More and more people are ripping the carpet out of their houses and are replacing it with hardwood, laminate, ceramic tile, linoleum. Personally, I don't know how long this will last. I believe that someday people will tire of caring for hard surface floors and carpet will once again make it's gallant return.
For most of our married life, we lived with carpet and did just fine. All that I had to do was pull out our Kirby, plug it in and go to work. But, we learned that our daughters both suffer with allergons and I have asthma so we elected to pull up the rugs and replace it with porcelain tile and laminate.
To begin with, I thought that that was the only way to go but over time, I ralized that the care of hard floors is more time-consuming that using a vacuum. Stan surprised me one day with the brand new Shark SteamVac. One tool does it all! It vacuums VERY well and uses real steam to mop and buff your floors. I've never been too impressed with vacuums that claim to be great on flat hard floors. The ones that I have seen in action, leave alot of dirt behind. I was stunned when I saw just how much dust and animal hair was sucked up in this funnel vacuum. To prove to ourselves how well this machine worked, we used our regular broom on the living room first. To us, the floor looked just fine. Then, we plugged in the Shark and re-vacuumed the same area. We were "floored" by what we saw in the clear compartment now filled with dust and hair. Many companies claim to be steam cleaners but in reality, the water never gets any hotter than it was when you took it from the tap and inserted it in to the machine.
This Shark product is completely different. It does not allow the water to emit from the machine until it is boiling hot. You can actually hear the boiling water. Now, the water does not go straight from the machine onto the floor which could cause someone to be burned. Instead, the tool comes with two cotton pads that you wash in your washing machine when wet and dirty. The hot water goes through the pad and strikes your floor with a vengence. No extra cleansers are needed with the water. The hot water softens dirt practically immediately and is washed away. The steam KILLS any bacteria on the floor's surface. The moisture that is left on the floor evaporates quickly. No smudges or film is left behind. Nothing is left except for CLEAN.
The Shark manufacturers have now designed a steam hand tool that is to be used on countertops, walls, cabinets, etc. Again, nothing is needed to be purchased to aid the cleaning. Hot water from your tap is all that is needed in your Shark.
These two products can be purchased seperately online or at various stores throughout the country. Wal-Mart sells them--ALOT.
I'd recommend Shark SteamVac to anyone who wants to provide the cleanest floors possible. They're almost a must for anyone who has children and/or pets who spend much time on the floor.