features we really like in this model is the onboard light that illuminates the floor as you go. Do you know how sticky messes tend to hide without enough light? Well, the light on the VACMOP is perfect for making sure you don’t miss a spot. Additionally, there’s no need to ever touch a dirty pad, and the vacuum works by sucking up all dirt & debris into the pad.
The final highlight is the VACMOP pads are easy to find & affordable, plus Shark sells a special hardwood floor cleaner (VCW60) in Spring Clean and Citrus scents. All in all, this is basically a cordless vacuum that does the job of a Swiffer too.
- It does a good job of getting into corners and crevices
- The onboard LED light ensures you don’t miss a spot
- Convenient magnetic charging attachment
- Lightweight and easy to push
- Spot sprayer for cleaning tough spots
- The compact design needs limited storage space (loop at the top handle for hanging)
- Only safe to use on sealed hardwood floors
- Does not suck up large spills like a shop vac
- The need to keep the pads and floor cleaner stocked
#3) Vacmaster VF408 1101 4-Gallon Household Wet/Dry Vacuum
Another leader in the shop vac space, Vacmaster, manufactures a great shop vac for household use. As you’ve probably already noticed, this model is Vacmaster’s answer to Craftsman’s model above. Why choose this model over the Craftsman? The main reason you may want to choose this model over Craftsman’s 17612 is that this vac is built for quieter operation.
Vacmaster achieved quieter operation by using a quiet dual-turbo motor. While it’s not the strongest shop vac, it does boast an impressive 65 CFM rating in a compact package. Compared to a vacuum mop or upright wet/dry vacuum cleaner, you certainly get more suction power here for cleaning up a wide variety of household messes both indoors and outdoors.
Finally, similar to the Craftsman model, this model by Vacmaster includes a brush tool that’s perfect to use on all hardwood floors to avoid scratches. Plus, the non-marring wheels on the canister won’t leave any marks as you go.
- Retractable 15′ power cord
- Multi-stage filtration with HEPA exhaust filter for cleaner indoor air
- Non-marring wheels are safe on hardwood floors
- Includes a brush attachment and additional nozzles (more than Craftsman)
- Impressive 65 CFM suction power in a compact package
- Good for picking up hair on hardwood floors left by long-haired pets
- Quieter than most competing models
- Shorter cord than Craftsman
- Prone to tipping
- You may want a wider floor attachment if you have a lot of ground to cover
#4) Bissell 1543 Symphony Pet All-in-One Vacuum and Steam Mop
If you prefer to add some steam to the mix, Bissell’s Symphony is a great selection. The good news is you have complete control over the steam with the touch of a button. Similar to the Shark model above, this model works as a wet/dry vacuum cleaner that vacuums and mops your floor at the same time.
A couple of reasons you may want to choose this model over the Shark are that it has more suction power, and it has the option to use everyday washable microfiber pads. This is especially nice to see if you were concerned about the ongoing cost of stocking Shark pads. Plus, the Bissell Symphony has the option to use disposable pads with hands-free disposal.
One drawback to this model compared to the Shark is that it is corded. This means you’ll need to worry about keeping the cord off the floor while you work. Also, it’s heavier than the Shark at 10.6 lbs compared to 5 lbs. Depending on how much area you need to cover, Bissell’s Symphony is better for large hardwood floors, while the Shark is better for small areas.
- The option to choose between reusable microfiber pads and disposable pads
- More suction power than the Shark
- Specifically made for pet parents with hardwood floors, and a portion of the proceeds go toward saving homeless pets
- On-demand steam for cleaning up sticky messes with ease
- Dry-tank technology keeps moisture out of the canister for less mess
- Adding water to the tank is easy at the back of the unit without bending over
- Compatible with disposable Swiffer pads
- It’s corded
- Heavier than the Shark
- You may find it to be loud
#5) DeWalt DXV10P 10-Gallon 5.5 HP 2-Stage Quiet Wet/Dry Vacuum
Our final pick is for people who desire more capacity and power for cleaning large areas and big messes. With this vacuum, you’ll have no trouble vacuuming up pet hair, large spills, dirt, and anything else that manages to make its way onto your hardwood floor. The beauty of this model is its quiet operation for being so heavy-duty.
Similar to Vacmaster’s model featured in this guide, this DeWalt model utilizes a quiet 2-stage motor that’s up to 50% quieter than competing models. Additionally, DeWalt does manufacture an optional silencing muffler. Just keep in mind that if you add the muffler, it does reduce suction power a bit.
Several final highlights are the long 3-year warranty, a variety of onboard attachments including multiple brush nozzles for hardwood floors, 4 large casters for easy transport, a top carry handle, and 90 CFM means you’ll have no trouble vacuuming up wet messes.
- The most powerful wet/dry vac featured in this guide
- More capacity for large areas and messes
- The package with Workshop attachments includes multiple brush nozzles
- The long 3-year warranty period
- Quiet 2-stage motor for indoor use
- 4 large casters roll freely
- Use it with or without a filter bag
- 10′ power cord
- Needs more storage space
- The DeWalt attachments aren’t the best (we prefer the package with Workshop attachments)
When selecting the best wet dry vac for hardwood floors, the first step is to consider your goals. Do you want to be able to simply vacuum up pet hair, dirt, and spills? If that’s your goal, then it’s best to choose a shop vac featured in our guide. What’s wonderful about the Vacmaster and Craftsman models featured here is that they’re essentially hybrid household/shop vacuums, so you get the best of both worlds.
If your goal is to vacuum and mop your hardwood floors at the same time, then it’s best to choose a Shark or Bissell model to save yourself time. With this type of wet/dry vacuum cleaner, you get shiny floors while picking up dirt and debris. Clearly, this is better than vacuuming your floor, then preparing a mop. Plus, the convenience of disposable or reusable pads is really nice.